Decorating & Design

October 11, 2013

Functional Family Kitchen Renovation: Installation & Finishing Touches

The day has finally come! A big truck from AyA Kitchens and Baths arrived earlier this week and dropped off dozens of boxes containing the components for our new kitchen. Seeing all those boxes makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning (except this time, I know exactly what these pretty packages contain: our dream kitchen!). Take a look.

After some major unwrapping, the installation commenced. In renovations past, my husband has always been the one to take on installations — he is incredibly handy and loves DIY projects. But for a renovation of this magnitude, we opted to have AyA’s team of installation professionals do the work. And with all the tasks still ahead — installing every cabinet, fixture, shelf and design detail — it was money well spent.

Pictured above is the wall where our fridge and stove will go. We opted to leave the upper wall completely open, except for any cabinets that are above the counter — those will now go to the ceiling. Although it might not look like it just yet, we are going to have a lot more storage than we did in our old kitchen.

This is my first view of the banquette and it looks amazing so far! It feels so much bigger than what I expected. Plus, all of those boxes beneath the bench contain drawers for even more storage: I plan to keep platters, linens and small appliances I don’t use everyday in here.

While the AyA team tackles the installation, there are still plenty of details for us to sort out, such as ordering countertops, backsplash and hardware, and choosing a few other design details. We chose Caesarstone’s Frosty Carinna for the counterops. It’s the shade closest to the marble I had originally loved, and has beautiful grey veining that works well with the dark grey anthracite cabinets. Our designer, Sandra, coordinated this part of the renovation, receiving the quote and organizing the date to have our countertops templated and installed.

Next on my shopping list was the backsplash. Since we have very few cabinets above the counter, I decided that the backsplash would go as far up the wall as possible on the oven and sink walls. As I mentioned in my last post, I love the look of marble, mosaics and solid slabs. The final choice, however, ended up being something I hadn’t even considered: a 2” x 2” milk glass tile that will be installed in a diamond pattern. Here is a shot of what we selected:

I think the white shade will keep the space feeling open, and it’s something different than subway tiles, which we already have in our laundry room and bathroom.

As for the hardware, I knew we wanted to go with brass. The only decision to be made was whether to choose something rough and antique looking, or something shiny. Here are the two options we considered. The antique-style is shown above.

And this is the shiny style. We ended up going with the antique-look fixtures (we liked that they didn’t have visible screws) in a polished brass finish, to add a hit of glamour to our kitchen.

To replicate the cosy banquette inspiration shot I had in my initial plans, I had a custom cushion and back made to run the full length of the bench. I am already envisioning the late-night coffees or Sunday brunches we’ll have in this fun space. To make it more visually interesting and comfortable, I also had throw pillows made in complementary colours. We opted for outdoor fabric, since it will be more durable over the long run. (In other words, it will hold up better against grimy kids’ hands and inevitable spills.)

After browsing through hundreds of samples, this grouping stood out as the clear winner for our kitchen. I love the combination of yellow and grey.

Now that our dream AyA kitchen is almost complete, I’m excited to put together all the finishing touches. I can hardly wait to see the big reveal!

Photo credits:
1-4,7. Jennifer Mader
5-6. Cliffside