The Yummy Life's kitchen recently got a complete makeover. As a food blogger spending most days cooking and photographing as I create recipes, my desire for a kitchen remodel was both personal and professional. Some of my choices were specifically made to make my blogging life easier, but overall I wanted a beautiful, organized, efficient place to cook in my home.
This was a down-to-the-studs, total gut job remodel. Anyone who has lived through the months of a major remodel understands that the process itself is a hassle, but it quickly becomes so worth it. After cooking in my new kitchen for a few months now, I am so in love with the results. No regrets. It was definitely worth the months of inconvenience during the remodel itself.
Making something old new again. Our house is almost a century old, and we've lived in it for over 20 of those years. Along with the charm of an old house came numerous challenges that revealed themselves throughout the remodel. Our house has good bones and was originally very well-built. However, within the walls we encountered a few surprises that required our architect and contractor to find creative solutions along the way. We were glad they both were experienced at working with old houses, because they were able to resolve every hiccup we encountered.
Remodel wish list. Before the remodel began, we made a list of features we wanted the most. Here are the highlights:
It takes a village!
I am in awe of the skill, ingenuity, and artistry of the talented people who transformed our kitchen. From the architects, to the carpenters, to the electricians, to the painters, to the masons and tile workers--together they made my dream kitchen a reality. In particular, a big shout-out to:
An overview with more to come
Today, I'm sharing an overview of our remodel with before and after photos. In future posts I will get more into the weeds of different components of the kitchen remodel--sourcing for cabinets, countertops, hardware, appliances, paint, etc., along with organization of kitchen drawers, and my awesome new walk-in pantry. But, this post is devoted to a basic show-and-tell of the overall kitchen remodel. We also remodeled the rest of the 1st floor of our house and made a few changes to the 2nd floor too. I will share glimpses of those in future posts.
Our Kitchen Remodel -- Before and After
Below is a view of the wall that was removed between our kitchen and dining room. (Those dated paint colors make me cringe a little! 😬) Our house has original archways leading into several rooms, and we wanted to incorporate arches into our remodel in order to provide design continuity. After the kitchen was gutted and the wall was removed, an arch was added to visually define the kitchen and dining space; also we added large arched windows in the kitchen.
Below is a before and after view of our dining room from the front door entryway. The arches matched throughout the first floor, with trim and keystones added to each.
You can see in the photos below how the kitchen and dining rooms were opened up and transformed into a lighter, brighter place. We added coffered beamed ceilings in every room on the first floor for architectural interest and design continuity. I particularly love the arch over the bar that separates the kitchen and dining room; it creates architectural flow from one room to the next.
Below is a different angle where you can see "thru" the old dining room wall into the new kitchen. The bar with stools has been a game changer in how we use our kitchen. It's a great place to eat, of course, but also provides additional counter prep space for cooking, a place where I work on my laptop, and is perfect for setting up a buffet with easy access to the dining table. I'm so happy that our architect was able to fit in both an island and a bar.
Below is what our old kitchen looked like on the other side of the dining room wall that was removed.
Below is a view of the kitchen from the opposite side, looking from the kitchen into the dining room. I went with the trend of having an island color that contrasts with the other cabinetry. I love the mix of white and wood and chose a natural walnut island. The wood tones only get richer as time goes on. ❤❤❤
Below is a view of our bar from the kitchen side. It has spacious drawers for storage and a beverage fridge.
Below you can see how the architect left a bit of the original dining room wall so there would be a place for the fridge at the end of the bar. There's also a small cabinet and open shelving for cookbooks to the right of the fridge.
Among my favorite features of our new kitchen are the big arched windows. They bring so much light into the room and add a distinctive design element. The window over the sink has clear glass and looks onto our deck that is filled with plants and flowers. I love standing at my sink and looking out that window! The window over the stovetop has obscured glass, since the view out the window is the side of our neighbor's house. We wanted light from that window but didn't need the view. I had suggested glass bricks over the stovetop for obscured light, but our brilliant architect suggested a matching arched window with obscured glass instead--such a better choice!
Below is another view of the kitchen. In the "before" picture, the arched doorway on the right leads to our old back door. We closed off that door and converted that area to a walk-in pantry. A new back door was added next to the pantry.
Behind the teal pocket door (repurposed from our previous back door) is a new walk-in pantry with an appliance counter. I'll share details about the pantry in a future post. For now, let me just say that I love my new pantry almost as much as my children. Not quite, but almost. 😉
We added solid walnut open shelving in several places. Shelving on either side of the arched window over the sink is perfect for displaying my colorful Italian dishes that I bought on my trip to the Amalfi Coast of Italy. They are handy there, since I use them every day; and, I also love how they add a pop of color to the wall. I store glassware on the shelves over the small sink--that area is "Cocktail Central"! 🍸🍷🍹 Open shelves next to the fridge are for storing cookbooks.
My white-on-white tile goes all the way to the ceiling on two walls. I love that look. I went against trend and didn't choose subway tile. I don't dislike subway tile, but I preferred something with more pattern and texture. White grout against the white tile keeps the design more subtle, while adding texture and beautiful shadows. I particularly like the contrast of the white tile against the walnut shelves, window trim and colored dishes. (Thanks to my sister, Nelda, for helping me pick out tile!)
And, for my blog... Below, the walnut cabinet under the window was custom designed to use for my blog photography. You can't tell, but it is on wheels that are discreetly tucked up underneath. I do much of my blog photography on this cart using the natural window light. Because it's on wheels, as the light shifts throughout the day I can roll it to different locations. It's lower than regular counter height making it easier to shoot from overhead. I store my camera equipment in the drawers below. A bonus is that it doubles as a cart that I can pull up to the table if I need the extra space for serving food. It also is great for a baking prep counter--the perfect height for rolling out dough. I can wheel it next to wherever I'm working in the kitchen. I had no idea how versatile that cart would turn out to be!
That's my kitchen remodel overview. I'll be sharing more details in future posts. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Make it a Yummy day!
You might also like this post about creating a 2nd floor laundry closet: