Homeowners Upgrade the Kitchen Island, Add Built-in Banquette

Plus add a Fabulous Wine Wall in the Basement

This northside home, built in 2017, had everything most families want. But after living in it for a while, the owners realized it just wasn’t functional for their lifestyle. Issues with water in the basement provided the push they needed to make some changes.

Once the family started thinking about upgrades, they keyed in on a few areas to address. “The kitchen had a peninsula that just didn’t work for us. We wanted a long island, where the kids could have breakfast or we could have friends over and enjoy a glass of wine.”

At the same time, the couple wanted to look at a bar area in the basement. “We lived overseas for some time and brought back tons of wine. So we always knew we wanted a wine wall.”

It made sense to bundle all of the projects with the leaky basement fix.

To create the new wine wall, the Orren Pickell team pulled out existing cabinets and a wine refrigerator, replacing them with natural stone tile and racks for displaying nearly 20 cases of wine. This modern, glass-enclosed alternative to a cellar doesn’t just look attractive—it keeps bottles at the right temperature and humidity until they’re ready to drink.

Upstairs in the kitchen, removing the peninsula was the easy part of the job. Running water and electricity to the new freestanding island, however, required tearing out a section of the floor. The Pickell team installed new flooring to match the existing wood, then sanded the whole space for a consistent finish. New cabinetry was added where the peninsula had been attached—perfectly blending with the existing millwork.

Finally, a banquette was built into the wall on two sides of the breakfast table. Complete with handy storage drawers, it creates a cozy space for family games and meals.

Too often, people try to adapt their lifestyles to their homes rather than customizing a home to meet their needs. But changes don’t have to be big or expensive to make an important difference in how families enjoy their homes every day.