Kid-tested, mother approved! Clearly I'm not the only one excited about about cooking in the remodeled kitchen. Today I have the before and after photos of the (mostly) finished kitchen.
My husband and I are responsible for the "before" photos (and the photo of Kal-El above). The "after" photos are curtesy of my father-in-law. I enlisted his help because his photography skills completely eclipse mine.
These photos really make me laugh because they totally make me feel like I am looking through a photo album of my childhood. I was born in 1974, back when this kitchen was current. Unexpected side benefit of remodeling: our family photos will no longer look 30-40 years older than they are.
I remember that Me Too cried when I painted over the hearts and bows stencil shortly after we moved in. I am NOT a hearts and bows kind of girl. Me Too cried and said, "You're painting over the pretty."
This "before" photo was interesting to pull out of the archives because I could have sworn that we cut those spindles off the first day we moved in in November. Apparently they survived until at least Christmas.
The cabinets were original to the home and dark-stained oak that the previous owner had painted white without priming. The centered knobs were not original. We have some of the original cabinets hanging in the garage and the original hardware was much larger and more gothic in feel.
I am so happy that those soffits are gone! I am tall and can reach (just barely) the top shelves. The new cabinets are painted maple. The old drawers had particle board backs that had disintegrated to the point to where they would no longer hold on to any hardware. Anytime you opened a drawer in our kitchen you had to put your knee underneath so that the whole thing wouldn't wind up on the floor. I'm happy to report I have all drawers in the lower cabinets and none of them require the use of knees to operate.
The appliances are all Frigidaire Gallery with the exception of the microwave. To the best of my knowledge, the Frigidaire appliances are the only ones with a special fingerprint-proof finish. It really works. I do not have to polish these appliances. The only parts that get smudgy are the handles and I can clean them up with a quick wipe with a wet dishrag. The microwave on the other hand is a GE and it fingerprints very easily. I have to rub it with a cloth whenever someone touches any part except the handle and the fingerprints really don't come off very well.
I did not give my father-in-law the before photos so that he could match the angles. Sorry. I'll try to at least provide before and afters of the approximate same sections of the kitchen. This photo is from the day of our home inspection and the previous owner is standing in front of the dishwasher. We do not have a big kitchen. This section of the kitchen is about nine feet by seven feet.
Someday I'll have to make a little video tour so you can hear my midwestern accent and check out the inside of these lower cabinets. The old kitchen was all dead corners and awkward storage. Now I have drawers, a pullout pantry insert (left of sink), and a lazy susan.
Did anyone notice that there are no receptacles in the backsplash tile? Code would have required five additional holes in our very small backsplash for receptacles. Instead we opted for angled plugmold (tamper-resistant series by Task Lighting).
The only thing that is not done is the installation of light rail on the bottom of the upper cabinets to hide the LED under cabinet lighting. The options that the cabinet company sold were either super huge and clunky or crazy ornate and inappropriate for shaker cabinets. Our favorite local carpenter is making me something from scratch. However he is a bicycle-building, easily-disappearing surfer type that hasn't decided to show up yet. We were expecting him in July.
That tall cabinet in the far left of the photo above is a LAUNDRY SHOOT. Bah. And, even if you were okay with your dirty underwear falling down a shoot two feet away from your oven, the second floor access to the shoot was in the floor of my youngest son's closet. Probably because everyone LOVES sneaking in to their three-year-old's bedroom closet at 11 p.m. to throw their dirty laundry in the shoot. Not. My husband added shelves to it so I could use it as a pantry shortly after we moved in. There were several messy but hilarious incidents (think magnetic fishing poles and peanut butter jars) before we wised up and bolted the access door shut upstairs.
The laundry shoot was demoed out and a real honest-to-goodness pantry with oodles of pullouts is in it's place. Everything is also taller on that side because we ditched yet another hearts-and-bows soffit. The cabinet above the fridge is now as deep as the refrigerator so I can store up to two preschoolers up there if I have to.
The following shot is one of my father-in-law's throwaways (sorry Papa!) but I am including it because you can sort of see the veining on the peninsula countertop. The countertops are prettiest in person. They are very hard to photograph because they are so reflective and so white.
You can see some more of the veining in the closeups of the sink. I asked my father-in-law to take glamour shots of the sink because it my favorite thing in the new kitchen.
There she is...Blanco Performa Silgranit in Metallic Grey. It's huge. This is the first time I've ever had sink grids and I love them.
My VERY favorite thing in the ENTIRE kitchen is the drain basket on the right. Yup, that's right, the drain basket. My husband says we could have saved a lot of money by just replacing the drain basket (and tailpiece) in the old kitchen. Right. Anyway, it's a Kohler Duostrainer. I like it because you turn the little knob in the middle to change it from "drain" to "plug." No more tilting the drain basket sideways so that you can rinse dishes in the sink and alternating between having the basket keep falling shut and having stuff fall down the drain on accident. Fun times.
I am also loving the new pulldown faucet. It has a magnet in it so that the head of the faucet does hang down looking sad. It looks like the Delta Trinsic but its a much more economical lookalike by Delta sold only at Lowes called the Trask.
There you have it! I am so clearly NOT a designer, but picked out everything myself and did the job of "general contractor" on this project so I am pretty proud of it. I found a way to do everything I wanted within our budget except one thing. I wanted a real, serious, workhorse of a fan over the range, not a big fancy statement piece but one that worked well. I had hoped for a cabinet-mounted microwave in-between the refrigerator and pantry. That kind of microwave cannot be legally mounted in-between two walls like that and due to the size of our kitchen there was no where else to put a microwave except over the range. The over-the-range microwave really does not vent very well and I bought the Consumer Reports best-rated microwave for venting. Maybe someday we'll go "microwave free" but in the meantime, I do like it for reheating leftovers and melting butter.
Thank you for humoring me with my kitchen remodel! And now, back to our regular Montessori topics...