We used to think Marie Kondo was the ultimate organizer. Then we met Patti Toole—and her remodeled kitchen and dining room. Toole and her family loved almost everything about their Castle Pines home when they moved in (from Chicago) in 2010. Almost. “The layout in the dining room and kitchen was very choppy: I found myself doing laps around the island to get to the sink, to the stove range, to the fridge—it was dysfunctional. Our lot is covered in beautiful trees too, but we couldn’t see that view.”
By 2015, Toole knew exactly what she wanted for the space— an intentional design that wouldn’t have her doing laps—and she knew she wanted to manage the remodel herself. “Patti acted as the general contractor on this job,” says Lauren Rickard of Lauren Michelle Interiors, who worked with Toole on the project. “Despite not having experience in interior design, she hired all of the people who put the vision together. And for the design, she measured everything in her kitchen down to her silverware to figure out exact drawer sizes and where each should go.”
Rickard and Toole, having been planning the perfect kitchen and dining room since 2013, were uncompromising in their quest for the perfect colors, cabinets, and fixtures. Case in point: “We tried 10 to 12 different color samples for the cabinets,” Rickard recalls, “and we probably painted the kitchen walls six times to find a color that matched the cabinet hue. I couldn’t tell you the name of the final result because it’s half and half of two different Benjamin Moore paints.
“There are dedicated cabinets for plastic ware, the toaster, the mixer, Patti’s special cooking knives, and the custom range hood, which looks metal but is actually wood. We couldn’t find a metal we liked, so Prestige Custom Furniture made a wood hood for us that’s finished in a metallic-like stain. Almost every major element you see, in fact, is custom—a lot of it (all of the cabinets, the range hood, the wood top on the island) built by Prestige.” The round antique table in the dining room (now a sitting area) is the only exception. The piece, which Toole has had for years, served as the inspiration for the remodel.
In terms of design, it’s all anchored by a beautiful Taj Mahal granite countertop island from Stone Ideas. “The island has two dishwashers, one on each side, and a small fridge,” says Rickard.
Surprising everyone, the dining room was converted from a traditional eating area to a very nontraditional sitting area. “Originally, the sitting area was going to be in the kitchen where the dining table is now. I wasn’t sure how flipping the two would work, but it’s perfect for them,” Rickard says.
Continues Toole: “We literally use that space every day, from enjoying our morning cup of coffee while watching the sunrise to gathering at the end of the day with a glass of wine.” The features: a fake fireplace feature wall with PetraQuartz Antico Split Face ledgestone and Emser Alchemy from The Floor Club Denver, as well as a custom bar, built-ins, and a “fireplace” mantle and hearth by Prestige.
In short, nothing was left to chance. “We designed this space to be a place where even guests want to move in,” Toole says.
Adds Rickard: “Patti would drag a Pottery Barn barrel chair into the sitting area before there was even drywall up—with the plastic still on the chair—and daydream.”
Your move, Marie.
Lauren Michelle Interiors
Residential and commercial design company