CotY 2012 Dallas Chapter

Residential Kitchen Over $120,000

Wooden Floor Gray and White Kitchen with Subway Tile


The client for this project desired to move to an area renowned for its great school system and found a house that met their requirements but needed a fully redesigned kitchen/family room.  They came to our company looking for a solution to their dilemma and were eager to get our input. The client presented a magazine article of a similar style of kitchen they envisioned for their home. The homeowner emphasized four things:

– improving the existing floor plan by focusing on increasing the usable area in the kitchen

– improving the overall circulation of the home

– make the home more aesthetically pleasing

– retain the older charm of the home

Our company worked to improve the existing floor plan, overcome the existing layout deficiencies that impacted the functionality of the home, create the client’s vision within a new layout, and have the look they wanted.

Existing Floor Plan


Revised Floor Plan - Option A

Open floor plan, Best circulation

Revised Floor Plan - Option B

Has more counter space, but reduced circulation

Our client’s chief concern was the usefulness of the home; the desire to easily access one room from the next was a top priority. On the existing floor plan, space was very limited in the kitchen because of its isolation from the other areas of the house. The plan also included dividing walls that limited light and obstructed the available space. Other concerns included a 2’ opening, the only access to the rear area of the home through the living room. Additionally a remodel completed prior to the purchase of the home created a split in the level of the floor. This raised a question about the structural integrity of the existing house.

By removing many of the existing partition walls, the use of space was dramatically improved throughout the home. We created proper access to each room of the first floor, contributing to a new open floor plan and greatly increasing the useful space in the home. The 2’ opening was widened to 4’.


Kitchen - BEFORE

Before Images of the kitchen
– Minimal countertop workspace to support a 3,000sf home

Functionality and Safety:

The previous kitchen did not have an efficient layout and only had minimal working space.  The original floor plan designed and built in the 1920’s did not provide the current owners with a kitchen adequately sized to serve and balance the expanded home.

Our plan for the new kitchen provides the storage and workable space needed for the growing family. It includes a breakfast space for the family and access to the now open family room off of the kitchen that the owners had not previously been able to utilize.

Several issues were addressed to improve safety and function throughout all phases of the remodel.  Many repairs to plumbing, flooring and structural beams had to occur to bring the home up to the city’s building code.

Kitchen - BEFORE
Proposed Kitchen Floorplans

Proposed new kitchen and pantry area
More working space and increased storage


The plumbing that serviced the upstairs master bedroom compromised a major structural beam in the center of what is now the new family room. The drain line was not appropriately sized to serve the upstairs bathroom and unbelievably there was no vent to the exterior.

 By re-routing and bringing the plumbing up to code, we were able to completely remove the small partition wall and further open up the space.  Although we could not integrate the new structural beam into the ceiling, it offered a unique design opportunity by giving a visual divider between the new kitchen and family room without impacting the floor space.



Range & Vent Hood

Range & vent hood w/stainless steel backsplash


Pendants over center island and dining area


One of the most unique and innovative features of this kitchen is the industrial range with its custom stainless steel hood and stainless steel backsplash.  The backsplash consists of 2 pieces.  The lowest is a solid sheet of stainless steel.  The second piece is a ledge with grates that hinge down and remain at a 90 degree angle. These shelves can be utilized for keeping food warm while cooking.


The original floor plan consisted of multiple separate rooms with independent lighting sources.  The new plan converted these spaces to a large open floor plan.  This drastic change made lighting a crucial part of the final product.  The large open kitchen, breakfast area and family room needed good quality lighting in specific areas for tasks and a well balanced adjustable lighting system for the remainder of the space. 

Electrical Plan

Electrical Plan

Task Lighting

A combination of under counter lighting, pendants, and can lights were chosen for specific task lighting.  Independent lighting was designed for the island and breakfast areas because alone, the lighting in the work areas of the kitchen would not be adequate to light these gathering areas of the room.

General Lighting

Additional lighting for all areas is used to support the multiple functions of the rooms.  These areas are going to be used as lounging areas in addition to work areas.  We provided light that was more evenly distributed by placing multiple recessed can lights throughout the space.  Multiple dimmer switches were installed around the room to give the owners the flexibility to operate the lights from different locations and the ability to control brightness. 

Natural Lighting

Natural light is essential to any kitchen environment.  After removing the existing partition walls and opening up the space we added windows and additional French doors which transformed the atmosphere, making it much lighter and brighter and adding a sense of balance.

Evidence of Superior Craftmanship


Design and Craftsmanship:

 The overlying concept in this kitchen remodel is flow. We succeeded in maximizing the usable space and increasing the functionality of the kitchen in the home.

  – By repositioning the dividing wall between the original kitchen and the living space, we create a large working space for the new kitchen and are able to utilize the remaining original kitchen space as a butlers’ and pantry area. 

  – To create visual balance in the new kitchen, the range and refrigerator are placed at the midpoints of adjacent walls. Creating a triangle of circulation and increasing the effectiveness of the design.

  – The use of contrasting elements in material and finishes create a unique ambiance to suit our client’s individuality and help retain the old charm of the house.

To meet the client’s budget, we reused existing laundry cabinetry as we were able to and had to make the new cabinetry to match exactly. The final result is seamless.

Adding the shower to the bathroom proved to be a challange but with phenominal tile work and matching the vanity countertop to the shower wall cap, curb, and shower seat, the shower looks as if it were always there. You cannot draw the line of where they craftsman on the job started and stopped.


Vertical and horizontal symmetry

The range is symmetrically framed on both sides by a window and a set of cabinets. The refrigerator is mirrored on the opposite side by a set of French doors leading outside to the pool area.  By placing the appliances in this triangular pattern we created a functioning space with visual interest.

Our client wanted a “costal-meets-industrial” feeling in this kitchen.  Therefore our choice of materials was paramount.  Stainless steel appliances, the faucet, and the custom stainless steel hood were touches of industrial while the white shaker cabinets, white marble countertops and white subway tile backsplash softened the look and gave the room its costal feel.  The mixture of the warmth of the wood and the industrial feel of the steel created a unique contrast and contributed to the overall effect of the kitchen.

The choice of the thick marble countertop makes a terrific contribution to the overall atmosphere of the space.  It is a high quality material that is the definitive element in the kitchen.  It complements the material choices in the rest of the kitchen.  To maintain the charm of the original home vintage crystal doorknobs were chosen to match the original existing ones.


Construction Methods and Complications:

While attempting to remove the dividing wall between the new kitchen and the new pantry, its structural importance was discovered.  This wall was the original house’s exterior structural wall.  It was supporting much of the second floor loads and could not just be removed. The location of this wall would severely impact the design of the new kitchen if we could not fully remove it.

To avoid having the new support beam interfere with the pantry and refrigerator cabinets, we decided to recess the beam into the ceiling of the kitchen. This solution had the added benefit of helping to soften the transition between the two different ceiling heights between the original structure and the later addition. 


New Floor Plan w/recessed beam and new wall location

Utility Closet

The homeowner had limited access due to the cabinets that were built in front of the openings.  After moving the kitchen into the more open area, the pantry was opened up, giving us space to move the A/C unit farther back and increase the access to it.

Load Bearing Wall and Beam
Original load bearing wall   Recessed load bearing beam

To be able to remove the wall, we determined we needed a fourteen inch deep beam to carry the load.

Doing this required re-routing plumbing and electrical as well as cutting all existing floor joists so the beam could slide up against the second floor. Temporary walls had to be constructed to carry the loads as this work was carried out.

Recessed Wall

Final result of recessed load bearing wall


Overall the client was overjoyed with the result.  A combination of design features and construction solutions combined to give them the kitchen they were looking for. 

The completion of this kitchen hinged on fixing several structural issues discovered post demolition and melding current style aesthetics with vintage techniques. 

A combination of opposing materials created a costal – industrial feel in the space with the use of custom metal work and custom cabinetry.

By removing several walls and opening up the space, circulation and lighting were dramatically improved, giving the room greater functionality. 

Focusing on the client’s wishes and incorporating classic design and construction techniques we were able to complete a successful remodel with an outstanding result.


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“I am likely to recommend Blackline Renovations to a friend because my client is very responsive, innovative, and they're terrific at doing large jobs as well as small jobs.”

— Customer in Dallas, TX
from Guild Quality

“I used Blackline Renovations for a long overdue remodel of my kitchen, laundry, and living room areas. I had talked to a few companies over the years prior to meeting with Blackline. Having had a bad experience 3 years before, I was reluctant to start the process again. Chris and his team seemed different. They were knowledgeable, organized, and seemed excited about the prospects of turning my 1961 kitchen into something I could enjoy and be proud of. This would turn out to be a down to the studs renovation for approx. 50% of my house. Projects of this scope and duration are never without inconvenience, but it went smoother than anticipated. From design (I only had a general idea of what I wanted; few details), to project management, to execution, I can’t think of anything I would change. The end result is beautiful. The people were great to work with, and the results exceeded my expectations. Chris, Taff, and Jennifer listen and clearly care about the work they do.”

— Glen L.
from Houzz

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— Stacy C.
from Google

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— Elizabeth L.
from Google

“I used Blackline Renovations for a long overdue remodel of my kitchen, laundry, and living room areas. I had talked to a few companies over the years prior to meeting with Blackline. Having had a bad experience 3 years before, I was reluctant to start the process again. Chris and his team seemed different. They were knowledgeable, organized, and seemed excited about the prospects of turning my 1961 kitchen into something I could enjoy and be proud of. This would turn out to be a down to the studs renovation for approx. 50% of my house. Projects of this scope and duration are never without inconvenience, but it went smoother than anticipated. From design (I only had a general idea of what I wanted; few details), to project management, to execution, I can’t think of anything I would change. The end result is beautiful. The people were great to work with, and the results exceeded my expectations. Chris, Taff, and Jennifer listen and clearly care about the work they do.”
“I chose Blackline because of a strong recommendation from my daughter. I saw first hand the quality of the work and the attention to detail that Blackline delivers. During our renovation, Blackline kept us informed every step of the way. We were not living in Dallas during that time but we knew what was being done and saw photos of the progress. We had great peace of mind.”

— Darlene & Bill S.

“Chris and his team were always very professional. The scheduling, design and craftsmanship was exactly what I hoped for. I would not hesitate to use Blackline Renovations again and recommend them to friends and family.”

— Joel B.
from Houzz

“We used Blackline for two separate projects over the span of one year, and are thrilled with the results from both projects! Blackline did a kitchen/bath/laundry room remodel, as well as a back deck construction and we couldn’t be happier with the results. The Blackline team was very communicative, knowledgeable and overall great to work with. Would use and recommend them again.”

— Jaime G.
from Houzz

“Blackline Renovations did an outstanding job on my kitchen and master bed/bath remodel. What set them apart was their attention to detail on every aspect of the project. We would meet at my house on a weekly basis to review what we completed the previous week and what was on the to-do list for the upcoming week. It was very helpful to be consistently informed on the work of the project which kept any surprises to a minimum. The team was extremely professional, knowledgable, and courteous. They went above and beyond to make sure I was satisfied with the project all along the way. The quality of work was fantastic. They did not cut corners and kept to the scheduled timeline. I would highly recommend Blackline Renovations.”

— H.D.
from Houzz

“Chris Black and his team took it down to the studs to renovate the kitchen, master closet and new laundry. We also enclosed a porch, refinished the floors throughout, added attic insulation and poured a new driveway for our 1929 cottage. He was great to work with and had excellent weekly communication. We appreciated that he was very well organized and stayed on budget. I highly recommend him and I will use his company again.”
from Houzz

“Blackline Renovations renovated a guest bathroom for our home two years ago. We were and have been very satisfied with their work. Chris Black was professional every step of the way. We were satisfied with keeping to the timeline and budget. I was especially impressed with Blackline’s subcontractors. Everyone did a great job. We would definitely use Chris for future projects and have recommended him to many in our neighborhood.”

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— Paige M.

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— G.M.

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– L.K.

“I’d never lived through a remodeling project, but I’d been warned about it. And in our initial meeting, Chris Black didn’t sugar coat it. He said life would be tough at first, but that I’d love the final product. He was right. We communicated well and often from the initial planning stages, through demolition and construction, and during the final details. Chris gave sound advice, but didn’t flinch when I made unexpected changes. He stayed within his initial cost estimate. The project took longer than expected—but for good reason, and Chris kept me well-informed daily. I love my new kitchen and bath. And while I can’t yet afford my next project, I’ve already talked with Chris about it and look forward to the day it becomes reality. I’ll be a return customer.”

— D.F.

“Chris Black did an excellent job on our garage project. Chris was very professional, attentive to our requests—including the changes we made during the project—and kept us informed on a daily basis of what had happened and what was to come next. Overall, the project went very well, was completed in a timely manner and to our satisfaction. I would recommend him to anyone looking to do new construction or a remodel.”

— B.G.

“Chris Black did an excellent job of keeping me informed of my project at all times. The paperwork was clear and easy to understand. My needs were understood clearly and the end result was exactly what I wanted. I would definitely recommend Chris Black to any of my friends. I love my kitchen… it looks great!”

— M.D.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Chris. I felt informed at all stages of the process, and felt as if he truly cared about my satisfaction with the job. Chris was always available to discuss any questions or concerns I had. The process was as painless as I can imagine it could be, and I’m thrilled with the result.”

— A.M.

“I like [Chris Black] a lot, and found his approach quite refreshing. Even more, he followed up consistently and made me feel he wanted the job. I would recommend Chris Black to anyone who would ask. I definitely appreciated all of the efforts that made this a pleasant experience. I hope we will have another opportunity to work together in the future.” 

— J.E.

“Chris Black and his team fit the bill for my bathroom remodel. Chris Black was very hands on and kept me informed regularly. He managed his subs accordingly and was very flexible with my decision process and change requests. The project took longer than anticipated, but you can’t rush perfection. I would recommend Chris Black to others seeking professional rebuild/remodel projects.”

— J.T.

“From day one, Chris Black was courteous, fair and professional. They went out of their way to understand what I wanted, then delivered the project early and under budget. I would recommend them to any of my friends or family that are looking for an honest, straightforward and professional contractor.”

— A.D.

“Chris Black was very knowledgeable and professional in all areas of our remodeling. He was open to our ideas, questions, and suggestions and worked very hard to find ways to accommodate any of our special requests. He had a good relationship with all his subcontractors, and I feel that helped make the job go more smoothly and keep us on our timeline. We love our new kitchen, half-bath, and updated ceilings and floors in all downstairs rooms! I will definitely call Chris when I ever need more remodeling work done.”

— C.N.

“Chris Black was thoroughly professional. The project was completed on time, on budget, and with the highest possible quality of professionalism. The few minor problems that were encountered were handled quickly and completely. If I do any building or projects in the future, I’m calling them.”

— A.S. & H.S.

“Strangers coming into your home to rip out walls and fixtures and then to rebuild a large portion of your house is unsettling. But Chris made the process smooth and user friendly. We will have them back for more projects. The quality of the work was excellent and the outcome pleased us no end. They know what they are doing…and they let you in on all the decisions and the step-by-step process. You never feel out of control with them. It was most comfortable working with these guys.”

— J.C. & M.S.

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