South Carolina Logo


Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen: An Interview with Darrin Connell of Clear Water Construction

By Darrin Connell

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Clear Water Construction is primarily a Custom home builder, uniquely serving its clients by limiting our home starts per year, allowing a personal one on one communication between client and builder. We have been serving the low country since 2006.

What is the first thing you tell people who are looking to remodel their kitchen?

Be organized. Have a good idea what direction or style of kitchen you are looking for. Are you looking for a more efficient kitchen or do you want to change the overall appearance?

For those who can't afford an entire remodel of their kitchen, but wish to change a few things, what can you suggest?

First thing is countertops. There are always new slabs of marble and granite entering the market. Many other options exist as well. For example wood, stainless steel, and concrete to name a few. Second, cabinet faces are also important. Often times a kitchen's look can be completely transformed simply by changing the style, wood species, knobs and pulls. Third, simply a new finish on the cabinets. Whether it be new paint color, or sand and stain. Fourth, consider changing or adding a backsplash if one does not already exist. This is a fairly economical way to bring color and style into the kitchen. And finally consider lighting, whether it is under the cabinets or above.

In your opinion, what is the most desirable design element in a kitchen?

Functionality. Whether you are a home cook or an executive chef, form follows function. It is good to determine how your kitchen can best suit your lifestyle and needs.

What are some wasted areas of the kitchen I can eliminate to create more needed space?

Tricky question. Again depending on your individual needs, a client may opt for a smaller pantry if there are not that many individuals at the residence. If your budget allows, consider cabinetry that extends to your ceiling. This can add a lot of extra storage space that may be needed.

What are the necessary elements of a kitchen that I should be sure to include in my renovation?

You should plan for function and have a good ergonomic design. Be sure to have generous counter space, adequate storage, and a realistic budget.

What are some recent fads that you see included in most recent kitchen remodels?

I find that people are customizing the inside of cabinetry to accommodate their own personal needs. For example fold-out appliance stations, spice drawers and racks, or custom drawers made for cutlery and knifes. Also built in appliances or if your home has room for an island most folks are mismatching the island color from the main kitchen. If budget allows, you can do cabinets to the ceiling and glass doors on part of the kitchen or the whole.

What is the best piece of advice for someone looking to remodel their kitchen?

As I said earlier, determine what your needs are first. Do I cook, bake, or entertain more often? Then design a kitchen that best serves you in your allowable space.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

Through my Web site at

Share this:


Leave a comment:

* Login in order to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join for Free

About The Author

Owner Darrin Connell is a Licensed Commercial and Residential Builder. He started his...

View Profile

Become an Expert Contributor

Have some knowledge to share, and want easy and effective exposure to our audience? Get your articles or guides featured on South Carolina Homes For Sale today! Learn more about being an expert contributor.

Learn More