Kitchen Updates to Match Your Lifestyle


Millennial renter? Mom of three? We’ve got you covered.

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to renovating your kitchen. What might appeal to a new homeowner or a Gen Y renter probably wouldn’t make much sense for a young family of five. Below, Nate Berkus—interior design guru and artistic adviser for LG Studio‘s high-end line of appliances—shares the best ways to upgrade your kitchen based on your lifestyle.


Get permission from your landlord to paint the cabinetry and swap out the cabinet hardware. I did it for my assistant’s apartment in Brooklyn, and it transformed the entire feeling of the space. The cabinets went from a standard wood tone to a beautiful chalky white. Upgrade the handles, and suddenly you’ll feel like you’re in a new kitchen.


People who actually entertain and cook should invest in the best appliances out there. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how much time you spent picking out the backsplash if you stick something in the oven and it doesn’t work. Also, if you have the room, add an island, whether it’s free-standing or built-in—there are a million options. It really helps change the traffic pattern of the space.


Most people don’t realize it until you already own them, but stainless steel appliances are really smudgy. I have a 17-month-old daughter, and there are handprints at her sightline on every single thing in our house. What’s nice about the LG Studio line is that we changed the graining of the stainless steel to go horizontally instead of vertically, which greatly reduces fingerprints and smudges.


Do an edit. You don’t need a cabinet filled with dozens of cereal bowls anymore. Save a few for when the grandkids visit. Keep your best cookware and your prettiest linens, and donate the rest.


Smartly designed appliances should take center stage. LG Studio’s French-Door Counter-Depth refrigerator features a front compartment to store the things you need easy access to, so you don’t have to open the entire fridge every time you reach for them. It’s terrific for cooks because they don’t have to dig into the back of the refrigerator—and let out cool air doing so—to find the things they’re constantly using.


Go deep into the accessories. What’s the runner in front of your sink? What’s the fabric you’ve upholstered your counter stools in? Do you have gorgeous pendant lights hanging down? What do your cutting boards look like, and how are they displayed? Upgrade the tactile things that you touch everyday and incorporate patterns and colors that you really love.

Start with the kitchen. It is, in my opinion, the single most important renovation in terms of adding value to the home. Build exactly what you want, but always remain on the classic side of things. If it doesn’t look like it was around in 1920, then it’s time to move on from the idea.


I like kitchens that are largely designed to be under the counter, with the exception of the range, the hood, and the refrigerator. Consider skipping upper cabinetry so that you have a wall to hang a black-and-white photograph or a favorite painting.


Use natural materials, like stone countertops that are an inch-and-a-half or two inches thick. Add custom cabinetry that’s designed with anything you could dream of: spice organization, dividers, drawers lined in anti-tarnish cloth for your sterling. Incorporate architectural salvage pieces into the design. For instance, a plaster hood with an old stone medallion. Or, you could use an 18th-century French marble fireplace to frame the hood over the stove. In general, just focus on improving the quality of the materials that you’re using.



Kickass Alternatives to Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinets

Kickass is right. Our friends at apartment therapy hit it out of the park.

Kickass Alternatives to Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinets

Home trends have moved towards a more open kitchen, and away from traditional closed cabinets that often feel bulky. We’ve noticed many other types of shelving, and even little to no storage above waist height at all. This means more room for windows, and a lighter, more airy kitchen. Explore these different kitchen design ideas…

One Long Ledge

One continuous ledge that’s as long as the countertop is a sleek and modern option. The shelf in this green kitchen (lead image above) was designed by OeO Studio, and makes the space look extra long and sleek.

(Image credit: Yellowtrace)

It’s especially lovely when the ledge is the same material as the countertops. Joseph Dirand’s Paris apartment looks classic.

Hanging Storage Bar

(Image credit: Gisbert Poeppler)

Minimalists might love a bar on which to hang utensils and supplies. Above, Gisbert Poeppler designed this kitchen with a long copper one that’s beautiful with the pinks and greens.

(Image credit: Milk Decoration)

For those on a budget, IKEA’s GRUNDTAL series can get you a similar look. You can see it above the sink in Gesa Hansen’s kitchen.

Suspended Shelves

(Image credit: Birmingham Home Garden)

There’s something so architectural about these suspended shelves from Marianne Strong Interiors, seen in Birmingham Home & Garden.

(Image credit: Dean & Silva)

When constructed in the middle of the room, or above the island, it provides the storage but has less visual weight than regular closed cabinets. This kitchen was designed by Dean & Silva and the shelving doesn’t block light from the windows.

Open Shelves

(Image credit: Dalla Polvere)

For this vintage style kitchen design, Dalla Polvere also borrowed elements of commercial kitchens with their open stainless steel shelves that hold spices and supplies overhead.

(Image credit: Domino)

For a more seamless look, consider minimalist glass shelves in this sleek modern kitchen from Domino.

Open Storage Boxes

(Image credit: Nest)

This is a twist on the traditional cabinet and can be configured in various ways, using something like Muuto’s stacked system.

(Image credit: J. Ingerstedt)

… or in a neat rows like this kitchen from Elle Deco UK.

Closed Full-Size Storage Cupboards

Instead of eye-level cabinets, consider full-size cupboards, like these flanking the stove in a kitchen from Reno Rumble (Australian reality TV show) designers. One hides the fridge and the other is storage. Via The Life Creative Blog.

(Image credit: Made Architects)

Or, one whole wall of cabinets on the side, like this beautiful space from Made Architects.


Dabney Frake

Nov 3, 2016


Kitchens, Luxury

7 Luxury Kitchens in Lakeview – for Sale Now

Let’s take a look at luxury kitchens in Lakeview. Whether you prefer traditional or modern, all-white or varying hues in the kitchen, there’s a style to suit your style in the Chicago real estate market. We’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite luxury kitchens — all currently for sale in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.


1514 W. Henderson Street

Located along Southport Corridor in Lakeview, this six bedroom home is filled with sophisticated finishes throughout, including extensive millwork and built-ins. Inside you’ll find a spacious professional-grade chef’s kitchen, complete with a custom paneled Sub Zero fridge, Wolf stove, oversized island, butler’s pantry and separate breakfast area.

(For more information, contact Carrie McCormick at 312-961-4612)

$1,995,000 — 6 Bedrooms / 4.2 Bathrooms


1436 W. Melrose Street

This new construction residence offers expansive living space across four levels. On the main level, a front living room and dining area flow into a gourmet kitchen with contemporary finishes, including white quartz countertops, a grey glass subway tile backsplash, plus Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.

(For more information, contact Barnett Homes at 312-956-8888)

$2,075,000 — 6 Bedrooms / 5.2 Bathrooms


1508 W. Byron Street

Step inside this stately brick home to enjoy a stunning white kitchen, complete with custom cabinetry and attractive stone accents. The eat-in chef’s kitchen offers luxury appliances, an oversized island with breakfast bar, plus a butler’s pantry.

(For more information, contact Chris Fixler at 847-340-4943)

$2,395,000 — 6 Bedrooms / 5.2 Bathrooms


1419 W. Oakdale Avenue

This Lakeview home offers a nice alternative to white kitchens we’re seeing often these days. Outfitted with custom grey cabinetry, the kitchen has sleek quartz countertops and minimalist light fixtures. Additional features include a Subzero double fridge, Wolf range/double oven, wine fridge, gourmet coffee maker and a butler’s pantry.

(For more information, contact Melanie Giglio-Vakos at 312-953-4998)

$1,899,000 — 6 Bedroom / 4.1 Bathroom


1122 W. Wolfram Street

If modern style is your liking, check out this kitchen. Built by leading Chicago developer, MK Construction & Builders, this new construction home provides a sophisticated kitchen with full overlay cabinetry, professional Jenn-Air appliances, a paneled dishwasher and fridge, plus a 45 bottle wine cellar.

(For more information, contact Jason O’Beirne at 773-368-3421)

$1,899,900 — 5 Bedroom / 3.1 Bathrooms


2748 N. Lakewood Avenue #2

This Lakeview property offers an escape from city hustle and bustle, tucked away in a private, gated courtyard on Lakewood. The 5 bedroom residence has generous living space and custom-quality finishes, like this sleek and  sophisticated kitchen with a waterfall counter island and mixed white & espresso cabinetry.

(For more information, contact Cadey O’Leary at 773-710-4202)

$1,435,000 — 5 Bedroom / 4.1 Bathroom


1537 W. Nelson Street

Located in the Burley School District, this new construction Lakeview home has a professional grade kitchen that’s an entertainer’s dream, with ample space for cooking and serving guests. The kitchen has Sub Zero and Wolf appliances, a butler’s pantry, plenty of storage, plus a conjoined family room area for easy and open entertaining.

(For more information, contact Mario Greco at 773-687-4696)

$1,675,000 — 6 Bedrooms / 4.1 Bathrooms


Which one of these Lakeview kitchens is your favorite?