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Sand Sage East | Kitchen Remodel

The owners of this lovely home north of Santa Fe initially began their kitchen remodel by selecting materials from out-of-state vendors, before they became stymied by the process and rapidly escalating costs. That’s when they contacted me for help.


Shedding Light on What Matters Most


I began as I always do, with an initial Project Review Meeting, which allows me to meet clients in the actual space(s) to be improved so that we can discuss what they’re hoping to achieve. In this case, they were unhappy with the oversized backsplash and countertop tile, and found the dark cabinetry oppressive. They knew these things needed to be updated, but they had reservations on how to proceed while keeping within their budget. Understanding that our primary goal was to brighten up the kitchen, it was time to set to work.

Picking Just the Right Paint Color


To save on costs and reduce waste I proposed retaining and repainting the existing cabinets. Not only was this a cost-saving tactic, it also aligned beautifully with my clients' eco-conscious values. But they were initially hesitant about that idea so I knew it’d be best to demonstrate the potential impact.


During my first visit to their kitchen, I’d discovered that their kitchen window frame was also painted in a very dark tone; obstructing the expansive view of the landscape and sucking up tons of natural light. Using that window frame as a proof point, I had it repainted to show my clients the difference a simple change in color could make. They were stunned! That window sill was really the launching point for the whole project, as it provided my client with the confidence to have the upper and lower cabinets painted next.


How did I pick the right color? Well, my clients had already fallen in love with a polished porcelain slab with beautiful veining and coloring for their new countertop—it had tons of color variation and lovely nuance. So I set out to find a complimentary lighter gray tint for the cabinets, and then had the island painted in a complementary warmer shade to offer some contrast. The transformation made the kitchen appear much larger and more inviting.

Quality Installation for Quality Materials


Then I coordinated with a local supplier and fabricator to ensure a seamless installation that would highlight the veining of the porcelain stone my clients had selected. We paid close attention to emphasizing the slab’s gorgeous patterning behind the range, along the backsplash, and on the island. To finish off the exposed raw edges, antique bronze trims were installed.  Modern graphite outlets and switches replaced the old white ones, adding a sleek, contemporary touch throughout the room. Custom door panels were built to replace the wine rack in the island, as well as close in the visible shelving on the island to keep clutter hidden away. Long, elegant hardware was installed on the wide drawers throughout the kitchen, which highlighted the length of the cabinetry. Finally, an undermount porcelain cast iron double basin sink, air switch for the disposal, and a pull-down spray faucet in polished nickel were all installed to complete the transformation.


My clients were as thrilled with the final results as they were with the thoughtfully guided process provided to them throughout the project. Previously dark and cluttered, the kitchen is now bright, clean, and modern, with a cohesive design that harmonizes beautifully with the home.

Before Remodel
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