Back in December, I wrote about my parent’s kitchen remodel project. The new kitchen has been completed since May, and for the last few months we’ve been breaking it in. That and doing laps around the center island with looks of blissful wonder on our faces. I don’t think it is exaggerating to say that this new kitchen has turned out better than anyone’s wildest expectations. We kids are frankly dumfounded that our parents, who took 15 years to buy a color television (all through my college they still watched TV in black and white) and could be poster children for the decision-phobic, managed to pull this off. Mom and dad had help (more on that later) but even they are surprised by how well the kitchen has turned out. Lest you think I had anything to do with it, let me assure you that I did not. I inserted myself twice in the year-long project. Once to take my dad’s side on a gas range over electric, the other to take my mom’s side on ice cubes coming out of the door of the refrigerator being a good idea. I also pleaded for a place for cookbooks. (Then I backed away. I’m no fool.)
So, shall we begin the tour?
First up is the 5-burner DCS gas cooktop. After years of electric coils, cooking with gas is taking a bit of getting used to. There’s so much heat coming out of these burners, it’s a lot easier to scorch garlic, or anything, if you’re not paying attention. The handles on the pots and pans heat up more too, because the flames heat the sides of the pans more than the electric coils did.
The backsplash is translucent glass tile with indigo and amber accents. My parents worked extensively with the vastly talented interior architect Elizabeth Feick to come up with a floor plan and design for the new kitchen. The tiles were Elizabeth’s inspiration; they brighten up the whole kitchen.
My father insisted on some open shelving, including the pan drawers which sit underneath the cooktop.
Then there’s the spice drawer, which is directly underneath the cooktop (oddly, they do stay cool there, even when we’re cooking, we checked). After years of fiddling around 3 or 4 lazy Susans looking for spices, they’re now all in one place.
There are two sinks, both stainless steel.
The main sink has two sections, and a faucet that actually works. (Ahem, big deal eh? May I remind you of the old sink?)
The second sink is in the island. The one we do laps around.
Get this. Both sinks have garbage disposals. A luxury? Perhaps. I can count the times my parents have taken a vacation on one hand. If anyone deserves two garbage disposals, it’s them.
Continuing in a clockwise motion from the main sink we have the pantry, double ovens, and a large bookcase.
The pantry doors open to reveal sliding drawers. The drawers have some sort of spring system in them such that when you push the drawers back in, you don’t have to push them all the way, the last inch the drawers retract on their own (hard to describe without seeing it in action, but very cool).
Looking around the kitchen, and how everything just seems to work beautifully together, one would think that it was just all happened on its own that way. In actuality, every single decision took research, discussion, sometimes little arguments, sometimes big arguments. One battle occurred over the refrigerator. Do you know how hard it is to find a high quality refrigerator without an ice maker in the door? My mother can tell you how hard it is. Impossible. But dad didn’t want “no stinkin’ ice maker”. He lost that battle. And now he would be the first person to say that he was wrong. He never admits he’s wrong, but he does about this. He loves that ice maker/filtered water dispenser in the fridge door. (Yes mom and dad, welcome to the 21st century.)
Remember the old kitchen? I’ve purposely put in a small photo because, well, I don’t really like to look at pictures of the old kitchen, the new one is so much nicer. But if you want to see the entire transformation process in photos, check out the kitchen remodel set on Flickr. If the new kitchen looks bigger than the old one, it’s because it is bigger. They pushed out the back of the house by 6 feet to make more room for the most used room in the house. Now all three of us can work in the kitchen at the same time and not step on each other’s toes. Before, we had to schedule kitchen time.
This kitchen would not have been what it became without the terrific work of our general contractor, Mills Builders and the aforementioned Elizabeth. Jonathan, Carol, and Luke, and their team (including demon framer Rick) did a beautiful job, got it done on time, and were a dream to work with. We can’t recommend them highly enough.
If it’s possible for a kitchen to make one happy, deeply happy, this is it. Even my mom, the queen of “if only”, can’t come up with a single complaint. She loves it. Dad glows.
Update: since several commenters have been asking about specific products used, I’ll list some of the links here.
DCS Appliances – gas cooktop
Kobe Range Hoods – stovetop hood
Villi Glass Tile and Mosaic – glass tile
Caesarstone – counter tops and island
Samsung RFG297 refrigerator – French door refrigerator
Bosch ovens – double oven
Forbo Flooring Marmoleum – linoleum flooring
Grohe – sink fixtures (Eurostyle)
Hubbardton Forge – light fixtures over the island (#18540)
Kings Custom Cabinetry – builders of the custom cabinets