Tessa’s Remodel, Chapter 1: Jake says, “Take Your Own Advice”

July 25, 2014No comments

The Kitchen Designer Looks at Her Own Space

In this series, I will follow one of our CliqStudios kitchen designers through her kitchen remodel, from start to finish. In the following post, Tessa and Jake discuss the scope and direction of their project.

tessa and jake standing in front of house holding a sold sign

Tessa has designed more than 10,000 kitchens since 2001. When she and her husband Jake bought an aging house, naturally a new kitchen was first on her mind. She reluctantly agreed with Jake, however, that it would have to wait a few years while they dealt with more pressing issues.

Galley kitchen with white cabinets and breakfast booth ready for remodel

They were in the house less than three weeks before Jake came totally on board, agreeing they needed to remodel the kitchen NOW.

Their first priority was to improve function. Idiosyncrasies of the 1960-era construction and design included cabinet doors that swung shut on their heads, a weird peninsula that made it nearly impossible to access storage, and truly hideous kitchen floor covering.

Will anyone ever really know what is in the back of that drawer?kitchen tool drawer blocked from opening by intersecting drawer pull

As a trained, experienced designer, Tessa would have added spacers in the cabinetry to allow both drawers to open with ease.

It was important to Tessa and Jake to put a personal stamp on the design. This would be the one and only kitchen remodel in their home. They wanted it to include elements that were special to them and told their personal story.

They also wanted to preserve or complement the original style of the 1960’s house. That included beautiful natural hardwood floors (everywhere but the kitchen), maple-finished birch trim, and some delightful modern-style accessories.

It was also important to them, both for economy and responsibility, to reclaim or recycle original materials when possible.

When buying the house, Tessa and Jake had preserved a modest budget for immediate upgrades. Committed to staying within that limit, Tessa planned to remodel just the core galley kitchen, leaving adjacent bar and desk areas for a later project. It was Jake who told Tessa, “Take your own advice. You tell your customers that if you’re going to do it you might as well do it right and do it once.”
So, they expanded the budget and design to include cabinetry and related work throughout the main floor of the house.

Follow the links below to follow Tessa and Jake’s experience from inspiration to the final product.

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