The kitchen is the heart of most homes and in my case I'm no exception to this beloved quote. We purchased our older home in 2011 (when I say older I'm talking 90's construction) and the kitchen had just been remodeled. It was a nice kitchen but it was not at all my dream kitchen, The layout and size was great and the brand new cabinets were a very nice contemporary shape but the color was an odd cherry wood color. I knew I'd have to wait some time before touching it because I just felt bad painting fresh solid wood cabinets and ripping out new granite (no matter how ugly). So I waited it but I knew exactly wanted.
We usually take on one big remodel project a year for obvious financial reasons and this year we were between tackling 2 bigger projects we had been avoiding because of the huge mess and time both entail. It was either redo all the flooring & the interior paint or paint cabinets and stairs. We decided to bite the bullet and do the floors since a great deal came up on the flooring we wanted (it's over-sized 24 x 24 porcelain tile in black and white marble) but once we moved all of the furniture and wall hangings and the work began we immediately knew that doing it all again next year was not an option. It was as though we were completely moving out and on top of that, the dust storm was cry worthy. My kitchen was getting a heavy dose of cosmetic work, a face lift.
I say cosmetic work because I kept the bones (cabinets, appliances, &, shape) This is what we did and what we used and where we got it;
Lacquer painted cabinets; I had originally considered a very light grey but decided to go more for a white because our walls had been painted a very light grey ("burnished clay" by Behr) We went we lacquer paint because it's shinny, scratch resistant, and easy to clean but it is more more to apply and a a little more costly for that reason. The color I chose was "Painter's white" with a few drops of added black for a slight grey tinge. I wanted a more timeless look and although grey kitchen's are very beautiful and modern, it was just too "of the moment for me." I went white and I have no regrets.
Hardware; I wanted gold. I'm a gold-gal, never silver. In the world of interiors it's called "polished brass" but it's pretty much gold! I found gorgeous cabinet hardware from every price point and they are looked so similar, I went with a more affordable version I found on Amazon.comand was very pleased. High quality and heavy for half the price of similar versions. "Cosmos" was the brand on Amazon, I bought extra ones just in case.
Faucets; My kitchen has 2 sinks which means 2 faucets which means I need to find a version I love that I can buy twice, this was the task. Faucets are expensive and our kitchen gets heavy use so I know I needed quality. I first ordered a Delta "Cassidy" version in "Champagne Bronze" because it looked like a matte in gold in all the pictures and videos I searched for. I should have listened to the name, it was bronze not gold. I shipped them back (I hate returning stuff) and ordered again on Amazon.com Danze brand "Opulence" style in polished brass. The reason I struggled to find a version that worked because at the time I was keeping my counters and the hole configuration was tricky.
Counters; I originally was going to keep our granite counters that were grey, brown, and black because I thought they were dark enough to tie in the hardwood floor and the black tile but once the cabinets were painted they stood out like a sore thumb. They looked very much light brown and green, I couldn't even look because I knew I couldn't live with them. I had brand new beautiful black and white floors and shiny freshly painted white cabinets and ugly counters. They had to to go and I knew I wanted marble but after talking to several counter places and doing some online research everything I was told and read said marble in a kitchen is a big costly No No plus after seeing pricing I knew it just wasn't realistic for our budget. Marble is highly porous, so it stains easily, unless you have a kitchen that gets very little use and is more for show, marble is not for you. An excellent alternative to marble is quartz, it's engineered and can be made so look like any kind of material and is very durable and low maintenance but I will warn you that the slabs are smaller and if you have a bigger kitchen like mine you might have a lot of seams. I dabbled with the idea of light counters because they are very trendy and I loved the look but white cabinets and counters were just too white for me, I went 180 and wanted solid black to really bring out the cabinets and flooring. I wanted natural rock so I went with "Absolute Black" granite which is not "absolute black" if you look closely there is slight specs of dark grey but for the most part one would say it's black. I loved the color and material but the biggest problem was going to be the installation since the kitchen was freshly painted, I knew there would be damage installing the counters (this is why you should try to plan out a remodel before you start spot-treating it) I learned my lesson. Let's just say the painters were called back in after the installation.
Kitchen hood; If were being honest my dream kitchen really involved a black and brass French La Cornue stove, actually if I'm really being honest my entire kitchen is modeled after the look of it but it's just not in our price point (my damn champagne taste LOL) and it would have involved completely remodeling the kitchen to even fit it. I got the next best thing to give me the look and feel of having one, a custom hood that resembled my dream stove. I couldn't find an exact version of what I wanted but I did find a custom kitchen hood fabricator on ebay and worked with him to design what I wanted. His user name is joey52805280 My hood was exactly what I wanted but I will warn you that patience is required because it took months to come in. It was worth the wait and gave me the look for the stove with out the stove LOL.
Details and Decor; The bar stools are Restration Hardware and called "Remy" in burnished brass. The over sized utensils I had since we moved in, they were from Pier 1 Imports but were originally stainless steal color. I had them power coated gold, going back I should have just spray painted them gold to save money. The neon signs were custom made at a local sign shop called Penn Signs. I wanted something fun to add to the fancy and I loved the idea of hot pink neon signs with fun cheeky phrases. Lastly the high chair is Bloom "Chrome Fresco" in gold and black.
Although it looks like a complete kitchen remodel it was really more of a face lift, paint and details can go a long way. I had to offer advice I'd say plan it out wisely and plan on going 30-40% over your budget. Whatever time frame they give you extend it by at least 4 weeks. Expect to be out of a kitchen and home cooked meals, make sure the timing is right and you can handle this. Expect unforeseen problems such as leaks, mold, cracks, it is what it is. A clear vision of what you want is important for you and the workers involved. Show them pictures frequently, it's important that you all are on the same page as far as vision and style. Be realistic about what you want but more importantly what your family needs in a kitchen, make is beautiful and inviting but also equally functional.
Hope this helps, I'm not contractor but I do know what I like LOL!