Welcome to our kitchen! One year ago we were midway through our nearly 6-month renovation. It's hard to believe -- that it was 30 days behind schedule at the time, that we were living in the house the whole time, and that the past year has gone by so fast. We survived the renovation and we love the result!
We had neither the desire nor the time to handle the renovation ourselves. We've refreshed or replaced the kitchens in several houses and knew the scope of what it entailed. So we hired a designer and kitchen remodel firm to translate our ideas, but remained very involved throughout the entire process.
The major changes we made were to carry the cabinets all the way to the ceiling, to vary the depths of the cabinets and to reorient the layout of the island and double its size. We kept the stove and plumbing in the same location, but moved the ovens to the longest wall. We chose a larger five-burner stove and retained a built-in downdraft that rises from the island when in use.
The sink is positioned in the corner in front of the windows. I insisted that the marble tile had to be carried to the ceiling. Not only does it tie the sink area to the the backsplash, it reinforces the height of the cabinets.
The faucet was a wonderful splurge! It reaches 33 inches high; both the regular faucet arm and the sprayer arm articulate into various positions. Tired of doing the dishes in the dark, we added sconces to either side of the window. I searched high and low for a design that would complement the faucet.
We chose deeply colored wood cabinets with detailed insets. Beautiful wood tones have always pulled me in and we wanted a classic design for the kitchen that nevertheless has a great deal of modern functionality. To address concerns that the kitchen might be dark, in addition to the sconces we installed three more recessed lights than we had originally and equipped them with brighter bulbs that are on a dimmer. Under cabinet lights shine on the countertops. With the additional lights, all the glass fronts on the cabinets (each of which has lighting strips on the inside) and the light-colored marble the kitchen is quite bright, especially when the western sun shines in the afternoons. (These photos were taken in indirect morning sunlight.)
The pulls are pyramid shaped when seen on edge, with a design that adds to their sparkle. Deeper than the cabinets beside them, the end cabinets form a hutch-like effect. As you know, I love pretty dishes and I'm thrilled to be able to display my everyday dishes behind lighted glass doors. The bottom cabinet consists of drawers to hold napkins, placemats, tablecloths and assorted trivets.
The wall cabinets beside the sconces are not the same depth as the 'hutch' cabinets'. Different dimensions add a ton of interest to a wall of cabinets.
The shortest wall in the kitchen repeats the design. In this photo you can see that the uppermost cabinets have glass doors to showcase some of my ceramic and silver tableware. (You can also see that I took these photos last spring for a bunny vignette, lol!)
This is the longest wall of the kitchen; it incorporates the hall to the laundry room and the side door. The new design seamlessly integrates pantry, ovens, refrigerator and a bar area.
With the recessed lights located in the space between these cabinets and the island, there is plenty of light, helped by the light coming through the side door.
We again went with a divided ceramic sink. The dividing ledge is lower than the edge of the sink to allow for efficient washing up. This photo shows the elongated hexagonal shape of the marble tiles.
The island and counter tops are granite. I love using natural materials in a functional space. While I appreciate the advantages of other types of counter materials, the granite reflects the classic design I was after. This particular granite has a touch of bluish gray that flows through it.
All of the lower cabinets have drawers. We had retrofitted our previous cabinets, but these provide more storage since they have a better fit.
One of my favorite decisions was going with drawers in the kick space under the cabinets. We installed three -- for platters, cookie sheets and cutting boards.
Another favorite is the cabinet holding the microwave, coffeemaker, toaster and assorted teas, coffees, hot chocolates and breakfast cereals.
We no longer have to haul the stand mixer around. It's such a relief having it stowed on a shelf hidden in the island that lifts up and out.
A series of drawers is inset on either side of the sink.
In general we have gained quite a lot of storage and function, both of which were sorely needed!
The process was both lengthy and frustrating, but I'm so glad we did it! And I'm relieved we were able to finish it in time for Miss J's graduation party.
We were also crazy enough to renovate the master bath concurrently!
Thanks for touring the new kitchen!