Amazing home transformations

Get ideas for your own home or garden makeover

Warm kitchen makeover

See how a designer combines the best of old and new for an inviting contemporary look

  • The honed white marble countertop and backsplash provide crisp contrast to the ebony-stained cabinetry.

    Ebony-stained cabinetry

    Thomas J. Story

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Dutto's tips for a phased remodel

Break down each step
Assess what to do now and what to do later. "For every design decision, we had phase one and phase two," Dutto says.

Design for future use
The longterm goal for the Dutto kitchen is to expand it as the house remodel continues. A generous overhang on the island was planned to eventually accommodate more seating.

Buy now for later
Dutto got a huge discount on a scratched Viking range floor model and kept it in storage for a year. "We were holding on to it for our 'someday' kitchen."

Be flexible
The Duttos' remodel plans have changed since they moved in two years ago. "My advice is to move in first and see how you use the space, so you'll know what you really want," she says.

Design: Lara C. Dutto, D-Cubed, Emeryville, CA (510/557-1484).

Resources: Paint selection and consultation by Mari Tischenko (925/285-8165). Glen Ridge Gold paint (on kitchen walls; item 301) and Jade Romanesque paint (on island; item 476) from Benjamin Moore (800/344-0400). Barn-door track from Crown Industrial (650/952-5150). Quartersawn white oak-veneer cabinets with custom stain by Lloyd's Custom Woodwork (925/680-6600). John Boos maple butcher-block counter with natural oil finish on island from Sullivan Counter Tops (510/652-2337). Wüsthof aluminum knife magnet bar from Sur La Table ($70; 800/243-0852).

More: 17 amazing Before and Afters

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