Stunning Transformation in Potomac, MD

Before and After Case Study

Stunning Transformation in Potomac, MD

The Challenge

The clients in this case study were not only homeowners but business owners as well. They were extremely busy managing their business. Our challenge as the kitchen designer was that they were almost too busy to make decisions for their kitchen remodel project.

We discovered by bringing options to them for various materials– like door samples and finish samples – it facilitated their decision-making. It helped to have two or three options for them to choose from. More than that, and they experienced decision paralysis.

Another challenge they gave us was that we had a very short window to complete the project once they decided to go ahead — only had seven weeks.

They mostly liked the existing kitchen’s existing footprint, so no walls would be moved.

In an attempt to make it easy for them to decide what they wanted their new kitchen to look like, we prepared and presented two designs and two proposals. That may seem like a lot of effort on our part, but it helped them focus on their goals.


  • The cabinets were dark and the style was dated
  • The appliances were old and didn’t work properly anymore
  • There wasn’t enough storage; cabinet doors and drawers couldn’t close properly because things were jammed in and didn’t fit. The couple used the adjacent laundry room for storage. 
  • The lighting was horrible
  • The stone floor with dark grout was not something they liked
  • They really didn’t like the backsplash
  • The homeowners admitted that they never sat at the island because they used a table in the room (not shown)
  • The soffits were ugly and made the room look closed in
  • The microwave built into a base cabinet was inconvenient and made it difficult to use.
  • Because of a poor layout, counterspace was very limited
  • Homeowners didn’t want or need double built-in wall ovens
  • They found it difficult to keep clutter under control because they had no storage space

The Design Solution and Its Challenges

The homeowners were extremely busy running their business, and it was difficult to get both of them together at the same time. They were distracted and both found it hard to focus on making decisions for their new kitchen.

The soffits were scheduled to be removed, and it was a happy discovery to find there were no HVAC issues when they were taken down. With the soffits removed, we were able to get wall cabinets 41” high, instead of the 30” high that were in the old kitchen.

No changes were made to the existing footprint of the old room.

At the last minute, the clients made a change. They had initially said they would keep the microwave in a base cabinet, but they decided they wanted the microwave elevated for easier use. Because we were rushed on this project, it wasn’t possible to order a fitted microwave with a trim kit. While we, as the designers, don’t like the look of the extra space around the microwave cut-out, the customer was happy and we did accomplish their goal.

The homeowners had an office elsewhere in the house, so all computers and office-related paraphernalia was removed from the kitchen, freeing up more counter space.

They didn’t use their island for seating, so we were able to add two cabinets for storage where previous seating was located. The size of the island and the top on the island stayed the same.

We replaced a dark and inaccessible area beside the existing fridge with a pantry with roll-out shelves to give the homeowners the extra storage space they were asking for.

The Wrap Up / After

Clean, white, bright and spacious – what a difference! Sleek and shiny stainless steel appliances and Shaker style doors with a 3/16” inside bead contribute to the overall transformation.

Some Products Used

Brighton Cabinetry logo