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Pleasant Grove kitchen undergoes fiery makeover

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After: New, light-colored cabinets brighten the room and make it more inviting. Interiors Unlimited recruited Burrows Marble & Granite to replace the dated orange countertops and Mountainland Design to install a new kitchen sink and faucet.

 

By Ashley Dickson

When the Hales family moved into their home 18 years ago, the decades-old kitchen — complete with orange countertops, dark cabinets and a space-consuming floor plan — was in dire need of an update.

But it wasn’t until 2007 that Mark and Linda Hales decided to take a chance on a change by entering their kitchen into a Steve Peterson Interiors Unlimited room makeover contest. What the Hales’ saw as function frustrations, the contest judges saw as perfect potential.

“With some planning and strategy and professional help, you can take an existing space and maximize it and create a room that reflects the personality and lifestyle the homeowner has,” says Terry Olsen, president and designer at Orem’s Interiors Unlimited. “It’s rewarding to show people how you can make a difference in the livability.”

Interiors Unlimited designers Maria Paspuel and Shellee Anderson began by looking for ways to brighten the room and open the space. By removing the wall and bar counter between the dining room and kitchen, the space went from wasted to useful. Adding a small island restored the kitchen seating without interrupting the workspace.

“We redid the whole layout, and it’s a night and day difference,” Terry says. “It’s the same house and the same square footage, but now they’re able to have large family gatherings and the house feels so much lighter.”

When it came time to develop a color scheme, the designers used the Hales’ fiery lifestyle for inspiration.

“Our family has lived 30 years of fire department life,” Linda says. “Mark was the first full-time fire chief in Pleasant Grove and served with the department for 30 years. And our two sons have done it — one’s a paramedic, the other has worked with wildfires. It’s part of our everyday lives. We love the fire department service.”

Red accents complement neutral tones, and a firefighter-themed mural on the wall became the pattern for a uniquely personal tile backsplash.

“It’s very sentimental to us,” Linda says. “It reminds us daily of the service these guys have given.”

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Before: The dining area generally went unused because of an inefficient layout.

 

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Before: The wall-facing bar was removed to create open space.

 

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After: The dining area’s newly tiled floor is easier to clean and shows less wear than the carpet it replaced. Interiors Unlimited’s simple design in this room allowed the family to showcase meaningful accessories, like the blanket crocheted by Linda’s grandmother.

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After: Mark Hales has devoted 30 years to Pleasant Grove’s fire department, so it’s only fitting that the family’s lifestyle is showcased in their kitchen.

 

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Ashley Dickson is a Virginia native now living in Boston. She graduated from BYU with degrees in journalism and home and family living, then spent three years writing and editing for Utah Valley Magazine. She left the mountain West to earn a master's degree in library science and now splits her time between motherhood, editing for a financial research firm, and keeping a connection to Utah by writing for UtahValley360.

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