Devil's in the Detail

When bringing an inefficient kitchen up-to-date, it's all about innovative thinking, cleve space planning and attention to detail.

By Jamie Siebrase
Photography by Anne Matheis
Styling by Niche


Faced with the task of updating the charming but outdated kitchen in their century-old Georgian-style Central West End home, Greg and Kim Minana made some dramatic changes. Envisioning a welcoming space, the Minanas melded modern amenities with classic finishes to retain the allure of their 100-year-old home. “Contemporary décor wasn’t right,” says Kim. “But, the functionality is still contemporary.”

Typical of an older home, there were lots of inefficiencies in the original kitchen: five doorways, a second anterior stairwell, a butler’s pantry and lots of closets. “Once we got going, we began looking at the project on a larger scale,” Greg recalls.

Contractor Mark Kohnen of Kohnen Craftsmanship brought the kitchen from its original 8-by-10 measurements to about 28-by-20 including the eat-in bar. What’s more, he flawlessly removed the back staircase, dropped the front one and added custom mahogany trim.

Brazilian cherry hardwood, with its complex array of shades and texture, replaced the original gray speckled laminate flooring. This soft wood adds warmth, and its forgivable nature makes it easier to maintain than tile, which must be re-grouted regularly. “If the hardwood gets a dent that adds to the character,” Greg says.

When it comes to functionality, the devil’s in the detail. A Dacor dual range stove in sleek stainless steel blends nicely with standard cherry cabinetry. No, you aren’t seeing double. There are two stainless Sharp drawer microwaves and two Fisher & Paykel drawer dishwashers for this family of six.

Opposite the range, a built-in cherry fridge and onyx sink counterbalance the metal. So does the sandwich bar, located next to the sink and counter, which is constructed of three giant slabs of locally-sourced granite. For interest, Kim incorporated stained-glass pendants over the antique-inspired Z Gallerie table.

Today, the kitchen is a gathering place where kids congregate and the family watches important Cardinals games. “We’ve even had Thanksgiving here,” says Kim, who wouldn’t change a thing about the room.

Contractor: Kohnen Craftsmanship, Mark Kohnen: P.O. BOX 3041, Leslie, MO; (314) 397-2299