From Awkward to Amazing : A Kitchen Renovation Story

Serving the Greater Richmond area since 2016 | Over 100+ projects completed in 2021 alone

From Awkward to Amazing: A Kitchen Renovation Story

Sometimes a kitchen renovation ends up becoming much more than just a kitchen renovation: it can turn into quite the adventure, with unexpected twists and turns that require creativity and innovation to overcome. The kitchen is the busiest room in the house, and it can sometimes be the most complicated area when it comes to solving layout issues. This is the true story of how this West End family successfully partnered with us to solve their functionality and layout issues and create their dream home. 

An Uncertain Beginning

This family bought their house a couple of years ago, and they didn’t like the kitchen, but they figured they would update it after they moved in. When they decided it was time to turn their dream into a reality, they knew that they needed a trusted home remodeling contractor to help them. They had talked to other contractors previously, but nobody really had any ideas or concepts that excited them, so they contacted us here at Fabling Built. Once we began talking about the kitchen, we realized that this project really extended into other areas of the home as well. The home had previously been renovated to add a laundry room to a half-bath adjacent to the kitchen, which took space away from the kitchen. That loss of space made the kitchen feel very awkward and cramped. They really wanted a large island, a place where they can sit and eat together, and, like many modern homeowners, they wanted to make the whole room feel more open, so that’s where we began with our remodeling plan. Our initial kitchen renovation design included opening up one of the walls and moving the eat-in peninsula to the side of the kitchen, which left the island available for our workspace. We also removed a large pantry and added built-in pantry cabinets instead, which tripled the efficiency of that space. Additionally, we were able to add a storage area to the side, which is the perfect place to store small kitchen appliances so that the countertops are clear for the workspace. This helped open up space, but it wasn’t enough. We still had some challenges ahead of us to achieve the desired results.

Challenges and Solutions

Every kitchen renovation comes with challenges and surprises that we have to find creative solutions for, and this project was no different. After we got started with the design, we realized there was still something missing. It still felt too small, so we proposed opening up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Our team and the homeowners decided together to go for it, and this was exactly the innovative solution we all needed. Suddenly, it looked like a completely different house! Creating the open feeling we were striving for helping all of us envision the end results and become more excited about the journey to get there.   Once we started the project, demo day presented us with a pretty big surprise. The HVAC unit was old and situated in a storage area that was accessible from the outside and was not laid out as expected. They were expecting to have to replace the system anyway, but we had to become highly creative when running the ductwork and re-doing the layout so that it didn’t change our kitchen design. The ducts had to come up in the corner, which is uncommon but not impossible with a little innovation. Fortunately for all of us, our cabinet vendor was exceptionally creative and designed a custom storage cabinet for that area. Another aspect of this renovation was to build out an office space in an awkward corner of the family room to accommodate working from home so that the homeowners could re-convert a bedroom upstairs back into a usable bedroom. After discovering that a small space that was being used as an office turned out to be the perfect place for the new laundry room, we had found all of the square footage we needed to create the beautiful, functional, and open space they were envisioning. 

Partnership = Success!

From our perspective, one of the biggest things that made this project a success was the openness that the homeowners maintained throughout the project as we faced each obstacle. They were very welcoming of our creative ideas, and they were also quick to respond and take care of anything that they were responsible for. Projects like these can often get complicated if either the homeowner or the contractor doesn’t understand that it’s a team effort, especially when homeowners are also dealing with the complications of working and helping their children attend virtual school from home. By collaborating and communicating efficiently with us throughout the entire remodeling process, the family ultimately achieved the functionality and aesthetic they had spent years dreaming about in their home, and you can do the same!  We would love to talk to you about your goals for your home. Let’s get started!