homepage logo

New year, new kitchen

By Staff | Mar 9, 2014

Christie Wetzel couldn’t sleep she was too excited examining her new kitchen plans which were lying on top of her nightstand.

“It’s funny really. The initial plan was to just add a couple new custom cabinets, a new countertop and do some painting,” Wetzel explains. “We didn’t even think about the idea of having a full kitchen remodel. It wasn’t even on our radar yet.”

Christie’s husband, Doug, saw the original plans as more of a band-aid for their home in Wells.

“In the long run, I don’t believe we would have been OK with just the minor improvements,” he says. “Christie has been saying for a long time we needed to do something. So we finally did.”

The Wetzel’s contacted six different people in regards to starting the process of finding a partner to work with. However, two never bothered to call back and options in Mankato were too expensive and took two weeks to call the Wetzel’s back.

“Doug told me I should look into contacting the cabinet business in Blue Earth,” Christie Wetzel says. “Mandy Farrow really impressed me right away. She was very professional and helped us go through multiple scenarios.”

Farrow, who co-owns Farrow Custom Cabinets in Blue Earth, listened to Christie Wetzel’s ideas and knew the “flow of traffic” needed to be changed completely.

“You couldn’t open their refrigerator and have space to be behind it,” Farrow says. “In the design process, we really wanted to help open things up so there would be a better overall flow to their kitchen.”

The Wetzel’s saved an estimated $5,000 in labor costs because the couple did a lot of work on the kitchen themselves.

“Maybe we watch too much HGTV and got a big head, but it really was fun,” Doug Wetzel says. “The thought of the work was worse than it actually was. It actually went quite smoothly.” By ripping out the cabinets, taking out dry wall, reinsulating, helping put the floor in and installing the windows, the Wetzel’s really helped move their timeline along, according to Farrow.

“Christie and Doug did quite a bit of construction themselves,” she says. “They were responsible and finished in an impressive time.”

Christie Wetzel was motivated to prep everything which needed to be done.

“The faster Doug and I finished our work, the closer we were to getting our new kitchen,” she says.

The entire process, from beginning to end, was two months, which started on Jan. 2.

When it was all said and done, the Wetzel’s had a completely different kitchen from what they had before.

There was a new layout, new cabinets, new flooring, new granite countertops and a completely more accessible kitchen altogether.

While the kitchen was being worked on, the Wetzel family could only use a microwave for their meals.

“We experimented with a lot of different microwaveable foods,” Doug Wetzel explains. “Our son grew very fond of Velveeta mac-n-cheese.”

Christie and Doug have two kids, Davis (16) and Lauren (14).

According to Doug Wetzel, the kids helped out when they could. Lauren cleaned a lot of drywall dust off the floor.

A unique feature that was put into the kitchen was a “servo” trash cabinet. When the lower cabinet door was pushed on, it would automatically open and close when touched again.

“We would forget that the only automatic opening cabinet was our trash and accidentally knee other cabinets and expect them to open,” Doug Wetzel jokes.

The Wetzel’s couldn’t be happier with the end result.

“I love my new kitchen. It is everything we wanted and more,” Christie Wetzel says. “There is absolutely nothing I would do differently.”

Farrow Custom Cabinetry was the perfect fit for the Wetzels. “It was great to have multiple options. All the layouts were personalized for us,” Christie Wetzel says. “Mandy and Jason Farrow showed up on time and worked with us on a very personal level.”

Farrow used a cabinet building software named KCDw to show personalized touches. The program is used to show clients 3-D versions of what they want done. The Wetzels were given five different designs to look at.

“We want our customers to have variety,” Farrow says. “KCDw really helps make an idea come to life. The more options the Wetzels had made them more confident in what they wanted and more importantly, what they didn’t want.

Farrows Custom Cabinetry was started in 2000 on Jason Farrow’s family farm in Ledyard, Iowa.

“In 2009, we opted for a separate showroom in Blue Earth,” Mandy Farrow says. “There wasn’t enough office space in Ledyard for the both of us. Also, it is easier to make decisions when clients can see different components displayed.”

Mandy Farrow (the designer) and Jason Farrow (the builder/installer) work well together, Mandy says.

“An advantage is that we know each other’s schedules because we work closely together,” Mandy Farrow says. “I really enjoy designing and making patterns, while Jason is very good at putting together the cabinets and making sure everything runs smoothly before and after installation.”

According to Mandy, the Wetzel’s new kitchen ended up being perfect in following the recommendations set by the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association.

The Wetzel’s home is now completely remodeled. It is the same house Doug grew up in, but he says the house is completely different now.

“It honestly doesn’t look like anything close to the house I grew up in,” Doug Wetzel says. “The dining room is literally the only thing we haven’t changed.”

Christie Wetzel believed they escaped the potential nightmare of remodeling their kitchen by choosing the perfect partnership.

“I can’t express in words how thankful I am for the Farrows,” she says. “I could have gone to a big name chain, but the personal attention and details those two put into our kitchen was absolutely amazing. I would recommend them to anyone.”