This St. Charles kitchen renovation process began with Peggy and Jeff’s love for cooking together, after 20 years of being in their home, the kitchen began to feel dated and dysfunctional. The kitchen island was awkward. It interrupted the flow of the kitchen and made getting to the pantry and refrigerator awkward and cumbersome. The couple began seriously exploring the idea of remodeling their kitchen.

While most people are trying to figure out how to add an island, Peggy and Jeff were thinking about removing theirs. “We envisioned having a space that was more conducive for working together in the kitchen,” Peggy said. They began the process of finding just the right company by going to home shows and meeting with remodeling companies.

They met Advance Design Studio, Ltd. and Designer Michelle Lecinski at the Old House New House Home Show at Pheasant Run in St. Charles. Immediately, they were drawn in by Michelle’s friendly disposition and they booked a consultation at their home. “We were really impressed with Michell’s presentation, with her organization. She is just a really nice person that was really easy to connect with and work with,” Peggy said.

Like most homeowners, they were unsure about how much they wanted to invest in their new kitchen financially. After visiting their home and talking in depth about what was important to them, Michelle offered two different design options each with a detailed financial analysis so they could pinpoint exactly where their investment would go. The first design kept the original cabinets, and the second complete kitchen redesign included functional new cabinetry.

Michelle displayed both options with expertly drawn 3D illustrations. Removing the single large island and replacing it with a smaller, more functional island with more “moving around space”, the redesign also included an extremely useful breakfast bar that made better use of the kitchen’s rather elongated space. Peggy and Jeff could see easily how the new cabinets would look and flow much better than the original kitchen layout. With the finalized design, it was time to move into the construction phase.

Being removed from their kitchen for a couple of weeks was an idea that concerned the couple, especially since they cooked most of their meals and hated to go out. They feared that actual construction would be the most difficult part of the remodeling process, but constant communication with Michelle and Project Manager DJ helped the transition go smoothly.

“Michelle and DJ did their best to help us come up with a temporary kitchen setup,” Peggy said. “We used our laundry room for sink and storage. They moved our refrigerator to a place where we could access it. It was about as comfortable as you could get without having a kitchen.”

Michelle reassured them that the temporary discomfort was only for a short time. “She would say ‘hang in there, you are almost there’, but it definitely was worth it!” Peggy said.

The construction phase was not as painful as Peggy thought it would be. They quickly formed a close relationship with their Lead Carpenter Jeff. “He took his time. I just felt super comfortable with the quality of work that he was doing for us,” Peggy said. “He was just a really neat person. We liked having him around.”

Before they knew it, the kitchen was finished. Not only did the new kitchen operate much more efficiently, but visually it was really more beautiful than Peggy and Jeff had even anticipated since they first saw the drawings.

The focal point of the kitchen is hands-down the striking black custom range hood displayed against the 3”x6” tumbled travertine brick accent wall. “Because this space is long and narrow, the custom hood draws the eye into the room and up onto the beautifully textured wall,” designer Michelle said. The Chicago style brick brings a sophisticated urban loft feel to the once plain, vanilla kitchen.

Peggy wanted white cabinetry, but she didn’t want the bright white cabinets that are popular today. Michelle helped her choose soft and creamy Medallion Gold Cabinetry in Divinity White with Wellington raised panel doors for the perimeter of the kitchen. The kitchen island features a Cobblestone Oak finish for an interesting contrast and furniture-like appeal.

Custom bronze metal mesh inserts accentuate the appliance garage cabinet doors, creating a simple yet unique look. The countertops consist of two different complementary patterns of Cambria quartz; Cambria Black and Hollinsbrook. Oil rubbered bronze faucets from the Kohler Artifacts Collection are in both the farmhouse sink and the prep island. Cascading pendant light by Elk and black sconces from Savoy House tie the whole space together and provide warm, inviting lighting.

Peggy and Jeff are thrilled at how their kitchen remodel turned out. “I just feel really comfortable in this space,” Peggy said. “I just really like being in the kitchen where before it wasn’t super exciting. I really like the lighting, I really like the shelves, the organization of where we have things now makes everything a lot easier to use.”

Jeff and Peggy can cook together again, and thoroughly enjoy an activity that they love in the space designed exactly for them. They no longer bump into each other, the space functions perfectly and all kitchen appliances have a place to be stored out of sight instead of on the counter. They have everything that they hoped for when they started dreaming of a kitchen renovation years ago.

“Advance Design handled everything, I wouldn’t want to do it alone,” Peggy said. “If down the road we decide to do some more remodeling, I definitely will give Michelle and Advance Design a call.”