Space For Design – Chapel Hill News Article

Space For Design
Building company helps homeowners get the biggest bang for their buck
Sally Keeney, Correspondent

The kitchen is the heart of the home for most families. Rebecca Shirey Johnson, a member of the Will Johnson Building Company team, has found that to be true whether working with clients in the Triangle or watching the speed with which her military family made houses into homes during extensive world travels.

The trick has always been getting small kitchens to feel open and welcoming and to segregate work areas in large kitchens so multiple cooks can take ownership of their projects. Over the past couple of years, Shirey Johnson has helped design several kitchens with her husband, Ben Johnson, and his father Will, the general contractor of the firm.

When renovating on a budget, Shirey Johnson helps homeowners figure out where they can compromise so they can splurge a little on things they really want. If a kitchen is dark, using white or light paint hues is an inexpensive fix. Likewise, bead board as a backsplash instead of tile or copper saves money so the homeowner can afford a more expensive laminate top.

A splurge on hardware can give old cabinets a more custom look. How? Standard hardware is 4-inches. Paying for wider pulls gives stock cabinets that custom look, and they are easier to use for those whose hands are losing their agility or strength, Shirey Johnson says.

Sometimes a homeowner is really into a certain high-end material, such as granite, copper or tile. Maybe their dream is a kitchen filled with commercial appliances, which are very expensive.

Shirey Johnson advises accenting with that material – say using copper as a backsplash behind a range instead of using it throughout the kitchen. Use a custom paint color to highlight other areas and buy commercial-grade appliances by Kenmore instead of the higher-end European models…

Christopher Johnson