Can a kitchen be really tiny and really cool? Like it's so cool I feel envy? Designer Enid Harris accomplished that very thing when she remodeled the kitchen in her Westwood townhouse. And here's her story:
(But first, a word from me. Do you want to show off your remodel on this blog? Study what Enid did here. She provided before and after photos, then told the story of how the remodel happened — what she started with, how she made her selections, and the costs for everything. Yes! She has been reading my mind. This is what I love. Read Enid's story and then submit your own remodeling story to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
And now, in her own words, here is the story of Enid's kitchen remodel:
The original kitchen was typical ‘70s — florescent lights in the ceiling, shallow cabinets that didn't hold much and a small over-mount sink which is the bane of anyone who wants a clean counter. And did I mention the kitchen was also really small?
I always loved the look of those tiny galley kitchens in some New York apartments, and so those became my inspiration.
I felt the best approach would be to gut the kitchen. There was absolutely nothing worth saving and I could see that just by removing the soffit, which enabled me to raise the ceiling, it would add lots of cabinet space.
I added reed glass on the upper glass cabinets but only on either side of the sink. I love the idea of glass — as well as open — shelves. But I had to be honest about how much time I wanted to spend keeping everything neat and clean. By adding glass to just a few cabinets it opened up the kitchen.
The old freestanding stove took up way too much space and it always creeped me out just thinking of the dirt that was underneath it! I wanted a cleaner, more seamless look, so I installed a cooktop with a built-in oven below and built-in microwave and exhaust fan above.
I debated whether I wanted to have a single or double sink but when I saw the Blanco stainless steel single bowl sink (18 in. by 30 in.) I had to have it. It’s really deep and they make a separate rack for the bottom of the sink that makes scratch marks impossible. The sink was $695, additional rack was $109, and totally worth every penny.
I didn’t want to spend the money for custom cabinetry since I live in a townhouse and didn’t think it would be a good investment. I also wanted white cabinets which weren’t easy to find in a clean, modern look.
After weeks of looking, I found modular cabinets with full extension and soft close drawers (essential for people with kids!) and I loved the price: $8,686 at Kitchens for Less in Culver City. The reed glass was an additional $325. By adding lights under the cabinets I have found that they are really the only ones I use and give the room a very sophisticated look. Cost: $445.
I debated about countertops. I knew I didn’t want to clean grout lines, so tile was out. I also didn’t want any shine to the surface. I drove out to a quarry deep in the Valley (I think it’s where the dinosaurs once were) and found a granite called Black Absolute. I asked my tile and stone person to hone it (take off the shine) as well as make the edges square — bullnose is too ‘80s to me — and now it looks like black cement. I wipe it down with baby wipes from Costco!
Granite fabrication (installation and honing) was $2,400 plus the price of the granite, which was $800. I used white subway tile for the backsplash. In my opinion it’s always a classic that won’t go out of style.
Total cost of kitchen remodel: $23,476
(To share your remodel on this blog, send before and after photos and the story to email@example.com.)