Kitchens for the Long Haul

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford meets with homeowners after kitchen renovation

Danny meets with homeowners after kitchen renovation

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I’ve remodeled a lot of kitchens over the years and worked with some great homeowners to make their dream kitchen come true. But I’ve often wondered how well the designs, ideas, and materials the homeowners chose held up over time.

To find out, I decided to revisit three of the kitchen remodels we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner to see how well they worked out. To learn more about each kitchen renovation project, click on the link in the heading.

Kitchen with a View, before renovation

Kitchen with a View, before renovation

Kitchen #1: Kitchen with a View

The motivation for remodeling this kitchen was inspired more by improving the function than updating the style. The old kitchen was too cramped, with an island in the middle that restricted the work flow. To remedy the situation, we took in an adjacent bathroom and removed several interior walls to open the kitchen up to the rest of the house.

Kitchen with a View, after remodeling

Kitchen with a View, after remodeling

One problem spot in the kitchen was a window that extended below the level of the new countertop. Rather than replacing the window, the homeowners decided to notch the countertop around it and install a ledge even with the bottom of the window to use as storage.

We installed a solid hardwood floor in the kitchen, and while the homeowners like the look and feel of wood, they said that it requires more care and upkeep than tile. The kitchen also included bar for serving meals, which the homeowners said that they haven’t used as much as they had anticipated.

1970s Kitchen Expansion, before renovation

1970s Kitchen Expansion, before renovation

Kitchen #2: 1970s Kitchen Expansion

We gave our second kitchen a major renovation several years ago by removing the wall that separated the kitchen and den from the living room to open up the house.

While the homeowners like the light colored granite they chose for the countertops, they weren’t pleased with a streak of discoloration in it that they didn’t notice until after the countertops had been installed.

1970s Kitchen Expansion, after remodeling

1970s Kitchen Expansion, after remodeling

The homeowners also wished they had chosen lighter colored cabinets than the dark stained wood they decided upon. Other problems they’ve experienced include a lazy susan that won’t stay closed and handprints on the stainless steel appliances.

Historic Kitchen, before renovation

Historic Kitchen, before renovation

Kitchen #3: Historic Kitchen Renovation

Our third kitchen renovation took place in an older home that was built in the early 1900s. Since the kitchen had been remodeled before, I was able to reuse the existing cabinets, though we replaced the plywood cabinet doors with raised panel doors and the butcher block wood countertops with granite. In addition, we repainted the cabinets and installed new lighting, appliances, and an engineered wood floor.

Historic Kitchen, after remodeling

Historic Kitchen, after remodeling

The homeowners are happy with all the decisions they made, including the light colored granite countertops, choice of paint colors, and the burnished antique cabinet hardware and light fixture.

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