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Archive for May, 2011


Sometimes a total gut-job is the only thing to do.

Michael and Stacee Sledge bought their 1924 home in Bellingham, Washington, knowing they could spruce up most of the place with paint, elbow grease, and a little DIY creativity — the bones of the neglected bungalow were great.

But the kitchen had to go.

“It had one tiny bank of original cabinets, which were so shallow we couldn’t even fit our plates in them,” says Stacee. “And the only place to put the appliances was smack dab in the walkway between the living room and the rest of the house. It was really awkward.”

The couple bought the house — a dog in an otherwise perfect neighborhood — for a steal, leaving enough budget to hire a local kitchen designer and contractor to re-imagine the culinary space.

At the top of the couple’s wishlist? Keeping the design in line with the home’s history: simple lines, schoolhouse light fixtures, and modest materials, such as maple counter tops and eco-friendly Marmoleum floors. Their kitchen designer was invaluable at making the space both comfortable and efficient.

“Every detail was thought out, from large drawers instead of lower cabinets to a wall of storage that included shelves for our cookbooks. We didn’t spend all that much on the designer’s plans, but by far that was the best decision we made, because everything fell into place perfectly with her input. She changed the placement of the exterior door and windows, which made a huge difference in how everything else flowed — we never would have come up with that.”

Stacee’s favorite part of the new space?

“Besides how great it looks and works? Hands down, the kitchen sink. We ordered the largest, deepest, stainless steel sink we could afford. I never understood the appeal of the double sink. Our behemoth single-basin sink means washing even the largest stock pot is a breeze.”


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