Kitchen Remodel Update


Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 thekitchen 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

Update: For some reason this post got deleted from the database, including all the comments. Here are the comments that I’ve been able to retrieve from the Internet archive wayback machine:


Yay for mom and dad!
They basically built my dream kitchen! It came out gorgeous.
What did they use for the counters?

Something called caesarstone. ~Elise

Posted by: yahaira on July 19, 2009 9:25 AM

Looks absolutely wonderful! What a transformation!

Posted by: zoe on July 19, 2009 9:27 AM

Marvelous! I am so jealous. I love our kitchen, but it does have many flaws, like a too-small fridge, and a sink that is a half mile away from the stove and fridge. And the luxury of two sinks, to say nothing of two garbage disposals? Well!

Posted by: Sean on July 19, 2009 9:29 AM

The new kitchen looks marvelous! I really like the colors in the back splash, and the extra sink is very helpful. For the record, I would have also voted for the gas cooktop, ice in the door, and room for cookbooks. :-)

Posted by: Andrea on July 19, 2009 9:30 AM

The kitchen looks awesome! I love the color of the backsplash (why does it look incomplete, though?). Anyway, it looks great, and I love that there is a sink in the island. That is how I would like my dream kitchen to be.

Congrats to your mother and father (and you :D haha)

Posted by: Memoria on July 19, 2009 9:40 AM

I could already tell from the few photos I saw earlier that I would love the new kitchen. What a beautiful transformation. Love the tiles! Love the two sinks with two garbage disposals! I also agree with your decisions about gas stove, ice and water in the refrigerator door (a necessity of life) and shelves for cookbooks. I’m so happy for you that you have such a nurturing environment to cook in, not to mention two other wonderful cooks to get inspired from.

Posted by: Kalyn on July 19, 2009 9:41 AM

My favorites are the glass tile, the open cabinets/drawers and the pantry/bookshelves! Just all stunningly beautiful. Wishing you all many more years of cooking, baking and the like together in the new kitchen.

Leesie Bruzzo
Warwick, NY

Posted by: Leesie on July 19, 2009 9:43 AM

WOW!!!! Your mom and dad have a great kitchen now….. They should be proud of all their hard work, and that their marriage survived it! And now you have this AMAZING kitchen to take pictures in – so you can experiment more! :)

Posted by: Regina on July 19, 2009 9:45 AM

Lovely! I’m so jealous of that spice drawer. (They sure do love the “Old Bay” seasoning, huh?)

AT first glance, the glass tile looks a bit like a Scrabble board. Very cool.

Posted by: Monzie on July 19, 2009 9:46 AM

Thanks for sharing the photos of your parents’ gorgeous new kitchen. I totally empathize with them on the fridge. During our remodel this year, we had to order an older model to get one that had a single door with no ice maker on the door. There’s one in the freezer, but we didn’t connect it to the water source. The next folks can do it. I’m totally envious of the pantry, but am grateful that my wonderfully handy husband built me a custom spice rack next to the oven. See it here:

Posted by: Deb Schiff on July 19, 2009 9:47 AM

Six gas burners, an island, two sinks, book shelves, charming tiles and countless drawers? Oh, my! This is kitchen heaven!

Posted by: Lisa on July 19, 2009 9:53 AM

Elise, this kitchen is simply wonderful. It has all the great nuances a modern kitchen needs without making it outlandishly “over the top” I love it. Kitchens just make us happy!

I think that’s one of the reasons we like it so much. It’s not over-the-top. It’s perfectly appropriate for the level and amount of cooking that we do. And every feature of the kitchen is being used. It has a warm and friendly feel to it, which being the heart of the home it should. ~Elise

Posted by: Lu on July 19, 2009 9:56 AM

Congratulations! I remember the “before” photos and the post well…the transformation is amazing. Your family kitchen is a true work of art! My husband and I have just redone our kitchen ourselves (no extra space, just gut to the bare walls and start anew) and I marvel at the patience your family had to endure a year of construction. Our measly three weeks makes me feel guilty that I’ve gone so batty. Cookbook space was a priority for me too, and I’m glad to see that you agree gas is the way to go! Enjoy the kitchen and the many happy memories you’ll create inside.

I think the actual construction took about 5 months. But there were many months of planning and meetings with the architect beforehand. They started the project about a year ago. It does feel great to have the construction all done and the space useable again. ~Elise

Posted by: Brenda on July 19, 2009 9:56 AM

The kitchen looks great, and I love the way you told the story. Such a cute picture of your parents.

Posted by: Carolyn on July 19, 2009 10:00 AM

Beautiful! I love the glass tiles; they just make the kitchen!

Posted by: BigSis on July 19, 2009 10:06 AM

Thank you for sharing this! And such excellent timing, since we’re in the design phase of our kitchen remodel. I love the use of glass tiles — we used some as a wall accent during our bathroom remodel a few years ago.

Posted by: sairuh on July 19, 2009 10:14 AM

What did they use for flooring? This is definitely a dream kitchen!

A brand of linoleum called marmoleum. Benefits of linoleum – all natural product (made from wood pulp and linseed oil), durable, beautiful, and soft on the feet. ~Elise

Posted by: Deborah on July 19, 2009 10:21 AM

Love the glass tiles, and all the various storage ideas!

Posted by: maki on July 19, 2009 10:47 AM

The kitchen looks great. Wish I’d have had room for an island in mine. but I did manage to get plenty of counter space in my galley. I like the different surface on that island too. Your folks put in the two big ‘must haves’ that were on my list (and I love them even more than I imagined I would) the drawers under the cooktop, though I use my top drawer for utensils, and the gas cooktop. I just love cooking on gas. My biggest faux paux was not fighting for the double oven. And..Yes! Automatic ice, and through the door especially, is like sliced bread; such a convenience!

Posted by: Susan on July 19, 2009 10:47 AM

They look so happy! As well they should! It is beautiful. Enjoy, enjoy!

Posted by: Daphne on July 19, 2009 11:01 AM

Beautiful kitchen! First time posting a comment so I also wanted to say that I LOVE your site. Every recipe I have tried has been fabulous and wanted to say thank you. Your whole family has inpsired me : )

Thanks Amanda! ~Elise

Posted by: Amanda on July 19, 2009 11:07 AM

They are so cute!

Posted by: Sandra on July 19, 2009 11:13 AM

Congratulations to them, it is beautiful. And now we see where your affinity for this work comes from! Well done.

Posted by: The Blushing Hostess on July 19, 2009 11:21 AM

Hi Elise,

We remodeled about 3 years ago and we bought a Kitchenaid French door Fridge with a bottom drawer freezer. The ice-maker is INSIDE the freezer. Do they not make those anymore? I can understand not wanting the dispenser on the outside. My parents have one, and they’re constantly having to wipe it down for all the dust that collects on it.

Otherwise, your folks’ new kitchen is gorgeous!

He didn’t want an ice maker period. “What’s wrong with using trays?” Thought the ice maker would take up too much space. Turns out it doesn’t. They have plenty of space with that new refrigerator, and so much freezer space they don’t need the garage freezer anymore. ~Elise

Posted by: Debbie on July 19, 2009 11:27 AM

Oh, how lovely! I wish you and your parents many joyful hours together in the new space – cheers to you.

Posted by: Karen on July 19, 2009 11:31 AM

Wow! The kitchen looks great, and your parents deserve it. They look very happy! BTW, I covet the double ovens.

Posted by: Carol on July 19, 2009 11:33 AM

It looks beautiful! Such a nice change from the old kitchen! Good choice on the type of refrigerator, too; you will love it more and more, as you keep using it. I have one with that type of door layout and find the large pullout drawer in the bottom of the refrigerator section is terrific, because you can chill two cookie sheet of goodies side-by-side in it. Got mine in 2003, the first year for that door style and they didn’t make it with water & ice on the door, darn it. So horray for your parents!! And thank you, Elise, for the great website. I appreciate all the hard work that you put into it!

Posted by: Betsy on July 19, 2009 11:34 AM

Wow, that looks like a wonderful place to cook!

Posted by: Libby on July 19, 2009 11:35 AM

I think what i respect the most about all this, is that your wonderful parents know how to make a great meal withOUT a wonderful kitchen! That to me is the biggest appeal in all this, that this kitchen essentially is a beautiful compliment to their already great cooking skills… all your stories throughout these recipes really indicate that cooking is not about kitchens/ pots/ pans and tools- but about talent!

Indeed. If you look at the old kitchen photos the reason it’s so run down is because it got so much use. ~Elise

Posted by: Anna G on July 19, 2009 11:38 AM

The only thing wrong is they didn’t do it years ago. Haha. That’s what I said when we did our kitchen. There isn’t another room in a house that can make you as happy as a kitchen.

Posted by: Lillianne on July 19, 2009 11:41 AM

This kitchen is absolutely gorgeous, and how very lucky you are. I think talking things out and deciding things together is the right way to go. I hope you enjoy it for a long time.

Posted by: katie on July 19, 2009 11:48 AM

Your parent’s cabinets look so much like ours. Are they Dynasty/Omega Marion slab? I tried for the open cabinet below the cooktop but was over ruled. I still love the idea and look. The kitchen looks wonderful and very well designed. Happy cooking!

Good question on the cabinets, I didn’t know so just now asked my folks. They’re custom built cabinets, made with alder wood and a clear finish. (Kings Custom Cabinetry) ~Elise

Posted by: Carmen on July 19, 2009 11:53 AM

Beautiful kitchen! The placement of the island sink is so smart: we have a similar-sized island, but the sink is in the middle of the longer side so it interrupts more counter space. But the two disposals is so worth it! One for prepping, and one for the dirty dishes that accumulate while cleaning!

Posted by: Mo on July 19, 2009 11:58 AM

OMG Its beautiful. Glad you posted this because Ive been wondering about the progress and always forget to search your site.

I DO have one question though: With the awesome, uber-convenient spice drawer being right below the stovetop, dont you find your spices drying out or spoiling faster due to the proximity of the heat? If I leave my cabinets open on a hot day my curry is tasteless :(

Tell me please since I absolutely LOVE that idea…..thank you Elise and cant wait for my next recipe…

Great question Terri. I had worried about the same thing. So when we put the spices in the drawer we tested. We ran the stovetop and checked to see if anything was getting heated up in the drawer below. The result? Not at all. Must be the design of the cooktop, because it is apparently well insulated. ~Elise

Posted by: Terri R on July 19, 2009 11:59 AM

We redid our kitchen almost 2yrs ago. Love it, best thing we ever did( pics in my blog). I love your backsplash, I wanted smaller glass tiles, but didnt win that one( we got glass subway). How long did your kitchen remodel take? Ours took 3 weeks which I thick was some kind of record.

5 months. They had to expand the house, build out a new foundation, build a new roof, etc. otherwise it would have been much faster. ~Elise

Posted by: Randi on July 19, 2009 12:12 PM

I’m so glad the icemaker won. I wanted ice and water in the door mainly because I love toys and bells and whistles, but I find that I get disgusted when I go to someone else’s house and everyone is sticking his/her hands in the ice maker bucket. Ick! I’d love to do what your parents have done, but my money tree shriveled up in the drought.

Posted by: Momcat on July 19, 2009 12:19 PM

It turned out fabulously! I hope they have loads of time to cook in it and enjoy all the hard work. I’m jealous of all that counterspace!

Posted by: Christine on July 19, 2009 12:20 PM

I’ve been waiting for these photos! I’m sincerely happy for you & your parents. (Thanks for letting us be a part of your lives, or for becoming a part of ours with your recipes, beautiful photos, and anecdotes.)

Posted by: jamesrivergirl on July 19, 2009 12:21 PM

…Hello, I am comin’ out of Lurksville to say how much I love that kitchen! That remodel is just absolutely fantastic! :o)

…If you three cooked up fabulous meals in that other kitchen then goodness knows what you all will be cookin’ up now – can’t wait!

…Congrat’s on the kitchen – great job!

…Blessings… :o)

Posted by: tj on July 19, 2009 12:25 PM

I cannot wait until my husband is done with all this medical school/ residency/ student loan stuff and we can get a place that even has a decent kitchen! Apparently rentals don’t worry too much about how useful their kitchens are– oh well.

Congratulations to your parents and thanks for the lesson in patience. If they can wait that long for a kitchen (considering how much more they use it than I do!!) then I can surely wait my time as well. Sigh.

Posted by: Amanda in Philadelphia on July 19, 2009 12:25 PM

Congratulations, what a beautiful kitchen to work in and what a feast for the eyes :)

Posted by: Aichi L. on July 19, 2009 12:29 PM

Your folks looks soooo happy in their new kitchen. I’m happy for you, and them!

Posted by: Christine on July 19, 2009 12:29 PM

Oh Elise – it’s absolutely gorgeous! How lovely! I am drooling! Lifting a glass to your parents, and to you on the “new addition” ;)

Posted by: Eileen on July 19, 2009 12:34 PM

I love the kitchen!! Such wonderful space….a dream come true. Think I would have had 1 less section for the books with a cabinet next to the ovens.
Your parents look so happy. I hope they have many years to enjoy the family in that beautiful remodled kitchen.

Posted by: ghc630 on July 19, 2009 12:49 PM

Love the new kitchen!! I had a new kitchen installed about 2 years ago which I still love BUT already I need to make changes as the fridge which i`ve had for 18 years has been too small for 18 years and I REALLY need a bigger one even though all the kids have now left home!! PLUS I didn`t plan pantry space properly so am having to adjust that. So what we now have to do to fit in a much bigger fridge is move the doorway which is quite major BUT then we will have space. I`m glad that like me your parents have a lovely kitchen at their time of life!! I also should have made space for a bigger stove. Gas was out of the question cause of all the space the pipes would have taken up in the cupboards even though this is what I`d have liked.
Regards Margaret

Posted by: Anonymous on July 19, 2009 1:02 PM

I couldn’t wait for you to post about the kitchen. I am so happy for them. (you look like your dad by the way:)

Posted by: Melanie on July 19, 2009 1:05 PM

Amazing! Love the island. And your parents are cute.

Posted by: Angie on July 19, 2009 1:09 PM

That is a BEAUTIFUL kitchen.

Posted by: amy on July 19, 2009 1:19 PM

I am jealous of your gorgeous kitchen, it is very useful and neat. Great kitchen!

Posted by: Mimi on July 19, 2009 1:25 PM

This is amazing…my jaw kept dropping. Not over-the-top, but it’s gorgeous. I am quite a big jealous…I keep thinking, hoping, that ONE DAY, I’ll get a kitchen as beautiful as this! Great job.

Posted by: Alta on July 19, 2009 1:33 PM

What a beautiful kitchen. And a beautiful story and photos to go with it. Sounds like your parents deserve it. And I bet they still love waking up in the morning and going in to their new space. Enjoy!

Posted by: Sheree Young on July 19, 2009 1:34 PM

What a gorgeous kitchen! I worked in a kitchen and bath showroom so I know how each and every little item is a major decision (and quite expensive!) The result is amazing-many happy wishes for them! Btw, I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and everything is delicious! (My husband has never been happier with all of these new recipes :) Thanks!

Posted by: Allison on July 19, 2009 1:34 PM

What a stupendous kitchen! When we lived in NYC I had a 9×12 kitchen and when we moved to NC I got a ship’s galley for a kitchen with a decided lack of counter space. Never in my wildest dreams could I have come up with something so wonderful – may you all enjoy working in that gorgeous place for eons and eons.

Posted by: Louise on July 19, 2009 1:36 PM

Yay, it’s so beautiful! Seriously, job well done, Mrs. and Mr. B. I am so pleased for your parents, and for you.

And gosh are they adorable!

Posted by: Tea on July 19, 2009 1:43 PM

My absolute favorite thing is the bookcase for the cookbooks. What a luxury! I am SO jealous…

Posted by: Roger Dodd on July 19, 2009 1:54 PM

Everyone looks / sounds as happy as we are with our new kitchen. To heck with resale value, things HAVE to be functional (that’s what we told the designers that didn’t want to listen to us). We live in a high rise, which made a few decisions tricky. My husband has a degree in Culinary Arts, which made a few decisions easier.

It’s amazing to see a space transformed, isn’t it?! Enjoy, congratulations and happy kitchen creation!!

Posted by: Trish on July 19, 2009 1:55 PM

Oh, it’s just beautiful! I especially like the backsplash and bookshelf. It has an unfussy, clean, crisp style and I like that a lot. Hope that mom and dad have many happy years cooking in it!

Posted by: Luana on July 19, 2009 1:55 PM

Congratulations! What a beautiful kitchen! May you create & share many more meals together for many more years to come within its walls! Enjoy it!

Posted by: Carmen on July 19, 2009 2:15 PM

Absolutely lovely! My parents recently re-did their kitchen, and it’s amazing how much it can really make a difference. The only complaint mom had afterwards was that she kept getting distracted trying to remember where everything was in their new spots, that her cooking suffered for it. But now that she’s used to it, she wouldn’t change it, except maybe having done it sooner. Congratulations to you and your parents on the beautiful new kitchen!

First there’s the deciding over where everything should go (not easy), then there’s the trying to remember where things got put. Lot’s of “Honey, where’dja put the fill-in-the-blank?” It’s ongoing, especially with three cooks finding places for things, all of us with failing short term memories. ~Elise

Posted by: Karen R on July 19, 2009 2:23 PM

I am SO in love with the backsplash. What a beautiful pop of color. It’s similar to what I want to do once I move into the house where I plan to stay. Right now I’m trying to just modernize this kitchen in buyer-friendly tones.
I love the spice drawer idea, too. I have some of my spices in a drawer right now (the rest bombard me whenever I open a certain cabinet that is crammed to the gills) and I love being able to see all of the labels so easily.
Thanks for letting us inside of the personal space where many of your wonderful recipes are tested.

Posted by: Lindsey on July 19, 2009 2:42 PM

Congratulations on a fabulous construction job & beautiful kitchen.

Perhaps you have posted earlier I am relatively new to this site, I am curious how the process went from designing through construction. I think there might be earlier posts. If so I would like to be directed to them so I can read the whole story.

Thank you for sharing & enjoy.

Hi Linda, I did a post about the beginning of the project, but haven’t written about the design or construction process. Too much work actually. One could author a whole separate blog site about the process. And, I wasn’t involved in the process, just watching from a distance. ~Elise

Posted by: Linda on July 19, 2009 3:09 PM

Thanks so much for sharing all the photos–LOVE the backsplash and we need one badly. Looking forward to meeting Friday night.

Posted by: Jennifer (Savor) on July 19, 2009 3:15 PM

Oh my goodness! What a beautiful space! I am so glad for you all. Enjoy every minute of cooking in such a beautiful space. The food that came from the old kitchen was wonderful, I can only imagine what will come out of this marvel! Job well done. I am so glad you went with the gas range and the ice in the door of the refrigerator. I am a big fan of both decisions. The kitchen looks wonderful. Happy cooking!

Posted by: Garden Girl on July 19, 2009 3:26 PM

It looks wonderful! And even better, your folks look so happy!

Posted by: Lee on July 19, 2009 3:27 PM

That looks so cool! Your parents old kitchen had a very well used look to it, like a favorite book. I am sure that this one is being broken in well. Can’t wait to read about more of the delicious food that is inspired there.

Posted by: nia on July 19, 2009 3:49 PM

Not bad. I wish I had your kitchen. Gas rang instead of electric: bully. Ice in refer door: bully. Microwave using up expensive counter space when, as long as you were building everything in, it could have easily been built in at eye level to right of ovens: non-bully. A high quality “toaster” oven to save lots of main oven use beside it would have been good too. Pan drawers essential unless you hang your pots, pans and utensils overhead as I do, but perhaps esthetics ruled that out.

Isn’t it great that when you design your own kitchen, you can have it just the way you want it? ~Elise

Posted by: Corvus on July 19, 2009 4:06 PM

Elise, what a WONDERFUL kitchen. I absolutely love it!! Congratulations to you three; you so deserve it!

Posted by: Ari on July 19, 2009 4:31 PM

Such a beautiful redo. Thank you for sharing. I can only dream about a redo, but it is certainly fun to vicariosly enjoy someone else happiness.
Happy cooking.

Posted by: Georgia on July 19, 2009 4:58 PM

It looks like the kitchens we see in movies! Absolutely beautiful. I love to cook, but , even if I didn’t, I would love to cook in this kitchen. Congratulations to you and your parents, and thanks for all the delicious recipes.

Posted by: Regina Ferri on July 19, 2009 4:58 PM


I have been looking forward to seeing the renovated kitchen. Wow – it is absolutely beautiful/functional. I am so happy for your parents (and you). If I am ever lucky enough to renovate my own kitchen I now have some great ideas thanks to your mom and dad.

Thank you for sharing this.

Posted by: Lori on July 19, 2009 5:13 PM

This is beautiful, your parents look so happy. I shudder at what it must have cost but the look on their faces tell me it is worth every penny.

Posted by: passions and soapboxes on July 19, 2009 5:32 PM

Absolutely awesome!!~!!

Posted by: darnold23 on July 19, 2009 5:45 PM

Would your parents adopt me please. I’ll do ALL the cooking!

Posted by: Sheri on July 19, 2009 6:08 PM

I would love to have a kitchen like this! :)

Posted by: Karine on July 19, 2009 6:14 PM

I have been waiting for THIS post! What a beautiful kitchen and, more importantly, your folks seem so happy! thank you for sharing the update!

Posted by: Erin on July 19, 2009 6:27 PM

Drawers and drawers AND drawers. Counter space. An gas stove!!!!!!!!!! Oh that is what a kitchen in heaven would look like. Congratulation to your parents and, as if you didn’t know it, you are so blessed to have such lovely parents. Love them and cherised them, they are precious beings.

Don’t I know it. Everyday I’m grateful for them. I’m madly in love with my parents if you can’t tell. ~Elise

Posted by: Rita on July 19, 2009 6:43 PM

Love the Kitchen! Love your site. Also, I love your banana bread recipe!!!

Posted by: Evette on July 19, 2009 6:58 PM

Thanks for sharing the finished kitchen! Congrats to your folks for surviving the ordeal and wish them many many more years of joy in the kitchen. Our kitchen is also in the 50 yr old range…and your parents’ success gives me inspiration to brave the dreaded remodel which I have been contemplating since we moved in 8 yrs ago. So many decisions! How fun that you get to cook in the new kitchen, too.

p.s. My favorite item is the refrigerator.
And, your folks are adorable.

Posted by: jeanette on July 19, 2009 8:09 PM

Simply beautiful!

I’m curious about having spices so close to the range top, is there excess heat that might effect them? I once had a problem with an under-counter mounted coffee maker caking up ingredients in the shelf above it, so have been a bit paranoid about storage proximity to heat and humidity sources ever since.

We checked. The spices stay cool even when the stovetop is in use. ~Elise

Posted by: Michael on July 19, 2009 8:28 PM

The final photo (Mom & Dad) says it all.
Every time they go in that kitchen to create, especially if the family’s there, they’re creating love.
And that’s better than any vacation could ever be, because I’m certain that when that happens, they’re exactly where they want to be.

Posted by: jonathan on July 19, 2009 8:34 PM

Bravo! It’s so wonderful to see this amazing project finalized, but best of all, to see your parent’s happy faces! Seeing joy in our parents eyes is one of those things that just makes our day.
And best of all, it looks like you didn’t go NUTS. I can’t say that I’d be as sane as you.
We’re thrilled for your family!
-diane and todd

Posted by: White On Rice Couple on July 19, 2009 8:53 PM

My dream kitchen! I love it.

Posted by: Ann on July 19, 2009 10:35 PM

What a wonderful kitchen remodel story! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Erica on July 19, 2009 10:46 PM

Absolutely gorgeous! And boy do they deserve it! I know people who have beautiful kitchens and all they ever use is the refrigerator and microwave. I’m glad to see a wonderful kitchen that will actually get some use!

Posted by: Veronica on July 20, 2009 12:21 AM

What A wonderful kitchen , please let me know the area of total kitche space.

No idea. ~Elise

Posted by: Atul Deolalikar on July 20, 2009 12:41 AM

The set-up is absolutely wonderful. I wonder what the total cost was.

Don’t know, haven’t asked. ~Elise

Posted by: George on July 20, 2009 12:47 AM

Congratulations, the new kitchen looks amazing, its indeed a dream kitchen come true so open and full of light, i would love to spend most of my time inside :)
Everything about it seems perfect, waiting for more amazingly delicious recipes to come out of it full of creation by the new soul of the new kitchen.

Posted by: Sherihan on July 20, 2009 1:08 AM

What a wonderful kitchen. I promise you once you get used to cooking on gas you’ll never want to go back to electric again. I had to when I moved and I still miss my gas range pretty much every day.

Posted by: Sylvie on July 20, 2009 2:31 AM

This is HUGE!! I would love to be able to work in a kitchen like that, it’s very well thought and very convenient. And that spice drawer? Amazing!!!

Posted by: Mélanie on July 20, 2009 2:32 AM

Absolutely gorgeous kitchen!! I am saving this as inspiration for my “big girl kitchen” when the time comes. I think my favorite parts are the spice drawer, rolling shelves in the pantry, and the beautiful shelving for the cookbooks. Love, love, love it!

Posted by: Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} on July 20, 2009 5:15 AM

Nice kitchen. I always thought spices should be stored in a cool area.

Yes they should be. And believe it or not, they stay cool where they are. ~Elise

Posted by: ERIC ZIRKELBACH on July 20, 2009 5:44 AM

The most wonderful picture of the new kitchen is the one of those two beautiful people and their smiles!

Posted by: Florence on July 20, 2009 6:14 AM

What a beautiful kitchen! Thanks for sharing the pics. I LOVE the bookshelves and the glass tiles. I’ve been pushing for bookshelves in my kitchen for years…I’ll have to show the hubby how great they could look!

Posted by: Heather on July 20, 2009 6:23 AM

Congratulations to you and your folks on that fabulous new dream kitchen. I just love it! It definitely qualifies for the “Foodies’ Delight” kitchen category. I pet-sit for some friends every summer while they go away on vacation. My prime motivation for offering this service is that the kitchen in their big old Victorian house was remodeled a couple years ago to something similar to what you now have. They go to the beach………I go to a culinary wonderland and cook to my heart’s content in their glorious kitchen. Wishing you many years of kitchen contentment with your family. Enjoy!

Posted by: Ruth on July 20, 2009 6:38 AM

The kitchen makeover is terrific, but the best part of the post is your parents. They are such a lovely pair. Congratulations – hope they get many many wonderful years out of this new kitchen.

Posted by: Jen Yu on July 20, 2009 6:44 AM

Congratulations! I remember the “before” post, and I really admire your parents for making do with the old kitchen for so long. It means they deserve this one. It’s gorgeous and very functional.

Posted by: Sarah on July 20, 2009 6:50 AM

Beautiful kitchens are nice, but it’s the functional ones that you truly love and appreciate. This has both, congratulations!

Thanks for all the great recipes and advice, our family eats so much better because of your site.
Happy cooking!

Posted by: Tomoko on July 20, 2009 7:01 AM

I agree with Sylvie… the kitchen is great, but your Mom and Dad are the perfect depiction of happiness!

Posted by: SallyBR on July 20, 2009 7:49 AM

A stunning kitchen and they so deserve it. We all benefit so much from their recipes in addition to yours!

Posted by: Elise on July 20, 2009 8:08 AM

Love the kitchen. What is the manufacturer of the range hood?

Kobe Range Hoods ~Elise

Posted by: PCM on July 20, 2009 8:11 AM

Wow, this is a beautiful kitchen- not over done, but very functional and inviting! Love the backsplash, pan and spice drawers and really everything! Congrats!

Posted by: Lynda on July 20, 2009 8:39 AM

That is one beautiful kitchen! What a transformation! I am totally in LOVE with the glass tiles! If I could change one thing about my kitchen remodel, I would have used some type of glass mosaic tile design on my backsplash instead of the marble! Thanks for sharing the photos! Your parents look so happy!

Posted by: LilSis on July 20, 2009 8:53 AM

We just purchased a new home with, what I thought was the perfect kitchen. Now I must have tiles like your parents. I love them…..

Posted by: Sharon on July 20, 2009 9:13 AM

Hi Elise,

Beautiful kitchen quite large for a Californian kitchen too. I am with you on the gas cooktop.

As often as your family cooks, the spices won’t have time to discolor lol. Where do you keep your dried pasta in your pantry?

When we did a partial remodel on our kitchen, I was against the ice in the door model fridge. I now appreicate the ice and the filtered cold water. However, I have had 2 services call on the original ice maker then finally I told the repairman you might as well replace it or you will be out here again. So he did. I am very glad I purchased the 4 year extended warranty.

Hi Linda, the dried pasta (along with dried beans) is on the 4th shelf of the pantry, which you can’t see from the photo because I’ve pulled the 3rd shelf out so far. ~Elise

Posted by: Linda In Washington State on July 20, 2009 10:07 AM

I really like the style of the faucet on the main sink. What is the brand and model?

The brand is Grohe. As for the model, it appears to be this one. ~Elise

Posted by: Agnes Glenside, PA on July 20, 2009 10:23 AM

My skin has taken on a bit of a green tinge. Seriously. Well done!

Posted by: Ellie on July 20, 2009 10:58 AM

Wow. Wow. Wow. I don’t know what I like more, the translucent tiles or the wonderful ending to this post, which left me all warm and fuzzy. :) How nice!

Posted by: Anne Marie on July 20, 2009 11:44 AM

It’s beautiful, indeed! I think as a dream kitchen, though, I would take the 10-burner range, PLUS all the outdoor ovens and grills(!) that were in the movie, ‘Tortilla Soup.’ But I don’t live in L.A.!
I agree with most everyone else who posted, that the glass tiles are fantastic! They brighten up the kitchen so much!
And the bookcases!! Oh, to die for!
Thanks so much for sharing your success and photos with us all!

Posted by: MPRoberts2 on July 20, 2009 11:48 AM

I love your parent’s new kitchen! How jealous I am. I love open shelving. I got my husband to take away the awful doors we had – and I love it. He also removed the doors by the stove and added pull-out shelves for the pot/pans/large items (much like yours). I love it – and my cats do too, unfortunately. They have found a nice warm dark place to curl up and sleep! I’m finding I need to rinse/wash the pots before I use them again. I’m going to have to figure out some kind of door face for the pull-out shelves.

Posted by: Cristine on July 20, 2009 3:02 PM

That last photo of your parents put a huge grin on my face. So glad they are enjoying their new kitchen.

Posted by: Mrs. L on July 20, 2009 3:07 PM

What a lovely remodeling project. It looks spacious and fantastic.

The roll-out shelves, the tile, DOUBLE OVENS *fans self*, well, everything– fantastic.

Happy cooking to you and your folks!

Posted by: CJ McD on July 20, 2009 3:58 PM

What a wonderful kitchen! All the hard work of planning was definitely worth it. I adore the double ovens and the all those amazing drawers! No matter how many drawers my kitchens have had I never seem to have enough. I didn’t know you could put a hood over a stove if it wasn’t on the outside wall — soo great!

Since I’ve never remodeled a kitchen before I have a few practical questions…

1) Is the glass backsplash difficult to keep clean?
2) Are any of the sinks large enough to set a 9×13 pan into to soak?
3) Why is the counter to the far right of the main sink lower than the rest of the counters?

Great questions. 1) no, the glass tiles are easy to keep clean, 2) yes, the left sink on the main is quite large, 3) the far right counter is a wood counter for chopping; it is lower than the other counters because my mother is much shorter than my father. She wanted at least one prep counter that was ergonomically best for her. Good for me too. Sometimes we need a lower counter for better leverage. It was a brilliant idea from my mother. ~Elise

Posted by: Sharon on July 20, 2009 5:17 PM

Bravo..Just beautiful!!

Posted by: pat on July 20, 2009 6:36 PM

I wish this were *my* kitchen.. now there’s a lot more reasons to cook, eh? :)

Posted by: jenny on July 20, 2009 9:28 PM

WOW! This kitchen is what I dream about! Beautiful job! Have fun in it!

Posted by: Terry on July 21, 2009 4:08 AM

So many fabulous features. Gorgeous kitchen! Tell your Dad I love the open pots and pans slide-outs. And the island is killer. Congrats to you and your parents!

And enjoy every sandwich. xox

Posted by: Karina on July 21, 2009 6:52 AM

That kitchen is absolutely gorgeous and the sweet couple enjoying it are so cute. I have a chef’s kitchen myself but just not big enough. I love to cook and have a vast collection of cookbooks.Probably 500 by now that take up several book cases.

Posted by: Ann on July 21, 2009 7:13 AM

Looks nice and big! A true cooks’ kitchen!

Posted by: Danielle on July 21, 2009 8:45 AM

Too funny…My parents are remodeling their kitchen too (in fact, the last project–a tiled backsplash–will be done today). The one thing they fought on? Whether to get a fridge with an ice dispenser. Dad was the holdout and said no but lost when my mom said “oh! But look! This one is less expensive and is rated better. And it has an ice dispenser.” I look forward to going home and getting frosty glasses of ice water.

Posted by: tina on July 21, 2009 8:58 AM

They deserve such a beautiful space! It’s amazing and so very functional. Thanks for sharing Elise.

Posted by: steph on July 21, 2009 11:03 AM

What a gorgeous kitchen! I love the organization of it too! When can I come over and use it? : )

Posted by: Laura on July 21, 2009 11:49 AM

Great kitchen. Liebherr makes nice, high quality refrigerators without ice-makers, on door or in the door.

Posted by: Ed on July 21, 2009 1:26 PM

The kitchen looks amazing. I think this is my new dream kitchen. The spices in the drawer, the open shelving and the bookcases…all just perfect!

Posted by: nita scot on July 21, 2009 1:30 PM

So how did your parents get by without a kitchen for several months? I think I’d go nuts if I couldn’t cook anything for a long time.

Posted by: Jess on July 21, 2009 3:49 PM

Gorgeous kitchen!

Posted by: Colleen Dewis on July 21, 2009 7:06 PM

My goodness, I remember talking about this a few years back, but that’s how long it takes!

As a kitchen designer, I can tell you that it looks great from my way of thinking! It looks like it has great flow, storage, good looks and durability. I love the backsplash and I love the fact that it only goes up a little bit. It doesn’t have to cover the entire space between countertop and cabinets.

Great job!

Hi Susan, so nice to hear from you! I was hoping you might see this on the site. Glad to see your kitchen design site continuing to grow and thrive. It is a great source of design inspiration. ~Elise

Posted by: susan on July 22, 2009 5:31 AM

Splendid job . Only Tom and Alice could be so creative. Actually, please inform Tom that this kitchen could pass muster in Frogtown.
A double WOW for the Bauers.

Posted by: Richard E. O’Neill on July 22, 2009 10:01 AM

Beautiful kitchen!

Posted by: Renni on July 22, 2009 8:59 PM

Love the remodel, it’s looks great. I especially enjoy the photo of your parents, they look happy and very kind. Great site, I visit it often. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Bert on July 22, 2009 10:04 PM

Now that is my dream kitchen right there! And I love the lower counter! but what I love most about this post are the happy faces of your parents! They make me smile.

Posted by: Alisa on July 23, 2009 8:11 PM

I love the kitchen — especially the tiles, open storage and bookshelves. Beautiful!

Posted by: Sally on July 24, 2009 6:05 AM

WOW, Elise what a beautiful kitchen. I think what is even more beautiful is the picture of your parents. What a joy it will be cooking together in that obviously loving place. Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us.

Posted by: Linda on July 24, 2009 6:22 AM

I was wondering which brand & model dishwasher did you parents install in their new kitchen.

Actually, they kept their previous dishwasher, a Maytag Quiet Series 200. It had been white, but they purchased a new stainless steel front for it so it would fit in better with the rest of the appliances. ~Elise

Posted by: Agnes Glenside, PA on July 24, 2009 1:45 PM

Love the kitchen, love the DCS Rangetop. I really like the addition with the covered patio.

Posted by: Richard Dennis on July 24, 2009 2:59 PM

Simply gorgeous!

I am so glad your parents did this for themselves, and that they were thoughtful about the whole process. I really think some kitchen remodels are “wasted” on the young, if the person in question lacks the experience to know what makes for a truly great kitchen. Congratulations to your whole family.

Posted by: Andrea on July 24, 2009 3:23 PM

If the kitchen is the heart of the house , this is a fullscale heart transplant!! What a beautiful kitchen- I know your mom and dad and the whole family will make loads of memories there!

Posted by: Deborah Dowd on July 25, 2009 6:59 PM

Wow! Double WOW!

Posted by: Connie on July 26, 2009 1:07 AM

“poster children for the decision-phobic” – that made me laugh out loud! Hmmm… I don’t suppose your parents and my parents are related? :-)

But I think my parents are a long way from a kitchen remodel as gorgeous as that. It looks wonderful – I hope they enjoy using it; I’m sure they will.

Posted by: Sarah Knowles on July 28, 2009 9:29 AM

Like your father, I do not like ice-makers either.
1. they take up too much freezer space
2. the ice always smells like garlic or onions

regarding (1) that is not a deal-breaker.
regarding (2) I have never had ice from a ice-maker that did not have some subtle odor to it… is there some maintenance trick you know of to prevent this?


Haven’t noticed any odor. The water in the water dispenser is filtered, I’m guessing that the water used for the ice is filtered as well. ~Elise

Posted by: anoni on July 29, 2009 10:46 AM

Oh, what a wonderful kitchen! I love the spice drawer *under* the stove top–would never have thought of putting it there because of heat concerns so it’s nice to know that there’s no problem there. Such a convenient spot!

I too find that automatic icemakers taint the flavor of the ice, even with meticulous cleaning. Will be curious how it works out for your parents.

Posted by: Susan on August 2, 2009 8:05 AM

Awesome kitchen. Makes me envious. Wish I had one just as nice. This is the type of enviroment that makes cooking more of a joy. Nice refrigerator too!

Posted by: Dan Miller on August 7, 2009 8:48 AM

It’s an inspirational kitchen. Don’t you think mom and dad would be even more delighted if there were an iMac in there to follow recipes?

Hey Peter, next time you’re in Sac, stop by! My mother and father would love to see you. ~Elise

Posted by: Peter hirshberg on August 7, 2009 1:26 PM

What a treat for them it shines through on their happy faces. We too re-did our old kitchen after 16 yrs. (married 28) Our old one looked about like your folks old sink photo – only that’s all the counter space I had! I didn’t get the new appliances yet but do plan on the same type of Fridge – (go mom!) And I’d thought about a gas cooktop but also would like a double oven don’t know if room for that…so may just get range/oven gas combo. I wish I’d seen the after photos before our remodel because I would have included the spice drawer and a bookshelf for cookbooks. However pretty happy with how it turned out anyways. For now I’m just looking for a pretty rack or basket to store cookbooks in and keep a few in an old buffet I have.
I’m happy with the way the rest turned out.

Now I have a whole cabinet to left of stove with all spices in there. Also have 2 lazy suzan cabinets that keep dishes in one, bowls colanders and such in second one.
I have large drawers (which I love love love) for pots and casserole dishes. Then a narrow cabinet for baking sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks. As for canned goods,canisters,small appliances,etc… I’m getting a small room, just behind my kitchen for a pantry. We’re gutting the old paneling out of room and building shelves. It will be awesome when done with shelves all around it even has a window. So glad for you folks and you and family you’re right kitchens are always where family friends end up at gatherings,they’re not staying in these hugh living rooms or media- rooms so don’t know why people bother with those types of rooms at least that’s the way it is with friends and family we have here. And from the wonderful stories and food on your site can tell that’s the way it is with you too.

Continue to enjoy the years and meals to come together.

Posted by: Linda on August 23, 2009 6:03 PM


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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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Kitchen Remodel Update