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JFA Architecture and J. Schwartz Remodeling & Fine Home Building Honored with Prestigious CotY Award

Renovating a 900 sq ft open loft space can be challenging, but the design-build team of JFA Architecture and J. Schwartz Remodeling made it look easy with this award-winning renovation.

J. Schwartz, LLC Remodeling & Fine Home Building and JFA Architecture were honored with a Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award for a residential kitchen renovation in the less than $40,000 category. The award was presented by the Bucks-Mont Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) at a ceremony held at the Pine Crest Country Club in Montgomery Township last month.

To win a CotY Award, not only do architects and remodelers have to exhibit the highest level of skill in design, planning and execution—they must also demonstrate how they overcame significant obstacles in the process. For this kitchen renovation, the Design-Build remodeling team had no shortage of challenges to overcome.

Located in an old converted warehouse in Philadelphia, the home was an open, 900-square-foot loft condominium. The owners wanted to update the space to feature a modern kitchen that served multiple purposes. In addition to the usual meal preparation and dining areas, the space had to serve as a conference room for condo owner association meetings, plus function as a divider from the adjacent sleeping area. The renovated kitchen also had to offer a surfeit of storage space in a very limited footprint. Proximal issues arose on the job site, as the building was located adjacent to another building renovation project at the center of a nasty union dispute. Read more about that dispute. As a further challenge, JFA and J. Schwartz had to bring this dream to reality within the homeowners’ budget of just $45,000.

The first challenge that had to be tackled was the design. Designing for small spaces takes great ingenuity, as every inch of space counts. To achieve the homeowners’ goals, JFA Architecture, in conjunction with Interior Designer, Chuck Soldano, took advantage of the condo’s high ceilings by designing a kitchen wall featuring tall cabinets, accessible by ladder. A peninsula and half wall divider—both with undercounter storage—were incorporated to maximize storage and countertop space.

In constructing the project, J. Schwartz Remodeling utilized the high ceiling to hang a 100-year-old reclaimed window from cables over the divider to create the illusion of a wall, while maintaining the visual connection within the space. Both the high window and tall, semi-custom maple cabinets draw the eye upward. The overall effect has been to make the 900-square-foot space look larger, despite having less open floor space. 

Ultimately, the homeowners’ goals were achieved and well within their budget. The young couple is thrilled with their remodeled condo, sharing “We are very excited with the results. From the hot water dispenser by the sink, to all the bonus storage in the divider and peninsula, we love every inch of it.” The homeowners were further delighted to learn that their kitchen renovation had earned the prestigious CotY Award.

Both J. Schwartz Remodeling and JFA Architecture are members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Each company has won numerous CotY Awards in years past, both local and national, for projects ranging in size from less than $40,000 to $1 million.

For more information on JFA Architecture, contact Jospeh Augustine at (215) 517-8068 or visit www.jfa-architecture.com. For more information on J. Schwartz Remodeling & Fine Home Building, visit www.jschwartzconstruction.com or contact Joseph Schwartz at (610) 644-6700.

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