Refreshing a White Kitchen

This project presented many challenges. The 40-year-old kitchen in a Regency Villa needed a makeover. It was pretty old, and I wanted to take inspiration from a more modern look, like something from Rodrock Homes. The layout was efficient and the interiors of the cabinets were in good condition. But, the look was dated. As we explored options, it became obvious this kitchen remodel could be an expensive project for the homeowner. The kitchen needed new counter tops. On the positive side, there were several bonus features: The existing wood floor had been refinished recently, though we’d need to protect it. The cooktop was in good shape, and the existing exhaust was vented to the outside and in good shape. However, the exhaust hood was outdated. We needed more than a kitchen remodel: we needed a complete refresh.

There was an overall cottage feel, with the scalloped trim over the sink and floral valance at the window. Looking through the room, the cabinetry over the peninsula seemed to lower the ceiling and blocked the view through to the dining area.

We saw that the dining chandelier was not centered over the table. Sadly, the microwave took valuable counter space next to the refrigerator. We also saw that if we didn’t tear out the kitchen, we’d have to keep the 30” wide refrigerator space.

How do you renovate a kitchen on a budget and be as practical as the homeowner requested?

With some investigation, we discovered a showroom refrigerator with cabinetry doors that was perfect for the space at only 30“ wide x 84“ tall. Removing the unused cabinets over the refrigerator and repainting the doors allowed us to maximize the space attractively. Next, we removed the cabinet next to the refrigerator and replaced it with shorter one to hold the microwave, gaining counter space.

All the remaining cabinet doors and drawers received new fronts and hardware. The cabinets at the peninsula were removed, allowing us to place recessed lighting in the soffit. We added drama with under-cabinet lighting using dimmable LED strips. We camouflaged them by adding a small piece of trim at the the bottom edge of the cabinets.

When painted, all of these additions blended seamlessly. We discovered the kitchen trim had three different colors of white paint that of been applied over the years. By matching the wainscoting paint color, we were able to avoid painting the entire kitchen, another cost savings.

Moving to the dining area, we proceeded to move the chandelier. A structural support was in the way. A brilliant solution from the electrician was to shift the box slightly. Now, a medallion covers the necessary electrical components.

The homeowner fell in love with a Cambria quartz for her counter tops. Coordinating an undermount sink and a new faucet added to the overall effect. We enhanced the design with a silver Chinese-inspired wall covering. These elements helped to unify the dining area with the kitchen work space. The spectacular wall covering gives the kitchen a personality of its own.

So, to sum up, we saved the floor, we reused the cooktop and ovens, added a new hood and avoided painting the wainscoting. The last touch was a consignment table and chairs, finishing the effect, and staying on budget.

Designing with my client’s budget in mind is our foremost focus. Sometimes magic can happen when you least expect it. Taking into consideration what is usable and designing the space to be as functional, creative, and refreshed as possible is the final goal.