|Newly updated kitchen|
It all started because my basement refrigerator died. Realizing that it would be best to just relocate our kitchen refrigerator downstairs, was the start of our kitchen update. I say update because we didn't do any major renovations, just an update of the appliances, counter tops, furniture, paint, lighting and window treatments. Believe me, it felt more than that, but in the end it was all worth it.
|Kitchen before the update|
Our home is only about 20 years old and the existing kitchen echoed it. White appliances scream 90's, so that's where we began. Honestly, I never thought I'd get so excited about kitchen appliances, but I did. The hardest part was finding a refrigerator that served our purposes and fit within the existing space. One thing I did not want to do was cut into the existing, beautiful cabinetry.
Luckily we found one from Fisher & Paykel which worked perfectly. I didn't really care about the dishwasher as long as it was
quiet, but the stove I did. I love the new stove which is automated yet very easy to use and clean. We also added under cabinet lighting and an extra light over the sink to enhance the lighting in the kitchen, and believe me- what a difference ambient lighting makes! I put in a new, large and deep stainless steel (chef) sink with a trendy bronze faucet to complete the appliances.
|Perimeter counter top design|
The counter tops were more difficult to decide on.
We used elements of the earth and the ocean as our inspiration. However when it was all installed, particularly on the island where I do all the prep for my cooking, there seemed to be too much movement in the pattern. Ultimately, what we decided to do was re-purpose the island counter in the adjacent laundry room and put a more solid counter top to 'anchor' the kitchen. The black counter top is not a solid, it does have a pattern which resembles a summer starry night. Working in the design and construction industry for 25 years and married to an architect, you'd think I'd get the concept of form follows function..... my bad. As for the shape, we
added depth in order to create an overhang which matched the eyebrow style of the cornice over the sink window. Since everything in the kitchen was square, it was nice to add some curves and rounded edges, similar to the small stand and new, Pottery Barn kitchen table and counter stools. Also had complimentary back splash tile installed which tied a tight bow around the L-shaped counter to add dimension where all the 'light' was. We opted for more subtle colors to blend in seamlessly with the new color palette.
|Re-purposed counter in laundry|
|Galley view- note new stove and tile|
The existing muted eggplant wall color was changed to more of a green-putty color to compliment the kitchen elements rather than fight with them. I made the purple work for 7 years by complimenting it with sage green, but now it was time to move on to a more sophisticated palette. I also removed the outdated appliance garage and replaced the stain glass insert in the cabinet door above it to blend more seamlessly with the new design.
|New granite bar top|
Ok, now on to scope creep. Happens in all the projects I've been involved in professionally, the same happened with my kitchen. Since we were having work done, we figured that we'd tear out the laminate counter on the built-in bar in the adjacent den and put in a nice granite top. All I can say is WOW! And then, since our 8 ft. slider was rotting from the outside, we had the slider and trim replaced and stained to match the cabinets. Lastly was the window treatments and the rugs.
The take-away from my kitchen update: Hire designers and contractors that really listen to you. I hired Laurene McGarry-Bissell of Eclectic Design, Inc. in Glastonbury, CT www.ecticdesigninc.com and she says:
|New kitchen table|
|Custom window treatment|