Week of Kitchen Renovations: Extra Counter and Cabinet Space

I’m kicking off the new year with a full week of Kitchen Renovation updates. Our kitchen has been done since July and I’ve been slacking on posting the “after” pictures. So this week I’ll be featuring various aspects of our kitchen that we love. On Friday, I’ll be posting the back to back before and after pictures for the entire project (well for what’s done until now). Hubby and I still have a few minor things to finish, including some decorating and paint touch ups.

As I mentioned over the summer, we absolutely loved our kitchen designer (I made her some peanut butter brownies to show our appreciation). She really did come up with some creative ideas to increase our counter space and storage space in the kitchen. Since our budget couldn’t accommodate moving the sink or stove (moving gas or water lines can be very expensive in old buildings), we couldn’t change the layout very much.

One thing we did to increase our cabinet space was to take advantage of our 108″ ceilings. We went with 42″ tall cabinets on the top. These are very tall cabinets (look how high above the door frame they go!) I’m a tall girl and I still have to use a little foot stool to reach the top shelf. Luckily, Hubby can reach without the step stool.

The single best thing we did to increase the counter space was to move the fridge into the dining area. This allowed us to have a counter over our radiator. It also allowed us to add another small cabinet where the fridge used to be. This was BY FAR the most creative idea our designer came up with. It’s actually quite funny because we had gone in to order our cabinets and she said she had one last idea. I was getting antsy to get the renovation started, I almost didn’t hear her out. I’m so glad I did. By moving the fridge from in front of the window, we also get a lot more sunlight through our gigantic double window. I was a little apprehensive that the fridge would seem out of place in the dining room, but you have to keep in mind that this is a very small space, so it all really just flow together as one large room and the fridge doesn’t look lost in there.

As yet another obstacle, we didn’t want to move the windows and we also didn’t want to cover them at all. So the counter that goes over the radiator is at a lower height. It sits at 30″ where normal counter height is 36″. You can see how low it is in the picture above. So it’s not very ergonomically friendly for Hubby or I to be cutting vegetables, but it’s a great space to put things, like cookies cooling, or plates waiting for dinner to be finished. It’s great because it allows us to keep the main working space to the left of the stove cleared off at all times.

As I mentioned, this also allowed us to have a small cabinet in the corner, increasing our cabinet space even more. AND, for even more storage, we use the space near the radiator to store serving plates and extra rolls of paper towels and toilet paper.

You might notice that the cabinet doors in front of the radiator look like an actual radiator cover. This is a project that Hubby and I did ourselves. Our designer ordered doors that would normally have glass in them. But instead of ordering glass to fill the doors with, we bought some metal mesh that is used in radiator cover construction. It’s carried in large 36×36″ sheets. Since they were a shiny metal, I took them outside and spray painted them with black matte spray paint. It took about 3 light coats on each side. Hubby then used wire cutters to cut the sheets down to the appropriate size.

To attach them to the doors, we were worried about the sharp edges, so I decided to just use hot glue and really goop it on there. As you can see, these sheets are not going anywhere and there’s no concern of catching your finger on a sharp metal edge. These doors allow the necessary level of ventilation for the radiator and look great in the kitchen.

Check out my Week of Kitchen Renovations here.

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12 Responses to “Kitchen Update – Sink and Faucet”

  1. #
    stephchows — September 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    So exciting!!! We are in the middle of a kitchen redo too! Our faucet just went in yesterday! Along with the new dishwasher(we didn’t have one before) is now hooked up!! That may be my favorite new part 🙂 no more washing dishes by hand!!

  2. #
    Megan — September 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    We’ve been looking around for backsplash. The area behind the sink, stove, and counters is just so bare… we can’t seem to make up our minds about which tiles we like… or if we prefer small bricks. It’s going to be a long process!

    And p.s. my boyfriend is obsessed with the faucet you got. We don’t need a new one, but if we did, that’s the one we’d get!

  3. #
    Jen — September 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Steph – Oh I can’t imagine not having a dishwasher!

    Megan – I love the look of the glass mosiac subway tiling for a backsplash. We had an interesting obstacle in that we have REAL subway tiling on the wall to about 4 feet and the previous owners used liquid nails to attach a laminate backsplash. So we needed something that could be glued back on.

  4. #
    Jennifer — September 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Oh how exciting for the change! I love the redo!

  5. #
    Joe — September 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Wicked jealous, I love it. My wife and I talk about our kitchen re-do all the time, even though we don’t have a dime put away for it. But when we do, it will be so fun. The kitchen is by far my favorite room in the house.

  6. #
    Nancy — September 13, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Jen: The sink and faucet look beautiful. What I can see of the blacksplash and spice rack, it looks fantastic too. I love, love, love the Vulga Blue granite in our kitchen and I think the glass tile backsplash, although very pricey, really gave the kitchen the splash of color and uniqueness we were looking for! Ok, I really love the chandeliers….they are a real conversation piece and also unique (not for everyone, especially if you are in to simple, clean lines).

  7. #
    Jen — September 13, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Jennifer – Thanks!

    Joe – The kitchen is our fav room too. A renovation is a fun/exciting/stressful time. Good luck if you ever get around to it.

    Nancy – Thanks – I need to write up posts about the backsplash and spice rack/shelf. We just painted today so it’s all coming together!

  8. #
    bcallegra — September 15, 2009 at 12:22 am

    It’s so funny – after reading your post on your kitchen and fancy new faucet, I saw the same faucet while at an open house and was showing off all its features to Andrew. Very cool!

  9. #
    Cupcake Activist — September 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I have that exact same faucets and I love it! I also have a deep stainless steel sink. So awesome!

  10. #
    judyn — November 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I see that your faucet is on the right. Are you right-handed? I have seen it both ways and need to make a decision. Thanks.

  11. #
    Jen — November 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Yes we are both right handed. I actually never thought about putting it on the left.

  12. #
    Harvey@all faucets world — May 31, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Yes the green patina looks cool on roofs and awnings. Although we’ll only be at the apartment occasionally and I admit if we arrived after being gone for many months and found the sink had turned into green patina, I might freak out!

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