Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kitchen: Before and After


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.

BEFORE


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.


AFTER


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.  



BEFORE




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.

AFTER






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.

BEFORE


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.

AFTER



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.  



They are quartz, Hanstone "Tranquility."  I like them a lot.  In a perfect world in which I have unlimited funds and no OCD I would have marble countertops.  However, in this world it freaks me out when I spend a lot of money on something and instantly start seeing damage so we went with quartz.  We sat tomato sauce and coffee on the sample for days before we ordered it and everything wiped right off with a wet dishcloth.  You can NOT write on it with a Sharpie or wipe it with resin-melting chemicals, but otherwise it can handle anything.  I'm going to say this here because I saw it nowhere else on the internet when I was researching white quartz:  white quartz shows fingerprints and smudges.  There is all kinds of information about black quartz showing fingerprints but no one mentioned the problem on white quartz.  It is putzy.  However, it is exactly the look I wanted so I am willing to put up with it.

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...

19 comments:

  1. Beautiful! We also have Quartz countertops. They're black and show LOTS of fingerprints. But Flylady's purple rags take them away in one swipe (as long as they're rung out really well). No streaks either! Since I know you're familiar with Flylady I won't go to the trouble of linking them....I'm on my phone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for that tip! I wish I had known that when I ordered my new Flylady calendar a couple months ago. I will order one!

      Delete
  2. Looks lovely! And love love love the faucet with that detachable thing. Kitchen update is on my list of things right after I finish all things Montessori :). One day...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that detachable thing :) Montessori is taking up SO much less time for me finally. It took a good two years to get my elementary space ready, but now that it is I only have "putter" projects.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. That sink is just the best thing in there, for sure. I love using it, I even love cleaning it!

      Delete
  4. I am so excited for you! Lovely finished product! :) I think it's beautiful, and am secretly jealous of your pantry and lazy susan cabinet! Okay, not really, but I've had a lazy susan cabinet a couple of times and loved it, and I really like big pantries. I will have to show my husband this - for one day, when we own our own home. So if you never hear from me again, it's because he has banned me from ever reading your blog so that I don't get any more ideas for him hahahaha :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband has banned me from going to the neighbor's houses ever since I walked into one and found out that they had a REAL 8x10 laundry room instead of a washer and dryer shoved next to the door to the garage. I think he's afraid I'll try to move.

      Delete
  5. Awesome!! Thanks for doing the reveal! I couldn't get that picture of your lonely garbage disposal out of my head. And you rock for coordinating all the logistics. THAT is a difficult feat. I appreciate the comment about the fingerprint resistant appliances. I usually I need to wipe down our fridge at least once a day and it drives me near nuts. We have the Samsung side-by-side food showcase fridge because it was the only Montessori-friendly fridge out there. And the reason there are so many finger prints is because the kids can access their own snacks, water bottles, popsicles, and single helping yogurts etc. for themselves (without having to open the entire fridge, or scale interior drawer bins.) And I like not having to get everything for them all the time but the fingerprints...oh those fingerprints. Trade-offs I guess.
    I love the tile backsplash the best... cool color!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a little of that backsplash color in every room of the house. It's my favorite. In the schoolroom it's on the ceiling.

      That Samsung looks cool! I couldn't stand the fingerprints though. Can't wait to see more shot of your new place!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing your kitchen remodel. I am thinking of using Tranquility for my kitchen countertop as well. Could you please let me know if you have seams on your countertop? I can't see from the photos you posted. And if you do, do you mind sharing a picture of it? I am assuming where the seam is, the flow of the linear line will not meet quite together. I am worried that would be something I am not going to be happy with it. Does that make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  7. BTW, I love how your kitchen look! Great job on picking out the backsplash and new appliances...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Florence,

      The seams are actually all pictured. I will try to find time to take a picture specifically of the seam and e-mail it. However, in the meantime if you click any of the pictures of the sink the pictures get much much bigger and you can see the seam. Our only seam is at the sink. The divide on our sink is not centered, the divide is to the left of the faucet. Our faucet is centered. The seam could not be centered due to the slab size and our kitchen measurements. So, the seam is 1cm to the RIGHT of the sink faucet. The seam is white like the quartz. Our fabricators sent us a digital image of the layout of the slab that SHOWED THE MOVEMENT and the seam for us to approve before they cut. The fabricators made sure that the movement flowed properly in the kitchen and it also worked out or was planned that the seam is in an area that does not have any veining.

      Having the seam at the sink means our whole kitchen has maybe six inches of seam, three inches at the back and front of the sink.

      Delete
    2. Florence, you don't have an e-mail account or profile. If you e-mail me at whatdidwedoallday at nym dot hush dot com I will send you the photos. I took them just now.

      Delete