Here’s how Acclaim Renovations & Design transformed this Wickliffe home into a space packed with modern amenities and elegant design

Smee Kitchen 122
The owners of this 1960s Wickliffe kitchen planned to stay in their forever home and wanted the kitchen to reflect their modern style. Acclaim Renovations & Design answered the call.

By Patricia Nugent

With the goal of bringing their circa 1960s kitchen up to date with the rest of their charming Wickliffe home, the Smee family hired Acclaim Renovations & Design in Mentor based on their online research of top-rated local home remodelers.

“They wanted the finished space to be as modern and beautiful as the rest of the first floor,” says Bob Gallese, founder of Acclaim. “This is their ‘forever’ home, the home of their dreams, and they wanted to spare no expense in adding the wow factor for entertaining, as well as high-end cabinetry and quartz countertops.”

Twice the Size, Twice the Style
Square footage was elemental to the project. The kitchen space doubled in size, from 120 to 240 square feet. The wall from the former dining room and kitchen was knocked down to accommodate the new room, and they removed soffits to allow for taller cabinetry and to visually open the space.

“Although there wasn’t enough room for an island, we added a counter with overhang where the wall used to be, with plenty of room for barstools,” he says. “This also enabled us to add tall cabinetry on top of the counter and a bank of storage drawers underneath. Working around an existing brick chimney in the middle was a challenge, but it forms a natural bridge between the working space and breakfast bar peninsula.”

Bob reports that for additional storage, they built a walk-in pantry just off the kitchen as well.

“From a functionality standpoint, we took it from a poorly planned layout, with the refrigerator sitting directly next to the sink, to opening up the work triangle and moving the fridge to the adjacent wall, which also created more workspace,” he says.

The Oxford cabinets allowed for lots of special bells and whistles, like rollout drawers, a built-in lazy Susan within the corner cab, and hidden trash pullout.

When it came to the backsplash selection, Bob says they chose to keep things simple, yet interesting.

“The homeowner chose to go with trendy, hexagon-shaped tiles in a similar shade of gray to the lower cabinets and flooring,” he explains. “To give it more definition and make it pop, we decided to create a middle row of the same size and shape tiles, but with an inner shadow line.”

Top to bottom, Acclaim Renovations & Design transformed the kitchen into a modern, elegant masterpiece.

What is the Custom Difference?
Thanks to a recently formed partnership between Acclaim and Guru Granite of Euclid, the company has the ability to tap into a near-endless supply of gorgeous countertops to complement each remodel.

“As natural stone fabricators who stock slabs onsite from all over the world, we are able to pass savings along to the customer and also ensure attention to detail and craftsmanship, fast turnaround time and quality control,” says Acclaim President Bob Potocar. “This renovation is a good example of how the right countertops can bring different elements together for a cohesive look. Since the client wanted to go with gray cabinets on the bottom and white ones on top, we offered countertop suggestions that featured both shades, including the one we ultimately selected, Alpine quartz, which features lots of big movement and acts as a focal point,” he says.

Cabinets with crown molding and sleek stainless fixtures completed the contemporary feeling. The renovation took the kitchen from plywood cabinets and Formica counters to a study in beautiful high-end materials.

“Modern elegance was the look they were going for and I feel we achieved that,” he says. “And since we finished the job just in time for Christmas, they could throw their annual party there, which was nice.”

Acclaim Renovations & Design is located at 8550 East Avenue in Mentor. The design-build firm has won numerous industry awards. Call 440-974-8082 or visit