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True Cost vs. Value
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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Sometimes the cost isn't always reflected in the bottom line.

Like many homeowners, Ron and Vicky Herman of Altoona considered moving rather than remodeling. But after weighing their needs against the true cost of relocating, they decided to stay put. The family had some unique needs to consider, but thanks to Showplace Kitchens and O2 Remodeling, they're confident they made the right decision.

"The original kitchen was pretty cramped," says Vicky. "It was crowded when it was just us and the kids. But we like to entertain, and it was really difficult then."

The couple talked about moving, about building a new home, but they recognized the unusual price they'd pay to do that.

"Not only was it expensive to build a new home, but we have some younger kids, and it would have been really difficult to move them," Vicky says.

"And we like our neighborhood and our neighbors," Ron adds. "There were just a lot of reasons to stay."

So one day the Hermans headed out to do some initial remodeling research. And they found Showplace Kitchens more or less by accident.

Vicky explains, "We had planned to go to another store, but it was closed. Ron saw Showplace as we were driving by, so we stopped in. We met Kari Wolder, and that was it. We had our cabinets chosen before we left that day."

"The idea is always to make the new design functional," Wolder says, "to find out what the family needs, what they want, and make it work for them and look beautiful, too."

For the Hermans, that meant creating a look based on one key piece of furniture and making the space easy for everyone in the family to use.

"I have this rustic-style hutch, and I wanted the new cabinets to look something like that, but I wanted the new brought in, too," Vicky says. "And I wanted a contrasting finish so there wouldn't be too much white."

The final result gave her all that and more. Maple cabinets around the perimeter of the kitchen have an oatmeal glaze and provide storage above the dark counters. Lower cabinets on the island have a truffle stain with an ebony glaze that complements the quartz countertop. Elegant features include a lighted china cabinet and travertine tile backsplash.

To accommodate the special needs the Hermans had, Wolder recommended using the undercounter cabinets in the island for storing frequently used items, like breakfast foods and lunch dishes, rather than locating appliances there. And the choice of stove top allowed the counters to run smoothly the length of the kitchen without the bumpout a larger-depth cooktop would require. She also suggested placing the refrigerator at an angle in the corner of the room.

"In a kitchen this size, it might seem unusual to put the refrigerator at an angle like this," says Wolder, "since it can mean a little less space available for cabinets. But with the spacious walk-in pantry and serving station, we just felt there was a greater need for ease of function than for additional cabinets."


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