Armstrong after

Elephant in the Room

Before After

The expression “elephant in the room,” according to the internet, means a big issue everyone is aware of, but which is being ignored, because everybody finds discussion about it uncomfortable. The “elephant” in this case, is a refrigerator.

Dave and Jennifer tend to socialize—a lot. Whenever friends and family arrive, they often bring food. After guests arrive through the front door, they continue down a short hallway, and then take a sharp left turn into the kitchen. Our new customers’ main gripe was the refrigerator was in such an obnoxious location. Whoever decided to put the refrigerator in the spot that it was in wasn’t the brightest light around. It was so cumbersome. Guests needed to make a complete U-turn to stow away their refrigerated food items upon their arrival.

Then an idea came to Dave and Jennifer. If-we-could-ever-move-the-fridge-to-the-other-side-of-the-room-it-might-be-nice-not-to-have-to-walk-around-it-from-the-doorway-and-make-a-U-turn-but-it-might-be-too-complicated-so-in-that-case-never-mind. Dave and Jennifer knew that if they ever tried to reposition the fridge, it was not going to be as simple as moving a floor lamp.

After all, refrigerators require electricity to run. Luckily, the opposite wall where they desired to move the fridge had a proper electrical outlet. But their hiccup was their refrigerator had a water dispenser and an ice maker. That meant they would need a professional to install the water line if they decide to relocate the appliance.

Eventually they decided they couldn’t live with this elephant where it was anymore. That’s when they contacted me at Just Counters & other stuff.

But wait. No one can say “ta-da!” At least not quite yet. There was still a lot more work to be done. The homeowners wanted to make the kitchen look so much better than what it currently did. They had soffits over the peninsula and above the wall cabinets. It seemed to be wasted space to Dave and Jennifer. A soffit may be a great place to hang a clock, decorations, or faux plastic greenery that eventually collects dust. Nevertheless, Dave and Jennifer wanted the soffits gone because they had enough of them. 

Most often there is something housed within a soffit: heating, electrical, or plumbing.  Surely, you’ve heard stories, or seen HGTV shows. Plans gone awry!  It does happen.  But before Just Counters & other stuff finalize a remodel project with any of our new clients, we explore the soffit for any content that could cause a financial or construction surprise. Based on what is housed in your soffit, many times the solution is manageable with minimal cost. When the solution is cost prohibitive or impossible, we make it a priority to face the problem and create a solution with our clients. Surprises are for celebrations, not pocketbooks. 

Just Counter’s father and son team: Gary Shaffer and Aaron Shaffer removed the soffit, three headers over doorways, and the existing tile backsplash. Then they patched up the spaces with new drywall. Next, they taped and mudded the new drywall. This was not the easiest of jobs, but Gary and Aaron closely matched the texture on the existing walls. It made such a tremendous difference to the finished room!

When we modernized this kitchen with a peninsula, we wanted to create an overhang for seating. Now there’s seating for three—quite comfortably—at this peninsula. The countertop is clearly larger, for serving, working, or dining. Opposite the seating side, you would see a large sink base, a trash pull out with sizeable garbage and recycling receptacle, topped with a wide drawer, and a dishwasher.

The homeowners wanted to change the cabinet style from laminated slab to painted Shaker style cabinetry. The painted maple wood cabinets are Aspect Cabinetry from Dudley, Missouri. These cabinets were a perfect addition to this beautiful home. Huge shout outs to our cabinet installers: Tommy McCaffrey, Pat Brun, and Sam Zwack. They did a fantastic job! Gary and Aaron installed high hats (recessed lights) and under cabinet lighting. All of the guys actually care about what they do. It shows through their work.

All the counters are Cambria’s Berwyn quartz with accompanying accent tile backsplash. IMEX Stone did another outstanding job! This is a classic color palette, designed to last. The overall look of the kitchen has fresh and somewhat beachy tones.

Other than flipping the elephant to the opposite side of the room, the layout itself didn’t change much, but the materials sure did. We took the builder grade laminate cabinets and countertops up a few notches. The homeowners lead the way with a calm and relaxing coastal color palette and their desire to tweak a few things in the kitchen. We removed soffits, ran cabinets just about to the top of the walls, then topped them off with crown moulding, and added functional stylish storage where space allowed. Overall, this is a beautiful remodel that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Work space galore? Check. Seating? Check. Storage? Check. Does it appear open and airy? Check!

Before After

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