If you've been living for any length of time on this planet we call Earth, you've probably noticed that almost everything wears out, gets old and eventually goes out of date. I remember moving into our new home fifteen years ago, thinking it was simply perfect. There was much more overall space than our previous home had, as well as extra living areas; formal dining and living rooms, a lovely sunroom and a large bonus/recreation room over the garage. The kitchen was twice as big as my former one, had beautiful white cabinets and an island in the center, which I thought was amazing. The appliances were like new, as the prior owner had been a batchelor, and cooking was definitely not his forte (certainly a win for us!).
After a few years of living in the new home, we made some small modifications in the kitchen; changing out the island for a larger one, as well as adding a pretty backsplash behind the counter tops. Again, I was thrilled and thought I had the most wonderful kitchen ever!
Fast forward ten years and thousands of meals later. It was definitely time, once again, to make some changes. Those beautiful white cabinets had begun to delaminate and had become a real eyesore. The backsplash was looking dated, and with as much cooking as I do, I was longing for a larger island with more work and storage space. While the appliances were still functioning well, there were wonderful features in newer models that that we thought would be helpful in The Café kitchen.
It's funny how sometimes, things come together better than you could ever imagine! That's how it was, as we began our affordable kitchen renovation. I call it "affordable" because we didn't have a huge budget, and didn't have the desire to do a complete gutting and restructuring of the space. We simply wanted to update the appearance and functionality of the kitchen without breaking the bank. We were able to do just that, thanks to the wonderful team at KitchenAid and a dear friend and very talented interior designer, Anne Tollett from Hanover Avenue in Richmond, VA.
The collaboration with KitchenAid and Hanover Avenue began last year around this time, as we put our heads together to partner on this kitchen redo. We were absolutely thrilled when KitchenAid offered to equip our new kitchen with appliances, since I've been a fan of their wonderful brand for as long as I can remember. KitchenAid appliances are not only super well thought out and built to last, but also are simply stunning in appearance.
Anne helped with great inspiration for the design elements of the kitchen, and being a KitchenAid fan herself, helped us choose practical and stylish appliances that will serve us for the long haul. We had the pleasure of spending a few days with Anne back in February when she came to Raleigh to put together the final details of the kitchen design.
Anne and I restyled the kitchen for a photoshoot, talked about interior design secrets and shopped for accessories for the kitchen. Scott had his camera out just about the entire time Anne was with us and caught the whole process digitally. He and our son, Nick, put together several videos from all the footage. One of them, focuses on the choices we made for our renovation, including lots of great design ideas from Anne. It can be viewed over on the Hanover Avenue website.
Another inspirational video features Anne's professional advice on Setting a Pretty Table. It features lots of great ideas on how to pizzaz up a tablescape. We'll be sharing that one next week, along with a new recipe, so be on the lookout.
Think we had fun together? That might be an understatement. Oh, and by the way, if you wonder where ideas for new Café recipes come from, here's the perfect example. That crazy shopping spree at Whole Foods was the inspiration for my Strawberry and Clementine Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette. Let me loose in a great grocery store and I can't help myself!
You can check out the complete kitchen renovation, with before and after shots, over at The Kitchenthusiast (the official KitchenAid blog). Anne is also featuring our new kitchen on her website, Hanover Avenue, with a focus on the interior design elements of the renovation. Whether you're looking at a big kitchen remodel or just some ideas for updating your kitchen space, you'll be sure to find lots of inspiration!