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A Secret Solution
By Linda Montet | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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Tim and Stacy Wegman had looked for a new house for several years but decided they just couldn’t leave their neighborhood.

They liked their 1980s home in West Des Moines’ Country Club division, except for its outdated kitchen and inconvenient laundry. “For ten years I’ve had very little kitchen storage,” Stacy says. “Items were stashed all over the house, and I could never find what I needed.”

The family’s dining table was squeezed into a cramped space, and the washer and dryer were hidden behind bifold doors inside the garage entrance. “When our boys came home from school, they’d dump their backpacks right in front of the garage door. No one else could get through,” Stacy says. “We desperately needed a mudroom and a new location for the laundry.”

Stacy and Tim brought in Oran, Marilyn, and Derek Struecker, owners of Construction Professionals, to help solve their problems. The folks at Swan Creek Cabinet Company in Boone also joined the team.

Planning began in February, and by September the Wegmans’ new kitchen/bathroom/laundry complex was ready to be featured on the Remodelers Council of Greater Des Moines 2009 Tour of Remodeled Homes.

 There were a number of challenges. “We didn’t feel like we could gain the storage they wanted without an addition to the kitchen,” Marilyn recalls, “and a home addition would offer more basement storage and make the dining table area more functional as well.”

Today what appears to be a set of floor-to-ceiling cupboard doors is actually the entrance to a brand-new pantry and laundry room with plenty of space for canned goods, small appliances, and clothing care.

“My boys think this is a wonderful ‘secret’ room,” says Stacy, who is absolutely delighted with her ample new space. She’s also pleased with the ceiling-high cabinets, the new boys’ locker and mudroom just inside the garage, and an adjacent renovated bathroom.

“The new kitchen layout includes a large island, which will be great countertop space for everyday family activities,” says Jennie Andersen of Swan Creek. “Our goal was to make the island as big as we could without having it overwhelm the space. There is a lot of storage hiding underneath the island on the bar stool side.”

Light-colored cabinetry also served to open up the space, she says. “In this kitchen we mixed things up using a combination of walnut and a painted/glazed maple cabinet. With walnut, you can achieve the darker stained look while still seeing the beautiful grain patterns in the wood. To keep it all tied together, we also used walnut as an accent with the built-in range hood and the trim around the large windows.”

Stainless-steel appliances, a new forward-facing sink in the island, undercabinet lighting, porcelain tile backsplash, and arched doorways all give the kitchen a fresh, modern look.

“We removed two stub walls and bulkheads to increase the cabinet space,” Marilyn says, “and added crown molding, new sliding patio doors, and all-new windows in the eating area.” Oak cabinetry in an adjoining family room was painted to match the new kitchen woodwork.

“I love it,” says Stacy, who was without kitchen capabilities for only about two months during the construction. “It solved all my problems. It updated everything. People tell me it doesn’t even look like we live in the same house.”





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