Thinking Home Addition? Consider Re-engineering Your Space

  • Dan Tibma
  • 03 Mar 2017

Building an addition is a wonderful way to increase living space in your home, but it is not an option in every situation.

Sometimes you need to stay within your home’s existing footprint when you remodel. It takes a lot of ingenuity and expertise to expand your living space in cases like this. Tibma Design/Build specializes in re-engineering homes and worked with our clients, Don and Joanne, to meet all of the needs they had for their home without increasing the original footprint.

Expanding a Cramped Kitchen

Joanne and Don’s kitchen was dark and confining with only small windows to let in the light. A number of kitchen items had to be stored in the hallway outside the kitchen. Anyone coming into the kitchen through the back door would collide with the refrigerator door if it were open. Our clients wanted an improved traffic flow and better storage options. When Joanne and Don asked us for an initial meeting, they went with Dan Tibma’s suggestion to remove the structural wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room, an idea they had already considered. We all agreed the large dining room windows would help flood the kitchen space with natural light. Joanne desired new white cabinets and yellow walls to create a “light, bright, happy” kitchen.

It wasn’t until Dan’s second visit that it became clear there was a chimney embedded in the structural wall, which created some challenges for us when removing the wall. The chimney was servicing the home’s furnace and therefore we devised a different way to exhaust the combustion gases to the exterior. Now that the wall is removed, a roomy peninsula with plenty of storage cabinets and space for four bar stools has taken its place. The dining room table remains in its original location.

Want to see more? Visit Houzz to scroll through before and after photos along with the floor plans for this project.
A 36” single bowl porcelain kitchen sink, placed next to the dishwasher, is housed in a new central island. The sink includes a metal bottom grid that can be used for draining fruits and veggies, while it also protects the surface of the sink. Next to the dishwasher is a recycling/trash can pull-out, conveniently located close to the back door. Across the aisle from the dishwasher is a set of wide, deep drawers that feature a peg system for organizing dishes. Once the dishes are clean, it is a simple task to unload the dishes and put them away in the drawers. Watch Dan demonstrate this storage option here

Our clients had wished for a double oven, but there wasn’t enough space. Instead, we recommended an induction cooktop range with full-size oven, and an over-the-range GE Advantium microwave/convection/speed cook oven. Joanne is excited to master all the various functions this amazing oven offers.

Dan designed a small foyer at the back door that serves as a mini-mudroom. The floor is covered in plank style porcelain tile that has the appearance of Bluestone. It provides an easy-care area that allows snowy boots and wet shoes to dry. On one side of the foyer a built-in coat closet provides shelves for shoe storage and hooks for coats and dog leashes. On the opposite side, next to the refrigerator, is a floor-to-ceiling pantry that stores food for our clients, as well as for their pets. A beautiful French door was installed to the outside to let even more light into the kitchen.

Joanne asked us to salvage the elegant leaded-glass doors from the built-in dining room hutch that was removed when the structural wall came down. Her creative idea was to integrate these doors into the remodeled kitchen, which is exactly what we did. A White Spring granite countertop in front of the doors serves as a drop-zone where our clients can charge their electronic equipment, since we installed USB ports in that area.

A dark stained oak floor defines the kitchen space—an idea from Dan that makes the kitchen “pop”. The dark oak floor transitions into the original fir wood floors in a light amber color in the dining room and throughout the rest of the home.

A few words from our delighted clients

“Dan comes up with creative designs. I’m especially pleased with the accessibility and organization in our kitchen that allows me to simply turn around from the dishwasher and place the clean dishes directly into the dish drawer.

Dan is really willing to work with his clients. He’s very patient and so is his team. They were very tolerant of my three dogs while working in my house, and I’m appreciative of that. We ended up expanding the project to the second floor, which was not part of the original plans.”

Dan accompanied me to select the products, and he persisted in helping me find just the granite I wanted, even though we visited five different locations. I also thought his vendors were very helpful. I liked the fact that he arranged for me to visit other homes he remodeled previously. This gave me some great ideas about appliances and lighting.”


If your current living space is too crowded, perhaps an addition is what you need, or you simply need to re-engineer the space within your home’s existing footprint. Contact Tibma Design/Build to help you weigh the best options for expansion.