Kitchen Before & After: A Kitchen Keeps Its Footprint, But Gets An Updated Look

Reader Kitchen Remodel

When you're remodeling a kitchen, how do you pick appliances? If you're Kitchn reader Piper, you take two raw chickens to your local appliance store, cook them in two different ovens, and the oven that presents the best cooked chicken wins! (First of all, we'd like to know what appliance store agreed to that!) But this was just one of the tasks Piper tackled while updating her Napa Valley kitchen. Read more about her project and see 'After' photos below:

Piper tells us more about the renovation in her own words:

We took our Napa Valley kitchen down to the studs, but kept the same footprint, and built our dream kitchen. In choosing appliances, we took two raw chickens to our local appliance store and cooked them in two different ovens. Based on that test, we selected our oven.

The project was finished in 2009, and we've been delighted with it ever since. The kitchen was out of date in both design and functionality, and did not have much storage space or a very open feel. Using the same footprint, we updated the look, feel, functionality and gained a lot of storage space. We accomplished this by going to the ceiling with the cabinets, grouping the large appliances on one wall, using clever storage ideas (e.g. an appliance cart in the middle of the island, open bakers rack storage in the pantry), utilizing all walls for drawers and cabinets, and using mirrors to increase visual depth.

We also incorporated ideas such as an electric drawer opener for the garbage drawer so that it opens hands-free when your hands are full of chicken parts, and various specialized drawer fittings.

Thanks so much for sharing, Piper!

Related: Kitchen Before & After: Julie's Outdated Kitchen Gets a Modern Makeover