TUPELO - When Wendy Todd
bought her home in Highland Circle in September 2006, she knew the
kitchen was going to need an update.
Built in 1931, the home had been well-maintained, but the kitchen
was dated, with knotted-pine paneling, dark appliances and an old
"We knew going in that a total kitchen remodel was absolutely
necessary," said Todd. "But the neighborhood made up for the fact that
we knew we were going to have to do that."
Todd hired Lynn Bryan of Lynn Bryan Construction LLC to do the
remodel, which took about six weeks.
And the job won him the Best in Mississippi Award in the Single
Family Remodeling of a Kitchen or Bath category at the Home Builders
Association of Mississippi's 13th Annual Best in Mississippi and
Remodeling Awards ceremony in November.
The Home Builders Association of Mississippi is a trade
organization affiliated with local builder associations and the National
Home Association of Home Builders. Its goal is to improve the conditions
in the housing industry in Mississippi.
"What surprised me most that it won is that it's just so simple,"
said Bryan. "A lot of folks do kitchens and they go over the top.
There's a fine line of knowing when to stop, when you've done enough.
Wendy knew when to stop. She didn't go overboard."
Bryan began the remodel in January and finished it in
mid-February. During that time, the Todds moved out of the home and
stayed with family.
"I always tell people when they talk about remodeling their
kitchens that if they don't have to live in it while the work's being
done, then don't," Todd said.
When it was all said and done, the kitchen went from being
dark and dreary to being white, light and sunny. One judge at the HBAM
contest said: "This is now a very bright and cheerful kitchen."
From darkness to light
75-year-old kitchen came with some problems. For one thing, the floor
wasn't level and that created some extra work. And the entire galvanized
plumbing system had to be replaced. Finally, the hot water tank was
moved into the attic.
"Things are put in odd places in older houses," Todd said,
"The hot water heater was in the pantry in the back of the kitchen. We
did a tankless hot water heater in the attic and you never run out of
hot water. I liked that feature a lot."
In fact, the tankless hot water heater was the first one
Bryan had ever installed. Now he's put one in his own home and about a
half dozen other houses.
"They're great," he said. "You control them from a box on the
wall in the kitchen."
However, the greatest challenge from Todd to Bryan may have been her
most important directive: Keep the kitchen's historic look but make it
wanted to keep it as original as I could to the time period - old
Colonial - but modernize it at the same time,"Todd said.
Todd chose an apron-style sink and kept the look of the
wall-mounted faucet over the sink. The antique glass blocks behind the
stove, which are original to the house, also stayed.
Bryan suggested the Todds keep the dark knotted-pine Pickwick
paneling on the walls and paint over it.
"Even though it was getting painted, it added depth and
texture to the walls," Bryan said. "Being able to salvage enough of it
was a challenge."
Todd also knew from the beginning that she wanted a light,
"She knew what she wanted - plain white cabinets, an apron
sink, the faucet coming out of the walls," Bryan said. "She picked out
Todd chose stainless steel appliances for the kitchen, Caesar
Stone countertops, designer track lighting, pendant lighting over the
breakfast room table and beige floor tile.
"My husband told me to get it the way I wanted it, so I got
everything I wanted," she said. "It turned out beautifully."
Reprinted with permission of the
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal