The New Kitchen

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t the Bruns’ in a brand new house? Why do they need a new kitchen? You’re exactly right. We bought our house new in March 2012.  That being said, it was a spec house, so we did not have the opportunity to pick out any of the design pieces.  We negotiated a few things like turning a desk upstairs into a bar (duh), but couldn’t repick things like granite choice or backsplash.

Fast forward three years later and we are eager to put some of our personal touches on the house. We’ve added some paint color (actually, have a complete master redo that needs to be shared on this blog too!), but when it came to the kitchen it was the overall style that wasn’t working for us.

I’ll explain in these BEFORE pics:

A full view of the kitchen from the living room. We love the layout. It’s a large, long kitchen with plenty of seating and tons of cabinets…
Speaking of those cabinets, they are Alder wood. I don’t know anything about different kinds of wood, but everyone says these are great cabinets.  What we don’t care for is the cabinets, wood floors, backsplash and countertops are all the same tone. There is no contrast. 
Also, this “old world” style is not really our style. It’s pretty and grand, don’t get me wrong. We’re more straight lines, geometric patterns and modern style.  Our favorite is mid-century modern (Mad Men!)

Better seen in the first pic, but we tried to paint the walls to change the look of the kitchen. The problem is we did NOT pick green paint. It’s actually a shade of gray, but all that brown/orange in the kitchen is making it look green.
Here’s the kitchen at night (or dusk). It’s very WARM.

Close up pick of the travertine tile backsplash. Not bad! But again, it’s a little too neutral and warm for us. 

Our first plan was just to hire someone to paint our cabinets white.  We spoke to many vendors and even other people who had done it and I started panicking about picking the right shade of white and then panicked about sinking thousands of dollars to paint our cabinets then hating it worse than the wall paint!  After much discussion, Chris and I decided we needed to make this a real project (not just a few changes here and there) and do it right.

I called a few remodelers, but it was clear that Elite Remodeling would get our business.  They listened to our ideas and mapped out a plan. We decided we were going to KEEP the granite countertops (this was a big stipulation for us), paint the cabinets, change the backsplash, expose the vent hood, and change the moulding on the top of the cabinets to something less ornate.
After meeting with the designer to pick out colors, she suggested we paint our island a different color. I was ok with this, thinking a dark gray or something neutral. She not only talked me into a sapphire blue island, but also to paint our mantel to match! I’m scared!
It took two months to get going after agreeing on everything, picking our details, and scheduling the crews. The end-to-end construction is supposed to take 3-4 weeks.  This is what happened after the demo:
Bye bye, backsplash and cabinet moulding (and hood!)
Same day – they put up sheet rock and added the new moulding.

It took three weeks to complete the work (actually, it was really even closer to 2.5 weeks), which was much less than the estimate and I appreciate that! The demo week wasn’t so bad, but the week they painted our kitchen we 100% unusable. All the appliances and even the sink were covered up. Just getting in through the garage door was an ordeal.  But it was all worth it for this final product:

The whole kitchen from the living room (sorry about the bright light)

Looking back towards the living room. Blue island!

My favorite spot of the whole new kitchen. New range hood (exposed) and backsplash to the ceiling.
Buffet wall

Appliances and the blue island!
The mantel painted to  match the island (we also removed some moulding details on the front panel to create a more clean look 
Straight view of the appliances. Don’t they look great with the white cabinets?!

Since the colors all change depending on the time of day, here’s what we did:
1. Antique white cabinets (to complement a blonde/tan granite)
2. Gray subway tile that is textured, so reflects light all kinds of ways
3. Sapphire blue island and mantel
4. Stainless steel range hood
5. Original floors
6. Original countertops

There you have it! We couldn’t be more pleased with this entire process and the outcome. We are now open to hosting many dinners 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara Watson says:

    Love love love! Interesting…. we really want to put the TV over our fireplace, but it would require some removing of mantel. Now you have me debating pulling the trigger on it.


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