The Reveal! My Tiny Pittsburgh Kitchen Make-over

pghgolfgirlNovember 11, 2012

I began this in mid-July and was basically done by Labor Day, but I wanted to wait to post photos once I got some of the details completed (valances, touch-up painting, etc.)

I envy you who have a nice, big open concept kitchen. My house was built in 1911 and the kitchen is about 100 square feet. The only wall that I had an option to knock down has on the opposite side a beautiful built-in china cupboard, original to the house. Since it provides badly needed storage in the dining room, my GC and I decided to work with the original footprint, which was a challenge. I had very little counterspace and cabinets that didn't function (most boxes and bottles were too tall to fit in them). I couldn't wait to get started! Here are some "before" photos, as well as some taken during the demo phase (me, my sister and her family did the demo ourselves to save some money):

So here is the finished product. My budget was $25,000 and I stayed under it by a few hundred dollars.

Here are the specifics:

Cabinets: Pioneer semi-custom (style is raised Madison, in cherry, tawny stain)

Countertops: Blume's Keystone Quartz "Dakota Copper" (To say I LOVE this is an understatement. Here is a close-up photo:)

Sink: Silgranite

Faucet: Blanco "Torino"

Backsplash: Jeffrey Court Pietra Fire & Ice Quartz (enhanced)

Floor: DuPont Real Touch laminate

Refrigator: Samsung

Gas range, Microwave, Dishwasher: Bosch

Paint: Behr "Salmon Creek" and "Gallery White"

Valance: Lowe's

Windowsill: soapstone, original to the house

Thanks for all of the encouragement and inspiration I have received from this forum. You have been a Godsend. Special thanks to SoCalGal for info on the Fire & Ice quartz. It's so nice to have a modern, functional kitchen!

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trailrunnerbiker

WOW! You got a great deal of space and efficiency for your dollar. Kudos to you , your family and your GC . A well thought out plan, a budget and your effort proved to be a wonderful success . And it is beautiful too !! c

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:38PM
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deedles

Whoa! What a difference! Your backsplash is lovely. Really, really nice job! Looks so much more functional with some good storage. What do you keep in the corner guy next to the fridge?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:42PM
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williamsem

Oh, that looks great! Nice job!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:44PM
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juliekcmo

You must be very proud!

Looks like you spent twice as much. Really can't imagine any better outcome. Great job.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:59PM
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msl511

That's beautiful! I particularly love the backsplash and the way you brought it all the way past the cabinet and down to the floor by the door.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:02PM
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pghgolfgirl

marcia59: Originally, I wasn't planning on extending the backsplash down the sides of the cabinet. But I had some leftover tile and my tile installer thought that it would look more finished if we extended it. I'm so glad that we did because it looks much better. Here is a photo of it before we extended it:

Thanks for your kind words!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:17PM
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mrspete

Gorgeous. I love that Dakota Copper color. You really made a silk purse from a sow's ear.

My one suggestion: add backsplash in those two little angled spots.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:19PM
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mrspete

One more thought: in a sea of white cabinets, your color scheme reassures me sure I'm heading in the right direction. It's warm and inviting. Love it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:21PM
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pghgolfgirl

deedles: The corner cabinets don't add a lot of storage, but I need every little bit I can get. In the lower cabinet I store a food scale, dish clothes, dish towels, and pot holders. In the upper cabinet I store a recipe box, kcups (extras that don't fit in the holder), coupons and other small misc. things.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:25PM
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writersblock

You did a great job in a difficult space. What an improvement!

I agree with MrsPete about adding the backsplash to the angles.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:26PM
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gone_south

Well done. I really love the backsplash!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:37PM
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cmm1

Fellow Pittsburgher here.

Great job especially love the backsplash. Having been pondering over the same one at Best Tile.

You must be very happy!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:41PM
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annkathryn

Such a warm, pretty kitchen. Every time I see Fire and Ice it just seems more beautiful. Great job!

And now I'm curious about the built-in cupboard in your dining room - have a pic handy?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:52PM
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kellienoelle

I love it! You really did a great job in making a difficult space much more functional and usable. I love your color choices, it just looks so warm and inviting. And taking that tile down to the floor really did make a world of difference, didn't it, a very nice touch.

Hope you enjoy your new space!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:54PM
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blfenton

Whoa! That is beautiful and so much more functional. It's hard to believe it's the same space. I kept on going back and forth to the before/afters to figure out how you did it. Very smart planning.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:04PM
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donaleen

Very nice. I usually prefer painted cabinets because wood stained ones are often too dark for my taste. Yours are also nice because they are so warm and not so dark. And it looks like you have plenty of light. Good job!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:30PM
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pghgolfgirl

cmm1: I purchased my tile from Ceramiche Tile and Stone from the West End. They were terrific! Even though my backsplash tile job was small (25 sq. ft), they treated me like I spent thousands of dollars. I highly recommend Michael! If you haven't committed yourself yet, please check them out!
Here is a close-up of the backsplash:

Go Steelers! ;-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:38PM
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pghgolfgirl

annkathryn: Here is a photo of the built-in china cabinet in my dining room. As you can see, it was painted at some point (prior to me moving in in 1997). I just couldn't imagine destroying this to open up the kitchen:

I just noticed from this photo that I need to do some touch-up painting near the floor. Always something to do!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Linelle

What an adorable, welcoming kitchen! I have a 10x10 kitchen too and I love what you did with the space. It must have been a challenge with the original stove and sink so close together! Sweet valance too. Good job!!!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Bellsmom

Wonderful remodel! Thank you for sharing. There is SO much here to look at. Like others, I think extending the backsplash down was a wonderful idea!
You used every inch beautifully.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 3:21PM
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badgergal

I'm sure your heart must sing whenever you walk into your beautiful new kitchen. I guess it is true that good things come in small packages. Your kitchen my be small but it is fabulous. Your finishes are warm and inviting and your new space is so much more functional now. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 3:42PM
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debrak_2008

Really nice. I too think that ending that tile down the side of the cabinet was a great idea. It makes it look like it was an original feature. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 3:58PM
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justmakeit

Every time I see a kitchen as inviting and cozy as yours, I start to rethink my white cabinet decision. Your kitchen is beautiful!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:12PM
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brooklyngalley

Small yet wonderfully functional - and stained wood - great job. Enjoy your fantastic new kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:19PM
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marti8a

Wow, what an improvement! It is not only beautiful, but so functional now.

My kitchen had two cabinets like the one with your oven, with a recessed cabinet over a fairly tall one. For the longest, I couldn't imagine why anyone would build a cabinet that most people can't reach, that is until we started moving cabinets and dealing with the fur down/soffit. That's when I realized they did it because it was a cheap & easy way to keep all the cabinets under the same soffit. A pox upon them!

I'm glad you got rid of that oven cabinet and made it all work so much better. I love your counter and floor colors. They look sleek.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:38PM
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desertsteph

wow. what a mega difference. sleek is a good description.

that added counter space must be a real joy to you!

it's just beautiful - and must make you smile just thinking of it.

great storage areas around the fridge and into DR also.

and can sure see why you chose not to take down that wall - that cabinet in DR is also beautiful - a real treasure.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:28PM
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motherof3sons

Just beautiful! You did a great job marrying form and function.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:32PM
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tea4all

Oh my that is such a wonderful difference. It looks so functional now and warm and inviting. I love your wood and countertop together. You did a fantastic job!!

I also love your built in china cabinet. You were wise to keep it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:01PM
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taggie

Oh this is absolutely fabulous. So warm and beautiful with the lovely stained cabs paired with that stunning countertop. And the functional improvement is amazing.

Like everyone else I love your backsplash choice to bring it down to the floor, and I really love the extra pantry cab and wine rack cab to the left of the doorway, and the shaped base cabs on either side of the doorway which make such good use of your space and proportions.

I actually like that you didn't carry the backsplash to the small corner cab ... the way you have it, both doorway flanking cabs match and there isn't as elegant a way of ending it at the door sides like you did at the entrance door. I like the quartz short splash, plus it gives you that nice ledge for your cool-looking (pig?, groundhog? what is that?) key holder .. so cute!

Great job and great kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:57PM
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cat_mom

Love it! Love the little angles cabs--they might not hold a lot, but they hold something (!) and also provide some added counter space which is always a plus!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:06PM
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ppbenn

What an improvement! To see that nice run of countertop after seeing you had next to nothing prior, you must be thrilled. Never saw a cooktop RIGHT next to the sink...
Enjoy it! I like the pic of the sweat equity.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:22PM
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dilly_ny

Wow! What a transformation! Great selections. I love the backsplash.

Love the original china cabinet. I can see why you kept the wall up. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:34PM
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gsciencechick

Wow, what a great space! Love the cabinets, counters, floors, and BS. The old china cabinet is beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:36PM
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sixtyohno

What a great job. Every inch is so thought out and it's gorgeous too. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Kathy Rivera

So beautiful and so functional! What a ton of storage and counter space in a small room. Congratulations on a job well done!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:47PM
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katsmah

Wow! What an amazing transformation in the same footprint! Your new kitchen is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Angie_DIY

Oh, what a gorgeous improvement. And what a better-functioning workspace it will be! So pretty.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:42PM
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ellendi

First off, Pittsburgh has a special place in my heart. My daughter went to school there and now lives there. I love Pittsburgh in that the homes and buildings are renovated rather than torn down and replaced.
Your kitchen looks great. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:31AM
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labbie

What a beautiful job- great choices. The cabinets are so warm, and the backsplash and counters are perfect. I also like how you extended the tile down to the floor between the door and the cabinets. It does make it much more finished looking.
Enjoy your beautiful new space.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:36AM
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pghgolfgirl

THANK YOU!!!!!! All of your nice comments have made my day. I was so nervous about posting because I didn't have super-high end appliances, an island or white cabinets, but I'm absolutely thrilled that you have embraced my little homey kitchen.

taggie: it's a little wooden pig keyholder. I bought it at a craft fair in Culpeper, VA about 30 years ago and it's been in every kitchen I've had. It's just one of those things that makes me smile when I see it.

THANKS AGAIN! ((Hugs!!))

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:56AM
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a2gemini

pgh - Wow- Love it - I even went right to the Blume website to check out option (we still have 3 bathrooms to go) They don't service this area - bummer.

I love everything about your kitchen - the colors, the backsplash, the worker - it is wonderful -
Wonderful job in a small space - you will enjoy for many years!

Congratulations!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:46AM
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beekeeperswife

Congrats on such a beautiful kitchen. It looks great and it really fits your home. Wishing you many years of joy cooking in that kitchen!

Bee

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:05AM
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iroll_gw

What a transformation! It's just beautiful.

I like the 4" countertop backsplash, not many people do it anymore (we did), and I think it looks great with the tiles.

Just wondering why the person who put in the previous kitchen didn't put in a range, it's much more functional in that size space.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Debbi Branka

Beautiful! You did an amazing job! I'm a fellow Pioneer Cabinet lover (my island, wish my perimeter too). We have the Mayfield raised panel, painted navy blue. Your cherry cabinets are gorgeous! Look at the grain in that close up you posted above - it's amazing! I love everything you have done!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:57AM
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pghgolfgirl

deb52899: I remember when we were discussing Pioneer cabinets! I'm so glad that you got to see the finished product. I would definitely recommend Pioneer to anyone.

iroll: I wondered about a lot of things the prior owner(s) did to that kitchen!!! ;-) Some mighty ugly choices of wallpaper and vinyl tile, that's for sure! And using a cooktop when there was so little counterspace? Definitely couldn't figure that one out.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:56PM
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chiefy

Gorgeous! I can only imagine how much easier it is to work in the new space. I didn't think I'd see a space that had the range and sink closer together than in my current space, but you're "before" beats me handily.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Linda

What a great transformation! Everything goes together so well. Great coordination with everything!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:07PM
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fav.auntx2

Absolutely fabulous!!! I love it! And even better, no less than 5 details I had decided to execute in my reno I found in you kitchen!!! I love that wine rack too! Talk about making my nerves settle!!! Do you happen to know the dimension (countertop and cabinet) of the small cab to the right of your range?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:02PM
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pghgolfgirl

fav.auntx2:
I absolutely love my wine cubbies! It is one of my favorite features. I highly recommend them.

The cab to the right of the range is 9 inches. I would have liked something wider but we just didn't have the space. The lower one has a pull-out for cans/spices; and I have olive oil, Pam and measuring cups and spoons in the upper one.
If I can provide any assistance, don't hesitate to contact me!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:33PM
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cathy725

I love your kitchen! I want to do similar colors and it's great to know it won't make the kitchen appear too dark! You did an amazing job!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:42PM
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CEFreeman

Another place where it looks not only like a completely different kitchen, but so much bigger! You really planned your space well.

Re: Your china hutch. I've been working with some specialty paints called CC Caldwell and Reclaim I found online sold by this lady, Patty Henning out of Detroit. I'm a former Michigander. :) Anyway, she specializes in finishing. Faux, refurnishings, techniques, stenciling, etc. I immediately thought of some of her colors over that pretty red. So before you touch up, check her out. I think it's fabfinishes.org, but usually I just search "Patty Henning".

Back to you: Enjoy it. It's absolutely beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:09PM
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pansygrrl

Beautiful!

Your layout is similar to what mine is likely to be (someday). Would you consider sharing your storage layout? Ihave the option of 30" bank of drawers at a right angle to the dishwasher... so great counterspace, but concerned about blocking access when the dishwasher is open.

Enjoy the holidays in your lovely kitchen!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:16PM
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firstmmo

You did a great job with the space and the budget--good for you for showing us all what can be done :)

I imagine you are loving all of your new found counter space now that the cooktop is NOT to the left of the sink!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:00PM
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janetraz

Your new kitchen is gorgeous. Everybit as beautiful as a fancy kitchen twice yours' size. Its so warm and rich looking. You made use of every available inch. Just beautiful. You must be thrilled. I also love your old built in china cabinet. I wouldn't have wanted to rip it out either.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:15PM
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fav.auntx2

ok so this popped back up and I looked through the pics again and busted out laughing at the one of the tile getting the business end of the hammer!!! 2 bathrooms and one kitchen/breakfast area in my house!!! lol! I know the pain and I understand the pride you have when you walk into that kitchen remembering every little sweat drop, blood smear, shard of tile found in nearly every crevice of your body!

Again, bravo on your transformation!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:25PM
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