Despite the stress of the water damage delay into getting our new home , the kitchen remains one of my favorite places. The kitchen we had in the old place was small, narrow and had old appliances that echoed back to the early 1980s. We eventually replaced the refrigerator and microwave and in my opinion, the new appliances only emphasized how old the original appliances were. But we were just renters and really had no say in what we wanted. I was unattached to the kitchen.
I knew from the get go that that I wanted the kitchen in our new home to be vastly different. There’s a nice walk-in pantry, the kitchen window overlooks our enclosed patio and mini garden and almost everything is new. But this remodel didn’t come without a lot of stress.
Here’s a rundown of changes to the kitchen. (Click on the images to see a larger photo.)
- Cabinets/Counters: To this day, the repair to our kitchen is not entirely complete – there’s still visible damage to the cabinet exteriors that will eventually be handled by the insurance company. As much as I would have loved to have all the cabinets replaced, the insurance company deemed that it was far faster and easier to rebuild the damaged cabinets from the inside out and keeping the original faces. The funky, decorative countertops were replaced with a plain white tile with bullnose edges to prevent drips from spilling onto the floor. Until the cabinet surfaces are repaired, we’re holding onto our deductible.
- Floors: The wood laminate was replaced with a blue-gray QuickStep resembling granite that starts in the kitchen and continues into the living room. The original flooring was nice, but if we hadn’t torn it out, we wouldn’t have discovered the water beneath until mold started appearing on our walls.
- Paint: To continue on with the gray theme, we painted over the bilious green paint in the kitchen with the same light gray used in the upstairs bathroom. The kitchen can be unusually dark in the mornings and I wanted light paint to open things up. The inside of the pantry is a semi-gloss dark gray for no other reason than we had a lot of dark gray paint.
- Lighting: The gold track lighting was replaced with a ceiling fan/light combo to cool down the kitchen during late summer months.
- Appliances: The former owner took the refrigerator and left the dishwasher and stove but we replaced everything. We bought our appliances while the kitchen was being destroyed/repaired. Mistakes were made.
We ordered a gas stove but we had to exchange it for an electric one once we realized we actually didn’t have gas hook-ups. We also discovered our first choice of refrigerator was one inch too deep for the space when we couldn’t open the dishwasher all the way without a collision. Exchanging the stove wasn’t a hassle since it hadn’t been delivered yet, but we only discovered the refrigerator/dishwasher conflict until after they were delivered. Stress ensued for two weeks. Home Depot initially wouldn’t let us return the refrigerator, then added a hefty restocking and pick-up fee. Then there was the whole process of finding a counter-depth refrigerator. After much research and legwork, we settled on a Fisher Paykel model from the helpful fellas at Appliance Alley that completely blew our appliance budget. Home Depot eventually picked up their fridge at no cost to us (well, minus their standard restocking fee).
We both learned a lot from this and will be taking the refrigerator with us to our graves. The ceramic top electric stove took some getting used to but I’ve adjusted (i.e. no more burned food) and the convection option for the oven is simply amazing. There’s a lot to be said to having an oven with no built-up grime. Everything is so shiny.
- Art: Another selling point with the kitchen was the area above the buffet area. I foresaw a lot of prints being hung up. I finally gave in and purchased a Donuts & Robots print from Eric Joyner. Another new addition was a cooking conversion chart and the marquee letters spelling EAT from Etsy. And the cupcake painting was a wedding gift from our talented friend and former downstairs neighbor, Sandra Corey. (The previous owner had a lot of rooster art.)
- Miscellanous: I love the shelves above the sink to hold our cookbooks and various nicknacks. (Look for the emergency monkey candle.) The top glass shelf will eventually be replaced with tempered glass per recommendation of the home inspector.