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Spectacular Lawrenceville Remodel: A Retreat from the Heat

Dickson Development - Lawrenceville Remodel

princeton kitchen - Dickson Development

When Gail and Steve bought a 55+ townhome in Lawrenceville, they immediately brought in the team from Dickson Development to oversee an extensive remodel.

living room

Transforming a 55+ townhome into an ultra-modern space

Yes, you can come home again. After retiring and moving to Florida eight years ago, Gail and Steve realized the southern climate did not agree with them year-round. To escape the Florida heat, humidity and threat of hurricanes, the couple purchased a second home in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. They took no time in bringing in the team from Dickson Development to transform their 55+ townhouse into an open, modern and ultra-convenient retreat.

“We knew the quality of their work well, and we also knew they could take us through the entire remodel as seamlessly as possible,” says Gail. “Bonnie (Foster) guided us in all our selections, from the flooring to the cabinetry to the lighting. I knew what I wanted, and they made it happen.”

Dickson Development prides itself on long-standing relationships with a select group of reliable trade partners and trusted retailers. The payoff for clients is prompt, attentive customer service. “It was great. In a few days, I was able to pick out everything from their preferred showrooms,” Gail says.


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In just a matter of months, the project took shape: an entirely remodeled master bedroom with a significantly larger master bathroom; a new kitchen featuring the latest in flooring, cabinetry and lighting; and the remodeling of two additional bathrooms and a laundry room. The entire house was painted as well.

The expanded master bathroom features a generous, universally designed shower with a bench, as well as an adjacent soaking tub. It also boasts sleek cabinets and a gray and white color theme. “We went with a very contemporary, clean look,” says Gail. “We carried the gray and white theme throughout the house, introducing dark hardwood floors in the kitchen and family room as a nice accent,” she notes.

Careful attention was paid to the lighting throughout the house. The focal point in the spacious master bedroom is a tray ceiling with added LED lighting. “In many instances, we changed the recessed lighting to LED and added more throughout,” says Richard Dickson. “All the lighting is on dimmers. We added new chandeliers in the foyer and dining room. You can totally transform a space with proper lighting.”

The overall feeling is one of continuity: clean, open and comfortable spaces, which is exactly what Gail and Steve were looking for in a second home. “Richard, Bonnie and the rest of the team at Dickson Development made this process as easy and enjoyable as possible. And the project was completed on time, so we could enjoy time in our new townhome before returning to Florida for the winter. We could not be happier with the result.”

Find out how you can transform your home into a brighter, more contemporary and personalized living space.

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220 or click on the link below.


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What It’s Like To Work with Dickson Development

What it's like to work with Dickson Development

Ask architect John Pazdera what it’s like to work with Richard Dickson, and he’s likely to reminisce about the day they met. The two go back more than a decade to when Dickson Development was building an addition for one of John’s cousins. “I always remember how Richard stopped by the site during construction, and the way he paid attention to every detail. It made a lasting impression,” he says.

A Solid Foundation of Long-term Relationships

Richard Dickson has been on construction sites since he was 10 years old. The son of a builder, he says it’s all he can remember wanting to do. The firm he founded in his name, Dickson Development, has been designing, building and renovating homes in the Princeton area for more than 46 years. That kind of longevity in a relatively small geographic area can be explained in one word: relationships. With clients, trade partners and team members.

John is one of several long-standing trade partners, and an extended member of the Dickson team that includes president and CEO Richard Dickson, project manager Bonnie Foster and office manager Ronnie Rudolph. John provides the architectural design work on a majority of Dickson Development’s design-build projects.

Design-build combines design and construction into one seamless delivery method. “Basically, this means that we integrate architectural design into our construction process, and we become the single source of contact for the client. This can be very convenient and cost-effective for the client,” explains Richard. “Design-build is an alternative to design-bid-build, which separates design and build. Naturally, we are happy to work both ways. If clients bring us their own drawings, we collaborate closely with their architects to complete the project.”


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After completing dozens upon dozens of projects with Dickson Development, John knows exactly what to expect. “There is a respect for details, which I really appreciate as an architect. With Richard, the homeowner always comes first, and finishing on time and on budget is a top priority,” John says. “The process is smooth and as painless as possible. They just have really good clients. It’s an enjoyable experience all around.”

signClients Know What to Expect: Attentive Service

Clients also know what to expect, and this has resulted in a great deal of repeat work and referral business. “We don’t just get repeat business from previous customers,” Dickson says. “We get referrals from generation to generation. We’re working on a project now that was referred to us by the homeowner’s parents, whose home we had renovated many years earlier.”

Both Richard and Bonnie spend a great deal of time up front getting to know the homeowner. What are their goals and vision? What do they want their living space to say about them? How do they live now, and how do they want to live when the project is complete?

Based on these conversations, Dickson collaborates with John and other trade partners to create the ideal solution. A member of the Dickson staff always accompanies the homeowner to choose appliances, flooring, cabinets and other finishes to not only help them make the best decisions, but to make sure everything arrives on time. “It’s always a pleasure when Bonnie comes into our showroom with one of their clients,” says Heather Winn, lighting manager of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Lawrenceville.

Trade Partners Are Valued Extensions of the Dickson Team

They understand how proper lighting can transform a room but also take time to understand each client’s personal style,” Heather notes. “With so many options available today, it can be overwhelming. We partner with the Dickson team to educate homeowners and provide a number of solutions. They’ll come into the showroom with specs and measurements, and visions.”

What happens when a homeowner’s visions need adjustments on-site? Dickson Development rarely takes jobs that are more than 15 minutes from their office to allow someone to be on-site on short notice. “By staying close to Princeton, we can manage and supervise the process, provide quality control, and deliver the kind of customer service homeowners demand when they make a major investment,” says Richard.

Of course, it’s not just proximity to the job site that makes Dickson successful. Dickson works only with trade partners whose expertise, talent and work ethic have been proven time after time. Ultimately, it’s the homeowner who benefits from these relationships.

“I have known Richard Dickson for many, many years and didn’t expect anything less than a stellar experience when we remodeled our entire townhome earlier this year,” says Gail Levitt of Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “There were no surprises, and there was ongoing communication and collaboration. In a matter of days, we picked out almost everything, from the cabinets at Woodhaven Lumber, to the ceramic tiles at Galaxy Tile, to the fixtures at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. “We got incredible service wherever we went.”

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJA Stake in the Princeton Market

This is not only a reflection of long-term relationships but also of the strong reputation Dickson has built in the Princeton area. “I’ve been working with the same plumber since I started the business 46 years ago,” Richard says. “His father was my father’s plumber. Because we work with the same trade partners on every project, we know the work will be done to our high standards.”

With hundreds of building and renovation projects complete, all within a seven-mile radius, what’s up next for Dickson Development? Certainly not retirement.

“I’m 72 years old, and I still love going to work,” Richard laughs. “Why would I want to stop?”

To schedule a consultation, call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220 or click on the link below..


Schedule a Consultation

Princeton Kitchen Remodel: Bright and Functional

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJ

Princeton Open and Functional Kitchen Remodel by Dickson Development

This Princeton kitchen remodel exceeded everyone’s expectations, from its new open floor plan to its sleek, modern tile work. The contemporary home had not been updated since 1988. “We wanted a more open and functional space,” says homeowner Chiara.

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJ

A New Kitchen Full of Light and Open Space

“Our challenge was to take a poorly lit, interior kitchen and open it up to the next room,” says Richard Dickson. “We didn’t make the kitchen any bigger, but we were able to create a more efficient layout with much more natural light.”


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That meant knocking down some walls between the kitchen and family room and adding a long, large island, equipped with a number of built-in storage drawers and hidden trash and recycling bins. The adjoining family room and eat-in area already had quite a few windows, even before the renovation. By opening up the kitchen to the family room, the entire space is now saturated in natural light.

“We were able to achieve exactly what I had hoped for: a lovely view of the backyard, a pleasant sense of open space and so much light! Our living area is much more enjoyable and functional,” says Chiara.

To create a unified look and easy flow from one room to the next, the original ceramic tile floor in the kitchen was replaced with new hardwood flooring. The new cabinets are white to contrast with the wood flooring and complement the gray tiling. “This is a very contemporary look,” says Bonnie Foster, Project Coordinator.

Chiara was “totally satisfied” throughout the process. She decided to expand the project along the way and made changes that would have been impossible after the renovation. “I really appreciated the flexibility and guidance of the entire Dickson Development team, especially Richard, Bonnie and Thom.”

Find out how you can transform your older home into a more comfortable, livable space.

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220 or click on the link below.


Schedule a Consultation


Today’s Discerning Homeowners Want A Peaceful, Open Kitchen

Open Kitchen Remodel - Princeton NJ Contractor - Dickson Development

Clean, clean, clean. Sleek, uncluttered, peaceful and open. Those are the adjectives that best describe the trends in kitchen design these days. And did I mention clean?

The clean and open look, which has been gathering steam for many years, is now going as far as sacrificing cabinet storage for new windows that offer views of nature and give household chefs a feeling of peaceful relief. That single window over the sink? No more. Homeowners tell us that they want sunlight and more sunlight.

“Our clients want their kitchens to be centerpieces in their open layouts. They ask us to take down walls between rooms so that when the chef is hard at work in the kitchen, they don’t feel isolated,” says Richard Dickson

That’s not to say that storage isn’t important. More than half of homeowners believe that adequate storage is the most important feature in the kitchen. So if we’re removing cabinets in favor of windows, where do we find storage? One growing trend is to build separate walk in pantries, which can hold much more dry goods, appliances and kitchenware than cramped cabinets.


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Creating Storage in Creative Ways

Kitchen Remodeling Storage Ideas - Dickson Development - PrincetonAnother popular place to hide storage is under the ever-growing kitchen island. In addition to cabinetry, homeowners are also placing microwave ovens and even second refrigerators under the kitchen island.Particularly popular are refrigerated drawers that can be installed next to the sink in an island. Why? You can keep items like fresh produce within easy reach of the sink while saving space in the main refrigerator.

Hiding that microwave is particularly important for the vast majority of people who are trying to keep their counters as uncluttered as humanly possible. And the ever-important electrical outlets and charging stations tend to be recessed or otherwise hidden. Many homeowners today are subtly planting home assistants from Amazon or Google to go along with their voice-controlled appliances.

Quartz vs. Granite: And the Winner Is?

Modern Kitchen Remodel in Princeton, NJSpeaking of those countertops, homeowners today want a sleek, engineered look. And while granite is still popular, increasingly owners are turning to engineered quartz, which is impervious to bacteria and germs and unlikely to be stained by oil, tomatoes, coffee and other common kitchen items. Most importantly, engineered quartz comes in a richer range of color options than can be found in natural stone, including bright greens, blues and yellows.

But even though they can get those richer colors, homeowners tend to be sticking with the white or grey kitchen, particularly for backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes. Some designers are even recommending the same materials for the countertops and the backsplash for an even more minimalist and cleaner aesthetic.

Standing out amongst all the white is jewel-like cabinet hardware that needs to be as functional as it beautiful. Some popular finishes are chrome, polished chrome, nickel, matte stain nickel, lacquered aluminum, gold and coffee. Bright colored cabinetry and warm wood finishes are also emerging as new trends.

Everything Minimalist … Except the Kitchen Sink

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJThose finishings, however, do not seem to be transitioning to the sink, where most people still prefer a large under-mounted single bowl in stainless steel. While the farm house sink is still somewhat popular, the stainless steel bowl wins the day, particularly since some manufacturers are adding on items such as fitted cutting boards, drying racks and a bottom grid.

Today’s kitchen has emerged as the center of activity in many homes. At the center of many new kitchens is a large island where people gather, prepare food and eat. Many homeowners are even eliminating a traditional kitchen table completely. This is a significant shift in the way we live, and in the way we design kitchens.

To schedule a consultation, email or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220.