Glad you’re Cookin’ and Decoratin’ with me today!
It’s already Spring of 2021, and we are all hoping this year will be better than 2020! So much has happened, good and not so good. We were blessed with our first grandchild, our granddaughter, Liliana Mae Kohler, born in June 2020. She’s has a full dark head of hair, enjoying life and of course, loves to eat! (Now there’s a surprise that she enjoys food like me!)
We also undertook the dream remodel of our 30-year-old kitchen this winter! In the interim, about 6 years ago, we did a spruce up by painting the cabinets cream (they were honey oak), installing an island with Kraftmaid cabinets my niece gave me, new Formica countertops, a snazzy new glass mosaic backsplash, and purchased new stainless-steel appliances. Everything cost about $7000.
But in late fall through early winter of 2020, we gutted the kitchen and turned it into my dream kitchen! It was out of commission for three months, and in combination with the recommended social distancing and not gathering with friends and family, cooking was pretty much out of the question! So, I spent the last six months or so working on the next steps for my blog and upcoming video channel. I am hoping that it will be worth the wait for you!
As you probably have guessed, my kitchen is my favorite part of my house. I can LIVE in my kitchen and I practically do outside of my daytime job. For years I have been salivating at the kitchens on display at home improvement stores, in magazines, and when many friends and family updated their kitchens or when they purchased a new home. I couldn’t believe we were actually going to do this! I had a Pinterest board, stacks of magazine pages with pictures of kitchens, cabinet sites bookmarked, appliances and equipment saved in a folder…you name it, I had it!
We selected our favorite contractor, Joe O’Neil, who has done impeccable work in our home over the years. He does a lot of work in my neighborhood, and when he is working on more than one of our homes at the same time, it can become a fight to the finish to claim his time and talents! His red van is notorious when it is parked in someone’s driveway! My heart skips a beat if I see the red van because I know he is working on something fabulous for one of my neighbors!
I chose Lowe’s to purchase the kitchen cabinets along with their design service. We selected Kraftmaid cabinetry, (Ruxton maple style, Moonshine color for the perimeter and Onyx for the island), and a beautiful white and gray quartz countertop from Colonial Marble and Granite. My dream sink was a 36” farmhouse stainless steel apron sink, and the pieces de resistance was the industrial looking stainless faucet and pot filler. We had our existing oak hardwood floors refinished to a darker shade, had them installed in the dining room, and painted the downstairs rooms in a complementary gray.
Along with beauty, storage and function are key elements of planning a kitchen remodel. By staying with the same footprint, we were able to save significant money. We tried to open up the full wall between the kitchen and dining room and ended up with extending the original opening only by one foot due to plumbing and HVAC running through the existing walls. But what a difference it still made! We saved the existing 3’ x 8’ island and wood surface and just replaced the cabinet doors with our new style doors in black and painted the back side and perimeter trim in the matching onyx black. A pendant light above the island and a single pendant above the sink are my favorite fixtures in my house, both from Lowes. As I sit in my den at night and look into my kitchen, I smile at the under-cabinet lighting that makes the kitchen glow.
Well, the cost for this remodel was a smidge higher that the last (ok, maybe more than a smidge). Everything probably came to about $50,000. Ouch! OK, I put it out there. My husband even did the demo and plumbing! Cabinets were about $17,000, quartz countertop $4500 (and I had the wood island counter already), appliances, sink, faucet and pot filler were $4300 (without the stove and dishwasher). We kept the existing ones. Harwood floor refinishing and new white oak installed in the dining room was $6000. We painted ourselves (and it looks like it)! New sliding door, and kitchen window, lighting close to $3000. Labor was all the rest and probably then some. I know you must be thinking “What was she thinking?” Well, I could make the analogy to buying a new car, like a Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer. I’ll take my new kitchen instead!
I’ve been practicing my recipes in my new kitchen and loving every minute I’m surrounded by this beauty, grateful for the opportunity to realize one of my dreams. Silly, I know, but what can I say? So if you’re thinking of redoing your kitchen, or bought a new home and want to jazz up your space, go for it! I’m here to help! Whatever your budget, it works! Swing me a note and I’d be thrilled to help! Let’s get decoratin’ so we can get cookin’!
Let’s Get Cookin’ (and Decoratin’)