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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Newman

Kitchen Case Study and Testimonial

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Kitchen Case Study I got a call from a friend of a friend who asked if I would be interested in designing a new kitchen for them. I was delighted, and scheduled a meeting on site. Most clients know many of the problems in their kitchen, but they have difficulty visualizing a redesign of their space. I listened to their "wish list", took measurements, assessed the space, and discussed budget. One of the most immediate problems was that the kitchen was cold. Any new design could not be a success unless we could resolve this issue. We made it a priority.

View Some Before Photos Below

Space planning is our tool to execute a new floor plan. We resolved to give the client's a mud room area since there were two direct from outside entrances. A new cabinet layout solved the pantry and storage issues, and provided extensive work spaces including baking and bar areas. An eating area for four (the dining room was adjacent), a desk/computer area, bookcases for the client's extensive collection of cookbooks and garden books, and a small sitting area for reading.

We were able to recycle some of the newer appliances, and found space for a second oven and a TV.

Another problem area was the ventilation system. The clients enjoy cooking and their old system was inadequate. It is important that whatever may be on the stove/cook top does not end up as a greasy or moist film on the kitchen walls or ceiling. A new system was put in place adjacent to the cook top in the island that allowed for a downdraft.

The old kitchen lacked adequate lighting, complicated by a low beamed ceiling. We executed a new task specific LED plan that properly illuminated work spaces, traffic patterns and selected materials, in this case art work. Good lighting is an essential kitchen requirement.

View The Makeover Below

From Our Client

We sought the services of Panache Interior Design for a major kitchen renovation based on the recommendation of friends. Several factors appealed to us from the very beginning. First, my husband and I both liked the work she’d done in other homes. Her designs are by no means, “cookie cutter” but rather reflect the owner’s individual tastes and needs, and the spirit of each location. Second, we appreciated the act that Tracy thoughtfully works with each homeowner to select a primary contractor for each job. This focused approach shortens the renovation time, eliminates frustrating gaps, and leads to a high quality or work with a single point of contact for most subcontractors. Third, from the beginning, Tracy listened carefully to our needs and wants, measuring them against our budget.

Tracy was very helpful in ensuring that we had a temporary kitchen that was functional during a major renovation which included the removal of a large, three-story brick chimney and combining several rooms. She was practical during every step of the build/renovation process, from concept to completion. My husband and I spend a considerable amount of time outdoors; she ensured that our flooring and other aspects of our design accommodated not only our gardening and landscaping activities, but a home that can be busy with summer guests including young grandchildren. She also helped us to create a wall to exhibit some of our Maine art; this remains a favorite aspect of our new kitchen. Tracy was always accessible to email or phone, even when traveling from time to time.

While the renovation was expensive based on our plans, Tracy helped us cut some costs by re-using certain appliances. We also chose a higher end countertop but saved some money by using moderately priced flooring. She did not constantly “push” the most expensive option but was thoughtful about when and why to invest in various aspects of the project.

Tracy was very thorough in her approach to everything, even encouraging us to inventory exactly what we wanted to store in our kitchen. She also helped us make decisions quickly and easily by presenting us with carefully curated options for backsplashes, fabrics, lighting, sinks and other aspects of the project.

Two of our major issues were lack of adequate lightening and lack of heat. Both have been addressed completely, which is important given that our home is on the water and we spend winters in Maine. The space is now bright and cozy year round. As we requested, the palette of our kitchen very much reflects our views of the local bay, forest, and fields.

We love our home and while many of our contemporaries’ dream of Florida, coastal Maine is exactly where we want to be. We are very grateful for Tracy’s guidance and expertise during our kitchen renovation project and heartily recommend Panache Interior Design as a multifaceted, service-oriented firm.

Kimberly G, Orono, Maine


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