July 15, 2013

A client’s indecisiveness can challenge a designer when it comes to production. “If you give a client too many options, sometimes they can’t make a decision,” said designer Ed Cholfin, president of AK Complete Home Renovations. “It’s an issue of making [the client] comfortable.”

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Beginning with an outdated and well-used, builder-style kitchen, Cholfin immediately saw room for improvement. “It was time to modernize the kitchen to their tastes,” said Cholfin.
Melamine white cabinets and broken appliances still adorned the space, which was inefficiently sized for a young family. Too small but also too high for their two children, the island presented the first hurdle.

“She wanted the island to seat more people, but we were in a confined area,” said Cholfin. “To fit the maximum tabletop and chairs, I taped paper to the floor to act as a countertop.” As she went about her daily tasks in the kitchen, the client adjusted the footprint for the potential bi-level island, which now has one side low enough for the children as well as a high-top table. “The island has a mushroom effect to it,” Cholfin commented. Leather seats, originally designed as pool table chairs, double the island’s seating capacity.

“As far as construction, there were no issues or challenges,” said Cholfin. “It was like a Microsoft plug-and-play project.” However, indecision on the client’s part over samples and colors delayed the design process significantly.

“If you keep trying to play on the colors, you can never make a design,” explained Cholfin. “Look at the cabinets first and find what color really gets the client.” Maple cabinetry replaced the outdated white melamine. For a traditional touch, the cabinets also have a small raised panel along with rope-trimmed edging and a nutmeg-brown stain. “Maple takes a stain very consistently,” added Cholfin. “With the wash that the stain has, there is a subtle two-tone effect on the maple.”

After choosing the cabinetry, Cholfin advised the client to select the granite and the color for the countertops. The subtle detailing in the cabinetry contrasts with the St. Cecilia granite countertops around the kitchen perimeter and on the island.  “I tried to lead her toward a different granite for the island, or a tiger wood top, but her tastes are more conservative,” explained Cholfin. “She knew what she wanted, but in reality, she was pretty modest. She used logic over emotion, and that was more than adequate.”

Cabinets replaced the pantry’s former wire shelves, and a lower section was added for the children. A tumble-stone backsplash also pairs with a berry red wall color. “We leave paint last because we can mix anything in paint,” said Cholfin. To accommodate the husband’s collection of wine, a holder and a wine chiller replaced a former desk.

“I tell clients just to relax and let the process work, and they’ll be amazed at the transformation in environment,” said Cholfin. “That’s the biggest thing that I get out of doing this work.”

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