And here's why.
Hunter green counter tops. Yuck. Hunter green is fine as a limited accent color, but for something as permanent as counter tops. I can't seem to get away from hunter green. Our first house in Indiana had hunter green carpets and drapes in the bedroom. Double ugh. That's where the cappuccino figures in - we're doing Zodiaq quartz counter tops in cappuccino.
But to really appreciate just how far this kitchen will have come since we moved in, you must see how it looked before we removed the ugly wallpaper.........
That picture was taken as we toured the house with the realtor. The same sort of wallpaper existed in various incarnations in the hallway upstairs and down and in all 3 bathrooms. We paid someone to come in and remove that almost immediately and it's probably the best money we ever spent. It looks much better now.......
It's not just the counter tops with the hunter green, it's in the floor too. See that? More hunter green. The ugly vinyl is coming out and is being replaced with tile.
And the sink. The faucet is so low it's maddening. Pair a low faucet with that divider in the middle and you're talking lots of potential for dish breaking and yes, we've broken a few these last 2 years. We'll put in a stainless steel undermount sink with a large single bowl and a tall faucet with lots of clearance for large pots and pans. I'm sure we'll still break a few dishes, but at least we'll have a fighting chance!
We'll be ripping out all the existing oak cabinetry. The cabinets are in good condition, we just REALLY dislike oak. We'll be doing maple cabinets with a toffee finish. We looked into refacing, and although it would cut the costs by 1/3-1/2, we felt it would be an overall better value to replace. I was also surprised that the finishes available for refacing are quite limited - I wasn't really all that happy with any of the refacing finishes.
We'll also be replacing the island. It's fine as it is for storage, but it's not terribly functional. The current u-shape is nice for looking out into the family room while I'm prepping, but it leaves a lot of unused space between the sink area and the island. We're going for a rectangular design that will include a breakfast bar. I'm so excited about the breakfast bar. We had one for 7 brief months and even bought stools for it. Those stools have just been sitting in our dining room, waiting to be put to use. Other improvements to the island will be pull-out drawers for pots, pans and appliances, a trash cabinet and electrical outlets at either end. The island will be a slightly different style of cabinet and will have a dark, peppercorn finish for a little contrast to the lighter maple cabinets.
Other smaller improvements will include a real cabinet above the microwave. The former homeowners took out the existing cabinet to put in an over-the-range microwave. While I really like the OTR micro (but why oh why did they pick white to go with black and ss???), I'm not so fond of looking at the micro vent. Sloppy work.
We'll also be taking out the brass-rimmed light box and putting in recessed can lighting on either side of the kitchen with two pendant lights over the island.
As you can see from these pictures, we've already gotten rid of the white and brass flying saucer they used to have hanging in our breakfast nook area.
Oh, and the caramel. That's a potential wall color. We'll be painting the kitchen and the family room ourselves after everything else is finished - that way we can save a little money and live with the kitchen a little bit before we make any paint choices.
So, that's it. As always, there are so many other things we'd love to do if money weren't an issue - like tearing out the soffit, replacing the white microwave, the ceramic stove (I prefer gas) and the dishwasher, but we're already doing a lot more than we dreamed we'd be able to, so no one's complaining. The appliances can be done a little at a time as budget allows. Of course DH likes to occasionally talk about blowing out the wall and expanding out......but that's just "if we won the lottery" talk..........
The contract is signed and hopefully work will start at the end of July. After that, there's still that darned hunter green sink in the half bath downstairs...........