We still have our old house, and I've been spending every night over there putting and sanding nail holes, then painting rooms, for a week.
It is not what you would call fulfilling work. Still -- it needs to be done, so let's just look past the fact that last night I was there for six hours and managed to touch up the foyer and Amelia's room with the wrong grey paint, shall we?
On to the kitchen! Many of you thought I should have left the kitchen alone. We could have done that, but I really didn't like the layout of the appliances and sink, and after having lived with Absolute Black granite countertops for more than 10 years, I was ready to go for something a lot lighter.
(Sorry that picture is so blown out. I shoot fully automatic and it was a really sunny day.)
My main objective with the new layout was to get the sink out of the peninsula. I'm sure there are many moms who work full-time who manage to clear all the dishes out of their sinks every night. I'M NOT ONE OF THEM. Our sink routinely fills up to the top before I get the dishes rinsed moved into the dishwasher. Because six people? We use a lot of dishes on a daily basis.
And the thought of all those dishes being front and center in the kitchen all the time with nowhere to hide ... the mere THOUGHT of that drove me to distraction. So the sink needed to move a wall. Bonus with that, as my friend Lisa pointed out, was that it would leave the entire peninsula open for serving.
My other main goal was to get the microwave down below eye level. In these pictures, the trim kit isn't installed (because the wrong size was ordered), but eventually it will look built-in to that little nook there. I just don't like an appliance that stares me in the face all the time, and you don't NEED a microwave at eye level for any functional reason. Plus, this makes it easier for the kids to use on their own.
We really had no need for the built-in desk and hutch that were so popular in the '90s, so I took that out. Instead, I wanted a feature wall that we could enjoy when we looked over from the breakfast area.
I don't know if you're familiar with "witch's hats," but that's a term used to describe the type of vaulted ceiling we have in our breakfast area. Ours had water damage and every seam was cracked. You could see where repairs had been attempted (likely several times) in the past, but our contractor said that it's almost impossible to keep drywall from cracking in this type of area. I also didn't care for the way the crown molding broke up the area ... it made your eye just stop right in the middle. So, my solution to these issues was to take down the crown and install beams.
No more visible cracks, and although the change in paint color still gives you a visible sense of where the wall ends and ceiling begins, I don't think it's quite as jarring as the crown was.
I don't have a great Before picture of the new sink/refrigerator wall, but it used to house the drop-in stove, microwave and double wall ovens. Also, the cabinets stopped well above the ceiling.
With the new design, the sink, dishwasher and fridge were moved to that wall, and you'll notice that the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. That gives us an additional shelf in each cabinet all the way around the room.
I asked the cabinetmaker to give me a very simple crown, which is the simplest I've ever seen. I didn't want it to compete with anything else in the room, and I'm absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out. I wish I had it throughout the entire house!
My contractor is a talented carpenter, and I asked him to make shaker-style newel posts for me to coordinate with the kitchen cabinets. They're a far cry from the original oak ones!
Last, just some shots of a few of the details. Brushed-nickel hardware on the cabinets.
An oil-rubbed bronze faucet. I don't mind mixing finishes in a room if it makes sense. No more than two finishes, probably. But our doorknobs are all oil-rubbed bronze, and I love the old-world look of a bronze faucet. However, I thought that the contrast of the bronze against the grey and white paint on the cabinets would be too much. I wanted the nickel there, just to make the hardware blend in a little more. Forty-something or whatever bronze handles just seemed like a lot for the eye to take in. (That's a lot of explanation. WELCOME TO MY EXHAUSTING BRAIN.)
GE Cafe double oven
Allen + Roth herringbone carrara tile with pewter grout
Crate & Barrel Large White Finley Light
Coming soon, I promise.