Who lives here: Eric and Ariana Fonnesbeck
Location: Maynard, Massachusetts
Size: About 220 square feet (20.4 square meters)
Before. “As a big-time kitchen user, I wasn’t thrilled with the layout or functionality,” says Ariana Fonnesbeck, referring to the kitchen in her three-bedroom, one-bath condo of 821 square feet (76.3 square meters). Ariana owns The Bake Shoppe and needed a workable kitchen space. She bakes from her home, selling her baked goods at local farmers markets for part of the year and fulfilling special orders placed online. She also wanted to replace the oak-faced cabinets and address the limited counter space and lack of a dishwasher and built-in microwave.
Together with her husband, Eric, a program manager for the U.S. Air Force, they renovated their space, replacing the cabinets, installing appliances and creating a more user-friendly layout.
Eric and Ariana planned their new kitchen layout using Ikea’s planning tool. Adding more storage for Ariana’s kitchenware and tableware was a priority. “We chose white cabinets to keep things light. We felt that anything darker would have been too heavy, visually,” Ariana says. New butcher-block countertops were installed and stained.
“Until we renovated, I had a little desk lamp next to the sink because, without the extra light, you really couldn’t see if the dishes were clean or not,” Ariana says. “There is nothing worse than trying to work at the counter [and] sink with the only light source behind you and pointing to the floor. It was dismal!”
They spent $13,300 on their kitchen upgrades, which included floor leveling, electrical labor, new cabinets and new appliances, except for the refrigerator.
Countertops, cabinets and hardware: Ikea; flooring: Pergo; stainless steel dishwasher: Gold series, Whirlpool
The couple installed overhead can lights that light the kitchen well and make the space feel bright in the evening when they’re hosting friends or baking.
During their remodel, “some of our biggest challenges were fighting seasonal weather, making time to push forward our projects, especially with the heavy lifting, and trying to survive several weeks with only a microwave and toaster oven midkitchen renovation,” Ariana says.
Before. The previous kitchen had a disconnected layout and limited storage.
After. The couple kept the existing refrigerator and installed cabinets above it. They painted the walls in Original White by Behr.
A brick backsplash, black sink and wooden counter give color and warmth to the new light-filled, white kitchen. “We love our Kräus Black Onyx granite kitchen sink,” Eric says. “It’s incredibly durable against scratches and heat, and looks great with our wooden countertops. Our faucet is also Kräus.”
Before. This photo illustrates the limited counter space and orangish-pink tile floor, now replaced by a Pergo laminate from Lowe’s.
Stainless steel microwave-range hood: Whirlpool
Ariana primarily sells her baked goods on weekends at the Maynard Farmers Market, which is open from June to October each year. “I bring cookies, Bundt cakes and small pies on a weekly basis. It’s been a great way for us to get involved with our small community,” she says. During the rest of the year, she fulfills orders through her website, and for the holidays, she has been selling platters with a variety of cookies.
I have to keep them inside, but they do well on the sill,” she says. “I try to always have seasonal flowers growing in my kitchen window boxes. I love the pop of color, and it greatly improves my view out the windows.”
The wreath is a DIY project Ariana made with boxwood and embroidery hoops.
Robert Papp art prints with linen-edged frames hang on a kitchen wall. “They’re super-classy prints, and the frames are neutral and textured, which I love,” Ariana says.
Figs and Avocados by Robert Papp: FineArtAmerica.com
Angel Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
(Recipe from family friend Janet Broderick)
- 2¼ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond flavoring
- 1⅓ cups walnuts, finely chopped
- Raspberry jam, or jam or jelly of your choice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and stir to combine. (Reserve egg whites for later.) Add vanilla and almond flavorings. Mix at high speed. Add flour and one-third cup finely chopped walnuts and mix well.
3. Line baking sheets with kitchen parchment. Roll dough into balls that are three-quarters ounce when measured on a scale, or about 1 inch in diameter.
4. Dip each ball in reserved egg white and then roll in remaining 1 cup walnuts.
Tip:For a uniform look, use a measuring spoon. For an authentic home-baked look, use your thumb.
6. Fill each depression with 1 teaspoon jam. Ariana likes to use raspberry jam.
8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.