A “Before & After” Story

Jan 29, 2020 | Designer Insider, Transformation Designs

Designer Insider by Paige Moreau

The Before:

In the remodel industry it is not very often that you hear someone say that the remodel went by too fast, but in this case it did. We had the right team in place that made the process enjoyable for the client. 


I first met the client in April. We began the design process on how to turn her parent’s home into her own, while still keeping some of the original charm. The home sits on a beautiful property overlooking Lake Michigan, although the kitchen did not have a view of the water. The client had previously met with an architect to work up a plan to open the kitchen to the views of the lake. We worked off of this idea first although there was a large space that I felt was not being utilized to its potential. I suggested a site measure to get out into the space and really get a better understanding of the homes floor plan. 

The Design:

Once I got out to the home and took a look at the space, I recommended a completely different layout to the client which meant relocating the kitchen from its original location along with relocating the stairs that led to the basement to another space in the home. The client was excited as was I to put the design to paper. We worked over the next two months on creating the perfect kitchen design, relocating the stairs, and configuring a master bathroom design. All with the help of builder Dan Hoffer’s great eye (who had many options for the client and I on relocation ideas for the stairs).

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When creating the design it was very important to consider how the client used the space on a day to day basis along with how the space was used during the holidays. Over the holidays, the client’s sons have cooking competitions, so it was important to have 3 cooking stations for the guys along with seating space for all the ladies to watch. We made this possible by creating a large island in the center of the kitchen for the ladies to watch on one side and the guys to have full control over the remainder of the kitchen. The client also collected many antiques and had a large collection of china that she wanted to display in this space. We created an entire wall of china cabinets for the pieces to be displayed and illuminated them with LED strips. Lastly the other need for the client was a bar space for coffee and cocktails which would have an under cabinet fridge and ice maker. 

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The design fell into place next with very few changes to the overall design. The client wanted a timeless kitchen with white cabinets although was unsure of the color of the china cabinet and bar space. The China cabinets, wet bar, and dry bar are part of the kitchen, although not connected to the cabinets of the main kitchen, where we wanted to incorporate another color. The flooring is a natural tiger wood that had a lot of variation from rich red tones to light maple tones as well. We originally selected a natural cherry for the additional color, but it was too much wood with all of the client’s natural cherry and maple antiques throughout the home. We instead went with a black cabinet which really pops with the white countertops and white quartz backsplash in all spaces. This is the timeless design the client desired.  

The Challenge:

The Challenge

We started the remodel in the middle of June and had the client moved back in for Labor day. Just like any project, things did not go 100 % as we planned. We ran into a couple issues that needed to be resolved structurally. The house had been moved closer to the front of the property years ago, and we learned that they had cut into supporting headers of the home that we needed to be intact for the walls we were removing. We had to add in additional headers into the space which made our ceiling height shorter than what we originally designed. We were still able to make the original design work and re-worked the finish molding of the cabinetry. The client was great throughout this process and understood it was an older home, and we could not predict everything we were going to run into. She was thankful that this was caught and her house is now structurally safe. 

The After:


As the remodel approached the finish date, we were all on site for days to make sure the project was finished on time. By having the right team in place, we were able to complete the project in the timeline the client needed. 

TBD Master Bathroom Remodel…