Highlands Renovation

Last spring we were asked to take a look at a kitchen renovation project in Cranbrook. The house was built back in the 90’s and while the homeowners had been keeping the decor and finishes current and trendy… it was definitely time to conquer the kitchen cabinetry.

As you can see in the before photo below, the red cabinets paired with the v-groove doors and decorative barn add-ons it was intense and dark. Definitely time to change things up.

A few years prior to calling us, these homeowners did what most do… they recognized that updates were needed and they started by changing their laminate counters to granite and adding a backsplash. While this is a fabulous way to update a space, it actually creates a lot MORE problems and financial obstacles down the road. I am working on an article about, in the meantime, take this advice:

If your cabinets are MORE than five years old, make sure you talk to a Kitchen and Bath Designer BEFORE you begin changes.

Especially if you are considering adding stone.

Given the opportunity, most people would change the layout and configuration of their base cabinets. Unfortunately, once the stone goes on top, unless you are willing to pay the granite supplier to remove, store, alter and add, you are STUCK with what you have.

Kitchen Reno Discovery Meeting

As we went through our discovery process a few things about this kitchen became clear:

  1. The basic layout worked fairly well

  2. The appliances where updated

  3. The stove was not centered and the hood range was date/ugly

  4. Nobody liked the location of the microwave

  5. Open shelving in the island facing the stove collected junk

  6. Want to take the cabinets to the ceiling with a big statement crown moulding.

  7. Red was no longer their favorite color and certainly did not suit the rest of the home

  8. The lazy susan had to go!

  9. Not enough drawers

After reviewing the work zones, inspiration images and analyzing the existing cabinetry, storage and functionality through our proven design process, we returned to the office to work on the new design and style. In order to achieve a few key items on our clients wish list we had to recommend that they have the granite removed. UGH… right? But trust me, this outcome was SO WORTH IT!

We couldn’t be happier with how this kitchen turned out, take a look:

Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER

Light and Bright

Can you believe that after shot?

The biggest and most dramatic change that we made was centering the stove on the wall. This kitchen is open to the living room and the stove wall is a main focal point… and in the before it was a sad disappointment. We designed this custom hood range based on inspiration images that were provided. Moving the stove required removing the existing granite, cutting down the left corner side and purchasing a new piece for the right hand side. Beyond the obvious aesthetic appeal it was functionally important to move the stove away from the walkway as the main chef is right handed and the nine-inch counter did not allow for a proper work flow and had some safety concerns.

Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER

Since nobody enjoys looking at a microwave, we relocated to the island and custom built the cabinet around it. Speaking of the island, we completely replaced it so even that granite had to be removed and stored. We did not change anything regarding the size since it fit perfectly in the space already. The granite is supported by hidden brackets mounted to the granite.

The panels around the island match the door/drawer style of the kitchen and are accented with a furniture toe kick all the way around.

Everyone accumulates a junk drawer in their kitchen and the island in this home was the natural landing spot for EVERYTHING when you come in from the garage. The side of the island that is facing the stove used to be open shelving, yes convenient but also a natural place to easily accumulate junk. We changed the shelving into four deep drawers with two smaller drawers on top.

Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER

We updated the pantry by adding drawers to the lower half. This breaks up the space visually and makes much more sense then rollouts. Why open the door to pull out a shelf, when you can just open a drawer? It is the little things. We also included two tiers of rollouts behind the main doors.

Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER


Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER

Along the sink wall we did not change anything about this configuration of the sink, dishwasher and end cabinet. We did replace them as the previous ones were wearing out. A lot happens in the cleaning zone of the kitchen and it is very common to see edgetape dry out and peel off and stains appear where garbage and cleaners sit.

We added a garbage and recycling pullout to the end which is incredibly convenient when having guests over. They can scrape their plates and put into the dishwasher without interrupting the hosts cleaning up the serving dishes and putting things away.

In the corner of the kitchen we changed out the lazy susan cabinet for a blind corner style featuring our popular basket pullout organizer. This pullout makes it easy to store small appliances that often find their home on the counter, and you don’t have to dig on your knees to the back of a deep cabinet! Win!

Highlands Kitchen Remodel AFTER

Complete Gallery