Friday, August 27, 2010

Kitchen Renovation: Before and After

After 14 years of waiting for my ugly kitchen to give out our renovation of it is finally complete! The blinds are hung, decoration in place and everything is new and clean. It wasn’t without some tears, the husbands not mine, think cost, but it was a hard fought battle and I wouldn’t go back for anything. The dust left a bit to be desired along with the noise and I don’t mind saying the shock of seeing my kitchen gutted down to dirt took my breath away!

My wish list was mostly met, wish list, but with a room only 16’ x 14’, six openings with doors and windows, and a wood stove that had to stay for warmth my grandeur ideas of clean open spaces was bumped off immediately. But that’s OK I was happy to work within my limitations. 

Those aren’t the same cabinets just the same simple shaker style. We thought we would be able to keep the old cabinets since they were nice but when our contractors started taking them down they completely fell apart. Nice fronts but the rest were cheaply put together obviously to save on cost along the way.



With such a small kitchen we wanted to keep everything simple so as not to overwhelm the space such as using clear pendent lights so the eye travels through. We went with the wolf stove /sub zero refrigerator package because we liked that the refrigerator is in the same line as the cabinets, it doesn’t bump out into the room by a couple of inches like most refrigerators. This is where the husbands’ tears came into play since showrooms don’t place price tags on these appliances for a reason!

While I would have preferred an antique tiered console/table as my kitchen island I hate seeing microwave ovens and all the things that go with cooking out in the open let alone they get dusty. This island is perfect to hide all those things and gives me more working counter space. 

We went with soapstone tile since it’s durable enough for an eighty pound bouncing golden retriever. The slightest scratch is simply sanded out with a piece of fine sandpaper but so far that hasn’t been needed. Laying the floor tiles in a long straight stretch helped to make the room look more elongated to the eye. The floor couldn’t be sealed since it changes the color from shades of gray to black but it cleans up beautifully. We put radiant heat underneath that I love but the dog, not so much!



Since our kitchen has the lowest ceiling in our home of 8’ 2” we wanted to make the room seem taller. We did that by playing with perspectives and tricking the eye into thinking the ceiling was higher so we played with the different height of cabinets to make the room seem more expansive. We were able to do that because the refrigerator was so tall, the sink window sash goes right to the ceiling and the small pantry on the other end is tall. We had to keep the same configuration because of all the openings but hey it works.

I absolutely love my new bridge faucet from American Standard here since it reaches into the middle of the sink unlike the one that originally came with this kitchen and it has a sprayer!



Our kitchen really came down to the use of materials to give it a new look. Since we had enough of the black soapstone, used on the counters, we used a slab for the hearth under the wood stove. We pile wood in an antique copper bin during the winter and used to ding the old walls so we thought it would be a great idea to pull the flooring tiles up on the lower part of the wall around the wood stove giving it a European flavor. That’s a 16th century Italian wine vessel hanging over in that corner that I purchased from Michael Trapp here. I love green and tried to use touches of it throughout our kitchen.

After table and chairs

Gone are the antique table and chairs and in its place a small more solid table from restoration hardware that unfortunately they no longer sell. This table was actually sold as a hall table and is only 30” in diameter, plenty of room for two people to have dinner. The chairs from pottery barn here were kept open to let light pass through. Thankfully gone are the fabric roman shades from the windows and in their place custom made bamboo blinds from Smith and Noble here that are much easier to keep clean.



I love this dishwasher from Fisher Paykel that has two drawers! It simply makes sense for us since we’re a two people family, dog bowls don’t go in there. I don’t like dirty dishes hanging about for a week and since the drawers run independently from one another that is no longer an issue.

I’ve added a few antique pieces, a cappuccino machine and voile, new kitchen! Gone is the clutter and somebody else’s design ideas. Absolutely everything in our kitchen is new right down to the wood stove. After all these years I’ve made my kitchen my own and the ride has been so worth it!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! your kitchen looks beautiful... so many things I love... the radiant floors... the cabinets... the double dishwasher.... EVERYTHING about it is beautiful!
I know what you mean about husband crying... I saw tears on my husband's face when we redesigned our yard this summer... and there were not tears of joy!

enjoy your new kitchen...


Stacey said...

Wow! What an awesome transformation! I love everything and superb job!

A Perfect Gray said...

lovely job. the cabinets are divine. and I am absolutely drooling over that two-drawer FP dishwasher. I have used one in a vacation home we visited and LOVED it. You are Lucky, Lucky, Lucky....

Greet Lefèvre said...

Congratulations! Your kitchen is beautiful! I never saw a dishwasher as this before ! Awesome!!!
PS Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my Simon post!

Unknown said...

Excellent work.Your Kitchen looks really nice after renovation.I would suggest if u add a wood burning stove in your home it will definitely increase your home's beauty.It not only give you a newer look but also gives warm to your house in winter.It creates a warm experience which feels really good and piece.For more details visit Wood Burning Stoves

Trouvais said...

Kinda like the peek behind the walls of a 200 plus yr old house...did you find any treasure? Like the concept/challenge of working within the existing confines and making the most of it...which you certainly did. Are you tempted to sneak a few things up atop those cabinets? Love the faucet,those pretty dishwasher drawers, soapstone floor. Great job...and your husband must be so relieved its over! XO Trish

French-Kissed said...

You must be's beautiful. Don't you just love cooking and doing dishes now? Love all of your selections and seems you made all of the right choices to make the most of your space...a real functional beauty. Enjoy!


Unknown said...

It is gorgeous! Love the slate tiles, so chic! You did a fabulous job, so lucky! Happy to find your lovely world, happy to be your newest follower! XX!

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Debra- You must be so happy! The soapstone makes the whole place shine - what a beautiful look. It must be so cozy in the winter, with a fire in the woodstove and snow outside and tasty things baking away.


zanetastyle said...

Hello Debra! I have only now noticed your kitchen reno's ((:
and what a nice kitchen! Yours looks like mine (((: Cherry cabinets and the same transitional style, have gray type of granite with specks of white and blue or off white ...but it is mostly gray - shitake colouring...Wolf stove and fridge and silver hood ((: I wish I could show you...I even have similar looking door knobs / handles ..on!
I tested your pumpking cookies and sent you an email a while ago...not sure if you got it(: but in your last post...your homemade pumpking soup sounds like something I would try too!! Hugs Z

Sasha Herrick said...

Isn’t it great that you achieved the result you were expecting? You really did a wonderful uplift to your kitchen. I noticed that you have items that were not present on the before pics. Did you buy them or did you just rearrange some of the kitchen items? Those little plants are lovely, by the way. I’m glad that you decided to keep them.

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