Hinsdale Home Show is this Saturday!

Join us Saturday April 11, 2015 at the Second Annual Hinsdale Home Show, presented by the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce. Normandy Designers will be on hand to discuss your potential home addition, kitchen remodel or home renovation project.

Plus, at 1PM award-winning Normandy Designer Leslie Molloy, CKD; will be presenting an educational kitchen remodeling seminar entitled “Secrets of the Ideal Kitchen.”  We hope to see you there!

The Community House
415 W Eighth St, Hinsdale
Saturday April 11, 2015
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Stained and Painted Cabinets: Now in Color!

Combining stained and painted cabinetry in the same kitchen has been popular for over five years, but one of the more interesting developments in this trend is the addition of color to the cabinets.  Up until recently, most of the painted finishes in these combo kitchens had been white, but color is gaining ground as people are looking to infuse their personality into their kitchen remodel.  We recently spoke with Normandy Designer Leslie Lee to get a list of things to consider, and things to avoid, when adding color to your kitchen cabinets:

1. Location, location, location: Determining which cabinets should be in the base color and which should be a contrasting color is largely about location.  “Islands are great places to inject color, since they are already stand-alone components of the kitchen,” says Leslie.  Painting select cabinets a complementary color can also give them the look of a furniture piece, rather than simply looking like cabinetry that’s just in another color.  A popular choice would be to make the refrigerator take on the look of an armoire.

2. Harmony is key: The colors you select need to be harmonious and work together to create a coherent look.  If you’re not sure which colors pair well, you can reference special fan decks by Benjamin Moore that feature colors that are all but guaranteed to look great together.

3. Size matters:  Multiple colors work best in medium to large kitchens and are best avoided in smaller kitchens.  “For example, in a medium size kitchen you might be able to do two different cabinet colors as long as all the countertops are the same,” commented Leslie.  “In a large kitchen you may be able to do up to 3 different cabinet colors and multiple different countertop selections and still create a harmonious look.”

4. Details make the difference: This is particularly true in traditional style kitchens. “A great way to further distinguish the painted cabinetry from the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen is by selecting a slightly different door style,” says Leslie.

5. Choose a base tone that suits you:  Most kitchens that have colored accent cabinets start with a wood stain or white paint for the rest of the cabinets that helps give the room an overall direction.

6. The sky is the limit for choosing colors:  Many cabinet manufacturers offer custom color options that let you find the shade that’s just right for you.  In fact, Normandy Designer Leslie Lee will typically bring out the Benjamin Moore fan deck to find the color that she’s looking to achieve.

7. Color can be timeless, with some restraint:  “Nobody wants to renovate their kitchen only to find that it feels outdated just a few years later,” notes Leslie. “By choosing more muted colors that are grounded in the overall aesthetic of the kitchen, you’ll minimize some of the potential for dating your kitchen.”  Remember all that Harvest Gold from the 70’s?  You definitely want to avoid that level of regret for your kitchen cabinets.

8. It pays to sample first: “I highly recommend getting a sample door that you’ve selected, with the color you’ve chosen, so that you know exactly what you’re getting,” says Leslie.  “Colors can change over time and changes in lighting can influence how you perceive a particular color.”

The decision to add color to your painted cabinets is one that more and more people are considering when undertaking a kitchen remodel.  If you’re wondering whether this may be right for your kitchen, you can request a meeting with Leslie, or register for one of our upcoming educational seminars.

Green With Envy for this Small Kitchen

Space is always at a premium in small kitchens, so it’s critical that the layout makes the most of every valuable square inch.  This Oak Park kitchen hadn’t been updated since the 1950′s and was in desperate need of a remodel. The homeowners loved their little bungalow that was built in 1939, but the 200 square foot kitchen was lacking storage and had a layout that was not meeting their needs. They began working with Normandy Designer Karen Chanan to create a truly functional kitchen with a design that was a perfect fit for the style of their home.

Island with sinkstainless steel kitchen

“The bold decision they made to choose green for their kitchen cabinets has really paid off in terms of giving this kitchen a unique character,” says Karen.  ”This green kitchen is really grounded in tradition with the Shaker style cabinet doors and heartwood pine floors.  The subway tile ties in the green without overwhelming the space, and the combination of materials and textures makes the green cabinetry seem less daring; the look fits in very well with their Craftsman style home.”  New, larger windows enhanced the view of the backyard garden and brought an ample amount of natural light to the kitchen, making it feel open and bright, which is exactly what these Oak Park homeowners had hoped to achieve.

kitchen cabinet paintedgreen kitchen cabinet

The true challenge was to make this small kitchen seem spacious and greatly improve its function for the family.  “We were able to completely transform the space  and create a practical solution for their, rather small, kitchen table.” These homeowners were able to incorporate an improved peninsula in the kitchen, which gave them the additional seating, storage and countertop space. Karen was also able to include cubby storage at the back entry to hold everyday items such as shoes, coats and cleaning supplies.

kitchen islandsinks









This small kitchen packs a lot of punch, and recently received a Remodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of Greater Chicagoland.  If your kitchen is need of a creative solution, schedule a complementary in-home consultation with Karen to discuss the potential of your kitchen!

normandy remodeling designer karen chanan

normandy remodeling designer karen chanan



Normandy Remodeling in West Suburban Living Magazine

This month’s issue of West Suburban Living includes an article on additions called “Rooms for Expansion” with contributions from Normandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka. Troy shares some great advice in this article, a worthwhile read for anyone considering adding-on.

When you turn to page 70 to read the article, you’ll find a photo of a gorgeous living room with a contemporary fireplace that was part of an addition and whole home remodel completed by Normandy Designer Gary Cerek.

Read the entire article, or schedule a time to talk with one of our two featured designers in this article, Gary Cerek and Troy Pavelka.  You can also look through more photos of home additions that Normandy has completed in Chicago and the suburbs to further your inspiration.

Luxe Gray Update for an Outdated Pink Bathroom

While generous in size, this master bathroom suffered from a poor use of space that offered very little in the way of storage.  The pink sinks, tub, and accents did not match the homeowners’ sense of style, and they were searching for a more functional and attractive solution for their bathroom. “The existing bathroom was very outdated and consisted of 2 pedestal sinks and an oversized soaking tub,” says Normandy Designer Jennifer Runner AKBD. “The only storage that existed in the master bath was the store bought cabinetry, which lacked visual appeal.”

bathroom sink vanityFreestanding bathbathroom sink


normandy remodeling designer jennifer runner akbd
The first step in creating their new bathroom was to begin prioritizing function and allocating space, guided by the ideas and solutions developed with Designer Jennifer Runner.  “We installed a free standing soaking tub, in place of the oversized bath tub, that created a focal point for the master bath and left space to maximize storage potential,” added Jennifer. “The recessed wall shelves helped balance the large room and provided a space for storage and display items.” A double vanity was also incorporated into the design to provide the homeowners with the ample cabinetry storage and countertop space they previously lacked.  A small ledge behind the faucets was a thoughtful detail that provides a place for everyday use items.

gray bathroom ideas gray subway tile subway tile gray






The shower got a major upgrade in the layout reconfiguration as Jennifer was able to dedicate space for a luxurious shower. “The previous shower was undersized, cramped and offered little benefit to the space,” says Jennifer. “We decided to include a large shower, with a built in shower bench seat, that introduced clean lines, soft tones and an open feel to this spa like bathroom.”

normandy remodeling designer jennifer runner akbd

The luxury bathroom design was accomplished with the combination of soft textures, modern lines, dark stained cabinets, engineered stone countertops, porcelain tile and bathroom chandelier lighting. Along with these elements, layered lighting enhanced the spa-like aesthetic even further, and created a truly relaxing retreat.

normandy remodeling designer jennifer runner akbd

This master bathroom now meets all the homeowners’ needs, and with a luxurious style throughout. The renovation was so successful, it recently won a Remodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of Greater Chicagoland. If your master bathroom is in need of a major upgrade, request a free in home consultation with Jennifer to get started on your own spa-inspired retreat!

1950′s Ranch Becomes “Forever Home”

white cabinetsdesk for kitchen






After recently purchasing their single story La Grange home, these empty-nesters worked closely with Normandy Designer Leslie Lee to accomplish their remodeling goals. This 1950’s ranch style home was designed to reflect the ever-changing tastes and lifestyles of these homeowners and their ability to age comfortably in their forever home.

The existing rooms were reconfigured and remodeled to incorporate the consistent luxurious-feeling they wished to be seen throughout their single story home. “We were able to work within the existing footprint to create a truly unique space for these homeowners,” says Leslie. “Along with the existing rooms, we incorporated a home bar, eat in kitchen area, a kitchen desk and large storage closets as well.” With varying daily schedules, having an individual work space was important to each of the homeowners.

in home bar

bar for home

mud room ideas






The appeal of the home was matched on the exterior as well, in order to successfully match the initial first impression to the outstanding design elements on the interior. Leslie was able to boost curb appeal by incorporating architectural details and overhangs that added visual interest, texture and dimension to the facade. New energy efficient windows and doors were added to the home as well. Along with interior updates, these new energy efficient windows, help control the temperature complications that this home once faced. Fixing circulation and adding heated flooring helped regulate temperatures within the home even further.

ranch style house

Low maintenance and simplified design elements were essential to completing this home renovation project.  “One of the most important features that we added was the walk in shower with a zero threshold entry,” added Leslie. “In order to accomplish this, we re-framed the entire bathroom layout and added a trough shower drain.” In addition to the zero threshold shower, a wall hung toilet and floating vanity were added in order to keep the floor space clear. The redesigned kitchen was successfully created by embracing the idea of a partial wall, which separated the kitchen from the living room and gave them an ‘open concept’ feel, while generating enough space to allow for a large kitchen island that functioned as storage, prep space and kitchen eating area.

island for kitchen

ranch style homes






You can read about another of Leslie’s whole home remodels for an empty-nest couple, take the first step toward your own forever home, by signing up for a complementary in-home consultation!

bathroom sink vanitybathroom vessel sinkmodern bathroom showerspice racks

bedroom ideas

master bath ideas

bathroom sinkbathroom shower tiletile in showershower niche tile

Ranch Style House Features Modern Aesthetics

Before starting their home remodeling project, the goal for these homeowners was to gain a master suite that offered them privacy, a spa-like atmosphere in the master bath and modernizing the total look of their home with features that enhanced the overall functionality and aesthetics of their California Style Ranch.

master suite closets

Glass shower enclosure

Shower built in bench






By providing a master suite addition that was buffered from the house by walk-in closets, they were able to regain their privacy and enjoy their new spa-like retreat. “Through careful design, we were able to seamlessly integrate the newly added space into the existing floor plan,” says Normandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka. “This allowed the homeowners to expand their master bedroom, and convert an existing bedroom into a large walk-in closet.” The master bathroom was the most notable aesthetic improvement of the Master Suite. With new custom glass decorative tile, double shower heads, built-in shower bench seating, integrated skylight lighting and rich dark cabinetry, the modern colors and materials embodied the relaxing escape the homeowners were searching for. The exterior of this newly added space was also able to impeccably blend with the existing materials through the process of brick matching, which involved using a combination of new and salvageable resources.

Glass cabinetry doors

Appliances in kitchen island

Countertop sink kitchen




Stainless steel in the kitchen







“The modern aesthetic, also seen in the master bathroom, was carried throughout the entire home,” added Troy. “The reconfigured space allowed these homeowners to construct an open layout that connected the newly relocated and expanded kitchen, to the existing living and dining areas.” The modern kitchen is now home to a large kitchen island, perfect for entertaining, a walk-in pantry with plenty of storage, integrated modern appliances, and dark stained cabinetry with sleek hardware and LED tape lighting that bring energy efficient accents to these common areas in the home.

Open concept layout ideas

White tile fireplace






The cozy living room space is now full of natural light due to the newly added trayed ceiling, which incorporates a large skylight, as well as large operable casement style windows on either side of the fireplace to allow even more natural light and ventilation. “The modern textural tile used at the fireplace reinforced the modern aesthetic created throughout the house,” says Troy. “Keeping the fireplace simple with only this material, strengthened the design in an innovative way.”

modern furniture

Tv room design







The once sun room, now family room, that is adjacent to the living room, gave the homeowners a conditioned casual space to hang out as a family.  With the oversized pocket doors, the space can be combined with the living room for large parties or sectioned off for separate adult entertaining – offering the ultimate in flexibility.

normandy remodeling design manager troy pavelkanormandy remodeling design manager troy pavelkanormandy remodeling design manager troy pavelka









Troy was recently recognized for a Remodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of Greater Chicagoland for these open layout design solutions and added functional space he incorporated into this La Grange Park home.  If you’d like to meet with Troy to discuss the possibilities for your home, schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation with him today!

Indulgent Chocolate and Cream Kitchen

kitchen with island

This Naperville family had been living with their outdated kitchen since they purchased the home about 10 years prior. They had known that the kitchen was one room that needed to be changed, but they felt that getting started with the kitchen remodeling process was somewhat overwhelming. They began working closely with Normandy Designer Leslie Molloy, CKD to get started on a solution, and together they developed a design concept that worked perfectly for their traditional home.

kitchen remodeling


chicagoland remodeling








“The homeowners hated how the kitchen was segregated from the rest of the home,” says Leslie. “We addressed this by creating a layout that felt open and connected to the adjacent rooms.” Leslie was able to remove the unused home bar and added structural columns in order to remove existing walls. The columns helped delineate the kitchen, breakfast room and family room from one another, without disturbing the open feel.

island for kitchenopen concept kitchens






Now with the open concept they had hoped for, they wanted to be able to maximize their space, without it feeling like it carried on forever. They also wanted to incorporate a striking focal point, a new kitchen island, and additional storage. “First, we relocated the kitchen gas stove and added a range vent hood in order to draw attention from anyone entering the space,” added Leslie. “We enhanced the focal point even further by adding decorative chocolate and cream tiles to the kitchen backsplash.” The combination of the painted stucco vent hood and framed kitchen wall tile brought visual interest to the kitchen and gave the homeowners the “wow-factor” they were looking for.

range hoods

kitchen cabinet hutch







The large kitchen island provided ample space for kitchen island seating, additional kitchen cabinet storage and kitchen countertop space. “Along with additional cabinetry that the island provided, we were able to integrate the microwave and a pull out cabinet trash can in that space as well,” says Leslie. “We also designed a large kitchen pantry with roll out drawers that framed their new 48 inch stainless steel refrigerator.” A generous amount of cabinetry for storage was a must-have for these homeowners. Leslie incorporated a kitchen hutch furniture piece that gave the kitchen a decorative element, and allowed for over-flow storage of dishes. Because the piece is somewhat removed from the high traffic areas of the kitchen, this additional countertop space is ideal for entertaining.

kitchen island light

Leslie incorporated decorative touches and a combination of white painted kitchen cabinets, dark stained cabinets and glass door cabinets to break up the design elements and lighten the visual weight of the built in cabinetry. In the end, Leslie was able to give these homeowners the kitchen they had been waiting for.

normandy remodeling designer leslie molloy ckd

normandy remodeling designer leslie molloy ckd









The homeowners weren’t the only ones loving their new kitchen, as Industry peers agree this kitchen was truly worth waiting for.  Leslie recently received a First Place “Remodeling Excellence Award” from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of Greater Chicagoland for this newly remodeled Naperville kitchen.  To meet with Leslie and start discussing the design possibilities for your home, schedule an in-home consultation today!


A Relaxing Hideaway For Night or Day

condo in chicago designed by normandy remodeling designer chris ebertIt seems like our daily lives are getting ever more hectic, which may be why there is such interest in creating calm and relaxing spaces where people can truly unwind and recharge. When the task of identifying a restful room arises, it’s no surprise that master bedrooms are one of the primary spaces that come to mind, but today’s master bedrooms are so much more than a place to simply lay your head.  Normandy Remodeling Designer Stephanie Bryant shared with us some of the ways she creates restful and beautiful master suites that offer so much more than a place to simply sleep away the night.


bedroom ideas by Normandy remodeling designer stephanie bryant ckd

wall light by normandy remodeling designer stephanie bryant ckd






Lighting: The key to finding the right lighting solution for the bedroom is to plan for layers of lighting that not only illuminate the room overall, but serve specific functions.  ”Wall sconces, chandeliers, table lamps and overhead lighting can fill the room with light when needed,” says Stephanie. “By having each source on its own switch or dimmer you can personalize your lighting to your needs, whether it’s isolated task lighting to make reading more comfortable, or dimming specific lights to strike a romantic mood.”

design master bedroom by normandy designer stephanie bryant ckd

Architectural details: Larger rooms can benefit from the addition of architectural details such as columns or moldings to create more defined and intimate spaces. There’s nothing quite like luxury of a fireplace in the bedroom, for both the beauty and warmth that it adds to the space.  Master bedrooms that are a bit smaller may feel too cozy, in which case adding a vaulted or tray ceiling may make the room seem a bit larger and more airy.

sitting area bedroom by normandy remodeling design manager troy pavelka

bedroom with fireplace by normandy design manager troy pavelka







Seating area: Incorporating a small seating area in the master bedroom gives you permission to enjoy your personal retreat during all hours of the day as a quiet corner to read or simply unwind.  Whether this is a formally defined space or simply just a cozy chair in the corner, seating areas help extend the usefulness of the master bedroom beyond the overnight hours.

bedroom with balcony by normandy remodeling designer stephanie bryant ckd

Colors and Textures: Using rich colors, warm tones and varying textures in your master bedroom can create really increase the sense of peace and tranquility in the room. “Including natural materials in your bedroom, whether it is a hardwood floor or a stone fireplace surround, can add dimension to the room that many people find soothing and relaxing,” says Stephanie.

Stephanie has created several beautiful and thoughtful master suite additions and renovations throughout the Chicagoland area.  You can learn more about her experience, or request an appointment with Stephanie to discuss a master suite addition for your home.

Award Winning Open Floorplan Home

open concept living room


These homeowners, who are fond of entertaining their family and friends, were excited to incorporate an open floor plan, modern style, and stronger connection to the backyard and pool area, into the plans for their recent home remodeling project.

stainless steel prep sink

pull out cabinet shelf

soft close cabinets




Modern kitchen dark cabinetsNormandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka helped these homeowners obtain their goal by first, creating a more practical layout. They started by having the load bearing wall and masonry fireplace removed from the center of the home, and then reconfigured the interior. “By creating the additional space, it allowed for a more open concept and increased functionality within the home,” says Troy. “After we determined the layout, we were able to achieve the modern aesthetic by incorporating sleek cabinetry, glass backsplash tile, sueded granite and quartzite countertops and newly-designed entry way to the backyard that they had hoped for.”

glass tile backsplash

kitchen message center

gray walls white trim






Pergola designOff of the kitchen and living area, a newly installed triple patio door system allowed natural light to fill the space and the added pergola enhanced the connection to the backyard. Not only did these homeowners get the look and layout that they had wished for, but they were able to improve the exterior as well. By adding new decorative elements such as: siding, shutters, window boxes, a new color scheme and stone columns, Troy was able to make this home all they had hoped for and more. These homeowners and their guests are now able to seamlessly move between the indoor and outdoor space and enjoy the full potential of the newly remodeled home.

exterior color schemes


Troy was recently recognized for a Remodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of Greater Chicagoland for his attention to detail and the functional design solutions he incorporated into this La Grange home.  If you’d like to talk with Troy about the potential of your home, schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation with him today!

Curb appeal before and after designed by normandy remodeling design manager troy pavelkagray brick white trim