McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

Project of the Month: East Syracuse Kitchen Remodel

Posted by Brian Ciota on Tue, Sep 3, 2013

One of the most popular features on our Website is Projects of the Month, which we began in June 2010. Starting this month, we are adding Projects of the Month to our blog. Blog articles will provide you with more detailed information about each project. We’ll talk about the homeowners’ objectives, the challenges we faced and the solutions we arrived at to meet or exceed what the homeowners wanted to achieve with their remodel. We’ll also post “before” and “after” photos to show both the dramatic and subtle changes that can be attained. As always, you can view all “Projects of the Month” on our Website gallery.

This month’s project is a kitchen remodel for homeowners in East Syracuse, NY. Their small, 1970s kitchen had dark cabinets, vinyl flooring from a bygone era and a configuration that created a dark kitchen. Cabinets mounted on the ceiling and a framed breakfast bar and a pot rack divider were obstructions that separated the kitchen and dining areas. A coffered ceiling and the layout of the kitchen also blocked natural light from the room. Kitchen storage space was limited.

Project Consultant: Lauren Szczygiel
Lead Carpenter: Jim Welsh

Open Kitchen with Ample Cabinet Space




The homeowners’ wish list included:

• Better lighting

• Functional storage space

• New counters and cabinets

• New appliances

• Integrating the kitchen with an adjacent dining room and hallway

• A spot for informal dining

• Counter space for preparing meals

• New flooring

• Working within the existing footprint of the home


Ceiling mounted cabinets, a coffered ceiling that held it in place and a framed breakfast bar needed to be removed to create an open flow between the rooms and bring natural sunlight to the kitchen. Left photo is the view from the dining room. Right photo is the view from the hallway.

2013 September POM Before


The new layout of upper and base cabinets strategically added more storage space to the room. Removing the ceiling mounted cabinet and a framed breakfast bar that divided the kitchen and dining room, opened up the kitchen. Below is a dimensional drawing of the new kitchen.

2013 September POM Dimensional Drawing

The objectives of the project were met in the following ways:

1.    Incorporating Natural Light and Adding Enhanced Lighting

By removing obstacles, natural light from the dining room now illuminates the kitchen during the day. Under-cabinet lighting was used to illuminate the task areas of the kitchen.  A light fixture purchased by the home owners was retained to illuminate the cooking area. The white upper cabinets reflect light in the room and blend into the ceiling to create an illusion of openness and height.

Kitchen with Natural Light



2.    Adding Functional Storage with Semi-Custom Cabinets

A soffit was removed and cabinets were brought up to ceiling height to add more storage. The cabinets are “Elkmont” from Bishop Cabinets and two finishes were selected: “Off-White” for the upper cabinets and “Natural Cherry” for the base cabinets. The natural wood base cabinets add to the continuity of the home and integrate with wood elements in the adjacent dining room and hallway. They are also easier to maintain. The breakfast bar was replaced by a peninsula with a storage drawer and base cabinet to extend storage.

Kitchen with Semi Custom Cabinets



3.    Extending Counter Space

An overhang on the peninsula provides seating for two plus expanded counter space for preparing meals. Cambria quartz countertops in the “Windermere” design were matched with 3-by-6-inch Roman Travertine Classico, “Mattoncino” glazed porcelain tile. The backsplash was laid in a classic subway tile pattern.

Cambria Kitchen Countertop and Glaze Porcelain Subway Tile



4.    Installing Oak Floors

New oak 2¼-inch floors replaced the dated vinyl flooring in the kitchen and were also installed in the hallway leading to a tiled front foyer. Thresholds were kept level.

Kitchen with Oak Floors and Stainless Steel Appliances


How to Plan a Kitchen Remodeling Project Guide    

Topics: Kitchen Design, Design Trends and Ideas, Projects of the Month

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