Kitchen Gets a Bright New Look

Jo Borer

Jo Borer

It all began when our microwave died.

As my husband, Cory, and I talked about where to put a new microwave, we gazed around our kitchen…the dark cupboards, broken drawers, dated decor and general lack of lighting.

Before we knew it, Cory and I were meeting with a contractor and signing papers for a total renovation! To this day, I’m still amazed we took the bull by the horns and remodeled our kitchen.

A Bright New LookWe started by totally stripping the room and tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a more open feeling.

The new floor plan reconfigured our entire kitchen. The appliances, including a new refrigerator and stove with a convection oven, were moved to different spots to make room for more counter space and storage. The sink was moved under the window. Now I can enjoy watching our children—Mary Margaret, Wil and Ada Louise—play in the yard.

Lightening Up

Kitchen BeforeIn place of the old brown cabinets, we built white-varnished maple cabinets that rise to the ceiling. They surely brighten up the room. We also put in two glass cupboard doors across from the window to balance the look and help with the open feel.

We requested large, easy-gliding drawers where possible. Our pantry has four deep, pull-out shelves. Even my cookie sheets have slots that pull out completely. Plus, my husband and I have our own “junk” drawers for all the papers that somehow seem to accumulate in the kitchen.

Microwave NookAlthough we had installed canned lights after moving into our home, 5-1/2 years ago, a shadow still hovered over the countertops and stove. With that in mind, we installed two pendants above the peninsula and halogen lights under the cabinets.

We prefer wood floors, and we chose one with distress marks. We knew our children would make their own marks on the floor, so we wanted the “new” ones to blend with the “old.”
Our laminate countertops trick many people. The shiny surface looks like real granite, without the expense and worries of natural stone.