Home Location : Lino Lakes, MN
Home Built : 2000
Photographer : Joy Watson, Modern Joy Photography

Summary :

The owner contacted us for a “Kitchen remodel.  Replace countertops & add backsplash…What we really miss in our kitchen is a pantry…We would like to talk about our budget & just get a feel for how much we are able to complete”

This 2000 new-build home on wooded acres had everything this family of four loved except the dysfunctional kitchen.  At first glance, it was fine but once in it you were in it, it was apparent how little actual countertop, lighting, & function it had. It was small & disproportionate to the otherwise large open floor plan. The double sit-down desk in the sunny breakfast area took the term informal down again. 

The main goal of this project was attempting to reuse as much of the original cabinetry as possible, keeping the visual interest of the vertical & horizontal multi-tiered finishes while providing more useful storage that is family friendly.

Client Testimonial :
Teal Court
I love it! You guys are so good at your jobs! Thanks for helping me… Everything looks great! We are loving our kitchen! The space is amazing… I love everything!

Scope & Objectives :


  • Substantial metal Silver Vein Bonded Steel brackets were installed to support the heavy granite overhangs & do not interfere with seated knee space at the overhang like the old obtrusive wood ones did. These special order brackets have a subtle finish that complements, instead of detracting, from the handle hardware, existing light fixtures & stainless steel sink & appliances.
  • We reused 30 existing knobs & had to find & purchase 32 additional Colonial Bronze Distressed Pewter Fine Brass Hardware knobs to match. This figure was to install on the original cabinet doors that never had hardware, & replace others that had a dated forged wire swirl style.


  • Under cabinet lighting is now at all perimeter uppers.
  • Outlets & switches changed at the backsplash, on the walls, inside the cabinetry & even above where the tall crown detail hides the cable & router.
  • We changed the existing lights inside the glass upper cabinets to match the new mini puck lights over the range & the existing re-used glass upper cabinet.
  • Although we really wanted to change & add new pendants over the large island, the owner did not want to change the existing twisted wire forged iron lights.

Challenges & Solutions :

Custom cabinetry work can be complicated & time consuming. To match the existing routed profile on the doors & panels as well as the custom faux finish of the stain color is a touchy, nerve-wracking business particularly when the new wood is right next to the old wood.

New dowels installed in the top holes of the cabinet doors accept the stain where the pulls changed to knobs.

Doors now cover the formerly open shelving in order to gain useful storage, inside the island & on the breakfast end.

Decorative wood panels “beef up” the island & are underneath at the seating side of island, on the end, & above & below the new laptop area facing the fireplace.

The old bookcase created a very awkward corner that did not hold any useful furniture being that it was in the path from the kitchen to the basement stairwell, formal dining room, & front entry. It also cut off the view to the existing angled Fireplace & hid the fact that the existing kitchen walls stepped back. Therefore, when we moved the refrigerator to the end of the cabinet bank at the same depth as the current counters, we captured additional storage in this deep recess using a creative solution of pullout doors with an enclosed back & fixed shelves for the person working at the laptop area.

In this desk area, we decided to fabricate a matching wood countertop to tie in the original wood-topped buffet/filing drawers reused.

In the new Buffet area, the floor to ceiling closed cabinet moved from far left to far right. This opens up the view to the exterior door leading into the screened porch.

The two open uppers moved to the center & custom dovetail drawer boxes fill the formerly open slots in those. New glass doors enclose the former open uppers. This streamlines the look & ties in the existing kitchen base dovetail drawer units & glass uppers.

The two lower open-bottom, wood-topped computer desks were removed & new bases were built & installed at a more useful height covered with matching granite.

A new wood-framed mirror at the Buffet creates visual interest & reinforces the desired formality.

At the Stove wall, an open cabinet sat on the countertop immediately to the left impeding off-loading. We cut this off, put on a bottom, & new doors now enclose it.

Going around the corner to the Refrigerator wall, the original 3-drawer base & upper containing the open microwave on the shelf moved to the end next to the new refrigerator. In order to fit the new SS Microwave with trim kit, the cabinetmaker re-made the existing microwave cabinet, filler, face frame & doors.

The refrigerator, its upper cabinet & grooved fillers switched locations with the built-in wine fridge, bank of dovetail mini drawers & glass upper cabinet. This achieved an expanse of useful countertop, & ability for several people to be in the kitchen at once without feeling claustrophobically on top of each other.

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