Project Description

This family’s home had a kitchen that was exactly like so many others in its neighborhood – and all across Charlotte. The cabinets were dated and the layout was functional, yet very basic. What they wanted was what we advise clients to do all the time – design a space that functions well for your family now and also sets your home apart from the competition when and if the time comes to sell.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • This tract home had a basic kitchen that was showing its age in term of wear and tear and a dated design. We wanted to give this young family more functional space while improving the kitchen’s appearance.
  • When we removed the old vinyl floor to install new porcelain tile, we realized that there was a significant dip of about an inch and a quarter in the concrete slab.
  • The original small pantry was inadequate for the storage needs of this growing family.


  • One of the main functional issues this kitchen had was that there was minimal space for wall cabinetry. A large double sliding glass door took up vital real estate along one wall, and poor window positioning further hindered cabinet placement along the same wall. We moved the kitchen window down about 12” and replaced the double doors with a single glass door, opening up valuable wall space for cabinets.
  • When we removed sections of the vinyl siding to reposition the window and frame in the new door, we discovered some major electrical issues behind the walls that never should have passed inspection. We corrected those and blended the new siding and trim work into the existing exterior for a seamless look.
  • The major change was the design and layout of the beautiful new stained maple cabinets by Wellborn. We had a trusted cabinet designer work with us and the family to ensure that the layout was designed for how they use the space and what they need to store in it. Much taller wall cabinets added ample storage, while modern touches like a lazy Susan eased access to floor cabinets. A peninsular seating area made the most of the small space, while granite countertops visually united both sides of the kitchen and provided a beautiful and functional work surface.
  • To correct the deficiencies in the floor, we built up sections of the slab in the proper manner to ensure that we had a level surface for the new tile work.
  • Beside the side cabinets was a 2’ by 18” framed space that was normally used by the original builder for an air return. That was not the case in this home, so we removed the framed chase to tap into this unused space and expand the new upper and lower cabinetry.  We also replaced existing wire shelving with more durable melamine shelving in a pantry closet. Then, we utilized unused space underneath the staircase, framing it in and sheetrocking it to create a second, seasonal pantry that gave this family the extra storage space they needed.
  • Adding to the home’s dated appearance were original, shiny gold faucets whose finish was flaking off (as well as faucets and showerheads in the bathrooms). Those were replaced with more modern and functional plumbing fixtures.
  • We replaced the existing overhead fluorescent light with more functional and brighter recessed canned lighting and added under cabinet lights to improve task lighting.
  • The kitchen cabinets and countertop we replaced were put to good use in the garage, providing organized storage space and a work surface in this well-used area.