A home renovation is a labor of love.
And if you can see past the sleepless nights, dust, chaos and endless change order-induced budget-breakers, you'll find the love really does outweigh the labor.
Case in point: Our current phase three home renovation.
Trust me. Downsizing from a spacious custom with clean, elegant lines to a smaller, older Georgian in serious need of a makeover, is not for the faint of heart.
But an opportunity to create a warm, inviting place-- ideal for a family transitioning through tweens, teens, college and beyond---was more than worth the sweat and tears.
So join me for the first in a series of sneak-peeks into our most recent home adventure. I'll show you how we turned a dowdy downsize into a stylish, modern space that continues to welcome our family home. Time and time again.
And it all started here.....
They call it the heart of the home. But this dark, choppy, outdated kitchen was anything but!
The good news? It had great bones. And a workable layout. The bad? We had to work within the original footprint. And our vision for an updated, super functional space meant not a single element of the original kitchen could be saved. So here's what we did.....
Step One: Start From Scratch
When the cons out weigh the pros in a remodel, there's really only one option: Start with a fresh canvas. Once the miles of oak cabinets and flooring, clunky oversized appliances and obsolete enclosed pantry were removed (before-below), the entire area was taken down to the studs. The result? A beautifully open, L-shaped layout was revealed. The perfect blueprint for our new kitchen!
We started by updating all door and windows with energy-efficient options. Casings were also enlarged to maximize views and light. Next a family and dog-friendly gray stone (which hides a multitude of sins, thank God) replaced the tired, worn wood floor. And a ceiling full of recessed lighting was added to brighten the room and add visual height to this previously tight, dark section of the house (after-above & below).
Step Two: Storage, Stainless and Beautiful Basics
Clean-lined Shaker style cabinets replaced the original dated, painted oak (after-above). The wall separating an enclosed pantry was removed, transforming this section of the kitchen into an elegant, open pantry of floor-to-ceiling cabinets with upper glass displays--doubling the kitchen's storage. A wet bar/coffee service area at the back of the pantry now houses our favorite beverages.
The stove top was relocated from a tiny island (before-above) to a redesigned oven wall for an improved work triangle (after-below). Stainless appliances throughout compliment the room's aesthetic.
Our labs' favorite spot for an afternoon nap? Near the food prep areas, of course, just in case there's an opportunity for a bit of a snack. The tall adjacent cabinet doubles as additional storage for cans and smaller items (after- above & below).
Step Three: Add Personality, Functionality and Pop!
An expanded marble-topped island (after-above) houses the microwave--and doubles as a fabulous work surface and breakfast spot. A Restoration Hardware fixture adds an industrial vibe to the dining area, which is now roomy enough to seat our entire family at the glass Molla table I relocated from our previous patio.
Indestructible Caesar stone on the counters (after-below) compliments the kitchen's palette. Double dishwashers---an absolute must at any stage--blend seamlessly with the reno's colors, textures and cabinetry.
Simple, decorative touches finish the look.
Next House Walk: The Mudroom and Laundry. See you then!