Cristina is a dear friend who’d already managed several renovations on her own. She had a simple facelift planned for her suburban kitchen, when her partner casually asked, “What if you opened up that wall – maybe you want to ask Clare what she thinks?” I was all for it. It gave us the opportunity to move the powder room out of the kitchen and reveal a wall of windows. We came up with a budget design using Ikea cabinets (but splurged on a feature wall of stained glass tile). Demolition uncovered a major problem, though: Pipes where no one would have guessed – but the plumbers came through and cleared the way. Now the focal point of the tiled wall is wide open to the dining room, and the kitchen is flooded with natural light.