Anatomy of a Remodel: Dull to Dramatic!

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Some people really impress you. I met Bob and Jeri Thomas when they were referred to Details Home Services for a kitchen remodel. Their split level home provided both challenges, and tremendous opportunities. This was their first ever project, so they didn’t have “remodel-phobia”. What they had was a vision, and they were more than a little enthusiastic about making it happen. That vision required a remake of the entire main floor.

The original kitchen was an 8’x10’ pit in the middle of the main level. To expand the space, we started by removing all the interior walls. With trusses above,

nothing was load bearing, so we had that freedom. Seeing the entire level wide open, I thought Jeri was going to explode. She was almost giddy with joy!!

But once the walls came out, we found some surprises. This is a brick house, with no framing behind the exterior walls, only cinder block. We had to frame, and at the same time true the walls which were almost 2” off, top to bottom. Removing the original hardwood floors revealed insufficient subfloor, so we had to add another layer. But with all walls removed, we had a clean palate to create their dream. It started with a mud room, and a knee-wall defined conservatory for their Grand piano.

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Once the build began, the excitement was almost palpable. A lighting plan was developed to highlight areas, and provide different looks for different moods or time of day. Varying heights and offset cabinets added both interest and complexity to the installation. Bob and Jeri enjoyed an extended search, trying various tile layouts until they found the textures and colors they wanted to use as accents. Two tone granite and a tumbled marble and stone backsplash added personal touches to showcase their style.

There is now a 20′ wall of cabinets, and the 10′ island is as long as the original kitchen. One of the issues was how to deal with the microwave exhaust. Because of block walls, there wasn’t much room to run the ducting. We took the approach to create another visual highlight, by adding a “chimney” above the microwave cabinet. After it was crafted, I decided to highlight it by adding up-lighting. This was my “gift” to the clients. The lights made it pop, and delivered a center focus needed in such a long wall.

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New floors and a two-tone paint scheme complete the new kitchen/great room/conservatory. What started as an impersonal space has been transformed into a gathering spot for the entire family. The home now has a proper anchor. From breakfast, to snacks, homework, entertaining or just enjoying the flat-screen and surround sound, it all just works. Having Bob and Jeri as new friends made it more than worthwhile. The best clients make for the best projects. This was a joy from start to finish!

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 8.41.23 AMBy Cory Laws
Founder and CEO
Details Home Services

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