We started the process of redoing our kitchen last Spring, talking to Cardea Construction who had worked on our house before—replacing all the windows and redoing our siding.
We talked to Patricia, the owner and she gave us a book with a schedule of things we needed to think about and purchase ahead of time—layout, appliances, light fixtures, cabinets selection, counter tops, sinks, colors, backsplash, matching flooring, and other things.
I had spent the previous few months watching Property Brothers—and saw enough “white” kitchens to last a lifetime and that confirmed for me that I wanted dark cabinets that went with the rest of the woodwork in the house. I also spent a lot of time on Houzz looking at features and ideas for our cabinets. On top of that, we had spent some time with a kitchen designer, who we thought would be able to give us some “out-of-the box” ideas for kitchen configuration. Turns out, we like the U-shaped option best, a version of what we had, though a bit larger; it gave us the most in terms of work space and the flow I liked.
One of the first things we had to do to get ready was to drill holes in our soffits to see if they were essential—if they indeed were holding pipes. We wanted to remove as much of the soffits as possible so our cabinets could go to the ceiling. Turns out the soffits from over the door to the dining room through the inside wall of the kitchen were just there to match the rest of the room. We had the opportunity to remove at least half of what we had. We also decided to remove the cabinets that were over the peninsula to open up the space. Turns out that soffit did hold a little bit of piping, but a plumber was able to shorten the drain from the shower upstairs, and we now have a flush ceiling there.
Once we had the dimensions for the appliances, we went to pick out our cabinets. Lots of styles, suppliers, colors. Turns out there are framed and frameless cabinets, and we had to learn about that. Patricia went with us to Expo Cabinets, which gave us cabinets and with the flexibility we wanted. We went with a Michigan manufacturer; chose cherry wood with a burgundy finish. There was about a 6 week lead time on the production of our cabinets.
We picked out our counter tops (for bathroom also). This was a small problem since gray and white seemed to be the “in” colors, and not what we wanted. We have a Tudor-style home, so the dark cabinets and light bamboo floors did not say “gray” to me. We were thinking colors in the brown range. We finally picked out a slab from Cambria who manufactures a granite surface that requires almost no care (and we did pick out a slab for the powder room that actually was in the gray range).
Back at home, a month later, we started the deconstruction of our kitchen. Cardea Construction Co. was very helpful. We moved some of our old cabinets into our back hallway. We were able to store a lot of our food that we use on a regular basis in those cabinets. Cardea loaned us a two burner stove which went in the back hall on the cabinets, along with our microwave.
We moved the kitchen table and chairs into the family room and the refrigerator also. So the back half of our family room and back hall became our temporary “kitchen.”
Cardea broke down our cabinets, our pantry wall and soffits—and removed everything. They removed the wallpaper from the walls. They painted both kitchen and powder room. Because the layout for our new kitchen was larger than originally, and because our bamboo flooring did not go under the old cabinets, one of the first projects was to interlace the new flooring pieces with the old; luckily we could find similar bamboo pieces. And they did a marvelous job of that. We are just waiting for the sunlight to darken the wood to look like the rest of the floor (darkened over the last 10+ years).
Once the floor was down and the walls painted, the cabinets and appliances arrived and the construction phase started, all according to Cardea’s specifications and plans. Cardea Construction, and especially Phil, worked wonders. Our cabinets have a lot of glass fronts and sides, we have pullout drawers, a large “pantry” cabinet with spice racks, a file drawer, a lazy susan, a small book shelf and some other really neat storage spaces that we specifically asked for.
It took less than 6 weeks for the finished product—both kitchen and bathroom. We are thrilled. We’re keeping our old white refrigerator for a while longer, until it breaks down, but otherwise we are done and loving it.