A Kitchen Remodel in Phoenixville Doubles Its Function

Outside of Philadelphia, a kitchen is gutted while gaining a new space to gather next door

kitchen remodel in phoenixville with white cabinets and granite countertops

  • Homeowners: Christina and Imran posted their kitchen remodel on Sweeten
  • Where: Phoenixville, PA outside of Philadelphia
  • Primary renovation: Remodel a kitchen as well as reimagine and properly enclose an “outdoor” room 
  • With: Sweeten general contractor
  • Homeowners’ quote:We appreciated that Sweeten vetted contractors that fit our criteria, saving us from the tedious legwork we were dreading.”

Written in partnership with homeowners Christina and Imran. “After” photos by Kristina Kroot.

portrait of homeowners after kitchen remodel in phoenixville

We bought our home in 2018 after the birth of our daughter. Having lived in a cramped apartment in Brooklyn, we decided to move to Phoenixville to be closer to our family. We are Imran, a management consultant, my wife Christina, a stay-at-home mom, and our two preschoolers, Angelina and Noah. The townhouse, built in 1890, needed a lot of work, but the kitchen was the most urgent concern since it was not functional at all.

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gathering area with peninsula and storage in kitchen remodel in phoenixville

Removing the hodge-podge

Our new home is located in downtown Phoenixville just outside Philadelphia. It’s a 2,100-square-foot single-family house. The original layout consisted of a main kitchen. Next to it was a butler’s pantry and an outdoor “room,” which we later discovered used to be an enclosed porch. The “room” was poorly constructed, with plywood walls hastily added between porch posts. 

It was clear that previous owners had made random modifications over time without any consideration for design or functionality. As a result, the kitchen always felt dirty, no matter how much we cleaned, due to excessive wear and tear, layers of paint, and accumulated dust. 

white kitchen with black granite countertops and black wood floors

We would begin to transform the kitchen and the next room into a practical and inviting area, with plenty of storage, counter space, and modern conveniences like a hidden dishwasher and pullout spice rack. Additionally, we hoped to create a space where we could entertain and spend quality time together as a family.

A bigger project emerges

As we began laying out what the remodel would entail, our vision would not be completed as a rip-and-replace; a complete overhaul was necessary. This project required thorough planning and execution, so we searched for a reliable contractor in Phoenixville who could handle everything from the initial design and permit process to sourcing materials, installation, and timely completion. Fortunately, our Sweeten contractor was reliable and attentive and did exactly what we’d hoped.

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We demolished the dividing wall between the butler’s pantry and the outdoor room, added an exit door to the back of the house, installed insulation and drywall throughout, moved the plumbing and sink to a new location, and added a gas wall oven. The laundry that was previously in the “outdoor” room relocated to an upstairs bathroom, making the primary bathroom much more functional

white kitchen with white dishwasher panel and black granite counter
brick wall and kitchen counter endcap with open shelves

The “outdoor” room now has an eat-in peninsula with a beverage refrigerator and extra cabinets for tableware and our mixer. The doors of an original hutch, we had to sadly demolish, were repurposed as a built-in pantry in the brick wall. We worked with our contractor on this pricey change order but it was such a cool feature and worth the expense.

A second built-in storage unit with a bench seat reduces the clutter we always have with small kids. Now we are able to store items away and clean efficiently.

"Our Sweeten contractor was reliable and attentive and did exactly what we’d hoped."

For the materials, we opted for water-resistant flooring, porcelain backsplash tile, and granite countertops. These choices not only complemented the overall design but also ensured durability and easy cleaning.

kitchen peninsula with beverage fridge and storage hutch
built-in pantry surrounded by brick

Finding our vetted contractor

We were first-time renovators rebuilding our kitchen. Before heading to Sweeten, we initially reached out to a few contractors who ended up ghosting us. It was clear they lacked experience with old homes and the extensive construction and updates we needed, while maintaining an appealing aesthetic. We appreciated that Sweeten vetted contractors that fit our criteria, saving us from the tedious legwork we were dreading.

Prepared to go overbudget

Our contractor did a great job trying to keep us within our initial kitchen budget, but we ended up doing a lot of change orders and upgrading some items. We also added work that we might have had to do later on, such as adding electrical and gas lines. Aside from change orders for things out of our control (just general renovation hiccups), we went over budget because we didn’t want to say later down the line, ‘We should have done X when we had the chance.’ Our initial budget was $65k, but the final cost just for contractor work was $89k, which doesn’t include appliances.

white built-in storage cabinet with seat
front exterior of old 1890 house in Phoenixville

We absolutely love the extra living space that we have now. There’s enough room for entertaining, for the kids to play, do activities, and homework when they eventually go to school. We also have enough space to prepare meals without being on top of each other.

Thank you, Christina and Imran, for sharing your home with us!

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