Yesterday I revealed the recent kitchen remodel to our 1920's Hollywood Hills home. This was our second kitchen remodel (our first one in our former home can be seen here), and we had learned a ton that we put into practice this time around.
Granted, our first kitchen remodel was very extensive, knocking down walls and re-doing all the electrical, and this latest project was mostly cosmetic. Still, in our 5+ years of tinkering with our homes, we've made mistakes and had hiccups and also created a spaces that we love. This kitchen adventure was by far the easiest one we've put together.
I say "put together" because I want to make it abundantly clear that The Gorilla and I are not DIY-ers. Even though we consider ourselves creatives, we are not the least bit handy. For almost everything around our house, we call the professionals. It helps that we've worked with the same contractor for over five years and, someone we trust and who has practically become like family. I mean, the man has been ringing my doorbell for months and months on end at 7am. He's seen me in every pair of pajamas I own. A good contractor is key.
Here are the details for our kitchen remodel:
1. Marble Floors. We had wood before, but it was different from the rest of the house (so not original to the house like everywhere else) and for some irritating reason they ran it the opposite direction as the other planks. I never cared for the color or the grain, so this was on the places we started when choosing our style. I wanted a graphic floor (maybe something like this), but The Gorilla wanted to keep it classic.
The 18x18 stone floor tiles are made of carrera and nero marble in a honed finish. They're laid at an angle and finished with black grout so that it disappears. I was slightly worried it would look like a 50's diner, but instead it looks really old, dramatic, and beautiful. The honed finish (meaning it's matte instead of shiny) makes it. It's perfect for the regency architecture of the house.
2. Custom cabinets. Our first plan was to keep the bones of the existing cabinets, even though they were old. I wanted new faces, new hardware, new hinges, and new guts. When the bid came in for all that, it was going to be the same price as having them built from scratch. When the cabinet maker assured me that those cabinets were not original to the house (he could tell by the way they were made), it made no sense not to do new ones.
This also allowed us to lose the useless bulkheads over the stove and fridge and take the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. I knew that would look better, but I was totally surprised by how much that opened up the room. Without the bulkheads, the kitchen is airier and lighter.
We went with a simple shaker style cabinet, with a slight detail on the doors. They are all soft-close, and many of them have custom insides.
3. Custom hood. I wasn't in love with any of the stock hoods I found in the store, and all the pages I ripped out of magazines seemed to be custom made. We used a company that makes hoods for restaurants. This was one of our big splurges, and it's definitely a centerpiece of the room.
4. Gray 4x2 subway tile backsplash. We actually picked this tile years ago for a bathroom remodel at our former house. We had several boxes leftover, so when we moved into this house we used them as a detail on the wall until we could get to the whole remodel (two years later). The Gorilla just loves them, the exact gray and how each tile is a little bit different, and we didn't find anything we liked more. So we just ordered some more of it, and re-used what we could.
5. Thermador Pro Grand 48" Duel Fuel Steam Range. We went through almost the exact same process when choosing our range both times. We went to multiple stores, we looked at all the top brands (Wolf and Viking were the main other contenders), and both times we settled on the Thermador. We've never looked back. This thing is fantastic.
6. Restoration Hardware Clemson Pendants dipped in gold. These are the lights that we put up when we first moved into the house. Everything I loved in gold was just so expensive and I couldn't pull the trigger on it, so we decided just to have dipped in gold for a very (very) reasonable price. I can see myself replacing these down the line, but for now they're great.
7. Kitchenaid ice maker. This is one of my favorite things in the kitchen. It makes small little ice cubes. We replaced a trash compactor in this space.
8. Kohler farm sink. I put an apron front sink in our first remodel and I loved it. I temporarily had a very deep metal sink at this house, but missed the farmhouse style. I really like how you can get them in colors now, too.
9. Perrin & Rowe bridge kitchen faucet in Inca brass. Choosing between a single handle faucet or the double (with cross handles) was a big discussion. I couldn't be happier. I love the drama. I love the shiny.
10. Honed calacatta marble. Marble countertops are really popular right now. I weighed out the pros and cons, and decided that since my primary work space was the wood island, I could take the risk with the marble on the perimeters. We chose a piece with some pretty spectacular veining and had it all honed and sealed. It is, in a word, gorgeous. These pictures just do not do it justice.
11. Brass campaign handles & plain pulls. Another one of our "controversial" choices, our inset campaign handles are usually found on furniture, not on drawers used daily. We ordered one and had it put in a drawer, then lived with it for a few days to see if it would bug us. It didn't, so we ordered the whole room. To me, it's one of the most unique elements to the kitchen. They have imperfections and they hold smudges, which just adds to the overall patina of the room that we were going for.
For the very few cabinet doors, we used a plain, heavy round pull.
12. Hickory island top. Can you believe this is the same island top from the "before" pictures? We had it lightened to a more maple shade and had the ridges sanded out. It's just a beautiful piece of wood and really warms up the black/white motif.
13. Crate & Barrel Lowe leather barstools in smoke. Good barstools are incredibly hard to find. They're either great style but uncomfortable, or comfortable but ugly. We spend so much time in the kitchen, it was imperative that they were comfy to sit on for hours, but I didn't want them to be an eyesore. These are super plain and were the only ones we could both agree on.
Whew. That's a LOT of information. I'm not expert, but I made my choices deliberately. I'll try to answer any questions I can in the comments!