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A LUXURY DESIGN + LIFESTYLE BLOG BY VERONICA SOLOMON

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Before and After: A Builder Basic Kitchen Gets A Unique Makeover

Today I am excited to show you another one of the rooms completed in my home (Chez Solomon #ChezSolomon). My kitchen is finally finished! You may recall back in February I did a post about the planning of it with the 3D rendering showing my ideas. Take a look back

You’ve already seen my guest bathroom that I completed in May for the One Room Challenge. Here’s a look back

Today, I wanted to share some before and after goodness with the kitchen. My brand new builder basic home is slowly becoming my unique custom home.

After spending a few weeks trying to decide which floor plan the builder offered that would be great for the way I actually use my home, I ended up choosing this one because of the large kitchen. I am not a big time cook, but I love a nice large kitchen with tons of storage and prep space. Here’s a glimpse of what the kitchen looked like before in this promo video


And here are some photos right when we started constuction

You can see that it wasn’t a terrible looking kitchen. It was just not my style at all, just a bit too vanilla. To keep costs down, I kept the same layout. the sink is underneath the window, which is honestly taking some getting used to. It feels like it should be in the island; which is way closer to the fridge and cooktop. But it is also great having a nice big island with uninterrupted space.

Let’s look back at what I had in mind for upgrading the kitchen through the 3D renderings we created. A few things changed, but that’s the purpose of doing 3D visualization before starting a project.

It was very important to choose the standard finishes that the builder offered knowing that I would be changing it all. I kept the cabinet boxes and modified the fronts. The renderings shows all new cabinets. The plan was a total tear out and start over; until I started pricing out the custom cabinetry I wanted.

The upper cabinets were custom trimmed out on the sides and we replaced the doors with glass insert doors. The lower cabinets were all turned into deep drawers. I use drawers much more than I use cabinets. The only lower cabinet we kept was the one underneath the sink.

The microwave was replaced with a custom vent hood and the pantry door was modified with a custom herringbone facade.

Here are some progress shots

I was going for a unique “unkitchen” kitchen. I did not want it to look like a brand new kitchen I just put in. I wanted things to look handmade and comfortable, and not too crisp and shiny. I also had to keep in mind that my home is located in a “first time homebuyer” subdivision, and I can easily over-improve the home if I am not careful. I actually have already spent more than I could get back out now if I were to sell, but I have no plans to do that for a long time. This is a decision I made to create a home that I want to live in, with less emphasis on resale value. It is however, something you must keep in mind as you improve your own home.

Just like the rooms I create, I wanted the kitchen to almost have a “collected” but cohesive feel. I experimented with a mix of patterns and materials, specifically geometric patterns. Just like I mix fabric patterns in a room, I used the same principles to mix the patterns in the kitchen.

Notice how I carried the backsplash tile above the windows and even past the cabinetry to the floor? It was just a better look to me than trying to cut it off underneath the cabinets. Also, you will notice by the pantry door, I did not carry the backsplash onto the side wall. That is also something I see homeowners make a mistake with all the time. I much prefer that the backsplash is underneath cabinetry. Knowing where to end a backsplash can be a bit troublesome for some clients, and that is why it is so important to call in a professional to help with the design of your kitchen. We keep these minor details (which can affect the result majorly) in mind.

The upper cabinets were painted out in a deep gray and then I had a faux painter, Faux by Jenny come in and add a subtle faux finish. The inside of the uppers were painted white for a unique touch. The lower drawers were painted out in a creamy white and in between the drawer fronts a deep stain added. The island was trimmed out and painted in a deep teal. I wanted the pantry door to look old and rustic and the pine wood was stained in a deep stain and wiped off. The inside of the pantry is painted teal to match the island (not shown)

I have been asked several times why I did all glass cabinet fronts on the uppers, and I definitely know that it is not for everyone. I have a huge collection of white pottery and dishes and I wanted to be able to display them. Some are prized possessions that I have had for years, and some are newer acquisitions that I use everyday. I love being able to see them and enjoy them all everyday. Well, not all, I still have quite a few more that I will display in the dining room

I upgraded all the appliances to a step above what came with the house. They are certainly not higher end appliances, since I am not a top notch cook, but they are cleaner and look a lot nicer than the builder basic ones. The black stainless fridge was a bit of a splurge for my budget

The hardware was very intentional. I wanted the cabinets and drawers to almost feel like furniture and the brass campaign pulls and clean linear ones were a great addition

The backsplash is a hexagon cement tile. It is not tiny triangles as people think. Haha. Each tile is about 8″ and have gray lines running through them.

The countertop is porcelain. I definitely love the contemporary look with the 2.5″ edge and the waterfall on one side.

You can see that the kitchen is a unique mix of things that I love. I believe every home should be that for the people who live there, and no trend should dictate how you should live. The pendants are a whimsical touch that is also a great representation of my style

My ceramic pig made a comeback in the kitchen. I have had it for a really long time and it was packed away in storage. He is the perfect kitchen mascot

In case you are wondering about the floor, it is a 30×30 porcelain parquet style wood look. It is even more beautiful in person. I have it running throughout the entire first floor. It reminded me so much of a Parisian apartment, and I just had to have it. It was definitely a splurge.

The roman shade is one of my favorite little things in my kitchen. The fabulous linen with the whimsical antelopes just makes me happy. It is one of the first things you see as you walk into the room

I love having the really deep sink and the brass faucet just adds a nice warmth to the kitchen

The barstools are hair on hide, and it is where we mostly hang out to eat everyday

Here we are having some fun in the kitchen. My son Joshua, daughter Courtney (home from college in Miami), and our chiweenie Rufus

Definitely not your standard kitchen, but I love it.

Come back for more from #ChezSolomon as I continue to share how I am upgrading my home from builder basic to custom. And be sure to check out our Kitchen and Bath Packages

Cheers!

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