Dreams do come true
A long-overdue kitchen remodel goes from bankrupt to beautiful
Story by Jamey Bradbury • Photography by DMD Real Estate Photography
What was supposed to be a run-of-the-mill home addition turned into a seven-year-long project that left Bruce Rowe and his son, Jesse Rosenbaum, without a kitchen. But when Rowe met the pros at Trailboss Solutions, his luck turned around. Pretty soon, he and Jesse were cooking up some father-and-son quality time in the kitchen of their dreams.
Jana Seda, Trailboss Solutions, LLC
porcelain tile, Statements, Inc.; and KarnDean Luxury Vinyl
ROX PRO Ledgestone
Island stone countertop:
Arabian Black Brushed, Alaska Marble & Granite
Maple butcher block:
Cherry in Autumn Bush, Kraftmaid Cabinetry
Kraus USA Inc
Delta Faucet Company
Pental Granite & Marble's Glass Collection, Moda Vetro
Feather River Doors - Iris Collection
It started with a simple kitchen addition to Bruce’s Airport Heights home. But when his contractor filed for bankruptcy in 2005, the room was only a shell.
Years passed. Bruce’s son, Jesse, graduated from college and returned home, and Bruce still only had a shell. “I was highly skeptical now about contractors,” he recalls. But at Jesse’s encouragement, Bruce found himself at a home show, where he met Scott Allen and Jana Seda of Trailboss Solutions.
“In the original design, the space wasn’t being used well,” recalls Jana. “There was an emphasis on function, but not much on design. So I asked, ‘Can we start over?’”
Bruce and Jana embarked on what both thought would be a fairly straightforward project. Little did they know, there were a few surprises in store.
Over a six-month design process, Bruce discovered that he, Jesse and Jana made for a collaborative and functional team. “Jana’s process for taking input and integrating our ideas to get us what we wanted was really thoughtful. She was incredible to work with.”
But when it came time for construction, things hit a snag. “We thought we were just going into a sheet-rocked room and pulling everything out of it, no problem,” Jana says. “But we cut in, and water just starts pouring out.” Further exploration revealed a clear moisture problem and the revelation that the previous contractor had used the wrong material where a land beam was supposed to be.
“They basically had to rebuild it all from the inside out,” Bruce says. “But after that, things went extremely well.”
A kitchen for cooks and kin
Growing up, Bruce recalls, his family and friends always seemed to migrate to the kitchen. “We’d all chat and cook, so I wanted to make this kitchen big enough so people could hang out and feel comfortable.”
That’s how he ended up with a 20-by-24-square-foot kitchen, with generous counter space and a mind-boggling amount of storage. (There are 76 cabinet drawers alone.) “We’ve had 14 people in there, easily, wandering, sitting, eating, and it doesn’t feel crowded at all,” Bruce says.
All that space means Bruce was able to include appliances that would make a smaller space seem claustrophobic, like a side-by-side full-size freezer/refrigerator. The kitchen also features a gas stovetop, two ovens and two warming drawers, as well as two full-sized sinks, one of which is located in the 110-inch-long island.
“Having the sinks and ovens is so handy because it allows both my son and me to cook together,” Bruce describes.
So much of Bruce’s kitchen is about convenience – and collaboration. “Sometimes, like on the backsplash tile, the three of us would all want something different,” Bruce says. So Jana came up with a design that incorporates the three different elements into one gray-on-green backsplash.
Jana drew the color palette from the stained glass doors Bruce chose for the east and west kitchen entrances, and the result is what she calls “a man’s kitchen.”
“It’s masculine without being all stainless steel and hard edges,” she says. She retained some softness by incorporating a stained maple butcher block into the island’s tiered countertop, which also features Arabian black granite with a brushed finish. Bruce chose Suelo Marino granite countertops for the perimeter of the room.
Meanwhile, Bruce and his son devised an elaborate system that includes under-cabinet lighting, ceiling canned lights, flood lights and a total of seventeen switches. “When it’s dark outside, we can really create our own light and come up with lighting combinations that give the room a warm feel,” he says.
Many of the kitchen’s unique details came about as a result of deliberate planning. “The remodel ended up being such a long, slow process because of the troubles we had,” Bruce explains. “But as a result, we were able to upgrade a lot of things as we went along, and that helped make the kitchen special.”