Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Print Edition

Print Edition
Subscribe now to the print edition of Suburban Life.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Get text messages on your mobile phone or PDA with news, weather and more from

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Our My Suburban Life Daily Update will send you all of the news you need to keep up with the pace of news in DuPage and Cook County.

Glen Ellyn designer's project named one of America's best

GLEN ELLYN — A kitchen is more than the appliances inside the space, it’s about comfort and functionality.

Those are elements Gail Drury, president of Drury Designs in Glen Ellyn, incorporates into kitchen redesigns. Last month one of Drury’s projects, the redesign of a residential kitchen in Burr Ridge, was named on of the top kitchen redesigns in America by Trends Magazine. Drury said she’s always pleased when her work is recognized by peers and trade publications, but she said does not think about it too long.

“I do my job and I love what I do,” she said.

Drury collaborated on the Burr Ridge redesign with Janie Petkus of Petkus Interiors in Hinsdale. The two have worked together on multiple projects, Drury said.

“It’s nice to work with an interior designer on the team. It makes the decision process a lot easier,” Drury said.

When designing the Burr Ridge project, Drury said the pair had to take into consideration a growing family that included school-aged children. She said it was important the space redesign, which included new construction, was both aesthetically pleasing and, perhaps more importantly, functional to the needs of the family. To start the process the design team took four proposals to the family and worked out a plan.

“When we first meet with a family we ask how the kitchen is used by the family and if we need to consider things like pets or a computer station,” Drury said.

Once those needs are established the design team gets to work on the planning process and the selection of materials for countertops and cabinetry and, of course, appliances.

For the Burr Ridge project the family selected marble for the counter tops and stayed with classic white in the color scheme.

“I’ve been designing kitchens for 30 years and white has remained the most popular color for kitchens the whole time,” she said.

Drury’s design reused the old kitchen space by turning it into a butler’s pantry. She said the new kitchen is symmetrical with a large custom-designed metal oven hood as a central focal point.

“The (design) trend now is to have the hood and hearth as the center of the kitchen,” she said.

Additionally the kitchen redesign includes glass cabinets, indirect lighting, strong architectural elements such as ceiling beams and modern appliances, including warming drawers and a microwave drawer.

Drury said the Burr Ridge project took approximately six months to complete, including the design phase and construction phase.

While Drury did not reveal the cost of the Burr Ridge project, she said kitchen redesigns typically range from $40,000 to $140,000. She said a good rule of thumb to consider when planning a redesign is to spend approximately 10 percent of the value of the home on the kitchen, especially if planning to sell the house after the redesign.

“At 10 percent you’ll get back every penny,” she said. “People that spend more typically plan on staying in the house for a long time.”

When planning a kitchen redesign, Drury said it is important to hire a professional designer in order to avoid any complications.

“Remodeling a kitchen is not easy. You need to work your way through the process,” she said.

Loading more