Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kitchen Remodel with Martha Stewart Cabinets

(My disclaimer: I'm sorry if you are hoping to see beautiful pictures of my new kitchen.  I staged it for the Martha Stewart rep who was coming to take photos.  I shot a few with my iphone while I waited for her to arrive.  I didn't worry about the quality because I knew she was coming.  I was very disappointed that she showed up with a tiny point & shoot camera & used the flash on every single picture.  When she left I forgot to look at my pictures to see if they were even good.  I've been too lazy to wait on the right time of day & stage the kitchen so I can get good photographs.  All the pictures are blurry so you can stop here if you don't want to be disappointed but there is a picture of a really cute dog if you want to continue)

It all started with a farmhouse sink. That's how this story begins. You've seen them, all these bloggers adding these big, beautiful apron front sinks in their kitchen. So you stare & drool & pet your computer. Ok, maybe that's just me but I LOVED them! I was smitten at 1st glance! So I schemed thought about how I could get my own sink to pet & drool on. My own lovely sink was approaching 14 years old (which is really old in sink years). It was porcelain, scratched & chipped. It was looking a little rough.  I was really tired of the whole kitchen, we built our house 14 years ago & it was so fun to design (with limited choices) our kitchen. Unfortunately after 14 years I was over the white cabinets. My plan was to paint the cabinets (if I could ever decide on the color). I knew it would be easy to change them using American Paint Company paint. So what I needed to do was find a sink that would fit into our existing cabinets without too many alterations. After weeks if research I found a nice stainless apron front sink that is designed to just fit right in to a 36" cabinet. Perfect! I ordered the template & finally found a company that would install the sink. They came out to measure & that was when I was given the bad news...it wouldn't fit! Yes it was designed to fit into a 36" sink base but we had drawers on one side & dishwasher on the other & we would have less than 1/2" on each side of the sink. Insert tears & sad face here! I was so disappointed!!
We had also talked about removing our double ovens (they weren't vented correctly & needed some work), replacing them with a range  & making the hole they left behind into cabinets. My husband happened to be at Home Depot one day talking to one of the employees & was told they could do the sink, easily. So we ventured into Home Depot & I saw this:
The Heavens parted & angels sang! I was in love & the best part?? My husband really liked it, too!!
Martha Stewart cabinets!  They were the perfect color, the perfect farmhouse sink!  Loved it!  I could immediately picture this in my house especially the end piece to replace the desk we had & never used except to collect junk.  So when my husband suggested we sit down & talk with them about a new kitchen, I couldn't believe it!  He's not really one to spend large amounts of money easily & especially not without analyzing talking about it for long periods of time.  We chose a different cabinet style, Seal Harbor which is beadboard, in Ocean Floor (that is the color pictured). Once we decided to go for it, I spent at least 20 hours with Dan, our kitchen designer planning out every detail.  Dan was great to work with, he has been in the business for a very long time, once owning his own cabinet shop.   He had some great ideas & didn't mind entertaining mine & even allowed me to look through the book of cabinets so I could see every possibility.  I don't think most of his clients are as involved as I was but it really was fun! 

This is the before, before kitchen picture.  When I had a grape theme overkill going on!
This is the real before, I lost the grape theme for a backsplash that didn't turn out quite like we planned & we had turned the island & made a bar.  We also had started upgrading to Stainless appliances & had replaced the faucet.  It really wasn't too bad except for the backsplash. 

Other side of the kitchen with desk area.  We removed the wallpaper & painted Comfort Grey & added beadboard.

This is Howie.  His 1st day in my house was the same day we started kitchen demo!  He was a Furkid  & I was his foster Mom.  He was my 3rd foster & now he's a permanent member of the family.

Demo starts!!

All the boxes that had been sitting in my garage waiting to be installed.  You don't know how hard it was to not tear into all these boxes!

Demo complete!  It didn't take long!

First look at the new cabinets!!

I opted to have the island a different color from the cabinets.  I really like that look & I wanted a wood countertop somewhere in my kitchen.  I knew my husband wouldn't go for all wood countertops so we just added them on the island.  (the wood was actually more expensive than any other option!)

Everything in place.

Dan had the great idea to raise the dishwasher.  I had never seen this done & now that I have it I am absolutely thrilled! This area had to be custom built by the installer, Dan made the plan & the installer executed it perfectly!!  We added the wine rack on the side really as a filler.  We reuse our glasses & knew with the dishwasher raised, this was the perfect spot to hide them.  The wine rack was the perfect width although it will never be filled with wine!  This area is the most efficient area of the kitchen. The door to the right of the sink is our pull out trash can (this is where the dishwasher was previously).  It is so easy to scrape your plate, rinse it off & put it into the dishwasher that I no longer have to bend over to reach!

Love this sink!!!

The sink, the part that started it all.  It's perfect!  It's huge & white & beautiful!  It's a corian sink, the great thing about it is EVERYTHING comes out of it!  We've removed rust, scratches, sharpie (don't ask).  It is really the best product for a sink, I am glad we didn't get porcelain.

Lights in the upper cabinets & under cabinet lighting.  They are both on dimmers, one of the best features we added!

I love the double stack cabinets.  Our previous cabinets didn't go to the ceiling. I like this look much better & it was part of what I had always envisioned for my kitchen. I wanted an area where I could showcase some of my collections.  The lights again, were Dan's idea.  The contractor suggested the dimmers & that was awesome!  You can't imagine what a difference the under cabinet lights make!

Simple faucet, with pull down sprayer.  I was trying to minimize having lots of stuff behind the sink.

A double oven like this was hard to find without getting a larger one.

This turned out to be one of the biggest pains.  It measures exactly 30" wide & the countertops didn't, through several times!  They had to be sanded.  IN MY HOUSE!!!!  The dust & mess is unbelievable.  The oven still doesn't sit all the way back to the wall, there is a 2" gap & Home Depot has offered to have countertop added & I have REFUSED!!   I will never go through that again! 

The wood countertop was one of my favorite parts of the kitchen. 

Love this island.  I couldn't wipe the grin off my face when the wood top went on.  I know the installers thought I was stupid.  I did at least wait till they left to hug it!  The wood top was put in by Premier Surfaces & they were excellent to work with!  I would recommend them to anyone & they do so much more than wood countertops.  Unfortunately for me they don't install Corian so we used another company for that.

Corian countertop installers

Lots of people have asked so here's what the seam looks like when you install directional Corain & and there has to be seams.

I added lots of drawers to our design.  That was one of the things I already had in my head was lots of drawers.  I don't think Dan has seen so many drawers in a kitchen design before but I wouldn't change it.  There are 2 large drawers on either side of the stove & 4 drawers you can see here beside the refrigerator. 

Inside the top drawers are "hidden" drawers.  Just one of those features that I love! 

The silverware drawer is double stacked.  There are lots of great options in the Martha Stewart line.  I would recommend them.  All of the doors & drawers are soft close (except for the trash can).

 We chose Corian Rain Cloud for our countertop.  It was the closest thing I could get to Carrera Marble (our kitchen designer & installer didn't recommend Carrera for a kitchen that is used)
Microwave & cabinets above finally installed.

I wanted this cabinet built just so I could fill it with this china.  This pattern was my grandmother's, some of these pieces are from her but most I have collected over the years.  It really doesn't matter which pieces where hers, someone once loved these dishes & every single one of these reminds me of Mamaw. (and cabinet doors that won't close because they are too full)

I am glad we are finished with the remodel & I will say I would never do it again.   They always say you never know how bad it is until you live through it.  Well, I had expected a lot of things like not being able to cook or use my kitchen.  It's a pain to be without out if for someone who hardly ever eats out.  But this remodel when above & beyond bad.  Everything that could go wrong did & a 6 week remodel went on for 3 months!!!  It was unbelievable all the things that went wrong.  I wasn't going to do this blog post because I didn't want to relive all of the problems.  It was so stressful.  I am just not writing this & our kitchen was officially finished on February 13th.  This tells you a little about how bad my experience was.  I would recommend Home Depot again, I know that if anything is wrong even in 10 years they will fix it.  And if you live in Georgia, Dan is at the Brookwood Home Depot in Suwanee.  He is very easy to work with, I couldn't imaging doing this without him!  Premier Surfaces was also great!  My contractor was incredible but there were some things I would like to have done differently, not with the work, it was outstanding but with time management.  There is a picture of a company in this post that I would not recommend & if  you are considering using them, let me know & I will tell you why I wouldn't recommend them.  I  have decided not to air my dirty laundry publicly. 
Some of the issues we had were with backordered items.  The lights, the tile (that was a wild goose chase in itself & what a nightmare!!!).  But they worked out.  We changed the lighting plan & I am glad we did.  I really like the can lights we ended up with instead of the pendants we were planning.  The pendants were also a night mare but were coming from the Big Blue store & it was not handled properly & there might have been some yelling involved on my part.  If I sat down & told you everything that went wrong, you wouldn't believe me.  You would think I was making it all up,  it's that bad.  I am glad it's finished & we do enjoy our beautiful kitchen!
House on the Way
Savvy Southern Style