A Transformed Kitchen in Roslindale
December 2014—When Dennis and Joan Brown bought a home in Roslindale six years ago, Dennis’s skills as a home-improvement contractor came in handy—and so did his familiarity with the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources.
The kitchen, in particular, needed work. “They had carpet in the kitchen. Blue carpet,” recalls Dennis. Today, the most prominent feature of the kitchen is the beautiful cherry cabinets. Dennis and Joan paid just $900 for the entire set at the Reuse Center.
When he first saw the cabinets, Dennis wasn’t so sure. “My wife said they were lovely. I did not, because of the condition they were in.” They were not damaged, but dirty, since they had just been donated and had not yet been cleaned up. But Joan was “very persuasive,” and the set was soon theirs.
It took some figuring out for Dennis to reposition the cabinets to work with their kitchen layout. He modified one standard base cabinet to serve as a sink base and used another to create a peninsula with a granite top.
The granite top is a particular point of satisfaction for Dennis. “I did some work for a customer around 15 years ago. This was the wrong piece of granite, so I had to eat it. But I said to myself, ‘I’m going to save it.’ It was in my sister’s basement for all this time.”
Where there was blue carpet is now a travertine tile floor. A refrigerator and light fixtures from the Reuse Center are also on display. He wants to replace the window over the sink with a garden window as soon as he can find one the right size. “My wife loves her plants,” he says.
Dennis also expanded the size of the kitchen by opening up what had been a washer/dryer nook, modifying the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room to be a half wall with countertop, and widening the doorway between the kitchen and what had been a bedroom—now a computer room.
Besides continuing to work on his own house, Dennis can often be seen visiting the Reuse Center with customers who are seeking to save money on their projects. “Looking for additional bargains,” he says with a smile.