Remodel Reveal: An Open Concept Kitchen

The Background:

Our client recently purchased a home, which they planned to remodel prior to moving in. The house in general had good bones, but the kitchen layout and aesthetics were very out of date and not to the clients taste.

Before officially calling this house, “home,” our client wanted to remodel their kitchen to create an open-concept feel for easy entertaining in their family room. The only thing standing in the way of their dreams was a wall and some TLC by our team of professionals.

Closed Off Kitchen

The original wall cut off any interaction between the kitchen and family room area.

Outdated Sarasota Kitchen

Two outdated features of this kitchen are the green laminate countertops and the striped wallpaper.


There was a lot of natural light in this kitchen, which was a bonus.

The Solution:

One benefit to this clients remodel was that they were not living in the home while we were working. This was great because the client didn’t have to modify their daily lifestyle habits around the remodel. For this kitchen remodel, we removed one column of the existing wall that separated the kitchen and family room. The new space where the wall sat previously was used to create a breakfast bar. This modification not only created the open concept our client desired, but it also created additional seating.

The original cabinet boxes were in good shape, so instead of replacing the cabinets altogether, the decision was made to reface. This decision saved our clients some money to use in other areas of the remodel. We installed a cherry autumn wood for the new cabinet door fronts, as well as Venetian Gold granite countertops and a soft gray subway tile for the backsplash.

In the final details leading up to the completion of this kitchen remodel, we laid all new wood flooring throughout the kitchen and family room areas. We also removed the existing wallpaper and painted the walls, installed both under and above cabinet lighting and added pendant lights above the breakfast bar.

Open Concept Breakfast Bar

Sarasota Kitchen Remodel

Open Concept Kitchen

What are your thoughts on the transformation of this open concept kitchen? Share your comments below.

Italian Bathroom Remodel

Transformation Tuesday: No Space to Great Space

The Background:

Our client had lived in their Sarasota home for many years when they decided to update their cramped and tight on space master bathroom. Originally from Italy, our client desired a spa-like oasis, while also creating an adjoining space for their laundry room, which originally resided in the garage.

The original bathroom was very narrow. When you walked in through the bedroom, the vanity sat on the right hand side and the shower followed directly after. Following the end of the hallway-like bathroom, was a door that led to an addition that the client was using for storage.

Outdated bathroom vanity

Outdated Sarasota Shower

Original Storage Closet

The Solution:

The area in which the bathroom sat originally, was converted to the new laundry room. Modifications to the electric and plumbing were done to create hook ups for the new washer and dryer locations, and we also installed new cabinets for extra out-of-site storage.

Remodeled laundry room

The bathroom was then moved to the previous storage room, which was actually an addition that was added to the home a few years prior. Our client chose fixtures and colors that reflected their Italian style, which ended up coming together nicely.

Italian Bathroom Remodel

Cambria Torquay Quartz Countertops

Remodeled Shower Sarasota

There was not a single detail missed when designing this space. From the European vanity lights to the carrara marble basket weave in the shower, we did our best to bring Little Italy to Sarasota.

While hard to tell from the photos, the floor tile actually sparkled (and not just because it was clean). Our team installed a porcelain dimensional tile with hints of silver, while still providing a slip free surface.

What are your thoughts on the transformation of this master bathroom? Share your comments below.

Granite vs Quartz: The Great Debate

You’re at the point in your remodeling project where you’re picking out materials and need to choose a countertop. As we all know, the countertop is an essential piece in the overall feel of your project. So, how do you decide which material is right for your project?

There are several countertop options available, including but not limited to: laminate, concrete, solid and stone surfaces. In this post, we will outline the pros and cons of two stone options, granite and quartz.

As you’re reading this, keep in mind the function and purpose of the room you’re remodeling, the function the countertop will serve and what your overall design vision is. Keeping those things in the forefront of your mind, should help you in your decision making process. Okay, let’s get to it!

There are two basic categories stone surfaces fall into, which are natural or engineered. Granite is a natural stone and is excavated directly from the earth in large blocks. It is indeed, 100% natural. These large blocks are then fabricated, or cut in different sizes and then polished. Quartz however, is referred to as an engineered stone because it goes through a manufacturing process which mixes various grades and sizes of quartz crystals with resin and color. Typically the ratio is 93% quartz to 7% resin. After the mixing process, the countertop is ready to be cut, profiled and then polished.

Granite Pros

  • Granite is 100% natural. There are no other elements being incorporated with this stone. What comes out of the ground is what you get.
  • Granite is strong and extremely durable, but not as strong as quartz.
  • Your granite countertop will be one-of-a-kind and unique to you, meaning not a single person will have the same piece.

Granite Cons

  • Granite countertops need to be sealed, as the surface tends to be porous.
  • It’s important to remember that because no two pieces of granite are the same, what you see online and what you see at a granite yard will vary. Think of granite as piece of art, it is as unique as your new kitchen!
  • Granite seams are visible, so it’s important to hire a professional installer who will keep these traits in mind. If your stone has veins or directional movement in the pattern, expect that to be a permanent characteristic of your countertop.

Quartz Pros

  • Quartz is extremely durable, but not indestructible. Quartz is one of the strongest materials on the planet, which makes it extremely durable and able to withstand most unlikely accidents.
  • Quartz is non-porous, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. It is also stain resistant, making it easy to maintain and clean.
  • The color selection of Quartz is uniform. What you see in the store or online is what you can expect to see once your countertop is installed in your house.

Quartz Cons

  • Quartz doesn’t do well with extreme exposure to sunlight. That being said, it would be a bad idea to have a Quartz countertop outside or in an area of your house which is prone to UVA rays. If you expose quartz to sunlight over a long period of time you can expect discoloration. No need to apply Aloe Vera, at that point, what’s done is done.
  • If you’re seam averse, choose a slab that has more pattern. Solid colors tend to highlight the seams, while patterns tend to disguise them.

In the end, always be true to your vision and what you are hoping to achieve. Be mindful that each room and project will serve a different function and just because your neighbors did it a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s also the best option for you.

If you’re still unsure about which countertop is best, our designers are always happy to help and narrow down your choices. They are well informed and well versed in the pros and cons of each stone.

Happy remodeling!

-Written by Design Assistant, Mimi Janotka

Transformation Tuesday: Beach Inspired Kitchen Remodel

The Background: After surviving two bathroom remodels previously, this client returned to us for a third and final project- their kitchen! Remember the master bathroom transformation we shared last month? In case you missed it, you can take a look here. Similar to their bathroom, the kitchen was functional but was outdated in terms of design. Since this home served as a vacation home, our client didn’t care to install all top of the line products.

With the home being close to the beach, our client desired the kitchen to feel more “coastal-like,” while still keeping an overall clean and transitional look.



The Solution: In taking our clients wishlist and knowledge of what they liked and didn’t, we decided to keep the clean look of white cabinets but update the door style. The client chose a painted maple shaker style cabinet with brushed satin nickel cabinet pulls. In achieving the subtle beach feel, the client chose a glass subway tile in twilight blue for their backsplash and a unique granite piece for their countertops.

Blue Subway Tile Backsplash

In completing this project, we installed all new appliances and recessed lighting, as well as laid new wood flooring in the adjoining family room.



In the end, while the layout of the kitchen did not change, the transitional design aesthetics have added a great deal of value to the space, making it enjoyable for just about anyone!

Transformation Tuesday: 90’s to Now

The Background: A family from the UK frequently visited the Bradenton area for their annual vacations. After spending year after year trying to find a place to rent, they finally decided to purchase a permanent vacation home. Their new home had great space and functionality, but the fixtures and overall design style were outdated. Knowing that they wanted to eventually remodel both bathrooms and their kitchen, they made the decision to start with their master bathroom.

The room itself was quite spacious and included most of the wants you’d desire in a master bath; a double sink vanity, walk-in shower and jacuzzi tub. Aside from the obvious outdated designs of the space (tile, cabinets, etc), the family also wanted to remove the over-sized tub since it didn’t get much use and they preferred to add functional storage.

Outdated Master Bathroom Outdated Master Bathroom

The Solution: After learning more about the wants and needs of our client, we recommended choosing products and colors that would brighten the space and make it feel spa-like. In conjunction with removing the jetted tub as the client requested, we removed all existing items right down to the studs.

Once the room was cleared out and ready for its face lift, we laid glazed porcelain floor tile in a horizontal direction, which made the room feel larger than it already was. Following the floor tile, we installed a white shaker-style double sink vanity with soft-closing drawers. In completing the vanity, we laid a blue recycled glass countertop and secured the new chrome faucets.

With the existing tub no longer there, we used the open space to build out a wall cabinet, which provided the client with additional storage they were seeking.



In the shower, we stacked sterling grey subway tiles on the wall and laid a stone-like tile on the floor. In completing the shower, we installed a Moen rain showerhead and a frameless glass swing door.DSC_3841

As we put the finishing touches on the project, Amerock pulls were installed on both the vanity and wall cabinets and a coat of Sherwin Williams “Rock Candy” was put on the walls.

We are happy to report that the client loved their bathroom transformation so much, that they later hired us to do their guest bathroom and kitchen also (those pictures to come). Let us know your thoughts on this beautiful bathroom remodel, we’d love to hear from you!

Transformation Tuesday: Kitchen Functionality at its Finest

White doesn’t have to be boring and this kitchen is the perfect example as to why.

The Background: This family of four used their kitchen for everything, or at least they tried to. Aside from being aesthetically outdated, there were some functionality issues our client also wanted to address. The appliances were located in different locations throughout the kitchen, some being on the opposite side of the others. This was problematic when it came time to cooking because you would have to run around the island to get from point A to point Z. With the narrowness of the kitchen and the odd shape of the island, there was also limited seating around the island.

Before Kitchen Remodel

Outdated Kitchen

The Solution: Knowing that the kitchen was the “go to” place to do homework and gather, we needed to create an open-concept space where the family could be together without stepping on one another’s toes. Aside from tearing out the entire existing kitchen and installing all new everything, we redesigned the layout to accommodate some structural changes.

First, we re-framed the existing wall where you previously entered the laundry room, and then created a new entry elsewhere. Following this, we re-routed electrical and plumbing to move the refrigerator from one wall to another and to move and fit the dishwasher within the island itself. Next, we re-positioned the microwave to sit next to the fridge and added a range hood. With the island serving many purposes, we redesigned it to be approximately three times as large as the original, and include a double-bowl, stainless-steel under-mount sink.

While the entire kitchen was a complete transformation, what really made a difference was removing the wall and planter shelf, which separated the kitchen from the living room. By doing so, we provided the family an open-concept feel and allowed for practical seating and entertaining room.

Transitional Open Concept Kitchen

Open Concept Kitchen Remodel

The Fine Details: Our client went with antique white maple cabinets and a cherry stain for the island, along with Amerock satin nickel knobs and pulls. Kashmir Gold granite was installed on both the island and countertops, and an off-white colored subway tile backsplash was added as an accent. Other unique features also included in this remodel:

A Pop Up Electrical Outlet on the Island- This is a great feature for the kids to plug in their electronics while doing homework. The shape is discreet and compact, which made it a must-have for this kitchen remodel.

A Disposal Button on the Counter- Most disposal buttons are either under the sink in a cabinet or an arm’s length away. To make things easier for the cook in the house, we installed a disposal button right next to the sink, along with an Insta-Hot prep faucet.

Insinkerator Insta Hot Prep Faucet

Pull-Out Cabinet Organizers- A pull-out spice rack is a fairly common request, however more and more of our clients are seeking deep, pull-out drawers (in place of standard cabinets), as well as pull-out pantry systems.

Pull Out Spice Rack

Pull Out Drawers

Pull out Pantry System

Hard to believe it’s the same kitchen, right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Transformation Tuesday: A Coastal Oasis

The Background:

With this condo only being five years old, it wasn’t necessarily outdated as much as it just didn’t fit the lifestyle of the owner. The master bathroom was poorly laid out with a large tub which the client did not use, a tiny shower tucked behind the door and a lack of storage.

Before Remodel

The Solution:

We suggested turning the existing shower area into a linen closet and adjusting the original plumbing for the tub to accommodate a large shower.

DreamMaker Elevation Drawing

We capped and eliminated the plumbing in the original tiny shower and converted it into a closet. We then framed new walls for the larger shower, installed valve and fixtures for a hand-shower.DreamMaker Remodel

DreamMaker Remodel

In the shower, we installed a stone look 13” glazed porcelain tile on the walls with oyster color grout and a mosaic glass accent. The same tile in 4” was used on the shower floor and in 20” on the bathroom floors.DreamMaker Remodel

Plywood vanity cabinets with a bank of soft close drawers were installed, which provided more practical storage the owner was looking for. These were topped with Cold Spring 3CM granite. The client chose a Kohler under-mount porcelain sink and brushed nickel faucets and hardware to complete the look.


Custom Kitchen Remodel

Transformation Tuesday: A Chef’s Kitchen

The Background:

Our client had a beautiful home on the water, but the kitchen was outdated and not set up to accommodate entertaining. The client enjoyed cooking and wanted an open space to prepare meals and relax with friends at the same time.

Longboat Key Kitchen Before Remodel

Longboat Key Kitchen Before Remodel

Before Kitchen

The Solution:

We removed an existing wall that separated the kitchen and laundry room and relocated the washer and dryer to a nearby closet.

Kitchen Remodel Progress

Kitchen Remodel Progress

To be consistent with the décor of the rest of the home, cherry wood cabinetry was selected with stainless steel hardware. The client also chose porcelain tile flooring that resembled the cherry wood cabinets, as well as a butternut glass/stone mosaic for their backsplash wall.

We had to run new electrical, plumbing and gas lines to accommodate for a new gas range, as well as create an opening through the attic for the hood range ventilation.

After installing the stainless steel appliances, we installed appliance panels to match the new cabinetry. Lastly, black galaxy granite was installed on the countertops with a stainless steel undermount sink and fixtures.

Fine Details

The Finished Product:

DSC_4522x Weiss 7


Transformation Tuesday: A Light and Airy Kitchen

Like most remodels, most homeowners make the decision to move forward with a renovation when the space is completely outdated or doesn’t function as well as it might have when they first moved in. For this client, in addition to updating the aesthetic appeal to their kitchen, it was important to lighten up the space to feel bright and airy.



In fulfilling their dreams of a sunny and inviting kitchen, we created a lighting plan, which consisted of removing the existing soffit and fluorescent lights, and installing new drop pendants, can lights and LED under cabinet lighting.

Our client felt that the existing wood panel on their island peninsula was also darkening the space, so they asked us to remove it and apply new drywall. While this isn’t a request we get often, we have to agree that it was the right move in this situation.

Moreover, we removed all of the old cabinets and installed new Showplace cabinets, including multi-level uppers to convey more visual interest. This aesthetic feature was especially important to our client, as the kitchen opened up to the living room.

To maximize all storage opportunities, our client chose pull-out shelves in their pantry closet, a trash pull-out, as well as a designated bread drawer.

After the cabinets were installed, we laid a Kashmir Gold granite counter top with a half bullnose edge and arranged a biscuit-colored subway tile backsplash. In completing this project, new stainless steel appliances were put in their place and Amerock hardware was fastened to the drawers and doors.



Kitchen Remodel



The Right Way to Install a Backsplash

It’s probably safe to assume that we’re all pretty familiar with what a backsplash is; you know…the space situated between the top of your counter tops and the bottom of your upper cabinets or shelves? To a designer, this is prime real estate to add in an aesthetically appealing accent tile, but to the average person, this space is an eye-sore that is only good for collecting pasta sauce splatter and teeny-tiny crumbs.

The real question is, if this eye-sore isn’t working for us and we know we want to update the space with something a bit more “pretty,” how do you decide what will look best? Do you hang your child’s latest artwork and your favorite recipe cards? Or, do you install a backsplash? And, if you do install a backsplash, what material and pattern (if any) do you choose? As you can imagine, the decision is not so black and white.

Regardless the look you choose for your backsplash, whether solid tile or an exotic pattern, don’t be tempted to tile above an existing backsplash.

We don’t recommend doing this:


Alternatively, we recommend removing the entire existing backsplash before re-tiling the new one. Why you might ask? In most kitchens, there is very limited space between the counter top and the bottom of your cabinets, so you want to make sure the space is cohesive and doesn’t appear visually chopped.

We do recommend doing this:


Whether installing a solid slab, field tile, or a glass mosaic, always make sure your backsplash meets your countertop to ensure an eye-catching result.

Let us not forget that backsplashes are not only limited to kitchens. We are seeing a rise in clients requesting listello accents in their showers and above their bathroom vanities.

In the end, the functionality and design appeal varies per person and it’s best to consult with a professional before making any drastic changes.