Len and Judy Heinrich rightfully claim to be one of Custom’s longest-tenured clients. We completed our first project for them — a major renovation of their home on Hillsdale Road in Arlington — back in the early 1990s.
Soon after, the couple had their first child and moved to a brand new colonial in Stoneham. There, they hired us to build a basement playroom and add a box bay window to their daughter’s bedroom.
In 1999 the family moved to a four-bedroom colonial in Lexington. We subsequently completed a few projects, including building a new bathroom and installing French doors into the family room.
Last Thanksgiving, the Heinrichs had family over for dinner. There was only one problem: Their small wall oven wasn’t heating. “It took a while, but I finally got it to work and cooked the turkey,” Len says. “But that was the last time it ever worked.”
Soon thereafter, Len and Judy visited an appliance store to buy a new oven. The store had a kitchen design center, and a salesperson mentioned that they worked with a general contractor who could renovate kitchens for a modest amount.
Overcoming a ‘Small’ Challenge
The Heinrichs’ kitchen is on the smaller side — Len estimates it’s about 9′ x 14′. Previously, there was just enough room for a table, but not enough cabinet or counter space. So they decided to speak with the contractor and see what the renovation would cost.
“When we got the estimate, we decided it was too much money to commit to a guy we didn’t know,” Len says. “We had Custom come over to see what they could do.”
General manager Scott Blain met with the Heinrichs and pointed out some gaps in the other contractor’s plan, including the lack of seating. Then our designer, Nikki DeFelice, got involved to figure out what was possible.
What the Heinrichs really wanted was an eat-in bar — someplace where they could have breakfast or lunch. Nikki came up with a design that incorporated a peninsula with room for two stools. It struck the perfect balance between providing seating, yet not breaking up the kitchen into two small spaces.
“Our daughter, who had been our unofficial designer, thought having an eat-in bar would take up too much space,” Len says. “When she saw the final result, she was really impressed.”
Nikki’s plan also included little features that enhance the kitchen’s functionality, such as pull-out trays, a lazy Susan and what Len calls “an incredible pull-out spice drawer.”
The remodeled kitchen also features all-new appliances, white shaker cabinetry and granite countertops along with a wider doorway into the dining room.
‘A Very High-Quality Company’
We wrapped up the Heinrichs’ project in April, so the couple has had some time to enjoy their remodeled kitchen as well as many breakfasts and lunches at their new peninsula. While they’re not sure any more renovations are in their future, they’re thankful for Custom’s service over the past three decades.
“This was the fifth renovation project we’ve done with Custom over the course of three houses,” says Len. “They continue to be a very high-quality company. Everybody I’ve dealt with there is first-rate.”
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