Teamwork: The Best Ingredient for a Kitchen Renovation

Posted on | July 26, 2011 | 1 Comment

A kitchen remodel or renovation requires creativity and attention to detail in both the design and the execution. Two Piedmont Triad firms, The Kitchen Studio and Ned Eldridge Inc. Residential Restoration, have collaborated with homeowners throughout the region on projects of this sort. North Carolina Design Online recently caught up with Gina Arledge, of The Kitchen Studio and Ned Eldridge.
The Kitchen Studio Traditional Kitchen, North Carolina Design Online
Image Courtesy of The Kitchen Studio

NCD: How does the kitchen design process work?
GA: With a remodel, our initial meeting is at the client’s home. The project could be either an addition or the renovation of an existing kitchen. We are able to see first hand their likes and dislikes, review their current storage needs and identify what else they want to be stored but can’t, due to lack of space. We confirm what appliances will be reused, and which ones will be replaced. If it’s an addition, we are working off a set of plans.

Early in the process of designing the kitchen, it’s important to establish the homeowners’ taste and style. During that meeting, I ask my clients to show me something in their home that reflects their style and speaks to who they are.

NCD: Does this initial meeting also include the contractor?
NE: For our company, the answer is yes. We are present at every initial meeting. This saves us from going back perhaps 2 – 3 times to get more information. That discussion covers the clients’ vision for the space, the groundwork for the design concept and the overall scope of the renovation. In terms of the renovation, we can readily identify walls that aren’t plumb or floors that aren’t level. We also try to further investigate during that meeting other issues we may encounter. It’s not possible to know what’s behind a wall until it’s opened up, but a professional contractor should be thorough in reviewing the space.

GA: It’s definitely beneficial to have all 3 parties present. There may be construction issues that are related to the design concept. Ned is able to address those on the spot. For example, is that a load bearing wall? With the contractor present, we can discuss options.

Image Courtesy of Ned Eldridge Inc.

NCD: What are the first steps in the kitchen remodel and how do you make sure nothing is forgotten?
NE: This initial meeting is the first step. To ensure that the contractor, kitchen designer and homeowner are all on the same page in terms of the direction of the project, we come back and give our clients a detailed summary of everything discussed at that first meeting. They can then make changes prior to signing off on the project. The kitchen designer also gets has a copy of this.

GA: Everything we’ve discussed relates to the first steps. Our plans are very detailed so I don’t look at it so much as what may be forgotten, but I am conscious of the unforeseen issues that will come up. That’s why it’s so important to work with a professional contractor. They have faced obstacles and know how to overcome them.

NCD: What are the finer details that you feel really “finish” off the space?
GA: As I design each kitchen, I am inspired by my client. The things that complete it, make it unique to them. I had a Ukrainian client who had collected blue and white pottery over the years. They wanted to showcase that in their kitchen. The kitchen became the canvas and the cabinetry was the backdrop. My goal is for the homeowners’ personality to come out in the space. If that doesn’t happen, then I haven’t done my job.

NCD: What do you feel is the most important technological leap within the kitchens in the last 5-10 years?
NE: I don’t think I can single out one particular item and say, ‘Look! This has really changed how the kitchen is used in the past 5 or 10 years.’ In reality, I think it’s been a gradual change over the past 20 years and it’s been a number of things which affected that. Consider lighting  – the placement of it and the controls for it. Both ranges and ovens have evolved make cooking both fun and easy. Appliances like the dishwasher are designed to be sleek, energy efficient and quiet.

GA: I recognize the effect that Wi-Fi has had on kitchens. There are computer stations as a part of the kitchen design where bills can be paid or homework can be done. Personally, when I cook, I follow recipes directly from on my iPad. Once dinner is ready, a quick FaceTime call on my iPad lets my children know that dinner is ready! I can’t say that we’ve reached the point where the Jetsons have entered the kitchen, but then, who really wants them to?Kitchen Studio Kitchen Remodel, North Carolina Design Online

Image Courtesy of The Kitchen Studio

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One Response to “Teamwork: The Best Ingredient for a Kitchen Renovation”

  1. Kitchen Doors
    September 22nd, 2011 @ 8:11 AM

    In order to succeed in any kind of work or project it is always good to work in a team. And the concept of renovation that has been discussed here is really good. Then we can for sure have a very good output at the end.

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