Due to it’s popularity and response, I decided to continue with the second part of my remodeled kitchen tour in back-to-back posts this week. 


We started in the eat-in dining area and moved along the side of the kitchen separating the front from the rear of the home.

In Remodeled Kitchen Design & Layout Tour (Part 1), I explained how a half wall with spindles, narrow pantry closet, and peninsula with cabinets hanging from the ceiling had been removed. That created a much more open concept between the kitchen, dining space and family room.

Neutrals of tan and gray, with accents of black, sage green, and clay red, create a soothing color scheme. Italian fruit and Tuscany black rooster decor add interest and personality to the kitchen.

Now, let’s resume the tour in the far corner and outside wall of the remodeled kitchen — next to the large pantry and utility closet.

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Creating an Illusion of Height

Sitting over the door to the powder room, is this pretty pewter-finished decorative shell. It adds some nice design interest in a narrow strip of space between the door frame and ceiling.

All the kitchen cabinetry is topped with dentil crown molding. But since I only have 7 1/2 foot high ceilings, the molding does not extend all the way around the remodeled kitchen. Otherwise, it would form a dividing line between the walls and ceiling. Without it, helps to create an illusion of height.


New Angle Maximizes Space

To the immediate left of the angled powder room door is the pantry and utility closet you saw in Part 1. 

Because it’s angled, the door is seen from across the island, eat-in area and family room. So, I use the door as ‘wall space’ to hang seasonal and holiday wreaths and decorations.

Since it’s nearly February, I just swapped a snowman for the Fanciful Alice in Wonderland Theme Wreath with hearts and roses.

Come April’s showers, you’ll find a Charming Watering Can Wreath Project for Spring hanging on the door.

Why is the door angled you ask?

Originally a very short, dead-end hallway led to the powder room on the left, and a laundry to the right. To make room for a larger remodeled kitchen, the back wall was removed and the laundry was relocated upstairs.

Angling the doorway to the powder room incorporates that wasted ‘hallway’ space into a roomier bath. It also created several extra feet for the refrigerator; which had been where the pantry/utility closet is now.


See what’s behind the white door in, Monkey Decor Adds Impact to Small Powder Room.

The Better to See You With My Dear

One of the best parts of my remodeled kitchen was the improvement in quantity and quality of lighting. Seriously, what a big difference it made! Like the difference between night and day, LOL!

Seven recessed ceiling lights sit above the cabinetry around the room. Another three are positioned over the nine-foot island. Each of the two sets of recessed lights have their own dimmer control — another very nice feature.

Under-cabinet, halogen task lighting was also added. Those fixtures were replaced about a year ago. Apparently, once the halogen bulbs burn-out they can’t be replaced.

Over the sink is a fluorescent light. All the task lighting is hidden behind decorative cabinet molding and trim.

Yes, I would have liked attractive pendant lights over the bar, but this was another mitigation for having low ceilings. Recessed means no fixtures hanging or protruding awkwardly. A gray chandelier over the kitchen table is the only hanging fixture. I just wish it too had a dimmer, but only two dimmers can be accommodated by the switch box.

Right-Sized Refrigerator

We elected to economize by not having a built-in refrigerator that would have been flush with the cabinetry.

Design-wise, we also passed on having custom cabinetry panels made to cover the refrigerator — which were all the rage then. I liked the look of stainless and felt we needed it to help break up all the wood around the room.


A stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerator by Jenn-Air fit all the requirements for the remodeled kitchen. One of the main reasons our designer suggested it, was because of its streamlined, narrower depth — making it appear more flush with the cabinetry.

Two friends from my book club purchased the exact same refrigerator around the same time for the same reason — even though we hadn’t ‘compared notes’ beforehand. All three of us had similar problems with the freezer, requiring new parts a few years into ownership. But, we all still have the refrigerator today.

With then two sons to also feed, there was adequate capacity in the frig most of the time. And, how did we ever manage without an automatic ice maker and water dispenser on the door?!

I would have preferred not to have a side-by-side. There’s not enough width inside for trays, frozen turkeys, etc. It was a necessary choice to accommodate the nine-foot island, and allow clearance for opening the refrigerator doors. Just one of several compromises made for a remodeled kitchen within the existing home’s footprint.

Fortunately, I have an old standard refrigerator down in the garage that I only plug-in (it’s an energy hog) during the holidays or when entertaining.

Overhead Storage

A wide, deep cabinet above the refrigerator helps to make it appear built-in while providing storage for bulky items.


It’s where I store a silver punch bowl, large diameter platters, tall vases, and other awkward or big pieces. Even my beverage dispenser fits from Bee Theme Party Food Features Honey, Lemon.


Shift Right

Immediately to the right of the refrigerator is a wine rack over a stainless microwave. Incorporating a wine rack creates some visual interest, and helps break-up the walls of cabinets. Hmm, looks like I need to do some post-holiday restocking!

Underneath on a shelf sits a KitchenAid microwave. It’s the second microwave since we remodeled.

When we built the house, one upgrade splurged on was a single integrated oven, range and microwave unit by GE. Anyone remember those? We ended up donating it and the original frig to a women’s shelter.


Here again, our kitchen designer advised against a custom built-in cabinet to house the microwave — just as he had for the refrigerator. An open shelf allows more leeway for differences in available microwaves to fit in the space. Cabinetry is just too darn expensive, and appliances have a much shorter lifespan.

Open space above the microwave allows for venting.

Sculptural Backsplash

Now is probably a good time to show you the tile backsplash. It fills the 18-inches of space between the cabinets and gray countertop. All the matte-finish tile is light tan with some white and gray shading.

Here’s the ‘molding’ piece that runs under the cupboards.


Did you notice the decorative relief fruit? Remember the fruit fabric and decor accents from the first part of the tour?

Four-inch square plain tiles are intermittently scattered with fruit and vegetable relief tiles in the row under the ‘molding.’


Six different fruit and vegetable relief tile styles are repeated under the cabinets.


I love, love the backsplash and think it adds such a nice finished look to the remodeled kitchen. My builder’s grade kitchen didn’t have a backsplash. Hubby wallpapered the area and ran a decorative border as an alternative. Tile is much more practical; just damp wipe to clean.

Coffee Corner & Counter

Underneath the microwave is an open counter area where I typically keep a coffee maker and supplies, along with baskets of bread, fruit and veggies.

Here’s my new, fancy-spancy Moccamaster coffee maker. Hubby and I bought one shortly after he retired and our cheap Mr. Coffee died. Before that we had a short-lived Cuisinart machine I was very unhappy with. Long story. Anyway, two years ago we bought our son in NYC the Moccamaster for Christmas. So, when our coffee pot died, we splurged on ourselves — we’re worth it right?

What kind of coffee maker do you have?


I purposely took this picture at an angle so you could see what the under-cabinet halogen lights look like. You can flip the switch to turn the lights on and off individually, but all also operate on a single switch.

Here’s the same area set-up for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Theme Brunch, which provides a good view of the back corner of the remodeled kitchen. My next door neighbor and I share our coffee makers when entertaining — one for caffeine and the other decaf. Mine is stored in its box down in the basement.

Budget-Busting Granite

Although I like the look of the grey, speckled countertop with it’s decorative cut edge, it’s not as durable as I had hoped. You see, it’s not a solid surface material like the Corian island countertop. That means the surface can scratch by things like cookie sheets, glass bowls or the toaster if you aren’t careful.

Granite was unfortunately not in our remodeled kitchen budget — especially with construction project that also included updating three baths and relocating the laundry. Now, granite is on our home improvement wish list — that, and replacing the tile floors.

Deep Drawers for Storage

Underneath the coffee counter area are several drawers filled with contents used multiple times each day. In the bottom drawer I keep nested bowls, colanders, strainers and oblong bakers.


Casual placemats, napkins and aprons are layered in the deep middle drawer. Seasonal and holiday napkins are rotated with space in a linen closet. You’ll see the Paris napkins included in my table next Wednesday as part of the Valentine’s Day Tablescape Hop.


One of two side-by-side drawers holds knives and other sharp tools. A woodblock insert was found at Bed, Bath & Beyond, considerably less expensive than one from the cabinet manufacturer.


In the adjacent drawer are small kitchen tools; including measuring cups and spoons. Remember how I said I’d share warts and all in Part 1? Well, this is about as orderly as this drawer stays!

Clever Corner Storage

This corner of the remodeled kitchen was originally part of the laundry before the wall was removed. In its place is quite a bit of storage and counter space. For another view, see Decorating with Red Heart Ornaments for Valentines Day.


The left-hand narrow cabinet holds coffee, hot chocolate and tea supplies on the bottom shelf. Baking supplies and larger spice containers are organized on the upper shelves. Coffee cups and mugs for all seasons and holidays are stored on the right side.

A deep corner cupboard holds lots of bakeware, pitchers, servers and seasonal tableware.


Park Those Appliances

Underneath, an appliance garage hides a toaster, blender, hand-held mixer, food processor, coffee grinder and KitchenAid machine from view.


All but the heavy KitchenAid machine are easy to access and get in and out. Most often used appliances are stored to the front.


Take a Spin

Directly below the appliance garage is a corner carousel with two revolving shelves.


What’s so neat about the corner carousel is how the door opens. See the hinge and how it folds open?


Here’s a side-by-side with of the open cabinet. Both the folding door and carousel shelves operate easily and smoothly. Stainless ‘fencing’ keeps items from sliding off when rotating the shelves.


I had hoped to get a little further along on the remodeled kitchen tour. But, like many of you, I’ve got things to do to prepare for the arrival of the arctic blast. Continue along at Remodeled Kitchen Part 3. You might also want to check out how Monkey Decor Adds Impact to Small Powder Room.

Bee safe and warm!




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