Sadly, most of the original details in this house were lost to a previous owners bad 1990's reno. Our challenge in the kitchen--and, indeed, all the rooms--was to make the best of what we had and to acknowledge the home's historic past, while modernizing key elements.
Starting from the bottom up: after a professional deep cleaning we were pleasantly surprised that the ceramic tile floors were actually in great shape. Since the color palette wasn't objectionable, we decided to save money there and, in fact, the floor informed the rest of the color choices in the room, including the soft green on the walls.
With a tight budget, we had to prioritize, and (as you can see from the "before" picture), new appliances were a definite must. After replacing the non-working range and dishwasher, we knocked out the curved shelves on the end of the island and used the space to add a little luxury: a wine refrigerator!
The previous owners contractor-grade pressboard cabinets were repaired, sanded, and given a fresh coat of white paint. My sister added a film (similar to this one from Home Depot) to the inside of the glass cabinets to give them a frosted effect and changed out the hardware to simple brushed nickel knobs and bin pulls from Restoration Hardware.
We ripped out the awful purple formica countertops and had them replaced with 3/4" granite in a mix of beiges and green. The soil in Dallas is especially shifty and weight on the foundation is always an issue. If you have similar a similar problem but still want granite countertops, 3/4" is the way to go--they're also cheaper than the standard 1-1/4" thick tops! A new field tile backsplash from Ann Sacks and under-counter xenon lighting completes the cabinetry make-over.
The other major improvements included removing the dated and unnecessary soffit from above the breakfast bar, and adding new lighting, fans, and window treatments.
It may seem like a lot of changes, but leaving the original floors and cabinets saved both time and money in the renovation process. Before you dig into a major gut-rehab of your kitchen, try to imagine what things would look like with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware--you might be surprised at the results!
Image Credits: Bethany Adams