'50s Kitchen Now Open for Cooking (page 1 of 2)

Christina Moore's love for cooking turns an inefficient kitchen into an airy, coastal-inspired space where she can whip up gourmet meals for her family


When Christina Moore purchased her 1958 single-story ranch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she was determined to completely overhaul the kitchen. The 2,100 square-foot house appealed to her mostly for its three spacious bedrooms, open floor plan and abundant natural light. By contrast, its 12x8 foot kitchen was cramped and dark.

"With the exception of some white paint on the cabinets and travertine floors, the kitchen hadn’t been updated in 50 years," Christina says. With two active kids and an even more active husband, keeping the current space wasn't an option. Passionate about healthy cooking and staying fit, the busy mom already spent a good amount of time packing fresh ingredients into meals, mostly Italian dishes and salads, for her growing family, husband Jason, daughter Madeline, and son Dylan.

Browse Pictures from this Coastal Kitchen Remodel

"Cooking is part of my DNA," Christina says. "My dad owned and operated a restaurant, and although my mom Liliane isn't the biggest fan of being in the kitchen, she comes over several nights a week to help." Since kitchen remodels are lengthy and messy, the family decided to move in to their home when the new space was complete.

In its original state, the U-shaped kitchen had all-white cabinetry, laminate countertops, white appliances and an inefficient breakfast area hemmed in by a pair of walls that created wasted space. "The walls made it really dark and uninviting," says Christina. "My kids would've been scared to eat in it and the last thing my husband wants is to come home to is dinner in a cramped, dark corner." Plus, the breakfast area was a waste of space, which was too small for the family to use.

Christina wanted to create a coastal feeling packed with accoutrements fit for the most enthusiastic of cooks. To execute the project, she hired custom homebuilder Marco Ciotti of Artistico Construction.

The original design of Christina's kitchen included a small, U-shaped layout that separated the kitchen from the rest of the great room, creating wasted space. Once remodeled, Christina's kitchen opened to the rest of the great room.

Christina wanted to keep the budget under $30,000. The original plan was to accomplish the kitchen's remodel in 12 weeks. Due to difficulties with permits, it quickly became clear that it would take much longer. Three to four weeks were spent finalizing drawings and getting permits approved for the kitchen remodel. "Although the delay in truly getting started felt like it was never-ending, it was much more bearable since we hadn't yet moved into the house," says Christina.

While waiting for permits to be approved by the city, Marco’s team began demolition of the existing kitchen to speed things up. In the meantime, Christina was able to tackle the minutia related to the cosmetic aspects of the project.

The busy mom toted her daughter, Madeline, around Design Center of the Americas picking out the decorative elements. "I had no idea it would take three days of shopping to find two light fixtures and barstools," says Christina. "With so many choices out there, and so much money invested in the remodel, it was really important to get all of these details right."

For the kitchen's lighting, she chose industrial-style polished nickel pendants that would be installed above the island. As far as seating was concerned, she kept with the coastal motif by choosing woven wicker counter stools with a grey finish.

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