Before and After: A Bright & Friendly Kitchen Emerges From Two Small Rooms

Before and After: A Bright & Friendly Kitchen Emerges From Two Small Rooms

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Tamara Gavin
Dec 8, 2016
View showing the two rooms.
(Image credit: Emilio Ancaya)

When Kate and Emilio purchased their Spanish Revival house, the kitchen was small and broken up into two separate rooms — an awkwardly long mudroom/pantry and an inefficiently small and dated kitchen. The cabinets and countertops were installed right in front of the windows, and there was little workspace between the range and sink. An entrance door from the outside is used more often by the family than the main front door, making it important for them to have a welcoming and bright room to walk into.

The "in-progress" kitchen after the dividing wall came down.
(Image credit: Emilio Ancaya)

This family spends a lot of time in the kitchen: they love to cook, bake, and eat together. After moving in, they immediately decided that renovating this space would be the priority ... just as soon as they could muster enough inspiration and money. In preparation for this project (and to be certain that they followed through!), they demolished the dividing wall and added a structural beam. Then they ripped out the tile in the existing mudroom. They lived in this partly demolished kitchen for about two years. During this time, they put up inspiration photos of ideas on the walls and refrigerator, both for the new design and the food they imagined cooking in their new kitchen —all to keep them inspired and hopeful.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Finally, the day arrived when they could make the leap. They saved money on the range by buying a showroom floor model. They designed built-in cabinetry for one wall, but when the high estimate came in they abandoned that idea, opting for a freestanding furniture piece from ABC Home instead. Emilio found similar wood flooring in a dumpster in the neighborhood and pieced it into the existing floor. He installed the perimeter cabinets and built the hard maple countertops and shelving himself.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)
(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

They splurged on the marble island which is used for dining, cooking, homework, and flower arranging. Many people tried to dissuade them from selecting marble because of the beating it would take, but they love the material and embrace its changing finish as a result of daily use.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Thank you Kate and Emilio!

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