Project Description

Before hiring Custom to renovate her small kitchen, Arlington’s Diane Krause met with general manager Scott Blain to discuss the project. One thing he stressed was that Diane should find a general contractor that she could really trust. He even urged her to talk to a few competitors to be sure of her decision.

In the end, her choice was clear. “I just felt comfortable with Scott and with Custom from the beginning,” said Diane. “And he was right about trust. Having your kitchen remodeled is disruptive. It’s critical to hire a company that you can trust with such a big responsibility.”

Diane has lived in her home, which backs up to a large park, for 18 years. The house was built in the 1920s, and she had been waiting to update the kitchen for a long time. Among her big project goals:

  1. Open things up so that she could enjoy the view of the park.
  2. Improve the layout and maximize the relatively small amount of space.
  3. Update the kitchen, including new appliances, countertops and cabinets, but maintain the overall look of the house.


Giving the Kitchen a Warmer Look

Addressing the first item on Diane’s wish list – opening up the view off the rear – was pretty easy. We added windows along with a glass door, and created the perfect spot for a breakfast area. Now Diane can enjoy the peaceful park view she had always imagined.

As is often the case with small kitchens, maximizing space was critical. The original kitchen was chopped up and far from ideal for someone who enjoys baking.

“I had an 18-inch counter between the stove and fridge,” said Diane. “To prepare anything, I had to bring it over there to run the electric mixer. Then I had to head over to the small island and roll out whatever I was going to bake. It was very inefficient.”

The new layout features more usable working space in the form of ivory granite counters. “I credit [Custom designer] Nikki DeFelice with pointing me toward that color,” said Diane. “I had wanted a dark-green granite at first, but the ivory definitely gives the kitchen a warmer look.”

Additional storage space has come in the form of Bertch Legacy semi-custom cherry cabinets. New appliances include a range hood, oven, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Bringing It All Together

Diane lauds the work of lead carpenter Dave Surrette in preserving the home’s look. “He really listened to what I wanted. And I felt I could ask him anything,” she said. “I love that they were able to put all my original trim back – especially the wooden chair rail and baseboard. I’m really impressed with how well the kitchen integrates with the rest of the home.

“And I love how it all comes together – the granite, cabinets, hardwood floor. It just looks fabulous.”

After the project was finished, we came across an Angie’s List posting where Diane noted that “working in smaller spaces requires more skills than if you have a large area.” We couldn’t agree more. And we’re pleased that Diane noticed.

Project Details

Client The Krause Home
Location Arlington, MA