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New and improved: a kitchen renovation

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Julie Thelander

Photo of before and after kitchen improvement

The Thelander family kitchen renovation before and after. Julie knew they needed more storage, so she replaced the “useless desk that was collecting junk” and put in a pantry dedicated to large appliances. They needed upgraded appliances, so Julie smartly befriended an expert at an appliance outlet and took advantage of floor model and scratch and dent prices on high-end appliances.

When Julie and Erik Thelander bought their home in the Winterberry neighborhood five years ago, there was little inventory available. They chose a house with good bones and a great layout, but they knew the house would require upgrades over time. “We chose Castle Pines because we loved the open space, the neighborhood and the mature landscaping,” Julie said.

Before and after great room renovation

The Thelanders decided to remodel a wall in the great room, since, “the main floor was torn up anyway,” Julie said. Their carpenter figured out an ingenious way to move the fireplace so it looks centered but isn’t, due to a supporting beam in the wall.

After collecting ideas from Pinterest for four years and reading exhaustively, Julie’s kitchen remodel design became a reality and was completed in October 2020. The Thelanders have some past experience doing renovations, so Julie felt comfortable managing the process for the six-week project.

As a realtor, Julie said one main motivating factor for doing this renovation was adding value to their home. Even with new houses being built in the area, Julie said there is always a market for resale homes with large yards that have been made as attractive as possible.

Photo of Thelander family.

The Thelander family loves their neighborhood and community and decided to invest in home renovations instead of moving to a new house.

Although the aesthetic was important, Julie said, “kitchens are more function than form.” To make sure every item in her kitchen not only had a place in the new design but would go where it would work best, Julie opened every cabinet in the old space and made sure to account for it all.

The kitchen renovation included replacing the kitchen cabinets, which were “not in good shape,” Julie said, and extending the molding to the ceiling, so dust wouldn’t collect. They added pendant lights, moved the microwave and replaced it with a hood over the range. Some smart additions included a tech cabinet with USB ports and plugs, replacing some cabinets with drawers for cookware and food storage (no more Tupperware avalanches!), and a sweep-o-vac which is a vacuum installed in toe kick spaces. With two high school-aged boys at home, Julie said these upgrades have come in handy, especially since they love to cook and be in the kitchen.

In the family room, Julie removed the TV box many of us in Castle Pines are familiar with. The flat-screen TV was placed over the fireplace, which their contractor moved. Julie said she added wainscoting on the wall to “bring in a coastal feel that reminds me of places I’ve lived before.”

Even though the Thelanders are not hosting parties yet, the family is enjoying the open flow and all the features of the beautifully renovated kitchen and great room.



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