Design Crew update – Christa’s kitchen renovation

Posted on Tue, 31 May 2016 by KiM

Back in 2012 Christa submitted this entry for our Design Crew series. She was wondering what to do with her Honduras mahogany kitchen cabinets that were in rough shape. We were excited to hear from her the other day that she did a mini renovation of her kitchen and send along some before and after photos. It isn’t a dramatic transformation but I am glad because her cabinets are gorgeous and I think they’re beautiful left natural. Here is what Christa had to say about her new kitchen: I have made peace with all the wood in this house and decided to keep and refinish the original wood cabinets. They are a bit beat up but I like the patina and they’re solid wood and plywood, built to last. I decided that combining the old cabinets with some lux new appliances would balance out to something original and beautiful. I wanted the kitchen to feel fresh and bright but also timeless and appropriate to the house. I added 3 feet (a little less than a meter) of base cabinets matched to the existing ones (it was a rolling cart in the old kitchen). This gave me a lot more counter space along with shelves on the end for dog bowls and for small appliances so the countertops could stay clear. I took down an upper cabinet and built open shelves instead. I added a Heath tile backsplash, had the fridge integrated, and added a pull out pantry. 


(that’s her pooch Agnes)

(that backsplash is soooooo fantastic)


Christa’s white countertops look fantastic! Looking for some new kitchen countertops for your renovation? Try Caesarstone quartz – tons of colours to choose from, incredibly durable, never need sealing and scratch + stain+ heat resistant. 

kim says:

I LOVE it. the wood looks so expensive and modern – the tile, shelving, and range hood are all so well integrated. Seriously – the range hood is soo great and perfectly matches your tile coursing. Absolutely Magnificent! Thank you for sharing!

Axie says:

Well done! I especially like the oven/fridge section. What a beautiful home!

Suzanne Melton says:

Really classy.

However, when I saw the "before" photos, I started thinking they were the "after" photos so I guess I like BOTH versions!

christa says:

Hi, I wanted to clarify that I did have the cabinets sanded and sealed with a linseed oil finish. Then I went over the kitchen with a fine artist's brush and some oil paints and carefully retouched most of the dings and scratches to help them blend in. Those cabinets are nearly 60 years old!

Kim, I'm so pleased that you noticed the exhaust! That was a custom project that my contractor and I came up with because we didn't like any of the options available. I didn't want a big hood projecting over the cooktop, and the downdraft system we had in place was a pain to use (frequently got stuck and wouldn't rise up). So we reworked it by building it directly into to wall cavity and adding a little ducting down to the blower under the cooktop cabinet. Works great! We made a raw steel vent cover that integrated into the tile.

Mary S says:

I was admiring this kitchen — both the before and the after — and then it occurred to me that I might have been in this beautiful house! Is this, by any chance, the Christa from whom I bought several boxes of Heath tile back in 2012? I had just bought my little house in SF, which was in "as is" condition. If this is that Christa, I hope you read this because I want you to know that my friend Nola and I still talk about your house.

Anyway, I love the thoughtful way you approached your kitchen project. I hope my own home project comes out half as well! (I'm about halfway through the construction phase of a kitchen/back-of-house remodel that almost included that tile you sold me — but after I got the contractor bids I decided I couldn't afford to do the bathroom right now.)

And if this is NOT that Christa, then . . . never mind!

Kelly says:

Wow! I am so glad you didn't paint them. There is a place for that, but in your case, staying with wood was the best option, IMHO. The the before wasn't bad, but the after is much better. It made the room look larger. I have struggled with the paint/refinish decision on my own cabs and went with refinishing because I liked the woodgrain. Hopefully someday I will add white quartz counters and a backsplash. Your house looks awesome, btw. May we see more someday? 🙂

christa says:

Mary S. YES! So funny! I'm glad you liked the house, we were lucky to get it. A lot has changed since 2012. More pics here:

Jolin Tay says:

Great ideas of kitchen renovation. Will love to have one of them.

Virginia says:

Great ideas

Wonderful kitchen renovation idea. Your wooden cabinets are gorgeous neat and clean. I get many effective ideas from your post. I will try this ideas for my kitchen renovation. Can you tell me how cost you provide for this kitchen?

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