Kitchen Reno Reveal

Our kitchen reno is finished! (well almost… but we won’t talk about that in this post)

It just took under a year from inception and planning to completion for our kitchen renovation. That timeline was not at all what we were expecting… honestly if someone would’ve told us it would’ve been 8-11 months and kitchenless over the holidays, I don’t think we would’ve tackled the project when we did – so it was a blessing in disguise. It’s surreal to have this giant, brand new kitchen… especially compared to what we had, we added an 6x8ft section, which didn’t seem like much in the planning, but it was huge in the end! All of the details and planning came together and she sure is pretty.

Let’s take a look at where we started:

Project Recap

As I mentioned in previous updates, we had “contractor” drama and cabinet delays for days – but once it came time to the finishing touches, we were pretty much in control. Our cabinets were delivered and installed relatively quickly, although, as we came to find out with our counter and backsplash install not everything was as even or level as we were told or had hoped – but I know it was done with a bit more care than if our “contractor” stuck around.

Our biggest learning from our biggest home project to date is that good, quality workers are hard to find – I would be curious if we paid more money (but trust me, the bill for our kitchen was not cheap!) for some of those things if the quality, craftsmanship and customer service would’ve been better – part of me thinks not (unless we were paying like triple?). Our countertop company, Granite Works, was the only company we worked with that we had nearly zero qualms about! But even with all the headaches, at the end of the day, we also reminder ourselves that we live in a 100+ year old home, and even with the “new” she’s still a little rough – and now we still have an amazingly beautiful kitchen.

The Big Reveal

The finishes all seemed to come together, and we’ve definitely been told by many people that our kitchen is “very white.” But we like everything light, clean, and classic. One of the trickier pieces was honestly getting the brass/gold finishes to match – but I’d say we did pretty good with 90% of them. The appliances (as much as I love them) are a bit more of a darker bronze. We went with easy and classic white shaker cabinets and a Calacatta Miraggio Gold quartz counter that has this beautiful brown veining that runs through it and pulls the golds, flooring, and backsplash nicely together.

The breakfast nook is honestly my fave, from the garbage picked table upcycle to the DIY oversized settee we created – it just makes the space cozy. I’m sure there will be some additional decorating the walls, I’m looking forward to adding in more wood grain pops with the deeper walnut color from our table, it’s nice and warming to compliment the white and gold. We also have shelves that match the cabinets to go over the sink area, but haven’t installed them yet – maybe we will, maybe we won’t. I honestly, just don’t know what to do with so much counter space!

We already hosted our first event, an Easter brunch – the bloody and mimosas bar was perfectly placed (sadly, I forgot to take photos) and there was plenty of room for people to get around one another. I’ll share a post that links out all the actual finishes from the backsplash to the floors… but until then let the dance parties, endless plates of snacks and food, afternoons of Moz soaking up the sunshine and bottle popping commence!

Want to look back at our Kitchen Reno project?
📜 Kitchen Reno – The Plan
🛠️ Demo & Mood Board
🎨 Kitchen Progress Update

Kitchen Reno – Demo & Mood Board

Welp! Demo has officially started on our kitchen reno, perhaps a little preemptively but after meeting with our contractor to talk him through the plan – we quickly realized there were a handful of hidden outliers that had B and I itching to uncover. So last Saturday, we just tried to rip up a few of the lament floor tiles to see if the hardwoods were wrecked or not… a few hours later – we had half the room ripped up and the floor was looking in pretty tip-top shape. Since then we’ve (mostly B) taken down the ceiling, layers of plaster walls to continue to uncover what we’re working with. I mean… we live in a 100+ year old home. So far, we’ve uncovered a ceiling leak (thanks rain) and a few other janky workings.

I say we preemptively started demo, because once we start something – we can’t stop (especially B) and also because, we don’t actually have any contractor confirmed for when work is going to get started. We have gotten a few different cabinet quotes and think we have that nailed down at least the company and general direction we want to move forward with. But now that demo has started – there is no way this kitchen isn’t happening this year. We’re hoping to get a few follow-ups from our slow contractor and then go from there. So until then, I’m working to finalize some of the design and details as we work through the demo — it’s funny, now that we’ve disrupted our currently living room and are starting to get a blank canvas, the design and finishing inspiration is finally coming to life for me.

So now what? We’re going to continue to move forward and get our kitchen cabinets and counter tops finalized – the company we’re most likely going to move forward with the in home field measurement and design consultation to make sure we’re optimizing the most out of our space. Yes, this is getting us more kitchen, but it’s still going to be relatively cozy (that’s the nice way of saying small) — compared to what we’d really want in a dream kitchen — and sadly that still includes moving walls to extend our footprint.

Having a design consultation will be exciting and then we’ll be able to make sure we’re closer to exact as we’ve learned a few hard ways how important accurate measurements are. For example, our first cabinet quote was through Home Depot, super fast, great way to get an initial price for cabinets — but we ended up having more space in one area than we actually do (we had guestimates of our measurements when we went to this apt.) — the reality is those couple inches significantly impacted the potential sink size (like 33″ down to 27″) and the corner cabinet solution, i.e. lazy susan or something a bit unconventional. Luckily, with this new company – it sounds like they have some fun solutions to get us space to have a larger sink while being able to best utilize that corner spot.

Now, with the demo and our kitchen footprint pretty open, we have been able to put a few pieces to “mock up” the spacing to get a better idea of our kitchen nook area and what we can fit comfortably in the space while still letting it feel big and open. I even sat and browsed for products while we had the nook set-up and it was perfect – I can’t wait to hang out and blog while B cooks dinner. I was even finally able to decide on a few design pieces. I might even be as far as to having an idea of the backsplash that will go counter to ceiling on either side of the kitchen above the stove and sink area. Here is a look at a few of the potential final picks, a bit of mood board for our kitchen – I’m still trying to find an affordable faucet!

Since I want to incorporate brass/gold – it’s going to be crucial to make sure the shades of everything match up closely. That is why I was excited to find the light fixtures as that look pretty similar in the brass color that they are. Our appliances – as of right now – are white and gold, so as long as the back order doesn’t lead us to cancelling, we’ll be having pops of white and gold! Here’s to making some actual progress towards getting this kitchen done!

Kitchen Renovation – The Plan

Pretty much since we bought our house, the kitchen was always the worst offender. In fact, B was sold on this house and had to convince me — the kitchen being one of my sticking points for the price of the house (which was over our budget). Also, the kitchen was green when we bought it, so that was another strike against it. So it’s very exciting to finally be in the process of planning out our kitchen renovation. Unfortunately our kitchen doesn’t have an ideal footprint where we would just be updating cabinets, countertops or flooring. In fact, we’re moving walls to extend the footprint to create an actual kitchen!

The Plan

As you can see above, we have a tiny little alcove with all of our cabinets, sink and stove… and then a larger room for our fridge and a bunch of other random pieces of furniture… our fridge used to be in a different spot when we got the house, but moved it to be less in the way… yeah it’s an odd configuration with a lot of wasted space in our “larger part” of the kitchen. Oh and did I mention, zero counter space?

The layout and our initial plan of what we thought we could do versus what is more practical have changed as we’ve worked through the logistics with my Uncle whose a contractor. He gave us some really good things that added space to our design, but also made us think through some practical and more functional design layouts which we took to heart and have incorporated into the final plans. One of my must-haves was quickly smashed with reality based on the space limitations we still have, so my kitchen sink will not be facing a window looking out into our backyard… 😢 Mainly because, we weren’t accounting on having a door still in our kitchen space, instead we would be putting a slider door out of our dinning room onto our patio. Unfortunately we quickly vetoed that because it would be about $5k, need HVAC reworking, and eat up about 2-feet or more of our patio for nice walk out steps. My uncle also felt from a functionality perspective, having a door in the kitchen to go in and out to grab stuff made more sense and the more we thought about it the more we agreed.

Another big part in this planning, is tempering expectations – we have a tiny footprint currently, so the updates and expansions we’re planning feel like we are going to be getting this massive and more open space… which we are, but not as much as we think. I’ve also been dreaming of a cozy little breakfast nook, but have even been doubting my initial vision for that, because I’m afraid we won’t have as much space as I’m thinking/hoping.

Also, don’t worry – we have actual cad plans of the space besides my poor measuring and rough sketch!

The inspiration

I must admit, I am usually one that has a vision and everything planned out – especially for our house projects, but this one is making me super indecisive and unconfident about what to choose. On one hand, I want to make some bold choices with flooring, or a cool backsplash… and on the other hand, I feel like I know I’ll end up keeping it pretty classic and timeless with simple and safer choices. But I want to push myself to picking at least one bold thing. The vibe I’m going for is glam, yet classic and cozy. We also will not be skimping on the finishes, from appliances (already half ordered🤞) to the hardware, lighting and faucets… oh! and heated floors.

I’m fairly confident we will end up going all white cabinets, although I do love a light blue/grey color – but I’m also in a green obsession (Thanks, Ashley Brooke!) so we shall see. Definitely going with gold finishes and maybe leaning towards a rich butcher block counter top and tile floors. But if we do end up picking a stone countertop, it sounds like Quartz is the resounding and durable choice.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Soooo many things to decide! B and I are planning to go do some window shopping at a few different spots to scope out flooring, backsplash and maybe even a direction on cabinets. For now, we are still working on finalizing the actual floor plans with our amazing friend and then we’ll be getting our contractor in here to talk numbers and timing. We’re hoping we won’t have to do anything structurally, but there is that chance still. We are also really hoping we can get this done in 2021 — but are also realistic that we may need to push to 2022. Here’s to hoping we have a brand new kitchen in time for Christmas!

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far – what do you love/hate with your kitchen remodel? What do you wish you would’ve done differently or can’t live without? Comment below, or shoot me a private message!