Kitchen renovation - before & after

7 years ago

Hello GW - this is my first post here & thought I'd share our kitchen reno with you. :)

My wife and I have been in our home just a few days shy of a year now, and this was the kitchen before we moved in:

We liked the cabinets, layout, and size - the laminate countertops were decent (especially when compared to come of the other houses we looked at), but we weren't crazy about them. Also, note the tile under the window - we're not exactly sure what the previous owner was thinking, but it's the sorriest excuse for a backsplash I've ever seen. I suppose they were only concerned with keeping water from splashing onto the wall, and appearances were an afterthought... or probably not a thought at all.

Immediately after moving in, I added hardware to the cabinets, upgraded the outlet covers to brushed nickel, replaced the track lighting with a new fixture, and installed an instant pendant in the recessed light over the sink - just some small things to dress it up a bit.

Not long after that, I found some beveled travertine subway tile that I really liked, and my initial plan was to install it with our existing countertops, add undercabinet lighting, and call it a day. In retrospect, I'm really glad I couldn't afford to do that at the time.

Last month, after discussing it many times, we finally decided to renovate the kitchen - new countertops, undercabinet lighting, backsplash, sink, and faucet. For the countertops, I had pretty much decided on quartz a long time ago - I was sold on the resilience and maintenance-free nature of it, as well as the "what you see is what you get" aspect (as opposed to finding out that your slabs don't really look like the sample, which seems to be common with granite). It didn't take much to convince the wife, thankfully.

Initially, we were leaning towards a white (or whitish) color with a white marble or glass backsplash, but felt it would be too drastic and decided to stay closer to our current color scheme. We ended up choosing Walnut Luster by Hanstone:

We loved the colors and particulate, plus it has a bit of movement, like granite, without looking like it's trying too hard to be granite.

The installation went very smoothly, and well... we love it. This was right after the tile was grouted:

And with our stuff back in place:

The new composite sink. The installers did a bang-up job - I feel like I could climb inside of it, jump up and down, and it wouldn't budge. I was also impressed by tile guy's work - I knew the row below the window would have to be cut in half to fit and assumed that's all that would be done, but he went the extra mile and beveled each tile after cutting so they would match the rest.

For the undercabinet lighting, we went with LED flex tape inside of an aluminum channel with a diffuser cover (they're actually a warm white, but appear to be yellow in some pics when any of the other kitchen lights are turned on - not sure why):

And a few with all the other lights off:

I think next on the list is crown molding for the cabinets, and further down the road, new appliances - then, I believe, we'll be done. :) Hope you guys enjoyed!

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