Our twelve-week apartment face lift is finished and the new kitchen is complete. I love it!
The contractors have left and my new kitchen is ready. The 110 packing boxes plus assorted furniture came back to freshly plastered and painted walls, well-lit rooms, and a budget-remodel that gave us a more comfortable apartment with a new color palette, additional closets and better lighting. After twenty three years of Pepto-pink peeling paint, groaning appliances and cracking tiles on the kitchen counters and back splash, everything is fresh, new and energy efficient.
As an interior designer I was thrilled to see my vision fulfilled – especially in the kitchen. The virtual design I posted when the project first began closely resembles the finished result and is a testament to our friend Anne’s work (firstname.lastname@example.org). While it’s true that replacing the cabinets would have produced a more dramatic transformation, painting the old ones and preserving the footprint was a major cost-wise tactic and an acceptable compromise.
I also want to acknowledge the great job by our contractor Yves Duboin, his number two the fabulous and artistic Stephen Ford, and their team of pros. We are indeed fortunate they were available to us. Team Duboin (top row, above): Mike (electrician) and Yves (contractor) , Stephen Ford (project manager). Row two: Pete (plumber), Tony Giliberto (stone & tile). Row three:, Jorge, Raj (painters) .
As we get resettled the additional design challenges become clear: modernizing our window treatments, adjusting upholstery to the new color scheme, finding the right carpets (or moving old ones around) and filling in furniture we’ve sold or swapped-out — though my husband says he likes the emptier feeling.
Meanwhile, the floors are still partially covered with protective paper and dishes are not yet back in the cabinets — I need to unpack and run them through the new dishwasher first.
The new counter-to-soffit back splash is 2 x 4-inch glazed subway tile — Barbara Barry’s Fog Gloss by Ann Sacks. The café-au-lait color closely matches Farrow & Ball’s Stony Ground paint, though it looks lighter (and more vanilla-colored) in photos and in person when the fluorescent under-cabinet light is on.
I chose the Bertazzoni gas range for its good looks and great price — it also has adjustable legs so it sits flush with the counter top.
The old kitchen had a mishmash of appliances — black and white. While it was difficult to give up the black-glass vintage Modern Maid gas stove, which still worked beautifully, it found a home and a new owner who is thrilled with it.
I was able to replace the old GE refrigerator with a counter-depth, freestanding 30-inch, blissfully quiet Liebherr, enclosed in a panel. Removal of the old, over-the-fridge cabinet left a 10-inch storage space on top, filled by linen-lined baskets where seldom-used utensils now reside. Our large trays slide handily on top of the refrigerator in the ventilation space. Stephen was able to install the unit flush with the other cabinets because it has a zero-clearance door which opens easily against the wall (the old fridge had been pulled forward).
The door to our laundry closet was enlarged to accommodate the new pair of front loaders plus the ironing board. The stacked Bosch Axxis washer and condenser (self-venting) dryer are very quiet when running, in contrast to the old top loaders.
Both the old mauve tile counters and butcher block on the island were replaced with honed Castle White Canadian marble sealed with an amazing product — Akemi Nano sealer — recommended by marble restorer Michael Boris at Tripointpro.com, who also sells Akemi products. Liquid literally beads up on the marble counter and the sealer is breeze to apply.
The base cabinets and island painted with Farrow & Ball Dauphin, which blends well with stainless steel and I’m so happy to never again see the old butcher block counter that was a dirt and grease magnet — outside the basement of our house where it now serves as a work bench. Old in my new kitchen is new for me down in the basement.
You might want to see the 7 Upgrades that Transformed My Kitchen and how I planned My New Kitchen.
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