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When Martha Stewart updated a kitchen on her farm this summer, she opted for a few impactful changes over a gut renovation, adding fresh coats of paint in new colors, smarter appliances, better organization and striking displays for some of her favorite collections. Read on to see what she cooked up.

For years, I have been an avid fan of restoration and renovation. Whether it is a house in need of minor alterations and redecoration, or an entire farm needing an overhaul, I find these projects fascinating and rewarding. In the past few months, I undertook one in the Maple House, a two-story, 1970s ranchlike home on the northernmost part of my property.

After creating a cookbook library there with California Closets a couple of years ago, I decided to tackle the large kitchen and adjoining hall, which I use for shoots. The existing cabinets, which came from my very first television studio in Westport, Connecticut, were painted creamy yellow and paired with old soapstone counters and sinks. On the floor, I used my own fauxbois ceramic tile, which I designed for the Home Depot. The space worked well for many years, but it needed a new look.

Out came the old stove, wall ovens and doors, and in went lots of sandpaper, gallons of primer and custom satin-finish paint, and updated appliances. I extended the center counter to hold a stove top for TV demos, added an ice-maker under it and replaced the ovens and stove. I painted the cabinets and woodwork black and the walls white, which I think makes the room feel bigger and more modern. Last, we happily brought in my collection of copper from my home kitchen and basement prop library, and the whole place was transformed!

The new kitchen is both beautiful and functional, and I love that I was able to reuse the old cabinetry with just a few additions, which was both economical and easier to accomplish. It took about a month and a half to complete, and cost a fraction of what it would had I gutted the place. I hope you like it.

Key elements

Power ranges: In addition to a new Viking stove and ovens, Martha added a Viking six-burner cooktop to the island, where she enjoys cooking omelets and crêpes.

Ample storage: She prefers open shelving because items are easy to see and access. Crocks hold her frequently used utensils.

Smooth surfaces: Martha kept her original soapstone countertops, extending one section on the island. An old marble-top biscuit table by the main stove is great for rolling out dough.

Deep sinks: They're handy for filling and washing big pots and lots of dishes.

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