by Shannon Beal

In this 4th installment of our renovation, I’d like to share the kitchen!  Everyone’s favorite room of the house!  We finished this almost three years ago and sure, there are a few things I might change (ssssh, don’t tell Jason), but for the most part, I’m very proud of how this turned out.

Kitchens are your most expensive room in the house. (Unless you’re spending some serious money on a theatre room.) Appliance packages start at 3k+ and can go up to $50+. Cabinetry can run anywhere from $100 for paint & hardware to $50k on custom cabinetry.  Since we were renovating so much of the house at one time and really trying to stretch our nickels, we had to get creative here.

Here are some before kitchens.  The original kitchen was closed off and had a pass-thru window and a small window to the backyard.

We removed the walls between the kitchen/informal dining and the informal dining/office. Then we also cut an opening into the formal living room and really opened up the whole length of the house.

I designed the kitchen and wouldn’t recommend this for the average Joe.  It takes quite a bit of forethought, knowledge of layout & appliance specs, and a very good eye for detail.  We swapped out a new kitchen window right away, knocked down two walls, moved some plumbing, put in two new headers, sheet-rocked, and had new trim scribed to match the existing. Horizon Hardwoods did a fantastic job installing these maple floors – I love them.

Some features & tips I can offer:

  • Install cabinets to the ceiling.  If you’re kitchen has a soffit, I bet it can come out (most are empty). I love storing little-used items up there and it really draws the eye up.
  • When organizing your kitchen, it helps to map out where everything is going to be stored.  It makes sense to keep cookie cutters in the cupboard above the mixer, etc.
  • If you’ve got kids in the house, consider putting their dishes in lower cabinets and drawers.  Then there’s just no reason they can’t empty the dishwasher or help set the table!
  • If you get the chance, and do like to cook, consider putting in a pot-filler (waterline/faucet above the stove).  The total cost was $600, it’s got a great return on investment, and really comes in handy.
  • I chose an induction cooktop and love it to pieces.  It conducts heat through magnetic induction (specific pans that are magnetic) instead of flame or an electric heating element.  I can boil water in a minute, then move the pot and touch the burner without getting burned. Great with kids and extrememly responsive.


I feel, and most will agree, that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  Food is the way to the heart. It all makes sense.  No matter how beautiful your living room is, no one really wants to sit in there.  🙂 Make sure when planning a kitchen to allow for some seating or a good flow between seating areas. Don’t be afraid to change what doesn’t work. And certainly don’t be afraid to ask any of our agents for help or advice when it comes to your kitchen – we’d love to help!