It seems that Susan and Scott of Washington, Pennsylvania aren’t the only ones that love their new renovation. Sponsored by Housetrends, Vangura, Hillmon Appliance Distributors and Don’s Appliances, their kitchen recently won the 2014 Kitchen Design Contest. Innovative concepts, artistic imagination and skillful craftsmanship were the essentials that landed this kitchen the first place title in the annual competition.
The couple gained their house in foreclosure and had to first reconcile some of the damage within the home. “The existing hardwood was literally glued to the flooring that existed underneath,” points out Susan. “As you walked on it, you would hear it squish under your feet.” The homeowners liked the original layout of their kitchen, but with 20-year-old appliances and cabinetry, they wanted an update. Having partnered in the past with Lisa R. Hurley, CKD/CBD of Angelo Associates Inc., they brought her on board to guide them through the entire renovation. “We had no idea how to design a kitchen and Lisa led us through the whole thing.”
“I realize that remodeling can be arduous for homeowners, from selecting the right design for the family, to cabinets and finishing touches,” says Hurley. “The homeowners were a lot of fun to walk through this process, and we worked well together.” Adding form as well as function, the designer relocated the range top from the island to the wall, which allowed for a stand out, mantle-style hood.
By moving the ovens, they were able to increase space for a column-style Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, which blend seamlessly with the pullout pantry and storage spaces. “It is all in the details, including matching the appliance pulls to the cabinet hardware,” says Hurley.
The couple wanted everything to be top of the line in their new kitchen, so the designer recommended Wood-Mode cabinetry. “The cabinets that they selected, which feature Wood-Mode’s Barcelona Raised Square door, incorporate one of my favorite colors,” says Hurley. “The Esquire finish is very rich and feels like silk to the touch.” Scott and Susan also love the cherry wood cabinetry, although in the beginning they worried that it would be too dark. “As it turns out, we have so much light pouring in the room that it works,” tells the homeowner. “We also wanted the colors in the granite to blend, and it all balances perfectly.”
Susan’s favorites are her new pullout pantry that stretches from floor to ceiling and two spice cabinets that glide open on both sides of the range top.
The original island had bar stools and the homeowner was accustomed to using it as a desk area. “It was a problem because this is supposed to be a kitchen, not my office,” laughs Susan. “I struggled at first because traditionally everyone has barstools in their kitchen, but leaving them out was one of the best decisions that we made.” A table that seats twelve was incorporated into the kitchen area, eliminating the need for bar stools. The new design also made way for a larger island, which gives a crisp, clean look, and maximizes storage space underneath. The area that once served as a makeshift office is now a wonderful prep area for cooking and entertaining.
The desk and bar space both get a good workout from the owners. “Lisa put filing cabinets in my desk area so now I organize and file everything like it should be,” says the owner. “She even added windows above to showcase my Lladro collection.” By relocating the heating/cooling vent above the desk cabinets the designer was able to add the row of lighted glass door cabinets.
USB ports and outlets were installed inside cabinets for convenient storage and charging areas.
“We entertain a lot and we use the bar area for a drink station,” points out Susan. “It’s a good way to keep everyone in the room with me but out of the area where I’m cooking.” During renovation, the bar had minimal changes other than to increase the depth of the cabinets, which boosted storage in a small space.
The couple is more than happy with their design choices, and they aren’t the only ones. Susan laughs when she recalls a visit from their 14-year-old neighbor. “I will never forget when she came over to our house, then walked into the kitchen and just said, ‘Wow!’ We think our kitchen is very warm and very special, but it was pretty cool to have someone that age say it.” With a first place ribbon to show for it, it seems that everyone else would have to agree.