Mark Pineau and Charles Roche started talking about remodeling the kitchen in their two-story, split foyer home in Springfield, Va., shortly after moving into it in 1987. Originally built in the early 1970s, the home’s design was dated—with features like wall-to-wall carpeting throughout and rooms walled off from each other.
“About 15 years ago, we started talking about remodeling the kitchen, dining room and living area,” says Mark Pineau. “We would go through the ‘what if’ scenario every couple of years and not do anything about it,” he says.
“Finally, last year, we said you know,let’s find out if it’s possible,” Mark says. “We were asking ourselves, ‘Can we do it? Is it worth it?’” he says. To find out if their ideas would work, they contacted Sonny Nazemian, CEO, at Michael Nash Custom Kitchens and Homes in Fairfax, Va.
“When I came to their home for the initial visit, I took note of their needs and set up a second meeting at our showroom to present our design ideas,” says Nazemian. “Our employees put the entire design together, from the remodel itself through interior decorating ideas.”
THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
The first step involved removing the kitchen walls and creating a great room effect across the kitchen, dining and living areas. “You can actually stand outside the front of the house, look through the kitchen window and see straight through the house into the back yard,” Mark says. “It gives the first floor a wide open feel.”
The biggest challenge created by removing the walls was the need to reroute the plumbing to the second floor. It came down between the walls that were removed so it had to be rerouted through the interior garage wall and down to the basement. Significant electrical work and drywall was also required and handled by Michael Nash employees.
A NEW KITCHEN IS THE HUB OF THE HOME
The highlight of the new kitchen is a center island which holds the sink, cook-top and dishwasher. The base cabinets are a light cherry topped by an emerald pearl-color granite countertop. Glass doors create a beautiful bookcase/curio cabinet on the outside of the cabinets.
“I always wanted to have a cooktop in the island,” Mark says. “A great added feature is the downdraft vent that’s also in the island so we have nothing overhead.”
Taking the downdraft vent from the middle of the home to the outside was another challenge that took some creative design by Michael Nash employees.
The light cherry cabinets are custom and are used along the back wall of kitchen in addition to being used in the island. A hutch-type effect is created using glass doors on the upper cabinets. The lower cabinets feature solid doors and are topped with a granite countertop matching the one used on the island.
“This kitchen is much more user friendly than our previous one,” Mark says. “There’s more storage space and more workspace, so it’s a lot more functional.”
In addition, Mark asked Sonny Nazemian to build a custom cabinet on wheels that would provide even more flexible work surface. Other firms had declined to consider this project, but Michael Nash was more than up to the task. Using the same cabinet style and granite countertop, it can be rolled anywhere in the kitchen for added utility.
“We really felt that if we were going to remodel, we were going to do it right,” Mark stresses. “We weren’t going to cut corners and that was especially true in our selection of appliances.”
Stainless steel appliances are used throughout the kitchen. In addition to the cooktop, the room includes double ovens, a dishwasher, a wine cooler and a unique refrigerator.
“Some friends of ours had just remodeled their kitchen and they had a French door-style refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom,” Mark says. “I fell in love with it and we were able to get it in stainless steel.”
FIRST FLOOR HIGHLIGHTS
Charles and Mark wanted to replace the wall-to-wall carpeting throughout
A revitalized First Floor
the first floor with a hard wood floor. They were looking for something durable and scratch resistant because they share their home with their dog. Nazemian suggested Brazilian cherry and it not only provides the durability they were looking for, but it complements the look of the remodel perfectly. Michael Nash designers and decorators made the remodeling and decorating aspects of the job as easy as possible. Finally, they added a home entertainment center with a 55” HDTV. The supplier worked with Michael Nash to build the surround speakers into the ceiling and to hide the controls. Placed on a swivel mount, the television monitor can be seen from most locations on the first floor.
LIVING THROUGH THE PROCESS
When construction started on October 14, 2005, Charles and Mark went from living in a five bedroom home to living in a one bedroom house.
“We had to empty the first floor and store all of our furniture upstairs,” Mark says. “What wouldn’t fit upstairs, we stored in the basement.”
“Basically, our living area consisted of the heated garage [turned into living space], our office behind it and a bedroom upstairs,” Mark says. “We had our microwave in the living area and our coffee pot in the bathroom,” he laughs.
Thanks to an understanding employer, Mark was able to work at home through much of the project, overseeing much of the remodeling. Nazemian scheduled the project for completion in mid-December and the Michael Nash crew worked every day, including weekends, to bring the project in on time.
“Sonny and his people were fabulous,” Mark comments. “They did great work, got the project done on time, and were always very respectful of being in our home.”
FUTURE REMODELING PLANS
As part of this remodeling project, Charles and Mark had their sliding glass patio doors replaced with French doors, installed by Michael Nash. Eventually, they plan on adding a 20' x 20' family room where the patio stands, leaving more room for dining and entertaining directly off the kitchen.
SELECTING THEIR CONTRACTOR
Charles and Mark initially found Michael Nash through an advertisement in their local newspaper. Drawn to the company because it handles design, construction and interior decorating, they visited the Michael Nash website and reviewed the company’s work. Impressed with what they saw, they made an appointment, met with Sonny in their home and hired the firm.
ADVICE TO OTHER HOMEOWNERS
“When you go into a remodel, know what you want, ask questions, and hire someone you trust,” advises Mark. “Sonny Nazemian and the employees at Michael Nash made so many wonderful suggestions, things we never thought to include, from the wine cellar to the lights in our cabinets to ceiling fans. The firm’s interior designers also did a great job of helping us choose colors and other interior touches,” he says.
“Be prepared to live with the hassles of construction,” Mark adds. “But if you have a plan you like and a contractor you trust, it will be well worth the effort.”
Source for this article: Michael Nash Custom Kitchens & Homes, Inc.
8630-C Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
Contact: Sonny Nazemian, CEO