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
- Etsy, LarrySzantorDesigns, Studied Industrial and Graphic Design at Michigan State University (helped in initial design)
- Etsy, EncoreDesignStudios, Buffalo Poster
- Blind Faith, Bill Miller, local shade/blind company
- Kaz Improvement Company, in particular Steve Johnson, a very talented artisan
- Zuri bar stool
- BluDot “Second Best” extension table and “Decade”chairs
- Lamps Plus, light fixtures
- Holy Rollers, local paint company
- Orville appliances
- The Original Granite Bracket, for floating stone counter