By far the largest investment in any home renovation project is the kitchen. The words “Kitchen Renovation” can make grown men tremble! Besides the huge cost of putting in a new kitchen, it is also by far the most intrusive part of any renovation project. In our situation, we were without a kitchen for 10 long weeks. Being a self-proclaimed and unapologetic gourmand while cohabitating with 3 males with voracious appetites, this was simply living hell. I found that repeating “This too shall pass” over and over in my head sometimes took the edge of, but in all honestly, it was one of the most logistically challenging periods of my life. Trying to get 2 kiddos out to school every morning, with one microwave and hundreds of disposable bowls, plates and cutlery, was a daily miracle! But for once, my obsessive organizational skills and my compulsive need to pre plan every meal was finally an asset! For those wondering about those obsessive-compulsive organization skills, check back soon for a new post dedicated to all things organization!
But now, back to the kitchen! Our intention, as we began this renovation was to preserve as much of the old/original details of the house as possible. The kitchen (which was not the original 1890s kitchen) had light cherry colored cabinets, accented with a forest green island. There was a Corian countertop on the perimeter and natural wood butcher block on the island. The appliances were older than my mother, but unlike my mother, they looked their age. We decided that we would refinish the old cabinets and repaint them white. We planned to rip out the old countertop and backsplash and replace with something that paired well with the newly painted white cabinetry. The appliances would be replaced by newer versions in the same locations. But then, what I thought would be a simple idea came to me. I hated how our old cabinets didn’t go all the way up the ceiling and I thought, “How hard would it be to add transom cabinets on top of the current ones?”. The tiny idea started gathering more and more traction, until low and behold, we found ourselves replacing the entire kitchen. And boy was I glad that we put aside 20% of our budget for unforeseeable extras, because this was definitely a big extra.
I’m so glad that we decided to go ahead and get the new kitchen. Even though the kitchen was probably one of the biggest expenses of the entire project, it is also probably one of the highest return on investment. A quote I hear often is “The Kitchen is the Heart of The Home” and in our situation it truly is. Even more so because we have an open family room/kitchen layout, and there is no clear distinction of where the kitchen ends and the family room begins.
Check out the before and after pictures below to see the journey of transformation! And stay tuned for a series of posts that are kitchen related, where I break down all the decisions it took to pull this exact kitchen together!