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Lincoln family's crashed kitchen called a 10 out of 10

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“I’m speechless,” Pawl Tisdale said as DIY Network's "Kitchen Crashers" unveiled his newly renovated kitchen.

“No, you’re not,” laughed Alison Victoria, the show’s host. After working only a few days with the Lincoln family, she knew Pawl usually had a quick comment for every situation they encountered along the demolition/restoration road.

Pawl's wife, Carla, was teary-eyed during the unveiling. Finally, she spoke: “It looks like it was always here -- but better.”

That was the goal of this project, which will air for the first time Monday night on DIY (Time Warner Cable channels 157 and 1157). The episode will repeat at 10:30 p.m. July 21 and soon will be available online at watch.diynetwork.com.

The Tisdale kitchen went from a contest-winning "worst” to a brand-new, shiny “best.” Their entry in the television show’s worst kitchen contest won them this refinished space after beating out other contenders from across the country.

The humorous video they submitted pointed out the many problems in their tiny kitchen set in the back of their 99-year-old south Lincoln house: uneven, doorless cabinets; duct tape on the refrigerator; peeling wallpaper and broken floor tiles.

"Kitchen Crashers" filmed the remodel in March.

Last week, Carla and Pawl and their daughter, Jocelyn, gathered around the new center island in their kitchen. Most of the vintage accessories from the show were still in place, and they brought out a few kitschy items of their own. The quartz countertop on the island gleamed.

The kitchen island was on Jocelyn's wish list, as was incorporating her favorite color, turquoise. There's no strobe light, though, which was also on her list.

Carla and Pawl felt like their requests were addressed, too. They wanted more storage, painted cabinets -- not white, but a soft gray -- and “begged” for the retro-style French-door refrigerator.

Taking a small hole-in-the-wall kitchen and recreating a new space in the Tisdale home that coordinated with the oak floors and wide baseboards was what the design and contracting crew from Roger Reynolds Kitchen Design of Lincoln tried to achieve. If it had a retro feel -- all the better.

The show’s producer, Jay Baker, interviewed Reynolds last November. After being selected to do the job, Reynolds and kitchen designer Kristin Donnelly talked to the Tisdales, took measurements, considered room arrangements and tried to create a design that could be accomplished in three or four days.

The challenges in the small kitchen included three doorways, a large window, a load-bearing wall, brick fireplace and second-floor ductwork, Reynolds said.

They finally decided to create an entirely new kitchen in the existing dining room and use the former kitchen space as a mudroom, a back-of-the-house entrance area.

Items were ordered in January for the March “crash,” and his crew wanted “no surprises,” he said.

They made sure the basement was cleared for rewiring and plumbing. When items arrived, they were checked to make sure everything was in order and not damaged.

Reynolds was given a budget to work with but said that after paying for appliances and subcontractors, “we didn’t really make any profit.”

Reynolds said he was pleased to be selected and viewed the job as a challenge. After 40 years in the business, he is retiring this summer.

The Tisdales took off work the days the crews were there, because they were required to be available. But the DIY projects they did were small and didn’t take much time, they said.

Although the new design has seating around the island, the Tisdales did lose their formal dining space and an office setup where the computer was. So far, they haven’t missed the formal seating. They purchased a drop-leaf table that is easily stored and can be unfolded if they need it, Carla said.

And they already have started plans to put a desk in their entry. For now, the computer is upstairs, Pawl said.

Another good result from the crash -- they boxed up several rooms for the project and had a giant garage sale last weekend to get rid of things they discovered they don’t need anymore.

The family can’t say enough good things about the film crew. “They were really easy to work with,” Pawl said.

The crew had a good “crash,” too. Baker, the producer who lives in Tennessee and is a veteran of renovation shows, said he “could not be more pleased” about the Lincoln experience. With more than 250 shows to his credit, Baker said it was a 10 out of 10 as a “before and after” and in his top 10 experiences in any city he had worked.

Victoria, the celebrity host, agreed. She was on her way to a home show appearance in Leesburg, Virginia, from Lincoln, but had a car full of local antiques that would be going back to her home in Chicago. “We loved this job and Nebraska,” she said.

At the end of filming, Victoria signed off with her traditional show-ending phrase: “This kitchen is crashed.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7214 or kmoore@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSkcmoore.

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