Before & After: Kristina & Enrique's Timeless Kitchen

Before & After: Kristina & Enrique's Timeless Kitchen

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)
(Image credit: Photos submitted by Kristina & Enrique)

Before — Click through to see The Big Reveal!

(Image credit: Photos submitted by Kristina & Enrique)

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(Image credit: Photos submitted by Kristina & Enrique)
(Image credit: Photos submitted by Kristina & Enrique)

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Name:
Kristina & Enrique
Location:
Philadelphia, PA
Division:
U.S. Owner
My room makeover::
We bought our rowhome last year, 2014, and we fell in love with this old, beautiful Philadelphia home with stained glass, original wide plank hardwood floors and red brick. Our home was built in 1920 and the kitchen is an addition at the back of the house built in the 1940s. The metal cabinets were rusted through on the inside, the vintage gas stove never worked right and the cast iron sink was chipped with hairline cracks in places. We wanted to have many timeless elements that would complement the age of the house. We decided on the combination of white cabinets, Carrara marble counters and farmhouse sink. The stainless appliances, hand-made floating wood shelves and white-stained island (we decided to hack a dresser and top it with the same Carrara marble) are those modern elements that serve as counterpoints. We also decided to sand and refinish the original hardwood floors to a natural shade, keeping all those imperfections and details that really tell the story of our house.
My makeover advice::
Patience and an unlimited data plan. You can do it yourself – it’s just going to take time. It took us about 8 months from the first day of demo to the last drawer pull. We had never installed a kitchen before, but just know that there’s a YouTube video for just about anything and that sometimes the sixth try really will be the last (corner cabinets are hard to level). What matters most is having the right tools, so don’t skimp out and get a good set of drills, table saw, laser level, etc. and you will have invested in things that will help you with projects in the rest of the house once you’re done. Also, know your limits: floods and fires are scary so we hired a plumber for the new gas and water pipes and an electrician for the new power lines and recessed lights.
What I love most about my new space::
Having been renters for our entire adult lives (and having tiny apartment kitchens) we love coming to our large kitchen every night and looking at the beautiful space that we designed, installed and took so many months to perfect. After seeing the finished project we can really appreciate how well it all fits with the classic elements of our home.

And to all those purists, we still have the cast iron sink and stove in storage in Kristina’s mom’s barn in Central Pennsylvania. One day we’ll restore and install them in our future cabin in the woods (we can all dream, can’t we?)
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