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Continued: Small addition makes big impact in a 1970s rambler

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 16, 2013 - 4:38 PM

Instead, Hayes designed a long granite-topped peninsula at the entrance, which serves as a place to sit for casual meals. It also holds a built-in microwave and beverage refrigerator. “It’s perfect for serving buffet-style at family gatherings,” said Pat.

Walls came tumbling down

Since they were remodeling the kitchen, the couple decided to also transform the main floor, from closed-off and confining to open and airy. Hayes’ design plan included tearing down walls to open the new kitchen to the existing dining and living rooms. New oak floors help connect the old and new spaces.

Goodbye, popcorn ceiling

To turn the main floor into one cohesive space, Hayes replaced the popcorn ceiling with an updated painted flat ceiling.

Creamy neutral backdrop

“White is too stark,” said Pat, who chose a warm cream-colored painted finish accented with a chocolate glaze for the cabinets. The cabinet hardware and light fixtures are oil-rubbed bronze. “You don’t see glazing that much — it’s a three-step process to get that look,” said Hayes.

Pull-out paradise

The majority of the cabinets do not have doors but rather easy-access, pull-out drawers that hold everything from pots and pans to spices. “I’ve had two knee replacements, so I can’t do a lot of bending,” said Pat.

Glad they did

The Swiridows followed Hayes’ suggestion and put in a doorway on a kitchen wall that opens to the back-yard patio. Now it’s easier to bring food out to the patio for grilling.

Best part

For Pat, the kitchen is a cook’s dream with high-tech, push-button appliances, an efficient layout and endless counter space.

“I can roast a turkey in one oven, cook a pizza in the other one, and let my bread rise on the counter,” she said.


Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619

View photos of the remodeled Eagan home at


  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Kitchen remodeling

    Friday March 15, 2013

    To create space for the Swiridows’ bigger, better kitchen, Dan Hayes, project manager for Plekkenpol Builders in Bloomington, designed...

  • Pat and Gene Swiridow’s new kitchen makes them feel like dancing, and is big enough to accommodate it, after they built an addition to their Eagan home.

  • Lots of pull-out drawers make it easy to find pots and pans and other items.

  • The beverage cooler beneath the peninsula has proved popular with Pat and Gene Swiridow’s grandkids.

  • From top: The remodeled kitchen wasn’t wide enough for a center island, so Plekkenpol Builders designed a granite-topped peninsula for casual meals and entertaining. They added a new doorway opening to the outdoor patio. A beverage refrigerator and microwave are built into the peninsula. Most of the cabinets have accessible pull-out drawers. Walls were taken down to open up the main floor. Dan Hayes is a project manager for Plekkenpol Builders.

  • Among the built-ins that Pat Swiridow appreciates in her new kitchen is the pull-out spice rack.

  • A wall was removed that opened up the area between the kitchen and the dining and the living room.

  • The Swiridows and their contractor landed on a finish for the cupboard doors that highlighted the rope trim along the edge and added contrast.

  • Avid cook Pat Swiridow has triple the counter space in her new cheery kitchen featuring cream cabinets covered with a chocolate glaze. A double oven was at the top of her must-have list.

  • AFTER: Exterior of Plekkenpol home in Remodelers Showcase. Provided photo.

  • BEFORE: Exterior of Plekkenpol home in Remodelers Showcase. Provided photo.

  • Kitchen remodel by Plekkenpol on Remodelers Showcase.

  • Remodelers Showcase

    What: Tour of 63 remodeled Twin Cities homes featuring projects from mudrooms to whole-house makeovers. Remodeling pros will be on hand to answer questions.

    When: 1 to 7 p.m. March 22, noon to 6 p.m. March 23-24.

    New this year: Four energy-efficient homes are MN Green Path-certified.

    Events: Free seminars on kitchen design, home staging, budgeting and remodeling tips. Visit for a schedule.

    Admission: Free except for $5 for the two Dream Homes.

    Information: Go to or pick up a guidebook at metro Holiday Station stores.

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