One of the largest and most expensive project’s Matt and I had to tackle during the renovation of our new house was the kitchen. Initially, including appliances, we budgeted about $8,000 to update the kitchen. Although we did end up going over budget, we felt that it was worth the upgrades we decided to add.
The original kitchen layout was in the shape of peninsula. I felt that the shape didn’t do our open concept home much justice and wanted to break the kitchen apart (as much as possible) from the rest of the house. I saw a picture on my Houzz application of a kitchen with an “L” shaped island and immediately fell in love. I asked my dad (who basically did all the contract work) if it was an option for us, and he said it was. SCORE! We were able to salvage the existing cabinets by taking them each apart, cleaning them up and painting them with a high-end glossy white paint. The end result was actually a lot nicer than I had anticipated. Once the cabinets were painted we laid them out into the new layout that we wanted. We were three (12 inch) base cabinets too short, so we had to do our best to find three new cabinets that matched. We also had to buy two new wall cabinets as well. Even though the new cabinets are a slightly different style, you honestly barely notice them since they are all bright white and have the same fixtures.
My dad thought it would be best to have 48 inches of walking space between both sides of the island, so we pushed the island out a little bit further than we had originally designed for. It actually worked out great because of where our refrigerator is located. With the pull out drawers there is plenty of space to pull out the vegetable drawer or freezer drawer and not be pushed up against the end of the island. This also allows for plenty of space to move around and cook in the kitchen. The originally kitchen did not have a hood above the stove, so we added a new European style stainless steel hood above our electric double oven range. I love the look of a hood rather than a microwave or added cabinetry. As you can see we shifted the stove down to the right by about a foot and fixed the awkward space between the wall cabinets.
We also moved the placement of the refrigerator from the right wall over to the left wall and added a (much needed) dishwasher. Since there was no more peninsula I thought the fridge was better suited on the left of the sink. So far we love the placement of all the appliances. I did a lot of research and tried to understand the whole “triangle” concept, but overall I think all of our appliances are easily accessible and functional.
Originally we thought we were going to have to buy laminate countertop, but since my dad was able to save us so much money in labor (he did all the work for free) we were able to upgrade at go with a medium grade granite. The lower end grade only came in light colors, which I thought would be too much white, so I am glad we upped our budget a little and went with a darker grey. We also decided to go with a 4 ½ inch granite backsplash. It really gives the kitchen a more “high-end” feel in my opinion and covers up a lot of the marks and imperfections that were left behind from the other countertop being removed.
In the end even we were impressed with the way our kitchen turned out. We have ample storage space and it’s perfect for entertaining. There is space to fit 6 stools around the island (comfortably) and we still have the open eat-in dining room. The counter space is enormous; over 75 square feet!! I guess this means it’s time for me to start learning how to cook!!
I’d love to see or hear about anyone else’s kitchen renovations, or what they wish they did differently. I know in the future we might choose to upgrade to custom cabinetry (when we have the budget), but for now the old restored cabinets are perfect.
Sooner than later,
The Tiny Professional