Shutterstock image

Make your dream kitchen a reality

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 20, 2019


TROY — Kitchen designer Sara Fithault, of EW Kitchens, based at the Michigan Design Center, believes great design is in the details that you don’t notice.

She will bring her expertise to the Troy Public Library at 7 p.m. March 25 when she presents “Custom Kitchen Design with EW Kitchens.”

“This is the time of year when many of us start thinking about giving our homes a refresh, and we are so lucky to have the Michigan Design Center right here in Troy to point us in the right direction,” said Connie Doherty, the head of adult information services at the Troy Public Library.

“Remodeling a kitchen is a huge undertaking, so I thought it would be great to have a Michigan Design Center expert give our patrons a step-by-step plan for creating a kitchen that is perfect for them,” Doherty said.

Fithault said people are most surprised to learn the amount of time it takes to complete a kitchen redesign.

“From brainstorming ideas to full installation and finish work, a kitchen remodel takes an average of several months,” Fithault said via email. “Kitchens are filled with moving parts that are utilized daily for the support of our most sacred commodity — family. Quality cabinetry, countertops, installation, appliances have to be set into an intelligent design that is strong, durable and functional. HGTV is so much fun to watch, but it has created an unrealistic expectation of how much time is necessary to facilitate a quality transformation and deliver beauty and functionality to a home. It cannot happen in one hour with four commercial breaks.”

She said the smartest purchase you can make, in redesigning the kitchen, is functional accessories inside cabinets.

“For example: built-in spice racks,  built-in cutlery dividers, tray dividers, roll-out drawers, etc.,” she said. “These functional additions to your cabinets are fantastic for the homeowner’s use and increase resale value.

“The biggest mistake is going with cheaper cabinets that utilize inferior finish materials. This results in a prematurely worn look — rubbed or discolored stains, chipped paint, etc. This choice will significantly shorten the life of your remodel. It is ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish.’”

For people on a tight budget, Fithault said the way to get the biggest bang for their buck is to install  “semi-custom cabinetry with standard features configured in an intelligent design. Return on investment is gained when worn-out cabinetry is replaced with solid, attractive alternatives, and design is savvy and functional,” she said.

Fithault said the first thing to decide upon when approaching a kitchen remodel is “to take a look at what you want accomplished.” Is it a full redo down to the studs? Cabinet replacement? A redesign of the kitchen space?

“The answers to these questions will determine your first move. If you are going down to the studs and/or moving any walls or performing other construction beyond cabinet removal and installation, you would first consult a general contractor. This will ensure that the kitchen design that is provided by your cabinet company is viable for your re-created space.

“If you are looking for cabinet replacement — alone or along with countertop, appliances, backsplash, flooring, etc. — you would contact a kitchen design company.”

Register for the program at or by calling (248) 524-3534.