• Elaine Zito

Kitchen Renovation

When we bought our house in Florida, we knew we were in for a big project. We were hopeful and excited that we could take something with good bones and turn it into our own. It was an affordable and fun option, and we learned so much. The kitchen and master bath were hands down the two hardest portions of the full renovation. Finally, three years later, we are done. Here is how we completely reconstructed and redesigned the kitchen:

Open Concept: As shown in the before picture, the kitchen was small, cut off, had laminate flooring, highlighter yellow cabinets, and ugly burnt red walls. Literally a nightmare. We knew the first thing to do was to open up the space. No one likes small, closed off rooms, especially in main living areas. So, this required knocking down cabinets, and part of a drop down ceiling. We ended up having to take about a 1/3 of the ceiling out due to water damage from one of the bathrooms above. I still have nightmares about putting drywall ceiling up. So hard, heavy, and terrifying if you drop it. Once we opened up the space, and fixed the ceiling, we painted everything a nice neutral color. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way, and can get rid of old smell in a heartbeat.

Flooring: Afterwards, we installed the hardwood flooring (it's best to paint before new floors, so that if you drop any paint, it won't matter). Next time we might do tile (because Florida). Just note: the darker the floors, the easier dirt will show up. One mistake we made was to replace the entire floor before we put the island in. When you install an island, it must rest on the concrete subfloor. We had to un-install the hardwood, pipe in electrical to the island (that's code) and then re-install. It took a little extra time, but you live and you learn. So now, we had an open concept, fresh painted walls, and new floors.

Cabinetry: Next was the cabinets. We went with KraftMaid from Lowes, and chose maple ginger for the color, with sable glaze as the accent. I believe we went with solid wood (maple) on the outside but a cheaper substitute on the inside. If you go all wood, it will be more expensive. Having man-made shelves will cut the cost and isn't noticeable/apparent. You can customize cabinets, and accessories as well. We chose a double trashcan to be hidden, and extra drawer space, as well as open shelving for decor/cookbooks. The open shelving was technically considered furniture, so it cost a little more. Finally, we got the quiet close feature and we had them highlighted with a darker outline (the sable glaze) so they popped. To finish off the cabinets, we added standard bronzed handles we got from Lowes.

Appliances: Then went in my farmhouse sink. I ordered it online and went with a double wide, two section sink. I like having the separate sections for the reason of having one place for dirty dishes, and another for washing them. I love the white porcelain, and I'd go farmhouse again. Allyn still prefers stainless steel. I got a matching bronze faucet, soap pump, and drains as well. The key is to make sure every accessory is the same shade and sheen. We currently still have the older white appliances that came with the house, but made sure during our selection process that the colors would go great with updated stainless steel, or even black stainless.

Countertops: After all of that was installed, we chose our granite. We went with a lighter base color but with lots of different shades (dark and light), spread throughout. Not huge movement, but not speckled either. The bigger the movement and lighter the color, the more expensive it will be. Quartz is also more expensive than granite, because it is apparently more durable and less porous. As long as you reseal your granite every couple of years, it will last forever though. And honestly, I ended up liking the granite color options more. Im obsessed, probably the best thing we chose. (Main difference between quartz and granite: quartz is manmade, granite is not)

Backsplash: After granite, we tiled the backsplash. It was pretty hard to find something that went with the medium colored floors, light cabinets, and all the different colors in the granite. Finally, we went with the same stone we installed in our master bath, but in a grey color. I love how it turned out. The dimension and different tones really makes it earthy and rich. We then topped it off with some bronze electrical outlets to match the rest of the accessories.

Lighting: Finally, we installed a new kitchen main light, light over the sink, and three drop down lights over the island. The brand is Allen+Roth.

I think the thing I love most is that its not like every other renovation you see. It's not white, or grey, with a fancy oven hood, and open shelving for all your perfectly placed dish ware. We worked with the space we had, and tried to do something a little different. I think it's not too shabby for out first time.

xoxo, Isla Girl