Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kitchen - Before & After

Before moving in, we did a semi-remodel of the kitchen-- refinishing existing cabinets, replacing appliances and upgrading the center island.  Aside from the island, the layout and existing countertop remain the same.

Here's a snapshot of the Before and After, more details below...

First up... The Cabinets. The previous owners had put a gloss on the cabinets and it looked terrible, like someone with greasy hands touched the cabinets and didn't wipe them off soon enough. We were playing with the idea of having them either restained or faux-finished, or completely replaced... which would've cost a pretty penny. Luckily, we were able to get away with just having the gloss sanded off and having them refinished with a satin glaze. After changing out the hardware, they look brand new!

Another big change... The Center Island. In the original layout there was a lot of wasted space in the middle of the room. So we decided to enlarge the kitchen island and make it "pop". And "pop" it did... the island grew by oh, 3 times it's original size to a whopping 10 X 6 feet. We wanted it to stand out and be the focal point of the kitchen so we used a different stain and granite than the original cabinets and countertop. We absolutely love the additional counter space, plus having more storage space is pretty cool too.

And last, but not least... New Appliances. Here's a quick rundown. We went with Wolf for the stovetop~ Amazing... I can actually make sauces without burning the bottom of the pan; DCS for the double convection oven and microwave ~ Both are good. I'm still adjusting to the oven which takes a lot longer to heat-up than the GE Profile oven that I had before; GE Monogram for the refrigerator ~ probably my least favorite appliance of the bunch. Hardly any space for food! Go figure; Zephyr for the hood ~ powerful yet not too noisy; Uline beverage frig ~ Very necessary since we don't have space for drinks in the Monogram.

Kitchen {Before}:

I took this picture when we were doing the walk-through.

See, I wasn't kidding about the shiny cabinets! Also, the wood knobs didn't add anything to the cabinets either... they pretty much just disappear.  We're pretty sure they did something to the granite too... we had the same granite at our last home and it wasn't that shiny-- But replacing the backsplash and countertops is another project for another year... or five.  

And a 6-foot wide walkway between the stovetop and sink is definitely wasted space.

Cabinets refinished, almost all the appliances installed, center island missing...The kids would've loved it if we left it like this.

The island takes shape.
Gosh those contractors keep getting younger and younger... but boy are they feisty!

Kitchen {After}:

Yep, that's Max & Ruby playing on the telly... the only way I could keep the kids entertained while I took pictures!

Bench seating would work well in this nook, but this set is pretty new... so, not gonna happen for a long, long while.

The Pendant Lights were a S-T-E-A-L!  Found them at Lowe's.  I fell in love with a similar pendant light that was made from mother of pearl and 3 times the price.  These have a similar look and hue... turns out they're made by the same company, but at a fraction of the cost. 

The onyx pendants tie into our two tones of cabinetry and also give a modern, yet organic look which works well with the room's woven shades.

lights off!

lights on!


By the way, our kitchen NEVER looks this pristine!  I'm at home 90% of the time with the kids, and there's no way we could live in a museum.  Some day, when the kids are a little older and no longer have tendencies to climb on tables and "get into" things, I hope to add some personal touches.  Color would be nice, right?  But at this point, I'm just happy that I had that one rare moment where I was able to clean up and take some pictures! Any high flat surface in our house inevitably becomes cluttered with mail, sippy cups and things that we want to keep out of Happy Vee's reach-- pens, tools, Smarty Pant's toys.  However, now that he's learned how to climb the counter stools all bets are off.  Case in point...

Couch cushion decorated with Happy Vee's graffiti art.
Ballpoint pen nabbed from the kitchen counter...

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