Half the Pace and Double the Space in a Sargent, Texas Kitchen

By Erin Carlyle of Houzz

Kitchen renovations are among the most popular home remodeling projects in the U.S., and their costs can range quite widely, depending on the work done as well as the part of the country. To get a sampling of projects across the country, we asked Houzz readers to share their kitchen renovation stories. Here, we profile a full remodel of a kitchen in a fishing town near the Gulf of Mexico for about $61,000.


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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Andrew and Debbie Nelson
Location: Sargent, Texas
Size: 288 square feet (26.8 square meters)
Cost: $60,752
Construction time: About three months

BEFORE: Three years ago Andrew and Debbie Nelson traded a busy life in Houston for a slower pace in Sargent, Texas, a fishing town about two miles by land from the Gulf of Mexico. They bought a split-level home, planning to remodel the kitchen. Debbie Nelson spent about two years poring over photos on Houzz, visiting showrooms and gathering information. Ultimately, the Nelsons decided to expand their kitchen into the adjacent sunroom, and to expand the opening into the adjacent dining room.

After photos by Charles McKelroy

AFTER: Here is the renovated kitchen. The wall with the angled roofline is the exterior wall that formerly formed part of both the kitchen and the sunroom. The wall at the right of the photo, with the stainless steel refrigerator, is where the yellow oven and microwave wall stood prior to renovation.

The remodeling changes just about doubled the size of the Nelsons’ new kitchen. The angled roofline was part of the home’s original structure that the Nelsons took the opportunity to expose. The couple installed clerestory windows on the back wall; they function more like skylights due to their height. The window location meant the Nelsons could still take advantage of some of the vertical space for upper cabinetry. The kitchen’s clerestory windows echo similar windows in the adjacent dining room.

Here is another angle showing the widened opening to the dining room. The wall at right is all that remains of the sunroom wall.

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The Nelsons knew they wanted wood countertops for the perimeter of the kitchen and let their contractor choose the type of wood. He selected a rich African mahogany, which he left unfinished and sealed with several coats of polyurethane. The island and wine bar area counters offer a contrast with dark, dramatic soapstone.

“Uh-oh” moment: Originally, Debbie Nelson estimated that she’d need a 6-by-5-foot kitchen island, but when she taped out the plan, after demolition, she realized she had miscalculated. “It was at that moment I realized in order to include my dishwasher, farmhouse sink, garbage drawer, drawers and storage, the island needed to be 7 feet by 5 feet,” Nelson says. Ultimately, this change meant the opening to the dining room had to be enlarged.

Dishwasher: LG; sink: 30-inch single-bowl fireclay farmhouse sink in Biscuit, ALFI

On each side of the stainless steel refrigerator, the Nelsons had pantries installed. Here they are with doors slid open to reveal their storage.

To the right of the pantry wall, the Nelsons have a beverage station with a refrigerator. The Nelsons also added a second sink in this area.

Wine and beverage cooler: EdgeStar

Two floating shelves in the same wood as the perimeter countertop frame the wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Having a TV in the kitchen was important to Andrew Nelson, who likes to watch sports while eating his lunch at the island.

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Debbie Nelson found her 48-inch range on sale at Costco. She paid $5,200 thanks to a $700-off deal, less than the $7,000 to $10,000 price tags she had seen for comparable stoves.

The art above the stove is a custom piece by Colorado artist Linda Paul. “The dragonfly represents change and light,” Debbie Nelson says. “I thought it would be the perfect representation of our migration to rural living!”

Oven and range: NXR; range hood: Kobe

The Nelsons had their cabinets custom-made on site and were pleased to discover that their cabinetmaker came in at a more economical rate than some of the prefabricated options from cabinet stores they’d considered.

The back wall overlooks Caney Creek, a saltwater river that feeds into the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico, so the Nelsons installed a large window and windowed door to take in the views. Another beverage refrigerator stands near the door that leads outside.

Cabinets: custom; cabinet hardware: cast-iron fleur-de-lis knobs and pulls, House of Antique Hardware; pendant: chicken wire pendant, Shades of Light; ceiling fan: TriStar; rug: Surya; wood flooring: allen + roth laminate

“When we decided to make the move from the busy city to living on the coast, we said we wanted a home where we would feel like we’re on vacation every day,” Debbie Nelson says. They imagined fishing when they felt like it, and Debbie working with the dog lying nearby, and hosting guests and family for the weekend. “I think we have definitely achieved that goal.”

Walls moved: Yes
Plumbing moved: Yes
Plumbing replaced: Yes
Professionals hired: Tim Fox, Fox Construction, League City, Texas
Special features: Double pantries, floating wood shelves
Splurges: African mahogany countertops, custom artwork
Savings: Debbie Nelson acting as her own designer, gas range on sale at Costco

Cost breakdown
Appliances: $8,561, including $4,700 for stove, $1,304 for range hood, $798 for microwave drawer, $669 for dishwasher, $1,090 for wine and beverage cooler.
Cabinets: $4,500
Sink: $670
Countertop: $5,500, including $1,500 for soapstone on island and wine bar, $4,000 for African mahogany for perimeter and floating shelves
Lighting: $1,263, including $638 for two large pendants over island, $125 for recessed lighting around perimeter and undercabinet lighting, $500 for ceiling fan with lights
Tile: $250 for subway tile backsplash
Accessories and decor: $1,508, including $1,099 for framed custom artwork, $409 for rug
$500 for hickory wood flooring
Labor: About $38,000
Total: $60,752

HouzzLogoHouzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. You can also find Houzz on Facebook and Twitter.

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