Many remodeling projects are similar. This one was anything but. It also was one of the most rewarding and satisfying challenges APEX faced all year.
Start with a beautiful 1912 St. Paul Victorian on a tight lot with no open access from the alley. Then add accomplished DIYr clients who envisioned an authentic environment for vintage kitchen appliances they had been collecting and restoring for years. Finally, bump out to improve the kitchen layout and add a mudroom and bathroom without encroaching on their storybook backyard. Oh, and the “new” space needed to blend seamlessly with the old so you would never suspect it wasn’t part of the original house.
None of this was a problem for APEX because JB prides himself on listening (okay, reading lips) . He’s also good at assembling the perfect team to execute the clients’ remodeling vision and overcome unexpected obstacles, which are as common as sloping floors in historic homes. And he has the processes in place to manage complex projects.
Remodeling Clients Inspired Us
Truth be told, the real stars of this project are the clients themselves, Rich and Shirley. Rich is an attorney who appreciates that details matter and who happens to be a heck of a woodworker, painter and eBay/CraigsList shopper. Shirley is an avid gardener and executive director of a nonprofit that supports parks and trails.
Richard said something to me as the project drew to a close,“Houses are durable goods.” He feels remodeling should improve upon the past, not erase it. That’s why the kitchen has three types of cabinets, marble and granite countertops, and millwork profiles that matches the rest of the house.
The vintage appliances are extraordinary, but my favorite feature is the bank of four new windows that look out over the Secret Garden with its colorful sauna and plantings.