It seems like we’ve been doing more and more projects in Louisville, lately. We recently had a request from Christine and Dan to see if we could add some inspiration to their main level kitchen, dining and living area. We had worked with Christine's sister in the past, so we had a nice connection to the family. Their house is on a lovely lot in a charming neighborhood. Yet the main living space lacked a great connection to the expansive yard, despite having a couple of double doors out onto the wrapping porch. They just weren’t quite right.
The other thing that struck me as out of place was the kitchen. I asked if we could explore the idea of moving the kitchen closer to the back of the house and relocating the fireplace to help with the flow and connection to the outdoors. My hope was to give better visibility for watching the kids play outside while the parents were working/prepping in the kitchen. It was also on my radar to create purposeful zones for the family to hang out in; like a cozy fireplace zone, plenty of island seating and a big family table for meals.
Unfortunately, during our 3-month design phase, their youngest daughter left the water running in the bathroom, which in turn proceeded to flood the bath and the rooms below. So, the project grew from a kitchen remodel into two baths, stairway, and basement remodel. This was not the typical path for scope to creep. But we had earned their trust (after they had a bad experience with a different general contractor the year before) and they elected to use us for the repairs instead of an insurance crew.
We ended up having a lot of fun with the main level living area. The kitchen became much more modern with nice windows facing out the back. And it had a double patio door adjacent to the island that walked right out onto the porch and faced the patio. Removing one of the other patio doors transformed a walkway into a lovely covered outdoor dining area. Not to forget the amazing fireplace, with a twist on basic steel panels, it became an elegant modern design.
The bathrooms ended up being very playful and stunning as well. The kids’ bath now has a mindful tile layout of wainscotting. I would say the vanity is an engineering marvel, almost like a wall mounted sink with floating drawers beneath. The guest bath on the main level was re-wallpapered and given a fresh look. And the basement was put back together.
The mudroom became the last piece of the puzzle. We eliminated a window to improve the efficiency. You might ask if that had an impact on the daylighting…yes, but not much. The window was under a big porch overhang and luckily the entry door is half glass. So, the added storage for a family of five outweighed the minimal daylight sacrifice.
As with any project, it didn’t go perfectly. After it was all said and done, the heated floors in the primary bath didn’t work. It was baffling since we hadn’t really done anything in that room. But after some careful analysis of the system, our Production Manager determined that we had damaged a heating element when we cut in the new flue chase for the fireplace. She found an ace to make the delicate repair and we were back up and running.
It’s not a question of “if something will go wrong on your project,” but more about how your team will face the issue “when” it happens. Our clients have mentioned time and time again how pleased they were with our team's honesty and forthrightness when facing adverse situations. There’s no doubt that we want to stand behind our product, but we also want to stand tall with our relationships. They mean everything.
professional photography by Christina Kiffney Photography