Jennifer Butler's Kitchen: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Nearing completion!Even a small interior design project can seem overwhelming. But with good planning, a positive outlook, and a realistic understanding of a project's process, those fears and nerves can be dampened.

If you're just joining us, you can read about the context, design vision, and planning of Jennifer's project in our journal entries:Jennifer Butler's Kitchen: Ready for Demolition and Jennifer Butler's Kitchen: Planned and Prepped. Now, on to de- and re- construction!


Before demo started, Jennifer's husband, Todd, suggested donating the existing kitchen cabinet boxes. Had the boxes been salvageable, donating them would have been an ideal choice. These cabinets, however, weren't constructed as easily removable boxes, and thereby sustained more damage during demo than could be avoided and were unsuitable for repair and reassembly.


This part of the process marks a shift in a home remodel. Momentum finally moves from taking things apart to pulling them together. Layout changes result in reframing. For Jennifer, this meant shifting one wall back about a foot to accomodate a wider kitchen island. She also increased the size and placement of an exisiting window, lifting the sill above the counter to accomodate for a backsplash and effectively eliminating water issues.

Now reframed, we're ready to get the guts in order. Any electrical, plumbing, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) adjustments or additions? Now's the time.


Refinishing the wood floors in the kitchen is easily the dirtiest job of the the entire remodel process.  The process takes nearly a week with three days of stripping and sanding and three days for finishing. Because the wood has never been refinished, once the process is complete the floors will be restored to look good as new. A low VOC waterborne polyeurethane finish that is less chemically intensive will cut down on off-gassing and odor. To cope with all the dust, Todd and Jennifer covered everything in the open layout of the main level and have moved downstairs.

The existing white oak flooring in Jennifer's kitchen had appeared like red oak due to the hue of the existing stain. Jennifer and Todd considered refinishing the floor with a dark stain as a contrast to the lighter cabinetry they selected. Instead, they opted to capitalize on the lightness of the existing natural wood and increase the overall light levels in the space by going with a pale stain that will end up looking more blonde than red.


Watch for our next journal entry! We'll share completed project photos next to the before images.  We'll share about the team that pulled it all together and the design components that result in Jennifer's kitchen transformation.