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A Low-Cost Kitchen Remodel

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My client wanted to create a sophisticated, serene look without too much expense in her Washington DC 1920′s home.  The original kitchen cabinets were oak with a door pattern and a honey stain seen in far too many homes.  The oak floor was dull and scratched.  The backsplash and countertops were both done in a tile that was much too garish for my client.  The appliances were shot and needed to be replaced whether or not the kitchen was remodeled.  Four openings into the room broke-up the room but given traffic patterns was livable — they include a seldom used back door, a much used basement door, a doorway off the front hallway and a doorway to what the previous owners used as tiny breakfast area.  My client wanted a more open look and a better connection to larger, lighter, more luxurious place to lounge on Sunday mornings.   
Since we were replacing the appliances anyway, we splurged on higher-end stainless appliances.  To save both money and space, we opted for a range instead of separate cooktop and ovens.  This freed up part of one wall for a base cabinet and more counter space instead of a full height oven cabinet.  The countertop was replaced with light-colored granite and the backsplash with stone.  The floors were refinished in a deeper color and the cabinets doors and drawer fronts were stained a custom blend of ebony with just a touch of red and gold.   Hardware was replaced with satin nickel pulls and faucet. The deep tones in the cabinets and floors contrast beautifully with the lighter tones of the granite and stone backsplash creating a rich palette with a bright work area. 
The only structural change was to create an opening between the kitchen and the new breakfast room.  The header for the door was extended with a 42″ high counter extended into the breakfast room.  Bookshelves — not in good repair and that took up valuable space — in the breakfast room were removed to create room for an L-shaped upholstered banquette with a round table.  This is just the right amount of connection for guests to sit and chat with the cook without being in the way and it creates a bright, cozy, comfortable place for lazy Sunday mornings.  A small flat-panel TV mounted high in the new opening can be swiveled for viewing from either the kitchen or the sunroom.   
The new kitchen is everything my client wanted at a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen remodel.
 

New Appliances & Finishes - See Before, Below

New Appliances & Finishes - See Before, Below

 

Opened Up to New Breakfast Room

Opened Up to New Breakfast Room

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

All images courtesy of Braitman Design/Build
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About the Author

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I'm the owner and principal of Braitman Design/Build. We remodel older homes within the urban and close-in suburban areas of Washington, DC. In addition to our full service Design/Build Practice We welcome small design projects and small home improvement projects. And consult with homeowners across the country who want to design and manage the remodeling process themselves. Finally, my work is informed by my experience as an exhibiting sculptor and designer. I truly work at the intersection of art, architecture and design. Please see for yourself the extraordinary result when architecture, design and art are seamless parts of the whole. Please also visit my sculpture website: www.jackiebraitman.com

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