Typically my blogs are about Atlanta neighborhoods, restaurants around Atlanta, events happening around town, or latest real estate listings. I’m going to switch it up a little and go into home renovations. Afterall, who doesn’t like to see before/after pics of a house renovation? Not only am I going to talk about a home renovation, but it is my personal home renovation. I didn’t completely renovate the entire house – just the kitchen/living area and master bathroom.
So why did we renovate?
Our home was completely gutted and remodeled back in 2007 (many years before we owned the home). Whoever renovated it did some great things to it (the layout is pretty normal considering it’s an Atlanta 1920’s something home), the color scheme has stayed pretty current, and it has the open kitchen/living concept that everyone loves. What I started to notice after living in the home is that while the company that renovated the home did things nicely, they did things good enough to make the house look pretty but not going the extra mile to make it, well, perfect! But I get it, flippers want to renovate a home to get it sold quickly and collect their profit.
For this post, I am only going to talk about why we remodeled the kitchen.
The Kitchen Before:
When you look at my before photos, you are going to say “why in the world would you need to renovate that kitchen, it looks great!” We felt the same way but there were some flaws that started happening in our kitchen that drove me to the point that we needed to get them fixed.
There were 2 main problems:
1. The first problem was our beautiful marble countertops. Sadly, our marble started cracking behind our sink faucet. It cracked into something gnarly. We even had a professional marble company come out and try to patch it back together, but there was no guarantee that it would stay intact. In fact, about 1 year later, the crack came back. Why did it crack? Turns out there is a metal re-bar between the sink and backsplash placed in there for support but it had gotten rusted and put pressure on the marble, causing it to erupt and crack at the surface. I was also told that the sink hole was cut too close to the backsplash. So the only way to really fix the problem was to rip that whole slab of marble out. But how do you take out only that piece of marble and try to match it with the island marble? This wasn’t the only problem we faced.
2. Another problem we had was the paint on our cabinets and surrounding ceiling area. The paint was chipping off the cabinets EVERYWHERE and even areas on the ceiling along the trim were cracking/peeling. I even switched all the nearby bulbs to LED in hopes that the lower heat wouldn’t cause the paint to keep cracking. Wrong. After many consultations from professionals, the conclusion was made that the contractor failed to use the right type of paint on the cabinets and didn’t prime the ceiling. UGH!
The Kitchen After:
So wallah! Obviously, our kitchen remodel wasn’t quite so drastic as some, but the new kitchen has a more fresh, lighter, updated look. We did create a different layout for the kitchen because my husband had said from the start – “if we are going to spend the investment to re-do our kitchen, I want it to feel different”. So different is what we did. The kitchen sink was moved to the island, the location of where the fridge and oven areas were swapped, and we added a small sitting bench area to really define out our breakfast nook. We went with quartz countertops this time (way easier maintenance than marble!), but still went with white cabinets (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) and the island was painted a blueish gray (Wolf Gray by Benjamin Moore). In order to create the new layout, we did have to move the windows, which was totally worth the extra expense in the end!
Much of the layout was created in big part to our custom cabinet company. We used Costili Cabinetry based on a recommendation from a neighbor. He did not disappoint and was very patient while we had him re-do the plans multiple times until we were 100% happy. Plus, I hired a designer to help me with selections as I get very overwhelmed with this kind of stuff. We used Kelly Berumen with Ardin Designs (also based on a neighbor recommendation) and I cannot say enough good things about her! She really caught onto my taste and was also good at stepping in and giving her opinion when I was being indecisive.
The lighting over the island was from Circa Lighting (in Buckhead) and we splurged on high-end appliances that we picked out from Howard & Payne who had really helpful staff to help us in our appliance decisions. I was able to score the hardware from Restoration Hardware when they had it on sale. The sink fixtures were from Ferguson, who also had excellent staff and were easy to work with. I also have to give our designer a ton of credit as she helped me shop for all of this stuff. I think it would have taken me weeks to shop for sink fixtures on my own and with Kelly, it only took 1/2 a day.
I should also mention who did all the contract work (demo, framing, plumbing, electrical)…we used Intown Renovations Group (again, based on several happy neighbor experiences) and we were thrilled with their work. Their team really kept on their predicted budget and finished within the time frame we were expecting. It probably didn’t hurt that I am expecting our 2nd child and so time was of the essence!
You might be wondering, how was it living in the house with a toddler while you had no kitchen for 8 weeks? Well, I was a bit terrified of this but it turned out to not be quite as bad as I envisioned. I think it helped to be organized (#supermom) but you really can go a long way with a microwave, hot plate, grill, and lots of paper plates/plastic silverware! We set up our kitchen in our dining room area and it worked out quite well. I got creative with meals and honestly we really didn’t order take-out during the work week!
Stay tuned, I will post about the bathroom renovation next!