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The home: Built in 1995, Shino and Lee Lanham purchased their 2,300-square-foot home in July. Relocating from Texas they liked the entire home except for the kitchen. Shino explained that the kitchen lacked storage space and felt small and boxy. The goal of remodeling was to open up the space, maximize cabinetry and storage and extend the island to include countertop seating.

What they did: The Lanhams made the decision to completely gut the original kitchen to the drywall and concrete subfloor. New cabinetry, countertops, light fixtures, flooring and appliances are highlights of the remodeled space.

“Once they gutted it, I set up a field kitchen so we didn’t have to eat out,” Lee said. While friends had shared horror stories of remodeling, the Lanhams found that the crews were meticulous about cleaning every day.

Shino knew exactly what she wanted in design features. Originally cabinetry did not reach all the way to the ceiling, for example. Shino felt this was wasted space and selected tall cabinets as well as a refrigerator alcove with reachable storage above the unit. The Samsung refrigerator features French doors and low freezer increasing its capacity and ease of use.

The range had been closer to the kitchen sink, creating a small, narrow cabinet that wasn’t usable. Moving the range a little closer to the refrigerator opened up a spot for more usable under-counter cabinetry. The new range, microwave and dishwasher are all GE Profile appliances.

Shino opted for an induction cook top for the range (her mother in Japan loves hers). The purchase meant getting rid of some pots and pans and purchasing an induction-friendly wok. A native of Japan herself, Shino cooks primarily with chopsticks.

The center island originally did not have storage space, so generous, wide drawers were added. Shino knew she wanted drawers that could be pulled all the way out for easy viewing of contents. The island also did not have any seating, but now can accommodate several people.

How they use the space: “It is important to sit people at the island,” Lee said. “When we entertain, people always gather in the kitchen, so we wanted to open the flow into the family room.” The couple entertained 12 other company transplants for the Thanksgiving holiday.