As the conversation progressed, I could hear hope and excitement from my client’s voices,” said Dawn D. Totty of Dawn D. Totty Interior Designs, after receiving a perspective client call from the popular online home site, Houzz. “The husband and wife team had been living in the home for two years and were quite discouraged with the functionality and the 1980s dated decor.”

Meeting a few days later, Totty listened to her client’s vision of their dream kitchen. “During the design consultation my clients mentioned they go away for six weeks every year,” said Totty. “I thought, this would be a great opportunity for us all to get as much completed without having to put the home owners in an unpleasant position of trying to live in a home without a kitchen, something I never recommend. I mentioned I have successfully completed many mystery makeovers and they jumped on it.” The next day they selected their appliances for the kitchen remodel to include Viking, Thermador & Liebherr and went from there. Next laying out the kitchen design, floor plan and cabinetry.

“We all agreed a clean and classic look was the primary goal for their new space, with a decor that would stand the test of time,” said Totty. “By keeping a seamless, monochromatic look from the ceiling to the floor, the 17- x 25-foot kitchen appears quite light, bright and spacious. My client’s said, ‘Spare no expense, we want the best.’ So I set off to discover the highest quality products possible.” Because of this Totty designed the kitchen with lots of stone in mind. At the center of it all is a 10 ½- by 6-foot custom kitchen island, as well as perimeter counters, made out of the quartzite named Sea Pearl. The two 48- x 25.5-inch larders are made out of Bianco Drift by Caesarstone, as well as the full-height back splash.

Totty’s local Chattanooga, TN supplier and installer was Premier Surfaces. “As pretty and put together as everything looks now, please believe, this project was a handful,” said Totty. “From the furry black mold we discovered when removing one of the walls, to the occasional issues that arise when your project requires multiple contractors. Expect from a minor inconvenience, to a mini disaster when renovating a kitchen this is just life. When an issue arises, deal with it as quickly and calmly as possible, chances are, it won’t fix itself.”

According to Totty, the project overall went well and was completely renovated in five and a half weeks. “Being on-site and on point will make all the difference in your completion time frame,” said Totty. “This renovation required I was on the job four to five days a week. We committed to finishing in six weeks and we made it happen.

“In the end the big reveal is the reward,” Totty went on to say. “The joyous and teary eyed home owners left a dark and dated house and returned to a warm and elegant home. I leave you with my best pro tip possible, be organized and prepared, have most if not all of your products, materials fixtures, stone, etc., purchased way before you will actually need it. One can never be too prepared.”