Wednesday, October 31, 2012

vegan mofo :: new kitchen tour, part 1 and contest winner

My new chalkboard where I can draw, write recipes and make grocery lists

For my VeganMoFo grand finale, I thought I'd give you an in-depth tour of my newly remodeled kitchen. I still have to paint but other than this, the kitchen is finished! There's lots to show you, so I'll do it in 2 parts, with the general stuff today and the details next time. Warning: lots of photos!

My extreme kitchen makeover was a long process, mostly because I took my time and thought everything through. In some cases it was two steps forward and one step back, but in the end, it was all worth it. C'mon in and let's get on with the tour. Then, you'll learn who is the lucky winner of Tami and Celine's new cookbook.

Before, kitchen right side. All appliances and sink in one tiny area.

After! Kitchen right side, spreading out, sink and fridge moved! [I'm painting the red hall wall white next week. Red no longer works here.]

Biggest mistake: I was hell-bent on red tiles [my favorite color], and I ordered them before I bought the granite counter. Once the granite was installed, the red tiles were not working so I had to ship them back. All 45 pounds of them.

What I did right: 
1. I had solid, realistic plans in place before I acted. I literally thought about and researched the redo for years.
2. I was patient enough not to settle for anything "meh." This meant that Lowe's and the FedEx return counters were my second homes for a spell. I literally tried 45 different samples before deciding on the white subway tile with charcoal grout. I also brought home 3 sinks [and returned two] and 2 faucets. 
3. Although I stuck to my budget and was cost-conscious, I didn't skimp on things that had design impact. Case in point, the granite counter. I could have gone with a cheaper, so-so option, but I really loved the Volga Blue, a more expensive, impactful slab. I am glad I spent the extra money. The kaleidoscopic patterns never cease to mesmerize me.

Most difficult task: Moving the plumbing line for the new refrigerator and sink and getting a gas line installed for the stove [Previously, I had an electric stove].

Most fortunate aspect: F-stop's BFF, Bruce, who is a whiz at remodeling, electric work, design and a zillion other things, was available to install the kitchen. He did impeccable work and all the while, made sure I was as uninterrupted and as comfortable as possible.
[Vegan commercial break: Bruce's son Doug is vegan and has an amazing band in Boston, King Orchard. Give them a listen - you won't be sorry.]
End result: The kitchen is exactly how I envisioned it: urban-industrial, restaurant-style with open shelving that's easy to move and cook in. I expanded my usable space from approximately 11 x 7 feet to 20 x 8 feet. There is not one detail I ended up "settling" for, and it's a joy to cook in.

Before, kitchen left side

After! Kitchen left side. Moved fridge here and installed cabinets. So much more storage.

What I see as I sip my morning soy cappuccino. For the first few days, I couldn't believe it was my kitchen.
A better look at the left wall cabinets. You can see the spice rack and chalkboard in the reflection.

This shot gives you a feel for what it's like to be in the cooking area [Yes, after writing –and eating!– a pie book, I am doing a little detox].  
Full frontal view. Notice new recessed lighting, which Bruce installed
Close-up of open shelving, subway tiles with black grout, appliance garage and counter

The Process Posts
If you're interested, you can read about the remodeling process in these posts:

Contest Winner

The winner of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! is  Dawn of Vegan Fazool. Congrats, girl! Email me so we can ship out your prize. Thanks to all who entered, and check back soon for more contests.


Dawn said...

Yeeehah! Thanks, Dynise! And what a GORGEOUS kitchen! You'll have to have The Sheriff over one day to cook up some vegan vittles :-)


christine sheller said...

Beautiful kitchen! Congrats :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

Wow, it looks beautiful! Great job! Wonderful that in the end you felt like you didn't compromise on anything - so important with something like this to not settle for "well, it'll do." If you're going to do such a big project, might as well do it right! :)

moonsword said...

Just stunning! Almost makes you want to not mess it up by cooking in it. But then the cookbooks come out and whoosh, it's a stunning but humming, heating, messier kitchen full of yumful stuff!
Congrats to Dawn! :)

Amey said...

What a great post! I can't wait to see part two. I really love the subway tiles with the dark grout,that's a really nice look. And just look at the size of your new fridge. Amazing! Good luck with the pot pie detox! :)

Allysia said...

Oooh, I adore the idea of a kitchen chalkboard! And I don't care if every other room in my house is lame, having a beautiful and functional kitchen is key. If the rest of the house is awesome, that's just a bonus. :) I'm super stoked for you, must be wonderful to have a new setup!

Andrea said...

Your new kitchen is the perfect example of how careful planning and obsessive attention to detail pays off! It looks like the perfect space for cooking. I love it. I think you made the right choice to keep the table and cabinet — if you love something and it's working for you, why get rid of it? I wish I had room in my kitchen for a chalk board — great idea! (and nice drawings, too.)

dreaminitvegan said...

It's absolutely beautiful!!! I'm so happy for you!

Joey said...

All the hard work paid off and no mistake - that looks amazing! What a great place to cook. said...

Wow! What an amazing kitchen! I have an Ikea kitchen too and we have the same spice rack, I think we have the same drawers / cupboards too but with different handles!

Mattheworbit said...

Your kitchen looks amazing. Right off a TV set - you could easily film there. Gosh you have done a good job, and you can see that so much hard work and care has gone into that. Congrats for seeing it through.