Monday, May 30, 2011

Ta Dah! Kitchen Remodel - Post 1...

By the time I've finished with several blog postings about our kitchen remodel, it will be all done.  By Tuesday, or Wednesday, the contractors will have removed all their tools from our garage, their trailer from our driveway and their cheerful 'can do' attitudes from our home.  All in all, our experience with this disruption to our lives has been very positive.  I might leave you with some hard won advice.  The very first and most important task I urge you to do is IMMEDIATELY after you fall in love with a material, make sure it will be available to you.  I found this amazing glacier water colored 1" glass back splash tile at Lowes.  It was on a 12.5" x 12.5" mesh backing and was the exact color of the water in rivers and streams that come from snow melt and glaciers.  It's a hard color to describe, more green than blue.  We bought a sheet of it, matched it with some 4" x 2" accent tiles and I carried those pieces everywhere with me.  We based our cabinet color on them, our counter top on them, our flooring on them.  I even purchased a drapery panel of stripped watered silk for a valance that was the exact color of the 1" tile.  After we'd ordered everything, scheduled our contractor and started to purchase materials, we discovered that tile was going to be discontinued, it was not being reordered and our local Lowes did not have enough in stock for the job.  I have to admit, I almost cried.  We would have to start all over with a different color and I was heartbroken.  After arriving back home, we decided to check other Lowes in the area for their stock.  This was something that the associate at Lowes could have offered to do for us, but did not.  We found bits and pieces of both the 4" x 2" and the 1" tile at six different Lowes in Central Illinois.  My husband took a half day off of work and we took a road trip.  We bought pieces at Peoria, East Peoria, Champaign, Decatur, Springfield and Galesburg.  We now know where all the nearest Lowes are near our home.  So, unless you really want a tour of home improvement stores where you live, check first.

The second piece of advice I might offer is plan for longer than you think it might take and realize it will cost more than you thought.  Even when we had purchased everything we thought we would need, we still had to purchase more.  I knew I would want pretty new plates to cover the electric plugs and switches.  Our old ones were wood and ugly.  I ordered some beautiful ones on line (home improvement stores have a very limited selection and don't usually include the cable and phone jack covers), but I forgot to purchase new actual switches and plugs.  They deteriorate over time and get really dirty.  We also did not purchase grout for the back splash (I assumed the contractor would do this).  We didn't realize all the types of paint we would need.  A paint to match the cabinet color for the sides of the cabinets that were not refaced because the stove or fridge was there, a good primer, wall paint, ceiling paint, semi-gloss and eggshell finishes.  We ordered beautiful brushed nickel for the faucet, sink and cabinet handles but had dirty gold finishes on the pantry and garage doors.  Mixing the two metals looked awful, so we had to buy new hardware for the two doors.  We needed a new white vent cover for the heating; the old cover was dark and ugly.  We kept piling up the receipts in a folder and still do not have a total.  Our contractor will be the last receipt and we won't get his bill until next week.

The following pictures show our kitchen the day after we talked to the contractor.  Our remodel was done by several companies.  We contacted Wood Front Kitchens to have our cabinets refaced.  This involved new doors and covering our existing boxes with new material.  I elected to have our cabinets painted a light cream color, the doors design was kept simple.  If you look in the lower right corner of the first picture, you will see a trash masher that we don't use.  I requested a pull out spice rack just that size.  Our upper and lower cabinets and our counter top end at the trash masher.  I requested new upper and lower cabinets all the way to the door you see in the next to last picture.  Our old lower cabinets were to be retrofitted with roll out drawers for appliances and pots and pans.  The hood (which does not hold an exhaust fan) over the stove was to be removed and we would purchase a range hood with a light and exhaust fan.  Since we planned to install a new ceramic floor which would raise our fridge, the cabinet over the fridge would be removed, cut down, refaced and reinstalled so the fridge would fit under it.  Our microwave cabinet was too tall for our microwave so Dave suggested taking that entire cabinet down, making a new box to actually fit our microwave, and installing it.  This would raise the cabinet giving us more room under it.  In the second picture, you can see the microwave.  We stored all of our snacks on top of it since there was so much room left in that cabinet.  Stay tuned, next post I'll show you the cabinets and talk about our contractor.


  1. Beautiful outcome to all your hard work :)

  2. Hey, I remember that kitchen. Ruthann