If you recall the original kitchen was just terrible. It was a hodgepodge of multi colored wood and metal cabinets. Some missing doors, drawers and handles. The walls were a mixture of peeling blue wallpaper, wooden paneling, a lovely green color (note the sarcasm) and an aluminum backsplash with several missing pieces. The floor comprised of dingy vinyl tiles, most of which had been ripped up to deal with my termite problem. The drop ceiling was also discolored with whole sections missing. I found out that the oven was broken and leaking gas in the house, and the refrigerator matched the avocado green walls. In summary, this kitchen was a hot mess.
The only way to fix this kitchen was to completely gut it and start from scratch. So thats just what I did.
It’s odd that for such a large house, the kitchen is quite small. I toyed around with the idea of knocking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space and create a breakfast bar, but there were two problems. One, the wall had plumbing and electrical wiring in it that would have to be moved. This would take more time and money. Two, the kitchen already has a breakfast nook and I have a dining room as well. Do I really need that extra space? In the end I decided not to knock down the wall, keep the formal dining room, and stick with the original galley kitchen design. I wanted to keep the structure of the house as original as possible, so I decided to design the kitchen in a way that would lighten up the space while making it seem larger and brighter.
Instead of standard 30 inch cabinets I chose 42 inch maple wall cabinets painted white, which added additional storage and helped give the illusion of a larger kitchen. The wiring was replaced with new electrical circuits. Recessed and LED lighting replaced the fluorescent lights and drop ceiling. I chose a porcelain light gray tile for the floors that contrasted nicely with the cabinets.
Earlier in the summer I had a massive yard sale and sold enough to buy new appliances, including a dishwasher. All that hard work cleaning out and packing up endless amounts of clutter and trash paid off! Goodbye avocado fridge, hello beautiful stainless steel. I ordered a counter depth refrigerator that not only gave me an additional six inches of floor space, but also the look of a professionally designed built in fridge at a fraction of the cost.
There will always be compromises when it comes to renovating, but one thing I would not budge on was granite. I had to have granite countertops. Initially, I wanted to go with white but the more I researched the less I liked the idea. White countertops meant most likely going with marble or quartz. Marble was expensive, and (in my opinion) not very functional for a kitchen. Quartz was even pricer then marble. My other concern was that I would go overboard with my white and bright theme and washout the entire room. As much as I drool over the kitchens with white marble galore, my wallet and I decided that it was not meant to be.
So I headed back to the granite lot, and actually found granite that I liked better but was also much cheaper! It was meant to be. Since I had saved some money on the granite, I was able to have it custom cut so that the counter extended all the way to the window and over the radiator. This not only gives it a streamlined look, but additional counter space as well!
Out of all the rooms that have been renovated the kitchen is by far my favorite. Witnessing it transform from the dark mess it was to the beautiful and bright kitchen it is now was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.
Just a heads up, this is part one of a two part post. The kitchen reveal part two will unveil the breakfast nook of the kitchen, and how I incorporated some of the items left behind into my decor.