Remodelers Corner – Mar/Apr 2012

0030Little did Kathy and Mark Blohm know in 1988 when they built their “starter home,” that “it may just turn out to be our retirement home as well,” says Kathy. With a complete kitchen and bath remodel via Kathy’s business, Top Shop of Rochester, the Blohms are in no hurry to leave their split-level home.

    Kathy and Mark love to cook and entertain, so the kitchen needed a more open floor plan. Removing a pantry and peninsula that occluded space between the kitchen and dining area made room for a sizeable, free-standing island housing a microwave, storage and stool seating, and built-in cupboards for dishes and drawers for storage.

     “We have more drawers than cabinets, and I prefer that because things are more accessible and neater,” says Kathy. “And all the drawers have self-closing hinges.”

    Details are pronounced. Cabinet hardware has oversized appliance handles (matching the appliances). A large spice drawer is accessible under the gas cook top, and the base of the existing dining table was refinished to match the new cabinetry and topped with granite to match the new counters.

    When it comes to lighting, “don’t skimp,” recommends Kathy. “The more, the better.” This remodel includes under-cabinet, pendant and bullet fixtures.

    The remodel also updated the bathroom near the kitchen. A wall with wainscoting was matched to a whitewashed oak vanity with Corian vanity top and integral sink. Kathy exposed an area of dead space between the vanity and the door to create a column of open storage. She also created a discreet, flush-with-the-wall medicine cabinet.

    While Kathy wore the contractor hat for the remodel, she also did a fair amount of the labor. In the kitchen she installed the brick veneer kitchen backsplash and laminate flooring. In the bathroom, she installed the wainscoting and ceramic tile around the shower/tub and on the floor. The multiple hats Kathy wore contributed to a successful remodel.

Penny Marshall is a Rochester freelance writer.