Kitchen Visions Turn Reality With Professional Project Management

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When Mark and Kristin Swieczkowski decided to remodel their kitchen among other projects in their house their vision started to take shape and they knew just where to secure their natural stone. In the early 2000’s Mark had worked at Great Lakes Granite and Marble as a project manager. He knew how important the stone selection, fabrication, attention to detail, and installation would be to the overall kitchen remodel. Based on his experience as an employee and seeing firsthand how GLGM treated each project, he was confident in their ability to deliver on the vision he and his wife Kristin had. Mark knew that when they visited GLGM they would be able to walk through warehouse viewing a wide selection of in-stock stone. This seemingly small detail is key for truly visualizing the way the stone will help complete your overall vision.

The Right Team

Mark and Kristin visited Great Lakes in Redford, where they were put in contact with Project Manager Brandon. Mark knew that Great Lakes Granite and Marble was one of the few fabricators in the industry to have a large quantity of slabs in stock. They were able to see a variety of options, pick out their actual slabs, and work closely with Brandon throughout the entire process. They felt that the selection was not only plentiful, but there was also a great deal of stone that was not available at other shops. When you hear “tour our warehouse” you may have a mental picture of a dirty, disorganized space where you are wandering through a maze of stone options. Great Lakes is anything but, impressing Mark and Kristen with the clean, well organized warehouse. As they found stone that appealed to them, they were able to have it pulled out and displayed where they could view the entire slab, or variety of slabs to make their selection. After browsing the vast select at Great Lakes Granite and Marble, and working with their project manager, they selected Fantasy Brown as the right stone for their project.

Working with one project manager throughout the process is key. There isn’t anything lost in translation of the slabs you want, how you want them templated, certain areas of stone that you may want highlighted or minimized. At Great Lakes, you are able to work with your project manager on these details and he can relay the information to the templator and fabricator located in the same facility. Likewise, if questions arise, the rest of the team has immediate access to the project manager for clarification. Mark was well aware that this team approach isn’t the norm in the industry where many shops are outsourcing to a fabrication facility.

The Right Touch

Every project tends to have it’s own personality, something the homeowner wants to set their project apart, or highlight some element of design or detail. One of the unique aspects of the Swieczkowski project was their island. In the previous space, the island housed the cooktop and was on the smaller scale. We all know that the kitchen is the heart of the home and the island is typically the heart of the kitchen. With a family of 6, one of the goals in this renovated space was a larger, more functional kitchen island. The new 9 foot island has a waterfall edge on one side and a 3 foot overhang with a custom made barn wood block end cap, tying the kitchen to the living room where the barn wood is utilized on the custom built-ins around the fireplace.

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The Right Elements

Swieczkowski Kitchen 4When we think of a renovation project, we tend to think it is either a few small cosmetic changes or a full gut it down to the studs and start fresh.This project is the perfect testament to the fact that you can customize your renovation project to find the right solution for your space. The Swieczkowski’s selected new appliances, new stone, and new lighting fixtures. However, their kitchen cabinets were in great shape and in a layout that functioned well for their family. Rather than rip them out and start fresh, they decided to paint the cabinets to match the fresh new look in their space.

The kitchen wasn’t the only room getting a fresh look for the Swieczkowski family. The living room received a major refresh as well with an updated fireplace, mantle, and built-in cabinets. Wainscotting was added throughout the home, and the wood banister was replaced with wrought iron for the staircase.

The Right Price Point

Most every project comes with a budget, and decisions to be made about where and how to spend that budget. Mark and Kristin shared their budget with Brandon and he was able to help them stay within it while still creating some very unique wow factors. They were able to secure a high end stone at a price point they felt good about. In addition, adding the waterfall edge to the island really enhanced their project without breaking the budget. The best part was Brandon’s attention to detail. The Swieckowski’s were up front with everything they wanted for their project and Brandon had a very thorough checklist where everything such as appliance layout, island configuration, overhang and more was discussed. This ensured no surprises from Great Lakes that caused budget overages or other issues. On this topic, Mark stated, “It makes a significant difference that Great Lakes has their own stock and can manage the project entirely in house.” At Great Lakes, it is our policy that you pay only for the square footage you use, this is not the industry norm, and it allows us to help you achieve the look you want in a price point you can feel good about.

The Right Timing

Knowing that selecting your stone and picking your slabs is really only half the battle, Mark and Kristin’s expectations were also met in the templating and installation process. Templating is key to the success of any project and ensuring communication between the homeowner, project manager, templator, fabrication, and installation team are key components to making this part of the project a success. The installation occurred on time, as expected, with no issues, completing the vision.

Swieczkowski Kitchen 1The Right Care

“In my opinion, Great Lakes Granite and Marble really separates themselves from their competitors. Having a sister company, Booms Stone, with experience in the commercial space really lends itself to a comprehensive approach in the industry. Between the two companies, the staff has had the opportunity to work on a variety of unique projects, both in design, fabrication, and maintenance of stone. If you can dream it up, I think Great Lakes can help you create it,” Mark Swieczkowski.

Mark also shared that Great Lakes has excellent customer service and are always willing to follow through and help, whether that is to advise on a poultice to pull a stain from your countertop, or the best way to keep your outdoor stone looking sharp year round, Great Lakes has expertise in every area you could need when it comes to beautiful looking natural stone. “They’ve been in business a long time and have a great reputation in the industry,” Mark Swieczkowski.

Swieczkowski Kitchen 2The Right Result

“We wanted our updated space to be warm and inviting, yet modern and fresh,” shared Mark. Kristin, as an interior designer, has an eye for making a vision a reality and was able to execute on that vision. The new island is definitely the gathering place for this family of six. When you walk into the space you have a definite WOW factor, just changing from the darker woods to white cabinets, a lighter granite, and white subway tile totally transformed the look of the space. The Swieckowski family will be enjoying this updated, modern, and fresh look for years to come.