[dropcap]Today’s[/dropcap] kitchen is so much more than a functional place to cook. It’s truly the heart of the home and a favorite gathering place for friends and family. Appliances are technological marvels. Increasingly, the kitchen opens to the dining and living areas.

Likewise, master baths have gone beyond the basic designs and are now luxurious places to relax, taking on spa characteristics with gleaming marble, glass and tile accents. Enjoy our look at the best in kitchen and bath design.

Renovation Creates Inviting New Kitchen

Photos by Scott Johnson, Hawks Photography

When a young couple moved to Tulsa from New Orleans, they found a Utica Square home ideal for updating in stages.

Working with interior designer Carolyn Fielder Nierenberg and contractor Kurt Barron of Barron & McClary, the 1920s traditional home was remodeled to turn the original dining room into an inviting great room and kitchen.

Walls were demolished. The back porch became level with the new great room.  An L-shape space was created; the kitchen is now where the back porch was originally.

“The kitchen was originally many small rooms,” says Nierenberg, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. “Now, the new space features an amazing kosher kitchen. A utility and mud room were added.”

The transformation created a lighter, open space with a garden view. A Sub-Zero refrigerator was faced with painted wood panels matching kitchen cabinets so the appliance wouldn’t dominate the space. Original oak floors now have an espresso finish. The color palette is comprised of warm grays and whites.

“The owners’ expectations were exceeded,” Nierenberg notes. “The renovation made the house current, livable and very welcoming.”

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