Yay!  The kitchen is finally all done!  For a quick recap, we moved into this house back in December.  While we loved the house overall, the kitchen just wasn’t going to do it for us.  It was cramped, had a poor layout and the cabinets were in bad shape.  What started out as a little tweaking turned into a full blown renovation, which we started in April.

The general contractor that we used was recommended to us by our realtor and he did an amazing job of keeping everything on schedule and the quality of the work was excellent.  The main renovation took only 6 weeks, so I was back to cooking by Mother’s Day.  There were still a few small details that had to be taken care of after that, but the major hold-up to having the kitchen completed was my inability to decide on the backsplash.

I think by the time we were ready for the backsplash, I just didn’t have another kitchen decision in me.  I had a general idea of what I wanted, but that was it.  Then we discovered that our next door neighbor owns his own tiling company and he helped me put it all together and then he did the tiling for us.  It looks amazing!

Before I take you on a tour of the new kitchen, let me remind you of what the old kitchen looked like.  If you want to see all the before photos, click here.

Here’s the same view of the new kitchen.  Quite a difference, huh?

The biggest part of the construction was taking out the foyer closet to make a new spot for the refrigerator.  Basically, we closed off the opening to the closet in the foyer and took out the wall on the kitchen side.  It’s the perfect spot for the fridge.  There’s plenty of room to get into it and it doesn’t create the bottle neck that it did in the old kitchen.

To replace the foyer closet, we added a bench and put up hooks to hang coats and purses.  It works out perfectly.  When people come over they know exactly where to hang their things.

Another major issue with the old kitchen was a lack of a full size sink.  I have a lot of dishes and pots that I wash by hand, so it was so annoying to have to wash big pots in a teeny tiny sink.  By re-configuring the peninsula, we had room for a full-size sink (which I love) AND we gained 18 inches of floor space in the kitchen.  It’s amazing how much more spacious those 18 inches make the kitchen feel.

We also took out the raised bar.  We still have a breakfast bar, but it’s now same height as the rest of the counter tops.  Eliminating the raised bar improved the kitchen in a number of ways.  First of all, it opens up the kitchen which makes it feel more spacious and less closed in.  It also gives me a bigger work space next to the sink and it’s not as much of a clutter catcher.

In the eating area, there had been a little desk area that really wasn’t all that functional, so we got rid of the small pantry in the kitchen and turned the desk area into a beautiful spacious pantry.  It works wonderfully and is still perfectly convenient to the rest of the kitchen!  There are pull-outs on the bottom and there are two small drawers to catch “stuff”.  Another benefit of moving the pantry was that we also got more, much needed counter space in the kitchen.

The closest we came to with a design problem was where to put the microwave.  Originally, we were going to keep the one over the stove.  But then we discovered that with the type of stove I chose, code dictated that the microwave would have to be so high that I wouldn’t be able to reach it.  So in an eleventh hour decision, we decided to put in a vent hood and put the microwave under the counter.  At the end of the day, it was a good decision and I’m really happy with the look of the hood and I like the location of the microwave.  It all works well for me.

Finally,  I was able to fulfill two of my kitchen dreams.  We were able to make room for double ovens and I was able to get the 6 burner gas range top of my dreams.  I am so happy with both of those decisions!  The range top works like a dream and I use both ovens all the time.  It’s so convenient to have two ovens, I can actually bake two things at once at two.different.temperatures.  Dream.Come.True!  (total kitchen geek….I know)

The original kitchen had hardwood floors, which in the beginning I wanted to keep.  But there was some damage to the flooring, plus the footprint was changing enough that we would need more flooring and we discovered that we weren’t going to be able to match it.  We ended up putting in porcelain tile, which I wasn’t crazy about in the beginning.  Now that it’s in, I absolutely love it.  It looks great and is a  nice contrast with the dark cabinets, plus it’s such easy maintenance.  I don’t worry about spilling things or it getting wet, a quick wipe and it’s good!

We chose scraped alder with a cherry finish for the cabinets.  I love the grain, plus they were more affordable than cherry and they won’t darken over time like cherry does.  The counters are granite (typhoon bordeaux) and the backsplash is travertine.

All in all, I love my new kitchen.  It functions so much better than the old kitchen and I think it’s beautiful.  It blends perfectly with the style of the rest of the house.

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