Cucina Construction: A Kitchen Remodeling Project

Oh my decorating & designing goodness, this kitchen remodeling project was a doozy!  Our home is my childhood home and I realize I’ve gone full circle in my house to home life.  Familiarity and fabulous memories from the past, the nail & hammer present, and the next generation future offers a comfort we can, and are, easily living with.  Design tweaks, adjustments, and repurposes have been met and mastered.

kitchen remodeling project

Eight foot ceilings I love to hate have been embraced, especially when the architect gave us his bid on raising these puppies two feet.  Heavy, and I mean h-e-a-v-y five figures later- that’s a big negatory!  Please excuse the fact that I can’t help myself with the homage to Convoy.  Casey Kasam’s Classic American Top 40 is on the radio. Between the before pictures and the tunes I’m swimming in the 70’s.

outdated kitchen

The kitchen is a multipurpose high traffic area of the home and ours is no different. When my parents built the house in 1965, the kitchen was a design marvel among the ranch house set. It underwent two decor remodels that simply did not stand up to the test of time or design. When we took our first real look at the kitchen as the present homeowners, we realized this space needed some space. To give you some idea of what we were working with, I am posting before and way,way before pictures of the space in question.

kitchen remodel

First order of demo was to take down the wall at the end of the first picture of me and my paternal grandparents.  Immediately after first demo we tore down the breakfast bar, broom closets, and cabinet built ins shown in the second picture of a dinner with family, our preacher, and his wife.  My thought process was to incorporate the formal dining room.  I’m all about removing walls to open up a space.  We are picture deficient of the demo process.  Just imagine dirt, dust, and chaos.

kitchen-cabinets-2

We  salvaged, saved and strategically placed existing cabinets in with purchased solid wood prefabricated cabinets.  We took the door and drawer fronts off both the old and new cabinets. Dave the Builder ordered 60 MDF cabinets doors and 29  MDF drawer fronts. Dave primed all with oil base KILZ interior oil stain block and primer from Lowe’s. The cabinetry color is a standard favorite of ours,  Sherwin-Williams Pure White. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Anjou Pear. Counter tops were born by sheeting the new cabinet tops with 3/4 ” CDX plywood as the base.  I selected MS International 12″ square granite tiles for the counter tops.  For the backsplash we went with 12 X12 ceramic paired with 6″ copper half round rope metal molding wall tiles.

back-splash

Slab granite was definitely a consideration, but the $$$ difference between the two is money we can spend elsewhere. Dave won the “discussion” of bull nose vs. wood trim for the counter top front edging.

kitchen-granite-counters2

We dressed up the upper cabinets, existing fluorescent light fixture, and ceiling molding with decorative molding from Home Depot.

sub zero refrigerator

The Sub-Zero refrigerator was moved from our previous home and repainted to match the new cabinets on site.  A casing was built to house the refrigerator to match the new cabinets.  There were several left over cabinet doors.  Dave repurposed the doors as side casing decoration, adding them to the refrigerator casing.

painted kitchen cabinets

We removed the original windows and installed Pella replacement windows from Lowe’s. I knew from the get- go I wanted 13″ X 13″ ceramic floors with the tiles laid diagonally, and I am thrilled with the result. I was adamant the original Baccarat crystal chandelier my mother selected forty years ago fit into the overall look.  The breakfast area chandelier is from Lamps Plus, and the pendant light from Home Depot.

decorative corbels

Amerockcabinet hardware was purchased on clearance from Lowe’s. Let’s build something and save money while doing it together, Lowe’s!  Both the corbels framing the window above the sink and the ceiling medallion were purchased from Wish I Had That.  And now, without further ado, may we present a preview picture of our new kitchen.

kitchen

****UPDATED****

kitchen-B-WClick on the picture to begin the updated kitchen remodeling project tour

Remodels, Redos, And Renovations In Pictorial Preview

Remodels, redos, and renovations are the three R’s ruling the past two weeks at Casa de Places In The Home.  I’ve had a few things on the creative part of my brain (this could be trouble), and there’s no time like the present so here we go.   Let me share a in progress preview pictures with you.

foyer-chandelier

kitchen-window-corbels-fix-1

and now we have…

kitchen-window-treatment

Are we having fun yet?  You bet we are!  More details and pictures to come.  I have added the Our Home page with pictures of the spaces recently completed.

Love your style!

 

Mirror Mirror Not So Necessarily On The Wall

Decorative leaner mirrors have become increasingly popular, and why not?  Ten and twelve foot ceilings are relatively standard in new construction, and allow the space needed to accommodate the desired reaction to a leaner.  Older homes like mine with eight or nine foot ceilings handle a leaner mirror quite well in their own right. The height restrictions may make for more of a challenge, but the choices are not limited.

The March 2011 issue of House Beautiful showcases the vision of renowned designer Betty Lou Phillips in their regular feature,  Bath of the Month.  Here you see an antique mirror propped behind the tub as a wonderful example of the effect a leaner mirror has on a room. Mirrors open up a room and instantly cast the illusion of added depth.  A leaner mirror deepens the richness of the illusion.

gray-leaner-mirrorTraditional Home

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via French Garden House

This antique turn of the century French Treameau mirror perfectly defines leaner mirror.  The patina of the wood and the gold gilt easily enhance a formal decor or become the focal point of a casual space.  I love the visual surprise of pairing stand out formal furniture or accent pieces with casual or primitive design.

via

When the shock wears off for those who don’t get it, or the excitement subsides for those of us who do, the look is hard to dismiss as luck of the design draw.  I have a great example of this to share with you at a later date.

via Traditional Home

Any mirror can become a leaner.  The look achieved by placing a mirror upon a piece of furniture and propping the mirror against the wall spins a traditional placement to a fresh look .

House and Home/photo: Donna Griffith

One of my television guilty pleasures, and there are many, is the sinfully decadent  The Real Housewives franchise.  One of the ladies was chatting up a fellow cast member last season while giving a  tour of her new home.  The master bedroom suite, bathroom, and dressing closet were quite nice but the eye catcher was the floor to ceiling gold ornate up to your eyeballs leaner mirror.  It is as big as the mouth of its owner!  The dual purpose of function and formality comes across loud and clear.

Talk about a fantastic idea and learning new tricks! I had a client purchase a set of small ornate fireplace andirons from me three years ago.  The client knew exactly what she was going to use them for and shared it with me.  The andirons were placed on her fireplace mantle and used in an easel manner to display a leaner mirror.  Fantastic idea!

If you have searched high and low for your perfect mirror and can’t find it, consider an unframed mirror paired with decorative  prefinished picture frame molding.

House Beautiful 

Decorative moldings can be purchased at home improvement stores in limited selections. Larger selections can be found at specialty stores and through millwork manufactures.  Sheet mirror is typically inexpensive. Going this route will allow you to customize a mirror to achieve the look you are going for .  Molding is purchased, corners are mitered, mirror installed, and the perfect “prop” is on your stage.  A diy project that reflects your decor personality~  now who’s the fairest of them all?