Kitchen Makeover

Doesn’t everybody love a good makeover?

Of course!

So freshen your coffee, sit and enjoy the Cinderella-like transformation of our Siesta Key kitchen.

Here is what we started with BEFORE the fairy godmother waved her magic wand:

Dark wood cabinets cut off the kitchen from the great room and the microwave occupied the only existing counterspace.

Dark wood cabinets cut off the kitchen from the great room and the microwave occupied the only existing counterspace.

the appliances were old and spotted with rust.  NOT very appetizing.

the appliances were old and spotted with rust. NOT very appetizing.

And that ochre coloured sponge paint HAD to go.

And that ochre coloured sponge paint HAD to go.

We knew we wanted the kitchen to be a light, bright and happy place to be.

We also knew we wanted the kitchen to be more open to the great room, so the cook could socialize with his/her fellow vacationers as well as enjoy the gorgeous tropical views outside the lanai windows.

We wanted better functionality, especially more counter space. When we bought the condo, there was 4′ of counter to one side of the sink, occupied almost entirely by the microwave and the dish rack, making it a challenge to find enough room to chop an onion.

In terms of the look, here was my inspiration shot, from Lonny.com via Michael Penney’s blog. For those of you unfamiliar with Michael Penney, he is a talented young Canadian designer with an amazing ability to thrift and upcycle all kinds of good stuff to produce a charming, one-of-a-kind look that I totally envy. Check out his website at http://www.michaelpenneystyle.com. He had sourced this picture from Lonny, an online publication devoted to accessible design (which has to be tons more interesting than the inaccessible design you see in some magazines. $12,000 bathtub, anyone? Not in my house!) If you like to steal design ideas for your home or just like to drool over design porn, it is worth a visit at http://www.lonny.com.

shelves for kitchen

We went to Lowes for the kitchen cabinetry for one key reason: it made it easy to manage the renovation from thousands of miles away. We did the preliminary cabinet planning in person at one of Lowes’ Sarasota stores, then after we went home to Canada, we tweaked the design by phone and I could easily still shop for knobs, tile, sink, faucet and appliances. (Many US companies, including Home Depot, will not let you place an order for delivery to a US address if your VISA has a Canadian billing address. Which seems strange, ’cause when you shop in store with the same VISA card, they sure don’t care. But online/by phone, they care to the point of refusing to take your order.) We went to Architectural Marble in Sarasota for the counter tops and chose the Succuri granite from a huge slab in their yard. It contrasts beautifully with the white cabinets and it had lovely warm brown undertones that relate beautifully to the terracotta floors. Then we relied on our contractor, Larry Monaco, to bring it all together, which he did brilliantly, as I hope you will agree.

Here’s a shot taken in the midst of the renovation. The new white Shaker cabinets by KraftMaid had been installed, one wall was gone and the remaining walls were painted, the ceiling lights had been put in and nicely framed, but we were still waiting for the counter tops to be templated, for the appliances to arrive and for the plumbing to be hooked up.

The fairy godmother had been waving her wand madly, but our Cinderella still wasn’t QUITE ready for the ball.

looking from living room into kitchen under construction jun 13

Finally,about nine weeks after it was gutted, our Siesta Key kitchen was finished.

TADA!!

Here is the new kitchen in all its glory.

kit jul 22 pm 009

new stainless steel Whirlpool appliances

new stainless steel Whirlpool appliances

Succari granite counters and breakfast bar

Succari granite counters and breakfast bar

We’re thrilled with how it turned out, aesthetically AND functionally.

When we went down to reorganize the condo post-renovation, my darlin’ cooked full dinners in the new kitchen every night. He concluded that this is now an easy kitchen to work in and happily reported that it is also the best-equipped kitchen of any of the rentals units we’ve stayed in, thanks to the selection of pots and utensils he has added.

So a big thank you to Larry Monaco, who is a true craftsman and who was an absolute joy to work with; to Lowes, for customer service was as good as one could ever have hoped for; to Architectural Marble for our spectacularly beautiful new counters; to Michelle Lentini and Allison Palm, for accepting deliveries for us in our absence and for the photos mid-reno; and to Michael Penny and Lonny for the helpful design inspiration.

I hope you like the new kitchen as much as we do!

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