But before I talk about where we're headed, let's take a look back at where our kitchen started. When we moved into our house, the kitchen was definitely dated. There was pink backsplash tile, some very cheap-looking laminate wood flooring, and grimy white walls. There were also a lot of gigantic features that made our tiny kitchen look even smaller. There was a huge florescent light box in the center of the kitchen ceiling, a rather large light fixture above the sink, and the biggest microwave I've ever seen in my life. Here's a blurry picture of our old kitchen in all its glory. I don't even think a non-blurry picture would have made it look any better.
To continue to big theme, there was also a grand swagged chandelier in our little eat-in kitchen area.
Adam and I didn't waste any time getting rid of some of that ugliness in our kitchen. I wrestled that gigantic microwave into the garage on the first day we had possession of the house. Adam ripped up the old flooring. We tackled taking down the florescent light and getting rid of the pink backsplash together.
Next, we turned our attention towards making the kitchen livable for us. We had hardwood flooring installed throughout our entryway, dining room and kitchen to help unify all the spaces. We moved the large light fixture above the sink to our entryway and replaced it with a smaller, more appropriate-sized one.
We added a mosaic tile backsplash, which tested our young marriage in ways we had never experienced before. I spray-painted the 80's brass cabinet handles and hinges with brushed nickle spray paint. Finally, we put up a fresh coat of paint.
Given our budget and limited DIY skills, we were very happy with the result.
Flash-forward 6 years and we're ready to make some changes. We feel pretty confident in the direction we'd like to take our kitchen after living with it for a good chunk of time. There are a few things we want to make sure we address. We feel like the wood cabinets and the hardwood flooring are too similar in color. There's not a lot of difference between the two so our kitchen feels very heavy and dark. We aren't in love with our Corian countertops and we especially hate the white Corian sink. The backsplash tiling job looks pretty amateurish and we don't love the tiny mosaic look anymore.
So, we have been working on a plan to makeover our kitchen! Here are the major components we'd like to accomplish:
1. Get new countertops. We've been looking mainly at quartz since they are easy to care for, but also saw a pretty sweet slab of dolomite that just might change our minds.
2. Have a new backsplash installed. Adam and I have decided tile work is just not in our skill set, so we'll definitely be hiring someone else to do this job. We're leaning towards picking a bright blue-ish color in a fun shape. We've seen some fun scallop and hex tiles we like so far, but aren't sold on one in particular.
3. Paint the cabinets light gray. We like the idea of differentiating the cabinets from the hardwood flooring and think paint will do the trick. We are planning on using chalk paint since you don't have to sand the cabinets before painting and it's non-toxic and virtually odorless. While I love the idea of white, after seeing little graham cracker hand prints all over our house, I think gray might be a better option.
4. Make some minor modifications to the existing cabinets. The shelf that previously held the world's largest microwave takes up a ton of wall space. So we bought a low profile microwave/hood combination to put over our stove. This will allow us to remove the microwave shelf and allow for more open space. It's hard to use the countertop above the current microwave shelf because it comes down so low and juts out so much. Removing it will open things up visually, but also allow us to better utilize the countertop below. We also decided to remove the appliance garage. After visiting the last countertop showroom, the designer there convinced us it would open things up and give us more counter space. Adam also wants to rework the woodwork above the sink. The wavy design drives him crazy and he'd love to showcase some of his woodworking skills in that spot. He also wants to add some trim pieces to the ends of the cabinets and the peninsula to add a little more visual interest.
5. Paint the walls a lighter, cooler color. Neither Adam nor I enjoy the creamsicle color of our kitchen and family room. When we picked it our, we were trying to find a color that would go with the chocolate brown color of our living room and the cream color of the hallways. We've since decided a light gray or blue is more our speed and will still coordinate with the other rooms visible from the kitchen.
6. Find a new light fixture for our eat-in kitchen. We still have the light fixture that came with the house. It's too big and heavy for the space, so we'd like to find something better suited for our small area with standard-height ceilings. Since we have a smaller table in that area, there's also no need for it to be swagged, so we're looking for a fixture that can hang straight down. We've found a few we like, we just have to narrow it down.
7. Replace the cabinet handles and hinges. I tried to convince Adam I could just spray paint the existing handles and hinges again, but I couldn't talk him into it. The hinges have definitely not held the spray paint well. The handles have held up well, but Adam feels like we need something a little more our style. I can agree with him there. I definitely wouldn't pick the handles we have now given the choice.
8. Replace the window treatments in the kitchen and eat-in kitchen. While I still adore the roman shade I made from our old faux-wood blinds, it won't quite jive with the rest of the kitchen. So I'll likely make another one using fabric that coordinates with our new kitchen. We've also decided to replace the faux-wood blinds in the eat-in kitchen with some bamboo shades. We love the look of the one we added to our half bathroom, so we'll get some more for the eat-in kitchen. I like that you can open them all the way up to let in lots of light and keep exploring hands off of the shades.
9. Replace the sink and faucet. Since the Corian sink and countertops are all one piece, we'll have to replace it along with the countertops. We are going to go with a single basin in a stainless steel finish. While we're at it, we'd also like a new faucet. We're trying to find the perfect matte black faucet that doesn't cost a fortune.
I'm so excited to get the ball rolling and can't wait to share the progress along the way!