Denise Sandau

Winter is in the rearview mirror and with warmer weather and more daylight to enjoy, spring is a great time to take on home improvement projects.

Rick and Denise Sandau, Sidney, got that idea last spring when they decided to overhaul their kitchen and dining room, a project that began Memorial Day weekend and wrapped up in late July.

Denise said she had been thinking about giving her kitchen a facelift for several years. “It was 20 years old, and I thought it was time to update it,” she said.

The old kitchen was built in a u-shape with counters lining two walls and a peninsula separating the kitchen from the dining room. Cabinets above the peninsula isolated the kitchen from the dining and living rooms. Denise wanted to be able to visit with guests in the other rooms while she worked in the kitchen, so she planned a remodel that would open up the entire room and make better use of the existing space, without tearing down any walls.

The kitchen and dining room flipped positions and the peninsula was abandoned in favor of an island. The project opened up the kitchen, dining and living rooms so conversation can easily travel from one space to another. “For not having to take out any walls and working with the confined space we had, it turned out really well,” Denise said. “I have had people comment on how much larger the space seems.”

Besides re-arranging the kitchen and dining room, Denise and Rick painted the walls, and Rick scraped the popcorn finish off the ceiling to give the home a more modern look. They also had a dark engineered hardwood floor with a hand-scraped finish from Chad’s Furniture installed in all three rooms. Contractor Jesse Thom installed a new window in the kitchen and a glass door in the dining room, which were provided by Big Sky Siding and Windows, and Kelly Bahls of T-N-T Taping and Texturing re-textured and repaired the drywall. Prairie Electric and Olson Plumbing took care of the electrical and water hook-ups.

Creative Solutions designed the improved layout and furnished new countertops and cabinetry. The Sandaus chose knotty alder cabinets featuring wheat stain with a coffee glaze by Dura Supreme and a high-definition laminate countertop in Canyon Passage from Wilson Art with a gem-loc edge in chestnut brown.

Features of the new kitchen include a diagonal super susan, a pull-out spice rack and deep pull-out drawers, which Brenda Larson of Creative Solutions estimates give the new kitchen three times the storage space of the old kitchen.

The Sandaus also had new appliances installed. The refrigerator features french doors with a freezer on the bottom, and the stove is a hybrid induction range with two electric burners and two induction burners, which heat up much quicker than electric. “It’s like cooking with gas only you don’t have the messy burners,” Denise said.

Outside the kitchen and dining room, the Sandaus replaced the adjoining outdoor deck with a maintenance-free trex deck, which is large enough to accommodate a hot tub, something Denise said she and Rick have both wanted for a long time.

As a whole, Denise said waiting for the project to be completed was trying at times, especially since her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were living with her while they also had work done on their home, but in the end it was all worth it.

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