Welcome to the Light

After living in darkness and surviving brutal blizzards, the male Emperor Penguin gets to see his baby hatch. The baby that he has been holding on his feet in an egg for four months! He has at that point lost one half his body weight because he has not eaten in four months and he now has to feed and keep the new hatchling alive for a short time. Finally, the mother arrives back from her four month hunting vacation to take over so the father can go eat. No, I did not take a trip to Sea World nor did I stay at Holiday Inn Express but I did watch the BBC series, “Dynasties”. The story of the Emperor Penguins was by far the most moving and difficult story to watch. I can say without hesitation that I would not choose the penguin life! The life I would choose and the life I help others choose is the light and bright Florida life. Let’s take a peek into the kitchen of a villa that has finally stepped into the light life after too many years to count living in the dark, somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Re-face rather than replaceKitchen-showing-more-Island-detail
This kitchen is a part of a two story villa and the kitchen has one small window. The original cabinetry was dark and very basic. The counter tops were green Formica and above the cabinets was a boarder. Back in the “day” this kitchen was the best thing since sliced bread but for the future it was time to re-vamp and lighten the kitchen. We decided to reface the cabinets rather than rip everything out and start from scratch. The basic bones of the cabinets were in good shape. However, this re-face did have an “addition” component simply because we wanted to add an island where there had not previously been one.

• Take the cabinets high to the ceiling!
Along the back wall of the kitchen we added a row of small cabinets so they would reach to the ceiling. The two cabinets, one on each side of the microwave, received glass doors with light in the cabinet. The cabinet that is above the microwave looks larger even though it is just a cabinet added on top of the existing cabinet. We put a large door on the cabinet so it would look like one large cabinet. It is a visual illusion that really works.

• The wall with the refrigerator
The cabinet above the refrigerator is new and the cabinet over the bar is new. We removed the pantry and re-purposed it in the garage for storage. The new bar provided a place to eat breakfast and have coffee. Also, we customized the bar with a wine rack and added lots of storage.

• Cabinet doors
All the cabinet doors are new and much bigger than the old doors. The doors meet in the middle so there are no gaps showing. The cabinets were installed in off white and then a lead wash was applied to soften the color with just a hint, and I do mean “hint” of grey. We did this because the homeowner likes ornate decorative trim, which we did apply at the top of the cabinets. We had to apply a glaze in order to make the trim stand out. Once we applied the glaze to the trim we needed it on the doors as well to pull the look together. The homeowner likes ornate French detail with a casual twist.

• Granite
We wanted to use granite as the countertops and we found granite that had crème, white and touches of black and grey. The homeowner wanted a tile backsplash so we kept it simple and we chose something that blended with the granite.

• Under cabinet LEDs
The lighting under the cabinets is a must! This light is great for tasks or just a soft light at night. Always be sure to have it installed on a dimmer.

• Bead board ceiling
The ceiling in this villa was popcorn and did have some water damage. We decided to cover the ceiling with bead board. The fresh white shine of the bead board looks unique and adds a casual touch.

• Etched glass doors
The laundry in this villa is right beside the kitchen. We replaced the regular folding door with opaque etched glass doors. Also, there was a coat closest beside the laundry closet. We added shelving to the large closet and created a much bigger pantry than the original pantry. We also replaced that door with an opaque etched glass door. This is a really unique and interesting addition because when the lights are on in the closets the doors glow.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at www.ruthdyer.com and you can always e-mail us at ruth@finishingtouchfl.com. Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below