Monday, June 16, 2008

Toffee, Caramel, Cappuccino and Peppercorn.

That's not a list of what's cooking in my kitchen, that's the list of colors going in to our new kitchen. Please excuse this rather self-indulgent post, but The Savory Notebook's kitchen is getting a makeover!

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.


I mean look at that just wasn't "us".........


Nothing fancy, but definitely more us.........


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...........


  1. OMG you have (had) my kitchen--I am SO sorry! Actually yours is much nicer--an actual island and all--but nonetheless I so feel your pain. I have those green counters and the ridiculous low sink. It is awful.

    I am curious to know what you dislike about oak since we are currently planning our new kitchen as well....

  2. Laura - LOL. At least it's only temporary in your case!

    We just don't like the heavy grain with oak - we like the smoother (for lack of a better word at the moment) look of maple or cherry. It's just a personal preference.

    That said, the island will be a very dark oak - kind of like dark espresso furniture stain - but with the dark stain, you don't see the grain.

    Feel free to email me if you want to bounce ideas around. I love to talk about kitchen remodel stuff! We did one other very small kitchen too.

  3. It's a big job, but it will look great when it's all finished. We re-did our kitchen a few years ago, but decided to paint after when we gutted it and before everything was installed. I can't imagine trying to tape all around the cabinets and get in those small spaces, but it looks like you have a lot more room to work with. Best of luck with it all!

  4. Oh my gosh, you are so lucky! You're going to be terribly happy with all of the changes, and it will that much more fun to cook in your kitchen. Can't wait to see the 'after' pics!

  5. Sandy - You're right, it might be a good idea to paint while it's gutted! I could do that in the evenings while the workers are gone. I do have a color picked out, but it's so hard to decide! The kitchen was painted only 2 years ago (after the wallpaper came down), so it's in good shape but the color may not be quite right for the new stuff.

    Lori - I'm excited. With this remodel, it's not just cosmetic, it will be so much more functional too.

  6. I. AM. JEALOUS. :) All this darn kitchen remodeling talk... someday I need to own a kitchen worth remodeling ;)

  7. It's well-organized kitchen allows you to spend more time with your loved ones; and a beautiful kitchen turns the cooking and baking hours into an enjoyable, warm experience.

  8. Oooh I can't wait to see the after photos!

    The wallpaper cracked me up. A friend bought a house with bad border wall paper. It had pink and baby blue geese and it was in almost every room.

  9. First, I am super jealeous. Second, I can't wait to see the after pictures. When we moved in our house we had the sparkle wallpaper in the dining room. Yuck.

  10. You have a huge kitchen! It is so much fun planning a renovation- good luck with your project and post pictures to keep us up to date!

  11. Oh, I feel your pain. Our kitchen use to look just like yours. Except, our counters were like a peachy color. It was awful.

    You will defiantly be happier with the changes. I can't wait to see the after pictures! :]

  12. Josie - Hope we don't drive you nuts! ;) What makes your kitchen not worth updating?

    Kristib - and green. I wish I could find pictures of the woman who had bears and bear borders all over her house - eek!

    Kim - I've pretty much sworn off of ALL wallpaper!

    Deborah - Well, I don't know if a 13 x 13 kitchen is huge, but I guess it's all relative and what you're used to. :)

  13. Tarah - Peach - hmmm...I just might choose hunter green over peach! ;) The worst I ever saw though was that awful 70s orange. Not much else is more garish and disturbing to me than bright orange counter tops!

  14. Wow - our kitchens could be clones! My hunter green laminate is so scary! Our floor tile is only slightly better - at least it's not green. But the cabinets, the appliances, etc - all mismatched just like yours. What's even more maddening is I have receipts that show that the former owners bought the stainless dishwasher, black and stainless stove, black microwave and white fridge all at the same time! Who does that?

    We've been redoing all their "projects" since we moved in. I can't wait to tackle the kitchen, but unfortunately it has to wait since it's technically perfectly functional - just ugly!

  15. una donna dolce - I think some people just go by price and don't really consider aesthetics at all. We are driven by budget too, but we TRY to do things as nicely as we can. Alas, our poor appliances will remain mismatched for a while longer as they are in good working order.

    The list of house projects is never ending, isn't it? There are other things we probably should tackle first, but what the heck...... :)