Andrea Surette Washington DC Kitchen Renovation Diary

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Andrea Surette and Jeremy Muenz will inform you that they have been delusional once they purchased their, let’s say, “fixer upper” in 2018. We’ll inform you that they have been intrepid!

The Washington, D.C.-based couple launched into their renovation journey once they have been freshly engaged. Their household joked that the undertaking would possibly finish the wedding earlier than it had an opportunity to even start. (It’s humorous now as a result of that wasn’t the case!) In all seriousness, it’s straightforward to grasp why somebody may need that concern! Renovations are notoriously aggravating, and Andrea is fast to confess they bit off greater than they may chew with the 100-year-old row home … that used to belong to hoarders.

“It was a disaster when we first toured it, but somehow we both were able to see past the clutter to the potential that laid below the surface,” Andrea says. 

Although the kitchen was soiled, tremendous cramped, closed off with only a pass-through to the eating room, and never able to win any design awards (due to an abundance of beige-y brown tones and approach too many cupboards within the galley structure), the excessive ceilings and big home windows widespread in older properties spoke to Andrea and Jeremy. Plus, there was a candy little sunroom off the kitchen. 

They determined to go for it and do their finest to deliver the house as much as its full potential. They spent 18 months giving your complete home a loving and painstaking (principally DIY) renovation; 4 of these months have been spent on the kitchen alone. (They blogged about the process here, if you wish to take a deeper look!) Of course, as one does with an outdated home, they tried to maintain as most of the authentic options as they may. The kitchen now strikes the proper steadiness of what Andrea calls excessive/low — high-end luxe touches and inexpensive approachability. This method meant the total budget got here in a little bit below $30,000.  

To begin, the house was actually (and legally!) uninhabitable. Again, the earlier residents have been hoarders and had not left issues in fine condition. Weirdly, that turned out to be a plus in some methods. “Ironically enough, because they were hoarders they never fixed anything,” Andrea says. “So, all the original doors and window trim, and everything was still here like it was in 1920,” Jeremy says. That sudden reward meant they may restore and hold tons of authentic parts of the home. Yay for taking closet doorways from upstairs to make use of downstairs! 

The Renovation in 11 “Simple” Steps

The structure needed to be rethought earlier than any actual work might start. It was a galley kitchen with each main kitchen necessity lined up in a row — not very conducive to any form of enjoyable or performance. Andrea did her analysis and selected the basic triangle structure. But first, two phrases: open idea. 

Yes, sure, we’ve all heard that 1,000,000 instances. But this was no arbitrary tear-down-that-wall rallying cry. Opening up the house was the single best decision they made, the couple says trying again. They deliberate on eradicating a load-bearing wall to provide all of them the room they wanted to create the structure they knew would work finest. This allowed them so as to add an enormous, 10-foot island (one other factor that tops their checklist of finest choices!). It additionally meant the cute sunroom might naturally stream from the kitchen, and so they might admire the attractive eating room from the kitchen as effectively. Going open idea practically quadrupled the full house they’d now name the kitchen. 

So they began with the partitions. Before they introduced in professionals to attract up plans, take away the outdated partitions, and add assist beams, the couple demoed the plaster themselves, finishing up 10 dumpsters’ value of particles. No shock that “we were in the best shape of our lives!” they joke. 

Once the house was open, issues began to take form. Even although they have been doing many of the work themselves, wherever there was a threat of, , severe harm, they introduced in professionals. So electricians got here in to prep for home equipment and lighting and acquired issues prepared for Andrea and Jeremy to return behind and cling the brand new drywall. 

Sadly, the flooring wasn’t salvageable, in order that they put in an inexpensive birch flooring all through your complete home — however solely after they put in a brand new plywood subfloor. The achy knees have been value it for all the cash they saved, Andrea says. 

With assist from an IKEA kitchen planner, they mapped out the kitchen, and ordered budget-friendly cupboards. Because the house can be seen from just about in every single place in the home, they needed an expensive look, which they discovered by going with semihandmade picket fronts for the cupboards. 

Andrea needed a deep, saturated shade of blue for the cupboards, which meant portray (this was earlier than semihandmade got here out with much more shade choices, she says). This could have been the toughest a part of the entire undertaking, as a result of it took forever, she says: spherical after spherical of spraying doorways and shifting them round to dry. This wasn’t hours of labor, however weeks. And whereas she loves the glam shade (Champion Cobalt by Benjamin Moore), the end is beginning to present some indicators of use.

A crisp distinction to the deep blue cupboards is their mild quartz counter tops — full with dramatic waterfall edges — and a white, subtly textured subway tile backsplash (elevated with a herringbone sample that they love, regardless that it was an sudden ache to put in, they are saying). 

Oh, however that island. They actually debated about going so big — 10 toes is a dedication, folks! — however they’re thrilled with the choice. After all, it’s actually the central level for just about something taking place within the kitchen. 

Continuing the “go big or go home” theme, additionally they scaled up the home equipment. The huge LG fridge was the correct name after experiencing the restrictions of different folks’s smaller fridges. And they knew they needed a 36-inch range as a result of they like to prepare dinner. It was dangerous going with a comparatively unknown model like Zline, however that was the one inexpensive method to snag a big-enough range. 

Once every part was completed, the work and the stress was past value it. This home is their dream home, and lots of that comes all the way down to the gorgeous kitchen. It’s precisely what they needed, and so they have the satisfaction of realizing they poured their hearts into doing a lot of the work themselves.

Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

See Andrea’s Full Reno Diary

Dana McMahan


Freelance author Dana McMahan is a power adventurer, serial learner, and whiskey fanatic primarily based in Louisville, Kentucky.

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