For her home tucked back in a quiet, wooded lot overlooking Harrods Creek, the homeowner who purchased it knew she needed to make it her own. And while she prefers to remain anonymous, the final product from her DIY renovation is too beautiful not to share. The first room to get renovated was the kitchen. Because the owner is a home chef who cooks all the time for her immediate and extended family, she knew exactly what she wanted and, more importantly, what she needed.
It’s a kitchen of subtle elegance with attention to every detail. It’s not just a show kitchen, where everything is beautiful, but unused. In fact, it’s high quality, because it has to perform.
Though the homeowner had heard horror stories of people who were without their kitchens for months during renovations, this gal didn’t have that experience. It just took some planning, scheduling and organization. Since she had previously renovated a bathroom, she learned the best way to ensure things keep moving and don’t drag on forever is to take on the role of foreman. It was not in her nature to be a micromanager, but it was the best way to manage the renovation process. She started by redesigning the cabinets and determined what needed to change in the layout of the kitchen. Essentially the same footprint remained with three noteworthy changes:
- The island was shortened so that when the countertop was placed, there was more legroom to use the counter as the kitchen table for their family of four.
- The cooktop was switched to the other side of the island, so she could cook and watch the news as she did so.
- She added a cabinet with five junk drawers and additional storage for office space.
Yes, yes, yes. Good for her, you may be uttering under your breath, as you secretly wonder how she pulled it off. Well, here’s your how-to guide so you can do the same thing!
HOW TO BE YOUR OWN FOREMAN
Step 1: Select your appliances
The first step was appliance selection. This is because the cabinets had to be cut to fit those sizes.
Step 2: Cabinets are ordered and installed
Once the cabinet drawing was finalized, the countertop slabs were selected. Once the cabinets were ready, installation was scheduled and removal of the old cabinets was included. The crew arrived on a Monday and ripped out the old cabinets, and after cleaning up the mess, the new cabinets were installed.
Step 3: Countertops and appliance installation
The day after the cabinets were installed, the countertop company came out to measure and template. For a kitchen like this, they actually build a template so that when they get back to the plant to cut the stone, everything falls into place.
The following day, appliances were installed, except for the cooktop. Countertops took about two weeks to come in, but the family had their fridge, oven and microwave, so the kitchen was functioning. Once the countertops were installed, the cooktop was hooked up.
Step 4: Finishing touches and final thoughts
With all of the cabinets and appliances in place, the cabinet company returned to put in kickplates and trim.
While the homeowner didn’t change the floors, additional tiles were required to cover some spots. The tiles were fixed and paint was touched up. During those few days when they truly had no functioning kitchen, they used an old microwave in the basement. The owner says it was really about two days total that we were out of commission. Not too shabby!
Now let’s take a closer look at the before and the fabulous final product!!
Here’s the nitty-gritty on the fine points of this stunning new kitchen:
And for the grand finale, take a look at this microwave. It is a pull-out drawer, and you place your item down into it. Check out a demonstration here:
PARTING WORDS OF WISDOM
The owner has sage words of advice for anyone considering a kitchen renovation. She recommends living in your home for a little bit before you start to change things. It makes you appreciate all the new stuff so much more. Also, it helps you figure out the kitchen and what you like about it and what just doesn’t work. She learned that the layout of the kitchen mostly worked, except for the location of the cooktop. She took her time with the design too, pinning ideas and putting tons of photos in her idea books on Houzz. This helped her to stay organized, and she actually found that gray cabinet color online, saying she never would have even known it existed without Houzz!
In her words: “I honestly love this kitchen. I spend all day in there, and it’s my happy place.”
Indeed it is.
- Cabinets: Interiors by G&W. Call Gaylan at (812) 259-1295.
- Countertops: Angie Brewer at Cardinal Kitchens: (502) 418-3600
- Backsplash and paint color: Selected by Natalie Officer at Natalie O Design Company: (
- Appliances: Charlie Wilson’s Appliance and TV: (502) 583-0604
- The gray is Porter Paint Fog 517-3.
- Dishwasher, refrigerator, and double ovens : KitchenAid
- Sink and faucet: Moen
- Microwave drawer: Sharp
Photography by Adele Reding Photography