Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Kitchen Makeover

Wouldn't it be nice to start over with a new kitchen? How many of you want to custom design, gut and renovate your own kitchen? But not everyone can or wants to tackle such an enormous and, almost always, disruptive project. Sometimes a makeover makes more sense.

When my clients, Ceane and her husband, moved into a charming historic home, they knew one day they'd make changes to their kitchen, which had been updated by the previous owner. Despite a few quirks such as oddly placed cupboards, pinkish counter tops, and a ginormous fridge that stuck out too far, the kitchen, for the most part, was pleasant.

After living with it for four years and adding lots of wear to the cabinet doors and appliances, Ceane knew it was time to do 'something.' A full-blown renovation was ruled out. While the family loves the house, it may or may not be their forever home. Plus the quality of the cabinetry is good - why toss out? So we all agreed on a makeover.

Well, what was once a hodgepodge of doors, materials and styles is now a beautiful kitchen with classic elements appropriate for a circa 1922 home. Ceane did an amazing job! I'm so pleased that she incorporated many of my suggestions. And those of family friend Ashley. 

Let's check out the before: 
My first reaction: this galley kitchen was too busy with all the different door styles and countertops. Ashley thought the crown moldings on the upper cabinets were too weak. And Ceane wanted the plain windows replaced with traditional divided-light windows that complement the period charm of the house.

We all decided that the cabinets could be repainted rather than replaced. A few of the doors did have to be modified. Luckily, all of the old brass bin pulls and knobs were reused; they have the most soulful patina! 
Note the combination of pinkish Silestone and orange butcher-block countertops. And that funky floating cupboard hovering next to the giant fridge. Those all had to go!

By the way, are you a fan of the divided sink? I had one that I  thought was awkward. I prefer an undivided sink large enough to wash pots, but not overly deep which can force you to bend down and strain your back. 
Are you ready for the transformation? Drumroll, please . . .

Here is the gorgeous 'semi-new' kitchen - clean, crisp and cohesive! 

I suggested the combination of honed Calacatta Gold marble countertops with white subway tiles in an updated contemporary size of 4" x 8." With fewer grout lines, the larger tiles look cleaner and less busy. They even add a fresh, modern vibe to this historic home.
All the cabinets were repainted Benjamin Moore Simply White to match the trim throughout the house. Don't you love the beefier crown moldings now on the upper cabinets? Such a quick and easy way to jazz up any stock cabinet - awesome idea, Ashley! Check out the new paneled vent hood also painted Simply White. And remember the supersized fridge? Gone! The new fridge is a much better fit, and Ceane had custom panels added on both sides. Those changes give the kitchen a more seamless look.
The other side of the island showing a bank of drawers and doors with the stunning brass hardware. Wall behind island is painted Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.
BELOW: I found the gray Remington Factory pendants at Barn Light Electric. That's my new favorite shade of gray. Will be adding kitchen chairs and cafe curtains in that same color for the breakfast area - stay tuned!
Ceane selected the Easton faucet set from Waterworks. She originally ordered it in polished nickel, but I talked her into unlacquered brass. It's already starting to age, and will soon complement the bin pulls and knobs.

One of the family's favorite changes is the Shaws farmhouse sink, which is timeless with the marble. Like the brass, the marble will take on an organic patina with daily use.

Above the farm sink are new double-hung Anderson windows with divided lights.
A HUGE thanks to Ceane for letting me blog about her kitchen! She did an incredible job pulling it all together!! 
Cheers,
Loi 

77 comments:

  1. Perfection! It's hard to believe it is the same kitchen - you could not have achieved a more dramatic transformation. I love the brass faucet and the new sink; (I am not a fan of divided sinks.) Fabulous light fixtures as well! xoxo

    PS. Sorry for the deleted comment - a typo caused by my being stunned overall. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Phyllis! Just left Ceane's home.....we were just admiring the brass faucet, which has already taken on a darker patina.

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  2. What a great transformation! I love everything about this update. I too am not a fan of divided sinks, they do not seem practical to me and I love giving my kids sink baths so a divided sink would definitely not work! I can't decide whether my favorite thing about the kitchen is the new farmhouse sink or the stunning marble counter top!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I love the combo of farmhouse sink with the marble!

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  3. Hello Loi, All the small touches sure do add up, especially the fresh white paint and the new divided windows. I am o.k. with divided sinks--they have their uses, and when I used to have to wash huge roasters once or twice a year, it was no problem to take them down to the large sink in the basement.
    --Jim

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  4. Loi, thank you for sharing this beautiful remake. What a difference it all makes for this space. Love an undivided farm sink, which is what we have, and we also have Waterworks faucet in unlacquered copper. We have granite counters, but love the white marble.

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  5. Love your entire esthetic here! Just wonderful! Can you tell me more about the subway tiles you used? They are beautiful.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you! The tiles came from Architectural Ceramics in Bethesda, Maryland.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. Excellent handmanship.

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    1. The transformation is beautiful. The color of the cabinets, flooring, and counter tops is vibrant. The color of the appliances compliments the color of the kitchen.

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    2. Thank you, Elizabeth. Glad you enjoyed seeing this project. Cheers

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  7. Wonderful transformation! The marble is beautiful, I really like the oversized tile on the walls, and the pendant lights are perfect. I am personally not a fan of brass finished faucets with the stainless appliances, but I think once it ages into a patina like the drawer pulls, it will look great. Well done!
    Claudia

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  8. My goodness Loi this is gorgeous!! I have an undermount divided sink and I wish I could have a farmer's sink. I love the marble and the pendants! Perfect blending of pieces

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  9. Hello Loi, I am just catching up on my favourite blogs and loved reading your previous post where your sisters and family visited. The guest room is adorable an so welcoming.
    Sean's kitchen makeover is outstanding. That you saved the cabinetry and painted it makes it so much more unique. I particularly love the unpolished taps or faucets. I did not know this type was available and so perfect with the cabinet pulls and knobs.
    Thanks for sharing. Continued joy as the summer wanes.
    Helen xx

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    1. Correction, I did write Ceane but autocorrect felt it should be Sean's...my apologies Ceanne

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    2. No worries, Helen ;-) Ceane and her family love their new kitchen! I just visited. Cheers

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  10. You did an amazing make-over of their kitchen. Looks so elegant and functional now. Well done Loi.

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  11. Such a beautiful remodel! I love especially love the faucet, great call going with the brass. It is such a bright a gorgeous room!

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  12. I am intending to do a makeover on my kitchen but do not want the upheaval of a complete job, I am now feeling more encouraged having seen this - thanks Loi

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  13. Wow! I really love this look. I like to see creative makeovers better than complete a redo. I think it is more realistic and can be done incrementally.

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  14. amazing after! windows and crown really did it. but of course, the marble and subway tile are timeless as well. so well done any without a complete over haul. terrific work. donna

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  15. OMG....OMG..OMG
    WHAT A FANTASTIC REFORMATION!!!!
    Great job ALL
    xo
    Patty

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  16. YOU are my man. My man LOI! :)

    OK, you did it. You used your genius to wisely redo this space that definitely had good bones, just the wrong colors and materials! IF I COULD Loi, I'd get you over here to do something with our kitchen. Good bones, and I wouldn't take out the cabinetry, but it would just need to be painted. What you did with the sink (I WANT A FARMHOUSE SINK!) is amazing. I believe in cleaner lines, less "noise" from too many colors and edges, and the result is this peaceful place that you always manage to create. Bravo my friend. LOVE!!!!!

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  17. I see I am alone here as a fan of the divided sink. I like a deep sink which is divided. There are always things to hand wash and I keep a stainless drainer in one side of my sink to put those things in after they are washed. For me, an undivided sink is impractical.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Jeannine. And you are not alone. We all have our preferences ;)

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  18. Loving it Loi!!! I'm doing a very similar project! Those little things are key- the flush fridge, the sink, the hood and crown. Love it!- and you!! Xoxo, K

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  19. Loi,
    beautiful update and since I lived through a total gut to our kitchen in the 80's and just completed an update like a month ago I completely agree with their decision and with your guidance and suggestions no wonder this kitchen update is stellar. BTW I am not a fan of divided sinks either. Give me deep and wide and I'm happy.
    xo,
    Vera

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  20. Bravo Loi! Your client's kitchen is lovely... She must be thrilled!

    xo
    Brooke

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  21. I need someone (well of course YOU would be the perfect one dearest Loi!) to wave a magic wand over my kitchen and have it end up looking much like this beautiful space. It's all just fabulous - especially love the sink, the lighting, and paint colors.

    You and Tom are enjoying the waning summer days I hope - we've cooled off a wee bit and right now Bob IS laboring despite the holiday - I hear the lawn mower! This means I must head out too - need to prune the ever-growing Jasmine on the front porch, and also plant some pretty purple asters I bought a few days ago.

    Hugs from us both Loi - Mary X

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  22. Holy cow - it's gorgeous! It's amazing how the white paint transformed the cabinets. Love the white counter and tiles, too. Beautiful!

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  23. I agree with Jeanine above and love a divided sink! I too put the drainer on the right side, almost out of site. I find one large sink too cavernous and easier to have things break.
    But otherwise, I love this! We are thinking of updating our kitchen, and have some of these very same ideas…do not want to renovate at all, so will take it step by step. Very helpful post and ideas Loi! thank you….

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  24. The kitchen looks absolutely lovely Loi! Well done!

    Madelief

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  25. Stunning! great changes. Love the bronze and brass hardware, I have been looking at something quite similar for my new kitchen. Oh how I miss my Shaw farmhouse sink. It was not offered in our new home so I have a divided sink. I sure will miss my huge sink. The pendant lighting was so perfect to bring out the veining in the marble. Always good design when you are on board, Happy Labor day!!

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  26. Change is indeed in order, and you have stepped up to that demand. I like the new sinks you have added here. That said, I also think an undivided sink is more preferable, since you can do all the washing that you need there at once. Structurally, it just looks more efficient. Good call!

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing

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  27. Stunning renovation!...Love the marble countertops and glad she went with the unlacquered brass...a great decision!....I too love a large undivided sink...that was my first thing on my kitchen wish list and I so love it...I am sure the homeowners are so happy that you provided them with such great advice and followed through...those pendants were a great find!

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  28. It looks amazing, Loi. I am the biggest fan of marble countertops and the pendant lights are the perfect complement! Your client must be so excited - Hope your holiday weekend was great!

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  29. Stunning makeover! The waterworks faucet in unlaquered brass is on my buy sheet for my kitchen renovation. Great team effort! It's lovely.
    cheers
    Sarah

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  30. With such a creative team, there was not doubt that the crisp and clean look of this kitchen would be nothing but impressive, beautiful, and bright! Beautiful windows add charm to an already pretty room. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous transformation, Loi!

    Happy September!

    xo
    Poppy

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  31. Beautiful transformation! I am a huge fan of single basin kitchen sinks. Unless there's a tiny dog that will actually let you give it a bath....

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  32. Absolutely love it.......you did a beautiful job and this is a kitchen that will stand the test of time Loi. Thank you for sharing with us:) Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

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  33. Loi, I al always inspired by your transformations! This kitchen is fabulous and goes to show that a complete "gut job" is not always needed to have a beautiful kitchen!

    I hope that you had a nice, relaxing weekend!

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  34. Good transformation and shows tweaks work and it doesn't always have to be crazy different or start from scratch. Waiting for your book Loi!

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  35. Lovely update! Its amazing what a transformation such seemingly simple changes can make. That is the value of having an educated 'eye' become a working partner in the redesign!

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  36. Wow, it's just lovely. Honestly I never would have known those were the same cabinets. Calacutta gold ... it must be in my house. Somehow, some way.

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    1. Thanks, Erin! And thank you for the shout out on your blog :)

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  37. Loi,
    I love the transformation! The white cabinets complimented by the Calcutta marble is perfection. The kitchen looks great, your friends must love the changes.
    xo,
    Karen

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  38. very beautiful! love that you kept the hardware - it's wonderful!

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  39. I love the brass faucet. Giving me some second thoughts about my own faucet! What a gorgeous kitchen. Yes, overhauling a kitchen is A LOT of work and requires a lot more patience.

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    1. PS-I hate divided sinks. My pots and pans keep getting bigger and I need a bathtub size sink. Also since I am so lazy and prefer the soak method to prepare my dishes to be washed, I need lots of sink real estate to set big batches on soak.

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    2. I know. Our pots are HUGE....need them to make big batches of soup that we can freeze and heat up during the week.

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  40. Beautifully done! Love the lighting and hardware, well I really am thrilled with it all Loi!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring India Hicks!

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  41. clean, fresh, alive...... loved how all was pulled together to create this beautifully cohesive kitchen, who could want anything more!
    thrilled to see you back loi
    debra

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  42. Wowza!! What a difference some simple changes made by a pro can make!! Love it!!

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  43. Beautiful transformation. I agree, I love that shade of grey on the lighting fixture.

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  44. So much to love, Loi!!! Those bin pulls are absolutely fabulous. Loving the marble but probs to nervous to use it for my own cottage on account of my son and I are the messiest chefs in the history of marinara! We need forgiving finishes for our limitations. The grey is also fans. Peace to you, and happy September.

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  45. Beautiful makeover! Thanks for sharing Loi!
    Hugs,
    Vesna

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  46. God bless America....this is stunning and looks like a completely new kitchen! Nailed it!

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  47. As always, exquisite and stunning, dear Loi! Another masterpiece... :) (I want that sink!) ;)
    xoxo

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  48. Fabulous makeover! Would love those counter tops but my husband helps in the kitchen and they would be a sorry sight after a month of him in the kitchen! I love the sink, but my double sink works for me, because one side has the garbage disposal, and two sinks keeps me from losing spoons down the disposal!

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    1. Good point, Jayne! Not fun losing spoons down there :(

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  49. It looks absolutely amazing and so refreshing! Their lucky to have your thoughts on board for this one Loi!

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  50. Hi Loi! The kitchen is fabulous. You and your client did an amazing job on this transformation. Is she in the DC area? If so, might you and she be willing to share who did the painting and cabinet modifications? I am in need of similar services. I have an old house with a 1980s kitchen that would make you cringe if you could see it - red cherry!! - but like in your client's house, the cabinetry is in good condition and there is no reason to rip it out and replace it with new boxes in the same place. I want a few new doors, a farm sink, a fridge surround, etc. very similar to what you did here. Every cabinet shop just wants to sell me new cabinets, which is not happening. I would be beyond appreciative if you could tell me who did the work here. I live in southern md about an hour south of DC. Thanks so much!!!

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    1. Pamela - If you leave me your email address, I'll send you the contractor's info.

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    2. That would be absolutely fantastic! It is bellasmom35@yahoo.com.

      Thanks so much! I can't tell you how hard I have looked for someone who would do this work without new kitchen cabinets :)

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  51. Looks nicely done-- who did the carpentry and installation?

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  52. This was an inspirational transformation. Love love love the pendants you added and all of the tone on tone choices. We saw similar from Hudson lighting (Masena) and custom lengths with rods from schoolhouse electric. Not entirely sure of which we will go with. Super excited to see what you select for barstools!

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  53. The pendants Loi chose are the Remington Uplight Factory Pendants which you can see here -- http://www.barnlightelectric.com/pendant-lighting/vintage-pendants/the-remington-uplight-factory-pendant.html -- but if you want more customizing options, be sure to check out our American-made Wesco Uplight Cord Hung Pendant which includes half a dozen different customizing options. You can see this pendant here -- http://www.barnlightelectric.com/pendant-lighting/barn-pendant-lights/the-wesco-uplight-cord-hung-pendant.html. The Wesco Uplight also comes in a stem mounted version -- http://www.barnlightelectric.com/pendant-lighting/barn-pendant-lights/the-wesco-uplight-stem-mount-pendant.html -- also hand crafted right here in the USA and with plenty of customizing options to suit your style.

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  54. Perfect kitchen make-over! I really love white in kitchens. Love the lighting and hardware. Great transformation! Thanks for inspiring!

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  55. Hey Buddy,

    Amazing transformation! Marble countertops are simply beautiful which gives a neat & clean look to the kitchen. White Cabinets add new shine in the space. I was thinking to buy a new home and wish to have kitchen like this. If the space is not similar to this one, then I'll prefer to remodel it. In this I will tak help from kitchen remodeling company that works with professionals.

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi