From Frumpy to Functional: How Portico Transformed a Union County Kitchen

When Marvin resident Lisa Haugsted grew tired of her outdated kitchen, she sought the expertise of Team Portico.

In 2001, when Lisa Haugsted purchased her new construction home in Weddington Chase, red walls were trending. So, she and her husband installed a textured, poppy red wallpaper in the kitchen.

Though stylish at first, “at some point you want to change things up,” says Lisa. This is the story of how, with the expertise of Team Portico, Lisa and her husband did just that.

Identifying the Shortcomings

Lisa is quick to mention how she fell out of love with her red wallpaper. But the space had other issues too.

For starters, the kitchen was dominated by a two-tier, bistro-style island that Lisa’s family never used. The Corian countertop wasn’t functional either. Corian is a man-made composite that, unlike granite or quartz, is neither scratch- nor heat-resistant. The fussy material made preparing lavish meals for friends and family a huge ordeal.

Other issues included the sink, which was also made of Corian and quick to discolor. Lisa routinely bleached the sink to nix stubborn stains. There was also the “functional but ugly” overhead light and the electric cooktop, which took forever to boil a stockpot of water.

Though Lisa and her husband had made smaller modifications to their home throughout the years (think: refreshing the paint and hardwood floors as well as redesigning the pantry), the Haugsteds now needed a more dramatic change. But Lisa wasn’t interested in downsizing just yet, especially with two children still in the nest. “We were happy in this house,” Lisa says. “We weren’t ready to move.”

Adding Flavor and Practical Flair

That’s when Lisa and her husband decided to remodel their kitchen, both for their own enjoyment and to increase its future resale value. But the couple had concerns about enlisting the help of a contractor.

“We’ve heard horror stories from neighbors who hired contractors that didn’t come out in a timely manner or who did shoddy work,” says Lisa.

After reading online reviews, Lisa could tell Portico was different. While most general contractors struggle to meet deadlines and communicate with homeowners, former clients described Portico as “responsive,” “consistent,” and even “ahead of schedule.”

Through her research, Lisa also discovered that Portico co-founder Corey Shemtov was a managing member of a fast-growing real estate investment company. Corey’s background assured Lisa that Team Portico would have the skills to improve the value of her home. In short, she was sold.

“I love my kitchen. Everything looks clean and crisp. It’s like I bought a new house.”
Lisa Haugsted
Portico Client

Creating a Recipe for Success

During Lisa’s initial consultation with Portico, general contractor Farhad Aframian took the time to walk through her kitchen, listening as she explained her hopes for the space. “He was professional, knowledgeable, and understood what we wanted to accomplish,” says Lisa.

Farhad also offered very practical design advice, recommending that the Haugsteds choose materials based on their personal preferences, not those of future homebuyers. “Do what you like,” Farhad suggested.

With this in mind, Lisa selected black and white granite for the countertops. She then started searching for a complementary backsplash but was quickly overwhelmed. In the store, she couldn’t tell if certain tiles would clash or jive with her newly installed countertops. Fortunately, Farhad was available to answer any questions Lisa had.

“I could shoot off text questions and he would give me feedback,” she says.

Cooking With Gas

Lisa now has her dream kitchen: a modern space that’s as stunning as it is practical.

The awkward kitchen island has been swapped out for a more functional prep space and the wood cabinets have been painted a clean white. Long gone are Lisa’s days of bleaching the sink, since Team Portico installed a new composite granite basin with a touchless faucet. At Farhad’s suggestion, the Haugsteds also opted to replace their overhead light with dimmable fixtures.

What’s even better? The electric range is gone and in its place is a gas stove. “I love having the gas flame that I can adjust and regulate,” says Lisa.

Though the Haugsteds are satisfied with their new kitchen, this is only the beginning. They are planning to hire Team Portico to renovate other areas of their home in the near future.

You, Too, Can Nix Your Poppy Wallpaper

In a way, we all have poppy wallpaper—something in our homes that we want to change. Maybe it’s soda-stained carpet, an awkward powder room, or an unfinished basement. Whatever your poppy wallpaper may be, you deserve to have a space that is functional and beautiful.

Lisa understands that it can be difficult to find a reliable general contractor in Charlotte. That’s why she recommends you call 704-915-5151 to speak with Team Portico.

“Portico was very transparent throughout the entire renovation process,” says Lisa. “You want to know you’re dealing with people you can trust.”