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Finally! My little socal 1930s Spanish kitchen reveal

Astrid C
February 16, 2019

The time has come I can share my finished kitchen! (Well, almost finished, I've still got to work on window treatments in the nook, a new back door, and a few other odds and ends).

I can't believe it was over a year when I posted my "before" and what a year it was! Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. It wouldn't have turned out nearly as well without you. I love it so much!


Link to my original post: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5127994/my-little-socal-spanish-kitchen-remodel-before


The floorplan remained the same for the most part, with just the stove being moved over a few inches so it could have base cabinets on both sides (essential!). My main priorities were getting a counter-depth fridge rather than the existing behemoth, a range hood, functioning counter-space (do you see how low the original cabinets go?), and a new dishwasher (as you can see the existing one is broken. Though I did find a really cool mummified mouse under it). I really wanted to keep with the feel of my 1930's house and the original cabinets in the mudroom.

Cabinets: Omega inset cabinets in "Beach House" for upper and "Sage" stained lowers - alder wood

Cabinet hardware: Knobs - "Newport" by Emtek, Pulls - "Sydney Thin" by Top Knobs in polished nickel

Floors: Cement Tiles in custom design (picture I had of a Moroccan tile, but with my own colorway) by Villa Lagoon Tile

Countertops: Corian in "Bisque"

Backsplash: Interceramic 4.25" x 4.25" field tile (great price but many pieces were warped) and border/pencil liner by Quemere Designs ($$$ but gorgeous and matches the floor)

Fridge: a 2015 model Kitchen Aid (craigslist score!)

Dishwasher: 18" Bosch, the one with the hidden controls

Range Hood: 36" Z line (from Amazon)

Range: GE Cafe Series 30" (got a great scratch + dent deal!)

Light fixtures in nook and mudroom: Vintage via eBay

Blue sink: Saved from previous kitchen :)

Faucet: Kohler "Sous" in chrome

Garbage Disposal: InSinkErator Evolution Compact

Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams "Swiss Coffee"

What I love:

My floors! - The cement tiles turned out just like I imagined. Minh @ Villa Lagoon tile was patient and helpful through setting up the custom order and sending me pictures and samples until I was confident that it was exactly right. The colors turned out just like the sample chips they had sent, with subtle, handmade variation. They're soft on my feet and bring that vintage feel of southern Europe and the Caribbean where I first discovered them. Price was very reasonable too, especially compared to similar encaustic tiles I'd seen in high-end tile shops.

Countertops: I had been DYING for perla venata quartzite and spent a lot of time at slab yards looking for the right one before I realized the fabrication put me way out of budget and I wasn't sure if it would be "too much" in my little kitchen. I think Corian ended up being a better fit style-wise and I just love its softness, durability, and clean satiny look. Pretty much everyone I talked to tried to talk me out of it, saying it was really outdated, but I disagree. I'm pretty brutal on my countertops too - so probably would have done something terrible to Quartzite anyway sooner or later.

Pull-down faucet: Okay so it's probably a bit of an anachronism style-wise but its soooo easy and functional for spraying and cleaning both the dishes and the sink itself.

Inset cabinets and drawers: Really essential to that "period" look and to match my mudroom cabinets. The doors don't soft-close, so they click/clack significantly, which wouldn't work for everyone, but it doesn't matter to me. And the smooth, slidey, deep drawers - yum.

Two tone!: Glad I went with two-tone cabinets, all white would have been much too cold and stark The medium-tone wood warms everything up. I also like how I went white with the fridge and stainless everywhere else. It was not intentional, I just bought what was available and I'm glad it worked out! I think a huge stainless fridge would have been imposing on the small space. Also, strangely, the mixed finishes on the knobs (polished nickel), faucet (chrome - closet available), and brushed stainless hinges (only silver color available) totally work together. I think they are far enough apart from each other they just all look chrome.

Okay, most everything I love: the pull-out trash (thought I'd die with out a step-open mechanism but I don't miss it), my side-of-fridge pantry (amazed how the kitchen still looks smaller. Probably from opting for the counter depth fridge - which is still plenty roomy for us, though the freezer capacity might be an issue for others), 18" dishwasher (excellent choice for our needs and freed up room for the pull-out trash. the Bosch is quiet and I love the utensil drawer as opposed to basket), even the toaster oven and microwave (bought second-hand to hold us over during the reno but liked 'em so much I'm keeping them). Oh also glad I added a garbage disposal too. How did I live without it before?

Things I learned:

Alder is too soft of a wood for the cabinets. I had heard mixed things about it and didn't like stained maple (too blotchy) but I've dinged it a few times already and will need to touch up. If I could do it again I'd sell an organ and upgrade to stained walnut. I'm not too bummed though. After all, I was drooling over these "old world" Shiloh finishes https://www.shilohcabinetry.com/weathered.html sooooo let's just say soon it will have a "vintage" look.

Cement tile really is fussy to install: I micromanaged the install pretty well, since I knew it was notorious for being a tough install in places where contractors don't have experience with the material. But I wasn't able to avoid some hazing, not from the grout, but the mortar. Luckily it's on only a few edges, and not that noticeable.

Well that's about it! Since I just realized in the photos that I still had my Chinese New Year decorations up from a party: Happy Year of the Pig everyone!

Comments (24)

  • luckyblueeye

    Very cute! And what a difference! Love your inset cabinets and the floor. Enjoy!

    Astrid C thanked luckyblueeye
  • Hillside House

    Great update! I especially love the floor and green trim detail in the backsplash.

    Astrid C thanked Hillside House
  • cluelessincolorado

    Oh yay! I've been waiting for this one. It turned out so well :)

    I really like the backsplash, esp over range, and the pantry next to the fridge.

    Is the ceiling blue?

    Astrid C thanked cluelessincolorado
  • AMS

    It's so lovely - I too have been waiting for your reveal. The floors are great and I like how you tied the ceiling color in to the sink!

    Astrid C thanked AMS
  • bpath Oh Sophie

    That is the sweetest tile floor ever, it's so pretty! And I hope you enjoy the Corian. We have it and appreciate how easy it is to live with.

    Astrid C thanked bpath Oh Sophie
  • stillpitpat

    I love it! You did great!

    Astrid C thanked stillpitpat
  • cpartist

    Fabulous and it fits the era and style of the house so well.

    And of course I too love Villa Lagoon tile in green. ;) Aren't they fabulous to work with?

    Astrid C thanked cpartist
  • traci_from_seattle

    Wow, very nice! I love all the colors and I think you‘re right that corian was a good choice.

    Astrid C thanked traci_from_seattle
  • jhmarie

    I love this! I so love an original kitchen - and yes I love that floor and the green detail in the backsplash. The wood does make it warm and inviting and love the color on the ceiling - I love a certain amount of color and your kitchen makes me smile!!!

    Astrid C thanked jhmarie
  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally

    Just lovely.

    But then you had me in September with the floor tiles : ) .

    Astrid C thanked beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
  • tartanmeup

    Wow! That floor is just fantastic! Love all the soft colours - hadn't even noticed the blue sink until you mentioned it. Nice! Huge thumbs up from me on the white fridge. Very pretty kitchen. Enjoy!

    Astrid C thanked tartanmeup
  • Louise McCarthy

    That is one of the nicest kitchens I have seen here. Love the blue sink and floor and the two tone cabinets. And I love how real the entire space is. Such a good job! Enjoy :-)

    Astrid C thanked Louise McCarthy
  • girl_wonder

    Wow, the counter-depth fridge and adjoining cabinets alone are a huge improvement. That floors seems especially cute to come into from the back door. ;).

    I’m thinking of doing an end-cap broom closet. How deep is yours? Are you happy with that size? Thanks

    Astrid C thanked girl_wonder
  • aprilneverends

    I love everything!

    it feels like bliss. I'm melting inside. Such a great vibe, so comfortable..enjoy tremendously every moment and in good health.

    Astrid C thanked aprilneverends
  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    Very hard to look at your kitchen. Can’t take my eyes off the gorgeous floor. Beautifully done. Magnificent. Congrats. Enjoy. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Astrid C thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • Oliviag/ bring back Sophie
    This is so lovely, and personally styled. thanks for sharing.
    Astrid C thanked Oliviag/ bring back Sophie
  • Feathers11

    I love your cabinet combo and the fact that you kept the same footprint (except for stove). I'm the only cook in my family, and I appreciate the efficiency and workability of smaller kitchens. Oh, and of course, that tile is to die for.

    Astrid C thanked Feathers11
  • caligirl5

    This is wonderful--I just love it all!

    Astrid C thanked caligirl5
  • Astrid C

    Thank you everyone! I'm so glad you like it too. I am super pleased. I'm sitting in my nook right now with some tea.

    girl_wonder - the cabinet is 24" wide and 10.5" deep. I chose to put shelves in it to use as a pantry but it could totally work as a broom closet too. I find the depth totally adequate. It can fit a large box of cereal and still close (even with the inset doors), for reference.

  • skmom
    Your kitchen is absolutely charming!!! I adore your floor tile and I love that blue ceiling with it! Your two tone cabinetry looks fantastic as well. I like the green accent running through your backsplash tile too. The floor really sets your space apart though, it’s the star! Job well done!
    Astrid C thanked skmom
  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    I love an updated kitchen that keeps the vintage charm; you've done a wonderful job and made it better! As everyone else does, I love the green tile floor and backsplash accents. The side pantry fits the space perfectly, and the nook sounds so cozy. Enjoy!

    Astrid C thanked mama goose_gw zn6OH
  • alanalinette
    LOVE your kitchen! The wood (though imperfect as you say) is absolute stunning and a great partner to that floor. Great job!
    Astrid C thanked alanalinette
  • FinallyHome

    Really great job.

    Astrid C thanked FinallyHome
  • PRO
    Rachel Zylstra, Realtor
    perfect. looks like it was always there. the tile work (floor and backsplash) is amazing.
    Astrid C thanked Rachel Zylstra, Realtor

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