Who: Al and Mercia Hobson
Where: Herndon, Virginia
When we downsized to our 1953 brick rambler, Mercia and I had already renovated eight kitchens and figured we'd have to redo this one, too. It had 24-year-old oak cabinets with doors falling off their hinges. It also had a lot going for it, though, including a great fridge, a vent hood with a heat lamp and a 10-inch duct, and Corian countertops so well worn they looked like honed stone. Aside from new flooring and a couple of appliance upgrades, what we needed was a new look. Mercia found just the thing: elegant silvery-gray cabinets in the Beaux Arts style from the German luxury brand SieMatic. Then she discovered the price, and we had to scotch the idea. Who spends $75,000 on cabinets? Not us.