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Walk-in pantries, mini bars highlight modern QC kitchens

Local designers say kitchens have become the modern family’s gathering place. And with a little work, even even Quad City kitchens can have some pretty unique features.

“It used to be, you’d have a small, little kitchen where the wife would cook. That doesn’t happen today. The husbands are cooking, the wives are cooking, the kids are learning how to cook,” said Brent Ovens.

Kitchen Consultants’ Brent Ovens has spent more than three decades cooking up modern kitchens. He said today’s trends are more open and more specialized.

“They’re not what they were even 10 years ago, completely different today,” said Ovens.

Ovens took News 8 on a tour of two high-end Bettendorf kitchens, showing off modern features like under-counter wine refrigerators, double ovens, warming drawers, and customized mixer shelves.

“It’s set up for your KitchenAid mixer. You just slide this shelf straight up, it locks right into place, and it has a direct power source, so it’s always plugged in,” said Ovens.

Even microwaves are getting an upgrade. The latest trend is microwave drawers, which pop out with the touch of a button. Food is then placed inside from the top for cooking.

Ovens also suggested disguising appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers. Cabinet fronts can even hide an entire walk-in pantry.

“That’s something new that we did 15 years ago, and it’s finally starting to catch on now in the Quad Cities. It’s a great look, it hides the pantry,” said Ovens.

Other features included a 36-inch gas cooktop with a built-in griddle and soft-close cabinet doors to prevent slamming.

“You can take a bad kitchen, turn it into something beautiful, and people just don’t want to leave. They just love their homes,” said Ovens.

And if you’re wondering how much all of this will cost….

For a complete kitchen remodel, Ovens estimates homeowners will spend 20 to 25 percent of the total value of the house.