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Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

We’ve now been in our house a little over 2 1/2 years and it’s still evolving.  I just can’t seem to resist moving things around.  I’m way overdue in sharing with you our kitchen tour ~ the before and after ~ don’t we all love before and after? After you finish reading Part 1 here, head over to see Part 2.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

So, a little background.  We closed on our house in October, 2012 after a very stressful, convoluted, soap-opera drama lasting 4 months.  It wasn’t us ~ it was one of the owners who didn’t want to move and the other had already moved out and it was very testy ~ if you get my drift.  We were willing to go through the hassle because we loved the location, the neighborhood, the lot (our backyard overlooks a wooded, dry creek bed), the possibilities of the house and it fit all our criteria: 3 bedrooms, master down, formal dining room, big kitchen, pool, and a place for Sweet Shark’s dream bar.

From the very beginning of our house search, we looked for a house to remodel, one that we could redo to our wants and needs.  As soon as we started our house search (right after we finalized the contract on our other house), I started a wish file, a folder with a tab for every room.  I highly recommend doing this if you’re dreaming about a remodel.  I filled it with pictures torn out of magazines (I spend a fortune on magazines.).  I followed Houzz religiously. (This was before I’d ever heard of Pinterest.)  When we found this house, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in most of the rooms, especially the kitchen, which, of course, would be the most important, and most expensive part of the remodel, but also the most fun.  So let’s get started on our kitchen tour ~ the before and after ~ with an overview of the layout. Here’s what the kitchen looked like before:

The Before

Just a little FYI: The before photos were taken in 2012 with my iPhone and the afters were taken in 2013 ~ 2015 with my iPhone, long before I knew how to use a DSLR or do proper editing so they are a bit (no, a lot) underwhelming. But I think you can appreciate the before and after.

This view of the kitchen is from the garage via the butler’s pantry (so excited to have one ~ that was a bonus!).  The ceilings are very tall so the kitchen has a really open feel.  Out of view on the right is the pantry and the refrigerator space.  The family room is to the left and the breakfast room area is straight ahead on the other side of the island with the sink.  The kitchen has two islands, but the middle one is going to go away (We’re going to re-use the granite countertop.); it did add counter space, but I felt it broke up the kitchen and would be in the way.  See the oven and microwave on the far right?  Bad location and the oven is 27″ wide.  Not good for half sheet pans.  Both of those appliances will be replaced and relocated.  See the ledge around the sink island?  It’s going away, too.  I need a flat counter for cooking classes.  The location for the sink and dishwasher will stay the same as well as the cooktop and vent.  I loved the view to the backyard then and even more today.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Here is a view of the kitchen from the family room. On the right, you can see where the refrigerator was.  That’s where the new oven will go.  The microwave will be relocated to the other side of the kitchen.  The current oven space will be replaced with the new pantry space.  Doesn’t look like much space for a pantry? Hang in here with me on that.  What do you think of the finish on the kitchen cabinets?  I actually had a kitchen years ago with that milk-washed look (I loved it then.) Think it’s staying?  Not a chance.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Here is another view from the family room.  You can now see the pantry with the double doors.  It was a walk-in pantry, but it was on the diagonal and took up a lot of visual and actual square footage.  That whole area will be removed and our new refrigerator will be flush against the back wall.  You can also see the opening into the butler’s pantry and on the left the door to the laundry room (Besides having a sink, the laundry room had another bonus surprise I’ll share later.)

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Across from the refrigerator and pantry space is a wall of upper and lower cabinets with drop-down desk area.  I’m going to have the counter one height.  See that blank space under the counter in the front of the picture?  That was a wine cooler that was supposed to stay, but mysteriously disappeared when the “owner” moved out.  Oh well, a new one will go in Sweet Shark’s new bar.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

My Original Plan

  1. The floor in the kitchen, butler’s pantry and laundry room was slate which we had in our other house and hated.  The family room has hardwood floors so we would replace the slate with hardwoods in the kitchen for a seamless transition from entry to family room to kitchen. We did decide to leave the slate in the laundry room and butler’s pantry.
  2. All new appliances ( jump up and down, yippee, woopee!)
  3. Replace all the dark granite with new granite in as light a color as possible.  I had granite in our other house and loved its wearability.  I love the look of marble, but it’s just not practical in a kitchen.
  4. New LED lighting, overhead, task lighting under cabinets, and pendants over the island.
  5. I had hoped that we could salvage some of the kitchen cabinets, just replacing the fronts and painting. Once our contractor and cabinet guy started poking around, we decided that the cabinets weren’t worth saving.  OUCH on the budget, but since we were moving so many elements around, we didn’t have much choice.  And today, I am so glad.  Not only are my new cabinets beautiful, they are so functional and well-built.  Well worth the cost.
  6. We would have mostly drawers, not cabinets, and the upper cabinets have mostly glass doors.
  7. My cabinets would be white and the color scheme would be blue, with touches of green and yellow. (I’ll show you my inspiration in another post.)

The Big Reveal of Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

I can honestly say, I got everything in this kitchen I wanted. Our cabinet guy was amazing and came up with stuff I never would have thought of.  A good cabinet man is worth his weight in gold (and he was!)

You can see my beautiful glass cabinets for display on each side of the vent and cooktop.  To the right is my new Viking double oven ~ love it! My new gas cooktop is a Wolf with four burners and a griddle in the middle.  See the tall cabinets on the left?  That’s my pantry and you won’t believe how much storage it has.  We opted to keep the glass blocks behind the cooktop because they let in so much light. Notice all my lower drawers? Love, love the functionality. You can also see my backsplash: white subway tiles with blue square glass from Daltile.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After
Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

The only lower cabinet in the entire kitchen to the left of the cooktop holds my mixer and food processor on the left side and a trash can on the right side

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Here is my new Viking oven and our Liebherr French door refrigerator. We had a SubZero fridge in our other house and loved it, but we switched to the Liebherr after we were told the features, warranty, and that it’s about 2/3 the cost of the SubZero. The two bottom drawers are both freezers. The cabinets to the right hold my strainers, ladles, toaster, popcorn maker and pasta maker. The cabinets above the oven hold cutting boards, trays and my 12 half sheet pans. The drawer below the oven holds my saucepan lids and a small griddle.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

On the wall opposite the refrigerator and ovens is the microwave oven. I knew I wanted a drawer model. It is so easier to get dishes in and out.  I’m on the short side and not having to reach up to get things out of the microwave is so much easier and safer.  I highly recommend it. This is a Sharp. The drawer below the microwave holds pie plates and Le Creuset.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After
Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

See those drawers to the left?  Here’s what’s inside.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

I told my cabinet guy I had to have file drawers in the kitchen and he delivered.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

We have two sets of upper cabinets on the same wall.  On the left is open shelving for some of my cookbooks.  The cabinets in the center holds everyday glasses and wine glasses.  The cabinets on the right hold our everyday dishes and my World Market entertaining plates.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After
Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

This bank of drawers is to the left of the sink in the island. It holds my parchment paper, utensils, storage containers, ramekins, Pyrex, and Corning ware.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After
Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

To the right of these drawers is my farmhouse, stainless sink from Kohler.  I love the big, deep bowl on the left.  A half sheet pan or a roasting pan fits in it.  Or I can fill it with soapy water to soak a pan.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

On the other side of the sink is the dishwasher.  We chose a Miele for its great cleaning ability and it is so quiet that you don’t know it’s on.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Back to the other side of the kitchen.  The tall cabinets on the left are the pantry.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

These four tall drawers hold an unbelievable amount of stuff and it’s all easily accessible from both sides. This is the left side.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Notice my cute chalkboard labels.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

The right side holds spices, oils, vinegar, canned goods, and my plastic wrap and foil that I buy at the restaurant supply store.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

Thanks for sharing our kitchen tour ~ Part 1.  Tomorrow I’ll share some more details, decorative accessories and my very favorite things in our kitchen.  I hope you enjoyed the tour and inspiration.  Please come back.

Our Kitchen Tour ~ The Before and After

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8 Comments

  1. Carol,
    You must be thrilled with your lovely kitchen. I put drawers in the lower cabinets of my last house, instead of pull-out shelves, and loved it. I am renting right now so can’t do that, put in a trash drawer or drawer microwave, all essentials to me. I love everything you have done and the decorative update as well.
    AOE
    Sharon

    1. Sharon, I’m so glad you like my bluesy kitchen. It makes me happy every time I’m in it ~ except for washing dishes! Drawers are the way to go. You can see everything in them and not have to get down on your hands and knees to see what’s in the back. Turn in tomorrow for Part 2.

    1. Thanks. It’s really helpful to have those files right in the kitchen. I have another file cabinet in the laundry room. Crazy place but that was the only place for it.

    1. Joanne, I’m so glad you liked my kitchen. White kitchens just say fresh, bright and happy to me plus you can accessorize in so many ways. Thanks for visiting.

    1. I’m so happy that you like my kitchen. I do have a great deal of storage, but I also have a ton of equipment. As a cooking instructor, I probably have more tools than the average person.

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