New England Cottage-Style Kitchen
Condo kitchen remodel by Amanda and Brian Vaughan, The Fix-Its blog, www.thefixitsblog.com
When newlyweds Amanda and Brian Vaughn bought their Lakeview condo in 2009, they knew the kitchen needed an overhaul. But instead of being turned off, the Vaughns were attracted by the space’s flaws. “We noticed a trend of homeowners who [in staging their home to sell] performed upgrades [just] to say they had stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops,” Amanda says. “It seemed obvious many of these were added as last-minute selling points.” The couple preferred to upgrade themselves, as they had a strong vision of their dream kitchen. They both craved a crisp, modern cooking space, and Amanda, a native New Englander, was influenced by the airy cottage style that’s popular in Cape Cod. They also hoped to maximize the limited space without actually expanding the kitchen’s footprint. With these design goals in mind, the couple dove into a kitchen remodel, recording their progress on their blog, The Fix-Its (www.thefixitsblog.com).
Among other updates, the couple replaced the kitchen’s problematic countertop. By ripping out the laminate eyesore and installing a granite-topped center island with back-to-back cabinets, they opened up the flow of the kitchen and created more storage space in one fell swoop. Semi-transparent glass doors were installed to foster an airy, open feeling. The existing Aristokraft wall cabinetry was in good shape, but its plain wood finish seemed dated. By sanding down the cabinets, applying a few coats of Rust-Oleum semi-gloss white furniture paint and installing new silver hardware, the kitchen feels renewed. The marble backsplash and a dose of Ralph Lauren paint (in Renoir) on the walls helped to round out the makeover. The resulting space feels modern, cottage-y and thoroughly connected to the rest of the home.