A “Life-Changing” Kitchen Renovation in Princeton Junction
When the owners of this home bought the 1970s Colonial in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, there was no question they would renovate the kitchen—and not because the counters screamed of “harvest gold” or sat on top of worn-out laminate. This remodel would be more than a cosmetic makeover and would require knocking down many walls to reconfigure the entire space to create a modern floor plan.
The homeowners wanted their kitchen to become the center of activity and the focal point of a new, open floor plan. As in many 1970s Colonials, the kitchen was separated from the rest of the house and included an eat-in area that was convenient to a garage but without a transitional mudroom area. Above all else, the original kitchen offered no view or access into a family room, where the couple’s three children would play.
“The house was compartmentalized, and it didn’t work with their lifestyle,” says Richard Dickson. Dickson and his team opened up the space by removing a closet and a wall between the kitchen and dining room. This allowed the expansion of the kitchen into the adjacent space. Where there was once a closed-up space, there is now a bright kitchen featuring a large island with six stools at the overhang.
“The original kitchen had a big dead space in the center and an eat-in kitchen we would probably never use. We knew we were more likely to sit around an island and congregate as a family,” says Vickie. “The original oven was crammed in a corner. What a difference it made to move it to the center, with counter space on either side.”
Perhaps the best piece of advice Vickie received when she moved in three years ago was to live in the house for a while before diving into a renovation. “I was expecting our third child and didn’t want to be in the middle of construction, but it also gave me time to think about what we really wanted.”
By the time she and her husband hired Dickson Development, they had a clear vision for the renovation—a bright, more modern space with a circular flow, not cut off by walls.
“Before the renovation, I would just cook in the kitchen. Now we enjoy spending time and entertain in the kitchen. This renovation has been life changing,” she says.
The new kitchen island seats six and features a light-colored quartzite counter, built-in storage and a microwave that pulls out in a drawer. A new, larger window was added to bring in more natural sunlight, as well as recessed lighting, two contemporary pendant fixtures and under-cabinet lighting. White custom cabinetry further enhances the overall lightness of the room.
“The hardwood floors are dark and add a nice contrast to all the white in the room,” she explains. “We put in new hardwood floors throughout the first floor and refinished the ones on the stairs.”
The addition of a mudroom with a coat closet and storage cubbies was also a life-changer for the family, well worth the loss of part of the garage and the eat-in area of the kitchen. “It’s now a perfect transitional space—and a great way to organize all of our things,” Vickie adds.
These changes are the cornerstone of so many renovations today, especially in neighborhoods in and around Princeton, which are so desirable. “We bought the house knowing we were going to make significant updates. We fell in love with the neighborhood, and now the house really represents our taste, likes and lifestyle,” says Vicky.
Best of all, the project was done on time with limited disruption to their lives.
In just four weeks, their home was transformed into a bright, welcoming and open space, full of high-quality details and coveted conveniences. “Dickson Development has a great team who worked together to make the whole job run smoothly,” says Vickie. “We are very happy!”
To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220.