People thought we were crazy (and you may too) when I announced that we were building a new semi-custom home… and then gutting it. Everyone knows that I love a project– the bigger the better quite frankly! But even so, it did raise a few eyebrows especially on the day of closing when eight white trucks with various contractors arrived to start the demolition. The purpose: to take a basic builder home (oddly enough, the model was called the “Extreme Home”) and give it an “Extreme Makeover”, with a fleur-de-lis twist! All this on a tight budget and with a looming deadline– as the lease on our crowded rental house was coming to an end! (Can you say two dogs, four kids, and two busy adults cooped up like chickens all summer?)
So we got started with the kitchen (my favorite room in the house). Here’s the story…. You’ve seen it many times: standard oak cabinets, entry level granite, oddly placed windows, 12×12 white builder tile, white walls and my personal favorite: no desk or office space for me! (What were they thinking?) So we rolled up our sleeves and brought in the creme de la creme of our trusted contractors and cabinet makers to join in the transformation. The biggest changes: Knotty alder cabinets in varying heights, a black furniture style island, travertine flooring and backsplash, commercial appliances (2 dishwashers and ovens), enlarged 2-level island with barstool seating, pendant lighting, custom range hood (we ditched the ‘odd’ windows to make it fit), and a pantry that made sense for 4 busy children and 2 working adults. We also added a breakfast bar with tall wood columns (not really wood, but painted to look like wood) and an arch that now So three months later we finally moved in and the kitchen is now where we spend most of our time– who doesn’t? It has the ‘french feel’ that I was looking for: warm butterscotch walls, toile and ticking window valances, bold pendant chandeliers with a vintage look, barnyard red barstools with rush seats (cute but hard to keep clean), cabinets that feel more like furniture than a place to hide your tupperware, and seating for 14 little or big people. The best part? Enjoying (hence the vinyl ‘Enjoy’ behind the range) the people and friends that make the kitchen truly come alive…
Don’t be overwhelmed by the scope of this project… The majority of our client projects range from simple pantry organization (check out the ‘chalk talk’ blog entry below) and one-day room makeovers to kitchen cabinet refinishing, affordable window treatments, material selection for flooring/granite/backsplash and everything in between. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that a makeover (large or small) can take any space from standard to stunning!
Design To-Do’s for Kitchen (aka: what it took to take this project from start to finish): Material Selection, Cabinet Design, Color Consultation, Project Management/Scheduling, Accessory Shopping, Space Planning, Partnership with Architect for Remodeling Elements, and Custom Window Treatments (fabric and wood)
So, enough words! Here are the pictures… CLICK ON ANY OF PHOTOS FOR A LARGER, CLEARER VIEW