We have a very hard-working kitchen. I cook and bake A LOT. On occasion, we will order in from a restaurant or grab a bite out to eat, but certainly in 2020, the majority of our meals were homemade. So that means the kitchen needs to withstand the constant barrage of cupboards and drawers opening and closing, dirty dishes, pots and pans clattering in the sink, a hot oven working overtime making triple batches of cookies, a fridge that stands open while children stare inside saying “there’s nothing to eat” and counters that can take spills, crumbs, hot pans, homework and anything else you can imagine piling on it. When we first looked at the house with the property manager I remember liking the size of the kitchen. Lots of cabinets. Definitely dated-looking (maybe from the ’80s or ’90s?). Solid granite countertops a plus. Low-end appliances because it was a rental. Minor updates like the subway tile backsplash that didn’t match the rest of the kitchen. And, curiously, no hardware on the cabinets! I asked him if they had plans to put hardware on the drawer and he flatly answered, “no.” I didn’t understand why there were no knobs or pulls on the doors or drawers. It meant you could see where sticky fingers had pried the cupboards open to reach a glass or plate. Why on earth wouldn’t you put a pull on the door?

So we lived with the kitchen without hardware. It was fine and I adjusted. But now that I own this small chunk of real estate that’s changing, along with a few other things. I do like the kitchen. The cabinets are solid maple. We replaced the cheap electric stove immediately with a gas range–not as high-end as I dreamed of, but we were renting the house and I didn’t want to invest in an appliance that I might have to move to another location. I can’t stand the small side-by-side fridge we have, but I can live with it. The counters are black granite with reddish/brownish/greyish flecks. You can practically time stamp it to 1990! So really, nothing to complain about. I’m not sure what the owners were thinking when they added the glass subway tile backsplash with a faux white and grey marble pattern, but so be it! I’m not tearing it out.

What I am doing is giving the kitchen a cosmetic facelift that will make the whole space feel fresh and new.

The cabinets are all getting painted and yes, I’m adding hardware! Rather than replacing all of the countertops, which is very expensive, we are replacing the island countertop with a much larger piece of prefabricated quartz.

We are also adding some light fixtures over the island and the sink rather than keeping them as pot lights like the rest of the lighting.

The most significant “renovation” is the pantry. It used to be a door with the word “pantry” etched into the glass. The door would open to shallow shelves that only took up about a quarter of the interior space. My husband happily tore it all out to make room for floor to ceiling pantry cabinets. There is a surprise coming with these cabinets that I will reveal in a later post, once the cabinets go in.

In the meantime, some photos of the kitchen “before.”

Stay tuned for the big reveal of the kitchen after the facelift…..