When reader Marina and her family moved into their home five years ago, she always knew she wanted to redo the kitchen. As you can see in the photo above, the kitchen was very dark, and even though the cabinets were painted a light color, they seemed heavy. Plus, as a mom of young children, Marina wanted to have the kitchen open to the family room so she could cook while still keeping an eye on her kids. Take a look a Marina's kitchen now — it took a turn for the lighter!

Before & After: A Dark Kitchen Gets a Family-Friendly Makeover

When reader Marina and her family moved into their home five years ago, she always knew she wanted to redo the kitchen. As you can see in the photo above, the kitchen was very dark, and even though the cabinets were painted a light color, they seemed heavy. Plus, as a mom of young children, Marina wanted to have the kitchen open to the family room so she could cook while still keeping an eye on her kids. Take a look a Marina's kitchen now — it took a turn for the lighter!

Grasscloth for texture.  Always liked this for a natural look.  Not sure a kitchen island is the best place for it though.

Grasscloth for texture. Always liked this for a natural look. Not sure a kitchen island is the best place for it though.

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20+ Party-Ready Kitchens

Whether your idea of a great get-together is a sophisticated wine tasting or a multigenerational free-for-all, these spaces are full of designers' best tricks for creating a kitchen that's ready to party.

Kid friendly kitchen. Shallow base cabinets, allow kids to reach into and get glasses, plates.

Kid friendly kitchen. Shallow base cabinets, allow kids to reach into and get glasses, plates.

The dining room side of the kitchen peninsula was painted grey to add contrast and disguise dings and spills from three kids eating meals there. Tight-fitting slipcovers on the bar stools are a practical choice as well.

Interior: Casual and kid-friendly family home

The dining room side of the kitchen peninsula was painted grey to add contrast and disguise dings and spills from three kids eating meals there. Tight-fitting slipcovers on the bar stools are a practical choice as well.

The renovation allowed the designers to increase the functionality of the kitchen, add a peninsula for seating and give the clients a large, open pantry that they coveted. For the design, the clients wanted to marry rustic and modern elements to create their dream kitchen. By using a light wash on the floors, a farmhouse sink and a wood hood, they added just enough rustic charm while still maintaining an overall modern feel.

The renovation allowed the designers to increase the functionality of the kitchen, add a peninsula for seating and give the clients a large, open pantry that they coveted. For the design, the clients wanted to marry rustic and modern elements to create their dream kitchen. By using a light wash on the floors, a farmhouse sink and a wood hood, they added just enough rustic charm while still maintaining an overall modern feel.

Elements of Style Blog | Updating my Kitchen/Dining Room To Be Kid Friendly | http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com

Elements of Style Blog | Updating my Kitchen/Dining Room To Be Kid Friendly | http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com

Shorter Stools

Cosmopolitan Dark Brown Leather Counter Stools (Set of 2) by I Love Living

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