Monday, January 2, 2012

the kitchen project : before and after

You can read more about our kitchen project at the start here, a list of what we did and some in-process working photos.
Only (ahem) weeks after promised, here are before and after shots of our kitchen. Truth be told, we're still missing the final quarter-round trim along the bottom of the cabinets and base so we're not 100% finished. But we'll call it darn close.

 and after...
Our main goal with the choices we made was to have a bright, classic/neutral, durable, functional space that we could still be happy with in 18 years. We wanted to do absolutely as much of it ourselves as we could (which is why it took 5 months) to learn, appreciate and save some moolah. We were lucky that the previous owners had semi-recently updated all of the appliances and while they don't necessarily match each other they're in great shape and work perfectly so we didn't mess with them.

A few of the specifics:
The counters were really what spurred this entire project. They were very old plastic laminate with quite a few chips and stains - not to mention an awkwardly placed built-in cutting board an in-counter blender (a big metal plate with a button - when you pushed it a 30 year old broken blender popped up!) The counters had to go. There are obviously a lot of counter material options out there. Our absolute favorite is white marble, however its known to stain and these puppies needed to be ready for the long-haul. We didn't find a granite we were crazy about (we like a very monolithic look without a lot of grain/pattern to it) so it came down to solid surface (like Corian) or quartz/engineered stone. We really wanted a medium gray and had a hard time finding the right color in solid surface. Quartz is extremely hard and durable (again, looking for the long haul) and we ended up finding the perfect concrete-like gray.
It bugged us that the existing sink was not centered on the window - it was almost - but off enough that we noticed it. Also a personal preference, but we didn't like a double-bowl sink. We used one side 90% of the time and rarely touched the other. We had seen the Kohler Indio sink in a showroom before we even owned a house and declared it the perfect, most amazing sink ever. One big, beautiful basin with an offset faucet and drain. Extra bonus was that the offset faucet hides the fact that the sink isn't centered! This sink isn't crazy expensive - but it isn't the cheap basic model either. The quartz counters had to be cut to a specific sink dimension, meaning we were committing to a sink for as long as we have these counters (which is going to be a loooong time) so we decided it was best to go with what we really, really wanted. We were jazzed when this guy arrived.
The tile is matte white from American Olean's Profile collection. A very, very basic 3"x6" subway tile. We also purchased the coordinating edge trim pieces for our window sill. We decided to use a gray grout (I believe it's Delorean Gray from Home Depot.)
Heck yes that's a bottle of whiskey up there. Along with a few of my cookbooks that I wrapped in brown paper after seeing an image of something similar on Pinterest.
The floor is Johnsonite Linoleum. 'Lineoluem' has mistakenly been used to describe any sheet good flooring - when the majority of the products people are referring to are actually vinyl. Linoleum is a material that was used a lot in the past - it's being used more and more now as people chose it for the sustainable qualities (it's made with 95% natural materials like flax, wood, linseed oil and limestone) and the fact that it's very durable. We chose a medium gray that has a slight marbled pattern of lighter and darker grays and we've been really happy with it. Completely surprised at how good it is at hiding everything - our floor looks deceivingly clean even when it isn't quite so.
So many of the kitchen inspiration images I had pulled together had glass front cabinets. We didn't want to replace our doors so we got quote from a local cabinet company to retrofit our existing doors with glass. It came back around $230 (higher than we expected) - so we took a chance and tried it ourselves. My husband carefully removed the center panel (we tested this on one of the cabinets we had removed just in case). I had glass cut from Lowe's and put it in with clear silicone and added a little wood trim inside (email me if you want more info.) We were happy with how they turned out - and it was only $30!

That's the long-winded kitchen scoop. Let me know if you have any questions or would like more information!


a said...

gorgeous!! You did such a great job. It's so much brighter and lighter.

I love the linoleum, the glass in the cabinets, and the subway tiles.

such wonderful, classic choices that I am sure you will be happy with for years and years.

Meghan said...

It's INSANE! I love it! Nice work!

Kiley said...

SO AWESOME! Looks great!

Pesky Cat Designs said...