FINALLY! The kitchen renovation is finished! So, on this special edition of “Finish It Friday,” it’s time for the big reveal. (Warning: it’s a long-ish post with lots of pictures.)
I. Love. This. Kitchen. Love it. Love it. Love it.
But first…let me remind you what we started out with. Here is where I first posted pics of the old kitchen, but I want to put the pics here, too, to show you the amazing difference. I’m going to show the pictures in the same order, walking around the kitchen, for both the old kitchen pics and new kitchen pics.
Weird, wacky opening under the counter where we kept the dog food. That had to go!
The countertops were white laminate with wood trim. Not my style and not so practical.
The kitchen sink area. I loved the cast iron sink in theory, but I broke a lot of stuff when doing dishes – wine glasses, plates, etc.
The microwave shelf/cabinet thing drove me crazy. I’m too short for something like this – I hit my head on the dumb shelf all the time.
The old mudroom-ish area.
Last but not least, the old breakfast room.
The New Kitchen!
Now the wonky area where the dog food was before is gone, replaced by large drawers that hold our dishes. So much more practical and useful!
Our new five-burner cooktop! The stove that was here was replaced with deep drawers for pots and pans and smaller drawers for cooking and baking supplies. I organized the kitchen so that baking was on the left side and cooking was on the right.
On the cooktop, cooling, is the first thing I made in the new kitchen: homemade cornbread. Yum!
The new mud room area: we replaced the pegs with stronger (and prettier) hooks. We also created a line of hooks where the kids could reach them, so that maybe, just maybe, they would hang up their backpacks.
Here’s the inside of the pantry:
I love this kitchen for many reasons, but what I love most is that it’s so functional. What I mean is that everything is in a convenient place for using it when I cook. If I’m cooking on the peninsula area, then the knives and other cooking tools (like measuring cups and spoons, garlic press, etc.) are in the drawers right under where I’m working. The trash can and recycling bin are right behind me. The sink is right there. The oven is right next to that area, too. It just works. It makes everything easier.
Some design decisions we made that were key to this functionality include:
(1) Having a designated drawer for trash and recycling.
For as much as we recycle, it is much, much easier to put the recyclables in the bin in that drawer rather than walking outside to the big bin every time we need to recycle something. Plus, as I mentioned before, it’s right behind the area where I usually prepare our food, so I can just plop cans or plastic right in the bin while I’m cooking.
(2) Having deep drawers instead of bottom cabinets (or even a top cabinet).
We now have deep drawers instead of cabinets under the countertop. This design works much better, because I can put the dishes straight from the dishwasher into the drawers. I’m only 5’3″, so it’s much easier for me to put the dishes in the drawers rather than reaching up to a high upper cabinet.
(3) The pantry. Ah, the pantry.
I think the pantry may have been the best idea I’ve ever had. Period. Ever.
(4) The countertop.
The countertop is made of recycled glass, mirrors, and quartz. So, not only is it beautiful, but it’s green, too. It’s made from 75% recycled content and, because it is made of recycled glass and mirrors, it sparkles when the light hits it. Love that. It’s made by Eco by Cosentino, and the color is Crystal Ash. I ordered it from Lowe’s.
(5) I’m in the zone.
The organization of the kitchen allows me to set up “zones” for each function. I have a baking zone on the left side of the cooktop – that means that the ingredients for baking and the utensils I use when baking are all on that one side. Then I have a cooking zone on the right side of the cooktop, where I keep more of the cooking (v. baking) spices, oils, tongs, cutting boards, etc. On the other side of the kitchen, we have a dish or eating zone, where I have the drawers for the dishes, bowls, silverware, and plastic/glass storage containers. It works really, really well.
In case you are interested, here are some details about the materials we used in our kitchen:
(1) The appliances:
Refrigerator, double ovens, and cooktop – Kitchen Aid
Dishwasher and vent hood – Whirlpool
All from Lowe’s.
(2) Sink and faucet:
Sink – Kohler, from Home Depot
Faucet: from Ikea
(3) Tile: Misty Seaglass by Hampton Bay, from Home Depot.
(4) Paint: “Sesame” by Benjamin Moore. We used the Natura paint, which is zero VOC, no odor.
(5) Countertops: Eco by Cosentino in Crystal Ash, from Lowe’s.
(6) Cabinets: They are maple, and were custom-made by Brent the cabinet guy at Artistic Cabinets. They are gorgeous. Soft closing, too (love that).
(7) Hooks in the mudroom area: Home Depot.
I want to especially thank Hunter Reising Design and Build for their excellent work, especially Craig Reising, who basically built this kitchen by himself and worked countless late hours to get it done. Words will never be able to capture how grateful I am for this kitchen and the love and care they put into it.
I also want to thank Lauren, who was my liaison with Lowe’s, who not only kept the countertop people on track (if you follow the blog on Facebook, you know all about those trials and tribulations!) but also helped get us a new fridge when the first one wasn’t working. Also, Amanda at the Edgewood Lowe’s was amazing in helping me with the appliances and their delivery. Both of these women rock and understand what “customer service” really means.