When this Chris bought his childhood Circle Pines home from his parents he knew the kitchen would need to be remodeled. Wife Renee wanted two tables, no formal dining room, extreme storage and a particular refrigerator. He wanted a premium Wolf range with griddle, better traffic flow and lighting, and more functional surface areas. And they both insisted it reflect their traditional, wood-centric style and be completed before the fall school year.
The couple gave APEX a 100% score in its Guild Quality survey and began to refer us to colleagues and friends even before the project was completed on July 8. “If you want a remodeling done and have no worries, hire APEX,” Renee remarked. “Lisa (APEX’s designer) got me.” Best of all, the young boys love the new space — especially the cool banquette — as much as their parents do. Menu please!
Making it work
The design challenge was to reconfigure three disjointed rooms and create one cohesive open space to connect this family of 5 during the most important parts of the day: mealtimes. Daily life now revolves around the banquette island in the open floor plan.
The combination center island/banquette provides seating for 6 while keeping dinner table free. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch and homework during dinner prep. Both tables are used daily, vs. the seldom used former dining room.
Other practical improvements include:
- The large L-shaped island is ideal for buffet-style meals and entertaining.
- Storage and work surfaces increased with ceiling height cabinets and the larger island, and accessibility improved with deep drawers and pullout shelves on full-extension slides.
- Eliminating the clipped corner pantry closet and the entrance from the formal dining room created a better dining room turned piano room, improved traffic flow in the kitchen and increased wall space for cabinetry. No more choke points!
- The new kitchen enjoys an efficient work triangle separate from traffic. The accessible coffee center with Wolf toaster is conveniently positioned by the banquette.
- Dual Wolf steam and conventional wall ovens are perfect for canning, baking and reheating leftovers.
- Enhanced, dimmable overhead and undercabinet LED lighting and open plan created brighter, safer, more pleasant heart of the home.
Modifying walls changed everything
Removing the former living room wall and converting the space to a dining area improves sight lines from the entry hall and the kitchen and spreads natural light from the patio door and rear windows.
The design incorporates two tables in one open space without making them look like they compete. Bright banquette cushions complement the wall paint and accent the natural wood and stone surfaces. Rich knotty alder perimeter cabinetry and weathered oak island cabinetry replace blah honey oak cabinets. Dated popcorn ceiling was removed.
The honey oak floors were refinished and stained a medium tone for an updated look that complements the dark cabinets. The mixed mosaic stone tile backplash and cool walls and cushions update the décor.
Custom cabinets were expertly built, finished and fit. New oak flooring was laced into old where walls, island and closet were removed. Ceilng patches from wall removal disappear behind skimcoat despite soundproof assembly.
APEX scheduled trades back to back to complete construction in just eight weeks so the family could move in and get settled before the school year.