Kitchen, bath and new deck
Mary and Lloyd Hutchinson first spoke with general manager Scott Blain about a bathroom renovation a few years ago. By the time we started work in May 2010, the project had expanded to encompass significant changes to their first floor and exterior.
Like many homeowners, the Hutchinsons wanted to find ways to get more out of their existing space. We accomplished this goal by opening up the first floor and extending the living space into the backyard via a sun deck.
“We really liked the idea of having an open concept,” said Mary. “We wanted to be able to interact with our eight-year-old son – and to keep an eye on him. The renovation has made this a lot easier.”
Frustrated with the Layout
Since moving into their Arlington home in 2004, the Hutchinsons had become frustrated with the first-floor layout. The basic problem was that the kitchen and dining room were split into too many small parts. The kitchen included a pantry and mudroom along the side facing the backyard, which took away from the usable space for cooking. And the family hardly used the formal dining room, which abutted the kitchen.
Scott worked with the Hutchinsons to design a solution. Taking down the wall between the dining room and kitchen was an obvious first step.
We also eliminated the pantry and mudroom to accommodate a half bathroom, dishwasher and double sink. The back wall now has a door and window, which has made a major difference. “The light is tremendous, and we can see into the backyard, which was a big priority for us,” said Mary.
The reconfigured kitchen/dining space is much more functional. One of Mary’s favorite features is the movable island, which has created extra space for food preparation and storage, and can be pushed to the side when necessary.
Bringing the Outside In
The dining area now opens onto a beautiful sun deck that allows the Hutchinsons to enjoy their nicely manicured backyard (“We’ve been using the deck regularly since the snow melted this spring,” said Mary). The back entry off the kitchen features a new staircase leading down to a curved brick patio installed by one of our trade subcontractors, Tom Aliberti.
“Having an Asian background, I tend to gravitate toward circular shapes rather than corners,” said Mary. “When I asked Tom if it was possible to incorporate curves, he said it was – and he was able to do it within our budget. He was great that way.”
Our work also touched on the upstairs, where we renovated the common bathroom and reconfi gured the space to fi t two sinks, produce additional storage space and more. The Hutchinsons are particularly happy with the tiling, including a green Ming mosaic and subway tiles surrounding the bathroom along with a framed herringbone deco in the alcove.
“We had a great experience with Custom and got to know a lot of their people,” said Mary. “[Lead carpenter] Bryan Lamoureux was fabulous – so meticulous and careful with the carpentry. We saw him daily, and he became like a member of the family. And [project coordinator] Michael Daniell was very helpful in making product selections. Given the scope of the project, it was very daunting having to make so many choices, but he was great about letting us know where we should focus next.”
“We have plans for future remodeling, both downstairs and upstairs, and Custom is the only one we would trust to do the rest of the work.”