Kitchen Conundrum in Columbia Heights

When an oddly shaped kitchen, laundry and mudroom collide

This client had just retired from an international banking post that required extensive travel and time away from home for more than a decade. Now with time on her hands, she could finally address her dysfunctional, oddly L-shaped kitchen. She needed more storage and work surfaces, better traffic flow, including the elimination of an annoying door-swing conflict between the laundry and garage access. She also desired a much brighter color palette to complement all new upscale surfaces and fixtures. It's a complete make over, full of vibrant color, innovation and a unique use of materials.


Design/Build Consultant — Jonah Smith

Project Manager — Noah Martin

Lead Carpenter — Mark Arntzen

Chief Draftsman — Mike Johnson

Paint & Fine Finishing — Cabinets & Trim: Emma Lavell, Brian Greene, Jim LaPoint, Molly Stowe, Melissa Reuter, Michael DeJong

Walls & Ceilings: Melissa Reute, Molly Stowe, Charlie McCloskey


Photography — Alyssa Lee


BEFORE Remodel — a large hutch spanned this entire wall but didn't offer any useful surfaces. Carpeting was worn and dated.


AFTER Remodel — the perfect combination of office work surfaces, storage and island with open view to living room.


In order to meet budget and aesthetic goals for this project Corian was selected to be used along the office wall, so that Cambria could be used on the main island. Contrasting Aged Harmony engineered flooring sets a perfect foundation to the rest of the room. To the right of the desk area note the floor to ceiling cabinetry custom built to hide the refrigerator.


Master carpentry creates built-in effect for corner refrigerator placed on corner to create efficient work triangle.



Maple island with floor to ceiling storage makes a gentle transition contrasting the new engineered flooring and knockdown ceiling, and dimmable LED lights. We also added a proper dry stack stone surround and mantel. You can't really have an actual wood burning fireplace without a mantel and proper artwork to finish it off!


Note the detailed craftsmanship of the base surrounding the island.



BEFORE - wall separating living room from kitchen and peninsula acted as a pinch point.


As a banking professional, our client was naturally critical and thorough when vetting a contractor to hire. What impressed her, what caught her eye was the transparent cloud-based project management software we use, called BuilderTrend. It would empower her to monitor and approve selections, costs, daily schedule and progress logs online through a secure web portal. The system proved all the more valuable when our main offices and paint facility burned to the ground in the middle of her project. Not only was her project unaffected by the disaster, it finished on time and on budget.


BEFORE Remodeling- From dated and cluttered with mismatched floor.

After remodeling: A clean crisp design, featuring premium tile and quartz surfaces, custom cabinetry, Ruvati sink, and Flex Duo slide-in gas range with dual door and Wifi connectivity.

We shifted and reshaped walls and doors, relocated appliances to create a host of improvements including more accessible storage, functional work surfaces, an efficient work triangle and seamless integration with the living room and mudroom/laundry. The client was so impressed with the kitchen she has already rehired us for another project.


A mix of custom shaker cabinetry, multi-tone backsplash tile and Cambria countertops.

Townhome associations are notorious for denying many of the changes homeowners might want to make. In this case we were able to convince them to let us install the first vented hood in the development.



              • LG 3-Door french door refrigerator
              • Flex Duo slide-in gas range with dual door and Wifi connectivity
              • GE Profile series countertop microwave oven
              • Bosch 300 Series stainless steel scoop handle dishwasher
              • Zephry Savona semi-circular range hood european design
              • Ruvati stainless steel apron front 16-guage sink chrome satin finish with cutting board and rollup rack
              • Aged Harmony enineered flooring
              • Deep Black Corian countertop office perimeter
              • Cambria Laneshaw island and kitchen perimeter countertops (Treeline edge)
              • Back splash tile - Beach walk deco
              • Range accent 2x9 backsplash tile in Vanilla, Savannah & white
              • Kitchen - Custom shaker style cabinets with Silvit glass doors
              • Laundry flooring - 12 x 24" Med Weave Moon Rectified ceramic tile
              • Fireplace mantel - 4" thick clear Alder
              • Hearth flooring — 12X12 Silver shadow honed ceramic tiles
              • Colors – Cabinets Clear Coat on Maple & Paint SW 7632 Modern Gray; Wall Color – H/F 0625 North Sea; Ceilings are Ceiling White



Laundry and mudroom before on left, after remodel in center, reverse angle on right.

The laundry/mudroom area (left) illustrates how clutter can gather at choke points. Notice how the door swing conflicts with the garage entrance and leaves no transition room to drop off muddy boots. The solution was a pocket door and new bench for storage, and easy separation between the kitchen and the preverbal dirty laundry.


Craftsmanship is apparent at every corner.


Note cold air return vents slotted into island trim.




Talk to us

Call (763) 780-3262 or talk with a professional remodeler about your project.

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