Condo Kitchen Redesign with Andrea Jakubczak

An eco-conscious designer reconfigures a dark, dysfunctional condo kitchen into a hardworking space for a cookbook author and her family.

| September/October 2012

  • Andrea Jakubczak of Eco Fusion Design
    Photo By Amy Dreibelbis
  • When this family downsized from a house to a condo, they needed to retain a highly functional kitchen for their daughter, who is a food blogger and cookbook author. Opening up the wall to a closed-off breakfast nook offered much-needed space, while adding long banks of cabinetry offered the storage space they required. The health-conscious family also chose nontoxic materials such as formaldehyde-free cabinetry and water-based finishes and adhesives.
    Photo By Mike Rebholz
  • When this family downsized from a house to a condo, they needed to retain a highly functional kitchen for their daughter, who is a food blogger and cookbook author. Opening up the wall to a closed-off breakfast nook offered much-needed space, while adding long banks of cabinetry offered the storage space they required. The health-conscious family also chose nontoxic materials such as formaldehyde-free cabinetry and water-based finishes and adhesives.
    Photo By Mike Rebholz
  • When this family downsized from a house to a condo, they needed to retain a highly functional kitchen for their daughter, who is a food blogger and cookbook author. Opening up the wall to a closed-off breakfast nook offered much-needed space, while adding long banks of cabinetry offered the storage space they required. The health-conscious family also chose nontoxic materials such as formaldehyde-free cabinetry and water-based finishes and adhesives.
    Photo By Mike Rebholz
  • The drab, U-shaped kitchen and separate breakfast nook before were cramped and uninspiring. Opening up the space allows the family to prepare meals together and brings in much more light.
  • The drab, U-shaped kitchen and separate breakfast nook before were cramped and uninspiring. Opening up the space allows the family to prepare meals together and brings in much more light.

Downsizing from a house to a condo often means losing storage and other extra space. For this family—a gluten- and dairy-free cookbook author and blogger and her parents—sacrificing kitchen functionality wasn’t an option. So they called in designer Andrea Jakubczak of Eco Fusion Design—a firm made up of self-proclaimed “Eco-Geeks”—to transform the dark and closed-in kitchen into an airy, hardworking space that would enhance their daughter’s career and the health of their home.

Why is the kitchen among the most important rooms in this home? 

The daughter has celiac disease and has been working for years perfecting food that not only tastes fabulous, but also keeps her in excellent health. She is the author of The Pure Kitchen, a gluten- and dairy-free cookbook, and cooks daily for her next book and blog, Daily Bites. Just as anyone who works in an office demands a functional work space, a comfortable and functional cooking space for her was an absolutely necessity. She needed plenty of counter space, room for professional appliances and a desk for her laptop so she could take notes.

What were the overall goals in this redesign?  



The original kitchen was a tiny, U-shaped space with minimal storage and hardly any counter space. We needed to increase the storage and work space. We also needed to make it aesthetically pleasing as the family was downsizing from a house to a condominium, but didn’t want to feel they were losing a sense of uniqueness in their home.

This kitchen is bright and airy. Why was that important and how did you achieve it?  



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