The kitchen and family room were part of the makeover as well; although, to a lesser degree than other areas. The wood floors were removed/replaced in our foyer, dining room, living room and a little over half of our kitchen. This meant removal of all lower cabinetry in the kitchen and complete stripping of the wood floors that remained throughout the rest of the downstairs. So, no kitchen and three gutted bathrooms meant not living in all of this for five months.
Aside from the floors, changes included replacement of the granite countertops and backsplash, installation of a gas cooktop, and we removed the desk area replacing it with a counter height cabinetry and a wine refrigerator (on our wish list for a looooong time).
Previously, the granite color was venetian gold on the wall mounted cabinetry and the desk area, and black on the island with a black ceramic cooktop. The backsplash was a glass tile called dusty rose (trust me, it was nothing like a dusty rose - when we selected that tile it was more of a taupe, but when it was installed it had more of a green tint to it). My first choice for countertops was marble and we saw some stunning slabs, but ultimately we decided on the whitest granite we could find. However, we went with a marble tile backsplash which goes wonderfully with the granite; so, I got marble in there after all.
The island has a new gas cooktop which I've been wanting for a long time now, so this was a perfect opportunity to have a gas line added so that we could install one. It's has a downdraft since I did not want to take up space with overhead ventilation.
(Note: it was almost impossible to take these photos without one of our cats photobombing them - see one in the window...)
We have always been very happy with our cabinetry - not too light, not dark, and it has some really wonderful details - so we chose not to replace it (a big cost savings!). As a matter of fact, we like them even more with the new white granite, marble backsplash and ebony floors. A much more cohesive look now.
In the back corner to the left of the refrigerator was a desk area where we stationed one of our Macs. So it was used all the time as a desk. Despite how much we used it we knew that taking it out would not only look better, but we'd be able to add the wine refrigerator we've been longing for. It's a perfect location for one, particularly with the glass door cabinets holding our wine glasses just above it.
I was on the fence as to have drawers or a built-in rack for more wine bottles, but I went with the more practical choice - very rare for me! - and chose the drawers for storage purposes. We were worried about matching our existing cabinetry, and had some difficulty finding a vendor of our original cabinets, but I think they did a great job matching.
We are fortunate to have a fairly large eat-in area of our kitchen that holds a huge table (seats 8 comfortably and can hold 10), so this made the decision to forgo a formal dining room very easy. Plus it flows directly into the family room, so it's a very open, casual and comfortable space to eat.
Again, the new ebony floors have a made a world of difference as the furniture shows so much better than on the previous color.
A view through the kitchen and into the former dining room, http://mystyleanddecor.blogspot.com/2013/04/entry-and-living-rooms.html
The family room, with the new rug, http://mystyleanddecor.blogspot.com/2013/01/magic-carpet-ride.html
This rug created quite an international incident for a few days in January when I originally posted about it - details I cannot really go into so will leave you with an intrigued mind - which makes it an even more interesting piece now that there is a pretty awesome story behind it.
The rug viewed from the top of the back staircase.
The family room is not a large room, but with the vaulted ceiling up to our second floor and the great natural light it receives, it feels very spacious.
The fireplace marble surround was previously a very dark marble with some green in it, but we wanted something light that blended with the mantle and walls. We decided to switch it out and use the same marble we used in the master bathroom, and are very happy with the decision.