kitchen makeover

Photo: Sang An

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Okay, not the kitchen itself—just enough of its fantastic design ideas to give the heart of your home a fresh new look.

The surprising secret of a kitchen upgrade: Focus on the little innovations, not the major renovations, say Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, the husband-and-wife team behind the New York City interior design firm Carrier and Company, which designed this stunning kitchen in Southampton, New York, along with project architect John David Rose and kitchen designer Rick Raffel of E.T. Raffel Cabinets. "Life changes quickly and often unexpectedly," Miller says. "Better to personalize your home with possessions than capital improvements." Carrier and Miller have a client list full of boldface names, including fashion designer Jason Wu, photographer Annie Leibovitz, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. But some of the tips and tricks the duo has learned in their combined 38 years of experience are as applicable to a cozy apartment as they are to a grand estate. Here are some of their favorite ways to spice up a kitchen, no general contractor required.

Sources: Hanging pot holder and lights, Ann-Morris Inc. Copper pots, Mauviel. White bowls and plates, Calvin Klein Home. Stove, BlueStar. Custom zinc countertop on island, E.T. Raffel Cabinets. Other countertops, custom oiled soapstone. Prop stylist: Erin Swift.