Pam and Terry desired a redesigned and updated kitchen/dining area/ family room. Not only would this visually open up the rear portion of their home but it would also help them use the space better.
Their existing kitchen was way too small and confined. Worse yet, they hardly used the more isolated dining room due to it’s lack of connection to
the kitchen. With four young children it seemed things were getting way too crowded. Their desire to have a larger dining room table for sharing meals and doing homework was a driving force in their wanting a dining space more directly connected with the kitchen.
They weren’t sure if they could knock down walls or that they had the budget for such a project. They were also concerned about the timing. They would have to move out of the house at the end of the school year, make the upgrades, and move back in before school started. But more than time or money, Pam and Terry were up against indecisiveness.
They decided to call Studio21 Architects. They had already worked with Gregg Stahr on a previous exterior project and knew of his skill in design and managing projects through to completion. Studio21 had even added Woodharbor Cabinetry as part of their client offerings since their last project so this was a definite bonus. As part of their initial discussions, the subject of choosing a builder came up in conversation.
Gregg mentioned that the firm offers not only design services but can also construct the project. He let them know about Studio21 Architects One Point Design+Build option which keeps all of the accountability in one place. It offers peace of mind because the firm stays on the project from start to finish and prides itself on sticking to the budget. Also, the Studio21 team knows what items are on the wish list and can offer options to the client. The goal is to give them the home of their dreams where they “wouldn’t change a thing”.
Pam and Terry started working on their renovation design with the guidance of Gregg, the project architect. They brought their vision of what they wanted and together as a team, they began the discovery process. Using our Lifestyle Questionnaire and discussing Pam and Terry’s wish list, the design team understood how they use their current space and determined what the ideal space might look like. Through this process, Pam and Terry determined what their needs were as well as what items were a priority and others hopeful options. The team was then able to put together a preliminary budget for the project.
“We gave them several options and in all cases it involved removing a wall. They were unsure of how this could happen or the implications. We assured them that we had done an analysis of the structure and utilities in the wall and found out it was indeed possible without a lot of compromises.”
But what about checks and balances? Pam and Terry didn’t deliberate for long. They said, “We already know you guys and we trust you, let’s do it.”
This way, they reasoned, they had someone they trusted the whole time with one point of contact for all communications. With the Woodharbor Cabinet line, the firm made the cabinet selection an easy process, including 3D images as a helpful tool to visualize and confirm design decisions.
Studio21 brought in their interior designer, Renee Dion, to
help make selections. Indecision did rear its ugly head at times in the process, but having the designer helped a great deal. She was definitely a comfort to Pam during times of crucial decisions. When designing a project like this, you want to make sure you do it right, indecision is not uncommon.
No project has ever been perfect. There were a few snags along the way that made the original schedule impossible to meet, but the final completion wasn’t too far off the original expectation. As a result, Pam and Terry avoided having this project drag out until Christmas.
Bill Styczynski, the firm’s president said, “We didn’t have many surprises and there were no game-changers in the process (unlike the HGTV dramas where a multitude of things always seem to go wrong). Although we thought we had identified all the utilities
in the wall to be removed, there was a hidden gas line going to
the attic furnace that we hadn’t been aware of. It required a minor workaround, but since we had already developed a plan of attack for that wall before construction began, it was not a big deal. The up- front decision on how to reroute the plumbing stack was no minor feat, but we identified how it would be re-routed up front, so this way Pam and Terry avoided the shock and stress of the proverbial ‘what are we going to do now because what we planned isn’t going to work?’ They avoided the big surprise.
Meanwhile, Pam and Terry went out and purchased a larger table for their dining space. Because they were on track with the budget, they were also able to add a larger window and door to the rear yard so they would feel more connected with the kids when they were playing outside. The coffered ceiling treatment in thefamily room that was on their wish list options was also included because we were able to help them stay on budget.
As with a number of other projects, they made the conscious decision to go over budget on their appliances. The whole process gave Pam and Terry the confidence that they can make good decisions and the resulting renovation was an all-around great experience and success.
Shortly after moving back in, the family celebrated their twin daughters’ birthday with a party including family and friends. The new spaces performed to perfection. Now the whole family feels happier and healthier. Because Pam and Terry defeated their indecision, they were able to host their dream Christmas dinner and will have many more gatherings to come – giving their kids the feeling of connection every day.