Winning Team
Colonial Marble & Granite quarterbacks a renovation that transforms Cindy and Merrill Reese’s kitchen into “a bright, functional, happy place to be.” 
by Bill Donahue

Cindy Reese, Ed.D., spent years teaching science and social studies to students within Hatboro-Horsham School District, later becoming an adjust professor at Gwynedd Mercy University and a docent at the Philadelphia Zoo. Her husband, Merrill, has been the unmistakable voice of the Philadelphia Eagles since 1977. 
In other words, Cindy and Merrill Reese have made a lasting impression on countless people throughout the Philadelphia area. Recently they had an experience that left a lasting impression on them, as well as on their Montgomery County home. 
The Reeses moved to Blue Bell in 2000, drawn to the area because of the surrounding community and the house itself. Like most homeowners, they updated parts of the home to suit their style and lifestyle. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their desire for change. 
“With the pandemic, being cooped up in the house for as long as we were, I realized we needed a new kitchen,” Cindy says. “We were not the original owners, so we inherited whatever the previous owners put in the house. We kind of doctored up the kitchen in our 22 years here, but the granite counter was very dark, and the backsplash was too dark. We just realized it could be better.” 
Aesthetics aside, the kitchen needed some adjustments in terms of its overall functionality. Cindy, a skilled cook and baker with a fondness for HGTV, began what she calls “the investigation” last year. She researched new appliances and different materials for the countertop and backsplash, and also lingered over cabinetry colors and styles that would reflect her family’s tastes. 
When it came time to choose a team to help them reimagine the kitchen, Cindy and Merrill received a few words of advice from one of Merrill’s colleagues at SportsRadio 94 WIP: “Pay a visit to Colonial Marble & Granite.”
Cindy and Merrill decided to follow the advice, and promptly scheduled a visit to Colonial Marble & Granite’s sprawling showroom in King of Prussia. The showroom, whose extensive selection includes more than 5,000 natural-stone slabs in more than 500 colors, would offer ample opportunity to explore the possibilities. 
“When you go into one of these showrooms, it can be overwhelming, so you need the right guidance to make sure you don’t make a big and expensive mistake,” Cindy says. “The salesperson at the [Colonial Marble & Granite] showroom did not rush me. I discussed my concerns and they addressed them, and helped me find the right materials. We went with white quartz, which is manmade, because it’s very hearty, doesn’t stain, and is very clean and neat. I also liked it because it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.”
The company recommended a seamless blend between the kitchen countertop and the backsplash. Having seen several examples at the showroom, Cindy agreed. 
“Basically, the countertop goes straight up the wall,” she says. “The installation is more difficult—there’s no break in the veining—but they did it meticulously. The backsplash goes over the stove, and the veining flows throughout the wall. It’s magnificent. It takes real skill.”
Cindy and Merrill chose shaker-style cabinetry above and below the kitchen counter, as well as for both sides of the island at the kitchen’s center. The cabinets, all provided by Lansdale-based Village Handcrafted Cabinetry, are a mix of white and green—a fitting choice, considering Merrill’s long-running ties to the Eagles.
“I love green, and I love that the island is green,” Cindy says. “[The renovation] was really my project, but I didn’t do anything without Merrill. He liked everything, even the fabric for the window treatments. I guess you can say I came up with the plan, but he got final approval.”
Cindy and Merrill opted to renovate the first-floor powder room at the same time as the kitchen. The countertops, cabinetry, and appliances were ordered in August or September of 2021, and the demolition began in January of this year. The project took eight or nine weeks to complete. 
Cindy describes the installation as “relatively seamless.” She credits the team of installers from Doylestown-based Dimensional Contractors & Builders, the cabinet maker, and the team at Colonial Marble & Granite, all of whom were accessible and eager to address any questions that arose.  
“The installation made such a difference in the finished product,” she says. “It’s a scary feeling when the demo begins, because you’re thinking: What if I made a mistake or picked the wrong things? But when you work with quality people like Colonial Marble & Granite and Village Handcrafted Cabinetry, you’re not likely to make a big mistake. Once I saw everything going in, I had no regrets or buyer’s remorse.”
Months after the renovation’s completion, the Reeses’ kitchen looks as though it was plucked from the pages of a glossy newsstand magazine, or the finished product of one of the HGTV shows of which Cindy is so fond. Its beauty aside, the renovation accomplished far more than a much-needed aesthetic change.
“It’s perfect the way everything is set up—a big pantry, a big farmhouse sink, more counterspace, and so much more storage,” she says. “Things are easier to get to, and that changes the function tremendously. I have two ovens—one for cooking and another for heating up something else. I used to keep a magazine nearby for fanning exhaust away from the smoke alarm. Now an exhaust fan takes the exhaust out of the house. It’s so enjoyable when everything is just right.” 
Simply put, to use a football term, the renovation has been a “big win” for the Reeses.
“Our kitchen is now a bright, functional, happy place to be,” Cindy says. “I love cooking and preparing meals, and I love just spending time in there. It’s just perfect, and at this stage in my life I’m ready for perfect. I love it. Merrill does, too.” 
Colonial Marble & Granite
475 S. Henderson Road
King of Prussia, PA
(610) 994-2222
768 Corporate Circle
New Cumberland, PA
(717) 774-2110 
2000 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 732-7800
240 S. DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE
(302) 947-3000
Photo by Nina Lea Photography
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, August 2022.