Connecticut is increasingly known for its food culture, both in its fine dining establishments, but also in the kitchens of its home cooking foodies. The ability to cook varies, of course, as does the desire, but having a well-organized, bright, welcoming kitchen can help you learn, and help you want to learn. If you’re the sort of person who binge-watches Food Network, you might be thinking it’s time for a kitchen upgrade. And even if you’re not interested in trying to perfect the crust on your chicken kiev or leveling up your pastry skills, and you just need your old kitchen to work better, you might still need a remodeler.

Connecticut’s remodelers almost unanimously favor elegant simplicity and strive to create functional, tranquil, stress-free kitchens. After all, food can only taste as good as the cook’s mood. The state’s most preferred kitchen styles match its preferred home styles: Colonial, transitional, and traditional designs. It pays to have peace of mind when working in a kitchen, which is why these gifted contractors are all dedicated to helping their clients provide the ideal kitchen design for an affordable budget. In constructing this list, we looked at awards granted in the kitchen design and remodeling categories, client reviews, and the strength of the firm’s portfolio.

15) Soudi Amini Design

25 Business Park Dr., Branford, CT 06405

What started as Soudi Amini’s fascination with the way meals come together eventually turned into a passion for kitchen design. Amini has worked in the industry for over 25 years now. Her studio offers a wide array of home improvement services that deliver excellent aesthetics and dependable functionality.

This Traditional English Style project gives us a glimpse at how the firm masterfully shaped tones and details to achieve this clean, antique country kitchen. Amini and her projects have made appearances in numerous Home + Design issues. Past clients report being pleased with her knowledge and skill, how included they felt in the design process and Amini’s welcoming demeanor.  In addition to servicing Connecticut, Soudi Amini Design also provides services to areas within Florida and New York.

14) Gove Restoration

PO Box 29015 1, Wethersfield, CT 06109

Brothers Adam and Matt Gove run Gove Restoration, striving for consistent professionalism throughout each project. An all-around home improvement firm, the company is family owned, and its steady approach has led to a great reputation across Connecticut. The two are extremely knowledgeable about the industry, and they know what the best options are for related residential complications. They learned the craft in the family, including from their grandfather who was a builder. This traditional style kitchen demonstrates the quiet quality the company provides. Other offered services include bathrooms, historic home carpentry, vinyl siding painting, and plaster repair.

13) Shelter Interiors

50 Broad St., Milford, CT 06460

Shelter Interiors is a Milford-based full-service interior design firm that works on residential and commercial projects. The firm works quickly and efficiently, and its clients have praised the team for its customer service and sensible architectural compositions.  Shelter Interiors was given the honor of being selected as one of the few designers to work on the renovation of the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford. Several magazines have featured the firm, and it was honored as one of the 100 leading design firms in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Little Black Book of Interior Designers. Shelter Interiors was also featured as a finalist in athome magazine’s A-List Awards under the bathroom category.

12) Gozzo Design & Remodel

579 New Park Ave., West Hartford, CT 06110

During his teenage years, Bill Gozzo started honing his skills by assisting his father with the family remodeling business. Years later, he started his own carpentry business before rebranding it from Gozzo Carpentry to Gozzo Building & Renovation, and later in 2007, Gozzo Design & Remodel. The firm works closely with its clients to understand their needs and desires. Gozzo wants his team to address concerns early to ensure that once the building starts, everything will proceed smoothly. Gozzo Design & Remodel’s works are clean and functional, and the premium materials used in the cabinets and the counters are the source of stylish subtlety.

Gozzo’s talents were acknowledged by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Hartford County, which named him the Remodeler of the Year back in 2002.

11) Karen Berkemeyer Home

175 Post Rd., Westport, CT 06880

The talented people at Karen Berkemeyer Home have been providing bath and kitchen remodeling services for the past 30 years. A 2017 athome A-List Award Winner for the Transitional/Modern Bath Design category, this firm’s collaborative teams and featured vendors set a distinctive tone for the company.  Behind this unique company’s success is Karen Berkemeyer, owner and designer of the award-winning firm. Together with her team of trustworthy designers, she ensures that the clients will have good working experiences, and guarantees absolute satisfaction with the final results. Karen Berkemeyer Home features a myriad of stones, countertops, cabinetries, and plumbing choices for clients to choose from. As for kitchen remodeling, the firm’s portfolio motifs are often elegance and poise, and frequently achieved through beautiful white cabinets and counters.

10) Debra Lipset Designs

Brook Ln., Westport, CT 06880

For Debra Lipset, the best structure for any project is an eco-friendly one, a belief that shapes what projects her firm takes on, and the firm approaches them. Debra Lipset Designs offers great remodeling designs that strive for green building, integrating a composition that utilizes a home’s natural surroundings, including the natural sunlight and the landscape to highlight the best parts of the room. The idea is to create a cohesive sense of style that allows a room to emanate serenity. Take, for example, this project the firm finished in Fairfield, Connecticut. The kitchen renovation features a classy modern look with a backsplash made of three shades of glass and metal. More details of the firm’s previous works can be seen in past issues of athome magazine.

9) Irene Designs

388 Main St., Manchester, CT 06040

Irene Samson’s devotion to kitchen renovation can be traced back to the days of her early childhood when she spent days drawing floor plans for her doll’s houses. That precocious young girl eventually acquired a degree in interior design, to the surprise of absolutely no one who knew her. Since 2006, her successful Manchester-based remodeling firm has worked on multiple projects for both commercial and residential buildings.

Samson aims for perfect satisfaction by making it a priority to understand the needs and desires of her clients. In achieving this, the firm uses 3D design and architectural services, along with multiple layout options. A gorgeous collection of kitchens are the fruits of the firm’s labor. The firm’s dedication to customer service was acknowledged by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), earning honorable mention at Connecticut BBB’s Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in Aria of Prospect.

8) Bencar Building Systems

15 Atkinson Ln., Wallingford, CT 06492

Bencar Building Systems has serviced clients from Wallingford to New Haven for over 20 years. The firm has a reputation for professionalism and excellent workmanship. Owned by Mark and Nancy Benson, the firm’s aptitude for satisfaction has been proven time and again, with clients becoming repeat customers for future projects. In addition to kitchen remodeling, the firm also works on attics, basements, decks, porches, windows, and whole-house remodeling in general. Bencar’s work on a Durham Connecticut kitchen features a rustic style and improved cabinet spacing.

The company has caught the attention of the press. Mark Benson, in fact, was selected to join the Big50 of Remodeling Magazine, an honor that highlights the integrity and impact of the company on the industry.

7) Deane

189 Elm St., New Canaan, CT 06840

A family business since 1961, Deane built its reputation by applying old-fashioned work ethics to high-quality materials, crafting the best custom cabinetry for its many clients. The firm has strived to deliver unique aesthetics to its clients’ rooms and has worked on projects in the areas of Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Westchester County, and New York City.

Much of the firm’s work offers a range of simple, elegant designs, including transitional and contemporary. The firm also makes use of subtle design themes, marrying unique arrangements that form a fusion of elements. A perfect example of this is the firm’s work on a custom ski home in Vermont, with a kitchen that has a marble countertop and is surrounded by recessed lighting, simple color hues, and tiled backsplash. Besides being featured in an issue of CTC&G, the firm also won an award for Luxury Kitchen Recycling at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2019.

6) Shore & Country Kitchens

1735 Port Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824

Shore & Country Kitchens has been around for over 20 years, providing service in and out of Connecticut, including Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Sanibel Island, and Grand Cayman Island.  Most of its projects are considerable home improvement ventures, big enough to make appearances in publications like Home Design + Decor, East Coast Home, and Kitchen & Bath Design. The project styles include transitional, contemporary, and antique.

The company has seen considerable success under its owner, Bob Blanco. Many of Shore & Country Kitchen’s clients have expressed satisfaction over the firm’s dedication to the craft, and its efficiency in maximizing both budget and space. Past clients also often mention Blanco’s eye for sophistication and detail.

5) True North Cabinets

646 West Rd., New Canaan, CT 06840

“No detail is too small for the renovators at True North Cabinets,” reads the headline of an article from Hersam Acorn Newspapers media group. Indeed, one look at the company’s portfolio confirms its charmingly dignified approach. True North Cabinets works on kitchen projects not just for looks, but for functionality as well.

Husband and wife team Ken and Louise Pascal bring their intricate knowledge of kitchen remodeling that stems from their long-standing dedication to the industry. From appliance positioning to the length of every cabinet door, the Pascals know that home improvement requires being up close and personal, and that headline is not hyperbole. The couple also provides reasonably low prices for their clients at the cost of operating at a lower profit margin, showing their dedication to quality. True North Cabinets has made waves in several publications, including Kitchen and Baths, Home Living Connecticut, and Westport.

4) Nukitchens

132 Water St., South Norwalk, CT 06854

Although the firm was established in 2008, founder Joseph Najmy had a strong tradition in mind when he did so. He looked to his great grandfather’s ideals, a man who was in the renovation business since 1956, as well as his parents, also industry veterans. Joseph’s insistence on efficiency, punctuality, and customer satisfaction allowed the company to climb through the ranks and become one of the finest kitchen contractors in the Tri-State Area. Nukitchens guides its clients through the process, assisting them with whatever preferred design tastes they have and assessing both the budget and the timeframe.

The firm’s portfolio showcases a pleasing spectrum of modern and classic kitchen aesthetics. One notable kitchen is the Fairfield Showhouse, an inspired design using a three-color Victorian motif, consisting of Slate White, Moonstone Gray, and figured quarter-sawn oak.

3) Fletcher Cameron Kitchens

91 Orange St., New Haven, CT 06510

For Fletcher Cameron Kitchens, a competent, by-the-numbers design just isn’t good enough. This New Haven-based firm has worked on various unique kitchen projects that have exemplified artistic details and sophistication for 30 years. Such projects have even made appearances in several publications, including Home & Design, Kitchen and Bath Design News, and Coastal Connecticut. The firm is headed by Christine Ingraham and Gregory Spiggle, seasoned designers with a sense of style and artistry.

One of the firm’s featured works is the Berke Kitchen. Its modern, elegant design, its stainless steel countertops, and its white maple walls all come together for something surprising, something distinctive, and something surprisingly cozy. This is the kitchen you didn’t know you needed until you saw it.

2) Design Builders & Remodeling

904 Ethan Allen Hwy., Ridgefield, CT 06877

Recognized as one of the finest in the industry with several remodeling awards to its credit, Design Builders & Remodeling provides some of the best kitchens in Connecticut. Since its inception in 1986, Design Builders & Remodeling has earned exclusive designations from NAHB, such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) and Certified Green Professional (CGP). The firm is also an active member of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), and it keeps close tabs on the changing trends of the industry. The firm has enjoyed continued success and client loyalty under the supervision of its founder, David H. Adams. Much of the firm’s work shows a design penchant for pure charm. Other projects, by contrast, include a straightforward, polished minimalist utility.

1) Litchfield Builders

2199 State St., Hamden, CT 06517

Reputable, award-winning, and tenaciously committed to its craft, Litchfield Builders is exceptional. The firm has proved quality construction services to Connecticut for over two decades, brandishing its expertise with equal parts warm courtesy and cold-eye practicality. Litchfield has won multiple awards for home remodeling and renovation.

One of the firm’s projects was featured in Arts & Crafts Homes back in 2013: a traditional-style kitchen that would highlight the owner’s collection of decorative pottery. Litchfield put together a seamless design that compliments the pottery cases and the floor motif.

Besides residential construction services, Litchfield Builders also works on commercial projects. Past works include renovations and additions for libraries, colleges, and restaurants. Litchfield Builders has also appeared in publications such as Business New Haven and Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America.

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General contractors in Connecticut