Behind the Before & After | Dates with Designers, Part 2

Updated: May 16

Dates with Designers Part 2, Starting Over


In my research I discovered there are 2 kinds of cabinet options. 1 - You can buy cabinets from any number of manufacturers, or 2 - you can get someone to build you custom cabinets. The challenge with buying cabinets from manufacturers is they only build them to certain specifications - for example, they are built to the ½ inch. Therefore if your room isn’t square and your measurements don’t fit to the whole or half inch, you’ll have gaps along the way you’d have to fill in or hide.


My house is not “old” by local standards - it was built in 1948. But I can tell you there is nothing square about this house, so for us and our house, custom cabinets are, literally, a better fit.


I discovered Metropolitan Cabinets through a good, old-fashioned Google search. They are a local company, in Norwood, MA and they build all their own custom cabinets (as opposed to the previous folks, and others, who sell other manufacturers’ cabinets).


I submitted an online form and heard back from one of their designers. We set an appointment and basically we were now starting from scratch again - a month later. In January 2022 Clark and I met with Cheri Kotsiopoulos in their Wakefield location and let me tell you it was a breath of fresh air. She got us. She knew exactly the best way to design our space.



Something I've learned as a local realtor with lots of experience visiting homes throughout the region - homes in greater Boston are all generally the same design. We have a variety of styles: Colonials, Capes, Splits, Craftsman and Victorians, both traditional and Queen Anne’s. But unless someone tears down a house and builds something custom, our homes aren’t drastically different. Even “new construction” in the suburbs - you see the same floor plans all over the place. So when we sat with Cheri and explained the kitchen and dining room - she had the experience to know exactly what to do, because with our room sizes & layout there really only are a couple of options.


In addition to our experienced and knowledgeable saleswoman, the other thing I loved about Metropolitan was their showroom. Again, I am a visual shopper, and, it turns out, I also need to touch and feel, in addition to seeing ideas. So I need to be able to walk around and talk about door styles (there are a million), color (oh you want white? What shade of white?) before we even start on functionality - yikes! So many decisions to make.


Within a week or so Cheri gave us a design spec that we were able to talk through and use as a starting point. From there we have been addressing questions of functionality - where is everything going to go in the new kitchen? What are our pain points now and how can we remove them? We still aren’t done but getting there. And I feel like we have a partner in Cheri, and we aren’t going through this alone. I am grateful for her expertise and cannot wait to bring this project to life.


I'm writing these Behind the Before & After posts about our kitchen renovation because I want to share our process - including any bumps along the way - so that homebuyers and homeowners can get a look at what really happens when you take on a major renovation. Clients ask me all the time, "Should I renovate?" And my answer is - usually - this, "Renovate for you, now, and how you want to live" so I'm following my own advice and inviting you to follow along.


Read more about our kitchen renovation here! And feel free to comment or contact me with any questions you have!!


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