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Artist and stay-at-home mom Kaylee Dalton had many qualms with her Northern Indiana home since moving in nearly a decade ago. “When we moved in, it was full-on 80s up in here,” she says. “I mean, laminate countertops, laminate cabinets, linoleum flooring, a wet bar, and carpet throughout—even in one bathroom!” 

Despite the remnants, which included teddy bear-themed wallpaper, they were able to see its potential, drawn in by the floor-to-ceiling windows and open-concept foyer. After tackling other rooms, it was finally time to renovate the kitchen. “We hated just about everything about the kitchen, but the quality of cabinets and the lack of storage were the most frustrating parts,” she says. 

“Before the renovation, there were two basic cabinets we used to store dry goods and most items got lost in the back or turned stale from neglect,” Dalton admits. The family used Rye Slab cabinets to transform the dated wet bar into a large pantry with pull-out drawers and ample storage, plus Salt Shaker cabinets in the rest of the kitchen. “You can actually see what you have,” she exclaims. Another upside? No more stuck drawers or creaking doors. “The smooth glide of BOXI cabinets and the soft-close is a true luxury,” she adds. 

As for the design, they knew they wanted to create a lighter and more open space, a sharp contrast to the kitchen’s original wooden cabinets, and thus worked with Inspired Kitchen Design on the layout. During the renovation, they removed most of the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room, as well as the ceiling drop-downs, and reconfigured the appliance placements. The ceiling was then clad in shiplap to hide the textured finish. Floating shelves, Calacatta Black Quartz countertops, and white tile create an airy feeling. 

Despite their successes in taking the kitchen from linoleum-filled to modern, the couple did run into a few snags, especially when it came to the budget. “I think an unexpected cost was labor. You don’t realize how long it’s going to take and the hours add up—literally,” Dalton says. While the family weighed the option of getting custom cabinetry prior to their appointment with BOXI, they knew custom cabinets weren’t going to work with everything they wanted to do. “Plus, going semi-custom was great for our budget,” she adds. 

In a post-pandemic world, Dalton’s advice for other homeowners embarking on their own renovation is clear: Make sure you’ll have all the materials you’ll need. At one point, supply chain issues meant the entire process was stalled. “Think about every single detail before starting,” she advises. 

In the end, the final result is a space that feels both contemporary and organized. Even the large windows, one of the first details that lead them to fall in love with the house, are put to better use. “Now that that partial wall is removed, the light is able to flood into the kitchen,” Dalton says. 

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