The Rest

Kitchen Remodel Progress Report

November 12, 2012

I recently shared that we are in the midst of a kitchen remodel. We’re a couple of weeks in and things are getting exciting, so I wanted to give you an update.

Before I get to what’s been done so far, let me break down what specifically needed updating and why.

1 – I love that we have a built-in spot for our refrigerator, but I hate that it’s too small for many of the refrigerators on the market today. Specifically, the opening needed to be taller.

2 – This area was built for the previous owner’s TV. We don’t use it for that, resulting in this awkwardly sized, open cabinet.

3 – This counter space was too small to be a workspace and had become a catch-all. This whole area needed better function.

4 – The main kitchen lighting was a fluorescent light box, which we hated.

5 – The room has nine foot ceilings and could have accommodated taller cabinets. That left a large area between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.

6 – The countertops were laminate, with a wood edge. I’m sure the wood edge was beautiful when installed, but years of water and wear & tear left it looking worn. The countertops were white (i.e. they showed everything) and the backsplash had burgandy and hunter green accent tiles ,which really dated the space.

7 – The island had lots of room for storage, but it was just one, large space with no shelves or drawers, and therefore no functionality. The pots and pans stored there became one, large jumbled mess. There was often a large crash followed by swearing when trying to pull a pan from the bottom of the pile.

8 – The previous owners had this sliding door put in for their dog bowl. I didn’t mind it so much; it was kind of a conversation piece. And my son used to stash his treasures in there when he was young. In fact, we pulled a bunch of Pokemon cards out of it when we were cleaning out the kitchen. (That may or may not have made me tear up just a bit.) But the real issue was that the opening required a big box built inside the island, which took up valuable storage space. So it was time for the dog bowl/Pokemon area to go.

So now that you know what the issues were, here’s where we are today…

The fluorescent light is gone and has been replaced with four new can lights and wiring for two pendants that will go over the island. The popcorn ceiling was scraped and replaced with a textured knock-down ceiling.

FYI: That dining room table in the next room is not a scene from Hoarders, although we’re living a bit like hoarders right now. The dining room and living room are where everything had to go while all this is taking place. You discover just how much your kitchen holds when you have to move everything out of it.

The built-in area for the fridge was pulled out and raised a few inches to accommodate a larger refrigerator. The area around the bottom will be trimmed out and then painted when the cabinets are painted so it should appear pretty seemless.

A new cabinet was built next to the refrigerator to accommodate a microwave and a couple of shelves for cookbooks, etc.

New granite countertops have been installed, along with an undermount sink. A new faucet and soap dispenser will also be added.

A white, beveled subway tile backsplash is up and is being grouted as I type.

Under cabinet lighting has been installed to provide both task lighting and to highlight the granite.

A new island was built and is my favorite thing so far. Is it too dramatic to say that it’s life-changing? Probably.

But the new island is six inches longer than the old one and has two pull-out drawers for pots and pans. It also has built-in, vertical storage for cutting boards, cookie sheets, and platters. I am definitely in love.

So what’s left to do?

  • Crown moulding will be installed all around the top of the kitchen. The will visually shrink the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Some other trim work remains as well.
  • Three cabinets doors are being replaced with glass fronts to add a little character. That’s why you see cabinet doors off in various pictures. I was experimenting with different cabinets in order to make a final decision.
  • All the cabinets, woodwork, and walls are being painted and new cabinet hardware installed.
  • New light fixtures will go up over the island and over the kitchen table (that area is not shown in these pictures).
  • Finally, new appliances are being installed. We’re keeping the existing double ovens, but will have a new microwave (our old one has already died), dishwasher (on it’s last legs), a larger refrigerator. The new cooktop is already in place in these pictures.

All of this should all be done in another two weeks, give or take. I look forward to getting everything back in place and showing you the finished result!

  1. Julie! Oh my! This looks awesome!!! Okay, so I’m a little jealous of the kitchen island. You ended up with an electric stove? Which is the reason you can have that awesome pull out drawers below!

    I LOVE the subway tile and may do the same in my kitchen…either that or wainscoting.

    Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!!! You lucky girl!!

    1. Sharon, thank you and thank you also for giving me feedback on your cooktop. My first choice was gas, but we decided not to go with that because of the cost of running a gas line to the island and also the lack of ventilation. I went with an electric induction cooktop, which is supposed to have many of the advantages of cooking with gas, namely super quick temperature adjustments. Hope I like it!

  2. Julie,

    Your photos show great details regarding the changes. Everything looks absolutely awesome. I, too, have a white kitchen and want to change it to a warm wood tone, but maybe I need to rething that…thanks to you!
    T :)

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