In our prerenovation home, my husband, Dan, and I made the most of our small, dated kitchen by painting the oak strip cabinetry, adding modern hardware and installing black-and-white vinyl tiles in a snazzy striped pattern. Although it had some charm, I was forever dreaming of a bigger kitchen with a better layout, more storage space, stone countertops and somewhere for guests to gather.
When transforming our bungalow into a three-storey home, we kept the kitchen in the same location to save on costs. To open it up, we took down a wall and extended the room to the very front of the house. The new kitchen had much more space and offered the chance to put the sink under a window, for daydreaming.
Still, there were a few things to work around: a corner that stuck out because of the staircase to the basement, duct work above the stove that needed to be hidden, and our desire for a bit of separation from the new entryway.
We used IKEA's kitchen planning software to fiddle around with different layouts, ending up with a peninsula rather than an island, the classic "work triangle" of stove-fridge-sink, and plenty of room to have multiple people in there at once.
For countertops, we splurged on quartz with interesting, but subtle, veining that brings grey and white together. I wish I could have used the same quartz for the backsplash, but budget-mandated simplicity resulted in an elongated, textured white tile all the way up to the ceiling. Gold hardware adds a bit of glam to the space, and having some glass-fronted upper cabinets lets me display some of my favourite pieces.
I was won over by IKEA's modern design and great prices for cabinetry, and chose a shaker-style door with grey lowers and white uppers. We have yet to install the hood vent (it took a while to find one with the right dimensions), but I can see the finish line.
Having space for my husband and me to prep dinner at the same time with our daughter running around at our feet has been such a nice change. The kitchen has become the hub of our home, and we couldn't be happier.
This is the last of a five-part series in which Gemma Bonham-Carter of the blog The Sweetest Digs has chronicled the overhaul and transformation of her house.