See how our editor Jo Saltz transformed an old-fashioned kitchen into a functional family center

“People are going to be in a bad situation for so long,” says Jo Saltz, editor of House Beautiful, who was doing that before starting a six-month renovation to fix the most-used, but certainly older, room. room. His family’s home in New Jersey: the kitchen. Real estate property

I returned in early 2017, when the Saltz family bought their home and immediately stumbled upon them to prepare breakfast. “It’s like Grand Central here,” said Jo’s husband Scott. This was a problem for what Jo calls “a family that loves food.” (In addition to House Beautiful, Jo also oversees Delish’s food website.)

In the summer of 2019, designer Jean Stoffer (whose style Jo fell in love with on Instagram) used his proven design questionnaire to come up with a game plan based on family habits and needs. Then he worked – through the fields; Stoffer is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with local contractor Eric Grier of Right at Home Improvements to bring it to life. “Jo and Scott have very specific tasks in the kitchen,” explains Stoffer. For example, “Jo needs counter space to bake, and Scott needs a microwave area to prepare breakfast and lunch.”

After folding the floor plan to absorb a second dining area, Stoffer created designated areas for working, baking, cooking dinner, and preparing the lunch box. “Now,” he says, “it is a space that allows everyone to be together as a family.”


By tearing down that wall in an underutilized breakfast room, Stoffer was able to duplicate the square area of ??the kitchen.

1 Jo always refused to cook fish “because the smell swallowed the house,” she says. Thus, designer Jean Stoffer created an alcove, outfitted with a GE Monogram fan and Fireclay Tile backsplash, to contain kitchen odors and clutter. Corners built into the sides of the alcove make it easy to store spices and oils.

2 The old kitchen had 30-year-old counter tops full of knife cuts and water damage. The Saltzes did not want this to happen to their new accountants. “I’m a chaotic cook,” admits Jo, who loved Stoffer’s surface palette: Caesarstone’s sharp counters that “can basically withstand the apocalypse.” Plus, they look like marble.

3 In the old kitchen, dishes stacked in small mountains, an understandable dilemma for a family of five always on the go. So Jo chose Elkay’s Circuit Chef Sink (and the accompanying Bridge Faucet), which comes with replacement filters that make setup and cleaning easy, as well as hiding the clutter.

4 To keep things interesting, Stoffer chose two colors for Stoffer Home cabinets: Iron Hook throughout, but Natural Oak on the storage wall. The combination, in addition to strategically placed Schaub & Company hardware, makes cabinets look less like repetitive kitchen storage and more like carefully selected furniture.

5 With a family of five, the refrigerator and freezer space is beautiful. Stoffer advocated separating the large refrigerator and freezer so that they didn’t take up too much visual space. “You never really use them at the same time,” he explains. Jo’s GE Monogrammed Column Cooler (left) is near your prep area; The 24 “built-in Smart Column Freezer is near the microwave, where Scott heats up the frozen breakfast and school lunches.

The cooking zone

Making treats with her daughter Everett is a weekly event, but doing it in the old kitchen took up the entire room. “It took a lot of planning,” says Jo. Now a dedicated kitchen center has everything they need.