Featured Homes

West Windsor Kitchen and Bath Makeover

princeton kitchen - Dickson Development

Move or remodel? That was the question Dale and Rich had been asking themselves for years. The West Windsor couple wanted a more functional kitchen, a more contemporary master bath and an overall fresher look.

Their 1990s Toll Brothers-built home was a little bigger than they needed at their stage of life, yet it still had a nice flow and a comfortable feel. They began to wonder, could their vision for a new home be re-created in their current home? And could it be done without a lot of disruption? Their search for a builder began.

Dale and Richard interviewed many builders before partnering with Dickson Development. They had very specific design goals in mind—and even a photo of a kitchen they wanted to emulate—after years of contemplation. They were also looking for a builder who would offer sound advice and creative collaboration as well as keep the project on time and on budget. “From the start, we were comfortable with Richard Dickson and Bonnie Foster, who helped design the new kitchen and bath. They were professional and patient, and they paid extraordinary attention to their proposal,” says Dale. “That told us a lot about what it could be like to work with them. They listened carefully to our ideas and transformed them into a plan.”

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A Vision Comes to Life

The photo that inspired their new kitchen had a distinctly charming and bright, contemporary bistro look. Dickson Development took it to the next level with custom white cabinetry, soft brushed gold hardware and elegant yet industrial lighting fixtures. The size of the pendants hanging over the island was scaled back slightly so they would not overwhelm the space or distract from its statement piece, a unique, oversized range hood. “We wanted the room to have a focal point, and fell in love with this mixed metal range hood,” Dale explains. “It separates our kitchen from others with its striking brass strips. It is truly a work of art.”

The kitchen’s soft gray and white aesthetic is enhanced with beautiful crown moldings, gray prefinished wood flooring, a large refrigerator built into the cabinetry, quartz countertops and a tile backsplash that extends beyond the sink to the ceiling. “There is no interruption in the line,” notes Richard Dickson. “We also extended the sink by four inches. We popped it out, breaking the line of the counter, to create more interest as well as more room for a larger sink,” he adds. “It was a very cost-effective change.” The kitchen was made more functional by removing the cooktop from the island, adding a microwave to the island and adding task lighting beneath the cabinets.

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All in the Details

The same careful attention to detail and balanced use of mixed metals can be found in the renovation of the master bathroom. “I love the look of brushed gold when paired with silver or antique bronze,” says Dale. The bathroom renovation went beyond these new aesthetic features. “We made the room larger by removing a separate dressing area and sink area just outside the bathroom. By opening up and enlarging the space and removing an oversized jacuzzi tub, they were able to add a freestanding bathtub and new shower,” says Bonnie. While the new tub serves as a centerpiece for the bathroom, it is the new double-sink vanity that showcases the homeowners’ personal taste.

Richard Dickson attributes the finished product to teamwork. “Dale and Richard knew what they wanted and brought that vision to the project. We were able to exceed their expectations, a direct result of the flexibility, input and guidance they offered every step of the way.”

Throughout the process, Dale and Rich kept the future in mind. Should they decide to sell their home in years to come, they wanted to be sure it included many of the features the coveted millennial buyer desires. “We incorporated current trends into the design of the new kitchen and bathroom in a way that is timeless,” notes Richard.

Find out how you can create the perfect kitchen and bath to fit your lifestyle.

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220.

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.

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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.

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.

 

 

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.”

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.

 

Rocky Hill Remodel Adds Space and Comfort

Kitchen and Family Room

Home & Kitchen Renovation - Princeton, NJ

Cristina was in love with her neighborhood but not so much with her 1970s split-level house. The kitchen was dark and dated. The family room was closed off and did not have a working fireplace. There was no mudroom or transitional area for the family of four to leave their belongings as they entered the house.

“It needed more than a Band-Aid; it needed a complete kitchen and family room renovation,” she says.

Kitchen and Family Room Create a Bright Open Space

She and her husband, Michael, wanted a little more space, a lot more light and a better flow of movement around the first floor. The focus needed to be on the kitchen, the center of her family’s activity. Cristina consulted with her father, an architect, and gave serious thought to all of their options, including selling the house. They kept coming back to the same dilemma. They loved their Rocky Hill, N.J., neighborhood.

 Should You Stay or Should You Go?

“When you buy a new house, you inherit new problems. We knew our home and were comfortable,” she explains. So they got to work on a plan and hired Dickson Development to bring their visions to life.

The main goal of the renovation was to create a more open living space that kept the couple’s children in plain sight from the kitchen. They wanted to open up a narrow space by adding an addition in the rear of the house that expanded the family room and kitchen. “They also included a mudroom that had access right from the garage,” explains Richard Dickson. His team took the plans and transformed the couple’s vision into a reality. The focus of the project was always on function first.

Kitchen Renovation Contractor - Princeton, NJ

At the same time, the new kitchen features elegant white custom cabinetry and efficient and contemporary lighting and appliances. “Our first goal was always to bump out the back of the house and create a large open floor area. It was the best design we could have added,” she says.

“We also didn’t realize how important it was to have a mudroom until we had one.”

The mudroom, which features unique hooked shelves and a bench, offers a convenient entrance to the house directly off the driveway.

The focal point of the family room/kitchen area is a large island that also separates the cooking area from the living areas of the home. “We envisioned the kids doing their homework at the island as well as eating. We wanted it away from the cooking area to make it safer but also designed to allow the kids to feel they are with us,” notes Cristina.

A New Center for Family Activity

Like many families today, they use the island in lieu of a separate kitchen table. “We said you can’t go too big with the island!” says Cristina. “Trends come and go, but designing your space to fit your lifestyle is always a good idea.”

The bright new kitchen features:

  • A support  wall transformed into a decorative column with a peek-through shelf
  • Light and airy Shaker aesthetic
  • An open-concept layout
  • White quartzite countertops
  • A backsplash of ½-inch-high by 2-inch-long gray and white tiles
  • Two Bosch ovens, on either side of the kitchen
  • An extra-large cooktop area

“We were looking for a modern twist on a classic-looking kitchen with whimsical accents,” she adds.

Getting the Job Done

It was important for the family to find both a builder and an architect who understood their goals and Cristina’s vision, and who were committed to quality.

“The whole Dickson team was great, but I want to make sure to recognize the project foreman, Thom, as the unsung hero that he is,” she says. “He would play with the kids and the dog. Most of all, he was extremely responsible in his communication. He would keep us up to date and answer texts promptly.”

Cristina was also impressed that the job stayed pretty much on schedule, despite a couple of setbacks. During the renovation, some problems with the existing home became apparent. There was some existing water damage in one of the walls around the old fireplace chimney, a leak in the roof and more water damage in the floor of an upstairs bathroom.

“We were able to take care of these problems when we were doing the new construction,” says Richard. “It is not possible to anticipate everything you might encounter when you are working in an older home. We were able to determine the problems quickly and fix them.” And best of all, they stayed on schedule to minimize the disruption to the family.

Now that we have opened up the space, we can’t imagine the house any other way,” adds Christina.

Before

After.

Comfortable Family Room

Bright, Convenient Kitchen 

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220.

 

’70s Colonial Gets a Makeover

Kitchen Renovation

Princeton Junction Kitchen Remodel

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.

A “Life-Changing” Kitchen Renovation in Princeton Junction

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.”

Princeton Junction RenovationPerhaps 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.”

Princeton Home RenovationThe 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.