Kitchen Remodel Success Story ‘ and some advice


Kitchen Remodel Success Story ‘ and some advice

By KELLY GILFILLAN
Brentwood Home Page
First in a three part series

I have heard the horror stories – the kitchen remodels that last six months or worse.  What a relief to have a success story in my family’s kitchen remodel.   My husband Dave and I made some key early decisions which made the process easier so we could relax.  I want to share with you today the ‘beginning’ process of the remodel, which involved many judgment calls, much angst and a happy resolution.

I have heard the horror stories – the kitchen remodels that last six months or worse.  What a relief to have a success story in my family’s kitchen remodel.   My husband Dave and I made some key early decisions which made the process easier so we could relax.  I want to share with you today the ‘beginning’ process of the remodel, which involved many judgment calls, much angst and a happy resolution.

We had a lot of advice about being our own contractor.  Many friends encouraged us to save the money and do it ourselves.  Nevertheless, we interviewed several contractors and took bids on our project.  As usual, each conversation with a contractor made us envision something different for our kitchen or even better, some contractors made suggestions that would save money.  Within a few weeks, we had the final project in writing. 

We considered self-contracting then we realized we both work and had summer travel plans that could interfere with the progress of the project.  We also had trepidations regarding our lack of experience.  If we made the wrong decisions, it could cost us more in the long run.  What we did know was our cabinets were about to fall off the wall and we had to make a decision. We took a deep breath and hired RSU Contractors, highly

The cabinets in the ‘beforkitchen were coming loose from wall.  These were the originally installed builder grade cabinets.  The kitchen floor had settled and the doors to the cabinets would not hang level.
This kitchen desk had always been a dumping ground for school work, unopened mail and just a general mess.  We wanted to make this space more useful and decided to make it a butler’s pantry and refreshment area.

recommended by several friends.

Still, because we were in the capable hands of Brian Pike, our RSU sales representative, we were presented with a list of many decisions that still had to be made.  Cabinet style, handle and knob design, stain color, trim color, wall color, and granite were just a few of the many decisions that had to made before we could begin. 

The first big decision was the appliances and this had us stuck for six weeks.  Tom Burns at A-1 Appliance was more than patient and walked us through many options and multiple visits.  Everyone was waiting on us.  Until we had the appliances finalized, the cabinets could not be fully designed.

Thank goodness for my friend, Sue Falls, who referred us to Interior Designer Marie Joe Trembley.  She came over one evening and spent thirty minutes listening to both mine and Dave’s wishes.  Marie Joe considered both of our opinions and quickly found a compromise that we both loved.  In fact, she gave us ideas for appliances that we had not even considered.

Six weeks of worry and indecision were solved in thirty minutes.  Since the appliance decision had gone so quickly, we ran by the idea we had for the cabinets.  She confirmed we were on the right path and it would work with the rest of our house.

Our next question was, “Can you help us pick out the rest of this stuff?  And if so, how much do you charge?”  Thrilled at the ease with which we had made the decisions, we were ready to keep going with Marie Joe.  We scheduled a time with her for the next week and we planned to spend one day on the road with her.

Marie Joe worked her magic and that long list of questions was solved in that single day.  She took us to three granite warehouses, walked by miles of granite samples, and helped us find two options on which we were both in agreement.  She then worked with Brentwood Granite to get our layout designed and pricing for the project.  We were then scheduled to work with Eva Keegan who would help with the layout and installation.

We went to Heritage Kitchen and Lighting and looked at every sink and faucet imaginable.  That part was surprisingly entertaining.  Who knew sinks were so cool?  We decided on a large porcelain tub sink and an old fashioned faucet that jazzed things up a bit.

Next we moved on to the wholesale catalogs of handles and knobs for the cabinets.  It turns out I am a little too eclectic in my tastes and Marie Joe had to steer me back toward our original style of Shaker cabinets.  Those French country handles just were not going to work.  Again, who knew?

Lastly, I went where no Gilfillan had gone before.  We went to an amazing tile place right in Cool Springs. 

Finally, Marie Joe came to the house when we met with our custom cabinet maker.  Having worked with us throughout the process, she was able to help translate our ideas with technical tile talk.

Although we had no idea what we wanted when we arrived, we walked away thrilled with our progressive design.  There is simply no way I would have ever envisioned what we came up with.   We left with a promise of a drawing and an estimate in the next week.

Next week, I want to share with you the process of the actual remodel from the day of the contractor’s arrival to the final walk through.  So check back next week.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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