Problem: How can you make the most of a narrow kitchen?
Designers: Jamie Myers and Amanda Zitlin, Susan Fredman Design Group, Chicago
What they did: Merging the original tiny kitchen in this 1889 Streeterville rowhouse with an adjoining sitting room resulted in a bowling-alley layout. Myers and Zitlin made it feel roomy and elegant with a simple color scheme, white cabinets, a floor-to-ceiling pantry, and marble countertops and backsplashes. The clients even got their dream: an island (albeit a humble four-by-two-foot one).The dual-toned maple countertop and pendants from Arteriors Home lend some drama.
Problem: What to you do with an old wet bar? (Hint: Get rid of it!)
Designer: Brandie McCoy, Bradford & Kent Custom Remodeling, Downers Grove
What she did: McCoy is on a mission to give wet bars new life. Lately, she’s been using wet-bar plumbing to accommodate custom beverage centers. This one, in the family room of a house in Lake Barrington (which McCoy designed while working for Barrington-based Insignia Kitchen and Bath) has an icemaker, refrigerator drawers, wine storage, and a coffee system. Best part: It looks like a classy armoire.
Problem: How can you make room for a second bathroom when there really isn’t any?
Designer: Susan Klimala, The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn
What she did: Owners of older homes with just one full bathroom often find themselves yearning for another—for guests, significant others, kids. But where to put it? Klimala solved this dilemma for a client with a turn-of-the-century 11/2-bath house in Glen Ellyn by combining two back-to-back closets in adjoining upstairs bedrooms into one wet-room- style full bath. The result is a long, narrow (39 by 79 inches) space with a wall-mounted toilet; a hanging vanity with a recessed towel bar; and an open, curb-free shower (common in Europe).
Good idea: A flip-up teak bench and a built-in storage niche save space.