June 29, 2017

Kitchen Renovation: From Closed-in Colonial to Open-concept Living

Guest Blog: Designer Chika Aizu


Our team at Dover was recently honored by NARI with a Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award: Honorable Mention: Kitchen $60,001-$100,000. For the next four weeks, I’m turning over my blog to designer Chika Aizu who managed this award-winning project. I hope you’ll enjoy this project walkthrough, with details about design challenges and solutions—and photos that bring this bright, beautiful family kitchen to life.

Kitchen Renovation: From Closed-in Colonial to Open-concept Living

Managing a busy family life with three young children in a cramped, inefficient kitchen was an everyday challenge for these homeowners in Strongsville. Moving was an option—but because they loved their home and neighborhood, they decided to dig in and reinvent the main living space in their traditional 1980s Colonial, going with a modern, open-concept layout.

From the beginning, the homeowners were specific about what they didn’t want, but weren’t entirely sure what they did want, so I listened a lot and helped them navigate through the renovation process. This blog details the journey…




The existing floor plan featured a traditional, dated layout: The kitchen, dining and family rooms were all separated by walls.  Gathering with friends and family in the small, confined kitchen space was not very enjoyable—and it left the other rooms virtually unused.


Remodeling the kitchen and improving an inefficient design was our charge for this renovation. The homeowners knew they didn’t want walls in the new space, so our proposed design created one large cohesive living area, removing walls and all soffits in the kitchen; and then increasing counter surface and storage space with updated cabinet amenities—also top priorities for the homeowners.

Be sure to follow along: My next post will begin with demolition.

All the best,

Chika Aizu