Distinctive Remodelers Creates New Kitchen for New Lenox Mom Who Loves to Cook

January 12, 2011

As a single mom busy managing a career and caring for two growing adolescent boys, Vonni Panfil craved order and extra space in the small kitchen of her New Lenox home. A frequent entertainer of family, friends and teenagers, Vonni yearned to be able to cook more often in a bigger, better room that was more conducive to food prep. Her existing kitchen was so spatially inadequate, in fact, that she didn’t even have an available drawer in which to store silverware.

“We moved into this house back in 2006, and it was only built about nine years ago, but the kitchen wasn’t designed to be very user friendly,” Vonni said. “There was never enough room as a gathering place for everyone. We were extremely hampered when it came to enough counter space, drawers and cabinetry. And yet, on the other side of the wall, we had this big formal dining room that we hardly ever used.”

Vonni envisioned a fresh new space in which the wall between her kitchen and dining room were removed, opening up a kitchen that was equipped with handsome new cabinetry, appliances, countertops and more. With her hectic schedule, however, she worried about finding time to locate a trustworthy remodeler for the job. She decided to begin her hunt last September, concerned about the vetting process. Serendipitously, though, a newspaper article caught her eye that described a similar remodeling project undertaken in her area. She even knew the homeowners featured in the story.

“What I read really struck a chord, especially the details about Distinctive Remodelers, the firm that did that renovation job,” said Vonni. “I decided to call them right away.”

Within minutes, Distinctive chairman Bryan Nooner phoned Vonni back and arranged for an in-home consultation. Bryan took careful measurements and notes about Vonni’s existing layout. They arranged to meet at Bryan’s design center/showroom within a few days, when he would have more detailed drawings ready. When that date came, Vonni brought along her sister-in-law, who had just finished a major remodeling project of her own and who could help Vonni ask important questions and screen other remodeler candidates they expected to meet with later.

“We were so impressed by the presentation Bryan gave and the plans he recommended. When we left the meeting, my sister-in-law stopped me before we got to the car and surprisingly said, ‘I’d sign if I were you.’ She’s extremely tough to please and made me promise to get multiple bids, but she was so wowed by what Bryan was offering that she convinced me to go with Distinctive right then and there.”

Looking back, Vonni hasn’t had a single regret, as the finished product far exceeds even her greatest hopes for a re-imagined kitchen.

“When I first surveyed Vonni’s kitchen, it was the worst of three worlds — it was cramped, inefficiently designed and outdated,” said Bryan. “It was clearly evident that she needed to significantly upgrade the room and add extra square footage, which we were able to do by removing that wall.”

In so doing, Distinctive transformed a 103-square-foot room into a 223-square-foot executive chef’s kitchen. The existing components were gutted, replaced with new espresso-glazed custom birch cabinets, granite countertops with a peninsula eat-in buffet area, and several new appliances—including a built-in range and cooktop.

Bryan’s crew installed oil rubbed bronze light and faucet fixtures, 10 can lights in the ceiling, exquisite under-cabinet lighting, walnut travertine and onyx and glass backsplash tiles, two bountiful pantries, and a natural stone-style ceramic tile floor that extends into the foyer.

Thanks to Vonni’s existing cathedral ceiling, Distinctive was able to stagger the heights of some of her new cabinets for a more dramatic effect. Additionally, per her request, they implemented new electrical outlets off the upper cabinets closer to the ceiling to make it easier to plug in holiday lights.

“I also had them install attractive glass fronts and shelves in my two center cabinets so I could show off some nice décor and collectibles in there. Plus, they put in dimmer switches on the lights to set a customized lighting ambience in my favorite room,” said Vonni.

In short, the finished kitchen, said Vonni, is nothing short of “breathtaking. It’s exactly what I wished for and more.”

Distinctive Remodelers - Vonni, Evan and Isaac Panfil in new kitchen

Vonni, Evan and Isaac Panfil in their new kitchen by Distinctive Remodelers.

The room even passed muster with Vonni’s two tall, athletic sons — Evan, 15, and Isaac, 12. Evan told his mom that the kitchen was so roomy and comfortable that “he wanted to sleep in it.”

But Distinctive’s handiwork didn’t end there. Vonni also enlisted Bryan’s team to replace the front door, five-panel bow window, and several wood banisters with wrought iron replacements in the railing overlooking the family room below the kitchen. What’s more, they put in a foyer fixture where there wasn’t one before and equipped the closet with an extra handy A/C outlet.

“Bryan and his crew were amazing. He listened to everything I said or asked for, and I never had to repeat an inquiry or request—that’s how good of a memory and a listening ear he had,” Vonni said. “He was always concerned with what was best for me and my family, which we greatly appreciated.”

She was also thrilled that the Distinctive team finished her project before Christmas, which she was able to host in the form of a grand family holiday and housewarming party. Needless to say, every guest was enchanted with Vonni’s new kitchen.

“I’m already working on my remodeling wish list part two that I’ll be calling Bryan about eventually,” she joked.

According to Bryan, Distinctive Remodelers offers partial or whole-house renovation services throughout the suburbs. The firm provides a vast array of remodeling projects, including room build-outs, second-level additions, home theater room installations, basement finishing and kitchen makeovers — with no residential job too large for Distinctive Remodelers to tackle. Plus, all work is backed by a full warranty.

Distinctive Remodelers draws on the built-in advantages of being a part of Distinctive Construction Services— a successful, established area business with 45-plus years of collective experience.

“We’re familiar with these homeowners and what they’re looking for, and we know the territory we cover like the backs of our hands,” said Bryan. “Moreover, we have a highly skilled crew in place that we’ve added to, as well as an unparalleled reputation for outstanding quality and value.”

Distinctive Remodelers boasts a 3,000-square-foot, full-service design studio, making it simple and convenient for remodeling customers to choose their exterior and interior product, finish and material selections. From cabinet pulls and plumbing fixtures to flooring options, door handles, appliances and trim packages, everything is there under one roof. Homeowners can browse through plentiful wall and floor displays, samples and swatches.

Also, Distinctive Remodelers has a skilled architectural design team and computer-aided design (CAD) resources to ensure that the conceptualizing and planning of every home project goes smoothly and efficiently.

“When you enlist our services, you can rely on courteous, knowledgeable professionals — all of whom have been carefully screened — who will treat you and your property with respect,” said Bryan. “You’ll get punctual responses to your questions and requests. And you can count on the highest level of customer service from a project manager specifically assigned to your home who will supervise your job from start to finish.”

To make an appointment for a free estimate, contact Distinctive Remodelers at (708) 479-7700. For more information, visit www.DistinctiveRemodelers.com.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Walsh Communications

Lynn Walsh is the President at Walsh Communications, LLC. Walsh Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing and advertising agency for home builders and real estate-related industries.

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