We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
It’s safe to say that all kitchen renovations are not created equal. Some kitchens really only need some paint on the cabinets, new hardware and couple days of work for a fresh face lift. But other kitchen projects can take months, a bit more money, and a whole lot of patience. That was the case for Sylvia Bermudez and her husband Tim Murray, whose kitchen needed a lot of love (and labor).
Sylvia and Tim live in a 100-plus-year-old home with a kitchen that hadn’t been renovated in years. To put it simply, it was not working. “We had a very aged kitchen with very little storage and lacking functionality,” Sylvia says.
There was an odd patch of checkerboard backsplash above the sink, tons of yellowy oak cabinets, and dark, beat-up hardwood floors. Plus, the kitchen had an old coal-burning (!) fireplace that Sylvia just couldn’t figure out how to tie into her vision for the space.
“Since it is a century-old home, we tried to give a nod to its beautiful ancestry while also modernizing its look,” Sylvia says. Their first move was to get rid of the fireplace and replace it with a wall of white cupboards from IKEA for storage. That helped Sylvia feel comfortable getting rid of the upper cabinets altogether for a cleaner, more modern look. Now, where the upper cabinets were once mounted, there’s a a sleek floating shelf that houses plates and glasses.
The countertops are new, but the couple stuck with the neutral white to go with their fresh blue cabinets from Semihandmade. And the wall behind the sink that was a yellow-ish beige color is now a sophisticated dark navy blue color, too.
Shiny gold hardware with a vintage look matches the new gold-toned faucet and pot filler, giving this entire wall a luxurious modern-meets-vintage feel. The pot filler in particular has been a worthy splurge, Sylvia says: “I’m really surprised how often we use the pot filler.”
While lots of people prefer hardwood floors throughout their home, Sylvia and Tim wanted something more practical for their kitchen. “Food and particles would get lost between the old wood planks,” Sylvia says. “So instead, we opted for classic mini hex tile and I designed the black tile outline to give it an extra pop.”
This entire project — a $30,000 endeavor — took about three months from start to finish — not bad for such a huge transformation. Sylvia loves it all, but has one thing she’d change if she could do it over: “The only thing I may have done differently is install heated floors,” she says.
The success of this kitchen remodel comes down to Sylvia and Tim’s desire to merge practicality and beauty, so that their kitchen isn’t just for show. As Sylvia advises, “Take your time in the design process to make sure you think function before just aesthetic.”
Inspired? Submit your own project here.