Our home was built in the early 1960's and as was the custom of the day kitchens were considered as an afterthought towards form along with function. Our kitchen could be best described as an L-shaped galley that was dark and not inviting.
Over the years we found our kitchen was not being used that much as we tended to go out for dinner more often than at home as we found food preparation was difficult with the space allotted for this.
In the mid nineties on a walk through the Byward Market in Ottawa we came across the company Design First Interiors and to suggest we were impressed with the concepts this company produced would be the classic use of the term understatement. At this time in our lives we were doing a lot of travelling and decided to put the kitchen renovation on hold until we did the major travel we wanted to do.
In 2006 we had our first meeting with Friedemann Weinhardt of Design First Interiors. What impressed us both was his quiet professionalism and how in less than five minutes with the use of onion paper as an overlay over the house plans for the kitchen he drew 95% of the proposed concept. At this time we had saved what we considered a reasonable amount of money and on review of the costs we decided another year of savings would be in order as we would be redoing the dining room as well.
In 2007 we committed ourselves early in the year for a post Labour Day start for our project in which a Gantt chart was used to show a coherent work schedule. What was very impressive is the completion date was the same date the chart stated! Friedemann subcontracted the construction work to Crossford Construction in which we were really impressed with the attention to detail for example at the end of the day not only was the work site swept but a large shop vacuum was used to clean up after each day.
As work progressed it was analogous to layers of an onion being peeled back as they found and rectified mistakes made in the original construction such as a live electrical wire that was left behind the wall.
As in any major construction there can be some problems and when such problems occurred Friedemann personal ethos is “for any problem there is a solution”!
Now eight years later we have a kitchen that works, a very bright interior enhanced by a box window for the kitchen, halogen ceiling lights, more openness in the kitchen by better use of space for storage, a very nice stone mosaic of the world by our gas range and more importantly a “wow factor” that still exists each morning when we come into the kitchen. Even our friends who come over still comment on the design and functionality of the kitchen.
In closing yes this was an expensive project but well worth the time it took from completion to end so much so we wrote an unsolicited letter of commendation to the Better Business Bureau of Ottawa and Outaouais for Design First Interiors for the excellent work they did.