This client has asked to remain anonymous in this blog post. In order to respect their privacy, we will refer to them as "client X”
When we met client X they had a gorgeous home in major need of updating. Although the home functioned fine, it felt dark because of the abundance of wood, lack of windows, and floor to ceiling red brick.
It was very important to keep the integrity of the home but bring some light into the space and make it feel less cave-like. There was a large brick ‘wall’ dividing the kitchen and living spaces that was a major point of support for the home. We knew this would need to stay - so the kitchen layout wouldn’t be able to change much, if at all. This wasn’t a major issue since the kitchen functioned well.
X had fallen in love with the idea of a painted brick. They even toyed with the idea of maybe doing a distressed painted brick. They found a photo in a magazine that really spoke to them and the feel they were wanting in the home. We decided to add some wood posts and beams to the space to mirror this picture they fell in love with. We would keep the brick above the wood as well us under the countertop. We ultimately decided to just paint it all white.
The next thing we decided to do was square up the fireplace to mirror the look of the new wall in the kitchen. We wanted to eliminate all of the arches in the space. X had also found a photo of a mantle they loved and they asked that we custom mill one to match!
This mantle would end up being 99” long and about 14” tall! I should also note that because of all the existing wood in the home we decided to do a wood stain match for all of the new wood going into the space. All of the new wood would be a custom stain color on alder wood.
Our next area of concern was the lighting in the space. We added in some can lighting as well as a huge window in the dining area. The wood window casing throughout the house ended up being next to impossible to get our hands on! This window would be between two other existing windows so the match had to be perfect. We had to go through a custom vendor to custom make the wood casing.
Notice in the ‘before’ photo there is a coffered ceiling! We removed this entirely which really brightened up the space! In the ‘after’ picture you might notice the oak flooring. The home had existing oak flooring which we just sanded down and completely refinished with almost a white wash! Another amazing thing in the ‘after’ photo is the completely custom dining table. This table is 115” long and only about 30” wide! X envisioned a long bar height table that they could sit at in the morning and be able to look out the new window. We used the same countertop material on the table to keep it consistent with the kitchen.
X originally fell in love with a gorgeous quartz that was completely discontinued during the design process. This caused some major heartache for X because nothing else really compared. We were lucky to finally find a Quartz from Contempo Tile that had the coloring X was looking for. There was definitely some compromising… but unfortunately there wasn’t anything we could do. The tariffs have effected a lot of materials that we sell but usually we have a little more notice of something being discontinued.
The countertop struggle didn’t end there! Because of the massive island with the wall cutting through, we had to do two separate templates. Typically we can template a job and get countertops installed a week later. But X had to wait almost 3 weeks! We got worried about the material being too grey so once the slabs came in to Contempo Tile, X made a trip to SLC to view the slabs in person. After they were able to approve the coloring we did an initial template. We went back and forth with the fabricator on seam placement around the wall. To be safe, the fabricator did a second template where they made a custom wood stencil out of the countertop layout to make sure the seams would install effectively.
Client X is very well traveled and also enjoys looking for ideas in magazines and even hotels they visit. We chose a range hood during the design process that was much larger than the one we ended up installing. Right after cabinets went into production the client realized, while visiting a friend, that the hood they chose just wouldn’t work. We removed the hood from production until we could make a decision on a new style… which we found inside a magazine!
We did custom floating shelves in the same wood stain as the other wood accents and a sleek white subway tile backsplash from Contempo Tile. X chose KitchenAid appliances and a Zephyr hood insert!
We use an amazing millwork who had never done a custom hood before! This was also new to us… but we are always willing to take on a new challenge! We did custom specs for the space and had the hood built off of the magazine photo.
I mentioned before that X is very well traveled! While visiting Park City they stayed at a hotel where they saw the most perfect railing design. They instantly fell in love with the idea! They didn’t want to do something cookie cutter, they wanted something that would stand out. We went through a custom railing fabricator to do the insert design. We decided to change the look of the railing a little by squaring up the design to match everything else in the space.
We also designed a custom wood post which was also done by our millwork! We did these around the island as well as the railing to keep the look consistent.
I am not going to lie, the project definitely had it’s ups and downs! This was a massive main level remodel with tons of custom elements. Not only did X want it to be perfect, WE wanted it to be perfect. The project went over schedule and X was ready to have their home back! At the end of the day this is beyond a signature project for Top Tier! We are so proud of this remodel and X has become such a valued and important client and friend to us. We are currently talking about a possible basement remodel in the future!