Places We Go : Jennifer's Kitchen


Let's say you are ready to remodel your kitchen. You find a very able contractor. How far do you go?

As most contractors will tell you, one project leads to another and in a good way. Why not take advantage while they're in the house? That happened to Jennifer in San Jose, CA this summer. She and her husband, Javier, and two adorable pugs were in for a penny, in for a pound. Let's see what happened.

Jennifer (J) : "One well lived in kitchen. One too many walls. Big fridge that sticks out. Tile and grout countertops. Bad lighting. You name it." The old cabinets were given away to be used again.

It has to get ugly before it can get pretty.

J : "This is 9’ island made of black walnut from a large local tree that was threatening to fall on a home. She’s re-homed with us now. It took 60 man hours and 6 coats of varnish. I chose a gold resin to be poured into the cracks and we left one “live edge." That was a a last minute decision- as I called the night before asking that side not be cut. It’s perfect. The drop lights are from Lamps Plus. I got the gold to match the threads of gold resin that’s in the island wood beneath it. They also match the Brizo Luxe Gold hardware throughout the kitchen."

J : "My countertops. Probably the biggest upgrade. No grout. Just beautiful quartzite from Brazil. Quartzite is a natural stone. This pattern has a pretty red/orange color running through it. I love it. Absolutely love it." Me, too, Jennifer!

J : "Did I mention I’m terrified of gas? But my sis-in-law insisted we splurge to get a gas line for a new gas stove. Best decision. Javier wanted a “pot filler” (dispenses water just above the stove top). I chose a neutral glass tile in champagne color and stacked them on top of each other- for a more modern, clean look."

The appliances are in a new finish by Samsung called "Tuscan."

J : "Custom blinds are still in the way. I opted for 3 windows (instead of the one big window we had before). I chose the dark bronze frames so they would pop against the white walls."

Brizo Luxe Gold faucet with a soap dispenser and garbage disposal buttons built in.

J : "I was very particular about the barstools. I wanted them to be so comfortable - especially for the boys that you wouldn’t have to stand up and have numb legs, not have to squish between the arms. These are the bomb. Leather saddle seats (Pottery Barn)."

Under cabinet lights were installed throughout the kitchen and in the coffee bar. You can dial up a color anytime you want. Won't that be fun to have for parties? And don't get me started on the upper cabinet doors.

And now for the "in for a pound" part of the remodel. New floors were added in the kitchen - and then while they were at it, the same new floors added throughout the house.

The living room (as well as the whole interior) was repainted in Sherwin William's Architectural. New windows were installed. Attention was even paid to the original fireplace.

Here in the living room, there's fresh paint, new floors and the star of the show - a new wood mantel and a fireplace facade with Lili tiles and a terracotta hearth.

J : "I couldn’t even open our old sliding glass doors anymore. Now we have beautiful, bronze frames sliding doors that frame the backyard."

And what a backyard it is! Oh and while the contractor is here, he's smoothing out the exterior stucco surface of the entire house. The walls will be painted a crisp white once dried.

A heavy-duty 3 month remodel is not for the faint of heart. Ollie worked diligently as the designated equipment manager.

Meanwhile, Lana's approach was more supervisorial . Now that the interior is finished, life may return to normal. Except now, in an exceptionally pretty home. Congrats Jennifer & Javier on a job well done! Here's to lots of beautiful new memories!

PS Jennifer's late parents are always leaving pennies for her. "In for a penny, in for a pound" took on special meaning when she "asked" them about the remodel, “Do you like what I’m doing here?” The next morning, she found a penny in the middle of the kitchen floor, amidst construction.

all photos : Jennifer in San Jose

You can contact Jennifer's contractor at brajanconstruction.com.

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