Project Spotlight: A New Kitchen…and a whole lot more

When our clients moved into their circa-1920s home in 1993, it was the right home in the right location. But over a span of 30 years, they realized their home was in need of some minor upgrades throughout … plus one MAJOR upgrade. Of course, it was the kitchen that was ready for the big overhaul. Custom Contracting Inc. (CCI) had done many projects up and down their street over the years and were referred by one of their neighbors who had recently completed a large addition.

The original kitchen.

First stop: the kitchen. Working closely with the homeowners, our team spent a lot of time developing the perfect design for the kitchen. The kitchen hadn’t been updated since the 1990s, so it was definitely time to renovate! The original layout of the kitchen actually worked well for the homeowners. The appliances and kitchen sink all stayed in relatively the same places with some adjustments and upgrades to the plumbing. But the cabinets needed to go. The new Bertch cabinets are the first thing people notice when they walk in. The primary upper and lower cabinets are birch wood with a painted finish in sage. Some of the upper cabinets feature glass fronts to show off the homeowner’s glassware. Cup-pulls on the drawers add a vintage element that ties the kitchen design to the rest of the home.

A new island takes the renovated kitchen to another level.

The biggest upgrade to the kitchen is the cherry wood island. The original kitchen was big enough to fit a table under the window for casual dining, but by adding an island, the homeowners now have:

  • prep space
  • extra cabinets
  • a microwave drawer
  • PLUS it has an overhang to provide seating

The island provides much more than the original table. It’s the perfect combination of functional elements with an LG Quartz countertop from Stone Surfaces. The stain finish on the island compliments the sage green of the primary cabinets and matches the woodwork throughout the home.

Most of the appliances were upgraded during the renovation including the chimney hood, 36” refrigerator, and dishwasher – all made by Bosch. Adding the Bosch microwave drawer to the island provides more countertop space for food prep.

No renovation is complete without upgrades to the lighting. First was natural light. The windows in the kitchen were upgraded. A new energy-efficient triple window has views of the back garden while casement style windows replaced the original windows over the sink. Between the two, the kitchen is now filled with light throughout the day. Our team added recessed, under cabinet and pendant lighting to make sure there is still plenty of light to prep and cook even when the sun goes down. 

The original cabinets and odd sink configuration were dated.

The color palette throughout the kitchen is soothing, working well in the 100+ year old home while modernizing it at the same time. The tile back splash from Roma Tile, in shades of greenish blue that complement the cabinets, is accented by beautiful handmade tiles above the stone. In fact, the homeowners loved the accent tile above the stove so much that they chose similar tile as an accent inlaid into the living room fireplace.

Doors on either side of the fireplace lead to the sunroom.

The renovations continued into the living room and sunroom, located on the other side of the fireplace. The fireplace bricks were painted on both sides – around the fireplace as well as the exposed brick of the chimney in the sunroom. The metal fireplace front was also replaced and the tile inlay added above.

The original staircase featured beautiful woodwork and railings…but they weren’t up to code. Sean Farnsworth, our lead carpenter and expert woodworker, removed the existing railings and balusters, brought them up to the correct height to meet current code requirements, and stained them to match the refinished floors and stair treads. “Sean is amazing,” said the homeowner. “You would never know that this woodwork and fluting on the newel post, which had to be remade to match the new height of the railing, wasn’t original to the home.”

The entryway to the kitchen was widened as part of the renovation, but the trim was perfectly matched to the style of the house.

While the kitchen is the show-stopper, our team of expert contractors upgraded nearly every room in the house including:

  • Refinishing hardwood floors on the first and second floors.  
  • Replaced rough plaster ceilings in the main entryway and sunroom. Extensive repairing of other ceilings following HVAC upgrades that left large gaps in the overhead sheetrock. The new and old ceilings are blended so perfectly that you’d never know they were installed at different times.
  • Repairing or upgrading baseboard trim, ceiling molding and window and door trim. New crown molding added in the dining room.
  • Primary bathroom upgrades including replacing the existing vanity cabinet and medicine cabinet.

From start to finish this large renovation took several months to complete. The only “surprise” was the discovery that the kitchen floor wasn’t fully supported. A wood beam was added in the basement to ensure that there are no problems with the floor sagging in the future. Today, the homeowner says “I still wander around from room to room and I can’t believe it. Our home looks beautiful!”