Kitchen achieves "lofty status" with modern appliances

Story by Joe Stumpe

Back in 2009, Splurge first took readers inside an unusual east Wichita residence. From the outside, Rilla and Don Rogus's home looks like a typical ranch-style house. But inside, the couple had turned it into a close facsimile of a New York loft.

The transformation is now nearly compete thanks to a redo of the kitchen that gives it the same lofty status, from granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to a faux built-in refrigerator.

It's ultra modern, Rilla said. It's kind of an industrial New York loft feel.

The Roguses have lived in their home since 1973. They thought about moving as they neared retirement, but liked the location of their longtime home enough that they decided to put their money into it instead.

When it came to the kitchen, Rilla saw the makings of her dream kitchen in a magazine ad.

It had the cherry wood cabinets I wanted and the stainless steel appliances, she said. I showed that to Arlene so she could see where we were going with it.

Arlene is Arlene Phillips, who owns Kitchen Tune-Up with her husband, Jim. They did most of the work on the Roguses kitchen and served as general contractors for the project.

Now the kitchen is up to speed with the rest of the house, Arlene Phillips said. They knew exactly what they wanted and we were able to help make their dream come true.

One of the biggest changes was losing the yellow formica countertop, which gave way to black granite with silver flecks accentuated by new under-the-cabinet lighting. Something I picked out when I was 19 years old, Rilla said of the old countertop, is not necessarily something I would want now.

To match a new wood floor, the Roguses had Kitchen Tune-Up install new cabinets on one wall and reface others. They put up a new tile backsplash in three different areas, installed a new oven and microwave, transformed some hard-to-reach cabinets into convenient drawers and extended a panel to cover an exposed side of the refrigerator and give it a built-in look.

The house is nearly ready for one of those home improvement TV shows. We've still got the bathroom to go, Rilla said. We'll probably just have Kitchen Tune-Up come in and do it, too.

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