Project Description

Marla Harris and Richard Crocombe have lived in their Winchester home since 1997. They were never happy with their kitchen but decided that a major renovation would be too disruptive while they still had kids around. Once their youngest son went off to college, they decided it was time.

The couple first heard about Custom from a few friends who were clients of ours. We then did some smaller projects for Marla and Richard before they talked to us about remodeling their kitchen and adding on a family room.

The problems with the kitchen are pretty commonplace in older homes. The room was cramped, with very little cabinet and counter space. The appliances and overall look, meanwhile, were both in need of an update.

“It was very difficult; only one person at a time could get anything done in the kitchen,” says Marla. “We really wanted to make the layout more efficient. Creating more storage was another big thing, because we had these open wood shelves everywhere.”

They Did Their Research

Marla and Richard came into this project prepared. They had been thinking about remodeling the kitchen for years and had compiled a scrapbook of photos from magazines and other ideas. Sometimes they knew exactly what they wanted, such as with the natural maple cabinets, which matched a table they already owned. In other cases, they looked to Custom Contracting kitchen designer Nikki DeFelice for guidance.

“Nikki and the team helped us figure out how to work in the looks we wanted,” says Marla. “For instance, she came with us to the stone store to look at countertops. She helped us decide which material would look best with the cabinets. We knew what kind of color scheme we wanted, and she helped us get there.”

Marla also credits Nikki with figuring out how to work in certain features, like a warming drawer conveniently located next to the stovetop and a small beverage cooler built into the island. Speaking of the island, Marla and Richard initially resisted including an overhang. But Nikki kept pushing for it, and now Marla is glad they have the space for a couple of stools.

The new kitchen is a treat for someone like Marla, who enjoys cooking and baking. Nikki managed to create a small area off one side of the oven where Marla can roll out dough, chop up vegetables, etc. Between that and the island, there’s plenty of room for food prep. And with the new convection oven and induction cooktop, everything heats up much faster than before.

Enhancing Their View

Off the kitchen and toward the back of the home, we built a family room where a screened-in porch once stood. With a cathedral ceiling and lots of windows, it’s an open space with ample natural light. Between the family room and the kitchen, Marla and Richard now enjoy an expansive view of the garden and woods out back.

In addition to calling out Nikki’s contributions, Marla also praised the work of our lead carpenter, Terry Tighe. “He was amazing; I can’t say enough good things about him,” she says. “He was excellent about keeping us up to date on things, even when we were out of town on a personal matter. We always felt like things were under control, which was a great relief to us.”

Now that their long-awaited remodeling project is complete, Marla and Richard are happy to sit back and enjoy the final result.

“We started the project with a list of things that were important to us, and Custom helped us achieve what we wanted,” says Marla. “We’re very positive about it. As I sit here now, sipping my tea and looking out onto the snow, I wonder how we ever lived in the old kitchen!”

Project Details

Client The Harris-Crocombe Home
Location Winchester, MA