Shades of Grey

Nichola BellLakewood Ranch DiaryLeave a Comment

With so many new models being built, a house in Lakewood Ranch can soon look dated. The Mediterranean style was never my taste anyway. Maybe coming from the U.K. I’ve never had that old world nostalgia. I always gravitate towards, cool and contemporary over the warm, heritage interior seemingly favored by the Midwest migrants to the gulf coast. They even, however, are now falling in love with the West Indies inspired color palates when they visit design centers. Basically, it’s grey all the way.

We bought our home knowing we would tear it down and rebuild. There wasn’t much about it I liked other than the bones and the lot, but those pros made it a no brainer since all the other homes at the time were the same style.

Although there’s plans and then life. We lived with those builder grade tiles and 90’s cherry cabinets for too long. It got to the point where guests were welcomed with an explanation of what the house was going to be.

Eventually, there was enough money in the bank to get cracking. We resurfaced the pool – that’s another story! We transformed the bonus loft into two bedrooms and then finally, what I was desperate to do – remodel our kitchen!

Now for this kind of project, I feel the most important step is researching contractors. For my husband – the cost of the project was his only concern, literally, his only concern. Even though some of the contractors on our short list were on his Saturday soccer team, no ‘own goals’ would win his business if his wallet hurt.

For me, I think the most important consideration is, do you want these people in your home? Seriously, there will be men in your home from the crack of dawn – you have to feel comfortable.

So, with those two considerations in mind, we chose the local company Above and Beyond. My husband could live with the estimate – and I could live with their team in my home.

In the U.K. they did a study that showed that northern accents are deemed the most trusted and you don’t get much farther north than Scotland. Above and Beyond is owned by John and Sharon Smyth of Scotland and they certainly live up to their accent. Once your ears adjust, you learn they are people with pride and integrity, my requirements for someone demolishing and rebuilding part of my home.

The staff at A&B must go through a rigorous recruitment process, or the owners just got damn lucky, because the team is wonderful. They showed up on time, did the work, left on time (and that’s important if evenings are important to you) and cleaned up before they left! I tried to distract them with tea and cakes but they were usually keen to just politely plod on. I think what meant the most to me is the team seemed genuinely excited about the project and the results.

Ok, you get it, I recommend this company, but what about the kitchen! OMG, I have the most amazing taste in design darling, if I do say so myself! Gone is the dark, gloomy, cherry wood kitchen with a resin countertop and black appliances! We went for an oyster grey, shaker cabinet with a white and grey quartz countertop. The grey in the quartz travels through the stone like lava. I freakin’ love it! I especially love the little touches they gave me, like the wine rack above that usual waste of space above the refrigerator. Together with white subway tiles and stainless steel appliances, it looks stunning. I sit in the morning at the kitchen bar with my coffee admiring it like a newborn.

There’s only one big problem – now my floors look gross in comparison. I told my husband they would, but he listened to the bank manager. Huge mistake! The kitchen is such a statement that it’s like wearing (I imagine) a Versace dress in rubber boots. I need the Louboutins! So, even though it’s completely the wrong way around project wise, we’ve decide to rip out our tile floor! If you’re going to do a job, do it properly. My husband always learns the hard way. So now we need to redo a 3000ft tile floor.

Who we gonna call? Above and Beyond!

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