The Magill/Dohan Home
Marion Magill and Marc Dohan had one major frustration with their Arlington colonial: They didn’t have the space to host big family events. All that changed thanks to a renovation we completed early last year, as Marion reported in December.
“We just had 17 people for ‘day after Thanksgiving’ dinner – both my family and Marc’s family,” Marion wrote in an email. “It’s the first time we’ve done that in the 15 years we’ve lived in the house. “Not only did we all fit at a big long table, but people could squeeze through to the bathroom. AND we could definitely fit another 4 or maybe more people if we wanted to. EXACTLY what we wanted!”
‘Willing to Work Within Our Budget’
Marion and Marc’s home, built in 1941, was in need of an update. Their primary targets: the kitchen and dining room. As Marion explained, the kitchen was in rough shape:
A leak from the upstairs bathroom had caused water damage in the ceiling.
The vinyl floors were long past their expiration date.
What little counter space existed was largely unusable.
The refrigerator was inconveniently located in an abutting pantry.
Unnecessary archways made the kitchen feel smaller.
A cramped passageway separated the kitchen and dining room.
Several neighbors recommended Marion and Marc contact Custom to discuss their project. After meeting with general manager Scott Blain, they decided to hire us.
“We felt like Custom was in tune with our price range and had a real sense of what we wanted to do without going beyond what we needed,” said Marion. “We didn’t feel any pressure to build outside the floor plan or put in things we didn’t feel were important. They were clearly willing to work within our budget.”
“Plus, it makes a real difference when someone has experience doing a lot of kitchens in Arlington, like Custom does. They can tell you what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense.”
A Complete Transformation
Before working on the kitchen, we had to repair the leak in the upstairs bathroom. After that, we were free to move on to the downstairs. Marion and Marc were insistent on maintaining the original flavor of the home and staying within its existing footprint. Taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room – along with reconfiguring the kitchen and pantry – opened up the first floor dramatically.
We completely transformed the look of the kitchen with oak fl oors, semicustom maple cabinets, granite countertops, recessed lighting and more. With guidance from our designer, Nicole DeFelice, we were able to create a bit more usable counter space. And the addition of a pair of casement windows added light and provided a better view of the backyard.
Finally, little touches – such as crafting an archway between the kitchen and dining room, and keeping the corner cabinet in the dining room – preserved the home’s traditional flavor.
Besides being pleased with the final product, Marion appreciated our commitment to fiscal management.
“Custom insisted on keeping us within our budget every step of the way, from choosing fixtures to tiles to countertop materials,” she said. “That really impressed me.”