“I can’t believe this is the same house just because of the way it flows.” After 10 years of living in their Eastern Shore home, Nancy Crim decided to remodel the heart of the home—the kitchen/great room—to create a more livable and workable area. Her husband suggested they move; but Nancy loved their home’s location on a quiet island surrounded by three acres of land, in close proximity to her work and her 14-year-old triplets’ school.
Before the remodel, Nancy described her kitchen as “clutter central.” The placement of appliances was awkward. There wasn’t enough or the right kind of storage, and the counters became veritable dumping grounds for papers, homework and mail. “It’s true what they say about clutter, that it robs you of energy. Now it is all organized and has a different feeling.” In addition, as the central hub of the house, everyone gathered in the kitchen, which contributed to the challenge of working in it on a daily basis. The configuration and space made it seem overly crowded. The original kitchen had a peninsula with the dishwasher tucked into the corner. There was also a window that was so high that, even at 5’6”, Nancy couldn’t see out of it into the yard.
Besides enlarging the kitchen to make it roomier, Nancy wanted better access to her appliances, cooking and preparation areas. Replacing the peninsula with an island was one improvement. “My cook top is on the island now, facing toward the seating area. I can be cooking there and still be involved with people in the room.” Her husband also likes to cook, and with the newly designed space, there is room for both of them to work at the same time.
The Crims also added a four-foot pantry, giving them more than adequate storage space. “We have a lot of cabinet space now—some 50 cabinets and drawers. A couple of the drawers have nothing in them.” There is also the lazy Susan for pots and pans so she doesn’t have to bend, and an appliance garage to keep the visual clutter off of the counters. Nancy chose Silestone countertops and stainless steel appliances, and replaced flooring through to the foyer in order to create a seamless transition from the old space to the new. “To me it looks like something out of a magazine,” says Nancy.
In addition to upgrading the kitchen, the Crims rerouted the traffic patterns from the kitchen out to the pool area. One big change was the addition of a screened in porch where the family can enjoy outdoor dining without the backyard pests. With its new L-shaped layout, Nancy carved out a special enclave for her self—her “Zen corner”—a quiet seating area with wind chimes and a bubbling fountain where she can relax and enjoy her home’s peaceful setting.
Nancy admits she had her reservations about the remodeling process. She had heard the ugly stories from others who had been through it. One family friend told her it was “one thing after the other with delays. That was not the case at all with Villa.”
As a school teacher, Nancy appreciated that Villa worked around her schedule. As a teacher, she wasn’t available most days by phone, so e-mail became the norm. When it came to making decisions on materials, fixtures and finishes, she credits Joanne’s help as key. “Joanne gave me good pointers on what to consider. I’m a teacher not a decorator. I don’t think I would have had this kitchen if I had gone with another contractor. I would have been lost.”
Fortunately, instead of being lost, she “found” Villa Builders. She and her family have also rediscovered how much they enjoy their home. “The kids think it’s awesome, and my friends can’t believe this kitchen.”