Working Kitchen

I’ve shown you my workspace and how I spend my day, but since we renovated our kitchen in January, I haven’t given you the full tour or any specific details.  I thought it might be fun to see how things have changed since we moved in almost seven years ago.

When we bought the house at the end of 2005, Ryan spent his entire Christmas vacation painting most of the rooms, and it was truly a labor of love.  I was working a lot back then, and I helped as much as I could, mostly by bringing dinner over after work.  It took him about two weeks to paint the kitchen, guest bedroom, guest bathroom, and our master bath.  I was so incredibly proud of his efforts, but he vowed never to paint again.

So, when we decided to change our flooring and redo the kitchen, we hired a local company that specializes in home renovation and literally does it all, from painting to flooring to cabinet installation.  It was a long process and took lots of coordination, both on our part and SHI’s, but we are completely thrilled with their work, and our house is beautiful and feels brand new.

Our kitchen is, both literally and figuratively, the center of our home, and because I spend most of my day here, I wanted it to better reflect my taste and interests.  When we first moved in, I chose a pinkish-red color, Martha Stewart’s Bougainvillea for Sherwin-Williams (now discontinued), and I loved it.  But after five years, it began to feel closed-in, especially with the original country brown cabinets.  I spent many months daydreaming of a lighter, brighter kitchen, and debated the pros and cons of going with white cabinets.  It was a huge change, but one I’m thrilled we made, and I think the pictures speak for themselves.

(The red kitchen, at the start of the renovation.)

(And after. So much better!)

During the renovation, we kept the bones of the original kitchen and simply changed the details.  The counters were replaced with Antique Brown granite (a compromise Ryan and I made, since I liked the idea of white counters, too), the old tile was removed and Travertine installed, our kitchen cabinets were painted and a decorative trim was attached to the tops (adding several inches of height), a tumbled marble backsplash was added, and the walls were repainted.  Overall, it looks like an entirely new kitchen, but it’s not, and I love that.  Everything is still in its original place and works the same as it always did, but things look a whole lot better.

(The cabinets were painted Sherwin-William’s Summer White, and trim was added to the tops. The walls were repainted in Ace Hardware’s Chelsea by the Sea, a soothing gray-blue.)

(Botticino tumbled marble tile was installed as the backsplash.)

(We chose a stainless undermount sink to contrast with the granite.)

(Our old tile was replaced with Antique Bari Travertine.)

Most of my inspiration came from drooling over design blogs like Apartment Therapy, Cote de Texas, and my absolute favorite, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.  If you look closely, you’ll notice lots of similarities between Kristin’s kitchen and mine, and that is not an accident.  When I first saw her kitchen as part of a home tour on Apartment Therapy, I fell in love with the style and design.  She and her husband have spent years transforming their California home into something phenomenal, and she graciously shares her sources and materials for each project.  Thanks to Kristin, I was able to create a very similar look for my new kitchen, using materials that fit within our budget.  I also “borrowed” her guest room’s paint color to replace the tired red paint.

I am beyond thrilled to share our kitchen on Kristin’s blog today, and I’m eternally grateful for her knowledge and expertise.  Without even knowing it, she helped us transform our home into a quiet and relaxing space for our little family.