A Contemporary Home With Southern Style

Golden Eagle, Tallahassee
  • Kitchen, Powder Room and Laundry Update
  • Removed wall to create mud bench
  • New wallpaper, flooring and lighting
  • Total Cost: $114,864.35

McManus Kitchen and Bath provides a single place where you can work with interior design and construction professionals who can help you create a happy, healthy home. We start each project with a Design and Budget Consult. It will help you clarify your design ideas, understand the remodeling process and create a Good Better Best Budget for your project. Click here to schedule a consult.

Project Overview

An oven fire due to faulty wiring damaged this clients home. Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was limited to the kitchen but it did do enough damage warrant a kitchen remodel.

The homeowners wanted to create a contemporary kitchen with southern style. Something that would express their personality but would be neutral enough that it would not hinder selling the home when the time came.

We added white kitchen cabinets with simple brass accents to keep the kitchen neutral and added some “southern charm” to the powder room and laundry.

Before vs After

This home had not been updated in 30 years. Like so many older homes, the kitchen lacked storage and counterpace and felt old and dated. Moving the fridge and getting rid of the double wall oven were import layout changes to update this space.

Before / After Image

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Before / After Floorplan

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

Before Floor Plan

After Floor Plan

From Our Client

My husband and I reached out to McManus Kitchen and Bath after an electrical malfunction in a wall oven caused fire damage to our 30-year-old kitchen and smoke damage throughout our entire house.

Our extremely outdated kitchen and equally outdated adjacent back entry area, powder room and laundry room all required a gut reno and redesign/remodel, and we were fortunate that McManus was able to take on that key portion of our yearlong whole-house restoration project.

We found owner Paul to be responsive, professional, knowledgable, and confidence-inspiring. We appreciated the efficiency of working with a contractor who could provide not only remodeling services but also design services and an on-site kitchen/bath showroom for inspiration.

We loved working with showroom manager/designer “Kristi,” who cheerfully and expertly advised and guided us through the process of choosing cabinetry, countertops, backsplash tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, hardware, flooring, and more.

We were grateful to seasoned project manager “Mike,” who among many things oversaw all their carefully chosen subcontractors, helped to explain and troubleshoot the handful of unexpected issues that arose during the months-long process, and went above and beyond to keep schedules and communication on track during a remodel that had to contend at times with unique pandemic-era bumps in the road.

The aftermath of our house fire was a stressful time for my husband and me, but having good remodeling partners at our side, like those we found at McManus Kitchen and Bath, made all the difference.

We are absolutely delighted and 100 percent satisfied with our bright, beautiful and functional new kitchen, drop zone, powder room and laundry room; if we had the chance to go back and do it all again, I believe we would make exactly the same choices thanks to the excellent advice we received from the McManus staff.

We’d choose McManus again in a heartbeat for any future kitchen/bath remodeling projects we might undertake; and we would enthusiastically recommend them to our family, friends and anyone else seeking design/build/remodel/showroom resources in one highly professional and pleasant place. “

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Our Favorite Updates

There are so many features of this remodel that we love that we have lost count. Here are some of our favorites.

Wallpaper and Wood Countertop In The Powder Bath

Powder rooms are great place to have fun with some bolder style choices. In this bath the wallpaper really stands out and the bead board, wood counter from Café Countertops and a vessel sink give the space some real personality.

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

Before: A dark and boring builder grade bath

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

After: Showing off some personality and style

Laundry Room Transformation

The laundry room made another dramitc change. We moved the washer dryer , added a countertop and sink cabinet with a farmhouse sink. The sink install was challenging due to the unique shape but our carpenter came through as always and made it fit perfectly.

A small detail here is the way we extended the countertop over the washer / dryer to continue over the sink and create a small shelf. Perfect for decorative accessories.

Another thing to point out is the depth of the upper cabinets above the washer and dryer. The old cabients were only 12″ deep which not only can be hard to reach but might not store large containers of laundry soap or extra paper towels and ther cleaning supplies very well. The new cabinets are 15″ deep which work much better in a laundry room.

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

Before: The 12″ deep cabinets above the appliances are hard to reach and too narrow for good storage 

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

After: Updated style and 15″ upper cabinets provide better storage. The small shelf over the sink is a nice touch

Mud Bench In The Hall

By removing the tiny closet between the old microwave niche and the hallway we were able to add this small mud bench just inside the garage door entrance. It’s just enough for a few coats, has a pullout drawer for shoes and upper cabinets for misc items.

Before: The original area that the mud bench sits in was a hall closet

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

After: The mud bench was created to have some storage but also some day to day function like hanging coats and putting on shoes

Up Lights on Kitchen Cabinets

We often install under cabinet lighting from Task Lighting in our projects. The LED lights are bright but dimmable and light up the work area perfectly.

In this kitchen we also did some uplights.

When kitchen have tall ceilings, like this one, it is not always practical to take the cabinets to the ceiling. Adding uplights on the tops of the cabinets helps turn that space in to a nice accent feature and night light.

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

Before: The fridge location created a crowded feel and limited counterspace

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

After: Moving the fridge creates a brigter, more open kitchen with great counterspace

Microwave Station

Since these clients did not use the microwave much for cooking they liked the idea of having it in the little nook by the breakfast table. A bright space with undercabient lighting, Cambria quartz countertops, and a beautiful tile backsplash it adds function without cluttering up the main kichen area. 

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

Before: The old nook was rarely used

Contemporary Kitchen with Southern Style

After: The new nook will get much more use

Before Photos

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Design Concepts

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After Photos

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Scope of Work

We actually did this project in two phases because of other home updates the clients were making. Before they found us for their kitchen remodel they had already contracted with Southern Flooring and Southeast Painting to redo the floors and paint throughout the home.

So to help get those projects done quicker we did our demo, rough plumbing, framing and rough electric work right away. That way the other work could be progressing while we waiting for thier cabinets to arrive.

The kitchen, laundry room and powder room were all updated. Since they were replacing all the floors in the home it was a great time to consider widening doorway and removing walls.

So we widened the doorway between the kitchen and dining room and we were able to remove the small closet just inside the door from the garage and replaced it with a much bench and some storage which really helped open up the entrance from the garage and add some better storage for coats and shoes.

We made some layout changes to the kitchen in order to add storage and counter space. The big changes were moving the fridge and getting rid of the double wall oven.

Double wall ovens are great but in smaller kitchens like this one the can really eat up a lot of space so we opted for a range instead and added a microwave convection oven that could be used as the second oven. Moving the fridge helped give the kitchen a more open feel and allowed us to add a tall pantry cabinet next to the fridge for extra storage.

The powder room layout stayed the same but we updated the flooring, sink, toilet and wallpaper. As you can see from the before/after pictures the powder room was one of the places the homeowner decided to really show off some personal style.

In the laundry room we added counterspace, storage and a better sink. We moved the washer/dryer to one side and gave them a built in look with some panels and a quartz countertop. The semi-custom cabinets and farmhouse laundry sink were a bit of a splurge but they add some southern style style to an otherwise utilitarian space.

We stripped the wallpaper, replaced the garage entry door, added new light fixtures and replaced the flooring in the hallway to complete the look.

Timeline, Challenges and Solutions

Project Start

April 19th, 2022

Estimated Completion

July 18th, 2022

Actual Completion

August 23rd, 2022

We did have a delay in this project of about a month due to a countertop issue.  When the countertops arrived our installer noticed some imperfections in the stone that would weaken it. While many installers would have simply filled these imperfections and not said anything ours alerted us to the issue and recommended we get a new slab.

This is one of the things that makes Southern Tops our go to countertop installer. We really appreciate their integrity and commitment to quality.

While we were all anxious to complete the project, installing countertops with a flaw would just lead to issues down the road. We discussed it with our client and decided to wait for the new slab.

Project Costs

Initial Budget: $84,897.00

Fixed Price Proposal: $114,864.35

Change Orders: $0.00

Final Project Cost: $114,864.35

Cost Details

The initial Good-Better-Best budget for this project was $84,897.00 while the final total was $114,864.35.

An increase to the scope of this project is the reason for such a large jump in price from our original budget. The initial budget was based solely around remodeling the kitchen. Throughout the design phase of the project, the homeowners figured it would make sense to have us also remodel the other adjoining areas of their home.

Cost Breakdown

  • Installation Labor 32% 32%
  • Fixtures and Materials 42% 42%
  • Design and Project Management 13% 13%
  • Overhead and Profit 9% 9%
  • Shipping and Sales Tax 4% 4%



In the kitchen, breakfast bar, and mud bench this homeowner went with the Evoke door style from Bellmont’s 1600 line in White paint. In the laundry room, Bellmont’s Evoke door style was also used but this time in Denim paint. The cabinet hardware used throughout the house is Top Knobs Ormonde Knob and Ormonde Pull


In the kitchen and the breakfast bar, the countertops are Silestone’s Eternal Statuario quartz countertops. In the powder bath the wooden countertop is a coastal oak top from Café Countertops.


The floor tile used throughout this remodel is Tile Bar’s Bronx Black 12×24 matte tile. The backsplash tile in the kitchen, breakfast bar, and laundry room are all also from Tile Bar. In the kitchen and breakfast bar, we used Portmore White 3×8 tile in a 50/50 stagger while in the kitchen we used the Portmore White 4×4 tile.

Plumbing Fixtures

In the kitchen, the sink is Ruvati’s Roma Undermount Sink and the faucet is the Kraus Allyn Pull-Down Faucet.

Moving to the powder bath, the sink is a Kraus Cermic Vessel Sink while the faucet is the Delta Ara.

Finally, in the laundry room, the sink is Rejuvenations’s Reid Ceramic Utility Sink while the faucet is Signature Hardware’s Felicity.


As was mentioned earlier, the under and over cabinet lighting was done using light bars from Task Lighting.

The light above the breakfast area is Rejevenation’s Winfiend Chandelier.

The ceiling light in the hallway is Rejuvenation’s Conifer Flush Mount.

Finally, the light in the powder bath is Golden Lighting’s Duncan 2 Light.

Trade Partners

We’ve been developing relationships with quality trade partners for years. We use the same subcontractors because we trust their work and have developed a great working relationship with them. This helps make projects run smoother.

Demo: C and T Home Improvements

Plumbing: Capital Plumbing Contractors

Electric: Truevolt

Carpentry: CTR Custom Cabinet Built-Ins and Trim

Drywall: Hawkins Drywall

HVAC: Watts Cooling Heating and Plumbing

Tile: QSA Tile

On Their Own

The clients had some work done before we started the project.

They hired Superior Painting to strip wallpaper, paint the entire house, lime-wash their fireplace, et al over a period of about 8 months. 

They hired Floorida Floors to install new flooring (hardwood, carpet, LVT) throughout the entire house. We instaled the tile flooring in the hall, laundry and powder room. 

We coordinated our schedule around these other installers as some of the work had to be done after our demo was complete and other parts had to be done at the end of the project.

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