When our client reached out to us back in December of 2022 to update the home she had purchased just about a year before, we were so excited to help her with her vision for a fresh and updated space in the modern aesthetic that she loves.
The overall scope was a medium to light remodeling and furnishing of the lower level - about 2500sf.
On the wishlist was a light update in the kitchen - keeping the same layout, cabinetry and appliances, but changing out countertops, backsplash, hood, hardware, fixtures, and of course paint cabinetry. Our client was also looking forward to updating the island to a butcher block island, and update the awkward room behind the kitchen that housed a desk area with upper cabinets that she never used.
The biggest order of business was updating the very dated ceramic tiles throughout the lower level, to engineered wood floor that would also extend into the kitchen.
Here is where we started
You can see that it was a pretty well-appointed kitchen back in its heyday - circa 2005, but it was time for a refresh.
The first thing that we needed to solve in the kitchen was all the awkward angles of the walls.
With the dark wood cabinets, the angles stood out even more and just made the kitchen feel super heavy.
The solution was to remove the upper cabinets on either side of the range hood and add floating shelves to clean it up a bit. We made sure that we were not losing storage with that solution.
Keep in mind that at this point we were still planning to keep the cabinetry, but just modifying them as I described above and painting them.
We planned to remove the island completely with its weird shape, and replace with a custom butcher block on casters.
In the desk area, we decided to remove the desk and create more of a butler's pantry with more closed storage, and some open shelves for displaying pretty dishes.
It was all systems go as we began demo in early 2023. We were on track to finish the space in a good timeframe, so the family's routine would not be majorly impacted, until that fateful day when I stopped in for a quick site visit.
Once the baseboards were removed in another area of the house, I noticed what I thought was a little bit of discoloration, or possibly mildew, but I decided to not take any chances and called in a mold remediation company just to make sure we were all good.
It turned out there was really toxic mold all throughout the lower level - from kitchen to bathrooms and even the the living spaces.
This was underneath the island - all mold.
My client did have a toilet leak on one side of the house, but that was resolved. It appeared as though there was some flooding prior to their purchase of the house that wasn't properly remediated, and she clearly was not informed about it.
We were ordered to stop all work immediately.
I worked closely with my client to find and interview a few mold remediation companies, and I certainly got a crash course in this area.
We still wanted to save the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms as much as possible, but we had no idea if that was possible until they removed the lower cabinets.
This was the first iteration of our kitchen refresh before discovering mold.
You can see that the plan was to keep the layout and cabinetry, but update it with paint.
As it turned out, it made more sense to completely demo all cabinetry and start over. A samll kitchen refresh turned into a major remodel of the en.tire lower level.
We went to work right away designing a whole new kitchen for our client with custom site-built skinny shaker cabinets.
Below are renderings of the new design.
It made sense to keep the same general layout as before; especially since we were keeping most of the appliances.
We eliminated the wall of ovens and opted for a range with ovens. Client decided to splurge on her dream 48" Viking range, and boy is it handsome in the space!
I kept the tall cabinets on the right side of the kitchen to help balance out the left side where the fridge is located. The taller cabinet on both sides help to minimize the effect of the angled walls. I decided to paint them in a darker color so the would stand out a bit less than if they were white. We went with Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.
It feels like a better flow with the two-tone, tuxedo style.
In the rendering we are showing just one set of uppers on the right, but we decided to add a second set, just to make sure we had a good balance and plenty of storage. We topped those cabinets with glass front ones, to add decorative objects.
The fridge wall needed a bit of finessing as well with the crazy angled cabinets that were there before. The harsh angles became a thing of the past, and with the addition of the top cabinets. The old fridge now looks like a brand new one!
For the countertop, I decided to go with a 3CM quartzite called Calacatta Lux, and run it all the way up as the backsplash, and create a floating shelf to tie it all together. I went with book-matched slabs to create a nice consistent pattern as the focal point.
Floating stone shelves have become much of a trend lately, and I can certainly see why. But this is one situation where something so trendy was the perfect choice for the space. Adding a single cabinet on the left side of the hood would have looked so weird.
For the hood, we went with a brass metal, just for that nice accent to tie in the cabinet hardware and light fixture accent.
We kept the ceiling beams in the same finish to relate to the new engineered wood floors.
You'll notice the butcher block island that our client requested, with a painted base to match the island, and a natural walnut top. We were able to give her a bit of storage with the island shelves, but still kept it open.
Our sink, bridge faucet and light fixtures were all done in black, because every good design needs a bit of black.
You can snag some of the same, or look-alikes from our kitchen design through these affiliate links.
Even with the mold remediation delay, we managed to finish this project on schedule. It's thanks to my dream team that we were able to stay on track and finish strong.
If you are looking to take on a major remodel, or even just a minor refresh, let's talk about your vision and goals.
Check out our online store for our new "Curated Spaces" - pre-curated, turn-key spaces where we procure and install like our full-service projects, but waive our usual design fee. You get the same great design for thousands less in a shorter time-frame - shaving 4-6 weeks off the usual process.
More Curated Spaces will be added soon.
Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!