If you haven’t heard from me for a few months, it’s not that I don’t like you anymore. It’s that I’ve been largely indisposed on an unending project. After 650 man hours the beautiful beast called THE BIG KITCHEN REMODEL is vanquished. And I think my remodeling bug is completely sated…for now. It’s time to dive into completing the new book (more details to come), but I wanted to take a moment to show you how the remodel turned out. It is, after all, important to savor the results of the creative labor that God has given us to do. He modeled that for us in Genesis when he contemplated what he created at the end of every day.
But first, as a follow up to the thoughts in God Enjoys Interior Design, I was reminded of another excellent example of God’s enjoyment and value of design while reading The Gift of Art (IVP, 1981) by Gene Veith, Jr. recently. Veith says:
The Lord’s requirements for the tabernacle and later the Temple do, in fact, take up a good part of the Old Testament… The details of how many hooks to place in the curtains, how many cubits the frames must be, what to cover with beaten gold and what to make from bronze, are tedious to modern readers and have led to the abandoning of many a (entire bible) Scripture–reading project. But it pleased God to include theme in this holy Word. God, the designer and maker of the universe, clearly places great value on details of design, construction and artifice.
I hope the builders of the tabernacle and temple didn’t run into as many challenges in the details as we did in this remodel. God did give us solutions to every one, but the problems were plentiful. Fortunately, I was working with my good friend Scott Rieger on this project so we had a healthy mix of humor, trivia, and theological discussion along with the challenges.
Mom’s house was built in 1979, long enough ago that many design elements are outdated. Add to that the fact that it is on a concrete slab and the home was configured oddly to be wheelchair accessible, and you have some interesting problems. Plumbing can’t be changed, the concrete promoted years of condensation and rot in the cabinets, and there are limited options when reconfiguring the kitchen layout. But enough of the boring explanation. Here are the pictures, with slightly more interesting explanations. For those interested in some of the specifics of products and processes, I’ve created footnotes at the end of this post.
Here are just a few of the problems that needed to be addressed: (Click on the pictures to see the explanation.)
Before and After
The plan was to transform this kitchen from a dated and clutter hodgepodge of design to a classy and warm Tuscan-inspired family gathering place. I think we got pretty close. Here is a sampling of before and after shots. Click on any of the pictures to go into the gallery with explanations.
More Design Updates
In addition to refinishing or replacing nearly everything in the kitchen, we added many extra design touches. Here are a few. Click on any picture to go to the gallery with explanations.
(1) The pendant lights came from Menards. I went for a simple, classic light that could accommodate a 100 watt bulb.
(2) The cabinets required a 4-step process to get this look. 1. Liquid De-glosser was used to prepare the finish for staining. 2. A coat of Rust-o-leum Kona stain was applied to darken the cabinets. 3. A coat of Rust-o-leum Black Cherry was applied to give a rich red tone. 4. A few coats of polyurethane went on to toughen up the finish. These stains are available at Lowes.
(3) I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect backs plash tile to complement the beautiful granite. Its a more difficult task then you might think. I settled on white natural tumbled marble tiles (4”x4″) from Menard’s. It had rough edges and a lovely washed out look. This was placed in an offset, subway tile pattern for an retro look, then sealed with a simple stone sealer. The grout was biscuit colored to blend with the stone (white grout was too stark). I used tumbled marble chair rail tile to trim. The whiteish tile and light granite is a great contrast to the rich wood floors and dark cabinets.
(4) Osbourne Wood Products provided the corbels for the island and sink trim. Very nice quality and detail. I highly recommend them.
(5) The paint came from Sherwin Williams and I went with three complimentary colors. The walls were “Pavilion Beige”, the lower trim “Tiki Hut” and the upper trim and beams were a shade lighter with “Sanderling”.
(6) I found the range hood on line at Signature Hardware. This hood is made exclusively for them and though is doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles like LED display, timers and etc, it does have high air output (550 Cfm) and great design lines. You can easily spend several hundred dollars on a chimney range hood, but this 30″ came in at $299 (on sale).
(7) The pot rack is one of the few 24″ hanging styles available. Made by JK Adams, available from Crate and Barrel. Fairly reasonably priced at $140.
(8) The pulls came from Menard’s and are 96mm in a Black Nickel finish.
(9) I found the best deal for engineered hard wood floor at Menards. The Floors of Distinction brand Acacia wood in Cabernet with a hand scrapped texture completely satisfied the desire for a rich, medium dark floor that could “float” over a concrete slab floor.