Ah!!! It’s finally here! Jonny and I have been waiting to reveal our kitchen to all of you because we wanted it to be as perfect as possible. We were hoping that everything would be done by December 2019 but like most home projects, there are still a few things that we will be adding in the next few months. With that said, it felt silly to put off revealing our kitchen to you because A.) We are super proud of it B.) It’s been 6 months in the making and C.) This is real life aka home projects can take a LONG time to complete, especially the final touches. The things that we have not completed yet are our final electrical work (we will be installing a light fixture that will either hang down from the ceiling above the sink or will rest on the wall directly above the sink and will also be updating our recessed lighting to look more modern and less DIY). We will also be installing bench seating in our dining nook to add more seat options that take up less space in that area. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get rolling on this reveal! Below, I will not only outline our process but also every amazing company and item that we used to complete our kitchen.
So here we go. This is alllmooooost our original kitchen. You can see that our Cafe Appliances are installed here (those definitely did not come with the house). When we moved into the house, every single appliance was basically on it’s last leg. Only one burner worked on our stove top, the dishwasher leaked out tons of water every time we ran it, and the fridge and microwave were very old as well. Even our agent told us that we would probably have a year tops with our appliances since they were pretty old to begin with. Jonny and I decided to move forward with a full kitchen redo in April of 2019 and started to plan out what we wanted our kitchen to look like.
I was first introduced to Cafe Appliances about a month before we moved into this house. I saw an ad for them on Facebook and thought they were unlike anything I’d ever seen. Not only were they beautiful but they were customizable to your kitchen depending on what type of look you were going for. The reviews on them were also very good (they are actually GE appliances) and even though they were a bit on the pricey side, I told Jonny that these were the appliances that would make our kitchen pop. To this day, Jonny and I talk about how much we love these appliances, both functionally and esthetically and know we made the right choice with these.
Right around this time, a company by the name of Graphite reached out to me and inquired about working together. Graphite is the only freelance platform specifically for architects. To be honest, Jonny and I hadn’t even though of using an architect for our kitchen because the idea of hiring one felt intimidating and out of our league. However, with all the decisions that go into redoing a kitchen space, it was starting to feel a bit overwhelming to have to do all of this on our own, especially since this was one of the first major interior projects that we had done in our new home. Jonny and I worked with Graphite to design a render for our future kitchen and I am so incredibly thankful for the entire team that helped us. First of all, Graphite works with you to figure out what type of vibe you’re going for and the overall look you want your space to have. This was so helpful for us because Graphite helped us narrow down our choices and helped us find the right floor tile, backsplash, and countertops that would best suit our space and needs. They also gave us the idea for the floating wood shelves that you will see picture below but more on that later. Working with Graphite was one of the best decisions we ever made, especially since they helped introduce us to Daltile SF, which completely transformed the look of our kitchen (I will dive into this a bit more later). I would highly recommend looking into Graphite to help get your started on whatever project you have in mind because they are INCREDIBLE and will help make your vision into a reality.
Okay, let’s jump back a bit. Before Graphite entered the picture to make our dream kitchen a reality, I did a TON of research on the best route for our cabinetry. We were told to install our new appliances first and then figure out the cabinets from there, which was great advice. At first, I thought about painting the cabinets white. However, my dad was the one who introduced me to the idea of cabinet refacing, which is basically using your original cabinet base (in our case, our cabinets were solid wood and in great condition) and only changing the exterior look with new doors, slow door close hinges and hardware. Of course, this was more expensive than just painting the cabinets, but my dad was right. He said we would never achieve the look we wanted with just paint so we started to research cabinet refacing companies in our area. I reached out to a few and promptly heard back from one. That company was JV Cabinets and little did I know then, but they would be the BEST team for the job.
The entire JV Cabinet team was not only super prompt with all communication but they were very professional. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous hiring a company that I had never worked with before. All I had to go on was their consistent five star reviews and our preliminary estimation meeting. I got great feelings from both and Jonny and I hired them! They did all of our cabinet refacing in 4 days. To watch the process from start to finish was pretty incredible and I could see why they consistently get only five star reviews. They truly take care of their customers and really take pride in the work they do. They would even check in with me after everything was done to make sure we were satisfied and if there was anything else they could do for us. When we installed our farmhouse sink, the initial measurements were off and we had to reinstall our cabinets under the sink. JV Cabinets was on it immediately and didn’t even charge us for the reinstallation. Now that’s great customer service. Highly recommend this team if you live in the Bay Area because they will go above and beyond to meet your every need.
Okay, let’s talk tile selection. This was the thing I was most overwhelmed by because there are SO MANY OPTIONS. Our Graphite team was amazing throughout this selection process because Leah, the founder of Graphite, was incredibly helpful. Leah introduced us to a company called Daltile San Francisco and highly recommended them because of their fair prices but also because of their customer service and high volume selections. Jonny and I went to the Daltile San Francisco showroom and OMG, it was stunning. You almost felt like you were in a tile museum with how beautifully product was presented throughout the entire space. We met up with Simon, who helped get us our tile samples (countertop, backsplash, and floor tile) that Leah had helped us select. We were so impressed by Daltile’s inventory and by Simon’s knowledge and patience (I asked him like one million questions). We were so excited to bring the samples back to our house to see what they would look like! Daltile San Francisco made sure to follow up with us and we loved working with them. Like I mentioned, it’s not just their incredible customer service that made us want to work with them but it was also Daltile’s attention to our project details and communication. Would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for tile/countertops!!!
Thanks to our relationship with Daltile, Simon was able to introduce us to Benattar, a countertop installation company that is also local to the Bay Area. Before we started this kitchen redo, I had no idea that there were so many different people that needed to work on each phase of the project. For instance, I didn’t know that we would need to hire a different company/crew to cut the quartz countertop that we went with and also install it. For some reason, I thought Daltile would do this but what I learned is that Daltile only sells the materials and then they can recommend someone to cut and install everything for you. The things you learn, right? Benattar was incredible to work with and their team was efficient and meticulous. We were worried that our cabinets were going to get damaged during the countertop demo and installation but nothing of the sort happened. This is a true testament to the Benattar team. They also installed our farmhouse sink and it looks perfect! We ended up going with a quartz countertop based on Graphite’s suggestion and we are so glad we did. Not only does it look beautiful but it’s tough, too.
Once the countertop and sink installation were complete, we had our plumber come and install our sink fixtures. For information on what we used, scroll to bottom to find the links!
NOW FOR THE FINAL REVEAL!!!!!!
It truly feels amazing to see how far our kitchen has come since we first moved in. Our kitchen now feels so much brighter and modern. We are always stopping to take it all in as we cannot believe how amazing everything turned out. We feel most grateful for all the incredible companies that we were able to work with throughout this process as we have heard horror stories of renovations gone wrong. Every single person/company that helped us with this project are people that I would recommend to all of you. I am making a list of everyone that we hired so that if you are Bay Area based, you can have refer to them for your home projects as well.
Daltile San Francisco – Countertops (One Quartz, NQ52 Mercer Grey) + Backsplash (Marble Collection, M474 Venetian Calacatta, 2″ Hex) + Floor Tile (Reminiscent, RM20 Memento White, 12×24)
Cabinet Refacing – JV Cabinets (handles included)
Sink and Countertop Installation – Benattar
Backsplash and Floor Tile Demo and Prep – Rich (referred by De Alba Brothers, contact them for his information)
Tile Installation – De Alba Brothers
Planning and Architect: Graphite