Les rénovations de cuisine / The kitchen reno

I remember the first time I saw the kitchen, it was definitely a low point for the house. Large and spacious, yes, but dated, disfunctional and falling apart (in hindsight I should have left the cabinet doors falling off for the photos but it just hurt too much to immortalize.) It was late last winter we decided it might finally be time to do something about it so we started meeting with various companies trying to find a design we could both agree on. One thing was sure, it would have to be bright because I’d had enough with moving around a little table lamp to either look for items in the back of the corner cabinets or to illuminate any nighttime cooking we were doing!

Old Kitchen 2 || «Vine and the Olive»Old Kitchen || «Vine and the Olive»

By May we had decided on a design that incorporated a new layout, lots of drawers, under cabinet lighting, spice racks and necessary French details like a baguette drawer and bottle storage along with a little breakfast bar for the morning tartines and after work apéritif hour. To save a little money we decided to tear out the old kitchen ourselves. Many, many hours went into tearing down the horrible brick wall, cleaning the floors, refinishing the walls and electricity all the while trying to live a normal life.

Demolition aftermath || «Vine and the Olive»Kitchen in Demo state || «Vine and the Olive»

Finally at the beginning of July all the supplies were delivered and the next morning they arrived bright and early to put it all together. It quickly transformed from our make-shift setup with the stove set atop a few bricks, and fetching water from the miniature bathroom sink to make our daily meals to a fully functioning workspace by nightfall. We lived with provisionary white countertops and a basic stainless steel sink for nearly two months as we awaited the delivery of the “ceramique” countertop with under-mount porcelain sink as well as our fridge unmounted due to a cabinet that was destroyed in transport.

*To date I have not found the official translation for “ceramique” counters in english, because it’s not what we could call ceramic but it’s more durable and can handle greater heat shock than granite.

Posing of the kitchen || «Vine and the Olive»Provisionary Kitchen || «Vine and the Olive»

As much as I wanted to post about how beautifully it had all come together I hesitated since, up until December, we didn’t have any stools for the breakfast bar and it just didn’t look right without them. In November we had made up our minds to go with two Nicolle chairs that used to be made for French warehouses and they were delivered last month. Now that they’ve arrived we’re enjoy them to the fullest. A few details remain to finally complete this project but I’m sure they’ll show up in the background of future posts as they happen.

It’s been such a joy to work in the new kitchen! Everything is organized in a logical manner, all the dishes are low so Irène can help set the table or unload the dishwasher, there’s so much more light to work with and at night you can create some great ambiance by dimming the LED’s in the cabinets for a little touch of, “je ne sais quoi!”

Knife Drawer and Spice Rack|| «Vine and the Olive»LED lighting and Baguette storage || «Vine and the Olive»Coffee Grinder and Industrial Faucet|| «Vine and the Olive»Kitchen Reno and Nicolle Chairs|| «Vine and the Olive»Kitchen Reno with Nicolle Chairs || «Vine and the Olive»

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  • Leanne PachecoJanuary 14, 2015 - 16:06

    Beautifully done!! What an amazing transformation :). Ours is in the thought process of a redo and it will be a while yet so I may just live vicariously through you 😉ReplyCancel

    • ChristinaJanuary 14, 2015 - 16:45

      The planning stages are definitely the hardest! Coming up with something you’re going to enjoy for years to come is daunting. Now we’ve got the master bedroom to tackle which is the other frightful room in the house (the rest are manageable.) I’m already dreading it… but once we get that done (or maybe I should say started) it’ll be a HUGE transformation. This time I won’t skimp on the scary before photos!ReplyCancel

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