The kitchen is truly the heart of the home and I’ve always felt like my heart needed some extra love. We knew our 1970’s brick ranch had so much potential when we bought it 14 years ago. Coming from living in a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn, our 3 bedroom house seemed like a palace to me and my husband Gustavo. After years of building equity and connecting with our neighbors who are contractors, we finally had the money and vision to do what we always wanted and more. Our contractor Robert Cordina and his wife Kendall planned out an open floor plan including transforming our low popcorn ceilings to a vaulted ceiling with beautiful beams. This was above and beyond what our expectations were and we were ready for this much needed makeover. We planned a 3 week trip during the holidays to visit my family in the Philippines while the major work was done. The house was unlivable so this was the perfect time to getaway. We came back to the best Christmas gift we could ask for – a whole new house! Even though the kitchen wasn’t finished we knew it would be worth the wait. Of course things take way longer than you think when it comes to remodeling, especially when you’re indecisive like me.
We wanted to do something dramatic and graphic in the kitchen so we went with black cabinets. Lauren Messina, my interior design guru, helped choose the brass hardware from Top Knobs. The back plate detail accent was something that I’ve never seen before and we’re always looking for something unique and one of a kind. They kind of remind me of the old school dewey decimal drawers you would find in a library.
Bad lighting use to be a major challenge in our kitchen. Now we have plenty of light thanks to the open floor plan, recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, and the gorgeous pendant lights from Corbett Lighting. Choosing the perfect lighting was also so overwhelming but at least we finally narrowed it down to a company that I loved at Corbett Lighting. They carry brands like Hudson Valley Lighting who do collaborations with numerous interior designers including one of my favorites – Martyn Bullard. The ones we chose by him had the retro look we were going for plus the openness to keep the area open. We also chose flushed mounted lights from Corbett Lighting at the top and bottom of our staircase.
Picking out the backsplash was an overwhelming task at Garden State Tile. Thankfully Lauren Messina was there to assist in picking out the perfect tiles. The Garden State Tile showroom on East Bay has such an extensive of tile from basic subway to colorful mosaic. We opted for a white hexagon with a subtle texture and shine. The perfect combination of graphic and glam. The dark grey grout was a nice contrast with the white tiles. Working with the tile specialists at Garden State Tile was such a pleasurable experience. Everyone was so helpful and knowledgable. My only regret was not knowing about them to do my master bathroom last year.
Storage was also a major issue in our kitchen and half of our kitchen supplies were stored in our garage. Thanks to the extended cabinets into our dining room and storage in the island we have plenty of room for everything. Knocking down 4 walls and elevating the ceiling was a game changer for us and now we’re living in the house we were meant to be in!