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Omaha Magazine

Reuse for a Reasonable Renovation

Jun 12, 2019 02:15PM ● By Marilyn S. Hansen

This transformation project began as a renovation in one of the Regency Villas—a 40-year-old kitchen needed a makeover. Although the layout was efficient the look was dated.

As we explored options, it became obvious this kitchen would be an expensive project for the homeowner. It needed a new counter but the cooktop was in good shape. The existing exhaust was vented to the outside, but the hood was outdated. Decorative touches were cottage-like, with scalloped trim over the sink and a floral valance at the window—not quite the look we were going for.

In addition, the cabinetry above the peninsula blocked the view to the dining area. The chandelier was not centered over the table. The existing wood floor had been refinished recently and would need to be protected. Unfortunately, the microwave had to rest on the counter next to the refrigerator due to the era when this kitchen was built. Lastly, if we didn’t tear out the kitchen, we were forced to keep the 30-inch-wide refrigerator space.

Regency Villa kitchen transformation

How do you renovate a dated kitchen while keeping it practical and within budget, as the homeowner requested?

To start, we discovered a showroom refrigerator perfect for the space, as it measures only 30 inches wide by 84 inches tall. The doors just needed a little paint. We removed the unused cabinets over the refrigerator, and it fit perfectly. We also removed the cabinet next to the refrigerator and replaced it with a shorter one to hold the microwave.

Regency Villa kitchen transformation

The remaining cabinet doors and drawers received new fronts and hardware. We removed the cabinets over the peninsula, allowing us to place recessed lighting in the soffit. Under-cabinet lighting of dimmable LED strips were placed behind a small piece of trim along the bottom of the cabinets.

We discovered three different colors of white paint had been applied to the trim over the years. Fortunately, the wainscoting was in perfect condition compared to other parts of the kitchen. By matching the wainscoting paint color we avoided having to paint the entire kitchen—another cost saver.

One of the challenges was re-positioning the chandelier. As we attempted to move it, we discovered a structural support that would make it difficult to move. However the electrician was able to shift the box slightly and the medallion covers the necessary electrical changes.

The homeowner fell in love with a Cambria quartz composite material for the countertops. Coordinating an undermount sink and a new faucet with silver-toned wall covering helped unify the dining area with the kitchen workspace.

Regency Villa kitchen transformation table

We saved the floor, reused the cooktop and ovens, added a new hood, and avoided painting the wainscoting. The final touch was a consignment table and chairs, finishing the effect while staying on task.

Designing with my client’s budget in mind is my foremost focus. Sometimes magic can happen when you least expect it. Taking into consideration what is usable and designing the space to be as functional, creative, and refreshed as possible is the final goal.

This article was printed in the Junly/August 2019 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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