Turning A House Into A Home.

Our house is a typical builder’s grade house. When we originally moved here in 2004, we thought that we would live here a few years and eventually move “up.”  However, we love our house, we love our neighborhood and our neighbors.  One thing I didn’t love- our kitchen.  I will never forget the day of our walk-though. I walked into the kitchen and started bawling my eyes out because I hated the countertops (and really, the whole kitchen.)  My mother (God rest her soul) who was also my Realtor told me to suck it up, that we can always change the counters.   It seemed so wasteful getting rid of them because they were granite.  Albeit ugly granite, but granite nonetheless.
(Image from previous owners, 2003)

The thing that drives my husband crazy (okay, one of the things) about me is that our house is in a constant state of change.   He has come home from a business trip and I will have literally painted an entire room a different color.  I’d like to think it keeps things interesting, he would tell you differently.

Because we decided that we were going to be here for some time we (okay I) started designing to turn this house into a home.   It ended up being more “changes” than Mike signed up for.  We ended up editing a little more than just the countertops.  Most of the major was done work in November of 2009, and while it is not completely finished, I am finally willing to show you some “tweener” shots. (Thanks to Ryann Laden for the pictures)   Here are the results thus far:

Our cabinets were in perfectly good shape, I just hated the color.  So- we painted them.  We built a bulkhead to get rid of that awkward space in between the cabinets and the ceiling.  We also had extra room so we built in some shelving on the end of the island and the lower cabinets.  This has opened up our kitchen so much.  I am so in love with the boards that we had installed on the ceiling.  It wasn’t cheap, but I think it adds so much character to the space.
 Next to the sink we moved two sets of cabinets up to the ceiling and added a cafe shelf.
  We replaced all of the hardware with Gilmore knobs and pulls from Restoration Hardware.
We chose a honed Carrera, which I know is very popular, but it was just a natural fit for the space.
Ahh… My favorite part:  my new apron sink.  I like to call it my double-wide. This was something that I went back and forth on for weeks, and it actually held up the process because I decided at the last minute that I couldn’t live without it- and boy, am I that glad I did.  We had to replace the cabinet under the sink with a smaller one, and that cabinet took about 6 weeks to come in.  Then we had to have the painter come back and paint it (he had already painted the existing cabinet.)
In a few weeks my Imperial Trellis roman shades will be hung.  Again, seems quite predictable, but the color way is so perfect in my kitchen. I tried so many others and none were quite this perfect.
So there you have it- our almost-done kitchen.  I couldn’t be happier with the results and am so happy to come home to it.  The best part?  On Christmas morning last year, Mike looked around and said “Honey, I really love our kitchen. ”  RIP ugly countertops!
  Stay tuned for the exciting changes to our living room, dining room and family room!

31 thoughts on “Turning A House Into A Home.

  1. Norma

    I love your kitchen! it is so bright even with the black cabinets. I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I painted my cabinets black about 5 years ago. I’ve been struggling with balancing the dark color. I think a new color on my walls is in order!

    If you don’t mind I have a few questions. What color are your appliances (stove and fridge?) and did you just put white on the walls?

    thank you so very much!

  2. Vicki

    Thinking of doing carrera marble countertops in kitchen.. Do you have any regrets or should I go for it?

  3. Margo

    What a beautiful kitchen. Our son is buying his first home and would like to transform the kitchen to resemble yours. What color is the honed carrera marble? Did you use subway tiles for the backsplash. If so, what color?

  4. Krista Salmon

    Hey there- We hired someone to paint them. They used a sprayer which worked out great! We used Dominion Granite Ashburn. Good Luck!

  5. tennisd

    I love your kitchen. I love your g and noticed you live in the DC area. I was wondering who did the marble in the kitchen? I want to change my ugly coriander countertop soon. Also, did you paint your own cabinets? Thanks, Joanne

  6. Cindy

    That’s an amazing transformation! Just beautiful. I love the the black cabinets, and the hardware is so perfect. What a difference! The ceiling is totally wonderful too. It’s really cool that your husband appreciates it now. Maybe it’ll help with some of the changing things around issues… I’ve sure aggravated my share of men changing things constantly!


  7. pam@pixelimpress

    gorgeous! love that cafe shelf. i too am in love with my apron sink. unfortunately we’re now in the process of moving from seattle to dallas and i’m gonna have to say goodbye to it. very sad….

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