Awards - Case Study Kitchen

2008 Contractor of the Year (CotY*) Silver Award Winner Residential Kitchen Under $50,000

Kitchen Remodeling for Family Life

The homeowners of this kitchen were looking to renovate and update their 1980s kitchen and make some “lifestyle” changes. They now have three teenagers and the kitchen is the center of their entertaining, while doubling as a homework/office space. Their goal was to make these changes within the existing footprint, without moving any doors or windows.

The main complaint in the existing kitchen revolved around the half wall. While the work area was open to the dining area, the hosts felt separated from their guests because there was no seating in the kitchen, while guests would sit in the adjoining room.

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Our first suggestion was to eliminate the half wall and bring the peninsula down to counter height, thereby creating a sitting area for guests. The stove/cooktop was removed from the peninsula and placed on the opposite wall to allow for better use of the counter space and increase the ventilation of the cooking area. The oven remained in the peninsula. To accommodate the homeowner’s paperwork, a file drawer was also incorporated into the peninsula cabinetry.

Since there are so many kids in and out for snacks and drinks, it was decided that the refrigerator and microwave could be set outside of the “U” to create a snack center and create less congestion. By installing the microwave under the counter, it creates more usable counter space and now allows the homeowner to utilize this space for serving when they have a large number of guests.

The height and depth of the utility cabinets create a balance to the entryway and serve their storage needs, since there are minimal wall cabinets in the new design.

The black cabinetry is dramatic by color, and to enhance the impact of this design, the wall cabinets are used to create a frame for the cooktop. The left corner of this frame also includes a custom wine cube that allows the homeowner storage for a few bottles of wine for entertaining and also adds visual interest to the cabinetry.

The visual interest and the upgrade of materials continued in their choice of granite for their countertop. This selection allows for an undermount sink that creates a continuous flow of color around the room.

The lighting in the kitchen was enhanced with recessed lighting over the general work area and pendants were added over the new peninsula space. Under cabinet lighting is provided by using halogen lights within the range hood, and another set were installed above the microwave cabinet. A custom pendant light was also added over the dining area to unify the workspace and dining area. There is also an adequate amount of natural light in this space from the sliding doors in the dining area and the French door to the right of the cook top. (This door is decorative only; it is not used for entry.)

The flooring of the workspace and dining area was replaced with ceramic tile to unify the two areas.

The Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Remodeling Industry (EM-NARI) honors the accomplishments of leaders in the industry every year with these “CotY” awards.