What a find! When designer Erinn Valencich, a stylist, popular HGTV host, and owner of OmniArte Design in Los Angeles, first spied her home, she lost her heart on the spot. The 1950 Sherman Oaks, California, ranch house not only had sweet diamond-paned windows, it was in mint condition. "There'd been only one other owner," Erinn says. "I felt like I was stepping back in time."
Despite the care, though, the place hollered for 21st-century updating. And, as usual in older homes, the kitchen warranted it most. Here, storage was poorly conceived, counter space was limited, and the cabinets and woodwork were knotty pine (trendy back in the day, but not for the clean look Erinn envisioned). "I wanted to double the counter space and open the room to make it lighter and brighter," she explains. "And, of course, I wanted to do it cost-effectively."
A tall order, but the creative designer made it happen. Her no-fail recipe for a fab and functional kitchen is as follows: