The beach house came with somewhat decent slab front kitchen cabinets- from 1980. I was determined to keep them, paint them white and upgrade the appliances and surfaces with very practical and durable materials. The biggest issue was the 24" wide oven cabinet opening. Even the compact Miele ovens wouldn't work without opening up the frame. During our December visit to the house, we decided to bite the bullet and get new cabinets. It was worth it because we could re-configure the kitchen - eliminating all upper cabinets, installing integrated appliances and expanding the pantry space.
The placement of range hood and the wall with a Nutone radio speaker made the space feel small. When we opened up the wall there was plumbing and a structural beam, of course. Still it was a necessary adjustment to make the space feel more welcoming, and to create a counter and seating area that extends into the dining area.
Here's the BEFORE kitchen.
Below is a progress photo from February 2015. It's really stripped down - the new support beam installed, the counter height lowered, and plumbing rerouted. We also replaced all the plumbing and ventilation - added AC and a dehumidifier. We had to follow the new California Title 24 standards for energy conservation - LED lights, occupancy sensors, etc.
Below is another progress photo from April after we moved into the house. The kitchen window over the sink was enlarged to meet the countertop so we could create a pass-thru to the back patio.
Below are the after photos. We kept the Viking gas cooktop from the original house - it's a classic durable piece. We love the Bosch Microwave/Convection Oven combo from our house in the Poconos, so we chose it again. The countertops are from Caesarstone in Sleek Concrete. I chose simple white edge pulls because I really didn't want pulls at all. I wanted the pulls integrated into the cabinet doors, but it was more than our budget could handle. Pendant light is from Cedar & Moss.
The cooktop backsplash is actually one giant piece of porcelain made to look like a Calcutta gold marble slab. We did this for function - it's easy to to keep clean. No tears over discolored marble will be shed in this kitchen.
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Below is a shot of the new kitchen window, pantry, integrated Sub Zero refrigerator and wine storage. Since we have the large mudroom sink, I kept the kitchen sink small. I've had giant sinks before and found I spent too much time and used too much water keeping them clean. The counter stools are from CB2.