Cooks & Cocinas: Handy Couple Creates Contemporary Kitchen ...

Amped-up colors and open spaces are the work of a handy couple who created a kitchen to suit their contemporary tastes. Who's cooking: , a real estate appraiser who puts his building construction degree to work in do-it-yourself home projects. Wife Sandy, a community volunteer, pitches in on the remodeling ventures. In this kitchen: Since 2009, when the Rivettes completed a second remodel on the kitchen of the Northeast Side home they've lived in since the early 1990s. What's cooking: Doug enjoys combining recipes and experimenting with savory dishes while Sandy sticks to traditional fare. “I feel like I'm a country-type cook and he's the more gourmet cook,” Sandy says. The space: About 9 feet by 20 feet. “It feels bigger because there's no wall,” says Doug. In extending the counter and lengthening the kitchen, they eliminated the breakfast room in favor of a sitting area that overlooks the backyard swimming pool. On the surfaces: Canary yellow walls hit happy notes alongside the high-gloss red cabinets from Ikea. Sandy covered the previous orange walls in two coats with Behr paint that includes primer.Easy-care concrete counters require waxing and buffing about twice a year. Two couples helped the Rivettes build the forms and pour the concrete over a weekend.The sleek texture of glass tiles above the stove contrasts with the remaining backsplash of rough-hewn stacked stone tiles set vertically.Stainless drawer pulls reused from the previous kitchen go with the new stainless appliances and stainless sink. Why it works: The remodel gave Doug the gas stove he had always wanted, and Sandy got the range hood she wanted. “It started with the vent hood and didn't stop,” Sandy says of the major makeover.The open space fits the contemporary look the self-described wanna-be loft dwellers have created in the rest of their house.Moving the refrigerator to the opposite end of the kitchen made it less visible from the open family room and helped to create an efficient work triangle. “It's very user friendly and you don't have to walk a mile to get to things,” Doug says.The long bar is good not only for entertaining but also for crafting, Sandy notes. Bargain hunting: Buying appliances from sources such as and scratch and dent stores saved about 30 percent off regular retail, the Rivettes estimate. The one appliance bought in top condition — the dishwasher — got a door ding while Doug was installing it.The contemporary faucet they purchased online looks perfect, but because it doesn't have an aerator, it splashes, they say. Had they had the opportunity to try before buying, they likely would have kept looking. Plugged in: To provide power yet maintain the sleek contemporary aesthetic, Doug included a pop-up outlet in the counter in lieu of wall outlets. The three-outlet strip that plugs in out of sight under the counter lifts up for use, then pushes back down flush with the surface.Know of a good cook with a great kitchen E-mail suggestions for Cooks & Cocinas to Home & Garden Editor ,

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