Advice for people thinking of doing the same: Be prepared for weirdness in the house. Our floor was not level by 1.5″, which wreaked havoc with a design that had no trim to hide uneven lines. Our contractor, Dave Rannala, actually jacked up one corner of the kitchen from the basement below in order to even things out. All the counters and shelves are totally level, but then there are all sorts of little things they did, like tapering the ceiling beams to hide the house irregularity. They did an amazing job. It is really important to have an experienced builder. Also, plan the layout beforehand and test lots of ideas. We did five different kitchen layouts before we settled on the final one. Doing that forced us to answer all the questions about the type and size of appliances and where the work stations would be. Those questions have to be answered at some point, but planning first meant that the actual reno was way less stressful. One final thing: Use simple, good quality materials that are timeless and bridge the modern and historic influences
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as witnessing a real, good kitchen renovation. Whether it’s on a cheesy daytime home and garden show or an in-person tour at a friend’s house, a brand-spankin’-new kitchen has the ability to give me chills and send my heart beating in envy. Self-closing drawers, you say? Ohhhh. Custom cabinetry? Shut up right now. Marble countertops? Let me just run my hands across them—that’s not creepy, right? If a fancy-shmancy new kitchen does it for you like it does for me, you’re quite in luck! Today, we’ve hand-picked 15 of some of our favorite, most awe-inspiring kitchen transformations from our Before & After archives—all for your viewing pleasure! May they excite you, thrill you and inspire your own kitchen renovation projects!
Paint color can be a surprisingly tricky thing. And one of the trickiest colors to get right is white. I know it may seem silly, but finding the right balance between cool and warm can be harder than you think. When I said I was searching for a great warm white for our kitchen, I couldn’t get over all of the suggestions I received and how many people had gone through upwards of 10 different colors trying to find the best hue. But for us, it came down to one perfect, warm white (“Tibetan Jasmine” RL1007 by Ralph Lauren Paint) that turned our kitchen from a dark hunter-green space into the bright, white dream room we had always wished for. So today I’m thrilled to share another sneak peek into our new (old) home and how we’ve transformed it in the past two months. xo, grace