A refined, open-concept kitchen and dining area were at the top of the list when Jill and Jordan Muller bought their Reinbeck home last year. They immediately set to work demolishing the interior with an eye toward modernizing and making the space open and filled with light and style.

“Once we got into the walls, it became a more complex issue than the remodel we thought it would be. The original home is 1900’s with an addition in the mid-1900’s and an oversized double garage added in the 1970’s. It ended up being more cost-effective to remove all the walls and start over. Essentially it’s a new house built on an old foundation and existing basement. The kitchen is where the double garage stood,” said Jordan.

Jill, a designer with Moeller and Walter in Reinbeck, knew she wanted “modern but comfortable, too. I wanted it to feel like home — classic and not too trendy and with neutral, earthy colors.”

The contemporary vibe is subtle but unmistakable. Details are amplified throughout the main level with the effective use of light and dark tones. Sunlight streams into the sunken living room through banks of Anderson A-series windows with transoms. Upper cabinets were sacrificed in favor of windows to brighten the kitchen. Both homeowners love to cook and Jill created a highly functional and efficient kitchen with multiple prep zones that is also long on style.

Jill chose a light quartz, “Cuttington,” for counter tops instead of granite. “The maintenance-free aspects appealed to me and the quality.” The large island functions as another table for casual meals and entertaining and features a divided concept — quartz bumps up against a thick slab of rustic walnut. Fixtures include a Grohe faucet. Quartz is from Cambrian Granite and Quartz. The drum-shaded light fixture sounds a contemporary note.

Cherry-finished upper cabinetry was kept to a minimum to allow in more light. A glass-front display cabinet offers vintage appeal, and below, drawers keep everything from baking sheets to cookware and tableware organized. Cherry-stained cabinets are from Omega Cabinetry.

 Oak hardwood floors with an espresso finish ground the main level and heighten the sophisticated contrast of dark and light tones. The two-sided gas fireplace with horizontal travertine tile surround adds warmth as well as a functional surface that divides the kitchen/dining room and sunken living room. 

In the master bath, Brazilin walnut dresses the shower stall ceiling for interest. Multiple shower heads and vein-cut travertine tile create a spa experience.

A convenient first-floor laundry is a boon for Jill and Jordan, especially since the recent birth of their first child.

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