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We're so excited to see our Brisk Gallop project take off this month, and love this design by A project of this magnitude takes careful planning including coordinating with your local municipality in regards to permitting, impervious material allotment, and where gas lines can and can not be run.

The homeowners want to turn their boring backyard into an oasis their kids and family can enjoy for years to come.

Our clients had this house built. and while we were waiting for the closing, we managed a dance of walkthroughs for trade meetings, and design consultations to set the stage for their project. Whether you envision a chic powder room revamp or a jaw-dropping outdoor oasis the pre-construction phase is where the magic begins.

We're right around the corner from breaking ground. Our clients had a few must haves on their list for this backyard: For the pool they want 40' long with a depth minimum of 7', a spa attached and a shallow "beach"area for lounge chairs. For the rest of the back yard, multi use space, outdoor kitchen to include a gas grill, and a firepit.

Picture this: several walkthroughs, each crucial in unraveling the intricacies of your project like: researching impervious material allotment from the city, permitting requirements, maximum size of the pool you can fit, etc. You might juggle 3 to 5 trades for a quick powder room facelift, but when you dream big with an entire outdoor living space, get ready to coordinate a symphony of up to ten trades/subcontractors!

Coordinating such a grand production requires finesse, and having a designated project manager or a private representation becomes your secret weapon. They're the maestros behind the scenes, executing schedules, translating contractor jargon into everyday language, safeguarding your budget, and being your unwavering advocate throughout the project.

Follow along with us over the next several weeks as we document all the ups and downs of our Brisk Gallop Project.

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The Before... a tired outdated orange kitchen with no flow and lots of wasted space.

The Rendering..., taking the kitchen from drab to fab and pulling all the design elements together. Designs, Renderings & Plans by:

The Final Reveal... We might be biased but we think this kitchen turned out amazing!

Project Management by

General Contractor & Work by

This project took 9 weeks once demolition started. We did our diligence prior to starting the work making sure homeowners' expectations were met, contractors had access to plans, and 99% of materials were on site. As the project manager, we were in communication with the contractor every day even on the days we weren't always on-site, and had weekly check-ins with the client to let them know progress reports, and what to expect next.

Materials Used:

Appliances: GE Cafe Series Matte Black

Cabinet Color: High Sierra

Accent Cabinet Color: Night Watch

Sink: Granite Composite Matte Black Sink

Fixtures & Hardware: Flat Black

Counters: Calacatta Unique Gold Quartz

Final tips for remodeling a kitchen like this:

  • Have at least 99% of materials, appliances, and fixtures on site prior to demolition starting. It will help your project run smoothly and keep it on time and within budget.

  • Pad your budget by 10-15%. You never know till you open walls or go to move plumbing/electrical what may generate an increase in cost for unforeseen secrets in your walls.

  • Communication is key. If you don't like something, speak up about it before the final walk-through. It's a lot harder to change once the rebuild stage is over.

Planning a home improvement project? Let's talk about how Sonder Luxe Solutions can help your project go from chaos to calm, stay within budget, and get done in a timely manner.

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Backsplash tile

It's always fun when the materials start arriving for your project! This is where I get genuinely excited for my clients. This Kitchen Renovation is well underway.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as your appliances, fixtures, and materials arrive.

  • Always inspect what's delivered, as close to the arrival as possible. A lot of vendors have a policy where they don't accept returns past 30 days.

  • Compare the packing list, your original invoice, and the materials delivered to make sure you aren't missing anything including trim kits. This also applies to ensuring that what you ordered and paid for was provided.

  • When ordering backsplash and tile, add an extra 10% past what the measurements call for. Sometimes tiles break when being installed, sometimes they break when being shipped. It can cause a severe delay if you have to reorder 2-3 months down the road. And with the current material shortages, it can also be hard to find the exact match from the original batch.

  • A good delivery consists of a phone call letting you know the arrival window and should ask you if you want it unboxed for inspection. Most of them will unbox it for you.

  • Appliances will generally come with a film protecting them prior to the final installation. It's ok to leave those on till they are in place. It helps prevent dings and knicks.

  • A good rule of thumb is to also cover appliances with a moving blanket during the course of construction.


There is always going to be a surprise when doing a major renovation. In the Wagon Trail case, the surprise came in the form of a sprinkler head. The bulkhead that originally spanned the length of this kitchen, happened because a contractor decided to run the sprinkler pipe in their fire suppression system the wrong way when building the house. This may seem like a minor thing, but it actually boiled down to a decision to add crown molding or not and how important that was to the homeowner.

This required getting permission from the fire department and purchasing special pipe, usually steel vs pvc. Our contractor was able to reroute the pipe to be flush in the wall so the bulkhead could be eliminated and allow the space for crown molding to be installed around the perimeter of the kitchen once it's all patched.

Every house has its secrets. This house also has walls that were not installed properly and in some instances, they bow. And we found out the floor had a 1-inch difference in height in an 8-foot square foot space. This means the flooring had to be raised so that the cabinets and countertops were level.

While we do our best to try and eliminate these types of surprises, there are just some houses that keep their secrets and surprises from us till all the layers are peeled back as in the case of the project.

We're coming into the home stretch of this project. It was really fun to see the cabinet bases and countertops going in this week. That means this project is about 2-3 weeks out from the completion date. Stay tuned for part 3 and the final reveal in a couple of weeks.

That waterfall edge - Countertop Install

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