Being a good builder means being a good listener. We listen to the client and their needs, along with listening to the home, becoming the home’s translator. One of the biggest challenges builders face during a renovation of an existing space is to make it look like it was meant to be there from the beginning. Each home has its own footprint – so, how do you create a new space within an original footprint while being respectful to the home’s personality?

An otherwise traditional home located in Newton, MA, underwent a complete modern kitchen renovation. The challenge of this project was to make a kitchen feel new, more spacious, and completely different, but to work within the home’s footprint. To open the space and create better flow we removed walls that were encroaching into the area. This same space also held a door leading into the basement. By restructuring the stairs from the landing above, instead of below, we were able to remove those walls and reposition the basement door, creating an open floor plan. The home itself has a very heavy wood feel, by incorporating warm woods and a few modern touches we were able to bring the design full circle.

We encountered the same dilemma with another kitchen in Ashland. This rearrangement required taking down a wall to connect the kitchen to the family room, but the ventilation in this space would need to be reconstructed to do so. Installing the venting system created some dilemmas, including a considerable distance between the cooktop and the venting. As a result, we would need a motor powerful enough to capture the smoke. Additionally, since the master bedroom was positioned directly above the kitchen, we built a six-inch soffit positioned inconspicuously in a corner of the bedroom to vent out through the roof. This was the perfect compromise to have the open concept our client desired and proper ventilation for safety.

In both of these kitchens, we were faced with similar challenges, with very different solutions. Creating unique spaces, tailored to unique homes and specific client tastes, is the most satisfying part of being a builder. The open concept views from each of these kitchens became as clear as the client’s vision.