Before & After: Jennifer's Sleek Shades of Gray

Before & After: Jennifer's Sleek Shades of Gray

The Kitchn
Jul 24, 2014

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Imperial Beach, CA
United States
About my kitchen reveal:
Everything! The appliances were replaced immediately after we closed on the house, but the full reno waited almost 5 years. Ikea cabinets, Silestone counters, new tile to elongate the room, bigger picture window and new door to match the full-lite front door. Moved the gas line for the stove, installed a water line for the ice maker, widened the entry from the living room by 15 inches and (yay!) recessed lighting on a dimmer switch.

The only thing that stayed was the blue paint color on the wall with the tank sign - I just love how it plays off the yellow sign. Please pardon the awful "before" shot, this was the night before demo began!

Click through to see more After photos!

My best tip for a successful kitchen makeover::
First, absolutely wait on changing the kitchen layout until you've *really* cooked in it. We had planned to gut the kitchen after closing, but some unexpected surprises (cough, un-permitted garage conversion) ate up the kitchen budget. I spent 4 Thanksgivings cooking with the original layout, which meant I figured out better ways to utilize the existing space to complement how I cook.

Second, stick to your guns. We had a great contractor, but he was used to "builder" renovations using what was readily available in bog box stores and minimal fuss. I did my homework on the layout, but he really tried to sway me a few times about the "surrounded fridge" on the rear wall. So glad I followed my gut instinct, not only do we have tons of storage now but excellent counter space for appliances and prepping!

Oh, and: no microwave. We don't miss it a bit.
My favorite meal to cook in my kitchen::
Long involved dinners for friends and family. The first meal I cooked in the new kitchen was Thanksgiving. I love doing long, slow braises or roasts in the oven while concentrating on a fussy side dish on the stove top. AND still having room to put out drinks and snacks for guests.
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