Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Kitchen: Before and After

This summer, we updated our kitchen.

(But, then I went and, you know, had a baby. And, kind of neglected to update you amidst all the sweet baby preparation.)

Y'all helped us BIG TIME with picking out the sink and the countertops. I'm so glad you all are so opinionated because your advice and suggestions were very, very helpful.

Well, our kitchen is finished. At least the remodeling part of it. I still have some decorating to do, but the remodeling part of it is complete.

And, we are SO happy with it!


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How about I show you some before and afters?

First, let me say that we started out with a very nice kitchen. It's one of the main reasons we bought our house. We loved the large size of it, the layout, and the light that comes through the many windows. We weren't doing a complete remodel - just giving it a "facelift", per say.

The cabinets, appliances, and flooring did not change. Which, when considering the cost of a full remodel, are the biggest expense.

But, our kitchen needed some help. Cosmetically. And, functionally.

Here is our kitchen before. This is a photo from the previous owners.

What we didn't like: The country green walls, the white laminate countertops, the sink and faucet, and the lack of a backsplash. It felt outdated and uninviting and just had no cohesive design.



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This is our kitchen after.


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What did we do?

- We had the walls painted in Hardware by Sherwin-Williams. I wanted to give the kitchen a more modern feel, and chose this steely grayish green color to accomplish that. I wanted the backdrop of the kitchen to feel a bit industrial - saving the splashes of color for decor - and almost went with a straight gray color. But, this color won over all the others.

- We expanded and reshaped the island to make it larger.

- We added a backsplash.

- We replaced the white laminate countertops with Giallo Fiorito granite.

This is the before photo of our coffee station. (Yes, we are coffee guzzlers and have a coffee station. The coffee and mugs sit in the cabinet right above the coffee maker. Makes the early mornin' stumble into the kitchen a bit easier - as well as not having guests opening every cabinet door looking for mugs.)

Here you can see the old wall color (on the right) contrasted with the new color (left). SO much less "country".


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Here is that same space after. You can really see the difference the backsplash and countertops made to the space.


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Besides being outdated, the white countertops were just so - white! Almost blinding white in the areas where the sun shines through in the morning.


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The granite softened and updated the kitchen. Now, instead of blinding us, we love the light that comes through the windows and reflects off of the granite.


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Do you remember helping me work through choosing a sink?

This was our sink before. It was a 50/50 sink that was so shallow and small that I had a terrible time washing baking dishes, pots, and cookie sheets. And, the faucet was so close to the sink that I couldn't get a stock pot under the faucet to fill it. Not to mention the outdated, leaky black sprayer.


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Here is our new 60/40 extra deep, undermounted sink. I love, love, love the functionality and beauty of it. The undermounting makes cleanup so easy and having the larger side for the dishes and the smaller side for food prep is PERFECT for this cook.


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This was the old faucet. It was literally right on top of the sink.


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Since I do so much cooking and baking (which then results in an insane amount of dishes), we splurged on the faucet. I think this faucet is my favorite part of the kitchen. This thing rocks.


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It operates so easily with one handle.


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And, I could get the world's biggest stock pot into the sink and fill it under it. I also love the pull down sprayer. It stops and starts with the push of a button so I can fill a pot next to the sink (if it's full of dirty dishes), and stop it when bringing it back. Love that feature.


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The other side of the kitchen - looking out from the island, underwent a transformation with just a coat of paint.

I fell in love with this double-sided fireplace the first time we saw the house. And, I loved the idea of having a large eat-in kitchen so that my family and friends could sit and eat and chat right where I was cooking and baking.

But, the paint color on that side of the kitchen was very blah. Here was this beautiful fireplace that was lost amidst all the blahness. And, the striking white moldings were hardly noticeable against such a light shade of beige.

This is the before of the other side of our kitchen - taken by the previous owners.


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This is our eat-in area after.


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We continued the same paint color throughout the whole kitchen. The fireplace came alive and the moldings and trim are now on full display. (I love how this paint color takes on different hues in different light. It's one of the things I really like about it.)

Our large dining table now sits in the middle of this space and this is where we eat all of our meals. In fact, we turned our formal dining room into something else (I'll be posting about that soon!) This table is very special to me. I'll share its story another time.


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The bay window area - where the previous owners had a small, country-looking table - now serves as a sitting area. I keep our two extra dining chairs here and often watch the boys out on the deck from here with a cup of coffee in hand.


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My husband bought me this sign one day several years ago as we strolled through the streets of Holland, Michigan - one of my favorite places on earth. It's a great reminder to me that my love for Jason and his love for me - well, it's responsible for all of the beautiful chaos in our kitchen at mealtimes.


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Speaking of reminders, this sits above the sink on my kitchen window sill. I need to be reminded when I'm up to my eyeballs in dishes that something very special is happening when my family and friends gather around a meal together - memories are being made! And, some of my favorites have happened around a good meal.


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You'll rarely enter my kitchen that a Pumpkin Spice candle isn't burning. It's my favorite kitchen scent - all year round. I cleaned out Pier 1's clearance section of them 3 years ago and I'm still working my way through them.


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That is our kitchen. I'm so thankful for it. It's where I experiment and create and enjoy what I love doing. It's where I find comfort and solace and some measure of control in this crazy life of mine.

And, where I'm snapping away - taking the photos you see of the food I love to make and serve to my family.

Thank you for letting me share it with you.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, Sarah - your kitchen is just gorgeous! It's exactly like I see on all those HGTV shows! You have great taste, girl! I'm so happy for you - for all the same reasons that you yourself love it. =)

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  2. What a gorgeous kitchen! It looks so cozy and warm. I want to come visit!

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  3. this is so beautiful- you must be so proud to own this!!

    Did you mention the paint color- I'm in love?!

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  4. I can already see that you are in love with your new home and making it homey. How many pictures have you hung of your boys? I hope you are finding perfect spots to show your gift with your camera :D

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  5. Beautiful! What a cozy place to grab the morning coffee! Thanks for posting so many great before and after photos.
    -Cas

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  6. wow. i am so very very envious! what a beautiful home and kitchen. i wish more english homes were a bit more open plan! its amazing what you have made!

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  7. The kitchen is beautiful, but the dining area is really striking. Amazing job!

    Just one question: why on earth is your coffee pot so far from the sink? Don't you get tired of walking back and forth to fill it?

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  8. Alyssa,

    Two reasons that the coffee station is there:

    1. I like the coffee pot to be next to the fridge where the milk/cream, etc. is. Makes it convenient when company is here. Also, I'm a flavored creamer junkie and go rooting around in the fridge throughout the day changing up my creamer when I refill my mug.

    2. The door to my husband's office is right behind the coffee area. Since he works from home, he can quickly refill his coffee cup throughout the day by stepping just outside his office.

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  9. It is absolutely beautiful, Sarah. I so wish I had a kitchen like yours. Enjoy!

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  10. Ohhh!!! I LOVE the wall color!!! It makes the whole room! Great choice :)

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  11. kelly jo,

    The paint color we chose is called "Hardware" by Sherwin-Williams.

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  12. It's beautiful Sarah!

    Very warm and inviting!

    Mind if I play SL@H I spy? ;)

    Love the rocking chairs on the mantle too!

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  13. Gorgeous! It makes me want to get busy cooking. I love, love, love the little chairs on the mantel!

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  14. It is just gorgeous! I love the way everything looks. I'm thinking it's time for us to come for a visit!

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  15. Wow! With a kitchen like that, why would you ever want to leave it? It's beautiful and homey and inviting and stylish! So happy for you!!!

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  16. I love it! You have an eye for decorating. The kitchen is grand!

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  17. Your kitchen is gorgeous! And your baby is beautiful! As well as your other boys. A beautiful family..........

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  18. I wanted to ask you what paint color you used, and also and more importantly: what did you do to the bricks? It looks like they're shinier and even darker. I have a whole wall of hearth and it's just so worn out looking but have been thinking of what I can do to make it come alive. Thanks in advance!

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  19. you did a fantastic job By the way!!

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  20. The kitchen paint (Hardware) definitely looks gray but the sitting area looks very brown. Are they the same color? I'm ready to paint my kitchen and am looking for a brown similar to the brown near the French doors. Can you please clarify if it too is Hardware or what color it is? Your kitchen is beautiful!

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