Monthly Archives: October 2012

Swapping Spaces

This old colonial home lacked kitchen storage, efficiency, and yes, even a dishwasher!

With the basement door entering into the kitchen space, there wasn’t much room for improvement. The adjacent dining room’s entry into the living room broke the living room up as well as made it more difficult to carry groceries into the kitchen. After providing several options, the homeowners selected the option to completely swap their dining room space with their kitchen space and to move the opening to the living room down.

By moving the opening, the living room was able to go from awkward and broken up to being unified and comfortable. The entry from the front door into the kitchen became a direct route, which helped greatly with groceries.

We reused the large window from the dining room in the new dining room space, and moved the patio door down into the dining room so that the spacing around the dining table could be used as walkway, and feel open and spacious, while the kitchen was transformed into a U-shape with a peninsula and pantry.

One obstacle we had to overcome was the soffit that had to stay in the ceiling where the plumbing above ran across the ceiling. Instead of just covering the soffit with drywall and calling it a day, we thought it would be much more visually interesting to put in cove lighting. By simply putting in a nearly rectangular soffit around the dining area, and putting up a piece of wood trim to hide the lighting, we transformed something awkward into something very attractive – now adding some drama to their beautiful old house.

The kitchen provides all the appliances the home owners wanted – yes, they finally have that dishwasher! Instead of angled corner cabinets, the couple chose some 90 degree corner cabinets with piano hinges that allow them to easily access all if its contents.

Large drawers store their pots and pans, and they enjoy several other storage features – tilt out trays, wine rack, pull out spice rack, and wire tray dividers. We encourage all our customers to put wire tray dividers into their refrigerator cabinets as even vertically challenged people, such as this home owner, are able to reach into their refrigerator cabinet to get their cooking sheets, muffin tins, cooling racks, and light weight cutting boards without difficulty!



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Gorgeous Granite

Project Goals:

1) Replace the existing island with something sturdier

2) Replace existing counter tops with granite counter tops

3) Provide casual seating around island for breakfast, game playing, and tv watching.

4) Add some pizzazz to the space that will attract future home buyers

5) Add beverage center

6) Make space look more “finished”


We replaced the small island with a large island of contrasting color, complete with bar height breakfast bar, cabinets with drawers and roll out trays from Shiloh Cabinetry, and a statement peninsula of Titanium Granite for seating. The pedestal support for the peninsula mimics the fireplace in the adjacent living room. The contrasting wood helps lighten the space up and makes the large island feel less bulky and more of a focal point.

A transom stained glass panel was added in the opening facing the breakfast room which helped bring some color into the room that becomes a focal point. A shelf was added below it for placing art pieces and decor.

A beverage center replaced the old desk area, and cabinetry was custom built to match the existing cherry kitchen cabinetry.

The floors were finished with UV finish – a finish that does not fade over time or become darker – instead the sun’s rays make it more durable, which was excellent for this family with a Wheaten Terrier.

We added back splash – travertine and a glass mosaic blend, which gave the space a more finished look.



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&#169 2013 Not Just Kitchens, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

Basement Laundry and Bath

Our clients had a cramped and dark laundry room/bathroom in their basement. Their goals were to make the room feel more spacious and comfortable for doing laundry tasks while improving the showering area and providing more bathroom storage for their lower level guest suite.

We rearranged the washer and dryer, opened up the space by ridding of walls and closet doors that separated the spaces and closed the owner into a small dark hallway. Now the bathroom is far more functional, with a brand new Kohler shower module and custom glass shower door as well as a convenient laundry area with great storage above and a large vanity with utility cabinet for other cleaning supplies. It becomes very surprising that this brightened space is in the basement of the tri level home.


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&#169 2013 Not Just Kitchens, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

Victorian Charm

Upon entering this gorgeous Victorian home, you are welcomed with gorgeous woodwork – wainscoting, two fireplaces, paneled doors, built in wooden seating, and many decorative carvings.

Upon entering the kitchen, however, we were shocked to see wood paneling, wallpapered soffits over their 1970’s cabinetry, and no beautiful Victorian woodwork. Everything stopped at the entrance to the kitchen. The homeowners, who love their hobby of a house, wanted to make the kitchen feel like it was original and beautiful like the rest of their home.

They had just replaced some windows, so those needed to stay, and they wanted an overall more functional space than what they had. We gutted out the entire kitchen and laid out the space to work with the windows and door openings where they were. They went with white casing and dover white cabinetry, which was a common choice for older kitchens.

We relocated a pipe which had been concealed with the soffits so that the ceiling could again be a tall height like in their dining room and entry way.  With the new high ceilings, we had enough space to do stacked wall cabinets all the way to the ceiling. We found inspiration for all of the woodwork in the other rooms: Egg and dart molding which we found on their fireplace, crown molding to match their door molding, and an applique for their hood as well as corbels on their island that mimic the curvature in some carvings in the entry way. The new exterior door with an oval of glass  mimics the style of the front entry doors.

The couple wanted an island that looked like a table so that their original wood floors would be more visible. They wanted it to be a contrasting wood, so we chose the birch wood and stain color found in an adjacent living room. Our woodworkers put together some window casing to match the other side of the dining room entry so that the spaces flowed together.



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