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Finished! 2010 update of 1987 East Bay kitchen

13 years ago

Our home was built in 1987, and we bought it two years ago. This summer, we remodeled the kitchen. Our aim was an understated, elegant kitchen in an updated Shaker style, where the three of us (me, DH and DD, age 9) could work together. Thanks to all the wisdom that was so generously shared on this forum, we have survived our remodel and are feasting every night!

To give you a feel, here are some before and afters…



Yes, we still need light rail under the cabinets. It’s on order….

Bottom line: We love our new kitchen. LOVE it.

It was worth the 3 months of time and inconvenience, the 53 days of washing dishes by hand in cold water in a laundry sink in the backyard, cooking with a microwave and a grill, eating out, and all the stresses of making so many big choices in such a short time period.

So now, the backstory:

The house was built as part of a fairly large subdivision, and so the kitchen was a fairly standard “production builder’s” kitchen for the area. Oak cabinets with fixed MDF shelves, 4x4 ceramic tiles for the countertop (white, with gray grout), and a big garden window looking out at the back fence. As far as we could tell, there had been no updates in the kitchen other than the floor and the dishwasher. We think the floor tile was updated just before the house was put up for sale. A nice ivory tile, but more gray grout that made it hard to use an old-fashioned broom to sweep up crumbs.

The layout was a G-shape, with a peninsula that had no upper cabinets so that the room was open to the family room. However, this meant that when the refrigerator was opened, there wasn’t enough room to walk by and out of the kitchen. If we wanted to grill, we had to walk around the peninsula to get out the sliding door to the patio (where the grill is). That peninsula was our only big stretch of prep space. However, because it was an easily accessible horizontal space, it became a general dumping ground (mail, schoolwork, remains of craft projects, etc.) and the prep space had to be cleared before each meal.

For the remodel, our objective with regard to function was to create more useful prep space, add storage, and make the storage in the lower cabinets more accessible. Without moving any walls or windows, we changed the work flow of the kitchen by removing the peninsula and extending cabinets along one wall, adding a pantry cabinet, and shifting the location of the fridge about 8 inches further away from the corner. We also moved the dishwasher to the other side of the sink so it would be farther away from the stove. We removed the soffit over the cabinets and took out the popcorn ceilings.

I don’t have a “before” floorplan, but my rendition of the “after” is below.


I'll add in a few more photos, and then I’m including a list of details and specifications, and a summary of expenses.

Here's the Kohler Stages sink, with its sliding cutting board and shallow "wet prep area" (on the top in the second photo):



And my favorite part, the backsplash:


See the Picasa photo album Finished Kitchen -- East Bay for more pictures, including some closeups of the details mentioned below.


New Cabinets: Amero cabinets with Bellmont doors (cherry reverse raised panel) in the Whistler door style and the Nutmeg finish. Made by Pacific Crest Industries, in Washington state. Amero is the more affordable line, and Bellmont is semi-custom.

Cabinet knobs and drawer pulls: Amerock’s Mulholland line.

Countertop: Caesarstone in Buttermilk color, with a bevel along the top edge.

Backsplash: Field tiles are Arizona Tile’s Seagrass limestone, in 2x4 brick. Accents behind the stove are Seagrass 6x6 squares, ogee trim, and 1x1 Sonoma Tilemakers’ Tantrum crackle glass, in Tazo. The backsplash goes to the ceiling behind the vent hood, and up to the bottom of the cabinets everywhere else.


Stove: GE Profile 30” smoothtop electric slide-in range, PS905SPSS

Vent Hood: GE Profile 36”, PV976NSS, 450CFM, with 4 airspeeds (which we fondly refer to as spring breeze, sailing weather, Nor-easter, and Jet Engine)

Dishwasher: Existing Bosch, changed out black panel and controls for stainless

Fridge: existing Kenmore Elite


Sink: Kohler Stages 45 (K-3761)

Faucet and Soap Dispenser: Eclipse Stainless KPS 3030 Cascade

Wall paint: Sherwin Williams’ Oyster Bay (we used the Harmony zero-VOC low odor interior latex paint, and I was really glad we did)

Lighting (way, way more than we need, it turns out; I'll see if I can write up a whole different post about that!):

- 8 Recessed overhead lights, with compact CFL dimmable bulbs

- 7 Under the counter Xenon bar lights from Feit Electric

- Above the sink: Rejuvenation Lighting’s Bernard, 2 light semi-flush mount, 60watt bulbs, dimmable

Small Appliances:

- Microwave: Kenmore 1.2 cubic feet, MS-1242KLSY

- Toaster: Cuisinart 4 slice, CPT-190

- Undercabinet radio: Sony clock radio, ICF CDK50

Organization inside cabinets (see Picasa photo album)

- two super susans in the lower corners

- rollouts in one lower and in the pantry

- pullout to right of stove for oils, vinegars, salt and pepper

- 18” trash pullout with 2 cans

- Rev-a-Shelf drawer inserts (purchased ourselves): (4WB-1 for knives; 4WUT-1 for cooking tools; 4SCT-1 for silverware; BDC200-20 for bread)

- spice rack (freestanding within a cabinet): 3 drawer spice organizer from

- expanding shelves (freestanding): Seville Expandable Kitchen Shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond


- cabinets, 16K

- labor, 15K

- counter, 5K

- tile, 3K

- hood & stove, sink and faucet: 4K

- replacing panel on dishwasher: $250

- light over the sink: $275

- small appliances: $500

- organization inside cabinets: $300

- paint: $75 (we did it ourselves)

GRAND TOTAL (gulp!): $43,650

In Closing…

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your help! I benefited SO much from the collective wisdom of the iVillage GardenWeb Kitchen Forum. Emotional support, advice, ideas I would never have thought of myself, inspiration photos…. I cannot thank you all enough.

I probably won’t be able to hang around much this fall, since things get crazybusy around here once school starts again... but my username is set up to receive email, so feel free to bump the post or send me a message if you have more questions months from now. I’ll do my best to “pay it forward” and help folks who come after me.

My picasa photos will stay up for as long as I can keep them there, so please link to the Finished Kitchen -- East Bay album in the FKB.


Comments (24)

  • firstmmo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    eastbay: I love the changes you made. I have total Kohler Stages sink envy....just gorgeous and I'll bet you are loving it. You did a heck of a job for the price and you totally created better prep areas and updated the look. Great backsplash design behind the stove--like that too!

  • sadiebrooklyn
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am thinking about the kohler stages sink and wondered what sink strainer you ended up with- do you have the kohler one? Or another brand-


  • mitchdesj
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Amazing redo, it all looks great. Your tiler did such a fantastic job around the hood.

  • hpxmirage
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Very attractive job, congratulations! Particularly love your existing window over the sink and your descriptions of the hood's fan speeds...."jet engine." :-)

    Looks much more comfortable. Counter-intuitively, you'd think that removing the surface of the peninsula would decrease prep space, but the new effect is open and looks like miles of countertop. Nice work, enjoy it!

  • jsweenc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Congratulations, eastbaymom! Fabulous job, it looks great! You have the message center I wanted and the sink I would have wanted had I seen it before I was almost finished. I am amazed at how well the new flooring matches, and it's so beautiful... I didn't see any mention of what you did there. I can see why you love the backsplash; it's lovely! Don't let life get too crazy in the fall (that happens to us too, even though we homeschool)... take time to sit down and enjoy one another in your beautiful new kitchen!

  • bostonpam
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    congrats on your new kitchen - so much more elegant than the old one. They did a great job matching your floor. I love the backsplash behind the stove.

  • cat_mom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a nice, nice kitchen! It looks so much bigger without the peninsula (and so much more functional--I know what you mean about dumping grounds, and clearing space to eat!).

    I like your kitchen much better without the tray ceiling. too. Makes your kitchen look more open and spacious.


  • quincin
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Fabulous job, I think you really pegged your goals!!

    We are taking out a peninsula as well, for the exact same reasons! Glad that worked out for you. Loved your descriptions of your hood airspeeds - waaay too funny :)

    Quick sink question: do you find the "square" corners inside the sink hard to keep clean? I love the look, but had some concerns about that.

    Good luck with the upcoming school year (same craziness here!) and enjoy your wonderful reno!

  • rjr220
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Eastbaymom --

    Bravissimo! How beautiful and functional -- it looks sooo much bigger. Your choices of color and coordination of BS, counter, cabinets, is wonderful. Thank you also for the details of the INSIDES of the drawers, etc!

    OK, have you seen the movie Inception -- because I think we've been inside each other's dreams -- wood shaker cabs, Stages 45, I have the same hood (thank you for the sound description, now I am ready, it's being installed next week) super susan --

    Great job!

  • artemis78
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So beautiful---congrats! (And yay for another East Bay kitchen!) :) I also love how well the kitchen is connected to your yard with the peninsula removed. And I would LOVE to hear about your lighting experience if you do end up writing that post---we're still putting our Title 24 compliance plan together, and feeling like the "recommended" amount of lighting is overkill given that our kitchen only has two lights today, and seems to get plenty of light...

  • honorbiltkit
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The thinking that guided your renovation is obviously as lucid as your prose. And the result is brilliant. Congratulations.

  • chris45ny
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Nice work-love the sink and ceiling and the rest looks great too. Enjoy your "new" space!!

  • sochi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    eastbay - wow, did you ever acheive your objectives! Amazing transformation, I can see how much more user-friendly it is now. Removing that peninsula made such a difference. Congratulations. There is so much to love, but I'm especially partial to the Kohler stages sink and the lovely colour of the cherry cabinets. Good luck this fall and enjoy your fantastic new space!

  • rjr220
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Eastbay == question - how high up did you mount your hood above the range?

  • sabjimata
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It looks so good! I am so jealous that you have everything put away and camera ready!!

    Congrats on the new ceiling. And love your cabinets and that you kept a similar stain. Usually you see a lot of extreme makeovers...dark to light and vice versa.

    And thank you for putting your costs. Helps us keep it real! I know the first time I remodeled, the kitchens I was looking at were $100k+....we had a $20k budget! Whole remodel ended up costing $40k and we were much better educated in the end.

  • eastbaymom
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the compliments.

    Answering a few specific questions:

    sadiebrooklyn: I don't think we ordered a strainer separately, so it probably came with the garbage disposal. My DH picked that out, so I'd have to double-check, but I'm pretty sure it was the InSinkerator 3/4 hp Evolution.

    jsweenc: The floor is BR-111 engineered wood, called Amendoim. We had it already in the family, living and dining rooms, and had the same installers come back and extend it into the kitchen. They did a great job -- it's hard to tell where old floor ends and new floor begins.

    quincin: Yes, to be fair, it's harder to clean the corners than in our old drop-in enameled sink, which was all smooth curves. It's not a real pain in the neck, though... I just have to be sure I run one finger right into each one with a dishcloth. I do it once a day, after putting all the dishes into the DW in the evening. The rest of the time, we use the sprayer on the faucet.

    We have a zero reveal from our countertop to our sink -- vertically, the sink wall and the edge of the counter above the undermount sink are ligned up. This makes cleaning less of a chore. Do a search for sink reveal on the forum if I'm not writing about this clearly... it's something you'll want to specify when you order your countertop.

    rjr220: We had your review of the Stages sink printed out when it was time to put ours in, so yes, I do think we live in each others' dream kitchens! Oh, and our vent hod is higher off the counter than the specs say. 32 inches, I believe.

    artemis78: I'll keep typing our lighting saga.

  • remodel-mama
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Eastbaymom - congrats! It all looks great! Definitely need to check out that Kohler Stages sink... Looks really cool. Enjoy your new space :)

  • stevie_2010
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Looks great! I really love those floors. Great choices.

  • steelerfan_2010
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A very nice change - it all looks so pulled together and organized! So many things noteworthy, especially the Stages sink and the backsplash. I think the change in the penisula area to the pantry is amazing and I love your cherry cabs!

  • eastbaymom
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Artemis78 -- I did a separate post about the lighting issues. I'm fairly sure that what we ended up with is title 24 compliant, but we could certainly have used some more advance planning.

    Here is a link that might be useful: what we learned too late about lighting

  • elizpiz
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    EBM - congrats - it looks so great! That sink is pretty amazing - you must be loving it...


  • shelayne
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, check out that neato frito sink! Thanks for the close-up, so we can really get a good "feel" of it.

    Your cabinets are gorgeous, as are your floors! Really nice change!

    You must be soooo happy! Congrats!

  • redroze
    13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, LOVE it!!! Your cabinets are the perfect warm caramel colour and I heart your sink with the cutting board. Your backsplash is so beautiful.

  • PRO
    TY Interiors
    2 years ago

    @eastbaymom - where did you purchase your cabinets from? I’m also in the East Bay. How are you feeling about the quality?

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