(FYI...giveaway for U.S. and Canada residents only. Enter until Friday morning, 7 a.m. Eastern)
Let's see if I can cover anymore nitty gritty details. From the picture above, I recommend two things:
1. I love the combination of the open cabinets with baskets on the left, and the balance of the wine racks on the right. We do like wine, not huge drinkers, but Chris loves a chianti and I love a good, buttery Chardonnay now and then. This is such ideal storage...out of the way and the kids can't knock it over. I also love a little break in the monotony of cabinets. The baskets are great because I keep baking stuff on the top basket (easy to just pull out the measuring cups from there), and tons of dish towels on the bottom. I do my best to be 'green' and use limited paper towels. The best part is the boys know where the towels are when they need to wipe up their own mess.
2. The fireclay apron front farmhouse sink. The key here is "fireclay". Spend a little more money and get this kind because they don't scratch. Mine hasn't yet, and I love this! You can't get cheaper ones, but I think you may pay in the long run. (Mine was still less than $700)
The brackets (above) are from Anthropolgie. They are study, iron, and pretty! I like them a lot. The faucet is a polished chrome one from Lowe's...less than $200 and had a high customer rating. I have been really pleased. I can't believe how much people spend on faucets! If you are renovating on a budget, I recommend saving on this item.
We used Ben Moore White Dove throughout the kitchen. It is the perfect white for us...just a little hint of cream in it when the sun hits it. I did see on The Antonio Project on HGTV that he used automobile paint for kitchen cabinets. That is an awesome idea--you can't have too durable a paint for a kitchen!
We have beadboard surrounding half of the kitchen. Not only is it a pretty wood treatment to look at, but it does add some durability as well....an extra layer to protect those walls!
I can't remember if I posted before about our countertops, but we used a limestone. Not as stain-resistant as a shiny granite, but not as porous as marble. I truly would have gone with marble, I am not too scared of red wine stains. Limestone is less expensive than marble.
One area to save money with a budget redo is keeping the appliances in their original places. I know we don't have the ideal "triangle"--sink, cooktop, fridge, but it would have cost a bundle to change everything around. Keeping things as-is meant we could spend more on pretty finishes.
If you have natural light in the kitchen, which usually you have at least one good window--remember some texture on the windows! Add a cafe curtain, some wooden blinds, a roman shade....something to add some warmth to the kitchen. An all-white kitchen especially needs some dimension.
Use all the space you have. We don't have any extra room in this kitchen, and that is okay. We definitely have to stay our current sizes or we won't fit in here anymore! We did move the old island to Chris' workshop, and we had this long island built. It is a workhorse, and it is great. We installed electrical outlets on both sides of the island. We make smoothies here, blend ingredients for cakes in the KitchenAid, and even charge our Ipods here. A definite plus.
To save a ton of counterspace, we have the microwave here, too. A great hiding place!!
Our knobs have a little contrast. These are glass fronts with chrome bases..and quite affordable from my knobs
The chrome cup pulls are from Restoration Hardware. Pricier than the glass, but they feel so sturdy and solid.
Here is another before of the former owner's kitchen. See how much smaller the island is? Yes, there is more room to walk around, but we now store small appliances, cookbooks, tupperware and a microwave in that long thing. Definitely worth taking up the extra space for us.
You can see how we basically kept all the appliances in their original homes.
When I had a cookie party for Christmas, all of us women could fit around this island. We had our cookies out, rolling them and decorating them. It was fun to have a space where we could all fit and still see each other's faces.
Boy, and I sure wish Walker Zanger would give me a little kick-back! Some of you readers are sure liking this tile! I am too. That is why I stuck to my guns when they all said, "just get subway tile!" I love subway tile, it is all over our home, but I really think this is fun and a little unexpected. Some of you have had trouble finding it, but it is Walker Zanger tile, style Ashby Mosaic in high gloss white. Oyster grout. (For really high traffic areas I would even go darker. We have medium gray grout in the boys' bath and basement bath. It is called medium, but it is very dark. I love that and it is great for high-use areas.)
One last shot of new appliances...but in old places.
I think that may cover all of the kitchen renovation. Please let me know if I missed something.
To enter the CSN giveaway for a $40 gift certificate, please just leave a comment. Why not tell me what is one thing you have to have in the kitchen? What is the one thing you'll spend the money on? Or....just comment and say whatever the heck you want.
And (hopefully) I'll be back on Friday with pics of Suzanne Kasler and Jonathan Adler!
All the best,