Today, I am excited to share part one of my kitchen transformation. I use the word transformation, because it really was transformative. It transformed not only our kitchen, but also my confidence in the potential of our older home, and because I am in the kitchen more than any other room in my house, it has transformed my quality of life and definitely the quality of life for our family.
When we bought this house three years ago, it wasn’t my favorite. It was older and there were things outdated, but it had a location that made it the top house of the ones we had looked at. How do you say no to a beautiful almost 4,000 sq ft two story home in a great community, on a corner lot of a cul de sac, on almost one acre? Well we didn’t, but I can’t say I was very inspired by my new home’s older style the first few years. Then, this past fall, on another trip to England, I was walking around Hampton Court Palace and Gardens and realized–or should I say, had an epiphany–of just what kind of beautiful potential an older home can have. When I got home from that trip, I knew we could turn this home into our own French Pemberely!
If anything, I hope this post and these photos will serve as some serious inspiration for you that older or outdated homes with “good bones” can be transformed into your dream home with the right design, proper planning and some imagination!
When we started discussing the kitchen transformation, I had a short but substantial dream wish list: a Viking stove, a farmers sink, smooth granite counter tops, and different cabinetry. I also new I wanted and needed a different kitchen table; one that would afford our family of seven more room and one that was updated from the rectangular table with side benches that we had. I wanted something functional, but I wanted more than function…I wanted pretty.
So, finally, after three years, the time for my dream kitchen to turn into reality had come! In December, while we were visiting San Diego on a pre-Christmas holiday, we had the good fortune to have one of the most skilled contractors and his team here, along with a good friend of ours doing the main design and quarterbacking it all. While we were visiting the world famous San Diego zoo and sleeping in, and hanging out in the hot tub, these amazing people gutted and re-did our kitchen, including appliances, cabinets and a custom cabinet for dual fridges all in the span of….FIVE days.
To truly appreciate the “afters”, I have to share the “befores”. The before kitchen. Where to start?What do I say? When we moved in it had a low, cafeteria style ceiling with panel lighting (what? do they even make those anymore?) and was a muddy mix of wood floors, oak cabinets, grey tile back splash, and light brown paint. While the tile back splash by itself (or in another kitchen) would have been beautiful and provided texture, in our kitchen it was awash in a sea of brown and provided no contrast. It was okay, but it was, blah, dark and brown. When we moved in in 2010, we blew out the kitchen ceiling and blew it out. That helped…but it was still very brown, very blah, and very “oakey” …(You can tell this is also a “before” picture of before I really joined the minimalism movement as well…Just looking at this picture now, with all the stuff on those counters, gives me anxiety!)
Then there was the granite tile counter tops. Not granite; granite tile, which could have been okay except that I love to bake and cook and am constantly rolling out cookies, breads, biscuits and other dough on my counter. Getting flour out of the tile cracks was a time consuming chore.
and turned it into this…
Next time, I will take you on a tour of all the “afters”, including the cabinet they built to hold our dual fridges and our custom built in counter height table which was made with the same granite as the counter tops. Function meets fashion in our new favorite hang-out space, and I am on my way to turning this older home whom so many overlooked and turning it into my own French Pemberley!