Before: Unstylish and Boxy

The fridge now tucks into the corner vacated by the basement door; the range claims a spot nearby; an elongated peninsula accommodates the sink and dishwasher; and a new microwave-equipped island boosts prep space. Designer Amanda Marmer's choice of light-reflecting finishes, quartersawn oak flooring, and a pro faucet gives the room, which also serves two young kids, a sophisticated flavor. "It's very much a working kitchen," says Don, "but it's also perfect for entertaining."

Shown: The old kitchen was cut up by one too many doorways.
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