My “New” Kitchen

Our kitchen “update” is just about done.  And it looks fabulous!

We opted not to have a full-on kitchen “remodel,” although we had talked about it and had sketches drawn up.  After our England experience, I really liked the cook-top/wall oven look.  Hubby and I measured and talked about different configurations and options. We figured out we could put in a cook-top and wall oven, but it would require all new cabinetry throughout the kitchen.  I went to talk to 2 different kitchen designers, and they showed me computer-generated drawings of our “vision.” OMG! BEAUTIFUL!! However, Hubby and I talked more and more about making changes. We looked at our cabinets some more…..the builder actually put in some very nice, good quality maple wood cabinets in our kitchen!  And if we were to change our cabinets, the color choice I would  pick would only been a shade or two darker.  Would it be worth it?  We decided NO.  It would be foolish (and very expensive) on our part to replace 10 year old cabinets that are still in excellent shape just to fulfill a “vision” of mine.

Instead, we opted to replace all our appliances (which were dying a slow death anyway), replace our laminate countertops with granite, enlarge our island, and have a corner “hutch” installed.

Since we went with the “less expensive” remodel, and because I LOVE TO COOK, hubby let me spend a bit more on a stove. I chose the Electrolux IQ-Touch because it has 5 full burners (3 of which are “double”)…something that was a MUST HAVE with my growing boys!  And although it carried a hefty price tag for a stove, it did end up costing less than had we gone with a separate cook top and wall oven. We also bought a Bosch dishwasher, and we still have to buy a new refrigerator (Thanks, Sears, for discontinuing the model I had chosen!)  For all our appliances, we chose to go the stainless-steel route.  For many years, I didn’t understand what the SS hype was all about. I fought against it. However, I have to say that I am really, really liking the look in my kitchen.

The other “must haves” for the kitchen were a bigger island and a hutch.   We tried VERY VERY HARD to design an island where we could have chairs and eat at the island.  However, the dimensions of our kitchen just doesn’t allow for it. Oh well.  So instead, we decided to make the most of the space allowed.  Our old island had 3 drawers and 3 doors.  In the cabinet part of the island, I kept all my pots, pans, lids. There was a shelf inside the cabinet,  and that’s where I stored my crock pot, blender, and Corning Ware. Due to the weight of those items, the shelf was starting to bow.  We also wanted to replace the 14-yr old “TRASH” Box that sat just outside of the island.  Our kitchen designer suggested that we choose an island with 2 giant drawers to store the pots/pans/etc, and have a pull-out trash/recycle bin drawer.  Hubby and I both loved the idea!

Shortly after we moved into the house, Hubby had sketched out a hutch/bar area for the naked corner of our kitchen.  I kept the sketch all these years.  It was the basis for what we ultimately had made.  For the first 6 years of living here, the space was empty. It became a  junk collection corner.  Then we bought a desk for the corner, in hopes the boys would do their homework there.  It became a great home for my laptop, and [many, many] paper piles.  We decided to make Hubby’s “vision” a reality—more kitchen storage, a display area for our nice glasses, a new home for our “Grown-up beverages”, and a space in the kitchen for my cookbooks (MY NEED). It would also function as a nice bar area, since anytime we entertained, the desk did become “the bar.”

For the island and hutch, our kitchen designer suggested that because it would be challenging to exactly match 10 year old aged-maple cabinets, we go with a two-tone kitchen look.  The island and hutch would be designed as “furniture” pieces to give the kitchen a more elegant look. She suggested a chocolate-colored cherry wood.  The look….stunning.  The island takes up no more room than the previous one, and the hutch looks like it BELONGS in the kitchen.

For the granite counter tops, I chose a pattern/color called Saint Cecilia Classico. It’s a yellowish-vanilla granite with black markings, as well as chocolate spots (to go with the island and hutch) and honey-colored shadings (to go with the maple cabinets) as well as some silver markings (great for the stainless steel).  A fantastic result of the granite: it makes our kitchen looks larger and brighter as a result of the light bouncing off it. 

Funny side story regarding my honey-colored maple cabinets (the ones we decided to keep).  In the two weeks between the removal of the green laminate countertop and the arrival of the granite, we had 3 different people stop by and they all made the same comment.  Tom, a good friend who as been here numerous times in the past 10 years, Nancy, a neighbor who has popped in every now and then over the last 8 years, and Deb, who has only been in my house on 2 previous occasions—they all commented that the “new maple cabinets look very nice in the kitchen!”  We had to remind them that those are the original!!!!  That compliment made me happy that we decided to keep them!

The only thing left is to install the handles for the drawers (on order) and find tile for between the counters and the maple cabinets.

Ok, now without further ado… are pictures of my “new” kitchen