Beautiful Kitchen Happy Wife!

When these homeowners moved from a newer home to an older home they knew some changes were needed. The problem was would it be the kitchen, the bathrooms, or the laundry? The list was long and everything seemed important. How did it turn out? Well, we chose it for our 2020 Fall Remodelers Showcase entry (October 2-4) so that should give you a hint.

2020 Remodelers Showcase Entry Plymouth MN

Project Summary 

Getting rid of the dated honey oak wood work was only half the goal in this multi-faceted Vadnais Heights remodel.The homeowners surely wanted to freshen everything, but also wanted to improve the overall use of their small 3-season porch, expanding the footprint by several feet, and transforming it into a 4-season porch with heated floors. We also added more light and tied everything together with new hickory flooring. The kitchen cabinets were refinished to a custom shaded light espresso, keeping much of the oak grain visible. New Marvin® windows provide expanded views of their back yard woods. Hand-scraped flat ceilings added an elegant touch to this upgraded main floor living space.

In this detailed project video interview with the homeowners and the designer, we explore the reasons for the remodel and its impact.


Traditional honey oak kitchen and the once oh-so-popular kitchen desk. What kid or adult wants to see a desk in the kitchen after a long day of sitting at a desk in the classroom or office? Seriously!
The island was always too small for proper dining, so all meals had to be taken at the large dining room table.
With the open concept already in place these homeowners needed a break to define the kitchen boundary and a place to informally gather and share meals.

“It wasn’t just that she really disliked the kitchen cabinets and wanted more of a painted antique appeal,” Mann explains. “That certain look was important, but it was much more than that. She also wanted, needed more space for a new grandchild and their growing family, serving multiple age levels with more storage space and greater functionality for entertaining.”

Finished remodel takes center stage for essential transformation.


“We went with a very durable engineered hickory flooring to compliment the oak trim,” explains Mann. “She was concerned about their dog’s nails and the potential for lots of scratches and she didn’t want the gaps common in some LVT applications that can trap dirt.”

Cost was a bit of a concern, so instead of custom cabinets, we when with a semi-custom line which allowed her to have a larger, more functional island. Overall the opening up the kitchen literally tripled their storage space.

AFTER—New more functional kitchen island and laundry at the garage entry point.
AFTER–Note how a useless desk is transformed into useful storage space.
FINISHED REMODEL—kitchen and island, granite countertops.
FINISHED REMODEL—kitchen and island, granite countertops. The kitchen was also under-illuminated, so we added 6 new recessed cans and two decorative pendants. Outlet & USB charger placements were also important. It's the little things that really set off an average remodel from a great one.
FINISHED REMODEL—New fireplace surround with Granite-Opalesene hearth top.  "It was only later in the design phase that it became clear that the fireplace was a weak link, so we added a new fireplace surround uplift with a mantel treatment. It really pulled the whole space together," says Mann.  She wanted happiness in how it looks even more than how it works—and she got both. Beautiful kitchen happy wife. Happy husband too.

Featured Materials


  • Refrigerator — Café™ Energy Star® 22.2 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French-Door with Hot Water Dispense
  • Café™ 36" Built-In Gas Cooktop
  • Café™ Professional Series 30" Built-In Double Electric Convection Wall Oven
  • Bosch 24" Custom Panel Dishwasher
  • 300 Series DLX – Custom Panel SHV863WD3N
  • GE Profile™ Series 1.1 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave Oven


  • Cabinetry — Mid Continent (Paint/ stain combo)


  • Countertops — Granite - Giallo Artie Gold


  • 6x24 Rock Ledger - Marble (CTW) SLA 6x24 LEDG ROC


  • Flooring: New pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring 5" Mountain View Hickory Random -Autumn (MVR06AT1)
  • Laundry Room: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): Gravity 2137-1


  • Tile Backsplash


  •  3604-S PW-BLK - Duncan 9" pendant

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