Let There Be Light – A Kitchen Remodel Inspires Brighter Family Life

By ROB SWENSON

LEXINGTON, Mass. – There’s something magical about light. It’s comforting. It attracts people’s attention, and it makes them feel cheerful.

“Humans are drawn to light. When it’s dreary outside, humans get depressed,” says Barney Maier, a senior architect with Feinmann, Inc., a design-build firm in Lexington, Mass. “Humans respond positively to light.”

The homeowners’ desire for more light was a factor that significantly shaped the Feinmann team’s award-winning remodel of Cara and Scott Winterble’s home in Lexington.

Feinmann Lexington_001b
Showplace cabinetry provided the perfect fit for this home remodel project in Massachusetts.

Several windows were added to let more natural light into the kitchen and dining area. In addition, a wall was removed and a partial bathroom was relocated to open up space and provide better visual and physical access to the nicely landscaped backyard.

Strategically installing white painted cabinets helped substantially brighten the new kitchen.  A new backdoor and mudroom area helped give the main floor a better flow. The master bathroom on the second floor of the house also was upgraded with lighter colored hickory cabinetry.

“I was really pleased with the outcome,” says Cara Winterble. “I like dark wood, but when you add the light wood, it really pops.”

The Winterbles’ 1,800-square-foot bungalow was built in 1929. They set out to update the Foursquare, Colonial home while retaining its charming appearance. They also wanted to keep the home within its existing footprint in Lexington, a city rich in American history.

Lexington is a town of about 32,300 people in a prosperous part of the Greater Boston Area. The community is famous for being the site of the first shot fired in the American Revolutionary War. That was in 1775. Today, Lexington is home to many historical buildings and monuments that pay tribute to the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras.

Lexington was first settled in 1642 as part of Cambridge but was incorporated as a separate town in 1713. It remained largely a farming community until a population boom in the 1950s.

Cara Winterble, who is expecting her second child, can see the Boston skyline from a park near her home where she takes her two-year-old daughter to play. She and her husband had lived in their bungalow about four years before deciding a few years ago to remodel it. They called Feinmann for help in reimagining how to use the space and stay within a reasonable budget.

“They helped us with the design process. We told them what we were looking for, and after a few meetings we got there. It was really easy,” Cara says. “I kept waiting for it to be hard.”

Feinmann employees helped build as well as design the improvements. Maier was the architect for the project. Elvin Zayas-Lai was the architectural designer, and Kyle Dube was the project manager.

“The key to the success of the project was recognizing that the biggest issue was light. To get more light into the space where people were living, we had to move some things around,” Maier says. “The kitchen, especially, didn’t have enough light.”

Most projects, in Maier’s estimation, present tradeoffs. In this case, it was visual openness vs. storage space. Openness prevailed, he says, “but we were able to fit in a fair amount of storage.”

Zayas-Lai points out that moving the partial bathroom to a corner helped create a bigger area with more open space. The new design establishes a good physical and visual connection to the back yard – the “ocean view,” metaphorically speaking – ­he says. Establishing that kind of connection was something the Winterbles wanted.

In addition to a young child, the Winterbles have two dogs, which makes the back yard an important part of their home life. A new backdoor and mudroom area also improves the flow and appearance of the interior of the home.

mudroom, mud room, new cabinets
Showplace cabinetry was chosen for several rooms in this ambitious home remodel project.

Feinmann carries multiple lines of cabinets, but Showplace products were selected. The homeowners’ choice of Showplace cabinetry was a good one, Zayas-Lai says. “The design options provided the right style, a good fit, and a cost-effective price to help keep the project within budget,” he says.

Dube, who oversaw the project, agrees that Showplace cabinets worked well. “They had what we were looking for,” he says. Dube directed subcontractors as well as carpenters from Feinmann. The Winterbles moved out during construction, but Dube stayed in contact with Cara throughout the work.

“I just thought this was a really nice project because of the before and after. We significantly changed the look and the feel of the first floor, as a whole,” Dube says.

Other remodeling experts have been impressed by the outcome, too. The kitchen work won a Gold CotY Award in 2016 from the Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Ironically, the Winterbles will be leaving the house soon. They will be moving elsewhere in the Boston area to be closer to family members, Cara says.

Improving their home in Lexington was not a wasted effort, however. The house has become more appealing for the next occupants and made their home more marketable. The improvements also might inspire homeowners elsewhere in the country.

Internet and cable TV programs about home remodeling have made variety in cabinet styles more accessible to fashion-conscience audiences across the nation’s regional borders, says Scott Korsten, director of marketing for Showplace Wood Products in Harrisburg, S.D. “TV and Internet coverage has made sharing ideas easier and more popular,” he says.

Expanding our cabinetry offerings, including door styles, wood species, finishes and customization options, has become a way of life at Showplace,” Korsten says. “It helps us better serve Feinmann and other independent dealers across the nation who sell Showplace cabinets to increasingly aware homeowners.”

Who’s Your Daddy?

The I’ll chaperone your middle school dance … and bust a move because I’m hip n’ cool … dad:

The I’ll teach you and your friends how to hunt, fish, and trap dad:

The I’ll teach ya how to fix anything with a pocket knife and duct tape dad:

The I’ll spend hours with you in the driveway shooting hoops and pitching curveballs dad:

The I’ll show ya how to make supper and finish laundry before Mom gets home dad:

The I’ll volunteer to get groceries … so I can restock our secret supply of Swiss Cake Rolls … dad:

To every admirable, supportive, hardworking father and father figure, have a very Happy Father’s Day! You deserve to be celebrated.

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.

The Colors of Spring!

Pantone LLC, the global color authority, introduced Marsala earlier this year as the Color of the Year 2015. Chosen for its natural earthiness, this hue is considered universal “… and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Whether you’re looking to dress up your wardrobe, touch up your makeup, or spruce up your home, a quick trip out to the Spring 2015 collection may be eye-opening.

The beautiful weather requires your “Outside Fun” Pinterest board to shine. Bring it to life already with this colorful activity … round up the kids and the Kool-Aid.

Grocery list:
Packages of Kool-Aid
Vinegar
Disposable bowls
T-shirts
Rubber bands
Rubber gloves

Directions:
Dissolve one package of Kool-Aid in one ounce of vinegar … in a disposable bowl … in the backyard.
Dissolve Kool-Aid flavors in separate bowls.
Tightly twist and tie t-shirt with rubber bands.
Dip t-shirt in bowls for your own creation. Note: please wear rubber gloves.
Set t-shirt aside for 24 hours before washing to let colors set.

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.

Dress to Impress your Christmas guests!

Busying around the kitchen this Christmas season will be a breeze with the following goodies.

Base with Roll Trays.

Roll trays bring contents gliding out for easy access. Send your crazy great aunt in search of the sugar cookie dough bowl, or rather, send her directly to that bowl with the organization and convenience Showplace roll trays offer.

Walk-in Pantry.

What appears to be a tall cabinet with four doors opens to reveal a convenient walk-in pantry. With ample easy-to-reach shelving, your grandma can spend more time in the pantry and less time on the step stool in search of her homemade gravy ingredients.

Deluxe Blind Corner.

This clever corner cabinet opens to present two large, full-extension trays, on cantilevered arms, making great use of space that might otherwise be wasted. The entire family will be happier when your great uncle no longer needs to scour the dark abyss of what used to be the corner cabinet, grumbling relentlessly, in search of the jellied cranberries, a staple “he doesn’t even like.”

Pantry Pull-out.

And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if your grandpa wasn’t stinking up the house with his smoked oysters. Fortunately (or unfortunately) he’ll have easy access to his crackers and canned shellfish this year.

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.

Who wore it better?

Door style: Cambridge | Species: Cherry | Finish: Vintage Autumn

The heartland home (Left) featuring a palette of diverse textures and warm colors OR the family home (Right) on a quiet cul-de-sac with bold shapes and oversized carved accents?

Species: Paint grade | Finish: Vintage Soft Cream

The combination laundry room and guest bath (Left) with generous hanging space OR the laundry room (Right) with countertop space and shelving?

Species: Rustic alder | Finish: Vintage Nutmeg

The lakeside home (Left) with a large central island anchoring the design and creating storage, prep, and serving spaces OR the vacation home (Right) with two islands and a setting steeped in history?

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.

Back to School.

It’s that time of year again … the Fourth of July is in our rear view, while Halloween is in our commercials and on our store shelves. A few back-to-school tips from an experienced scholar:

To our student …
Breakfast before the bus will soon take the place of breakfast at noon. Ask Mom to add a few essentials to her back-to-school grocery list: your favorite cereal with extra sugar added, Pop-Tarts, donuts with frosting AND filling, etc. If Mom’s list is full, try Dad’s.

To Mom …
Your laundry room will soon see fewer beach towels and swimsuits and more shirts confirming the lunch menu. Acquaint yourself well with your students’ practice and game jerseys as you’ll have a washing, drying, folding date with one or the other every evening. Add one essential to your back-to-school shopping list: stain remover.

To Dad …
Commence Operation Homework. To avoid the struggle bus, find a quiet place, free from distractions, reference the textbook, ask Google, and lastly, summon Mom. Add one essential to the back-to-school shopping list: an eraser.

Here’s to a successful 2014-2015 school year!

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.

That Guy.

We all know That Guy. When That Guy is sent to the grocery store for a few necessities, he adds a few of his own sugary necessities to the list.

That Guy chaperones his kids’ middle school dance … once. After shaking his groove thing with his home dogs, he lost his privileges.

That Guy scours the freezer with his partner-in-crime, hours after bedtime, in search of the ultimate bedtime snack, ice cream.

Rather than watching the game in “his” chair, That Guy watches cartoons on the couch, after his little shadow claims the chair.

That Guy still has those outdated, awkward family pictures in his office.

That Guy is your coach, your Boy Scout leader, your guide, your teacher, your wrestling opponent, and your biggest fan.

Happy Father’s Day!

For more information on Showplace cabinets, visit http://www.ShowplaceWood.com/.