Jane after

Simple Updates Make a Big Impact

Before After

We absolutely love to have the same clients come back to us for another home renovation. After building a custom shiplap fireplace wall with built-ins six months earlier, John and Jane recently reached out to us to tackle another home remodeling project – their kitchen.

But first, let me describe the home John and Jane live in. It sits in a meticulously maintained and well-manicured, resort style community called Islandwalk in Venice, Florida. You would truly love this unique home.

Today’s active empty nesters don’t want a huge house with rooms they never use. John and Jane were no different. Consider the “formal” living room or a “formal” dining room. Empty nesters usually prefer a spacious home with an open floor plan. Open floor plans are exactly as they say: open.

One of the first things you’ll notice about our client’s open-concept home is that it features a large central area (typically called a great room) that serves as both a living room and a dining room, with an adjoining kitchen. There are sliding doors that lead to the large lanai with a big backyard. Fantastic water views can be seen either from large windows or the extended lanai.  Speaking of windows… there’s lots of natural light that streams in through the big windows. It keeps the open floor plan really bright, and sunny. This creates a spacious atmosphere that is warm, inviting, comfortable, and great for entertaining.

Before After

John’s and Jane’s first order of business was to remove one of the kitchen/dining table and chair sets, which was a priority from the moment they purchased the home. Who plunks down two table and chair sets in the same room? The only answer I can think of is the previous homeowner didn’t know what else to do with the space. But not John and Jane. They came up with a clever solution! (If you missed the story about the stunning fireplace—click here: “Shiplap Fireplace”).

Like I said earlier, our team at Just Counter’s was elated to hear from John and Jane again. We couldn’t wait to get started! So, let’s cut to the chase and look at the kitchen renovation, shall we?

The existing kitchen had 42-inch high Maple wood cabinets. All too often, a standard builder grade kitchen lacks any kind of personality. Cabinetry will have the same mind-numbing, boring layout with no dimension or detail to be found. The existing countertops were granite with a standard 4-inch backsplash. This kitchen was no different. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the cabinetry or countertops. But ever since the all-white custom shiplap fireplace wall with the built-ins was completed, the kitchen felt dark and dated.

So, the decision to remodel the kitchen was relatively easy. Moreover, we wanted to change the overall mood of this kitchen. Variety is the spice of life. Right? One way to change the ambiance was to utilize staggered height wall kitchen cabinets. Strategically placing different leveled wall cabinets in the kitchen will give the room a focal point. John’s and Jane’s guests will no longer be staring at a long row of identical Maple wall cabinets. Instead, their eyes will be drawn to the character of the Shaker cabinets brought on by the differences in height.

Speaking of Shaker cabinets, we used the same style cabinets as the recent built-in ones (next to the fireplace). As the most popular door around, a Shaker-style door is made from 5 flat-panel pieces. Four of which make up the frame and a single flat panel center as the fifth piece. This look has clean simple lines that pair well with practically any sort of home décor or persona.

Before After

We replaced granite countertops with Cambria quartz. The homeowners used turquoise, aqua, and blue accent colors to decorate their home. Cambria’s Montgomery would have been a great choice, but it may have limited them down the road at resale. So, they went with Berwyn, which is a versatile neutral color scheme. Cambria’s Berwyn countertops have captivating movement, dreamy neutral hues, and subtle shimmer.

Jane requested, “Please help!  I can’t make a decision and choose a tile for my backsplash.”

Of course, I jumped at this opportunity to help Jane. I wanted to take subway tile to a bold new level. The shorter tiles (3” x 6”) are more old school and longer ones (2 2/5″ x 14 1/2″) are a little more modern. I selected Etienne Ash from Justeer Collection. They feature an imperfect handmade look that added character to the walls in this home. The glossy finish on these tiles reflects the light. The easy-to-care-for surface is an added bonus.

Your kitchen, like the rest of your house, should represent who you are. I believe we came up with a kitchen design that is perfect for our repeat clients. John and Jane will enjoy preparing home cooked meals in this kitchen for years to come.  

As always, I’d like to shout out to everyone that helped with this gorgeous remodel: Just Counters & other stuff’s skilled cabinet installers: Tommy McCaffrey and Pat Brun did a fantastic job. Imex Stone fabricated and installed the gorgeous countertops. Pucci Tile and Marble, Inc. installed the beautiful tile backsplash.

The finished project is just what the clients wanted – a modern, updated kitchen that is the heart of the open floor plan. It came together beautifully, and we’re glad our team was able to help bring it to life!

Before After

See you next week.


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