A Creative Collaboration for Stunning Results

OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE TOURED HUNDREDS OF BEAUTIFUL HOMES ALL FEATURING KITCHENS BOASTING THE LATEST TRENDS IN DESIGN, LAYOUT AND GADGETRY. Walking into this spectacular newly remodeled kitchen in northwest Rochester stopped me in my tracks. I expected to see a gorgeous kitchen, but what I encountered was out of this world. 

The homeowners, Sue and Tom*, have lived in their home for 12 years and have long dreamed of remodeling their kitchen. To accomplish this feat, the couple reunited their dream team: Jennifer Christoffer, interior designer and owner of Satory Interior Design, and Kevin Reckinger, expert remodeling contractor and owner of Bricewood. The four had worked together on two previous remodels in the owners’ home, and they were all eager to collaborate once again.

Once the team was assembled, the group got to work designing and modifying the plan as their vision for the remodel came into focus. The general concept for the remodel was to flip-flop the kitchen with the family room, open up three exterior walls and insert large picture windows to allow in natural light and a view of the beautiful trees in the lush private backyard. 


Challenges were met with creative solutions. “There were many pieces to the puzzle,” Christoffer says. “We really worked together as a team. Not all clients have the ability to think outside the box, to look at every idea and keep focused on the goal.”

Because there were so many decisions to be made throughout the project, Christoffer worked with the couple to simplify the process. “Jen made sure everything flowed,” shares Sue. “She’s sort of our compass and takes that infinite world of choices and narrows it down for us, knowing our tastes.”

Reckinger shares, “We had a trust level which allowed us to make several design changes on the fly. It was a very complicated project with several layers.” Reckinger says demolition began before they had a final plan in hand and adds, “One of the biggest challenges was how to engineer all the systems to work together.”

The owners say the original ceiling was vaulted, but they always wanted a beamed ceiling. To achieve that look, a significant amount of the design time was spent trying to figure out how to create a “wow moment” with the ceiling. 

The initial view of the room is indeed striking. It beckons visitors to pause, soak in the visual kaleidoscope of shapes and colors and truly notice the space. It is immediately clear that no detail of this kitchen was left to chance. 

The kitchen is bathed in various shades of gray, with accent colors sprinkled throughout. Outlining the circumference of the kitchen are countertops made of DuPont Zodiaq®, a premium quartz surface, popping with a beautiful luster.

The large center island has a stainless countertop with a built-in compost bin, a prep sink and ample workspace. Tom explains, “We both love to cook…we wanted to have a kitchen where we could make pasta, and we really wanted a surface and a space where we could make it.” 

Attached to the island is a gorgeous breakfast bar. The countertop is made of Dekton® which has veins of color like patina copper or old barn wood running through it. The countertop is unique to the rest of the kitchen area and pulls the room together. Tom says, “It feels like tile. It’s really super-durable and doesn’t stain.” The heartbeat of the home, the family shares most of their meals at the breakfast bar, rather than using their dining room. 

The couple kept many of their existing appliances because they really liked them but chose to splurge on a new Dacor® stove and a large refrigerator, which both complement their love of cooking. The couple chose a beautiful gray luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring which is very easy to clean and installed a central vacuum, so cleanup is nearly effortless.

One of the many things the family wanted to incorporate was a central place to charge their devices. Tom shares, “We tend to be cluttered, so we do whatever we can to force ourselves to put stuff away easily.” Their solution was to build a computer bar which serves as a hub for all of their technology needs. With plenty of surface workspace for laptops and tablets, there are also several drawers which house chargers and other gadgets, keeping the area tidy. As an added design touch, the walls surrounding the computer bar are tiled with silver-gray numbers. 

For entertaining, the couple added a bar area with cupboards to store glasses and a spacious countertop for serving beverages. For added drama and color, they added glass-like colored tile in the windows of the cupboard doors. To tie it all together, dramatic fluted uprights of the same tile are sprinkled throughout the kitchen. 

Adding to the functionality, they created a large walk-in pantry with a swinging door. The backside of the door is magnetic, which allows the family to share information about school and other important details—rather than cluttering the refrigerator door.

This kitchen remodel resulted in a room that is spacious, flows well and is full of natural light. The couple are thrilled with the finished remodel. Sue explains, “We all put in the time to make this work for us and for our lives and we achieved that.” Tom adds, “We look forward to spending time together here.”

Cindy Mennenga is a freelance writer and along with her husband, John, owns Conspectus Home Inspection Services, LLC based in Rochester. Visit conspectusmn.com for more information. 


* Not their real names.