Before and After: Two Masterful Kitchen Renovations by Case Design

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By Michele Koh Morollo
An East Coast design-build firm shows us how it's done when it comes to chic kitchen overhauls.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, design-build firm Case Design/Remodeling Inc. has over 50 years of experience with home interior and renovation projects, including kitchen remodels. 

The Case team will document, measure, and photograph your existing kitchen, and review structural integrity and building restrictions. The team then presents you with three different design options using 3D virtual renderings, sketches, elevations, and even virtual reality videos, so you have a clear idea how your collaborative vision will look.

The Case team will document, measure, and photograph your existing kitchen, and review structural integrity and building restrictions. The team then presents you with three different design options using 3D virtual renderings, sketches, elevations, and even virtual reality videos, so you have a clear idea how your collaborative vision will look.

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The Case method leverages the team's expertise in a collaborative process that involves the homeowners from start to finish. A designated project manager helps each client with material selection, budgeting, construction planning, and timelines.

Your Case project manager will take care of ordering and receiving materials, coordinate inspections, manage the team of craftsmen and trade experts assigned to your project, and ensure that you get the new kitchen of your dreams. 

Your Case project manager will take care of ordering and receiving materials, coordinate inspections, manage the team of craftsmen and trade experts assigned to your project, and ensure that you get the new kitchen of your dreams. 

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Below, we shine the spotlight on two kitchen renovation projects handled by Case. 

Modern Design

Designed by Elena Eskandari with Greg Polen as project manager, this modern kitchen update required taking out part of the wall, which completely changed the layout. All the old finishings were replaced with new materials, and a 12-foot island was added. 

Originally, the 1980s-style kitchen had country oak cabinets and dated finishes, and the layout wasn’t functional. 

Originally, the 1980s-style kitchen had country oak cabinets and dated finishes, and the layout wasn’t functional. 

Tight corners make it hard to navigate the kitchen.

Tight corners make it hard to navigate the kitchen.

The small island in the original kitchen does not encourage frequent use.

The small island in the original kitchen does not encourage frequent use.

The clients wanted an improved flow, ample space to cook and bake, and updated materials and appliances, so Eskandari added a new island with a hood for better circulation, ample seating and counter space, two-toned cabinetry, and a colorful backsplash.

The team chose two-tone Eclipse Cabinets with Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) doors in Arizona Cypress and White Zebrine, a colorful backsplash from Fireclay Tile in a picket shape and Bora-Bora color, a Kohler Vault sink, and a Hansgrohe faucet. 

The team chose two-tone Eclipse Cabinets with Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) doors in Arizona Cypress and White Zebrine, a colorful backsplash from Fireclay Tile in a picket shape and Bora-Bora color, a Kohler Vault sink, and a Hansgrohe faucet. 

"The post and beam construction made installing recessed lighting difficult, so we used track lighting combined with smaller task fixtures and pendants to provide ample lighting," says Eskandari. "The floor-to-ceiling windows limited cabinet locations, so our solution was the extra-long island, which was designed with much needed storage, and seating for seven."

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Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair with 4-Leg Base
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Ceaserstone in Blizzard was used for the perimeter countertop; and Silestone in Lusso for the island top and the waterfall edges. 

Ceaserstone in Blizzard was used for the perimeter countertop; and Silestone in Lusso for the island top and the waterfall edges. 

Black and White 

To solve the problem of a tight, cramped kitchen with an awkward layout and a lack of continuous countertops, Case project developer Erin Hoopes, designer Elena Eskandari, and project manager Loren Sanders worked together to change the layout and fit-outs from the floor to the ceiling. 

They replaced the wall between the dining room and the kitchen with a recessed beam to create a more open floor plan.  

They replaced the wall between the dining room and the kitchen with a recessed beam to create a more open floor plan.  

The kitchen before the renovation was a cramped, off-putting space.

The kitchen before the renovation was a cramped, off-putting space.

The client wanted to retain the architectural integrity and cohesiveness of their historic home while updating the kitchen for a growing family. To help them achieve this goal, the Case team removed a large column of pipes located in the center of the original space.   

The old cabinets before the renovation.

The old cabinets before the renovation.

To maintain the home’s classic style and vintage design, the team selected new Encaustic cement floor tiles in black, white, and grey. New, low-maintenance, marble-effect quartz countertops were chosen to give the kitchen a vintage look.

The microwave was discreetly located at the end of the new peninsula. The new layout allowed for the feature wall to highlight the 36-inch, pro-style range with highlighted tile niche storage.  

The microwave was discreetly located at the end of the new peninsula. The new layout allowed for the feature wall to highlight the 36-inch, pro-style range with highlighted tile niche storage.  

The plaster walls on the right side of the old kitchen weren’t even, but the client didn’t want reframe the entire wall. In order to create a cohesive layout that wouldn’t call for removing all the existing plaster and lath, or relocating the radiator, Case built a new wall that allowed for the seamless incorporation of a new range and niche, without jogs in the focal wall.

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A classic subway tile backsplash with contrasting grey grout and stacked cabinets with matte brass hardware and fixtures emphasize the classic feel of the home. The new cabinets include pull-out pot and pan drawers, a waste and recycling compartment, pantry roll-outs, a spice pull-out, and base tray storage.  

A classic subway tile backsplash with contrasting grey grout and stacked cabinets with matte brass hardware and fixtures emphasize the classic feel of the home. The new cabinets include pull-out pot and pan drawers, a waste and recycling compartment, pantry roll-outs, a spice pull-out, and base tray storage.  

The new design allowed for a standard refrigerator to be built into a space that was previously a doorway. 

"Finding the perfect floor tile that worked for the space was a bit of a challenge," says Hoopes. "We looked at several dozen patterns from a variety of vendors, and zeroed in on this final selection as it incorporated all the colors in the right pattern distribution to add just enough ‘wow’ to the final design."