Ursula Carmona of Homemade by Carmona transforms her dysfunctional kitchen into a culinary dream! With the help of The Home Depot, she takes on a kitchen remodel that exceeds her family’s needs.
Dream Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen should be a wonderful space that both inspires and enables a cook to dream up delectable dishes and execute culinary masterpieces. In my mind, the kitchen is where culture is celebrated, comfort and love are baked into goodies, and magic is made daily!
My kitchen was as far as could be from that dreamy space I envisioned. Maybe it was the pipes that were always leaking, or the dysfunctional appliances that didn’t work half the time, or the mouse family that moved into the lower cabinets, but I was not cooking in that horror show.
It was time for a change, and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Today I’m excited to share the process with you, and hopefully provide some tips for your kitchen remodel or renovation along the way!
Kitchen Inspiration, Design & Planning
The first thing I did was sit and make a list of high priority needs for my kitchen. As basic as it sounds, making a list of what you do in your kitchen, what you would like to do, plus everything you store there is an important first step. Later you’ll be glad you made a list.
Then you can start collecting inspiration. Save a collection of products and inspirational images on Pinterest that grab your attention…but be picky, only keep the ones that you really love. What about those pins speak to you? For me, these products really got my imagination flowing.
I knew I wanted something dramatic and moody. The deep blue cabinetry and black stainless-steel appliances really got my heart pitter-pattering.
After drafting an overview of what I needed, I headed to The Home Depot to meet with a kitchen designers.
The great thing about having professionals to come out to measure your space and working with a kitchen designer is they can make practical recommendations based on experience and expertise that will help accomplish all of your kitchen remodel goals.
Even though I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in style and function, it turned out the kitchen designer had an intricate understanding of details I would have overlooked. I met with the kitchen designer at my local Home Depot at least a couple times. Together we crafted a 3D floor plan that helped bring my vision to life!
Selecting The Right Finishes
The really fun part was selecting finishes and all the bells and whistles with the kitchen designer.
I knew I wanted Midnight hued cabinetry on my lowers, and Dove white on the uppers, but I had no idea there were so many other awesome features and options to choose from in the Kraftmaid product selection! We perused designs of the cabinet face, to texture and finish options, to hinge details, and more!
My kitchen designer even recommended some really incredible cabinet features that would help keep my family organized. I think all the drawer divider options and cabinet pullouts are my favorite.
Cabinet finishes and hardware aren’t the only magical parts of the kitchen…did you see the quartz countertops? Swoon worthy, and practical!
After doing a lot of research, I determined that Silstone natural quartz really was the best choice for my family. With three girls who cook daily, I needed a durable, low-maintenance surface that holds up against scratching and the inevitable scorching.
Hey, I’m a busy, homeschooling mom who also runs my business out of my home, so I was completely sold when I heard Silstone quartz was maintenance-free and didn’t require sealing or any special cleaners to keep it beautiful. My time is very valuable to me.
There were a ton of amazing Silstone color options and textures, but once I saw the Calcutta Gold and it’s gorgeous veining, I knew that was the one for me.
When it was time to install the countertops and backsplash, the team did an amazing job and was in and out in a day.
The All-Star Appliances Lineup
Often we have an idea of what we want our remodel to look like, so our time and research is spent on the selection of cabinets, counter tops and hardware, only to neglect the products that have the ability to make our cooking better and our lives easier.
Whatever you do, do not neglect appliance planning! Appliances are the stars of your kitchen, helping you craft your culinary genius.
Here are the appliances I chose, and why:
- Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless: This was an important feature to me since…well kids. But the black stainless blends SO well with the dark cabinetry. You’ll notice I chose to have all my appliances in this stylish finish.
- 4 Door + Flex Zone: Holy cow, the two freezer compartments can be turned into refrigerator space if needed! Flexibility equals perfection for all the big holiday gatherings at my home. Plus, I am a HUGE fan of the french doors instead of the freezer drawer…we don’t have to dig to find anything, it is all very organized and civilized.
- Smart Hub Screen: Having what amounts to a computer in your refrigerator door is incredible! When we need to look up a recipe, there it is. We keep organized by syncing our family calendars and events. But my kids love that you can draw, listen to music, or even watch while making breakfast.
- Flex Duo: They had me at flex… you can essentially have three whole ovens!! The main oven can be divided into two so you can cook two dishes at different temperatures. Plus, the incredibly spacious microwave turns into an actual oven!
- Wifi Connectivity: I love that you can control and monitor your oven from your smartphone. When I am inviting someone over after church, I can turn my oven to warm so the food is ready at arrival!
- Lower Energy & Water Usage: Well I’m practical, and with 5 people in the house consuming energy and water usage like there is no tomorrow, this means a lot to me.
- Digital Leak Sensor: My last dishwasher overflowed several times and ruined the subfloors, so the fact that this dishwasher can shut itself off if it detects a leak even as small as 1 oz is amazing.
- Flextray Racks: We all have different dish needs, and when hosting guests, we want our dishwasher to be able to handle any type of dish we throw at it!
- Touch Controls: Both the cooktop and the hood vent have touch controls with helpful features that making cooking easier. Such as the power boost and simmer options on the cooktop. I have never boiled water faster or more safely in my life!
- Remote Monitor & Sync: I love that you can monitor your cooktop from your smartphone, and even sync the cooktop and range hood so it turns on automatically when the burner turns on.
- Cooktop Flex Zone: Again, all things flex are a great thing! Having a flexible burner that can handle any size, shape, or number of pots I use is truly fantastic!
I hope all my research and focus on features we find helpful will be helpful for you as well.
The Renovation Process
You’re seeing all the gorgeous after shots, but wait! You can’t fully appreciate how magical it is until you see the process it went through to get there. Renovations can be both exciting and frustrating all the same time.
My renovation was rather extensive since I had damage to my subfloors, and the bubbling wood panelling on the walls had to be removed. It was thrilling to see all the old ugly things get ripped out of the space and a fresh new space slowly appear.
I also did some structural work to help open up the kitchen into the previously unused dining room. This increased function of the space. Adding an island allowed plenty of room between the kitchen and dining room to seat guests in one space.
Because we were eliminating a wall where cabinets and a pantry once resided, it was important to make sure we not only reclaimed, but increased the amount of storage. My kitchen designer ensured that was taken into account when we created the new arrangement of the cabinets and island.
The Key To A Positive Reno Experience
My renovation was going to take longer than most (at months as opposed to weeks). I quickly learned quite a few sanity saving tricks to help get us through a stressful period without our kitchen.
Honestly, every trick in the book doesn’t compare to having a team of professional people you trust to get the job done right, and in as timely a manner as possible.
I shared in my Insta Stories some of our misadventures as they occurred. The Home Depot installation teams and even the delivery teams kept my spirits high. We laughed, joked, and they patiently answered every question I had, while offering a solution to every problem we encountered. I even snapped pictures together with some of the crew when it was all said and done. We even had high fives all around once we solved what felt like the unsolvable! Guys, I actually had a blast…it made the unexpected obstacles and months without a kitchen tolerable.
Still, I am relieved it is all over now.
Cooking In My New Kitchen
I can hardly believe it is finally finished and that this is my kitchen! I feel like I stepped into the pages of a magazine, or won the lottery.
All the careful planning and optimal appliance selections really payed off in a beautiful and highly functional kitchen. Every cabinet is designed to best store every small appliance, food item and other cooking gear in a neat and organized manner. Plus, our main appliances have enriched our cooking experience, making meals a breeze, and dinnertime the right kind of adventure!