How to Solve Kitchen Peninsula Problems

After 20 years of living in their home, a Cary NC couple came to us with the hopes of remodeling their kitchen and making it “theirs” for their next 20 years.

Their old kitchen was like so many kitchens we’ve seen—old in look, feel and design. The small kitchen was designed with those very familiar color and features: brown wood cabinets and vinyl countertops. The kitchen had only one small window and was otherwise lit by large fluorescent tubes. It sat adjacent to a small dinette lit with the also familiar brass chandelier. The cabinetry consisted of one large U-shaped unit, positioned in such a way that one of the long arms of the U served as a separator between the kitchen and dinette. The refrigerator stood closely to the “legs” of the U shape. The combination of a large amount of brown, almost no natural lighting and the cabinet acting as a half wall made the kitchen/dinette areas feel dark and cramped.

Our goal was to give our clients a kitchen that was brighter, less cramped, more usable and more up to date, compatible with their changing lifestyle. In order to do this, we added more natural light by replacing the small window with a much larger one. We removed the one large fluorescent unit and installed high hat lighting and a more modern chandelier in the dinette. Other renovations included new cabinets, which came in a white wood and granite countertops that nicely complemented the new stainless steel appliances. The reconfigured layout of the cabinets to be set along the edges of the kitchen made for more of a streamlined effect, opening up more space, and creating a longer unified space.

To add to the usability of the kitchen, a granite-topped island was put in place. It was adjoined to a dining table set on the dinette’s floor, again adding to the streamlined look and feel. The redesigned kitchen and dinette was finished with the replacement of the linoleum floors with hardwood flooring adding to a smooth, modern feel. The new features give this kitchen more personality, more functionality, and more space for the homeowners and for entertaining.


About Paradise Found Construction

At Paradise Found Construction, we're grateful and honored  to be trusted with the homes of our clients in Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Holly Springs, Apex and beyond. We are dedicated to providing affordable custom remodels and new custom homes that fit your unique vision, while partnering with you to scale features to align with your budget. We promise to be transparent and reliable to help you along each step of the way.

Choosing custom construction allows you the flexibility to get everything you want — and nothing you don’t.

Our passion is to help you create your personal Paradise in your home. We work closely with you to understand your vision and bring it to life in a 3D visual design, and then turn it into your finished masterpiece.


Preserving the Environmental Heritage of Heritage Hills in Chapel Hill

 Performance (Green) building has come a long way. While a decade ago many may have perceived green building to be a fad, today it’s about more than just reducing a carbon footprint.  Financially, it makes good sense with eco-friendly designs that deliver appealing functionality and healthy indoor air quality.  For the second year in a row, Jeff Wiblitzhouser with Paradise Found Construction has received the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) 2014 NAHB Green Certified Remodel of the Year Award, this time for a home in Orange County. 

Located in southern Chapel Hill, the 40+ year old, two-story Gambrel Roof home remodel demonstrates how easy it is to preserve the charm and security of an older neighborhood and the many benefits it offers, making the home healthier for its occupants while reducing its ongoing cost of ownership.  This amazing whole hose remodel demonstrates how to preserve the heritage and charm in older neighborhoods with modest investments that create a healthier living environment and yearly savings that compound over time. 

“While any home can be built or remodeled with green features, a home that meets the National Green Building Standard’s certification criteria offers financial gains when the cost of ownership is reduced and a home’s value is increased,” says Jeff Wiblitzhouser President of Paradise Found Construction.  “Plus, growing market evidence shows new and remodeled homes that are green certified are increasing in value and holding it better than those traditionally built or remodeled.”

The Heritage Hills home was structurally sound but needed improvements in energy usage, water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.  By replacing the original single-pane windows with more energy efficient double-pane ones, right-sizing the HVAC system, adding a dual zone controller, replacing and sealing all duct-work and a variety of other energy-efficient upgrades, the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating was reduced from 98 to 59.  In total, energy was reduced by 40% and projected savings are projected to be $900 yearly.

Water efficiency was also addressed by incorporating EPA Water Sense-rated toilets and plumbing fixtures as well as upgrading appliances like the washing machine, which reduced the overall water usage by over 40%.   Furthermore, natural hardwoods with no volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes, formaldehyde-free materials and no-VOC paints were used to improve the indoor air quality.  The original wood burning fireplace was replaced with a direct-vent natural gas one and exhaust fans were installed in bathrooms to help create a healthier indoor environment.

In addition, Wiblizthouser helped the owners incorporate the latest design trends that would harmonize with the rest of the home.  He increased the usefulness and aesthetics of their screened porch by creating an appealing room that could be enjoyed year round.  He also brightened living areas with lighter colors to increase sunlight reflectivity.

The homes in Heritage Hills represent the explosive growth of home ownership that occurred during the economic expansion that followed the end of WWII, and they were designed to foster a sense of community, where families could come together.  They were also built with denser wood that offers superior structural support compared to the same homes built using lumber from today’s faster-growing trees.  Rather than demolish structurally sound homes to make way for larger ones with larger carbon footprints, a green certified remodel is increasingly attractive. 

“We can preserve older neighborhoods with established traffic patterns and charm by changing the inefficiencies,” said Wiblitzhouser.  “With a relatively modest investment, a green certified remodeling provides a short investment payback and continued yearly savings over time as energy and water costs outstrip the cost of inflation.  Plus, when it comes to resale value, green certified homes sell at the upper end of the range and more quickly.”

Just last year, Wiblitzhouser completed a green certified remodel that enabled a Raleigh home owner to sell the home within three days of completion.  Compared to equivalent traditional construction, green certifications offer a significant value and advantage in the marketplace. Paradise Found Construction also won the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) 2013 Project of the Year for Green Certified Remodeling.   

About Paradise Found Construction

Since 2009, our mission and passion has been to help our clients throughout the Triangle NC create their personal Paradise in their homes. We work closely with them to understand Their Vision, and leverage our vast experience in residential design to bring it to life in a 3D Color Visual Design before helping them Rediscover the Paradise in Their Home.


Posted on October 18, 2013 9:59 am

These days, it’s not unusual for someone to work from home. More and more people have created a home office for themselves, a little bit of workspace from which they can park a computer and take care of business.

One of our clients came to us with a home office problem. The space he used for his office was separated from the rest of the house with just a wide archway. The room’s location was off the side of the entry hallway directly across from the dining room, which also was set apart with the same large archway. Both the office and the dining room were toward the front of the house, the front door and the entry foyer.

Without a wall or a door at the office, there was no way to reduce or shut out any normal noise or activity from the other inhabitants of the house. This became an ever increasing problem as our client’s young toddler got older, more mobile and entered the office more frequently, and the house became a busier place.

Our client needed to find a way to reduce the noise yet not feel isolated from the family.  The solution was to remove the archway and install a set of large double French doors, over which were installed a transom. To unify the look, we also removed the archway from the opposite dining room and installed the same transom. This allowed a visual connect from one room to the next, and also gave the house a more contemporary style.

The addition of the new glass doors and transoms allowed our client to control the sounds that entered his office space but it did not deter him from seeing what was going on outside of his workspace. He had a window into the rest of the house, which allowed him to still feel like part of the family, and could work more effectively. In addition, the new design added light and dimension to the foyer and to the rest of the home.

See BEFORE and AFTER photos in our Project Showcase.


Family Time Re-Focus Michelle and Dominic had purchased their home in Wake Forest several years earlier with the idea in mind that it would serve as a family-centric place where they could gather with extended family. Situated in a quiet residential neighborhood with large lots, it was the perfect place for them to read more…

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