When Megan and Mario reached out to us they were thrilled about closing on their new property on Green Street. Our task was to create a plan to refresh the very dated kitchen.
When Megan and Mario reached out to us they were thrilled about closing on their new property on Green Street in the heart of the Fairmount section of the city.
At that time, like many buyers closing on properties in the frenzy of the Philadelphia real estate market, they had stretched their budget to purchase their home. They simply didn’t have the cash for a full scale renovation.
Our task was to create a plan to refresh the very dated builder-grade kitchen that came with the house. The couple wanted something they could live with until they could save enough to take on gutting and completely redoing the kitchen.
What we had to work with was a lot of existing cabinetry — all in very good condition. We rearranged the cabinet boxes and the refrigerator, closing in an opening between the kitchen and the living room.
This freed up options for furnishing the living room, including allowing two couches to flank a new fireplace. This layout was not possible with the preexisting kitchen pass through. On the other side of the kitchen, we relocated a tall cabinet to open up the space and make room for a slim charging counter and a bulletin board for keeping track of family events.
All the cabinets were professionally spray painted for a longer lasting, smooth finish.
In the living room, a granite-topped counter stood to the right of the front door. We opted to build a full ceiling-to-floor vestibule here. It’s perfect for keeping out winter wind when the front door opens and closes. The new vestibule was painted a rich dark color. We added a bold patterned floor tile and lots of built-in storage; it created a highly functional styled entry to the home.
An awkward soffit divided the main hall from the living/dining area. We decided to accentuate this feature (like a tall woman choosing stilettos over flats). We used a product on the ceiling called Stikwood, a thin peel-and-stick wood veneer, filling in the area that the soffit had divided from the hall.
The herringbone pattern we designed gave the ceiling a more sophisticated look than, say, a simple plank pattern, but unfortunately, this proved to be a big challenge for the contractor since the pieces are thin and splinter very easily. There was more waste than we wanted, but in the end it was worth it. The result exceeded our expectations by giving a rich texture and anchoring the room.
New lights, great wallpaper and a poppy red color on the ceiling transformed the powder room.
This process was far from painless, it took longer and cost more than just providing a “temporary” kitchen. However, Megan and Mario now have their forever kitchen and they will never look back. They were able to reuse the materials that they already had to solve their problems. They took a very generic property and made it into something very personal and uniquely beautiful.
Lead Project Designer: Dominika Chanc
Contractor: Roger Price
Art: Galen Gibson Cornell and Alfred Ortega