Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Just like the song by The Clash, many homeowners are asking themselves this question. We repeatedly meet with homeowners who, for different life changing reasons are grappling with the decision to look for a new home that fits their needs or to update and remodel their existing home.

Grosse Pointe homeowner, Kathy and Perry were no different. They love their 1950’s home and location.  As empty nesters they began house searching – but failing to find something they loved they decided to remodel their existing home. They wanted to update the 1950’s white kitchen. They also wanted a space that was more functional.

Grosse Pointe-Kitchen-BEFORE


The existing kitchen was cramped with no room for entertaining. They had a roll-away dishwasher in the corner next to the small kitchen table. They were looking to add an island and eating area. They wanted storage solutions and a layout that was more functional for two people cooking and working in the kitchen.



Through the discovery step of our design process, KSI Designer, Brooke Dando asked a series of questions about how the homeowners planned to use this space. As a result, she created two designs for this homeowner. The first design kept the basic footprint the same with one small change – to remove a coat closet in the hall to add additional space. The second design proposed knocking out a wall between the kitchen and dining room, opening up the space to create a large island for holiday gatherings with family.

The homeowner chose the more modest kitchen because at the end of the day, had they chosen the larger kitchen, they would have been creating a space for only a few times a year. They went with the modest kitchen design because it was more practical and served their daily needs and wishes as a family of two. Dando also advised, “Design for yourself, a space you’ll be living in.” We find people tend to worry about resale. There’s a balance between designing for resale and designing for a space you and your family can function in and enjoy – especially if the resale may not be for a few years.

Merillat-Masterpiece-Fairlane Square-cabinets-kitchen-remodel

The design was created with an eating area along the perimeter. A small 36” x 21” island was added as a central work space with storage underneath.

By adding the shallow base cabinets along the perimeter, it allowed the existing section of  windows to become a focal point while also letting in lots of natural light and a view to their covered patio and beautiful backyard. The cabinets are Merillat Masterpiece, Fairlane Square – simple traditional to keep with the style of the 1950’s home.  The long counter provides ample seating space (up to five with one on the end) and storage underneath.

Soffits were removed allowing cabinets to go to the ceiling creating nice clean lines and additional storage.

The homeowner loves the cool white subway tiles with gray grout matching the veining in the countertop.

floating shelves-brown-merillat-kitchen-remodel

The floating shelves on trend, add style and character to the space while giving the homeowner the opportunity to showcase their art.

Mixing of metals continues to be on trend. The hardware on cabinets are a marriage of gold and silver – tying in nicely with the silver brushed stainless faucet and brushed gold pendants.

The homeowners couldn’t be more pleased with their new space. Kathy said they both can cook together and move around each other like a beautifully choreographed dance. They have already started their next project – her home office.  We say, we hope you love the spaces for years to come!

For more inspiration on spaces to update in your current home, visit the KSI gallery at

Ready to get started? Make an appointment. One of our designers will walk you through our five-step process for "Bringing Design Home." Get Started.

Julanne Williams

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