The homeowners replaced the awkward upper cabinets with shelving that makes the most of the kitchen's pitched ceiling. They also ditched the lower cabinets for freestanding components, including a stainless steel rolling island and a mango-wood Crate & Barrel console fitted with a marble top. A red Aga gas stove offers a serious upgrade over the old electric model.
In the galley kitchen of a bohemian family home, the kitchen's range and microwave are by Wolf, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the custom hood is by Vent-a-Hood and the countertop is Calacatta Gold marble. Hans Wegner chairs, purchased at auction, accompany a table by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach. The vintage pendant light is by Max Ingrand for FontanaArte.
The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.
If a total kitchen transformation is what you’re after, it’s time to redo your flooring. Many choices are available nowadays. And if you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-clean option and love the traditional appeal of hardwood, consider a wood-look alternative such as vinyl or this glazed ceramic tile, which you can also use on the wall as a rustic backsplash.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
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