Although my last post regarding the kitchen makeover was just a couple days ago, the reality is that several weeks have gone by.

I met with Precision Granite a few weeks ago to look at their granite slabs.  They asked me to bring in pictures of our kitchen and he told me to steer clear of the ‘amber’ toned granite and go for something a little lighter, more gray/cream with very minor hints of amber.  I picked out 3 slabs that I thought Jim would like.  Estimate came in at around $6,000 and that’s for them to remove our current counters, replace with granite slab, replace the sink with a new deeper stainless steel under-counter sink, and re-plumb it all.  We would keep our faucet because it’s a fancy schmancy one we bought last year.

We decided cabinet recoloring would definitely be in order…. so a few days later I met with NHance (a Home Depot vendor) to see what it would cost to have our existing cabinets recolored- they strip (not sand) the current finish down so that it can be re-stained, it’s a several day process with several coats applied.  They do all the drawers and cabinets (both sides!) off-site and mask off the kitchen to do the rest.  She said our cabinets are in excellent shape and to think of replacing them would be awful- they are so good and will recolor so well.  They will also add crown molding to the cabinets, light rail trim (molding on the bottom of the upper cabinets) and pull the plastic/rubber base from the bottom of the floor cabinets and replace it all with wood trim that matches the cabinet.  No hardware changes.  Estimate came in at $3,800.

A few days later I met with Home Depot’s cabinet refacing company to see about changing out all the doors and drawers with new fronts (new style) and they would veneer our cabinets to match.  Great products and he complimented our cabinets and said we had great cabinets, they are very solid and durable and really in great shape, but replacing the doors would do wonders.  He downtalked the recoloring because there’s no way to get all the surfaces 100% the same color.  OH, his bid would also replace all the hardware (door sides, hidden hinges for the cabinets) and put handles on all the drawers and cabinets as well.  Estimate came in at $12,250 for cherry wood cabinet doors and drawers….not new cabinets….just the faces of the cabinets.  Gak.

After seeing those numbers, a whole cabinet replacement is really not in the equation…..especially when cabinet refacing is supposed to be 1/3 to 1/4 of the cost of replacement.  Eek.  Buh-bye island idea!

So I called the NHance gal back out to show Jim what the samples look like- the colors we like- and we agreed on a color and Jim got to see that they actually STAIN the surface again, it’s not paint.

Leaning towards the NHance process, I decided I’d better interview a couple more companies to see what their bids would be like, cuz you know how we like to research everything.

I consulted with good ol trusty Service Magic to get some referrals.

First up was Refinish First.  It’s a husband and wife team and they would completely strip and sand the cabinets down to bare wood and restain them and seal them.  They won’t install any crown moulding or do any baseboard moulding replacement, but said if we bought them the materials, they’d stain those to match and we can just cut them and put them up ourselves later.  They’d work a Friday through Monday for me.  Bid came in at about $3100.

Next I met with Creative Kitchens LLC who specializes in cabinetry altogether- refinishing, refacing OR replacing.  I was curious what he’d have to say about the state of our cabinets.  He said there’s NO WAY he’d replace them.  They are one step below the top of the line cabinets out today.  KEEP THEM.  The doors he said were common entry level doors, nothing wrong with them.  We could easily recolor them and have a very solid kitchen.  If we want to look at refacing, he said the drawers are really sturdy so he would only remove the faces and not the whole drawer like other companies want to do.  So I had him bid both ways- replacing the doors/drawer fronts or just refinishing what we have.    $3800 to restain- no crown moulding or base moulding included in that.   Or replace with raised panel hickory doors with matching drawers, crown moulding, floor moulding and a lightbox around the underside of the upper cabinets….and hidden hinges for $6480.  $5500 if I’d like a simpler flat panel door (but all the rest of the same bells and whistles).

SO with all those numbers in and after meeting the people, I really like this last group’s idea of refacing the kitchen for almost double the cost of restaining- but getting a heavy heavy gorgeous fancy looking hickory kitchen!

This is the door style that I fell in love with while we were talking….(don’t mind the colors- they are totally off):

It’s simple yet a little fancy at the same time.

Then he started showing me types of wood and I fell in love with the look of hickory.  It has a bit of a rustic edge to it, a lot of character and distinguished look:

Here’s the winning door style (in a close-enough color) and the winning wood style side by side:

He asks me if I like the raised panel doors and I tell him that’s what my husband and I are typically drawn to, so he tells me they are currently doing a kitchen for someone who ordered raised panel door in hickory in the color that I like (not too red toned), glazed, and that they are the most beautiful door he’s ever had made and he’d love for me to see it.

He surprised me Friday with a call asking if he could bring it over….

Here it is:

Do you hear angels singing in the heavens above?  I do.

Here’s the door in a couple spots in our kitchen just to see how it looks with our appliances and the floor:

Here’s a couple more close-ups of the door detail:

I think we have a winner.  Now if I can just get my husband on board.  He likes the style and color, but is afraid the knotty-ness of the wood is something that would be outdated or undesirable at some point.  I have a tendency to agree, but also saw several of the Street of Dreams and Street of Affordable Homes kitchens with “rustic” looking cabinets….so I think we’d be at the leading edge of the game getting them now, but I suppose if we’re going to live here for another 20+ years, we should get something a little more timeless.  Although that’s what our oak cabinets were supposed to be!  Ha!

I think I’ll call Creative Kitchens to see what the door would price at with a different type of wood that isn’t so “rustic”.