Last spring we embarked on another little kitchen refresh in our 1950s ranch house. Yep, these days it takes me a whole year to post afters.Before I take you on the tour, here is how the kitchen looked when we viewed the house before buying in 2007:
What I love about this kitchen redo is minor change equals major impact. The first kitchen changes happened in 2008.
This isn’t a huge kitchen renovation. We only switched out the refrigerator and the dishwasher so all appliances are the same finish, stainless steel. We kept the existing granite countertops and tumbled marble backsplash–although the color of the marble actually was pink and didn’t coordinate well with the granite, which complicated my paint selection process. I wanted to go white on the cabinets, but it just didn’t look right with the marble and granite so I chose Sherwin Williams Brainstorm Bronze. We kept the existing cabinets and just replaced the doors with a shaker style and added millwork to the soffit to give the illusion of cabinetry to the ceiling–this dramatically affected the feel of the room by making the ceilings seem higher.
The 2008 changes were an improvement to the previous kitchen arrangement, but after a few years the wall of upper cabinets and the mullioned-kitchen window were making me feel closed in. And I loathed that pink tumbled marble. We did our best to keep as much as we could to minimize costs but do enough to make a big difference.
I had planned to put basic white subway tile on the wall for a classic and affordable solution, but when I asked for designer Sherry Hart’s opinion, she suggested this gorgeous 6 x 12″ white marble. She pointed out how well it went with the granite–coordinating with the grays and the browns speckled in the countertop–and, most importantly, it modernized the kitchen and distracted from the ho-hum granite. The marble cost twice as much as the originally-planned subway tile, but it was so worth it–Sherry said it would be, and she was right! I love it, the scale and the subtle veining. The marble elevates the kitchen in a way the white ceramic wouldn’t have.
I was so thankful that I could confer with Sherry about these changes. Having another person with a trained eye and immersed in the business to weigh in on the options is so valuable, and I would encourage anyone to hire an interior designer–even if it is just for consultations. Mistakes can be avoided, beautiful discoveries and options revealed.
I’m still surprised that I went with a navy for the cabinets. I had narrowed down my choices to gray or navy but knew deep-down I’d play it safe and go with the gray. But then as I wondered if I could pick a gray to blend with our mismatched stainless appliances, this now-famous kitchen was published in Canadian House & Home.
I think officially those cabinets are black, but they look navy and I was sold.
The brass handles were a surprising Home Depot find!
The table has been with us for 12 years now–originally all-over pine and then a brief stint in orange. I stripped the orange and used some leftover gray paint for the table base.
Chris also made the bench for us–great for kids. On the matter of new chairs, my first gut feeling was to do the Panton chair. But, of course, I had to look at a million and one different chairs to finally realize that indeed I wanted the classic chair. They are surprisingly comfy. And Ol’ Big Red, the chandelier that I bought from Ally, makes me so happy.
So there you go, finally, yellowed and unstyled photos of our kitchen refresh!
Here are the deets:
Paint | Benjamin Moore Polo Blue
Handles | Artesia Liberty at Home Depot
Pendants | Sfera 8 from Rejuvenation Lighting
Tablecloth | Handmade for MyColor Paint Party
Rug | eSaleRugs
Artwork | Yours truly (my daughter did the orange still life)
Cat | Heaven sent
Please don’t hate me because I don’t have the marble tile info…I will update here if I can dig it up.