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A Vision in Color
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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A Beaverdale cottage gets a bright new look.

When Ryan and Meggan Fox bought their Beaverdale home nine years ago, they saw the kitchen as quaint and charming. But as their family of two expanded to three, and the neighborhood friends dropped by more often, and the holiday gatherings grew larger, “quaint” started to feel more like “cramped.” The Foxes knew they would either have to remodel or move.

“Easter of 2012 was the last straw,” Meggan says. “I just didn’t want to spend another get-together in the kitchen alone.”

The family loved their neighborhood, so they decided to see if remodeling the kitchen and dining room was a realistic dream. They followed all the conventional advice—gathered ideas, put together a budget, and selected several companies to interview. One of those was Rob Walker of Beisser Lumber in Grimes, a referral from a neighbor.

Ryan laughs about the process now. “We knew we were supposed to get at least three quotes and do a comparison, but when we met Rob, we knew he was the right one. We didn’t even bother with the rest of the list.”

And though the couple had come up with some practical features and design elements to incorporate in their dream remodel, the theme for their new kitchen design also had a lot to do with dinnerware.

“I’ve been building this collection of Fiestaware for years, and it was always hidden away in the cupboards. I wanted to display it, and I wanted the kitchen to play off those colors,” Meggan says.

The Foxes didn’t have a specific plan for the new layout, but they knew they needed room for friends and family, they didn’t want to lose the home’s original character, and they wanted the finished product to reflect their personal style at the same time.

“I had a vision of what I wanted,” Meggan explains. “Rob was able to take all our ideas and work with us to put it all together.”

“Meggan had a really good feel for what she wanted, and she has a good eye,” Walker says. “The biggest challenge was finding a way to get the extra square footage they needed without major structural work so we could stay within their budget.”

The Beisser team was able to do that by extending the kitchen and dining room 10 feet to the rear of the house, replacing an existing covered porch. The result is an open layout with center island that blends seamlessly with the home’s 1940s character.

Arched openings between the kitchen and dining room reflect those throughout the house, and the narrow-plank oak floors are an almost perfect match with the home’s existing ones.

“We had a fantastic crew,” Walker says. “The drywall team even managed to match the unusual texture of the living room walls.”

White, painted maple cabinetry and stained crown molding echo the midcentury charm of the original structure, but black granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and apple green paint speak to the homeowners’ contemporary flair.

The new island, in addition to offering storage, work space, and countertop dining, boasts open shelves below the eating area so that the kids have easy access to cereal bowls and snack dishes. Meggan agonized over the color choice before settling on just the right shade of green to accent the softer green dining room walls and add pop to the mostly white kitchen.

The Beisser design team made good use of every square foot, nearly tripling the kitchen’s size as well as its cupboard space, and reused materials where possible. Some of the trim on the sliding glass doors in the dining room was reused. And in son Johnny’s room, where a window was removed to accommodate the new dining room wall, Beisser installed a magnetic wall board within the old window frame.

“We really wanted to use the space and materials as efficiently as possible,” Walker explains. “In that high-traffic corner at the back entry, for example, we created a desk/locker area. And Meggan really wanted pantry space, so we designed a closet pantry for her.” With her eye for style, Meggan added a chalkboard to the pantry door front, which the family keeps filled with happy thoughts to further brighten the room.

Now, the Foxes say, the home feels like it was made for them.

And that colorful Fiestaware? It’s front and center on custom floating display shelves, right where Meggan envisioned it.


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