Or how we went from this to this and then some
When we were looking for our second house in Phoenix, there were some things that I was very particular about. The kitchen and an open floor plan!
We had 2.5 year old twins at the time and an open floor plan was vital! I had no intentions of knocking down walls and I certainly had no intentions of having the kids play where I couldn’t be watching them.
But the kitchen was the running joke between the realtor and me after a while. I probably drove her crazy. I didn’t actually want a new kitchen necessarily, I just wanted one with good bones that we wouldn’t have to tear out and start over to update it.
So, when we found this house, the open concept was there AND a very good bones kitchen. The layout was great, the cabinets were in good shape, all be it a rather ugly (to me) 80s orange-brown stain.
And don’t you just love the blinds and the “gorgeous” light fixture!
But the kitchen was relatively large, had lots of cupboard storage and the cabinets were solid wood that really only had issues at the hinges! So, this was pretty much the kind of “good bones” kitchen I had been looking for!
First we redid all the worktops with Corian Counters, extended the island top a foot out, so it can serve as a breakfast bar one day when the kids are older.
See how cleverly they fixed it, so there would be no braces underneath the island counter top? This went down before they added the Corian!
The countertops are totally gorgeous! I love how they are just cool enough naturally to serve as an awesome way to roll out pastry dough.
It is totally seamless. I know there were seams, but there was no way I could find it after it was installed!
We also went with an inset sink made from the same material, but a different color.
And the different color is the only way you can tell that it must be added in, but there is no visible seam or any other way to tell there is a seam.
The countertop is so easy to keep clean, it is shiny and gorgeous and oh so durable! And no maintenance whatsoever. I know that granite is all the rage these days, but to be honest, I’ve never been all that fond of most of it. And I rather have the “busy” focus on the gorgeous back splash tiles than the countertop. But that’s just me
And speaking of the glass and travertine mosaic back splash! *swoon*
I searched for the best part of a year before I found this one. I looked at so many sheets of mosaic glass tiles, I almost went blind. I looked online, in specialty stores … and in the end I found these which were exactly what I was looking for – at Home Depot online of all places!
When we pulled the old counters and backings off, we found a multitude of “interesting” things like this one:
Initially I was going to stain the cabinets myself, but to be honest, I had no confidence that I would be able to get even coats of stain gel onto these cabinets. Let’s face it, with two little ones the maximum uninterrupted time span is about 10 minutes on a good day
So, I decided to research and found some local people that do cabinet refinishing. We found a company that gave us a pretty good price, made the color absolutely to order and not only that, they helped me to remedy one of my kitchen pet peeves – the wasted space above the cabinets!
I have always disliked the large gaps that 80s kitchens left on top … which is perfectly usable space – maybe not for things you use on a daily basis, but certainly space that comes in handy for storing lesser used things!
So they custom built boxes and doors to match our existing ones and since we were refinishing anyway, made them all look the same! And the open shelf above the window just opens things up a little too!
And my husband and I are pretty tall, so the high cupboards work just fine for us
They did the whole refinishing of the kitchen in a total of 3 days.
This is what happened.
First everything got taped up. I never needed to empty my cupboards either, can you believe that? I did have to empty the drawers, as the fronts needed to be unscrewed, but that was a minor inconvenience!
Then everything got sanded down. But because they had everything taped up so well, the dust stayed well within their little plastic “tent.”
Then they proceeded with several coats of stain. The casings were done in the kitchen, the doors in the garage.
We also replaced the hinges since the old ones were a little tired and didn’t close the doors so well anymore.
Then came the hardware!
I got a really good deal on some handles on ebay about 1.5 years ago, in anticipation of a kitchen makeover! I got 35 of them and paid something like $1.25 each and free shipping! Once they were on the newly redone, they were just perfect!
And then we built a custom spice shelf. You can see on the first picture how I had my spices arranged in the old kitchen. Can you say crowded counter top??
And here it is with the shelf that keeps them off the counter top.
I had previously had round spice tins, but I changed to square ones since they fit much better and my spice tins were old by then anyway and new ones were in order.
I also chose tins with a window lid, which I LOVE! I designed the labels in Photoshop and printed on clear labels, so from a distance they are not visible as labels!
How it all turned out! This kitchen is gorgeous, even if I do say so myself!
We added a woven wood blind to the window and then I added some finishing touches, like these glass bubbles filled with air plants to the large window.
We also changed the light fixture. Yes, I know, such a shame to remove that lovely florescent light box! *grin* Later when we were doing construction on the house we also added some recessed lighting throughout the house. 5 went also into the kitchen area. So now we have several lighting choices in the kitchen too. No more dim lights in the kitchen!
So, here we go one more time.
We went from this:
I do still want to add cabinet drawers to the lower cabinets, but that is a whole different project altogether!