My kitchen remodel has been mostly finished for a couple of weeks, but I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of the whole thing until I managed to get my kitchen spotlessly clean.
That's when I remembered: my kitchen is never spotlessly clean. So I just hoisted the random stacks of things to another room and made it look like we're actually, you know, orderly.
I am incredibly relieved this process is over. A kitchen remodel is a funny thing--it's extremely stressful, but you feel terribly guilty for complaining about. There's sort of the whole I'm-getting-a-new-kitchen-so-I-should-keep-my-mouth-shut complex. But the dust! And the disorder! And the exposed wires! It's enough to send a girl over the edge. I actually called Melanie in the middle of our ordeal to apologize for not being sympathetic enough when she went through hers a few months ago.
Anyway, it's done, and this post will probably provide more detail than you ever wanted to know about the whole thing. I learned some things--good and bad--and many of you have written to say you're thinking about a kitchen remodel yourselves. So here we go.
First, this is the only "before" picture I have. Notice all the dark trim, the chunky fluorescent lighting, and the hanging cabinet that breaks up the room:
Below is the "after". We took down that cabinet and changed the fluorescent lighting to recessed cans. I really resisted that lighting change, mainly because it was expensive and I didn't think it would be worth the money. Hubs insisted, and I'm so glad he did--the new lighting is one of my favorite parts. And the removed cabinet opens the space so much. No more bumping our heads when we try to talk to each other!
Below is a shot from the other end of the room. I think one of the most dramatic (and cheapest) changes we made was painting all that old brown 80's trim (baseboards, door frames, etc.) white. It really updated things. Also, you can see our new tile floors, laid at a diagonal (which I love) with medium grout (which I regret. I wish I'd gone with my initial urge to use black grout.)
Another shot of the eating area, and my handy-dandy buffet and desk. This is where all the blogging
magic mediocrity happens. Normally that buffet is piled high with lunch money, permission slips, birthday invitations and other suck-the-life-right-out-of-you paperwork.
Below is our eating area, which now feels much more open with the overhead cabinet gone. I made the curtains; they were such a ridiculously easy bargain I'm going to devote a whole Works-For-Me Wednesday post to them later:
Here is a close-up of the countertop. It's quartz, and supposedly it's the most durable countertop material known to all of mankind. Which means it might--MIGHT--stand a chance in this family. It's much lower maintenance than granite and you can even chop right on it.
I didn't plan to get a stainless steel sink--it still wouldn't be my first choice. But it came free as part of a special offer with our countertops, and when you're
hemorrhaging money remodeling your kitchen, you'll take anything they offer you for free. The cabinetry is not new; it was the only thing in the kitchen that stayed. We're actually planning to refinish it this spring but at the moment I am fresh out of elbow grease.
I have wanted a glass-top stove for as long as I can remember. It is SO easy to clean. You can get a good look at the backsplash here, too. It's tumbled marble, done in a subway tile pattern. Eventually, I'll hang something decorative over the stove, but I cannot--CANNOT--bring myself to make another decision about this kitchen, no matter how small.
That's it. Overall, I'm pleased at how it turned out. Mostly, I'm just pleased it's finished.