Remodeling Without Unnecessary Stress
Sure, we all know remodeling one’s home is a daunting task, but with the help of a professional designer and a team of experienced contractors, the job can progress without turning into the nightmare many homeowners have come to dread. In fact, it can even be fun!
Emily and her husband, Jim, had lived in a very small house in West Los Angeles for the past twelve years. Every room had been decorated or remodeled except the kitchen. It was time for a big makeover.
The kitchen was divided into three small spaces. The first thing I told Emily we needed to do was knock down a wall which divided the kitchen in half. At first she resisted, thinking it would add significantly to the budget. After consulting with my contractor and being told that it was, in fact, an insignificant cost, she and Jim agreed to let us remove it. Two and a half months later, when the job was completed, Emily admitted that was the best decision she had ever made!
Never begin demo without having everything in stock and ready for installation or you might be without a kitchen longer than you bargained for.
With the wall removed, the kitchen felt twice as big and was infused with natural light. Dan, my cabinet maker, and I brainstormed with Emily and Jim about the best layout for appliances and work spaces. Once the layout of cabinetry was finalized, we discussed the type of wood construction and stain to be used. Emily wanted maple cabinets, but they were too expensive. I suggested a clear finish on alder, which looks similar to maple, but is less expensive and slightly darker. I also suggested a few reeded glass cabinets to show off bar glasses above the wine cooler and on either side of the upper cabinets over the sink. Renderings were drawn and approved, paving the way for Emily and me to start shopping for appliances, tiles, slabs, and flooring.
Emily had already done a lot of research on appliances, so that was a relatively quick and easy process. Appliances were ordered right away, avoiding any delays in case of backorders. Never begin demo without having everything in stock and ready for installation or you might be without a kitchen longer than you bargained for.
Meanwhile, I went shopping for glass subway tiles and slabs. We had decided upon a color scheme of sage and black. I found a number of tiles for the back splash that fit the bill – varying sizes and shades of green. The homeowners loved them . . . but they were too expensive. I was told to “sharpen the pencil.” So a little more shopping and Emily and I agreed upon a tile that was a perfect color and size, and that was within our price range. Black absolute CaesarStone was the perfect choice for the slab and required no further shopping trips to tile stores or granite yards.
Now for the flooring. On a previous job I had used cork floors. The homeowner loves them and said she’d put them in her entire house if she could! I showed a sample of cork to Emily and Jim and it was a go. Great looking, easy to clean, easy on your back, legs, and feet. Another decision made.
Demo, framing, drywall, electrical, and rough plumbing work took place while the homeowners were out of town. I designed a lighting plan with the electrician, using 6” recessed lights on dimmers. New windows were installed and the cabinets were built and ready for installation within a month. The slab and tiles were installed, followed by the cork floor and appliances.
The walls were painted a soft sage, a plasma tv was placed on a wall facing the island where Emily and Jim prep and eat meals, woven woods were installed on the windows, and the accessories put into place.
Every aspect of this job was carefully planned, trusted contractors were hired, and the homeowners are thrilled with the results!