If you haven’t already, check out this post for a little background on this remodeling project. You’ll see that about 18 months ago we tackled the clients’ bathroom, and after a bit of a break, they wanted to knock out the kitchen as well.

While the bathroom needed a full gut and required us to move quite a bit of plumbing, the kitchen remodel wasn’t nearly as invasive. It was mostly the look and feel of the kitchen that drove the clients bananas, not so much the function of it.

A structural post landed at the far corner of the island and the builder had strategically built a second to mirror it and disguise the necessity of the first. It was by no means our clients’ favorite feature. But after playing with some other options on CAD we decided that the floorplan could and should stay largely as it was, barring the carpentry heroics that would have been required to do away with the post, and that enough value would be added simply by way of new, better-working cabinetry, nicer-looking countertops and different paint colors. In fact, the island was in good enough shape that we just splashed a new coat of paint on it, added some new hardware, installed some new tops and called it a day.

(Side note: one of our longtime architect partners jokes that “carpentry heroics” is spelled “$” !)

Around the corner from the kitchen a heavily-stained, heavily-paneled set of full height pantry cabinets choked the entrance from the mudroom. Instead of going back as-is, we did elect to lighten it up here and introduce a coffee bar concept with glass front uppers and a stack of drawers for the lowers, keeping a section of wall for pantry storage

The color change alone made a world of difference in this kitchen. It’s one of those projects that very explicitly proves you don’t have to move mountains to completely transform a space. In fact, we went back with the very same crackle-finish backsplash in the new kitchen and yet the before and the after couldn’t look and feel more different! Paint has got to be the absolute biggest driver of change in any home.

When I look at these pictures I think what I’m most impressed by is how the new cabinetry and aesthetic design steal the show so effectively that I’m no longer even bothered by the structural posts. To me, that’s the sign of a great project: when you find ways to elevate the space in such a way that the space’s less-than-ideal factors suddenly become non-issues.