Last week, blogger and Cultivate reader Laviza Shariff gave us a glimpse into her soon-to-be-overhauled pink kitchen. Having convinced her family that the kitchen was long overdue for a remodel, Laviza selected a cabinetmaker to help her with the remodel. This week, she gives us an honest look at the ins and outs of the design process.
"Once I'd made the decision to go with Village Handcrafted Cabinetry, it was time to dive into the design process with Joe. We discussed my major floor plan ideas. I wanted to move the rangetop (which was located in the island) to the window wall, with two new windows on either side of it, and put the sink in the island. Not only would this keep the cooking and prep area separate from the serving and dining area, but it would also offer a different twist on the usual 'sink under the window' setup. I also wanted to open up the oven wall to integrate the laundry room and microwave alcove spaces into the kitchen, and break down the wall between the mudroom and walk-in pantry, which would now hold the washer and dryer. Thus, wasted space would be repurposed into functional space, and the laundry room and mudroom (which we planned to expand by borrowing more space from the garage) would be together, as they should be. The only drawback to this plan was the loss of the walk-in pantry. But I tried to look on the bright side—no pantry would mean less wasted food, because I'd no longer be buying a lot of stuff and then forgetting what was packed in there!
The new kitchen configuration.
Photo: Courtesy of Village Handcrafted Cabinetry
"With the layout settled, I could move on to deciding on design details—the fun part! Or so I thought. I stayed up until 2 a.m. every night poring over a gazillion pictures on various sites (including Cultivate). Needless to say, the fun turned into me being totally overwhelmed with the stupendous amount of kitchen design ideas at my fingertips. When I shared my Pinterest board with Joe at Village, he told me he had no idea what I wanted because I was all over the place in terms of style. I wanted the all-white classic kitchen. I wanted the zen dark kitchen. I wanted a traditional but streamlined look. I wanted a cool, minimalistic feel. I wanted to combine two different colors of cabinets. I wanted glazed cabinets. I wanted a crackled glass tile backsplash. I wanted a marble backsplash. Maybe Pinterest wasn't such a great idea after all...
Just a few of my wildly varied Pinterest ideas...
Photo: Courtesy of The Berry, Traditional Home
"Time to reassess and focus on what I really wanted. My conclusion? A blend of modern and traditional styles that wouldn't feel dated in a few years. I decided on a transitional style, which would allow the kitchen to flow visually with the rest of the home (more appropriately, transitional with an eclectic twist). Even with this definition, "transitional" covers a wide variety of design ideas, and it was still difficult to visualize my ultimate design concept. Just by chance I picked up a copy of Kitchens and Baths magazine, and as I flipped through, I saw it. I knew it. It was my inspiration kitchen [top and below]. Instead of the usual white cabinets and dark island (white cabinets are a no-no for the amount of cooking I do), this kitchen had the reverse. While the kitchen embodied a modern, clean look, it was accentuated with little details that warmed up the space. Perfect!
At last! My inspiration kitchen. Photo by PreviewFirst;
designed by Jackson Design and Remodeling
Photo by: PreviewFirst
Designed by: Sol Quintana Wagoner, Jackson Design and Remodeling
"I knew certain elements of the design would need to be adapted for my kitchen, but it served as the basis for pulling together the transitional style I desired. I contacted the kitchen's designer, Sol at Jackson Design and Remodeling, to tell her how much I loved her design and that it would be my inspiration kitchen. She was kind enough to correspond with me about my project, and she gave me useful tips and resources. I worked with Joe for about two to three months on the plan until we got it just right. I signed off on the final floor plan, and when we had the construction permit in place, we officially started my kitchen makeover.
"There was just one problem: the budget. We'd budgeted $100,000 for the entire renovation project, calculating $25,000 for the cabinets, $50,000 for total construction (including demo, refiguring the layout, flooring, electrical and plumbing) and $25,000 for appliances, lighting, counters, the backsplash, etc. As soon as we received the invoice for the custom cabinets, we began to realize that our numbers were off (a point that was driven home time and time again as additional costs began to creep into the project—or as I changed my mind about one thing or another). I also realized that I'd have to compromise on certain components. That $1,200 sink I was drooling over? Nope, not gonna happen.
Franke's Centinox sink—one of many budget-busters I fell in love with.
Photo: Courtesy of Franke
"To help offset the increased costs, I decided to sell some items from the old kitchen on Craigslist. It started with small items, like the light fixtures...but then I got the bright idea to put the entire kitchen up for sale, including all the cabinets, granite, major appliances, microwave—even the kitchen sink! (My husband thought I was nuts, but I think it's rather brilliant). I described the condition of all items, and asked for cash only and buyer pickup. I didn't think anyone would respond. However, within 24 hours I received several inquiries, and I got cash buyer within a week! Maybe I will get that sink after all...
Next week, find out what happens when Laviza finally starts tearing out the pink monstrosity. (Hint: It was harder to let go than she thought it would be!)