The Facelift That Made This Kitchen Look 10 Years Younger
HGTV Magazine chronicles a Nevada family who gave their boring kitchen an unforgettable makeover.
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Jose and Daniella with Isabella, 12, Sebastian, 15, and their terrier mix, Roxi.
There was a lot to love about the Henderson, NV, home that Daniella and Jose Villamil bought in 2017: The yard was big, the ceilings were high and the bones were good. But the Spanish-style house, built in 2002, had a host of dated finishes, especially in the kitchen. They included plain oak cabinets with a depressing shiny yellow finish, oversize splotchy gray tiles that made the floor look forever grimy, plus a so-called “Southwestern-style” tile backsplash and countertops that had no style whatsoever. “The layout was the one thing that was right!” says Daniella, a designer. Taking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room gave the area breathing space.
After that Daniella worked from the ground up, installing new floors, cabinets, and an island, and finishing it all off with a patterned backsplash and a sweep of jewel-like color. “Before, everything looked sad,” says Daniella. “Color and pattern give the kitchen energy and make it original, but it still feels homey.”
There was no workaround for the old floor tiles. Daniella knew she wanted wood, but she also wanted something bright and airy. The solution: wide oak boards from Floor & Decor—they’re 8 inches across—with a light gray tone and wire-brushed finish that give them a cozy, worn-in look.
Where plain, boxy cabinets were before, Daniella put in custom-built Shaker-style ones and painted them deep green (Forest Green by Benjamin Moore). “Even at night, in artificial lighting, the color always looks good,” says Daniella, especially with the glimmering brass knobs and pulls, by Rejuvenation.
Island and Stools
The former island barely had enough room to prep a salad, let alone space to sit. The 2.0 version features storage cabinets on the side facing the range and an open end. Bistro-style barstools with woven seats, from Atelier Tricot, make it café-cool. Since they’re backless, they can be tucked under the island when they’re not in use.
Countertops and Sink
Pink tile counters? In a word, yikes! Daniella ripped them right out and installed white quartzite with gray veining from Marble Express (on the island, too). A double-basin sink with an industrial-style pull-down faucet by Kraus overlooks the backyard. Rinsing dishes never gets boring—there are hummingbirds out there.
“I didn’t want our fridge to look like a big block of gray next to all the colorful cabinets,” says Daniella. She had her contractor build a custom enclosure; painted the same rich green, it blends right in. An open cubby on top shows off vases and baskets. Daniella and Jose made the open wood shelving next to it out of maple boards.
Adding molding so the cabinets reach the ceiling made our little kitchen look grand.
An off-the-rack one wouldn’t have done it for Jose, a trained chef, and Daniella wanted a showpiece. They found their match in this 1982 Viking range, scored on Craigslist for a song—just $700, plus a six-hour car ride to California for pickup. “It has some scuff marks on it, but I love that character,” says Daniella. The creamy color against the emerald cabinets gives this vintage range a fresh, contemporary look.
Daniella had her heart set on a cement tile backsplash before she even picked anything else in the kitchen. “In Colombia, where Jose and I are from, a lot of floors have tile like this,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to use it in a project.” These are by Ann Sacks; the subtle cream and gray colors balance the intricate pattern.