On the Other Side, Kitchen Remodel

I remember the day we purchased our home. It was with great anticipation and excitement, of course. Thrilled to have moved from our ‘starter’ home to the next, I looked upon this house as the next step. I was very aware of the needs of the old dwelling and figured in the next few years, we would tackle those obvious eye sores one by one. Then, of course, life happened. Now, all of a sudden it is twenty-five years later, year 2022, children long moved away living with their loves, hubby has passed away, a world pandemic continues, retirement/employment gigs underway and many of the projects around the house are clearly still looming.

Holding on to the dream of fixing, repairing, and updating the fixer-upper, the kitchen was clearly the next move. How, where, when . . . all questions unanswered and daunting. The research began, simple research of looking online at finished kitchens and noticing what was grabbing my attention. This step did not take long at all. Perhaps because of the parameters of my space. Perhaps, the cost. Perhaps, I seem to recognize what I like. One look stuck with the caption, “mixed metals.” And, for me, with any new look for space I want to live in, I desire as much light and space as possible. I was definitely beginning to form opinions of what was possible and what I wanted.

Walking the neighborhood through the years, I have gathered neighbors’ pick for hire. Trucks of contractors, painters, roofers, the like line the streets around this neighborhood regularly. Even better when the work that is being done is on the exterior. One could call it research in real time action. In this manner, a contractor was chosen and the project began in early January of this year.

Here are final pictures of the kitchen I knew for 20+years.

Bittersweet emotions, believe it or not.

The radiator and windows were to remain. The radiator was a must to keep the ambiance of the room as well as to be in sync with the character of the rest of the house. The windows were staying as they had been updated, recently. Good riddance, however to that light fixture. I always wondered how safe it was swinging over our heads when it was turned on?!

Almost immediately, the beginning of a mixture of metals was taking shape and check out the difference in the amount of light!

The flooring was perhaps the most difficult decision I was to make and may be my favorite part of the entire room. These are porcelain tile planks. Fascinating watching the progress and grout layout process.

Weeks later. Glass doors in white cabinetry were chosen for added dimension as well as shows off the white collection of dishes, beautifully. Recessed lighting brightens and adds to the contemporary look. Choices such as back cut-outs for very funky bar stools (that adjust in height), cherry wood floating shelves, and the vent from the hood hidden into the ceiling routed to the outside contribute to the open, spacious look I was trying to achieve.

I must say, I am in love with my crescent back bar stool. Oh, and those steel projections coming from the wall? My research paid off when I found them as I was determined that the back counter continue the floating theme of the shelves. (Goal: NO visible brackets.)

Now, into it a few months and we were finally getting somewhere with installation of half the counter as well as a main focal point, this beautiful gold faucet. I was really pondering if I had the nerve to go gold. SO glad I did. Truthfully, I had no idea how wonderful this 2 basin deep sink would be.

Yes, I said half the counter. I was to wait another 5 weeks for the rest. I have decided to edit out the stress this caused. However, as a dear friend said, “Worth the wait!” And, yes, the wall tile was then finally installed.

Below, a close up of the stove wall. I call it the artsy wall and truthfully the side of the kitchen that went through the most change. How perfect are the Amish pottery pieces only recently found, cook books (Soups, below), and a vintage ceramic bowl from my youth for this look.

Close up of the sink area. I love the gold hardware on the cabinets, too.

And, a close up of the floating counter that stretches full length along the back of the kitchen. Counter has already been used for countless purposes (as desk, as lunch counter, as baking area, as cooling baking goods spot, etc )and ties together both sides of the kitchen.

Added touches: a kind of garage for kitchen counter appliances as well as an under-the-counter cabinet for same. Also, a built-in cabinet designed by the contractor to match the cabinetry (below, right) to hold spices.

But, what I am most impressed with was the degree of effort the contractor went to, to match the baseboard to the rest of the house. While the molding still needs painting, you can easily see how a chair railing was utilized to make a facsimile to match the woodwork of the rest of the house.

And, what would a kitchen be without a bread/wine bar? Oh, and that vintage stool? How perfect to reach the highest cabinet and it came from my Mom’s house, aka, my childhood.

Is there more to do? Well, of course. The refrigerator that was ordered last August is not in, the walls, baseboard molding, under the cabinets, and along the doorframes need to be painted (white.) The windows need cleaning and the inspection sticker needs to be removed. And, I will hang one shade over the kitchen sink.

I do feel like I am on the other side of this project, The kitchen is very beautiful, is most definitely airy, and bright. I stand back and say that I would not change a thing. To me, that is a pretty good accolade. However, I will not deny that the whole of this project was and continues to be an emotional experience in decision-making, in hoping for the best result, in trusting the talent and ability of others, but mostly in the wonderment of what the result would have been had hubby been here. That said, I am off and running wanting to experiment with cooking like never before.

Some of the early sketches . . .

Cut-out, open theme continues in dining room and throughout the home. I am in love with the dining chairs, especially made out of recyclable materials and brilliantly stackable, designed by award-winning craftsman/designers of BluDot. (Look at their site if you want beautifully designed furniture with a contemporary flair. See credits, below.)

signs of Spring to welcome new kitchen . . .

Art for the wall? An easy choice.

Credits to whom I am forever grateful

13 responses to “On the Other Side, Kitchen Remodel”

  1. what a wonderful transformation! I absolutely love how you created a modern room that fits in so well with your traditional home. Great job! I know exactly what you went through to get to this new room, I once remodeled a kitchen, also down to the bones, also on a budget. For months, I ate nothing that couldn’t be prepared in a toaster oven or popcorn popper. I have never before nor since been so excited to cook. :-)


    • Oh! So nice to hear from you! Thank you for your kind comment! Bare bones to delight, for sure. Expenses? Well, let’s just say I went for it. And, yes, lots of popcorn, toaster oven, micro wave, and ordering out for months. The last few dishes I made were not quite as great as I remembered . . . meaning I’m OUT of PRACTICE! Now, on the other hand, cooking has never been so enjoyable with the light and space I now have.


  2. It’s all in the planning …. Which we know was done perfectly after seeing the end result of your kitchen remodel which is gorgeous! So nice to start from scratch and plan a kitchen that meets all of your needs for functionality and is lovely! In our old home my husband installed/drilled holes in the counters for small soap dispensers in the kitchen (for dish soap) and bathrooms (for liquid hand soap). In our new home in Niagara, we had the contractor add the counter soap dispensers, as well and I would highly recommend as it eliminates bottles sitting out or having to be put away. Enjoy your new kitchen, Holly! It was well worth the wait! Karen


    • Well, thank you for your kind words and now I am busily looking up what you are talking out . . . counter soap dispensers . . . if they are on top, won’t you see the bottles that you are trying to eliminate? Perhaps, too late if it is something that is added to the counter? Perhaps, I need to see a photo. See, I only look like I know something about kitchen design! hahahaha


      • For the counter soap dispenser, a round hole is drilled in the counter and the dispenser pump head is placed on the counter over the hole – the soap dispenser bottle is filled with soap and screws into the dispenser pump head from underneath the counter. To add more soap, pull off the pump head on the counter and add soap from the top. No need to unscrew the soap dispenser bottle underneath the counter to refill it. Here is the link – I don’t know how to replace the following with words https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5b2bf3865ffd2017e9d35b4a/1607429621864-ZF2CVNGHR1UKTMVK4NFA/123.jpg?format=1000w


        • Yes, I did look it up after discussing with you. Also, motion-sensitive on/off for faucet. I was aware of that option. I suppose in no time at all, more and more gadgets/ideas will be surfacing regarding kitchen conveniences. Always something to think about and now, it is the garden season! Never ending, isn’t it? Thank you for informing.


  3. WOW, Holly. The best kitchen remodeling I’ve ever seen. Enjoy your new kitchen and give yourself a pat on the back!


    • Aw . . . thank you, Gretchen. Mucho help along the way both with ideas and emotionally. Perhaps the best kitchen remodeling due to the fact that it hadn’t been done, before! :) (One day, I hope to get back to knitting.)


  4. Wow I love every decisions that went through to remodel this kitchen.. I saw it a couple months ago and I can’t believe that’s the same kitchen, Holly! it’s really beautiful …the gray tones , the floor, the gold sink faucet -everything was well planned. It is one of these project you wish you were a part of it… it’s beautiful. At the same time , I expected Nothing less coming from such a talented fashion designer such as yourself, Holly!

    asser saint-val


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow I love every decisions that went through to remodel this kitchen.. I saw it a couple months ago and I can’t believe that’s the same kitchen, Holly! it’s really beautiful …the gray tones , the floor, the gold sink faucet -everything was well planned. It is one of these project you wish you were a part of it… it’s beautiful. At the same time , I expected Nothing less coming from such a talented fashion designer such as yourself, Holly!


    • Asser, You’re too kind and what a lovely compliment coming from YOU! I have the same mutual respect for you as artist and designer. Thank you for your kind words.


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