• The kitchen's choppy floor plan left the room cramped, so Country Living Contributing Editor Randy Florke knocked down a wall and expanded the doorways.
  • Too small for the room, the window next to the counter let in little light. Now enlarged to twice its size, it provides a view of the yard.
  • Linoleum covered the floor until Randy ripped it up to reveal "picture perfect" maple hardwood underneath.

Colorful — and functional — details, such as the swinging towel rack and countertop canisters, liven up the kitchen's neutral palette. Inexpensive terra-cotta pots and tin ceiling tiles add visual interest to the shelves above the oven.

Chandelier:: An Art Deco-style chandelier with vintage shades dresses up the kitchen. The medallion, $40, from the Home Depot, hides an elbow pipe jutting from the ceiling.

Cabinets: Randy took a farm-friendly approach by replacing the cabinet doors with wainscoting panels. He then painted them a warm neutral shade that complements the walls.

Appliances: To minimize expenses, all the working appliances stayed put, including the 10-year-old dishwasher, which was resurfaced in wainscoting for a fresh look.