The last kitchen remodel we completed dramatically changed it from dark and dated to bright and airy . I wanted to share the story behind it with you, as well as the before and after pictures.
What needed to be changed
When the clients moved into their home, almost 10 years ago, they knew they would want make changes to their kitchen, but they wanted to live in the home first before settling on any renovations. After awhile, the changes needed in the kitchen became clear to them.
First, the kitchen was very dark. The adjoined family room has big, dramatic windows facing the east that you would think would flood the space with natural light in the mornings. But the kitchen cabinets were dark and heavy and absorbed a lot of the light instead of reflecting it. So, the space still felt too heavy and dated for them.
Second, the builders had desired to design an island with a unique shape. You can see in the before pictures that they created a large triangular shaped, bar height island. At first glance, it looks like it was a lot of great counter space for cooking, prepping, and eating. But it was so deep and high that all it was awkward and unusable. So, they wanted to rip it out and create a much smaller and more use-able island.
Third, they had a desk area in their breakfast room that was completely wasted space for them and ended up being a catch all. They entertain a lot so they wanted to turn it into a dry bar area.
Fourth, they wanted it to be overhauled and updated!
We decided we wanted to give the new kitchen a rustic, transitional feel. So here is what we did:
In order to lighten and brighten the space, we painted the cabinets white. We also decided on white because it is a timeless look. In order to update the cabinets, we took off the rope detailing from the crown and raised the upper cabinets to the ceiling. This helped to make the space feel larger also – when you have a definitive line running below the ceiling height, it effectively stops the eye and can make a room feel smaller that it is. Sometimes that is a good, but not in this case.
We also removed the dark granite counter tops and dated travertine backsplash and replaced them with a gorgeous gray, taupe, and white granite and simple white subway tile with waves and dimples for added texture. The new granite helped to create an inspiration and focal point for the room, and the white backsplash kept the long linear line of the cabinets moving which helped to brighten the space and make it feel larger.
We didn’t want it to be too white though, so we pulled out a warm gray from the granite to paint the island cabinets. This helped to create contrast and more visual interest.
The awkward shaped island counter was removed. Instead, we followed the existing line of the L-shaped base, making it deep enough for eating and conversation. We also decided to give the sheet rock wrapped column and island base more presence by covering them with wood veneer and adding trim moldings. This gave the island more architectural depth and updated the look.
Finally, we took out the old desk in the breakfast room and brought in new custom base cabinets that raised it counter height and installed a beverage refrigerator. We treated the back wall with ship-lap that ran in a vertical, random pattern from the counter top, up the wall, and covered the ceiling of the small alcove it sat in. Open shelving was installed in places of closed cabinets to display glasses and additional bottles and bar ware.
The Final Product
The final product is a bright and airy kitchen that the homeowners can love for years to come!
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Do you only need a little bit of advice so you can do it on your own? I have consultation services for that, linked right here.