When we were house shopping several years ago, we had narrowed our choices down to two options.  Both houses had similar locations and price-points, and both were built around 1980.  One house had been recently renovated with wood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances – the works.  BUT the other house, although it had ugly carpets and dated features, had beautiful old oak trees all over the yard, a gorgeous backyard view, and a sense of character and warmth that I could not stop thinking about.  If you know us at all, you know we went with the oak tree house.

One of the benefits of remodeling an older home yourself is that you can choose the new finishes to satisfy your personal tastes.  The downside is you must wait to fix things up as you can afford it… Last year, we pulled up all of our old, ugly carpeting and had engineered hardwood installed in its place.  This year, it was finally time for the kitchen to get some love and attention.  I mentioned awhile back that we were planning to replace our fake-granite laminate counter tops with white recycled glass quartz.  This project snowballed into new appliances and a backsplash installation as well, so I thought I’d update you on the entire remodel!

Here is a “before” photo.

I love the look of open shelving, but if you were to open our cabinets to see the haphazard mishmash inside, you would quickly see why that look would not work for us.  I like white cabinets, and since white cabinets are what we have, we just worked with what we’ve got!  We may end up adding hardware at some point, but I like the simple look without hardware just fine.

I have wanted to get rid of these faux-granite laminate counters since the moment I laid eyes on them.  I had always wanted butcher block counter tops, but after doing more research, I learned that they are more expensive and require more maintenance than some of the other options out there.  We went to Home Depot and looked at granite and quartz samples and settled on Silestone White Diamond, a white quartz with recycled glass pieces throughout.  I liked that it was a recycled product with a unique look, and I also liked that Home Depot was running a sale on it the week of Memorial Day.  We ordered the materials through Home Depot and then had Stone Interiors do the work.  The company included an undermounted stainless steel sink as part of the installation.  I had originally wanted a farmhouse sink but learned that installing one requires a specialist to come cut into the cabinets, so we went with the less expensive, more convenient undermount option instead.

Here is a photo of the White Diamond sample on top of our old laminate countertop.

For the backsplash, I had originally wanted a glass subway tile look like the Glazzio samples pictured below.  Chatham did not like these as much as I did, and once we looked at some samples together in our kitchen, I agreed.  The glass subway tile backsplash is a beautiful look, but we wanted something a little less modern.  We settled on a more rustic looking bluish-green glossy tile from The Winchester Tile Company and used a local company Tile Temptations to do the installation.

We did not have natural gas running to our house when we purchased our home, but Chatham did some research and learned that our local natural gas provider could run a gas line over from across the street, and it wouldn’t be nearly as much of an expense as we had imagined.  We both had always wanted a gas range, so this was a no-brainer for us.  Once the gas had been installed, we went back to Home Depot for their Independence Day week appliance sale.  We chose Kitchen-Aide stainless steel range, vent, and refrigerator, because we liked the look, feel, and performance.  I had always wanted a French door refrigerator, and the one we went with includes special drawers for produce and meat, too, which is great if you like to keep those items separate like we do.

“After” photos are below.  I am so, so happy with the results!

Rather than re-installing our old chrome sink faucet, we upgraded to a stainless steel faucet that I am loving the look and feel of.  It is all in one piece and the sprayer pulls out and hooks back magnetically.  There is a button on the spray head to switch from standard flow to shower flow.

To complete the remodel, I splurged on a few little extras from Williams-Sonoma – scrub brushes, a wire caddy to contain the scrub brushes, and a clear jar to hold all of my wooden spoons.  Their scrub brushes are great quality and worth the price.  And I of course had to add a hanging plant!

I am so glad to have our remodel complete!  I learned a lot in the process and have been thoroughly enjoying spending time in our new kitchen.

Have you done any kitchen renovations lately? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!