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At Home: Kitchen Remodel Features Island, Floor Tile Inset

 

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 Decorative tile adorns the wall behind a built-in stovetop. (Keith Horinek)

 

 

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The dining room chandelier, a family heirloom from Jane Weiler’s grandmother’s house, hangs over a new window seat area. (Keith Horinek)

 

 

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A dumb waiter is used to bring wine up from the cellar, as well as other items stored in the basement. (Keith Horinek)

 

 

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The kitchen island has a darker stain to add contrast to the kitchen’s look. Its granite top is lighter than the original countertops and metallic flecks in the stone. (Keith Horinek)

 

 

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Joseph and Jane Weiler decided to remodel the kitchen in their Berryton home last year. They eliminated their formal dining room and expanded their kitchen, which now features an island, tile inset on the floor and separate wine and beverage stations. (Keith Horinek)

 

 

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A Polish tile inset, which resembles a rug, was installed in front of the stovetop. (Keith Horinek)

 

When planning a remodeling project, many homeowners think it means the complete destruction and rebuilding of a room. However, this isn’t always the case.

 

Joseph and Jane Weiler built their Berryton home in 2001. Last year, they decided to eliminate their formal dining room and expand their kitchen.

 

“I just needed more storage,” Jane said. “Some place to put my pots and equipment. We also like to entertain, and I’d always wanted an island.”

 

Instead of gutting the kitchen, Winston Brown Construction was able to keep the original kitchen and expand it into the dining room. The wall was removed between the two spaces. New cabinets were made to match the original ones. The new wood flooring was blended into the existing floor, so it looks like it has always been there. The dining room chandelier, which is a family heirloom, hangs in a new window seat area.

 

“The chandelier came from my grandmother’s house,” Jane said. “When I was a little girl, I thought the prisms were diamonds.”

 

While the kitchen still utilizes the past, there is plenty of new to make it sparkle. Center stage is the coveted island, which was built along with the new cabinets by Custom Wood Products. Although made in the same style as the existing cabinets, the island has a darker stain to add contrast to the kitchen’s look. Its granite top is also a lighter color compared to the original countertops, with metallic flecks in the stone.

 

The same darker cabinets line what was the dining room wall to create separate wine and beverage stations. Winston Brown owner Jake Brown suggested the wine area, because the Weilers have a vineyard in their backyard and make their own wines. A window seat was built into the space, with the heirloom chandelier overhead.

 

The wall also houses perhaps the most unique feature of the kitchen — a dumbwaiter. Built into the lower cabinet of the beverage station, it’s used to bring wine up from the cellar, as well as other items stored in the basement.

 

Joseph gets the credit for the idea, which was a challenge for the Winton Brown crew, who were more used to removing dumbwaiters from homes instead of installing them.

 

“We’ve used it so many times. It’s just phenomenal,” Jane said. “I used it to bring up all of my Christmas decorations, and we can bring up cases of wine or homemade apple butter when guests come to visit. My husband thought of it. I don’t know where he gets his ideas, but he is the one who carries things up from downstairs.”

 

Another unique feature is Polish tile inset into the wood flooring to look like a rug in front of the stovetop. Jane collects Polish pottery, with some of her pieces displayed on top of the kitchen cabinets. While shopping for kitchen tiles in Lawrence, she saw an example of a faux-rug inset. She decided to add it to her own kitchen, except making the change to Polish tiles.

 

Winston Brown Construction had completed a previous bedroom and bathroom remodeling project for the couple, so they didn’t hesitate to call them for this project.

 

“We were happy with their work and ideas. Their site manager was here everyday and told me what the schedule was for the day so I knew what to expect,” Jane said. “They were very professional. They cleaned up every day before they left, and they stayed pretty much on schedule.”

 

Jane noted the hardest part was being without a kitchen for six weeks.

 

“Eating out every night was not fun after about two weeks,” she said. “It’s hard having things out of place, but Jake said to pretend we were camping.”

 

For anyone thinking of starting a remodeling project, Jane advises they take their time making design decisions. She suggested looking at a lot of pictures in magazines and online, and checking out displays found in home stores and remodeling shops.

 

Also, she said to talk to your contractor, because he may have excellent suggestions for your space.

 

“Be patient,” she added. “It’s messy, and it never takes less time than what you expect. But we are very happy with the results.”

 


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Linda A. Ditch is a freelance writer from Topeka. She can be reached at lindaaditch@gmail.com.

 

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