Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kitchen Transformation

Most people have vacation photos from their summer travels. Instead, Rob and I have remodeling photos from our six-week long kitchen adventure. Most of the actual work was done by Sue Cosentini and her capable crew. But the painting, tiling, and decorating is all ours, with Rob spearheading the color scheme. While it was stressful being displaced for over a month, we couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Below are some pairs of "before" and "after" photos. I won't bother labeling them because it should be obvious which is which (I hope!). To be fair, I should note that the "before" pictures were taken just as construction was about to begin, so it was a mess. Nevertheless, the old kitchen was clearly short on redeeming qualities.

Gone are the mustardy floor and countertops, the decrepit backsplash, the dark wood, and the dim lighting. The back wall has been opened up with a row of windows, and the drafty side door and window (which we never used anyway) are now sealed up. Plentiful overhead recessed lighting and under-cabinet lighting provide warmth and life, and they make the low ceiling seem less so. The rich "wine barrel brown" Marmoleum floor sets off the creamy white cabinets, elevating the visual plane. We installed a new narrow 18" dishwasher, which has been a godsend. Also, the washer, which used to be fifty feet away in the bathroom, has been reunited with its dryer mate in the rear of the kitchen, which involved running new plumbing lines to the back corner.

This room, the supposed heart of the home, used to be oppressively drab, and the layout was labyrinthine. Now, we still don't have a "work triangle", but the workspace is much more functional than before. Each little compromise we lived with for the past three years may not seem significant on its own, but facing them all together on a daily basis chipped away at our sense of well-being. We didn't realize quite how much we were affected until the whole project was done and we looked back at the "before" pictures, wondering why we didn't take the plunge sooner. Now, the kitchen has a refreshing airiness, which makes us actually want to use it.

This is the rear portion of the kitchen, behind the stove and the fridge. Rob painted the hutch with the same colors we used on the walls. You can also see a cheerful chair by Emily Hurst, which just happens to go perfectly with all the other details.

Here are some extra shots showing the view from the living room and a closeup of the tile backsplash. This was the first time either of us had ever tiled, and I think it came out pretty well.

Finally, our color scheme was designed to go with these funky hand-painted knobs by Nancy Boyce of Thou Art Gallery in Groton, NY. There are nearly twenty of them all around the kitchen, throwing little splashes of color on the cabinets and drawers. Nancy and her painted knobs, dishes, bowls, switchplates, and soap dispensers can also be found on Sundays at the Ithaca Farmers' Market.


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

OH WERNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome transformation. At first glance my favorite change are the new windows above the washer and dryer. It must make for a wonderful sunset! No shed and new windows let the light in! Great job!

Former Owner, Andy Keal

Nancy L.K. Boyce said...

Hey Boys, your kitchen looks FAB! I was really excited to see your knobs in their new home. Thanks for the "plug".

sol y sombra creations said...

FAB-U-LOUS! Of course I love the tile work!

Kimberly said...

I was shocked at the phrase 'color scheme' until the reassurance that it was mostly creamy whites.

It looks great.

Jennifer said...

Can't wait to come and see for myself!!! It's beautiful.