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
The cost included new wood cabinets to match some of the existing ones; replacing the old wood floors with reclaimed Douglas fir that we sourced from Craigslist; a new Viking range; adding a hood and exterior vent and gas line; new lighting; painting all the walls, cabinets and trim; new butcher block counters; a new subway tile backsplash to the ceiling; cabinet hardware; a custom built-in pantry; and a custom Carrera marble breakfast table.
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!