Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My changed kitchen: forced kitchen remodel

Two years ago, two weeks before Christmas, I noticed that the hardwoods in my kitchen were buckling.  After several phone calls to flooring experts, plumbing experts and appliance experts we all came to the conclusion that my 2 year old Bosch washer had leaked internally (leaked from the drum) and the water had seeped through my laundry room floor, under the walls and into my kitchen, under my hardwood floors and cabinets. SO, immediately the insurance company sent someone out for the faulty washer part and in came the demo crew. DID I MENTION THIS WAS TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS?
Looking back on this now, 2 years later, I can laugh. But at that time, I cried.  It meant taking down Christmas decorations while they hastily tore out my cabinets and floors in our kitchen and eating area. Tarps went up and bare concrete was left. It meant no Christmas cookies, because my oven was in my garage. It meant getting creative with cooking (let's just say that I love my crockpot and it will always have a special place in my heart for getting us through this ordeal).
It was a four and a half month process to get back to being a functional kitchen and therefore a functional home. Living amongst all of the installation, with an infant with RSV, only moving into a hotel for a few days while they were staining and poly coating the floors.  But this forced kitchen remodel (one that we probably wouldn't have done on our own) was a great learning experience and allowed me to make choices to change our kitchen to reflect my style a bit.

Because it was an insurance claim, we couldn't really change too much.  They replaced the flooring, but I got to choose the stain.  They re-used the cabinets, I got to choose the paint.  They repainted molding and walls, I got to choose the paint. We had to keep the counters and backsplash, it was easy to work with.   It was a win.

So for all of our frustrating days during living in the house while they were working (one week they would come and rip out the floor, the next install the floor, then we'd live on raw floor for 2 months while they painted the cabinets at another location, etc). It was a process but in the end, it was worth it. 

So here it is:
The Beginning: 
Here it is half way through demo.  You can see my pantry and how dull and horrendous my cabinetry was.
When we bought the house the kitchen and family room were red. We never got around to painting because of the high ceilings in the family room and because of 2 unexpected pregnancies that kept me off a ladder!
Concrete and old hardwoods that were stained a strange oakish yellow, note horrible glazing on cabinets courtesy of previous owner. But granite, actual cabinets and backsplash were good.

Where my oven used to be :(
And this is how it was for almost 3 months until things started moving along!!
My then toddler, making the most of the open space.

And FINALLY a fabulous ending!!!
After all the red that was there previously, and not a lot of natural light, I wanted to keep things soft and simple.
I wanted neutrals!

{very happy to be baking again!}

Pray, Eat, love.  {I'm a talker, I like words}
getting the family room back to 'normal'. I was limited with how high up I could hang curtains due to the angle of the roof line.  I've always felt that when they built this house they should have put transom windows in over the other windows, so to try to get a similar look, I've hung mirrors over the windows, helping the dimensions and adding height.  
loving the new shaggy, soft rug, living it up without workers around!
and finally, I could add a splash of color without worrying about clashing with red walls. YES!

The End!

Here are some of my sources {what I already had before the forced remodel and what I added to it to have it all come together for my ecclectic look}.

Paint Colors:
Ralph Lauren "Broome" (close match is Taupe 4 at Lowes) (new for renovation)
Trim and cabinets "Antique White" (existing cabinets, painted with Antique white and glazed ONLY in recesses).
Curtains in family room, Anthropologie (new for renovation)
Smocked white curtains in eating area Target, copy cat Pottery Barn (existing before remodel)
Table in eating area, Ballard Designs (existing before remodel)
Tolix Chairs in eating area, Pottery Barn (new for renovation)
Ikat pillow, Etsy (new for renovation).
I forgot to add that we updated the original cabinet hardware. They were brass and had been spray painted black (something we didn't know when we purchased the house). So it was an opportunity to upgrade and we did. I found fantastic prices at http://www.doorhardwareetc.com and overstock.com.

I'll be posting some updates to these pictures...I pretty much move things around in my house on a weekly basis, so I'll be sharing some other views of this room, soon. It's a happy, airy place now!!!


  1. Remarkable! That was some kind of transformation you did to your kitchen. I think going with white instead of that bright red was a good decision. The countertop and the stock cabinets do create a sort of distinctive space. And going with neutral colors is always a good idea because it allows you the flexibility to opt for different kinds of designs and atmospheres.

    Randell Jeffries

    1. Thanks for your comment, Randell. After all of that red, I really did sort of want a blank space, as you said, it allows you to be flexible with other elements and accessories, easily changing accent colors, but 'the bones' of the room are classic and soothing. Thanks for visiting Commona my house!!! Hope you come over often!

  2. I like how your kitchen was designed. It's very smart when it comes to organization of space. I’m talking about that wall and the counter with chairs. The other side is in itself a different side of the house. Some other kitchens are pretty, but consume a lot of space. This one doesn't.

    Chase Conely

    1. Thank you for your comment and compliment, Chase! Yes, it is a small kitchen and instead of feeling like it is small, dark and disfunctional, as it was before...now it is open, airy and I don't seem to notice that it is 'small'. Keeping clean lines and using a creamy white helps that there is really very little natural light in the space. Thanks for stopping by...come back often! If you become a member, you'll receive updates and know when we have give aways and fun things going on. All the best.

  3. No more red wall that eats up natural light! Hello to a new and fresh look of the wall. I like it better that way because it looks more appropriate with your home interiors. The kitchen is quite small, but with the new color of the wall, it now appears spacious. Well done!+Camille Edington

  4. Hello Camille, yes, the taupe and crisp antique white is a definite improvement. For some horrid reason the previous owner painted this very small kitchen with no direct natural light a barn red...it was awful. Painting everything taupe not only enlarged and neutralized the space but it freed me up to add more of my blue and green objects and accessorizing with fun colors, when the walls were red, I only accessorized with black and beige. Some spaces just can't handle certain color...this Is a small traditional space and I had to play up the cabinets to add light to the space. Thank you for stopping by, come back soon!

  5. Like so many projects, not even limited to home improvement let alone remodeling, it all begins with noticing one little thing. Like pulling a loose thread that sure can lead to some unexpected places. But wow, what an improvement! Your kitchen looks great, this is a huge home improvement project and this kitchen remodel will add value to your home.

    Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement