Awakening Tired Spaces

The 2017 BIA award-winning renovations

Robert Clark

Whether making changes to a newly purchased home or breathing new life into a well-lived-in space, remodels can make everything old feel new again. Busting out a wall can seemingly break down the barriers of communication in a family. Adding new seating to a kitchen can make a once staid location the new hub of the home. The “after reveal” on today’s design home shows is certainly the most anticipated part of the episode. Seeing a drab space become a fresh, often unrecognizable, new room gives hope to anyone looking to make a change to their home no matter its size or age.

Columbia is fortunate to have countless high-caliber contractors and designers who have turned many a Columbia home into a showcase — taking a dark space and making it light, turning a bathroom into a walk-in closet fit for a queen, or metamorphosing a lackluster backyard into a beautiful oasis.

The Building Industry Association Remodelers Awards recognize those exceptional redesigns –– the ones that transform the ordinary into extraordinary. This year’s Columbia Metropolitan highlights many homeowners’ favorite spot –– the kitchen. A place regularly employed for entertaining, unwinding, or making an unforgettable meal, this award winning kitchen makes a statement and creates a welcoming environment worthy of any television design show.


CMM Featured Award Winner: 

Large Kitchen Remodel (Category 2)

Contractor: Jim Evatt, Palmetto Construction & Renovations

Client: Season and Tripp Zeigler

When Season and Tripp Zeigler bought their home, they knew they would want to make a few changes as it lacked an open floor plan, which was a must for their family. The kitchen was fairly dated and quite small, calling for a much-needed facelift. “We knew that something had to be done when we bought the house because the kitchen was in its original state from when it was built in the 1950s,” says Season. 

Enter Jim Evatt and the team at Palmetto Construction & Renovations. The goal for the redesign was to create an open concept. The original space included a kitchen, a nook, a dining room, and a family room, all separated by various entrances, which left the kitchen small and blocked off from the rest of the home. The kitchen was greatly expanded and now opens into the dining room. A wall separating the kitchen from the family room was also removed, providing a large open space while also allowing the rooms to remain distinct from each other. The children can be watching television in the family room, while Tripp and Season are in the kitchen. “There is a natural flow to the space now,” says Jim. “The kitchen flows into the dining room, and then off to the other side is the family room where the kids can hang out. It’s a very cohesive layout.”

The kitchen is highlighted by a tray ceiling, which was a must-have for Season. “I had to fight for that the most, and it was completely worth it,” she says. The ceiling transforms the room, providing extra height and a beautiful design element with its V-groove shiplap feature.

The bright, natural ambiance of the room is highlighted by the crisp white cabinets and backsplash as well as the “Mystery White” marble countertops. The brightness of these pieces juxtaposes beautifully with the dark rich hardwoods that flow throughout the space. The neutral walls can lend themselves to gray depending upon their surroundings. The appliances are well-appointed with nothing but the best for this gourmet kitchen. A beautiful Wolf stove is highlighted by a custom-made arched hood that is a design piece in and of itself, while recessed and under-cabinet lighting envelop the room in warmth. Storage space is not lacking; ample drawers were included on the island in addition to those under the countertops. The expansive island and peninsula allow for significant seating areas and room for entertaining.

The kitchen’s showstopper is a quaint keeping area that sits off the kitchen –– complete with a wet bar, wine refrigerator, and sectional sofa. “Even though this area opens into the den, this seating area is very homey and comfortable. I love this space!” adds Season.

The Zeiglers also took this opportunity to create a mud room for the children. Herringbone brick pavers line the floor of this convenient area that is becoming increasingly popular in homes today. The room is equipped with lockers for the kids and a large pantry, providing additional storage space that is out of the way of the main kitchen space. 

Overall, the kitchen exceeded Season’s expectations and created a room that she is happy to call her own. “I love the fact that we were able to take down two walls to create one space,” she says. “In buying an older home, I didn’t think I was going to be able to achieve that. I just could not be happier!”

This redesign demonstrates how an erstwhile space can become a new thing of beauty. All it takes is creativity in design, exceptional construction, and maybe a little patience! Congratulations to all of the well-deserving BIA winners.


Judges Award Level

Category 1, Kitchen Remodel

Contractor: Capital Kitchen & Bath

Client: Mary and Kevin McNerney

The McNerneys removed two interior walls in the dining room and kitchen area to enlarge the space. Due to the linear layout, the McNerneys implemented a desk area, a bar space, and a peninsula counter with seating to improve the functionality of the kitchen and create a warm and inviting gathering room. 


Category 4, Large Bath Remodel 

Contractor: Capital Kitchen & Bath

Client: Joanne and Sandy Fretwell

The transformation from an old, antiquated bathroom to the remodeled master bedroom suite was an impressive project. The Fretwells love the functionality and beauty of the new, peaceful room. 


Category 7, Addition

Contractor: Kehoe Constructors, LLC

Client: Jean and Joel Morgan

Kehoe Constructors, LLC converted Jean and Joel Morgan’s outdoor deck into an all-season Florida room. Although the Morgans live in town, the new room gives the couple a beautiful, year-round view of a wooded area. This space has become the Morgan’s favorite place to relax. 


Category 9, Whole House Renovation (less than 1,800 square feet)

Contractor: Capital Kitchen & Bath

Client: William Timmons 

With the help of Ginnie Lacoste of Capital Kitchen & Bath, William Timmons executed a complete overhaul of his home. The condominium renovation altered the original layout slightly, and ultimately, no surface was left unchanged. 


Category 10, Whole House Renovation (more than 1,800 square feet)

Contractor: Palmetto Construction & Renovations 

Client: Stacy and Michael Strong 

In order to better accommodate the Strong’s growing family and because of damage due to the October 2015 flood, Palmetto Construction & Renovations rearranged parts of the home’s interior space. On the rear of the house, Palmetto Construction & Renovations added a master suite with a mud room and laundry area to help improve functionality.


Category 11, Outdoor Living/Exterior Renovation

Contractor: Crystal Pools

Client: Judie and Tom Hoffman

In a city such as Columbia, where it is possible to stay outdoors most months, having a livable, inviting outdoor space is a must. Judie and Tom Hoffman called on Crystal Pools not only to redesign their pool, but to give much of their backyard and porch a fresh look as well. “We love the Caribbean and wanted a lovely blue pool to reflect the beauty we find when vacationing,” says Judie. 


Honorable Mention Level

Category 1, Kitchen Remodel

Contractor: Palmetto Construction & Renovations 

Client: Fran and Russ McFall 


Category 1, Kitchen Remodel 

Contractor: Kehoe Constructors, LLC

Client: Rhonda Allen


Category 2, Large Kitchen Remodel

Contractor: Capital Kitchen & Bath

Client: Christy and Phillip McWilliams 


Category 11, Outdoor Living / Exterior Renovation

Contractor: Palmetto Construction & Renovations

Client: Margaret Clarkson


Category 11, Outdoor Living / Exterior Renovation

Contractor: Kehoe Constructors, LLC

Client: Crystal Durham 

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