Kitchen Concepts, DeWhitt Appliance and the Flooring Depot & Surfaces provided the materials to create a wonderfully updated kitchen again in 2011 for another lucky recipient!'”It All Started at a Portland Home & Garden Show.” Alan and Rochelle Markham were down on their luck when they decided to attend the Portland Home and Garden Show last spring.

ugkitwinner2011-copyAlan, an army reservist and Iraq veteran, had lost his job the year before while they were renovating their old farmhouse. Rochelle was working crazy part time hours for Target, but after a short period of time the renovation came to a halt as they faced a string of bad luck and ran out of money. They went to the Portland Home and Garden Show in hopes of finding some low cost ideas to improve their kitchen. At the Kitchen Concepts NW booth, Alan was handed an Ugly Kitchen Contest entry and encouraged to enter. Alan and Rochelle decided to give it a shot, laughing because their kitchen was certainly a good contender.

The winner would receive a new kitchen valued at over $15,000. Dave Warren, owner of Kitchen Concepts NW, was sponsoring the contest for the second year in a row and would provide quality cabinets, countertops and sink. DeWhitt Appliance would furnish the winner with a fancy new refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave, and Flooring Depot was giving the winner $500 to use toward new flooring.

In early June, Alan and Rochelle found out they were the winners of the Ugly Kitchen Contest. “It was very overwhelming when we found out we won,” exclaimed Rochelle. After the year they’d had, it was hard for them to believe the good news. Alan served ten years with the Air Force and after he got out decided he wanted to be in the service again. He enlisted as an Army Reservist and served in Iraq for a year, but when he returned home there were no full time positions available in the Army Reserves so he applied and was approved for the Warrant Officer’s Candidate training program. Just before his schooling began, he was injured on a civilian job and underwent back surgery. The Army dropped him from the Warrant Officer’s Candidate Program. “That’s when everything fell apart,” said Rochelle.

Then, a year later, thanks to Dave Warren’s Ugly Kitchen Contest, Rochelle was packing up the remnants of her kitchen so the overhaul could begin. Their kitchen required a great deal of work. The support beams were rotted out requiring all new floor support beams and new walls and the antiquated wiring had to be updated and inspected. Alan, his brothers, his son and his son-in-law did a lot of the preliminary labor, but it was Dave Warren who had the vision to turn the dilapidated farmhouse kitchen into a beautiful, functional work and gathering place.

“Dave totally designed the kitchen,” Rochelle told me. “He planned everything and really showed the potential of the room. I could see it coming clearer, his vision. He knew exactly what to do. I had no clue about the process of designing a kitchen; I just knew that I desperately needed something better. I love to cook and bake and couldn’t do either in the old kitchen with its open beams. Dave did an incredible job! I tell everyone about it. I even posted pictures at Target and told them all about Dave.”
Kitchen Concepts NW installed the cabinets and set the granite countertops and sink. With the generous additions from DeWhitt Appliance and Flooring Depot, the kitchen really came together quickly. The whole process took about two months.
“I told Dave that I didn’t need fancy cabinets, just ones that were functional and easy to clean,” said Rochelle. “He told me that since I went with simple cabinets he would make sure the tracks and hinges were the best he could get—really high quality.”

Winning the 2011 Ugly Kitchen Contest was a bright spot in the Markham’s lives when they needed it most. Now Alan is trying to get back on track working at Ft. Lewis taking driver’s training for the army. He may return to Iraq or Afghanistan in a few months but for now Rochelle is absolutely thrilled with her new kitchen. She baked cookies with her granddaughter the other day and is planning a big family Thanksgiving dinner. “I’m so excited!” she said. Alan and Rochelle have three children and six grandchildren. Their son is currently serving in Afghanistan. They are incredibly grateful to Dave Warren, the crew at Kitchen Concepts NW, DeWhitt Appliance and Flooring Depot for their beautiful new kitchen.

Before Kitchen Concepts

After Kitchen Concepts