This kitchen is perfectly nice—that huge window!—but its owner was able to pinpoint a few weaknesses that weren't really working for the family. After a gradual transformation, this kitchen is now totally different, and totally wonderful.
Here's how reader Miriam Rogers described the kitchen pre-renovation:
Dark wood cabinets and linoleum floors. The room was enclosed with a pocket door. A huge window meant there was not a lot of cabinet space.
It was dark, and cramped and didn't feel like a room that we could work and cook in. The house is large and the kitchen felt small and shut off.
This is so fantastically cozy! If you told me this kitchen had been decorated 100 years ago, I would believe you, as it looks organic and like everything is exactly as it should be and always has been. That being said, the modern touches—sleek countertops, stainless steel pendant and appliances—fit right in. The new paint has transformed the cabinets into something totally fresh, yet timeless, and the color combination of the gray-blue and the rosy-peach is to-die-for, and that rug combines the two hues in an incredible way.
Miriam has kindly broken down the time, money, and materials involved in getting this room to where it is today:
It was done in steps over three years. We first had a stainless steel long table that worked as a counter by the window. The kids eat here and we have room to cut vegetables or do homework. I didn't want to move appliances. Then I painted the cabinets Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue. We still had linoleum, so we had someone rip it out all the way down to subfloor. I wanted a working kitchen: simple and warm. It took a long time to decide on the flooring but we went with antique Chicago brick pavers. My friend installed them in herringbone. It totally worked with the cabinet color. Total spent on floor was around $400 materials, $700 labor. At the last second I asked him to open the pocket door and make encased opening to dining room. This was the biggest change! It was like $1,000 total and saved us thousands because we were going to knock down the other wall—structural but now it feels open enough so we don't have to. I got a new light over the counter online.
Removing a door sounds so much less intense than knocking down a wall, so they were able to avoid that extra stress and expense. I also seriously admire Miriam's boldness in selecting "antique Chicago brick pavers" for the floors. I had no idea that was an option, and in all of the Before & After posts we've done, I don't think I've seen anyone add a brick floor. It is unique yet classic, exciting yet old-fashioned.
I love that it feels classic, and not too modern and that we kept what we had and made it work. I'm glad that my sink is not by the window! I like to sit and drink coffee by the window. The window brings in a lot of light. I love the openness with the wall coming down and being able to see into the kitchen but not into it too much. Privacy is good. Love the floors but that was a pain too. Brick takes a long time to sit and let mortar dry before you can seal it, weeks and I sealed it with cheap sealer and it didn't protect it so there are some oil stains. I don't mind them though because the brick hides so much that it never looks dirty! It's the easiest thing to keep clean. I wish I had used a lighter grout but that can be changed later.
Thank you, Miriam Rogers!