The Mountain State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

Jim Thomas, one of Yeager Design & Interior’s latest remodel clients, came to us for help updating his Hurricane home last spring. There were multiple spaces on his renovation agenda, but we’d like to share with you his dream kitchen transformation.

Jim lives in a Leslie-built home in Woods and Irons, and while the cabinets and countertops had stood the test of time, the finishes and appliances had not.

YDI focused on the following areas to change in the renovation:

  • Update the color scheme of the cabinets, backsplash and counters.
  • Removal of the drywall soffit above the cabinets.
  • New layout and the purchase of updated appliances.
  • Bring transitional flooring from the family room into the kitchen.

Most men YDI works with are not always particular about the fine details in their spaces. This was not the case with Jim. He had lived with the outdated emerald and rose color scheme from the early ’90s for far too long and was ready to transition into neutrals, such as grays and whites.

Together we found the perfect cabinet color, “harbor mist,” which gave a cool gray color palette while still letting some of the woodgrain shine through the paint. The countertops selected was a Cambria quartz named Berwyn. It was the perfect mix of whites, creams and grays, with a touch of sparkle to give the illusion of marble countertops without the upkeep and fragility.

Perhaps my favorite part of the finish package was the backsplash. We chose a unique take on subway tile from a line called Grunge. The imperfect tiles created a look that was rustic yet chic for the new finished package.

In many cases of homes built in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, we often see the outdated use of drywall soffits built above cabinetry. These not only date kitchens but they also limit the height of cabinetry, especially in an 8-foot-high ceiling application.

The original wall cabinetry height was 30 inches. In the new design, we installed 36-inch-high wall cabinets with a 3-inch crown molding that left just 3 inches of space to the ceiling. This lengthens the height of the space to the user’s eye and makes the room seem more open and spacious. It also expands the square footage of usable storage space throughout the whole kitchen.

The original design of the space is a modified U-shape of cabinetry. While it is not expansive, it is spacious enough to have a long island and enough room to walk around each side, but not to have island seating. We decided to leave the sink, dishwasher, and cooktop where they originally were, but all other appliances were on the move.

The first appliance to be moved was the refrigerator. Its original placement left the countertop and corner feeling short and chopped up, as well as making the area between the island and the refrigerator tight when the doors were opened. Its new location would be on our utilitarian “tall wall” adjoining the stairwell.

By placing our other tall fixtures next to the refrigerator, such as the new double oven and pantry cabinet, we created a hub of productivity in an area that cleared up the traffic in front of the sink and range. This allows for multiple people to use the space at once with ease and allows a smooth flow of kitchen accessibility.

An added bonus to the “tall wall” was the new bar area. Jim is somewhat of a wine connoisseur, and we wanted to create an area for him to store his unique glasses and bottles, and to also have an area to set up shop when he was entertaining guests.

This whole project got started because of a leak from Jim’s upstairs that came down into the family room below and ruined his flooring and furniture. When it came time to choose a new flooring for the family room, we decided to select something that would flow all the into the kitchen, elongating the two spaces and making them feel open and connected.

He also wanted something that would stand the test of time, be easy to clean, and be pet-friendly. We ended up choosing a very realistic laminate wood flooring in wide planks that, upon installation, truly changed the dynamic of the two spaces. It is a rustic gray and brown combination of colors that pulls in his existing wood trim as well as the new gray cabinetry and transitional design.

As always Yeager Design & Interiors leans heavily on our team of contractors and wholesale suppliers to help us accomplish these fabulous designs. Our contracting team, Rapid Contracting Group, is not only extremely gifted in their skills and craftsmanship, but they make every job a breeze with their timeliness, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

We absolutely loved working with Jim Thomas and look forward sharing with you his family room, master bath remodel, and outdoor space transformation in the future.

Until then, we hope you are inspired to switch up your spaces, transform out-of-date finishes and to always ask for the help of a professional when doing so. These jobs can be overwhelming, and a good designer and contracting team can ease the process and make remodeling much more of a joy than a hassle. We look forward to bringing you another year of design in 2019.

Elizabeth Yeager Cross is the owner of Yeager Design & Interiors in Scott Depot. You can follow YDI on Facebook, and Yeager Cross can be reached at 304-760-8914 or by email at

Have a design challenge? Find out what our area experts have to say! Send your questions — even photos — and a summary of what you’d like help with, along with your contact information, to The solution to your design challenge could be featured in a future WV Design Team article.

Recommended for you