Lori Lange doesn’t have a background in food, but a college job sparked her passion for entertaining.

“I was a teacher for 12 years but then stayed home with my son and wanted to do something. I started my website, Recipe Girl, in 2006 which shared entertaining ideas and recipes. Before I knew it, companies started contacting me to write recipes for them and it took off from there. I now collaborate with companies on products and even wrote a cookbook. It’s fun and different and a career I didn’t plan on,” she says.

When Lori and her family moved to the Valley from Lake Tahoe a year ago, they rented while they decided on an area to call home.

“We looked at so many houses and layouts and configurations. The kitchen would be a huge pull for me.”

North Scottsdale, specifically, DC Ranch, was what the family settled on, and they love the home they have opted to remodel.

“The home we found was a smaller model with a large yard for entertaining. I looked at the kitchen and thought I could craft something that would work for my career as well as our lifestyle which entails a great deal of entertaining.”

Lori says the home has “good bones,” and she has a clear vision for the design she wants: light and bright for the videography and photography necessary for her website, a friendly feel, and elements of farmhouse but not cookie cutter.

“I am not thinking gray and white but instead want more color in the cabinets and accent colors on the island. It needs to be easy to work in with an area for my husband to tend bar.”

McKenzie Architectural Kitchens is the company Lori decided on for the renovations.

“We interviewed three kitchen design companies, however, owner Don McKenzie saw the vision and had amazing ideas. His interior designer Catherine Monaghan thought of things we hadn’t and took a genuine interest in the space.”

“For us, it’s the focal point of the home. The kitchen is where everyone gathers, no matter how comfortable your family room is. It’s about hospitality; bringing people into my kitchen is my life.”

Elements

Hood

Inspired by having a beautiful backdrop, the kitchen will house a gorgeous hood by Cabico Elmwood. “The inspiration for the hood was to bring in the light wood floors she selected. We picked a wood finish to compliment the floor, also introducing that into the bar area with floating shelves,” Don says. 

Island

The island boasts a seafoam green color that was hand-applied with a shaving brush. “The paint finish has a beautiful artisan look, not a sprayed finish. There is more texture than you usually see in paint finishes that are applied,” Catherine says.

Cabinets

“We didn’t want the cabinets to look standard but more like a vignette, and the backsplash will pull it all together,” Don says. He noted that they freed up wall space to utilize the area in creative ways, instead of simply constructing a wall of cabinets.

Wine Storage

A towered wine area is being built to include room for both wine and glassware. It is not too symmetrical with nice juxtaposition, Catherine notes. 

[SIDEBAR]

The companies involved in the remodel are as follows:

  • KitchenAid (chosen brand for appliances)
  • Kohler (chosen brand for sinks and fixtures)
  • Nana Wall Systems (folding glass door in the family room adjacent to the kitchen to open up the room to the backyard)
  • McKenzie Architectural Kitchens (kitchen design company)
  • Cabico Custom Cabinetry (cabinetry choice for kitchen and great room area)
  • Metro West Wholesale (for wood floors)
  • Leslie Paige Interiors (interior design)

Stay tuned for the finished product this spring!

“We wanted Lori’s kitchen to be different, a modern farmhouse. We brought these elements in with hand-finishes and custom handmade aspects. They each really stand out.” –Catherine Monaghan, interior designer with McKenzie Kitchens

“This kitchen will showcase the work Lori does on the Recipe Girl site, and it will showcase our design and the quality we represent.” –Don McKenzie, owner of McKenzie Kitchens