Black Cabinet Kitchen Reveal

TakkoneFebruary 16, 2013

Our family just moved in after spending about 8 months having the house renovated. Started with a kitchen remodel and evolved into a whole-house job. Found a great general contractor that made this project go very well despite several obstacles.

Ok, here are the BEFORE pics...

And here are the AFTER pics...

Range: 36" Capital Cullinarian w/ Griddle (Wok grate rules!)
Hood: Eurostoves Eurohood 36" x 24" (Thanks Trevor!)
Fridge/Dishwasher: Jenn Air
Sink/Faucet: Elkay/Grohe
Micro: GE
Countertops: Cambria Torquey
Cabinets: Black/Chocolate Glazed
Pot Filler: Chicago Faucets
Backsplash: 3" x 12" White glazed subway
New floors: Hardwood Red Oak, Walnut Stained

I'm the man of the house, and the cook. We spent a lot of time on this forum throughout the process, gathering inspiration and advice. As far as I'm concerned this forum is THE best kitchen remodeling resource in existence, period. Thanks to all!

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Your kitchen made me feel like an ahole because the first thought that ran through my brain before opening the link was that I don't like black cabinets and shouldn't even bother looking but your kitchen is fabulous! I really like your cabinets, the black is very sharp and the entire space is so nice. Very well done!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:51PM
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wow!!! awesome transformation !!
i love the openess of it
love the dark cabs

you guys did a great job - ENJOY :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Looks great!! Enjoy your new space!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Your kitchen is stunning. I just love the black cabinets, wood floor, light countertop and subway tile combo. Nicely done!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:37PM
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What a change! I really like it. Elegant and sophisticated with clean lines. Nice balance of light and dark. I love the slanted ceiling and skylights. You did a great job. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Fabulous transformation! It has a cool and chic vibe with the black. How did you get rid of your soffits?? What was in them? I really want to get rid of ours but all of the duct work is in them......

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Beautiful ! So fresh and sexy ! I love the sleek lines and the fridge wall is stunning ...but so are the open shelves ( what are they made of ? ) and love love the table and stools . The black is just wonderful.

So can we peek at the rest of the house and tell us a little about the age etc of the house ? Thanks...great job !!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Such a nice job! Love the whole look!

What does the chocolate glaze do to (for???) the black?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:41PM
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It's just stunning! Beautiful transformation. Enjoy your great new kitchen!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:00PM
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The house was built by my parents in 1986. It is a modest split level about 1750 sq feet. I grew up in this house, at least from the age of 11 on. I am now 36 with a family of four. After my parents passed, I had to decide what to do with the house. Ultimately my wife and I decided to keep the house and move in. But first the place needed some serious work. And I wanted to make the place felt like OURS. So we decided to go for it.

We redid the kitchen. Hardwood floors throughout 2 of the 3 floors. Vaulted the ceiling, added skylights. Laminate hardwood in the below-grade level. New interior doors and new molding everywhere. New roof, new insulation. New baseboard heaters through the whole house. New entry door and tiled foyer. Added French doors leading to existing screened in porch. Recessed lights in family room, living room and kitchen. Redid a downstairs bathroom.

Here are some more pics...

OLD bathroom:

NEW bathroom (still waiting on glass):

New foyer and interior doors:

We still have some cardboard boxes to unpack. And the walls are bare. But we are settling in just fine. It is good to be home again.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Wow love it! Common question on GW is island or peinisula and for anyone who thinks an island is preferred over a peninsula because the the latter is not modern enough needs to look at this beautiful, modern and uber functional space.

Whole house remodel eh? Do you plan to post pics of other areas you remodeled? Hope so.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:17PM
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@ sanjuangirl - The soffits were empty. The kitchen was completely gutted. So maybe there was some electrical up there, but no duct work. I'll tell you, I've never had an exhaust hood that vents to the outdoors in my life and I can't believe the difference it makes. I could be frying onions and nobody in the dinning room can smell a thing. (Of course they can't hear anything besides the blowing of the range hood either, but who cares. Joking it is not that bad.)

@trailrunner - Open shelves are by Danver. They are made of stainless steel. They encase a steel frame mounted to studs within. They can hold A LOT of weight. I had my electrician punch large holes in the shelves to recess under cab lights in them. Those shelves alone were project in itself, but it paid off.

@cat_mom - The chocolate glaze... the cabinets are not a true black. They are really a very very dark brown. But when you see them you think BLACK. But in certain sunlight you see they have a brown tinge to them. Sort of like a Mink coat.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Takkone - Beautiful! Those vaulted ceilings make is open and airy. Love the floating shelves. Enjoy...and feel free to post more photos of the other areas (hint)!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:34PM
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I'm sorry for your loss. 36 is young to have already lost your parents. How wonderful that you can have this house and make it new again for your own family. I love the gray wall color, too. You've done a great job of creating a unified style in the areas you've redone.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:36PM
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@island - I won't lie. When the realization set in that there wasn't room for an island, or at least the living room would need to be sacrificed for it, it was a blow to the gut. The Island is the pinnacle of ultimate kitchen, right? So we went with the counter depth fridge surrounded by pantries instead. And a peninsula next to the range. The "pen" is fantastic. There is a 7" overhang on the backside which is just enough to prevent knee knocking while standing and little kids have plenty of room on stools.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:50PM
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Your kitchen is stunning! Would you mind sharing the name of the glaze you used on the cabinets. I have the same oak cabinets and would love to do a finish like that in my bathroom. Great job!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Wow, looks great! I thought the "before" looked pretty good, but the "after" looks fantastic! Great job.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Very sleek, elegant, and modern. Also a fan of the open shelving...plan on using some myself to break up some glass cabs.
Its also nice that you are able to raise your family in a home where you have memories of growing up yourself. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:00PM
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" like a mink coat"....what a wonderful comparison ! I had to look back again and then move on through the rest of the rooms. You have a wonderful eye for details and style.

The bathroom is perfect and the glass will be ultra cool I bet.

Love the ss shelves...the punched holes LOL. I have Pottery Barn floating white shelves that also hold a ton of weight with brackets into the studs.

Your kitchen makes me want to do another...high praise as nothing could get me to remodel again. I am 62 :) c

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:11PM
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May I ask - who makes the bathroom vanity? I just finished my kitchen and a small powder room is next.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:16PM
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@tara2009 - The cabinets are brand new replacements not refinished originals. The "chocolate glaze" is just part of the finish's description.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:17PM
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@berardmr - The bath vanity and sink top is by Ronbow.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Love it! That floor is fantastic, especially with those cabinets. I love the tiled wall too. The whole thing looks great together.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Wow, that's fantastic! You either have nerves of steel to pick cabs so dark and trust it will work out, or you are really good at visualizing the final result in advance! I think the open shelving choice is what makes it work. (And I will admit to being an unrepentant peninsula fan, too.) Great job-- bathroom, too!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Very, very nice. Clean, clear lines, great work areas in the kitchen--AND you have my dream-stove.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:12PM
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@lori_inthenw - Yes, committing to black cabinets was a little scary because it greatly reduced the number kitchens in the "reference pool" if you know what I mean. So some of the decision making along the way, we had no reference point, or even worse is all we could find online we examples of how NOT to design around black. So yes, it took some hard thinking, guts, and a leap of faith.
Upper cabs flanking the range were scratched, partly due to the sloped ceiling being only 7.5' high on the short side of the room. We would have had to hang 36" uppers a little low and crop the crown to make them fit or go with 30" uppers on that side. I did not like the idea of either. So I started looking for open shelves.

What was tough about the shelves was because I know I wanted lighting in them, I had to make decisions about their height on the wall so that wiring could be done BEFORE there were cabinets, countertop or sheetrock installed!

A kitchen remodel is simply one agonizing decision after another.

The open shelves then seemed to demand the "brick wall" of subway tile up to the ceiling. We also had a glass tile selected to be put only behind the range as an accent but chose to nix it. We liked the clean and uninterrupted look of the white.

We purposely kept the countertops and backsplash light and white to contrast with the black cabs. And we almost went with a natural finish on the floors, but a 3:00AM epiphany resulted in the walnut stained finish.

A couple other things we chose to do that we are really happy about:

1. Putting a 30" sink in a 30" sink base cabinet. Yes it can be done!

2. Drawers!

3. The fridge wall was framed to the exact spec of that cabinet run. Making sure there was just enough wall there left for the crown return.

4. Only two skylights instead of three.

5. Put the toe-kick heater under the pantry to heat the middle of the room, instead of under the sink as they are traditionally found.

6. Put a second garbage can under the sink, in addition to the main garbage pull-out under the peninsula.

7. Built in griddle. A grill would have been fine too. I know 6 burners is the most versatile. But having a built-in griddle is just plain FUN to cook on.

8. L-Shaped lower corner cabs both have kidney shaped Susans in them. They store a TON of stuff. The one to the left of the stove houses all spices, cooking oils, and vinegars. The one to the right of the sink holds all ziplock/saran wrap, tin foil, wax paper, large stock pot, salad spinner, and pyrex baking pans. And we have roll-outs in both pantries.

9. Pro style 24" deep range hood. I do a lot of stir-fry, full blast on the front burner, and practically nothing escapes the pull of the hood. There isn't even any grease build-up on the front or side surface of the hood. I was afraid when I bought it I should have gone wider and deeper, but I'm glad I didn't.

We thought taking away the upper cabinets would present a storage problem. As you can see the kitchen is not that big, but we have tons of storage. The cabinet above the fridge holds: A large wok, wok utensils, baking sheets, muffin tins, and roasting pans. A couple of our cabinets were built with center styles (vertical member centered on front frame), and they were not ordered that way. We had to have them replaced with cabinets without center styles and butt doors. It makes a big difference as to what you can fit into them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Very sleek! Doesn't look like the same space at all. The cabs and counters together are beautiful. I like how the dark cabs seems highlight the veins in the counter top.

Say, what is that round thing on the corner of the overhang?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:54PM
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That wall of tile was really an elegant solution. And I love the simplicity of the countertop / backsplash combo, too. I can see how it would have been nerve-wracking to have to specify those precise shelf locations in advance! Looks like it all turned our perfectly-- anything you wish you'd done differently, now that you're living with it?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:19PM
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@deedles - That is a child-safe bumper on the corner of the overhang. We have little ones.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Our black cat reflects some red-brown when she's sitting in a patch of sunlight, so I can picture your cab color perfectly!

Your kitchen, and bathroom look terrific!!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:23PM
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What a wonderful homage to your parents. It is stunning.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Takkone so you too also coveted an island? Funny!
Looks like you made a great decision. Continous counters are so much easier to clean up, without spilling onto the floors especially if the island isn't big enough for another sink. IMO anyway.

I love your fridge and pantry wall too.

A few more Qs for you if you don't mind....

How did you decide on Cambria? Never heard of it until mentions on GW. Haven't seen it in person, but online it the Torkay looks like marble. Does it? Were you going for that look without the maintenance? That's what I would love to find! What do the seams look like?

You specifically mention loving the 30" sink in a 30" cabinet? What was the situation there, fell in love with that size sink and the usual is to put it in a wider base, but no space? Curious because my sink is the same size as the cabinet and I didn't know it was often an issue. Planning a remodel now so that will be something I'll keep in mind this time around.

Can you please post a couple of pictures of the inside of your lower corner cabs? Would like to see your kidneys! I currently have L shape corners, but no susans and it's a cluttered mess. When I remodeled 12 years ago my KD talked me out of any because of the space I'd lose. I won't make that mistake again, but don't know what solution is best.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Love it! You went from hum drum to fantastic! I bet you're happy to finally be back in the house!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Your kitchen is gorgeous!!! What a great job you did! Love that it's simple but unique (white kitchens are such a majority, I enjoy seening non-white kitchens like yours).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:41AM
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@island - We chose Cambria because we heard good things about quartz, and they offered a lot of white and light colors. We were able to see full slabs in the yard. I dont think anyone is fooled into thinking its marble. But it does look and feel like stone. But it does have these little spots/dots everywhere that you can see up close that tell you its a man made surface. So far we stained it with rust by leaving a cast iron pot that was still wet overnight, but it came out with some light scouring and it did not alter the look of the sheen. Also pure cranberry juice (not water added kind) stained it instantly, but we caught that one within minutes and a soapy paper towel took it out. So more stain resistant than marble? Im sure it is, but it is not stain proof. There is one seam centered on the sink. You can see it from about 4' away. It looks like a super-tight grout line.

The 30" sink in a 30" cabinet... So it is actually a 30.5" sink, but inside dim is 28" wide. It barely fit, width-wise, in the cabinet. The flange of sink actually extends past the cabinet framing a bit. The sink specs recommend min 36" sink base! It was risky but I measured multiple times and it worked out. And there was no need to modify the cabinet at all to accommodate the sink.

What was also a bit challenging was the sink base wasnt bumped out, just standard depth. So we had to figure out what kind of faucet would work and if thre would be enough room for the handle to fully operate. Luckly it all worked out.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Gorgeous kitchen!

I had two questions: who made your cabinet bar pulls? They are exactly the kind I am looking for.

Also, what kind of tile did you use in the bathroom? Very crisp and clean. I'd love the source!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:46PM
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The bar pulls were purchased online. The brand is Top Knobs "Hopewell" bar pulls. The tile in the bathroom is 12" x 24" "Linen" porcelain tiles. I'm sorry I don't know the brand.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Holly- Kay

What a lovely, sleek kitchen! I could move right in and be very happy. Isn't it amazing what a wonderful renovation can do?

Enjoy your space. You did a fantastic job!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Lovely job! Would you mind sharing with us the name of the paint color on the wall in your eating area?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2014 at 7:51PM
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The paint is BM Smoke Embers.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 8:52AM
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OK, that space doesn't even look like the same house!! What an incredible job!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 2:25PM
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I opened your link so I could secretly mock at how much I hate black cabinets! But is beautiful! This is the only kitchen with black cabinets that I like. It is because you have complemented it with white counters and backsplash. Very bright and open!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2014 at 5:58AM
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