When I swapped houses, I knew I wanted to update the kitchen with new countertops and appliances.
I forgot to take a “before” photo before we actually started. The area above the cupboards was actually purple when we moved in. I had already painted it burgundy. And we had started pulling down the formica behind the cupboards. Why anyone would want formica as a backsplash (that extended up behind the cupboards, mind you) is beyond me.
Also notice, I went to no expense to clean up before taking the photo. We were in a hurry to get the project completed before my daughter's graduation party. I actually liked the cupboards; the crown molding is what makes it. I also like the laminate flooring, except that it creaks in spots when you walk on it.
I did not like the original “amoeba” shaped island, so when I ordered new countertops, I picked a more geometrical design. I stole the “Winter Carnival” pattern idea from my brother that just built his own house on my dad's lot. It's laminate but looks like granite (and cost much less). I got bullnose edges on the actual counter space and beveled edges on the island. I also got rid of the bar height stools and replaced them with counter height stools.
I also wanted an undermount sink. I picked out a Karren acrylic sink in bisque, but they sent the wrong shape already mounted. I'm not in love with it, but they gave me store credit to use on my bathroom remodel (stay tuned for that post). If I could redo, I would probably choose an undermount stainless steel sink.
Moen sent me their Riley kitchen faucet which is a spot (and fingerprint, yay) resistant stainless one-handle high arc pulldown kitchen faucet. It really spruced up the sink area. I love having the pulldown sprayer right in the faucet that I can instantly push a button to change the water flow from rinse to spray. I also like the high-arc design which makes it easier to fill pitchers and wash large pans (keep reading to see why I need this so badly).
I also wanted to update the kitchen appliances. I ended up buying a Samsung appliance bundle to qualify for a rebate. My only requirements were that I wanted the fridge* to have a pull-out freezer on the bottom (I love this) and an ice/water dispenser in the double fridge doors. I wanted the microwave to have sensor technology, and the stove to be a flat-top (I would've loved a double oven, but I don't cook that much). I figured I didn't have to specify that I wanted the dishwasher to actually wash the dishes!
The dishwasher I got was a lemon. The dishes were actually coming out dirtier than before I put them in (thus why I had to start washing dishes by hand). Service tech guys blamed in on the government's Energy Star compliance that they can't use as much water, and my dishwasher is located too far away from my hot water heater, yadda yadda. I wasn't buying that and was able to get them to scrap it. I did my research on dishwasher reviews before selecting a new one. I ended up getting a Maytag which cost a bit more and isn't near as pretty, but it's more “old school”, and it cleans my dishes as a dishwasher should!
*The refrigerator also had to fit my allotted space as some fridges that I was looking at were too tall or too wide. This one just barely fits. We had to raise the cabinet doors and have the countertop shortened to get it to squeeze in. I also had to have the service guy over as the door wouldn't close correctly. My experience with Samsung appliances has obviously been less than stellar. I'm still debating on if I even like the oven.
Ten years ago, I didn't want stainless steel appliances as I had heard they showed fingerprints (and my kids were little then). I thought the technology would be better now not to show fingerprints. I thought wrong. If I had to redo (and had more money to invest), I would either choose black appliances or better yet, the new black stainless steel appliances. Maybe next time?!