Before & After Photos A Must-See Kitchen Remodel

Don Huey and his wife, Rene, moved into their new home in Apple Valley. As they settled into their new place, the Huey’s quickly realized that the kitchen had to go. It was dated and rough on the eyes.

Don and Rene knew that they had a project on their hands, but were willing to put in the time, money and effort it was going to take to turn this room into the kitchen of their dreams. See below for an inspiring before and after story from homeowners just like yourself.

Do Your Homework

The Huey’s knew their new home was a fixer upper when they bought it. Don and Rene were moving on from a short sale a year prior and wanted an inexpensive way to re-enter home ownership. They had been looking for months and felt this home really spoke to them, so they were willing to put in a little extra work.


The Huey’s spent about six weeks looking at websites and getting ideas for how to drag their 1980’s style kitchen into this century. Don shared some great insights about how they got their design inspiration, “Many of ours ideas came from touring new model homes around our area and looking at displays at the local hardware stores.”

When you’re touring beautiful, new homes and looking at what’s trending in kitchen designs, it can quickly make you forget about your budget. Don said one of their biggest challenges was keeping their grandiose ideas in line with what was practical to implement in the space and their style of home. In the end, the Huey’s decided to stay within reason on a majority of the remodel, but did splurge on a few items that they said they couldn’t live without

Getting To Work

Once they had a plan, Don and Rene sought out the proper assistance they knew they needed to get the job done right. They hired a local contractor, Walter Stimax, who they trusted to do the work. Not only was he a talented contractor, but he had been a builder on an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, so they figured he could work fast! Walter did work fast and his crew was very professional. This is a good lesson. Before locking in a pro, it’s important to map out your project details and determine what skills you want in a contractor.

The inspiration for their kitchen remodel was a return to natural surfaces with real wood grains and natural looking stone counters. Don and Rene chose alder cabinets and didn’t do anything to the wood, other than put on a clear varnish. The counters they selected are leather finished granite and have a very natural look as well.

Lessons Learned

While Don and Rene are happy with the way things turned out, they do have a few nuggets of advice they’d like to share with you. Don said it would have been helpful to know the state of the antiquated wiring in the 25-year-old home, before tackling the project, “Who knew that they only required a 100 amp electrical box back then?”

The Huey’s came up with a couple of additional tips for any homeowner facing a kitchen remodel.

  • Clear an area in the garage or nearby room to serve as a pantry and temporary kitchen.
  • Move nice things well away from the construction zone.
  • Be flexible because the plans WILL change! (They inadvertently slowed the construction process by not being able to agree on a backsplash tile.

Don and Rene ended up spending about $25,000 when it was all said and done. If you’re looking to cut costs, they suggest going with a cheaper appliance package and less expensive countertops. Downgrading these items would have saved them roughly $5,000.

Pros & Cons Of Mounting A TV Over A Fireplace

Mounting a TV over a fireplace was not possible in 2000, but given the technological advancements and modern design trends over the last decade, a TV over the fireplace is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception.

As is the case with any design trend, there are pros and cons. When you’re talking about heat and tech, you better believe drawbacks will come about. Nonetheless, there are two sides to every story.

After reading the pros and cons of mounting a TV over a fireplace below, you can determine if this hot design trend will hit your home next.

Flat Screen TV Costs

Thankfully, gone are the days of those bulky televisions that were impossible to move. Not only did they take up valuable space in your stand or dresser, but they more often than not gave the room an eyesore.

With the creation of flat screen TVs, homeowners were able to clear the space by mounting them on the wall. While many of you do not need a pro for such a task, others seek out professional guidance.

According to our cost estimator, the average price to mount a TV is $298. Just know that the cost can fluctuate based on the size of your TV and the location of the cables.

Pros of Mounting A TV Over A Fireplace

Ample Space

The most obvious benefit of hanging a TV over a fireplace is more space. If you do not mount your TV over the fireplace, chances are, you will have an entertainment center, dresser or TV stand occupying the area. While many TV stands are getting thinner by the day, they still take up valuable living room space.

Mounting a TV over a fireplace frees up the area below the TV. Whether you use that area to install a fireplace, store firewood or leave blank to prevent a sense of clutter, additional empty space always opens up other design possibilities.

Hide Wires

Perhaps the most prevalent reason to mount your TV over a fireplace (or on any wall) is to have the ability to hide those ugly wires. Yes, one could throw TV wires behind the TV when placed on a stand or dresser, but those are still visible to anyone walking by.

Mounting a TV over a fireplace gives you the option to place all those ugly wires in the wall. Many pros just fish the wires through the walls and some install wall plates. Either way, if you’re installing your flat screen TV above your fireplace, make sure you place those ugly wires within the walls.

Design Flexibility

Many of you will not add many design elements around the TV and fireplace as they can both clearly act as focal points to the room. However, with less occupied space below, you have more design flexibility to decorate around the room.

Oftentimes, if you are installing a TV on a large wall, the wall will need other elements to add to the overall look and feel. Less “noise” below gives the ability to do so. Nonetheless, if you feel the TV and fireplace are enough, don’t feel obligated to add accompanying pieces.

Cons of Mounting A TV Over A Fireplace

Neck Pain

The ideal viewing experience puts the television at eye-level. Chances are, if you’re mounting your TV, this will not be possible. Nonetheless, the farther up your TV is, the bigger strain you are creating on your neck.


Think of it as sitting in the first three rows of a movie theater. No one sits there because of the poor view, but more so, due to the neck strain many of us get later on. It’s much more comfortable sitting higher up.

Brad Simpson, a Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at Life’s Work Physical Therapy, says staring at a raised screen for long periods of time can hinder the function of your neck. You lose the ability for your neck to stabilize he added.

As I will get to you next, due to its proximity to heat, a TV mounted above the fireplace needs separation.

Electronics & Heat Do Not Mix

Perhaps the most obvious reason to not install a TV so close to a fireplace is its juxtaposition to heat. Electronics and heat do not mix and as such, both are typically kept in separate corners.

Most TVs operate best when placed in settings with lower temperatures. Many argue that placing a TV over a fireplace vastly reduces its lifespan, costing you more money in the long run. Additionally, even if you don’t light the fireplace often, smoke is another element that TVs do not like.

If you’re mounting your TV over the fireplace, make sure you clean it often. Otherwise, a hazy film can start to form from the smoke, quickly ruining your Saturday night home movie.


Most of us spend upwards of $500 to $1,000 on terrific TVs due to its pristine picture and viewing experience. Well, if you are not watching your TV at the right angle, all that money could go for nothing.

Picture quality changes the farther you get from the center of the screen. In fact, manufacturers even recommend viewing angles and if those requests are not met, your $500 TV could have a picture of a $250 TV.

One way to help reduce the angle is with a swivel mount. The swivel mount allows you to point the TV downward, vastly improving the viewing angle of a mounted TV.

How to Mount A TV

While the steps needed will certainly be a bit different if you’re mounting your TV on a brick wall, the same general principles apply. If you want to forgo the price of hiring a pro, please see DIY Tips For Mounting A Flat Screen TV.