Uncovering Hidden Potential

In this Project Spotlight, we go behind the scenes of a kitchen renovation that benefited from a change in perspective—both literally and figuratively.

Our clients came to us with a goal for their lovely, open floor plan home, which unfortunately suffered from a small kitchen. The clients wanted their kitchen to reflect the airy, open feel of the rest of their house, and be connected to their dining room for ease in entertaining. With tall ceilings and plenty of potential, the existing layout was just not doing the home justice. The current layout also failed to make the most of a beautiful lake view.

In order to accomplish the homeowner’s goals of a more spacious room, improved flow, and upgraded aesthetics, project planner John Hudson and interior designer Brooke Weinert collaborated over best placement of the room’s features, and ultimately re-oriented a new custom kitchen island to take advantage of the lake view.

Knocking down part of the wall adjoining the kitchen and dining room, creating a large island with seating to face the lake, and removing an existing closet to install a larger, built-in pantry were high on the list of to-do’s for this renovation. 

The new white cabinetry and dark grey contrasting island offer a contemporary twist to this transitional kitchen that is the perfect space for entertaining. With ample counter space, a conveniently located beverage refrigerator, and decorative stacked cabinetry, the beauty of the home and function of the space were brought to a new level.

The room also features innovative storage solutions, like flip/slide or pivot/slide pantry doors. These doors allow for their designated coffee nook to either be left open and the doors to be tucked away out of the traffic path, or to be entirely closed away to hide any small appliances.

“We are so proud of all of our projects, but this one was a special transformation,” says Brooke. “Their new kitchen is now a space perfect for big crowds. Everyone can mingle in this space and still feel connected, even if they’re moving through the living room, kitchen, or dining room. It’s really great to be able to bring new meaning to the spaces in peoples homes.”


A Beautiful Kitchen Renovation

We’re thrilled to be rolling out a new batch of “Project Spotlight” articles for you! Everyone loves a good “before and after”. These renovations inspire us and show us what is possible with the right planning and the right team in place.

This “Project Spotlight” is a great example of how to achieve dramatic changes and big improvements without changing the footprint of a room. We were able to create a better functioning kitchen for our clients without changing the layout or making the space bigger.

The renovation was low-impact in terms of structural work—the floors and windows stayed in place, and the plumbing fixtures did not have to be re-configured, with one notable exception.

This particular client is an avid baker, and while we all like the idea of a kitchen island with a prep sink, sometimes that’s not the best use of space. Our client would benefit more from added work-space and a bigger counter top, so we removed the less useful prep sink to tailor it to the client’s needs and preferences. In deference to our client’s culinary skills and needs, we also added a second oven, which will make cooking and entertaining that much easier.

Cabinet designer and production manager Robert Page and interior designer Brooke Stollery worked closely with project planner Brian Taber to marry the aesthetic upgrades that the client was looking for with functional improvements to make the best use of the space. A built-in sub-zero refrigerator took the place of a freestanding one, and a stainless steel oven hood was removed for a recessed option, which lets the beautiful custom cabinetry and impeccable decorative choices shine. 

Brian notes that the lovely finished project is due to everyone’s collaborative efforts, including the clients. 

“These clients had wonderful taste, and were decisive in their selections. They were able to communicate with us exactly what they were looking for, and how we could make their living space better suit their lifestyle. The end result made everyone involved very proud.”

The “after” photos speak for themselves. Take a look at this remarkable renovation and give us a call if you’re ready to make your home work better for you!


Breaking Down the Barriers to Your Dream Layout

One of the things that makes home remodeling and renovation so rewarding and exciting is that it enables a homeowner to stay in the home that they already love, while opening up all of the possibilities to the home of their dreams.

Sometimes renovation entails the modernization of a space to keep up with the times, or the expansion of a space to grow as a family’s needs might. And sometimes renovation means completely changing the flow and layout of a home to better suit the desires of the homeowner and the way they wish to live. This was the case in this Project Spotlight, in which we took down the walls that defined many smaller rooms to create an open, airy flow. The results are incredible, and if you didn’t know the before and after photos were the same residence, it would be hard to imagine.

These clients came to us with hopes for a much more open floor plan for their home. They are avid cooks, so creating a flow from the kitchen to other rooms that could be used for entertaining, dining and food storage was paramount. Walls were taken down to achieve this goal, and a new pantry, mudroom, bathroom and sunroom were renovated in addition to a fully updated kitchen.

The remodeled space boasts may cool features, including two kinds of countertops–a solid surface stone on the curved kitchen island (a notable feature in and of itself) and walnut underneath a row of custom cabinetry. The new cabinets are a shaker-style, constructed in our cabinet shop. There’s a beautiful bead board backsplash in the kitchen as well as a sleek hood over the range which does not obstruct the view to the sunroom, and adds to the open feel of the space.

Even though this was a large-scale renovation, we were committed to minimizing the inconvenience to our clients, as is always our priority. We were thrilled that they reported to us that the experience was low-impact during the construction, and they were able to go about their lives, and even work from home as the renovation progressed.

The results speak for themselves, and the transformation of this home is one we are always proud to share with prospective clients to illustrate just how much change is possible with the right design plan in place, and the best of skilled tradesman at work.

Take a look at the stunning before and after gallery below and give us a call if you’re ready to open up your home to some fresh possibilities!


The Pro’s and Con’s of Concrete

concrete pouring image

In the past few years we’ve seen concrete becoming increasingly popular material for countertops. What are the pros and cons of concrete and is it right for you?


Relatively cheap –

Costs for concrete countertops can range between $65 and $135 per square foot (1.5-inch-thick countertop). Prices can vary depending on materials used, intricacy, time spent designing, and location.

Rope Edging

Lots of styling options –

Concrete countertops can be customized in numerous ways. Pigment can be added throughout the entire surface for color, staining the concrete can create the look of marble, granite, or other natural stones.

The edges of concrete countertops can be finished many ways, from a rustic “ragged” looking edge, to an intricate rope detail. Pieces of glass, stone chips, or tile can be added into the surface for a mosaic look.


Very large concrete slabs can have seam lines, however by using a color matched filler the appearance of seam lines can be drastically reduced.



Surfaces like these need to be sealed well

Needs to be sealed-

Concrete is a porous material. In order to protect the look of a concrete counter top it will need to be sealed. There are two types of concrete sealers, those that penetrate inside the concrete, and those that form a protective top layer. Depending on what sealer is used and the amount of countertop usage, you will most likely have to reseal the surface every 1-3 years.

Some people report that even when sealed, certain liquids like coffee, or oil can still leave their mark on the concrete surface. Concrete will also scratch overtime, being most noticeable on dark surfaces. Some owners love concrete for the “patinaed” look that their countertops take on overtime, chalk it up to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, or homeowner in this case.

Heat Resistant (?)

Concrete by itself if fairly heat resistant within reason. That being said, concrete sealant is not a resistent to heat.

Concrete being poured

Hairline Cracks-

Concrete countertops can be precast off site, or they can be poured on site. Those countertops that have been formed in place are more likely to crack than the precast slab. Houses settle down overtime and things shift, the custom pour countertop is made to fit your house at the time of installation, not 5 years down the road. This leads to hairline cracks in the surface. Larger cracks are easy to fix, smaller cracks may become something you’ll have to live with over time.


There you have it, concrete countertops in a nutshell, check out our other articles on countertop materials.

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