Project Walk-Thru

 

For a more detailed look at some of our past projects, please read below:

Overall Summary:


Our over-arching goal throughout the process of designing and remodeling this kitchen was of course to meet and exceed our client’s vision for their new kitchen, but also to create a floor plan that opened up the house and allowed for easy traffic flow. Our client wanted to have a home that could easily and comfortably host friends, family, and special events without feeling cramped or boxed in. We were able to take a closed off kitchen that was small in appearance and turn it in to a large, open and functional kitchen that exceeded our client’s expectations.


This particular family was a client for whom we had done work for before. We had done a room addition for their new baby that was attached to the master suite. However, even then, they knew they wanted to remodel their kitchen because it was a “non-functional kitchen”. The wife had often complained that if the dishwasher and refrigerator were open at the same time, you couldn’t walk through the kitchen. These problems helped to guide our thinking in order to create a functional kitchen that would not only allow them to walk through their kitchen even when the dishwasher was open, but would allow them to have many people in the kitchen at the same time, while making it beautiful. These were some hefty goals, but we felt up to the challenge.


We were able to achieve our goals through a variety of efforts. First, as you can see in the before and after pictures, we removed a wall of cabinets that was boxing in the kitchen and interfering with the view to the breakfast room. These cabinets, along with the peninsula-like countertops, gave the appearance that the kitchen was much smaller and, according to the family, was difficult to walk through and entertain guests in.


Not only did we remove the excess wall of cabinets and countertops, but we also took out a wall that stood in between the breakfast room and the family room. As you can imagine, this made a drastic difference in the floor plan of the kitchen, and opened up the kitchen making it look much larger and made traffic flow throughout the house much smoother.


Additionally, the walls were re-painted and hand-trowel textured, the cabinets were re-painted and glazed, the old island was removed, replaced, and received new stone countertops and a new dark stain. We also added a new beautiful backsplash that helped to give the kitchen its French-country look that the client wanted. The appliances were re-used and new pendant lighting was installed over the island.


The results of the kitchen speak for themselves. We believe that we were able to effectively achieve all of our goals and our client’s goals for this kitchen, and the end result was a beautiful and functional kitchen.



1) Cabinet and Countertop Removal


The first matter of business in this kitchen remodel was removing the wall of cabinets that was boxing in the kitchen and also removing the countertops that were acting like a peninsula. These countertops were right below the wall of cabinets, therefore they were also causing the kitchen to feel cramped. The plumbing was connected to these countertops, so we knew we would have to re-work the plumbing to attach to the island for the double sinks we would soon create. Additionally, we had to remove the fluorescent lights and sheetrock from the ceiling in order to install new, re-positioned, beautiful can lights.


The next challenge for this portion was to replace the void where the cabinets had been with new ceramic tile to match the previous tile in the kitchen. However, we were unable to locate the exact same tile that had been installed in this kitchen so many years ago, so we purchased a comparable ceramic tile in a smaller size. With this tile, we made an inlaid design pattern to finish the floor which added an architectural design at the same time.


One more problem we were able to fix was the vent-a-hood that was located above the stove and on the under side of the microwave. The family mentioned that it never ventilated properly because the pipes were too long and had too many elbows. We took out a few of the elbows that were impeding the airflow, and the result was a well-ventilated stove and microwave area.


The pictures below hopefully help to show the complete floor plan change of the kitchen with these modifications.



2) Wall Removal


Another floor plan-altering change made to this kitchen was removing the wall that divided the breakfast room from the family room. There was a 6’ French door allowing for a small entrance into the family room which was also taken down. Often times, remodelers will create a beam that is attached to the ceiling that separates the two rooms. However, in our case, we made the decision to keep the beam above the ceiling so that the new ceiling and sheetrock flow uninterrupted into the next room. We felt that, again, this helped to open up the home, and make it feel more like it is one continuous room, rather than three small rooms. As you can see in the pictures, this completely changed the look and feel of the home.



3) Walls


The look our client was hoping to achieve was an old world French-country look. One of the ways we helped to achieve this goal was through the beautiful wall painting and texturizing. As you can see in the before pictures, the walls previously had an out of date wallpaper on them. And though the pictures are not close up enough to show you, the new walls received new sheet rock and were hand-trowel textured. The result was beautiful, and really worked to pull off that French-country look.



                                                                4) Cabinets and Countertops


The next step in our remodeling process was to create beautiful new cabinets and countertops. All of the remaining cabinets in the kitchen received new doors, hinges, and hardware. Also, there were some cabinets left that had two smaller cabinets stacked on top of each other, rather than one long cabinet. We changed them to be one long cabinet instead of two shorter ones, like they previously had. Next the cabinets were painted and received a stain glaze finish on top. The color of the glaze was chosen in order to blend with the textured walls to enhance that old world French-country look.


The countertops were previously a tan Formica. However, we replaced the old Formica countertops with new dark, rich stone Uba Tuba countertops with a beveled edge. As you can imagine, and see in the pictures, this completely altered the look of the kitchen. This addition really helped to make this home look rich and much more up to date. We were very happy with the outcome of the countertops, as well as the cabinets.



5) Island


Not only was the island replaced, but its layout was also changed. The new island is positioned a different way than the old one, which once again alters the look and floor plan of the kitchen, improving its layout. Not only did we re-position it, but we also gave the bottom portion a new rich, dark stain and applied the same stone countertops as on the rest of the kitchen. The stain color of the island was chosen in order to compliment the colors of the walls, cabinets, and backsplash. We feel the end product was even better than we had hoped.


This island, unlike the old one, has the wonderful feature of having two sinks. This was something the family wanted in order to increase the convenience and functionality of the kitchen. The purpose of this change was an important one. With the two sinks being on opposite sides of the island, it allowed one side to be the cooking side and one side to be the clean-up side. The sink closest to the oven was used for cooking and the sink closest to the dishwasher and pantry with the dishes was used for cleaning. For this endeavor, the plumbing had to be completely re-positioned in order to achieve this goal. Though it was hard work, the satisfaction of our client made it completely worth it, and we love how practical and well-designed their kitchen became.


Above the island, as you can see in the pictures, there are three gorgeous pendant lights that not only enhance the look and feel of the kitchen, but also provide excellent lighting for the family.


The client purchased the sinks, faucets, filtration system, and hot water dispenser for the island for us to install.



6) Backsplash


Throughout the kitchen we installed a backsplash that, again, gave the kitchen the French-country look we were striving for. The backsplash is a 2’x6’ stone tile laid in a brick pattern with a grout color that matches the cabinets. This backsplash worked as a blending agent to pull the custom finished cabinets together with the dark stained island, and we were very pleased with the results.

BEFORE

AFTER

Project #1:

Project #2:

Before

After

Overall Summary:


This particular kitchen renovation was one that involved using creativity, problem-solving, and exceptional design skills to achieve the results that not only met our clients needs and expectations, but surpassed them. The overall goal of this kitchen renovation was to take a closed-in boxy kitchen, and turn it into one that was open, functional, and aesthetically appealing.


The most noticeable way we opened up this kitchen was by removing the walls that separated the kitchen from the breakfast and utility room and raising the ceilings in these rooms to 11 feet. Each room was blocked off and made to look as its own separate room. Additionally, the ceilings had previously been lowered in each room, making this area look boxy and small. This feel did not encourage the homeowners to spend as much time in these areas as they would have liked.


In order to increase storage space and usability in the kitchen, we added an eat-in bar in between the kitchen and dining room in order to add extra cabinets and storage space, and another place for them to eat. Included in this was a cabinet with a glass sliding door section where the homeowner could store dishes, while displaying them at the same time. In addition to these cabinets, we added cabinets above the uppers that have beautiful display lights inside them adding to the aesthetic appeal and storage space in the kitchen.


One problem area that we had to work around was that the kitchen was defined by a slab step-down that couldn’t be altered. This hindered us from making the kitchen as big as we would have liked, but we used our problem-solving skills in this situation and moved one of the kitchen walls back into the garage 2 feet. We would have moved even further into the garage, but the homeowner was concerned about losing any more garage space, so 2 feet was the compromise.




1) Tear out walls


The first day of construction began by demo-ing the kitchen. This involved removing the walls that separated the kitchen from the dining room and the utility room, giving the house three small, boxy rooms as opposed to one large open kitchen/eating area. Though these rooms are still separate entities, the floor plan became much more open and free flowing, allowing for better entertaining and hosting. Also, in an effort to enlarge the 12x12 kitchen, we moved a wall that was in between the kitchen and the garage 2 feet. This effort proved to be one of our biggest challenges of the project, which allowed us to activate our problem-solving skills.


When we went to remove the wall, we discovered a 3” main sewer line that had run between the wall that separated the kitchen from the garage. This was an unexpected find, and something that would require problem solving on our part. However, it was a task worth taking on as we knew those 2 feet would add much needed space to the kitchen. After much thought and consideration, we decided to divert the 3” sewer line that serviced the upstairs bathroom directly above the kitchen. It was diverted to the utility room between the raised ceiling of the kitchen area and the 2nd floor, and into the attic space above the utility and garage area. We then tied it to the sewer line in the hall bath.




2) Raise Ceilings


In order to give the kitchen a more uniformed look, we also raised the ceilings in each of the rooms to 11 feet. As described previously, several years before, the ceilings had been lowered and the walls had been constructed to give the house a smaller and more closed-in feel. This is clearly not what our clients wanted, as they were hoping to achieve a kitchen area that could hold a group of people for entertaining purposes. The result was an open kitchen that did not feel cramped or boxed-in, allowing traffic to flow smoothly through these areas.




3) Cabinets


As any homeowner or contractor knows, the quality and design of the cabinets can not only add functionality, but also can make the kitchen aesthetically pleasing and warm. For this reason, we take great pride in the quality of the cabinets we install. We work with our cabinet-makers to design cabinets that not only meet the needs of our client, but are also beautiful, classic, and timeless. You can see that in the before pictures, the cabinets were outdated and there were not enough of them to store all of their belongings and dishes.  Not only did we replace their old cabinets with new ones, but we also removed the wall of cabinets that was blocking the view to the dining room and added extra cabinets across from the countertops with a built-in coffee bar to give our clients that something extra. The glass doors were replaced with painted wood doors to give this kitchen a more classic look. We also added a second tier of cabinets above the uppers over the kitchen sink. We also added glass doors with lighting in order to add light, looks, and function to the kitchen.


We used our creativity to build a set of new cabinets in between the kitchen and breakfast area. These cabinets were different because of their layout and the fact that they open from both sides. They back up to each other and are both 36” high, however because of the 12” step-up, the second set of cabinets is one foot higher than the other. The second cabinet opens from both sides and the on the kitchen side we installed a sliding glass door for the homeowner to be able to store as well as display her dishes. We believe this adds to the beauty of the kitchen, while creating additional storage on the dining room side at the same time.


Our cabinets are a great example of our commitment to the quality of our construction. Instead of using poplar face frames, we used hardwood maple for the doors and face frames. Hardwood maple is a more durable, straighter, more consistent, more dense, and a higher quality cabinet.  Our projects are completed using only high-quality products and installed only by trusted and experienced professionals, ensuring that our renovations will stand the test of time.




4) Countertops, Backsplash, and Vent-a-hood


We removed the countertops and backsplash that were previously installed by a different contractor just months before, and replaced them with a much more updated and classic selection. The client selected a beautiful granite countertop with a cream stone backsplash that compliment each other so well. It’s style without being too distracting is what makes it so beautiful. The stainless steel vent-a-hood adds the warmth that this kitchen was missing before. We love how the vent-a-hood poses as the “hearth” of the kitchen—the place where you are drawn to. Not only does it add warmth, but it also adds style and class to the kitchen.


The backsplash was installed on a diagonal using a quality stone instead of a ceramic tile, which matches the stone countertops. Our tile installation crew is the best of the best, and the results show that. The stone backsplash was sealed and enhanced to keep it from soaking up oils and grease, keeping it cleaner, and extending it’s life expectancy. This also adds to the beauty of the backsplash.


The challenge in creating a backsplash such as this one is making the design in the backsplash proportionate to the cooktop, the opening, and everything else around it. This is another reason why we only install tile using the best install crew.


To add to the beauty of the backsplash, we tiled all the way up the wall behind the vent-a-hood. We believe this gives it a more dramatic look and helps draw your eye to this area, while making it look larger too. This again helps it to seem like the hearth of the kitchen.




5) Floors


In an effort to cut costs, the client chose to keep the existing floor in the kitchen. However, we had to match the existing tile because once we moved back into the garage 2 feet, we had areas in the kitchen that had to be tiled. This proved to be a challenge as we had to order that tile in a different dye lot. There were certain pieces of the tile that matched closely, and others that didn’t. In an effort to not sacrifice quality for our client and deliver exceptional customer service, our team had to sort through each box of tile and pick out the pieces that matched the existing floor the most closely. Those particular pieces were used in the kitchen, and the rest were used in other parts of the house.





6) Coffee bar and Refrigerator


The coffee/refreshment bar was added where the refrigerator was previously located using the water supply from the refrigerator. The new refrigerator was placed where the wall had been pushed back into the garage 2 feet.  The coffee bar has a built-in coffee maker in it, and plenty of countertop and cabinet space for entertaining guests. We believe this feature to be an original and creative design that gave this kitchen that something extra. It is just another way we transformed this kitchen from tight and closed-off to open, functional, and perfect for having guests!


Also, the client wanted to have their new refrigerator to have custom cabinet trim on the top of it. However, this was more difficult than usual because the client had just purchased a new refrigerator, requiring us to install the custom cabinet trim on top of it. However, after the extra effort to install this trim, the client was left with a beautiful refrigerator that appeared at be a built-in refrigerator.

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