Translating the Vision: a Case Study in our Design Process

There’s a lot that goes into home renovations, no matter which room or part of the house you’re looking to change. It’s important that clients are prepared for the process, as it can take a long time. But Charleene’s Houses makes sure that the payoff is worth it for every client. I recently completed a traditional kitchen addition and remodel and asked these clients to share a little bit about their experience with their home renovation and design process. You can check out the full photo gallery of the Wyngate remodel here.

Making the Decision to Renovate

This family had been in their house for about 4 years before finally deciding it was time to do a home renovation on their kitchen. Being a family of 5, they found that their kitchen was too small and awkwardly laid out. They felt like it was too disconnected from the rest of their home, and when they were in the kitchen they were too far removed from the kids — it wasn’t configured well with how they operated.

They knew what they wanted to do when it came to adjusting their kitchen’s functionality, but they didn’t know how to make that happen. After calling a few different contractors, they felt most comfortable with Charleene’s Houses. The home renovation and design process is really similar to that of a relationship — you need to make sure you select a contractor that you’re comfortable “going out with” for the next few months.

Creating a Plan

Even though these clients knew how they wanted their new kitchen to function, our team was able to help them iron out where things should go to fulfill their needs. This is a common part of the process. Many clients have some sort of idea of what they want, and throughout the design process we’re able to help them develop that vision into a plan. It’s a growing process. Because I’m not the one living in the space, I don’t know how my clients live or function in their homes. So it’s really important to talk with them and work together to tweak the designs to ensure they really work for the clients. Many times the plans change throughout the process — it’s not a one and done. We come up with a vision together for the first plan, but this plan is just a starting point and things will likely change throughout the renovation process.

One of the most important things for me is to make sure that clients feel like I have their back and that they know my only goal is to create their vision. In this instance, I really wanted to bring this family’s kitchen to life for them. 

I made sure I was available to them any time they needed me, whether it was a phone call, text, or email, to help alleviate any stress they may be feeling. Something I like to recommend to my clients, if it’s an option for them, is to make a plan to be out of the house during the few days of demo. Seeing the demo can be tough for homeowners, so I like to suggest going on a short vacation or staying with friends or family during this time. Then when clients come back, they can focus on the progress that has been made and start to get excited.

The Highs and Lows

Just like with everything in life, home renovations come with their own sets of highs and lows. It’s not uncommon to begin the renovation and find out that something didn’t work the way a client wanted or how we had planned, or maybe there were supply issues that caused a project to take longer than anticipated. A high for many clients is often the day that the drywall goes up because it allows them to finally see what the project is really going to look like.

In this traditional kitchen remodel, these clients had their hearts set on a particular set of pendant lights they wanted to include over the kitchen island. But once I showed them that the lights wouldn’t be able to be perfectly centered, they realized that it wouldn’t work with their vision and that they needed to find another option. At first this was a low, but it ended up turning into a high for them because now when you walk into the space, it feels much more open. Since the remodel has been completed, they’ve said that if we did end up using the pendant lights, they wouldn’t have been as happy with the final project.

Another struggle for this remodel was finding out exactly where to put the island. This part of the kitchen was incredibly important for them, as they wanted a place that was large enough for all 3 kids to sit at at the same time to eat their meals, do their homework, etc. Placing the island 6 inches to the left or right of the center of the space made a huge difference in the room’s functionality. To help them visualize what it would look like, we taped the floors and laid down cardboard. In the end, we decided to open up the dining room and make the space bigger to make it all work. The island has become their hub, and they can’t remember the last they sat in the dining room. Prior to the remodel, they spend most of their time in the dining room.

A definite high for these clients was the mudroom. Not only does the space now have beautiful tiled floors, but it has enclosed cubby storage for the kids. This allows things to be put away and out of sight, and it has provided a lot of peace for these clients.

The Finished Space

In the end, Charleene’s Houses was able to provide these clients with a large open kitchen space that included a connecting addition built off of the existing mudroom area. Their kitchen is equipped with wood floors running throughout, white inset cabinets by Shiloh Cabinetry, brass fixtures, and a marble accent behind the range. But the view into the kitchen from the living area is these clients’ favorite part.

When undergoing a home remodel, it’s important to understand that things may come up along the way that cause you to adjust your original plan. It may be a long, arduous process, but we ensure that the outcome makes it well worth it for every client.

Start Your Remodel

If you’ve been wanting to complete a home remodel of your own but don’t know where to start, Charleene’s Houses can help you get started. Contact us today.