Last week I showed you a glimpse of my kitchen concept. Well, here it is folks! Finally I get to post our kitchen renovation. And OMG, was it a reno or what!!! When we first looked at this home to buy, I remember thinking that the biggest transformation needed to be the kitchen. It was dark, too enclosed and feeling very 1990’s. Below is the before.
It was really REALLY dark with only florescent lighting to rely on, which makes your food either look orange or green…just what we wanted. Also, if you look towards the back, you’ll notice that the washer and dryer was also in the kitchen. I mean, I guess it could make your job a little easier. Just cook up some eggs, turn around and put in a load of whites!
The kitchen is a galley kitchen and we wanted to keep it a galley kitchen. We really liked the structure and scale. Also, because my husband did almost all of the work himself, he didn’t want to move any plumbing or electrical around.
Yay for the new kitchen! And like I said before, the layout is the exact same (minus the washer and dryer).
There is original hardwood throughout the home that is gorgeous but for some reason, a layer of UGLY hardwood was added in the kitchen and dining room. We tackled with the idea of ripping it out and starting over, but we didn’t want to take the extra time and money. So we ended up painting over the hardwood with this floor and patio paint from Benjamin Moore. You guys, I am obsessed with this stuff! The finish is perfect, it doesn’t stink at all and it’s super durable. The instructions say that you can drive a car over it! In a moment it changed the look of our space.
Next item to note- MY NEW FAVORITE COUNTERTOPS ARE SOAPSTONE! Seriously you guys, when these counters were being installed, I was passing out. And that waterfall?!?! OMG. The beauty of these slabs are unbelievable. The crazy thing is that they start out a cement grey and the more you wax them (or you can use mineral oil) the darker they become. My soapstone came from Polycor, which has been providing natural stone solutions to North America since 1987. They made the whole process very easy and provided me with only the very best quality.
Below is a few before and afters just for you to get a true glimpse of the transformation.
On the right side of the kitchen, there was a wall that went into some upper cabinets. We removed the wall and all of the uppers which opened up the space tremendously.
We swapped where the fridge originally was and placed it where the washer and dryer once lived. That also opened up the space.
The dining room is right next to the kitchen and we wanted it to feel like one open space, so taking the wall out and placing a range hood created that look.
There was once a giant china cabinet that blocked the kitchen from the living room. That came out and now that whole space is one giant entertaining dream.
For our appliances, we chose the black stainless collection from KitchenAid and I couldn’t be happier with this decision. I designed this kitchen to make a design statement, yet to be practical in it’s every day use. KitchenAid helped me achieve this quickly. And the beauty of black stainless is that it’s not only gorgeous to look at but it doesn’t smudge at all…YAY! (See our specific appliance picks at the bottom of this post.)
This brings me to the next topic. Doing most of the work ourselves saved us thousands and thousands of dollars. My husband grew up around this type of work. His dad is a jack of all trades, so it came easy to my husband and his dad. Now, I understand that this is not the case for many, so I think the biggest key is figuring out what you can and can’t do and investing in what you can’t. If you can’t do any of it, no worries! Spend the money to make it exactly what you need and want. We couldn’t do the counter installation or the electrical, so we hired out. Counter Culture did an absolute job installing our soapstone counters and Stephen’s Electric took care of all of our electrical needs.
I have always wanted an farmhouse sink, but I wanted something a little more modern for this space. I chose this stainless steel apron sink from Kohler and paired it with this matte black faucet, also from Kohler.
Also, as you can see, we opted out of having a backsplash. I may or may not regret this decision, but for now, I love it! I love the clean look that gives. And one day, if I decide to add something, it will be much easier than taking down something that I don’t like.
To give this wall some character that was missing from not having a backsplash, I added these two sconces from Schoolhouse Electric. I love the warm glow light that they give off at night!
We needed a little more storage for mail and kids school papers, so I took the classic Alex drawer unit from Ikea and painted it the same color as the cabinets just to make it look a little more cohesive with the rest of the kitchen. It’s also a great place to display my coffee machine and favorite mugs.
Speaking of cabinet colors! We decided to use our existing cabinets and re-paint them. If I had more money, I would have invested in all new cabinets. Honestly, it wasn’t our main need so these cabinets will do just fine! I chose to paint them using Benjamin Moore’s, Raccoon Fur. Yes, that is the name of the paint. My cabinets have raccoon fur on them…haha. The pantry wall cabinets are painted Ultra White, also from Benjamin Moore. On all of the cabinets, we used BM’s ADVANCE, which cleans up beautifully with soap and water. I chose Semi-Gloss.
The cabinet hardware… This is a funny subject. I couldn’t decide what I wanted and kept ordering the wrong choices for this kitchen. So late one night I made a trip to Home Depot, found $1.50 black drawer pulls, took them home, sprayed them gold and fell in love. They are nothing fancy, folks! If you attempt to do the same thing, find a spray paint that is both primer and paint in one. You will thank me for this decision.
One area of the kitchen that I am so so proud of is this wall that serves as our pantry wall. It sits next to our KitchenAid double oven (which I am obsessed with). My husband literally made this entire unit in one day. The dimensions of the space didn’t fit anything pre made, so he went around town, found some random units at different stores, placed them together and created a pantry for me. Husband of the year award goes to…
The kitchen window is original to the house, so it needed a little updating. Counter Culture added a strip of the soapstone to the ledge of the window, which updated the window perfectly. For a window treatment, I wanted something minimal and clean that went away when it wasn’t being used for privacy. Claudia Clobes Yudis of Urban Loft Window Treatments helped me achieve that and sourced the perfect shade for this space. Honestly, she’s a window treatment genius and I highly recommend her for any window treatment project that you have!
I LOVE open shelving in kitchens. We didn’t do any in our kitchen, but I still wanted to display my everyday dishes and glassware. I found this unit at World Market for $80 (it’s since been discontinued). It fits perfectly between the counter and refrigerator.
There is something so special about a beautiful rug in the kitchen! I chose this beautiful rose colored runner from Momeni. It fits this space like a glove. I scotchguarded the heck out of it so that stains won’t even think about staying.
There you have it, friends! I finally have a kitchen and I couldn’t be prouder of it! The biggest thanks to my incredible husband, Shane, for single handedly creating this amazing space. And another huge thanks to Counter Culture and Stephen’s Electric!
Double Oven, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Island Hood, Rug, Countertops, Window Roller Shade, Apron Sink, Sconces, Wall Color, Cabinet Color, Faucet, Flatware, Dinnerware, Ikea Storage, Coffee Maker, Mint Green Flower Vase, Pour Over.
Also, a huge thank you to the vendors that gifted or discounted product for this kitchen. These are all vendors that I believe in and will continually work with to create more content that inspires.
Photos by Karen E Photography and Kirsten Grove.