See "5-Year Kitchen in Elgin" for the kitchen featured in this description.
Bud Kane has remodeled nearly every room in his own home over many years. Now reaching his 70’s, he contemplated heading up a major kitchen and laundry room renovation himself, planning on doing the carpentry work with his own hands. “I was not convinced I would ever meet anyone who could do it as well as I could do it myself”, said Bud. Ruth and Bud spent 5 years visiting kitchen firms and interviewing designers. They couldn’t however bring themselves to pull the trigger on the project, until they met Advance Design Studio in 2015.
“No one understood what I wanted”, said Ruth. She was continually frustrated by experiences with designers who weren’t hearing what was important to her. “Everyone kept designing my kitchen with what they thought it should look like; I couldn’t find anyone who would listen to me”!
When they met designer Scott Christensen from Advance Design Studio, they liked him right away. He listened to Ruth and designed a kitchen that she loved, all the while interjecting years of wisdom and design expertise that Ruth appreciated. “The finished product is better than I expected”, says Ruth. “I respected Scott’s opinions and together we created the perfect place for me to bake with my grandkids and truly enjoy the kitchen and laundry room I’ve been dreaming of for many years!”
The kitchen transformation began with removing the home’s soffits, and extending new painted maple cabinetry to the ceiling with the addition of an elegant crown molding. Ruth’s new Vita Mix holds a coveted place on her counter, and adjustments were planned to size the cabinets in conjunction with the under cabinet decorative light molding to fit this appliance just right. “This one small detail was really important to me”, says Ruth smiling. An elegant new island replaced the original island, complete with room for 3 stools where her grandchildren will sit to make home-made pasta every Thanksgiving, and cookies at Christmas time. “Traditions are very important in my family, and making my kitchen work to suit cherished activities with my family was the number one reason this renovation was so desired”, replied Ruth when asked about the island.
A picture perfect new tea station replaced a cluttered unused desk area, creating a wonderful place to prepare hot drinks for sipping any season of the year while overlooking the couple’s wonderfully manicured gardens from the lovely 3 season’s room just off the kitchen. The soft sage island bead panel detail was repeated on the backsplash, replicating the feel of a fine old piece of furniture.
The biggest problem with the laundry room was 3 doors, one from the garage, one from the closet, and one to the hallway. “Scott designed a pocket door, and oh what a dream it is now to bring groceries in from the garage!” exclaims Bud who grew to disdain this task! Doing laundry is now a breeze in this attractive new space that doubles as a wonderful pantry for the kitchen with room to store food items that didn’t have a home in the poorly designed original space.
New Hickory distressed wood flooring was laid both in the kitchen and leading to the hall foyer. Soft gray wood-replicating porcelain was placed in the laundry area, making for an easily cleanable surface for what doubles as a mud room from the garage. Creamy tumbled marble graces an unobtrusive backsplash spilling onto shiny granite counter tops in a rich earthy pattern of fall colors that mimic colors throughout the home. Advance is known details that included custom crafted furniture toe kicks, luxurious crown moldings, and beaded under cabinet moldings. The kitchen is complete with a glass display cabinet showing Ruth’s treasured china tea collection.
Early on, it was initially only their intention of purchasing cabinets for the new design. They were so impressed however with Advance Design’s complete program for budgeting, design, installation and management that it became clear to them both that they wanted Advance to handle the entire project from start to finish. “After seeing the quality work they did, coupled with the in-house team completely dedicated to our satisfaction, it became apparent there was no other choice but to hire them to handle everything. And we’re so glad we did, we have not one regret”, says Bud.
“The attention to detail by the carpentry crew more than satisfied my perfectionist expectations of the finished carpentry,” exclaimed Bud. “Every one of Advance Design’s people we encountered from design through construction was wonderful. We’ve never met a group of people so dedicated to making sure we were happy with every single detail, and every single part of this experience”, said Ruth and Bud.
Designer: Scott Christensen
Photographer: Joe Nowak