Modern Mountain Kitchen Remodel: The Big Island Takeover

February 8, 2020

The first time we ever gathered around this almost 10×7 island was with 30 high school kids for dinner before Homecoming. This is why we took three walls down.

Space is just space. It’s what happens in that space that matters.

One of the greatest compliments I could ever receive is for someone to say they feel at home in my home. Much of that “home” feeling happens here: people cooking together, lots of everyday conversation, music playing, and life being shared.

To the outside it’s a kitchen with an island. To me it’s sacred ground.

When designing, I had to decide whether to go with a double island or a large single. Ultimately we went with a 9.10″ x 6.8 ” single so the room wasn’t so cut up. I’m really happy with the decision. It makes the space feel very open and airy, yet I still have a very large space for cooking and hosting.

We also decided to pull the island out two feet from the cabinetry so that people could also sit on the side – a great idea from my friend. We have six people in our family and we can all sit around it at one time.


There is plenty of square footage, it’s just cut up so it doesn’t feel expansive. The island is tiny, and has the cooktop on it. The hallway, desk, dining table, dropped ceiling, and wall of cabinets all define small stations instead of feeling like one big area.

I also don’t know why there was a hallway in the kitchen behind the cabinets. That space had a coat closet and a small baker’s rack. Coats can find a new home – that is too valuable of real estate to waste on a closet!

The Plan:

I like to do some diagraming with rooms so I can visualize the space. This also helps when drawing up plans for new cabinets.



This picture from Old Seagrove Homes served as my inspiration for the wood hood and island. Isn’t it just stunning? While this is a modern coastal home, the look was easily adapted to fit my modern mountain style.

It will get worse before it gets better:

Demo is both fun and terrifying. The insulation alone created a gigantic mess. Once committed, there is no going back. We knew we wanted the ceilings to be as high as possible, so the soffit had to go. I was amazed at what a difference it made just removing that little bit of dropped ceiling.

Here it is with all of the walls down, the brown tile floor removed, and the soffit gone. Like I said, no going back!

After we put the new floors in, we could start placing the cabinets.

This project was a ton of work, and took so much longer than expected. However, it was well worth the time investment to arrive at something we love so much.

This kitchen works beautifully for me as a cook. The walk in pantry, full size refrigerator and freezer, and wide walkways makes its especially user-friendly.

Before / After:

I love this before and after. What does your dream kitchen look like?


Crystal cabinets

Viking 48″ Professional Range

Wall Mount Pot Filler

Commercial Pull Down Faucet

Top Knob Hardware

Visual Comfort Lighting – Darla Lanterns

West Elm Barstools

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  4. Eleni says:

    Hi I love you kitchen so much that i am almost copying this same style in redoing mine next Spring when hopefully we will be back to a safer times. May I ask what kind of flooring you used in yours brand and color ? Also what kind of wood is the island made of ? Thank you so much ! Stay safe Eleni

    • Krista says:

      Hi Eleni!
      We used our cabinet maker for the wood island. I do online consults if you want to talk through your kitchen design and need some help! LMK.

      • Eleni says:

        Krista that would be great … I. will reach out in about 2 weeks when school starts back up again so we can talk . Also how much do you charge for online consults ? Not sure i want to hire a onsite consultant but would since i am literally copying your kitchen lol your consultation would go along way. Thank you and have a great night !

        • Krista says:

          Sounds good! You can fill out the form on my website and I will send you all of the materials 🙂 So exciting that you are getting a gourmet kitchen!


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