Alabaster kitchen & Living space Remodel

Space Transformed: Kitchen & Living Space

Time Frame: 3-4 months

Budget: ~$72,000
Signature Materials: Custom cabinets including: 42″ upper cabinets, a seven and a half foot island, coffee nook, spice rack, and pantries with rollouts finished in Alabaster.
Granite countertops, laminate flooring, pendant & recessed lights, fan, moulding, paint, tiled backsplash, sink, faucet, and garbage disposal. 
Finished kitchen

The Design & Pre-construction Phase:

All dream spaces start with a vision, but unfortunately, most start with the result of having a problem with a current living space. This was true with our client. Her kitchen had so much unused potential in the new house she just purchased. 
The kitchen was outdated and seriously lacking storage space. She was actually storing some of her kitchen items in her garage. There was this odd positioned island that wasn’t serving a useful purpose, cabinets that lacked purposeful storage opportunities, and kitchen/dining/living space that didn’t “flow.” Even though it was a big open space, it seemed like it had small, closed off areas. 
before
before

When we first met, we discussed cabinet refacing, but ultimately, she wasn’t going to get the feel that was desired. New kitchen cabinetry with a new layout was going to be the solution. The new cabinets would be installed as high to the ceiling as we could go, and we would increase the upper cabinets to 42 inches. This would give an additional 12 inches of storage space per cabinet, and would give us the opportunity to install them in a nice straight line, instead of at varying heights. This would give the kitchen this “grand” feeling as you walked in through the front entrance of the house, as it would feel much more large and open. 

Our client originally talked about framing in a pantry to the corner of the kitchen, but after some thought, we proposed to get some pantry cabinets with rollouts and tie that into her coffee nook. We also wanted to improve the kitchen layout, so we opted for a new fridge and stove location. This would provide more counter space next to the stove while cooking, and put the fridge in better place when removing items to be placed on the islandAlong with new consistent flooring throughout, the new kitchen design, and the coffee nook/pantry area, we had a much better flow with the kitchen, dining, and living space. All of those small closed off sections of the room, would now feel like one flowing space. Lastly, we decided to brighten everything up with removing the dining room chandelier and adding more recessed lighting. 

 

Our vision was a kitchen with a grand feel, straight lines, and a large island for entertaining. Then, tie the living area in to create flow… PERFECTION. 

Layout with Selected Kitchen Palette

Demolition Phase:

Once we had an approved layout and material selections were made, we all waited in anticipation for…Demo Day! We started by prepping the area for demolition. This includes sealing off areas of the house that will not be involved in demo, and covering all client materials that ultimately had to be left in our demo space. Then, we go ahead and remove all of the base moulding, most of the cabinets, and most of the countertops. I say most, because we always leave a temporary countertop and sink with our kitchen remodels. This way, our clients can function as close to possible with their normal way of life in their kitchen. A sink/faucet and a countertop for food prep is pretty essential to have. 

Play Video
End of Day 1: all other cabinets, and counters, and floor trim removed
End of Day 2 - island, carpet, and tile flooring removed

Rough ins (Electrical & Plumbing) & Drywall/Painting

With demo complete, we are left with appliances and the temporary countertop and sink. Next we have our electricians come in to remove and reposition lights to our detailed drawings. Once finished, we are left with some holes… don’t worry, they are either patched up, or reused. Here we took out the old pendant lights as they will need to be repositioned with the new island. We also had to make some adjustments to the recessed lighting close to the windows as they were going to be too close to the upper cabinets. Some outlets are also moved to fit the new cabinet layout.  

Lighting & electrical being repositioned

 Then, we want to get all of the holes patched up we won’t be using, fix any imperfections and get some fresh paint on the walls. In changing the feel of this space, we also wanted to change the color of the trim, door jams, and door casings. We went with…. you guessed it, 

Alabaster from Sherwin Williams.  

Remodeling isn't always pretty - but at least we have fresh paint!

 

 

Here’s where everything sounds beautiful and amazing, but we run into problems. Great opportunity for learning here. We couldn’t for the life of us seem to be getting the correct texture and sheen on some of the patches. More texture, less texture, more paint; nothing seemed to help. In just the right light, it could always be seen… and it didn’t look good. 

 

After a few coats of texture, primer, and paint, we finally go it right!

 

We have learned that in most cases, even if it is a very small patch, it must be textured, primed, and the whole stretch of ceiling or wall must be painted. 

One area that we targeted - old pendant light location.

Cabinet Installation:

After we got the painting and drywall right, the magic begins! This is what we call “finish work.” It’s where all of the finishes begin to be installed and the space starts to come to life. Cabinets and hardware were first! 

Cabinets are installed, and we have our new layout!

After cabinets and hardware is installed, there was two add ons (we call them change orders) requested by our client. First, she wanted to expand the size of her coffee nook. Now that it was installed, it seemed small for what she needed. We added an additional 30 inch upper cabinet, along with a 30 inch base cabinet. This would give her more room for storing all of her coffee, and  more countertop space for preparation. 

Secondly, she wanted the lighting in her new dining room and kitchen to flow with her living room. She opted for 4 additional recessed lights. 

Total change order for both add ons ~$3900.

more Plumbing & Electrical Work:

While the new cabinets were in production, we have our plumber run a new water line for the new fridge location and get that into place. Then, our electricians come back to add the additional 4 living room recessed lights, and get all of our other electrical work finished. A fan, and recessed lights are installed along with the big beautiful island pendants now that the island is in place. Outlets, light switches, and covers are changed to white in color and installed. This sure made a difference in how this space felt!

Recessed lights being installed now that the upper cabinets are in place. This allows for optimal placement.
Additional recessed lighting added into the living room.
Beautiful pendant lights are installed!

Did you know?

The big part of kitchen remodels that most people don’t know. When we are installing countertops that are not laminate such as granite, quartz, marble, and so on, there is what’s called a template, a waiting period, and then installation. 

The templating is where we take the precise measurements of the countertop so they can be cut perfectly. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE ONCE THE CABINETS ARE INSTALLED! This means, in a kitchen remodel, it can take up to a few weeks, or a month to get cabinets installed. Once that is done, then we can get a template for countertops, and then we wait. Sometimes for up to 8 weeks after the template is taken to get the countertops. This is where the temporary counter and sink really comes into play with making sure you have a functional kitchen. . 

Flooring, Moulding, & Additional coffee nook cabinet Installation:

While we wait for our countertops to be ready for installation, we get started on flooring, base/shoe moulding (trim), and our extra coffee nook cabinets get installed. 

Living room lights are in along with flooring and fresh paint
Additional cabinets added to extend coffee nook
New flooring and island shoe moulding!
Almost finished!

Our client loves her flooring so much that she decided to install it in the master bedroom and walk in closet! Floors and materials are ordered. 

Total change order ~$6200

Then, we wait, again. NOT due to improper planning, but due to the wait time involved with ordering materials. Actually at this point, even with the lights, flooring, and cabinets added, we are about a week ahead of our proposed schedule.

 

Countertop installation:

backsplash, Sink, faucet, & additional flooring installation:

Once countertops are installed, we can install the new sink, faucet, garbage disposal, and get the tiled backsplash installed. This was a two day process. It was “simple”… but significant! While this was being done, we also installed the additional flooring in the master bedroom. 

touchups, professional cleaning, & final walkthrough:

Home stretch. From this point, we do our final touchups to make everything look absolutely perfect. This usually involves small paint touchups and caulk touch ups to trim and cabinet faces. The tough thing with white trim and white cabinets is it has to be perfect, or its easy to spot the imperfections. 

Now, we bring in our professional cleaners to make the already beautiful space shine even more! This provides our clients with a completely cleaned space when all the work is finished, because, that’s how it should be!

Best part of the whole project, we finished 2 weeks ahead of schedule! This complete kitchen and living space remodel, with the addition of extra lighting, cabinets, and flooring was finished in just over 3 months. We were able to make the whole remodel happen within our original budget, but with add ons, the final investment for this beautiful space was ~$83,000. Now, our client has a kitchen with plenty of storage, a huge island for entertaining, and a coffee nook that she absolutely adores! She has told us since finishing she often finds herself lost in thought, simply staring at the beauty of her kitchen.