Renovation Reality, Volume 6: The Kitchen
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By far, this is the most dramatic change within our English Tudor home project. While the renovation of this space took up a big chunk of the overall project budget, we were able to get a big bang for our buck, by reusing certain elements.

Although not original to the home, the kitchen still felt dark and dated. The previous owners renovated the kitchen in the early ’90’s, adding new cabinets, appliances and countertops. The small size of this kitchen limits the configuration, so our challenge was to make the most of the space.

The original kitchen had dark cherry wood cabinets, white corian countertops, and a tile floor: dark, dated, and not very appetizing. Look at the before and after picture above… certainly a big change!

Rather than gut the entire kitchen, we opted to keep the cherry cabinets, but have them painted a creamy white. The cabinets were in good condition, had a nice recessed panel door, and the tall height draws your eye up to give the illusion of a larger room. Reusing these cabinets was also a big savings, and by painting them white, light from the window reflects through the room. Because the appliances were all high end, and still in good working condition, we opted to keep the black appliances, for now, and replace them with stainless steel as needed.

We removed the tile floor and had new hardwood laid and stained to match the hardwood floors in the rest of the home. Not only does this look more appealing, but it helps the eye flow seamlessly from room to room.

We removed the tile floor and had new hardwood laid and stained to match the hardwood floors in the rest of the home. Not only does this look more appealing, but it helps the eye flow seamlessly from room to room.

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The florescent ceiling lights were replaced with black iron lantern style fixtures to add additional charm and character to the room. The fixtures were installed with dimmer switches, giving the option of full light for cooking, or dim light for entertaining.

The biggest change to the room was the eating area. Prior to our renovation, a small breakfast bar could seat two people. By removing this breakfast bar, we were able to carve out enough space for a larger seating area. The built in bench and table are perfect for informal family meals, homework and cookie-making. Two small stools store under the table when not in use, easily sliding out for additional seating. We chose to replace all of the countertops in the room with a warm beige granite, and used this same granite for our tabletop. Above the granite, we selected a creamy white beveled mini subway tile for our backsplash. This style of tile is updated and fresh, yet timeless enough to relate back to the style of the home.

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A few decorative touches, like a custom bench cushion, upholstered in an indoor/outdoor fabric to make clean up a breeze, some throw pillows, and a whimsical vinyl wall quote, help to give this kitchen some extra warmth and personality.

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Once dark and dated, now light, bright and fresh. This kitchen is truly the heart of this home!

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