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Farmhouse Fresh
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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A clean-lined remodel transforms a small kitchen into what it was meant to be all along—the hub of the home.

When Andrea and Bryan McGinness of Clive purchased their home in 2001, it was new but had been vacant for a year. With a busy family with three children, they knew early on that the kitchen would have to somehow increase in size.

“I had saved pictures in magazines for a long time and knew what I wanted,” Andrea says. “It always seemed that a wall would have to go.”

The couple bought the Winestyles franchise in West Des Moines in 2006 and purchased the whole company in 2012. There are 19 stores around the country, from Alaska to Florida. In doing some remodeling at their shop, they worked with Emily Kaldenberg, an interior designer at Woodharbor Kitchen & Bath in Urbandale, and hit it off. “When we decided to go ahead with our kitchen remodel, we knew we wanted Emily to handle it,” Andrea says.

“What they had in mind was my own dream kitchen,” the interior designer says, “so I was thrilled to be able to work with them on it.”

Top appliances

Having top-line appliances was important to the couple. Bryan, who formerly was with Maytag, knew his way around the appliance industry. “Besides, I do most of the cooking. It’s a release for me. I love it, so I knew I wanted good appliances.” He and Andrea opted for a commercial-style gas range by Wolf and a Sub-Zero refrigerator. Bryan points out that there’s no microwave in the kitchen; instead they have a steam-convection oven as one of their wall ovens, and it can perform the same tasks as a microwave.

Andrea’s must-have appliance was a professional Wolf coffee maker. “It’s amazing,” she says. “It’s like having your own coffee shop at home.” And, given their interest in wine, there’s a dual-temperature wine chiller, too.

To get the open kitchen they wanted, Kaldenberg came up with a plan: Remove a wall between a small kitchen and a small dining room to create a large open space, complete with a huge island, one of Andrea’s goals.

“The kitchen needed to be proportional to the quantity and size of appliances,” Kaldenberg explains. For balance, she added triple Pella farmhouse double-hung windows over the sink to match the scale of the large appliances.

The home’s former living room became a formal dining room, and a wider door opened that space up to the new kitchen.

Always knowing a sleek white kitchen was the goal, the couple chose white Woodharbor inset cabinets, marble subway tile for the backsplash, and a basket-weave medallion detail over the range. They chose almost black granite for the perimeter countertops and a mottled gray granite surface for the island.

Special pendants

Large pendant lights over the island are made from glass Hungarian wine vessels from a company called Europe2You. With Bryan and Andrea’s business, the detail seems most appropriate.

Details took top priority, too. “I am just anal about outlets,” Andrea confesses, so they are everywhere. Pull-out shelves for spices flank both sides of the range, and pull-up hardware hides the KitchenAid mixer. Deep drawers keep dishes and serving pieces at arm’s reach in the island. Stools make bellying up to the island for casual meals and snacks easy.

To accomplish the remodeling, heating, plumbing, and central vac ductwork had to be rerouted.

Vintage details

Vintage touches around the kitchen add a bit of nostalgia to the new space. A wire basket from the former Camp Dodge swimming pool holds cookbooks, classic bin pulls are on drawers, and a lazy Susan made from a wine barrel sits on top of the nearby dining table. Round knobs on some cabinet doors are from the old kitchen, and soft gray walls add a subtle backdrop. Also, with the dining room more a part of the kitchen space now, it’s a spot to show off a family treasure, a 400-crystal chandelier that belonged to Bryan’s great-grandparents and passed to him by his late mother.

A serious glitch occurred in the middle of the remodeling. Bryan underwent triple-bypass heart surgery in January 2015. “We were living and cooking in the basement, so it was an interesting time,” Andrea says. The project was finished in time for son Connor’s May high school graduation party.

“Our three kids tease us that, now that they are either in college or out, we have done this fabulous kitchen,” Andrea says with a chuckle. “But we do enjoy having staff and customers over here. It’s great.”

“We can have 25 to 30 people here now and not feel a bit crowded,” Bryan points out. With the nearby family room, the space takes on a great-room feel. “We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”


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