From The Press


Before & After

Before & After

Concrete Results

When Connor Crimmen and wife Shannon purchased their 1915 Parkside home, they waited two years to move in. But that time wasn’t wasted.

This historic gem, situated in one of Buffalo’s hottest neighborhoods, needed some serious upgrades particularly in the ugly, outdated galley kitchen. With a clear vision and a very patient wife, Crimmen spent every day of those two years gutting and transforming the space into a culinary retreat. With twenty years of carpentry experience, Crimmen was able to do the demolition and construction himself, but when it came time to incorporate modern design elements, he summoned business partner and interior designer Jonathan Casey.

Built in 1915, the home had a lot of original character, but the kitchen was time-stamped in the seventies. The narrow, closed off layout hindered cooking and entertaining, and the country-style decor was passé. The walls were splashed with murky yellow paint, and the old fixtures and appliances were surrounded by beige laminate countertops and scalloped molding. The kitchen also suffered from inadequate lighting, sketchy electrical work, and lack of proper storage. The original hardwood floors were in decent shape, but almost everything else in the kitchen needed to go.

Casey and Crimmen used this renovation project as an opportunity to launch their concrete boutique business, Solid716, which showcases innovative ways to use concrete in residential design. Previously, they’d only produced pieces for friends and family, but were looking to experiment with more complex concepts. The Parkside kitchen was the perfect outlet.

In the small garage, they developed a plan of attack for the kitchen remodel: a sleek, open layout floor plan using 1,700 pounds of custom concrete products. With everything gutted and the walls knocked out, they installed concrete and colored glass aggregate countertops using 400 crushed wine bottles in the mix. The design includes an integrated concrete sink and concrete island with a multi-colored, ceramic tile backsplash. To handle the weight of the concrete, everything in the kitchen is reinforced down to the basement to ensure durability and longevity.

To brighten up the space, LED lights dot the base of the concrete island and frame the edges of the modern cabinetry. The lights are also incorporated into the ceiling across the perimeter of the space to create warm ambiance in such an open space. Anything worth salvaging in the original kitchen was reused in the new design. When they installed the new LED ceiling lights, the drywall was used for the trim, and the old studs and wood were incorporated into the custom built-in shelves, storage units, and pantry.

The style of the kitchen is modern, simple, and smart. The walls and accent pieces provide a blue gray and green color scheme
that complements the look of the refined, steely concrete fixtures and new stainless steel appliances. For added luxury, the
entire home is wired for audio and visual entertainment, and includes a wealth of outlets and a designated spot for a wallmounted TV adjacent to the island. In addition, the kitchen effortlessly flows into the living room, which makes it ideal for guests and social gatherings.

Jaclyn Radich is the DIY columnist for Buffalo Spree Home.