You have probably since bits of my kitchen before, as I spend a lot of time here and it’s where I photograph most of my projects. But you would like a tour?
Before the Kitchen Renovation
When we bought this house four years ago, the flooring in the kitchen and adjoining family room was an aztec tile. So on the first day, friends joined us for the hard job of removing the tile. Without explaining our whole house update, we put new unstained hardwood in the kitchen and family room and had the wood in the rest of the house sanded down. We then stained the whole house, the existing wood in the rest of the house and the new wood in the kitchen and family room, all the same colour.
Now I should show you how our kitchen looked when we bought the house.
We had one month to renovate before we moved into this house. Here are the challenges that we faced:
- The perimeter cabinets were in good condition but we did not like the colour.
- On the long pantry wall, one of the cupboards had a cut-out for the microwave, which broke up the whole line.
- I am all about symmetry and it bothered me that there were two glass front cabinets on one side of the stove and two closed cabinets on the other. My goal was to have both sides to be balanced.
- The kitchen sink was in the island and we wanted it under the window. The window was off centre from where the sink would be placed, so this was a good reason to replace the window. A cupboard would have to be removed first.
- The fridge was the first thing you saw when you entered the room and not enclosed.
- The island was too small for our needs and far away from the perimeter cabinets.
This is what we tackled as part of our kitchen renovation. All in one month before we moved in, with work taking place in other parts of the house at the same time.
New Pantry Door
We had a new door made for the pantry wall, that had the cut-out for the microwave. We were lucky enough to find the same craftsman who built the original cabinets and asked him to build new doors for the one section of cabinet.
When we removed the microwave from the pantry wall, this left a big cabinet with an outlet inside. This is useful for charging various things. I keep most of my small appliances in there and for the most part, when I want to use them, I take them out and put them on the adjacent island. We have a plug there, specifically for this purpose.
New Window as Part of the Kitchen Renovation
We had a new window installed. Previously, when the sink was in the island two windows were installed and the wall between the two of them was right where the sink would be. We installed new windows which have a big pane so that there is a clear view when looking out the window from the sink into the screened-in porch and then the river beyond. We also removed a cupboard to make that happen.
Moved the Sink
As for the sink we used a double-basin deep, square stainless sink. I personally like double basins as you can wash in one and dry in the other and you don’t have drying dishes on the counter. This tall gooseneck faucet is a superstar rinser and cleaner.
Debated Moving the Fridge
We discussed several options for relocating or boxing-in the fridge. If we were putting in a whole new kitchen, I would have tucked the fridge in the pantry wall. But this would require moving the door to the dining room and other structural changes. I didn’t want to break up the run of cabinets on the stove wall, so in the end, we decided to leave the fridge where it was. Boxing it in would cause a strange connection with the beam above. We did buy a counter-depth fridge though and that helps to minimize the impact. I still look at that fridge every day and wish it was somewhere else, but there was no other realistic solution.
Painted the Perimeter Cabinets
The biggest change was painting the perimeter cabinets. The colour I chose is Benjamin Moore Simply White. We had the cabinet doors sprayed off site by RLD Industries and the cabinet bases were painted by roller. The colour change was dramatic and really brightens up the whole space.
If I was designing this kitchen from scratch, I would put all drawers on the bottom. But since I was not, I was pleased there there were an existing bank of drawers that are so useful. I use the top one for my spices. The middle door is where we keep our dishes. And the bottom drawer is where all of the plastic ware lives. In the other bottom cabinets that are not not drawers, I keep less used things like big pots and bowls and baking dishes.
When installing the doors back on after they were painted, I realized that the upper cabinet doors on either side of the stove were slightly different sizes. I had wanted to split them up for balance, but I was not able to do that.
Counter Tops and Backsplash
For the counter top on the perimeter we used a grey quartz called. I can’t tell you how much I love this material. It is so easy to use and maintain.
For the backsplash we chose subway style grey marble tiles. I like how they give a bit of movement but are not too jarring to the eye.
Built a New Island
I have intentionally not talked about the island as this is a hardworking power house unto itself. We created a 7’3″ by 5″ island with the rest of our hardworking appliances in it. We chose a marble-like quartz to top that. This ties in well with the grey on parameter. Check back next week and I will give all the details about the island.
As in most homes, this kitchen is really the heart of the home. The kitchen and family room are all one room. My favourite thing is that I can prepare food in the kitchen and be part of life in the family room.