Kitchen Bath Remodel Worthy Of Oohs And Aahs

The Challenge: A few years ago my husband and I decided that the home we had built in 1998, although still structurally sound, was ready for a cosmetic update. We wanted to make changes that would not just serve our family’s needs, but also increase the future resale value of our home. We aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, but we wanted to ensure a positive long-term return on our investment with a kitchen bath remodel.
Both of us work full-time, plus we have two active kids (ages 17 and 12) who keep us on the road with soccer games and other activities. We knew what we wanted to do to the house, but we had absolutely no spare time to serve as project managers for the renovations. Thus, we turned to Kitchen & Bath Design Studio to start the remodel process. We were so happy with the initial master bathroom remodel (completed a few years ago) that we re-hired Kitchen & Bath Design Studio again last year when we were ready to remodel our kitchen.
The Process: Although we worked with a different designer on each project, both were equally great experiences. I know my style and what I like, and I also wanted to avoid current trends in order to create a timeless, classic design. Each designer immediately grasped my vision, incorporated my ideas, and then gave me additional options in line with my aesthetics; things that I never would have thought of or known about. Two heads are better than one, and the end result in both cases was a nice blend of ideas from me and the designers.
The Results: I’m a “shower person”, so I particularly appreciate the walk-in rain shower with the pebble floor in our master bathroom. And although I could have lived without a tub, I wanted to make sure that we retained one for future homeowners. Thus, we replaced the massive garden tub with an elegant claw-foot tub, creating extra space. That said, we didn’t want the tub to appear tucked into a corner and forgotten, so the designer created a small oasis by installing a chandelier above the tub and a television within easy viewing distance.
As for the kitchen, I honestly don’t like to cook. I recognize its importance as one of the central rooms in a home, but to me, a kitchen is more like a showpiece accessory, the sparkling jewel of a home. We decided during the design stage that we would refresh the adjacent small bathroom with new backsplash and counters, remove the half wall that divided the kitchen and the living room, and eliminate the tiny closet that went unused anyway. The result is that there is a space for everything – in fact, we still have empty drawers – yet the kitchen doesn’t appear too cavernous or excessive. I would describe the overall look of the kitchen as fun and eclectic with its cream cabinets, dark “chocolate” counters and an island featuring grays, browns, and blues. One detail that surprised me was the garbage disposal. My designer talked me into installing one, and having never had one before, I was skeptical. Who knew a garbage disposal would make such a difference? It’s one of my favorite functional features and now I cannot imagine living without one!
The Final Word: Yes, the kitchen remodel was a big investment (especially for a non-cook), but we’re confident that’s it money well spent; we’ll see it back when we sell. Meanwhile, the whole family uses the kitchen now –the kids love to make their own pizzas and I enjoy baking cookies and cupcakes on occasion. And aesthetically, we definitely achieved the timeless, long-lasting appeal that we desired for our “crown jewel” – as evidenced by the “oohs” and “aahs” the kitchen elicits from our friends and family members! —Laurie Pitts