clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Divine Design: A groovy kind of look

Seven years ago, Terry found the house of his dreams — a ranch-style bungalow that hadn't changed much since it was built in the 1960s. He particularly loved the kitchen, a Swinging-'60s gem complete with copper-colored appliances and a melamine table. Unfortunately, wife Tracey wasn't as keen on the place; she was hoping for something a bit more contemporary. But because Terry loved it, she made him a deal: They would buy the place and live with the kitchen for five years, at which time they would undertake a complete kitchen renovation.

Well, the five-year mark came and went, and the room's awkward layout, tiny oven and antiquated fridge finally took their toll on Tracey. So, I called in my team and got set to bring this super-groovy kitchen into the current decade.

The cramped kitchen didn't leave much room for entertaining, and it was closed off from the adjoining living and dining rooms. So, I kicked things off by knocking down a few walls and opening up the whole space. I also added windows and new glass doors so the lovely backyard would be in full view.

I then got started on my quest: to pay homage to the home's mid-century design, while turning the space into a modern kitchen. I ripped out the old appliances, tore out the cabinets, replaced the flooring with charcoal porcelain tile and put up a fresh coat of paint. Then, I sectioned the large space into a two rooms -- a kitchen and a dining room that flow seamlessly into one another and blend into the adjacent living room.

In the kitchen, I created a long continuous flow of white quartz counters, zebra-wood cabinetry and windows along the back wall. Because I wanted to maximize the outdoor view, I put in very few upper cabinets, and put most of the new appliances below the counters, including the new double ovens, a dishwasher and a microwave. I also hid a fridge/freezer behind some panels that blend in with the rest of the cabinetry.

The focal point of this room is a large kitchen island. Part of the island functions as a food-prep and cooking area, and contains a black marble surface with a sleek cooktop. I designed the other half of the island for eating and entertaining by installing a higher white quartz perimeter countertop and putting funky bar stools around it.

In the dining-room area, I put in a bar that contains a marble counter and more dark wood cabinetry, and decked it out with a state-of-the-art wine fridge and coffeemaker.

I kept Tracey and Terry's existing dining-room table, but added new dining-room chairs in a creamy fabric. I also installed a gorgeous elevated fireplace that can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room.

Additionally, I put up five retro pendants over the island and installed a "funkadelic" fixture above the dining-room table.

This dysfunctional '60s kitchen was way past its "best before" date. So I blended modern convenience with retro charm and created the perfect recipe for a beautiful kitchen -- and a beautiful compromise for Tracey and Terry. Now that's divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Divine Design." For more ideas, information and show times, visit or Or visit