Open Concept Kitchen with Prep Space in Maple Grove

Sinking the peninsula & sending dated oak back to the 80's!

With today’s multi-functional workspaces, peninsulas seem better suited to bodies of water than to kitchens. An invention largely of the 1970’s, peninsulas are great for smaller, simpler floor plans, but they can trap workflow and create dead-ends, especially when expansion is needed for counter space and storage.


In this particular case, our client also tired of the dated dark oak at every turn. This goes under the heading of “The 80’s called and they want their cabinets back.” So we returned them—to the dumpster—and redesigned the kitchen completely.


Design/Build Consultant — Nadia Glynn

Photography — Alyssa Lee


New kitchen island for prep work (apple pie from scratch?!!) with mosaic tile backsplash. Lower cabinet color is Hirshfields “Deep lagoon #68.


Existing floor plan and new layout. Green shading indicates what was removed.


              • Backsplash: Arvinfova grey porcelain mosaic.
              • Countertops Cambria: Ella
              • Kohler: K3821-4-NA SS sink
              • Faucet: Grohe G30211DC0
              • Custom kitchen Cabinets: Mission with beveled inside profile, square outside profile
              • Flooring: Luxury vinyl plank Gravity “Rocky”
              • Paint: Hirshfields “Deep lagoon #68


​This remodel also called for the elimination of some really dated florescent lighting—the kind that detectives like to use when conducting interrogations. The harsh, dim, florescent lights were replaced with recessed LEDs and pendants to complete the airy feel of the new kitchen.


“They really wanted an open concept, something that would lighten the kitchen but also give the cook in the family more prep space while gaining some additional storage,” explained Murphy Bros. design/build consult Nadia Glynn.

Although a small kitchen to begin with, Nadia’s design removed the peninsula and cabinets, which allowed enough room for a dual-purpose island. “As long as you’ve got between 36 and 40 inches or so surrounding the island, you can do an island and still keep the workflow open and free.”


Since phones apparently don't take horizontal photos anymore, we combined these two vertical images to give you an idea of the dramatic change on this wall.


Forty years ago it might have made sense to put a desk in the kitchen. Maybe. Probably not. It was most likely aspirational. As in if only my child would study under my watchful eye, at my feet, while I invented new exotic dishes in my kitchen. Instead what most of us got was a junk desk and drawer (our client being the exception to the rule as far as we know).



Note the clean lines of this new cabinet wall and how the rich blue color contrasts with the existing white refrigerator. Plenty of new storage too.


Note: Top white cabinet doors are false to aesthetically cover mechanical runs. New plank flooring was also added to the design to bring a lightly darker, more prominent wood grain to the space. New accent lighting adds warmth and interest .

“There is a trend away from the white kitchen underway,” explains Glynn. “So, I really liked the idea that our client wanted a pop of color in the design, which we added to the lower cabinets and island.Now she’s got plenty of prep room, storage and some open shelving for seasonal display items.


"During the morning hours this kitchen just glows with sunlight. I love it!" — Homeowner.


“We did discover a little challenge right away at demolition,” recalls Glynn. "While we had checked the soffits for mechanical runs initially, and failed to find any, we did discover some in other parts of the kitchen. It was a little bit of an ‘oh something’ moment. But we quickly recalculated as needed and managed to redesign the cabinets with matching faux panels to hide the soffits and the mechanicals," points out Glynn.

Open, storage abounds in this new kitchen. Note the Lazy Susan in the lower corner cabinet.


Pullout drawers like these can hold very heavy appliances, depending on the manufacturer, can hold between 88 and 150 lbs. each!




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Call (763) 780-3262 or talk with a professional remodeler about your project.

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