Salem Kitchen Remodel

The home, located on a hill in West Salem, is in a residential neighborhood known as “The Flats.” This 1940’s home has terrific charm; however, the functionality of the kitchen was outdated and did not match the homeowner’s needs. The homeowner and his partner needed an open space to enjoy cooking and entertaining their friends and family.

The homeowner wanted to update his small 1940’s galley kitchen without expanding the exterior walls of the home, and it was imperative to the homeowner that throughout this process we keep certain elements of the 1940’s architecture (i.e. cabinetry and trim style) while updating the space with modern appliances.

kitchen-remodel-2009 New kitchen (backsplash detail) New kitchen (countertop detail) New kitchen (stove side) New kitchen as viewed from original dining room

To ensure that our project vision matched the homeowner’s mental picture, we produced a detailed, three-dimensional design of the project before we began building. “The project truly started with the need to put in a dishwasher,” said the homeowner. “Then I discovered that I needed additional cupboard space, then counter space. It was a project that took on a life of its own.”

A major challenge the remodel crew faced was the fact that the house sits up on a hill and all the materials had to be carried up or down several flights of stairs. Especially challenging were the large granite slabs that took ten people to maneuver up from the street!

Systems and structures that were redesigned and updated include:

  • Insulation and Sheetrock
  • Removed a wall and soffit
  • Moved and replaced windows, which were missing headers and were uneven in height
  • New plumbing and electrical wiring
  • Removed a two-story abandoned chimney
  • Added electric wall heat
  • Refurbished the original front door
  • Replaced door to utility room with pocket door for maximum floor space.
  • Installed new laminate flooring

The structure was enhanced functionally by nearly tripling the size of the counter and cabinet space. In addition, the homeowner got the new dishwasher that sparked this remodel. The room lighting was updated from its dull, 1960s lighting to modern, recessed overhead lighting and under-cabinet lighting.

The space was brought to life by taking an old, dark space and updating it to a space that is now so much brighter. The new tile backsplash, clean windows and trim, and cabinets were finished in a high-gloss bright white lacquer. “It’s a work of art,” says the homeowner. “We were able to find 1940’s style glass for the glass cabinet doors. We installed granite counter tops and custom beech cabinets. The challenge of keeping certain elements of the 1940’s architecture worked.”