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Sara’s Kitchen “Update” Spirals Into A full Renovation (Plus – Help Her Choose A Design Plan)


photo via deVOL

Recently, I decided that I was going to put all my #shelterinplace energy into one room – my kitchen. I spend most of my free time in there these days after all. And last week I shared my initial plan for a $3k budget, kitchen UPDATE. Last week feels so long ago. Almost as if it was a different lifetime. A different life. Remember in that last post when I said I pull triggers fast and impulsively? Well, I’ve really done it now. Let me fill you in on what’s transpired since that last post went live.

the current situation . . .

So many of you commented with some amazing suggestions – “Rip out all the top cabinets and just do open shelving!”. Love it. “Why not invest in new lower cabinets at least?” Why indeed! And then a few of you shared your own “update” stories. Most of them went something like, “we did a kitchen update so we could enjoy our kitchen until we could afford a full renovation . . . that was 25 years ago.” I can see how that could easily happen – you put a little effort into the kitchen, and it becomes functional. Suddenly everything else becomes more of a priority than fully renovating a room that is already good enough.

Finally, while talking through plans with my dad, we realized that it would be easier to take care of a few things now – like moving electrical, getting rid of the back door and centering the window, and picking permanent flooring (to save money we’re going to install some of the leftover pre-finished hardwood that’s been sitting out in the garage, which we used throughout the rest of the house). Which kind of made us wonder if it was just worth it to do . . . everything. The first part of our renovation took almost a year and half because my dad was going back and forth between here and NY, where he works. But right now, he’s kind of stuck here. So it makes sense to take advantage of that uninterrupted time. Plus, he’s really, REALLY excited for something to do. Like me, my dad is a bit of a workaholic. Must be genetic.

So, WE’RE BITING THE BULLET AND FULLY RENOVATING THE WHOLE KITCHEN. Now I know that there’s going to be a lot of you out there that will be bummed with the change of plan, and trust me, I was really excited to take on a simpler “update” project and document it. But I also really want to take advantage of the fact that my dad is here and happy to help us. And it makes more sense to hustle and get it all done. It’s a really small kitchen, and he thinks it will only be a 5 week project. Don’t worry though, it’ll still be a DIY project. And this time I don’t have a full-time designer taking care of all the hard stuff for me (I will forever be grateful to Velinda for designing our living room and dining room. She also happened to do her own amazing little budget kitchen reno, and built a super cute mini kitchen in her basement). Folks, I’m about to learn how to install my very own sink.

We’re also going to try and keep the budget down where we can as well. Besides using leftover flooring to save money, we’re going to go with Ikea cabinets (but hopefully get custom cabinet fronts to elevate the look), I already bought our sink on Craigslist for half of what it would have cost new, and doing most, if not all of the labor ourselves will certainly keep the cost down. But I also want to keep in mind that this is the only kitchen renovation this house is going to get.

In preparation, I spent most of this long weekend binge-watching the most recent season of Riverdale (a show so extra that you can’t NOT watch it), pinning design ideas, bugging Julie to help me with a cabinet layout plan, and putting together different kitchen design options. So now that I’m on a tight schedule to design my dream, forever, permanent kitchen – WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Let’s get into the options . . .


Part of me wants to go in a light, neutral direction. With a gray or oatmeal lower cabinets, and light uppers. There’s something very traditional, elegant, and timeless about this direction to me. And I’m really considering splurging on stone countertops. It’s still nice and smooth for rolling out doughs, but won’t compete with the warmth of the wood on the floors. Plus, stone will keep butter very chill for biscuit and pie dough making (yes, this is a serious consideration for me when designing my kitchen).

Which leads me to Option #1 – Taupe/gray lower cabinets, white upper cabinets and walls, light colored appliances, stone counter, and a warm organic window treatment. I love how light and traditional this design feels. It makes me think of lazy Sunday mornings baking bread and drinking tea. My biggest concern with this option? Mac won’t like the light lower cabinets.


Next up we have the idea of going for dark, dramatic lower cabinets in BLACK. I have a feeling this is going to be Mac’s favorite option. There is something really elevated about the look. It’s cozy, while still feeling high end. And dark lowers might be a tad easier to keep clean in a kitchen, right? My concern with this option is that it’s going to be a lot of DARK in the house. The TV room is dark, the kitchen would be dark, and I have design ideas for the front bathroom that are dark. I don’t want the house to feel too heavy.

So here we have design Option #2 – dramatic black lower cabinets, dark appliances, and a gray and white striped window shade. This design makes me think of hosting Saturday night dinner parties, and mixing up cocktails for our guests in this kitchen.


Moving right along. There’s a part of me that’s still really interested in bringing in a color to the kitchen – namely green, which is the overall theme for the whole house. Green in a kitchen feels very English countryside, and I think the green still plays really beautifully with brass accents and a marble counter.

Here we have Option #3 – Green cabinets, dark appliances, and a more traditional blue striped window shade. The green is very saturated. Truth be told I don’t mind it – I love how rich it is. Plus this kitchen (below) from deVOL makes me really want a GREEN kitchen.

photo via deVOL

My concern with this design is that the green will be too saturated, and will feel like too much color next to our TV room.


Stone counters aren’t going to come cheap. There’s a big part of me that wants to go for them anyways. You know, splurge on one aspect of the kitchen that will make a big impact. Plus I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen, so I might as well make it the room of my dreams. But there’s another part of me that knows how much more affordable wood counters would be, and they would still look beautiful.

So for my final option, I’ve thrown in wood counters instead of stone, and nice neutral window shade to bounce the warmth around. This could work with dark or light lower cabinets, but for the sake of a design board I’ve popped in a lighter option. But maybe I go part stone, part wood? Best of both worlds?

Now the question is which is my favorite. The truth is I’m really torn. PLUS, it’s not just my kitchen. Mac needs to sign off on the design plan, too (as soon as I get him to sign off on a full kitchen renovation, which I’ve already decided we’re doing, but he may or may not know is happening yet).

But I’m also desperate for the opinion of my fellow EHD team and YOU. This is the first time anyone is seeing my design boards, and I’m waiting with bated breath for advice. What direction do you think we should go in? Because there’s nothing like peer pressure to help you make a permanent decision about your home 🙂 HAPPY TUESDAY, FOLKS!

Opening Photo Credit: Photo via deVOL

Fin Mark


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They are all beautiful, but my least favorite is the black one. It’s too dark and heavy. It’s always nice to see some color, so the green one might be the winner for me. I think mixing different counter tops is also a good idea. Best of both worlds just like you said, so go for it! Can’t wait to see how this project will turn out 🙂

Dinna Diaz

I agree Tanja! I love love love the green, but think the oatmeal w/white uppers and some shelves would be amazing! Mixing the countertops works too! You’ve got to have the stone for baking! Can’t wait to see your progress!


I tend to lean toward moody palettes, but in everything you need balance. From what I read, it sounds like you may need relief from the other moody, gorgeous rooms but you want something that still compliments the rest of the house while not being a replica of the other rooms or in stark contrast. With that being said, my gut tells me you should go with Option 1 (for balance). I love the oatmeal color for the bottom cabinets. I think you should get the stone you love since you decided to be all in on your renovation, why pull back for the part that means the most to you? I definitely think you could get creative with reminents or using both butcher block and stone. And I would be interested to see how you make it work if it comes to that. (Note, I really do love the green on options 3 & 4, but I see your point about the saturation and not wanting to paint them yourselves when you are intentionally spending the money for new cabinets for quality etc. Maybe you could find a way to incorporate color in a different, creative way that you… Read more »


I love option 1 it looks so classic and calm and beautiful!

Kris F.

Agree. Option 1. I think you might get tired of the others – they are more trendy.


Exactly what I was going to say. Everyone is painting dark and moody right now … until they’re not. I also think option 4 is good and the wood counters do go well with the more casual vibe of your house, Sara. 🙂

YES, agreed Jo!

Jeffrey C

Check your local places for some stone remnants. You might be surprised at what you can pick up fairly inexpensively. We weren’t able to get enough to do all our counters in stone, so we did about 70% in stone and then butcher block flanking the stove. Saved thousands on the stone.

I love options #1 and #3.


This is brilliant!

Vicki Williams

I assume you probably know about granite yards that have remnants that actually may be large enough for your kitchen , so check those out. Also don’t be afraid to ask for a bargain. We found a slab that was gorgeous and discovered a crack in it and they took off a whole bunch of sq feet in pricing. I live in Phoenix and we have a place here called The Yard and it has stunning prices. So I’ll bet there is a similar place where you are at. Also Habitat for Humanity, which you may already be looking at or similar places. Good luck Oh BTW, I pinned your TV room as inspiration for a complete home reno I am designing and the client loved it as do I, so forgive us for copying almost every detail. We have a closet that will be turned into a special place similar to yours with maybe the same sconces because that is what works. I’ve found a blue velvet chair that she can afford and ceilings, everything will be painted a similar lush green. So gorgeous! Thank you! I love that room! In fact you are doing a fantastic job with… Read more »

Yes! I recommend going thr remnant route as well. We did this and got a great deal.


I absolutely love Option 3 with the green cabinets and I think you won’t regret it, but I would really encourage you to research and consider soapstone countertops! Read about them on Remodelista, take a look on pinterest – they are my dream countertops and for your baking and cooking interests I think they will be a lot more suitable than marble. And as you see in your inspiration pics, green cabinets are fire with black countertops.


Love my soapstone!


So glad to hear! This has been my dream countertop material for years, and I’ll finally get to use it when I remodel my kitchen next spring!


hate to rain on your parade but I would NOT do the soapstone…it’s just too soft! I have some and it’s gorgeous but a bit sad with all of the marks around the sinks and edges. Please take this to heart with the cost involved you do NOT want to make a mistake on which material:(


I have soapstone countertops and LOVE them. One of the best things about it was we could have the fabricator make us a matching farmhouse sink (I know you already got a sink, but there are creative things you can do with it, like integrated drain boards). It’s heat resistant and doesn’t stain, which is awesome. The main downside is that it’s soft and can scratch, but gouges can be sanded, and I like the look of slightly softened edges.

Anywho, I did put in a section of end grain walnut, and I actually chop on it. It’s awesome. It’s a small enough piece that I figured we could replace it affordably if it got too chewed up. A few years later, it still looks great. I just give is some spoon butter every once in a while. I can’t remember the site I ordered it from, but it was super easy to customize.


I personally love options 1 and 4, because I think it would tie in nicely with your dining room! Oh and also because I prefer the light appliance options, ha! But a nice muted green would work well too.

I know you said you are not considering the raw Semihandmade door options, but Jennifer at Making Pretty Spaces and Daniel Kanter also went that route and the outcome are really flawless! Just an idea if you end up falling in love with a custom color. 🙂


If you go with the green cabinets, Ikea actually makes doors and fronts in a really pretty-looking green tone (called Bodarp).

I always think it’s funny when people use Ikea cabinets and then spend lots of money on custom doors. It’s actually the cabinet *bodies* where quality makes the most difference!

Either way I’m looking forward to what Sara creates here!

Adair Edwards

Option 1 or 4! Lighter cabinets for sure. And this comes from someone who would love to do dark cabinets one day.


I’ve been following along Daniel Kanter’s oatmeal colored kitchen reno- a color I’d never have expected to like! But it’s lovely and would balance some of the dark in your home. Option 1!


My soon to start kitchen refresh is inspired by that amazing black kitchen at The Woodhouse I saw in Remodelista. So I say black…If you can get enough light into the space! There’s a ton of light flowing into the kitchen of my DC row house and the bamboo woodlands wild backyard landscape is seen through Marvin windows and a sliding glass door – painted Off Black (Farrow and Ball) and the walls are Slipper Satin. Black granite countertops will stay to keep the budget down and the Home Depot Shaker style cabinets will be painted Off Black. Upper cabinets are coming down, artwork will continue on the exposed walls, I’ll swap out the stainless steel sink for a black one and add a brass faucet. The stainless steel appliances will stay. Am moving the fridge to the end of a counter to open up the space and will add a small piece of marble- counter height on brass legs where the fridge was. It’ll become a mini working space or place for someone to sit and do homework or have a cocktail and talk while we’re making dinner. There’ll be a smaller marble ledge above which’ll hold a gold… Read more »


I agree. If your kitchen will have lots of natural light, black would look great. But if you don’t, the lighter colored cabinets will brighten up your space.


But sometimes light cabinets look dingy if there’s not too much light, and it can be better to lean into the darkness. Maybe paint some large pieces of poster board and tape those to your cabinets to look at how the light plays with it at different times of day?

Christine Collins

They’re all beautiful, but if you’re going for the whole shabang then #1 is the best!! Gorgeous, classic, calming and something you can love for a long time!


Maybe I’m just tired of seeing marble countertops (I know, I know, they are beautiful and classic but still…) so I am loving the warmth of the butch block or the stone and wood combo option.

All these options are really gorgeous and you won’t regret just going for it with the full reno! Now is definitely the time.


Hi Sara, so nice that you are going to tackle a new renovation project with your dad! 🙂 I do that with my dad a lot, too, and it’s so nice enjoy that extra-time together.

I’d love to see option 1 or option 2 for your kitchen. They feel light and airy and balance out the darker and moodier colors in your house very nicely. Also – from my experience black surfaces are not easy to maintain clean at all! You see every little dot of dust, fingerprints or any other kind of stains or splashes on them. We put a black floor in our last kitchen and it looked really fancy but we had to clean twice a day 😉

Anyway, looking forward to watch your process!
Greetings from Berlin


I agree re dark cabinets. My lowers are dark navy (Hague blue By FB) and are impossible to keep clean – they show everything. Meanwhile, my white uppers are far more forgiving.
Can’t wait to see it!


I agree with the black…. its the opposite of what you think. We had dark grey slate in our last kitchen and it was gorgeous but showed the dirt terribly….


I LOVE the black, but comments above are correct…you will be so bummed cleaning them constantly. Every animal nose, drip, adorable chubby finger and your own adult fingers leave marks that can be seen screaming at you from different angels. Therefore, black is my last choice for anyone who wants to live instead of clean all day. (Especially in a legit, hard-working kitchen.)


I was team black in my house until we did it! All of our doors are Benjamin Moore black beauty and between every speck of dust/dirt, stray crumb/spill, the cat/dog hair, and child… I don’t think it’ll ever all be clean at once! Haha I thought it would be more forgiving but it’s the opposite. I honestly think an oatmeal color might be best if hiding dirt and smudges is a contributing factor! We have vertical paneling painted Dunn Edwards “shady” in our mudroom and entryway and I love it for that factor!


I feel the same way about white cabinets–very hard to keep clean! But I vote for black lowers and white uppers. I think if the uppers are a light color, it won’t make your kitchen too dark. I also second the vote for good lighting, including under-cabinet lighting. We put in under-cabinet lighting (in our espresso-stained dark cabinet kitchen) when we re-tiled our backsplash and it’s been the best thing ever!


Agree, black shows EVERYTHING! Be prepared to constantly wipe down, cover scratches, etc. if you go this route. It all depends on what your tolerance level is compared to your neatness/perfection level😏

Rachel C

I like one and two best. I have wood countertops and even though I also love cooking / baking I hate the look of all the wood in my home. I know that sounds NUTS because I do love myself a good neutral wood tone but it’s just too much. I think with the wood flooring in your kitchen it would overwhelm it. Everyone tells me they love them but I NEED to get some stone in there to balance it out a bit.


I prefer options 1 and 3, but they are all beautiful. Also, you don’t have a lot of square feet in counter tops – I think it will be more affordable that you think. I’m very excited to see what you come up with!


Not only do I prefer options 1 & 4, but I think they contrast so well with the darker, muddier colors in the TV room. I like the dark colors but not sure how much I’d want in a modest size kitchen. I know that dark cabinets are striking and you would think practical, but they don’t hide everything (dust, grease) and personally, when you have spills, nicks, etc., I’d rather be able to see them so that I can wipe them up….always easier to clean a surface when stains are new. But all options are nice!


Option 2, Option2, Options 2…

Why? Besides that you said Mac will like it, Option 1 and Option 4 are very boring to my eye – something I’ve already seen a lot of people do before. Option 3 would probably be my second choice. I was concerned reading the post last week that this project would indeed be very ho-hum to follow along with – no new ground to tread that I hadn’t already seen other people do. Today’s post erases those concerns. Good luck!


What a gift to have this time with your dad! That is truly the best.
I’d caution against black appliances unless you are super cleanly as they show every speck of dust, dirt, and pet dander.
Also I love the idea of a taupe/oatmeal cabinet front – the one on the moodboards has strong violet undertones – not sure if it’s a monitor color thing or the look you’re going for, just thought I’d mention it.
I can’t wait to see what you decide.


I agree about black being hardest option to keep clean, cabinets and appliances both. My black cabinets and other black furniture are dusty the very day after a good dusting. Also, in cooking, think of the flour, batter etc that might come to rest upon your base cabinets on occasion and you might be rethinking your stance on the black option. Sorry, Mac.


Option 1. It’s so small that the light color seems best and most elegant. So beautiful and timeless. We built a house with good bones and did wood counters to save money. Very quickly ripped them out for a marble looking granite. So much happier. Love the gold and oatmeal together!!!!


Agree agree!! No more gray–feels like a gray kitchen will be the outdated cherry wood kitchen in the next 10 years.


Option 4, with a mix of wood and stone countertops. If you’re doing an island, wood on the perimeter, stone on the island?

I just changed my cabinets and walls from color on both to a mushroom grieve cabinet and white wall. Couldn’t be happier.


Greige. Stupid autocorrect.


#3! The green is really something we don’t see too often, so unique!


I i like all of these in the right space, but think that Option 1 is definitely right for your kitchen. Black or dark lowers aren’t my favourite in a galley kitchen like yours. And it’s a fallacy that dark lower cabinets look cleaner. A lot of what gets on your cabinets is food/soap and it actually shows up more on darker surfaces. So excited to see the final product! Whatever you choose I’m sure you will make it stunning.


I agree. I love the look of black or green lowers in a bigger kitchen, but for a small kitchen like Sara’s (and mine!), I don’t think you’ll regret going with bright and white.


Muted green lower cabs, open & airy shelving up top, soapstone counters & brass!


1 or 3!


My only opinion is to not do wood countertops! Or at least, have some areas like around the sink that are stone. Wood just doesn’t hold up as well to all the abuse and water that counters gets, and I say that as someone who is very happy with the wood floors in every room of my house. I have soapstone counters and love them.


I came to say this too! I have wood countertops and they are great but…. it would ease my mind to have the area right next to the sink be stone or tile since inevitably we handwash a variety of dishes and cutting boards and we end up with a towel down just about all of the time.
For me, there is about 2 feet from the sink the to the end of the counter so it would be easy to know that that’s where the stone would end (vs somehow connecting it to the rest of the wood countertop) and I think would be a nice way to highlight the *real* use of the space.
Good luck!


I agree, skip the wood for counters! Your can never dry them near the sink well enough and they stain and mildew, and eventually rot. I love my quartz! And I love my soapstone sink. I also have dark lower cabinets (Hale Navy) near the sink, dishwasher, and trash which are horrible to keep clean. If you do dark, consider using it in lower traffic zones.


Thank you for the thumbs up for soapstone! I’m planning to use it in my kitchen soon.


Only one option mentions upper cabinets, so I’m confused. You gotta decide whether you need upper cabinets before you get to color–focus on function first! Based on your existing pantry storage issues it would seem odd to lose the storage you already have. If you go with uppers, I think two colors will feel weird in such a small space.
Also, don’t assume black will always look clean! They’ll show flour, dust, white scuffs from shoes instead of dark, etc. Mid-tones are the easiest to look clean, so I’m fully on board for oatmeal!
If you’re still torn on the way forward, focus your inspiration search on kitchens the same size, shape, and light level as yours! Using dream kitchens as inspiration is limiting because they haven’t had to make smart space choices, so they don’t have the same constraints as you do. Houzz has great search filters for this and it lets you see what actually works in a small room.
My overall vibe from this post is… You aren’t ready to start yet! Kitchens require so much planning that jumping into a renovation will get you a long renovation and/or a dysfunctional kitchen.

Cris S.

Just, not the black. It’s too dark for the space and actually will show flour dust much more than the other choices.

Katherine Lavender


I really love them all. After 2 kitchen renovations over the last 2 years, I’d recommend not going with the wood counters. We have both and the wood is just not as easy to maintain. It’s not necessarily hard, but if you are looking for something that isn’t time consuming or requires regular maintenance, I’d go with the stone or some other solid surface.

We have a green kitchen as well and absolutely love it!


I like option 1, 3, or 4.

Something You could also consider is using stone around the sink and butcher block around the stove. I find that to be the best of both worlds.
This application would look best with option 2 or 3. If you use two cabinet colors like in option 1, I’d stick to one countertop material. But if you use one cabinet color, it doesn’t look strange to use two countertop materials… but if you bake a lot, you may just want stone.


I love option4, it has color and is super warm with the wood counters. I’ve had both wood and stone and really prefer the wood, with the option of a marble slab workspace, compared to when I’ve had stone with wood cutting boards or work spaces. I think you could go a little brighter with the color if you use a chalk-based paint like Farrow and Ball that will be soft rather than a bright glossy hue. Good luck!!!

ellen feeney

Option #1 is just beautiful – light and classic. Going dark would take away from your awesome TV room.


Option 1 for sure! It creates such a beautiful contrast to your dark rooms. Think of how amazing it will feel to walk from one room to the next!

Laura S

I think that the shape of your kitchen is a really important factor here (assuming that you’re keeping it relatively the same, which it sounds like you are). Dark cabinets are great for open or wide, front facing kitchens where you can stand back and appreciate the contrast between the light and dark, which is ultimately what makes them not look like just a dark space. In a more galley-shaped kitchen, you wouldn’t really get that and I suspect (as an NYC dweller who has dealt with MANY a galley-esque kitchen) it would come off and dark and closed off instead of the dark/cozy/but sophisticated look you’re likely hoping for.

That brings me to my votes for 1 and 3. I think you’ll appreciate the bright spot in the house if you go with a lighter look since it sounds like the house is shaking out to have several darker nooks already. I also think if you ever try to sell later it’ll be less polarizing for potential buyers and look a bit more classic (I know you’ll zhush it up in the meantime with cool accessories and finishes).

Good luck, I can’t wait to follow along!!


This. We renovated our galley kitchen 15 years ago with very light natural maple cabinets with shaker doors and granite countertops (because it was 15 years ago…), it’s held up well and is easy to clean. Like you, I am an avid cook and have all the kitchen toys. Based on that, I would not recommend upper shelving in the actual kitchen, I do have a couple in the breakfast area and the items on them still get greasy and dusty, not my favorite combo. Plus I think you’ll miss the storage. While I like all your options, my least favorite would be the all black. Considering the size of the kitchen and the fact that you’re going to remove the door (unless you’ll be installing a much larger window when you center it), you might regret the loss of light if you go very dark. Regardless, I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful, satisfying and joyful. Keep us posted


These are all beautiful! I personally lean toward option 1. I love the lightness of it considering you’re working with a small space. I think the saturated green will compete too much with your other room.


Another vote for option 1.


I really like all of the inspiration photos but I’m thinking #1 is my favorite- Light, airy and timeless. I like the green inspiration cabinets, but not wild about the SH green. It helps to consider the flow of the house and what colors/rooms are adjacent. If you are keeping any of your dark appliances, then go with dark lowers. Go for the stone countertop! Maybe source that first and it will help dictate the cabinet color. One thing I noticed studying the photos-a wood countertop stops the eye and makes it look smaller whereas white countertop next to white backsplash expands the space. So excited to see what you come up with!


I like the lighter options, 1 and 4, especially if much of the rest of the house is dark. Looks great!


Option 1, or 3 if Mac vetos the lighter cabinets. They’re both so beautiful. 1 is airy and elegant, will make the space feel more spacious. 3 is moody and rich in the perfect way (dark greens are my all-time fave) without being too heavy.

I personally don’t enjoy the upkeep of wood counters, and considering this is now the only reno this kitchen will see, think stone counters are worth the ‘splurge’. Plus, typically better for resale, if that’s any concern. There are thankfully more affordable ways to go about it, as many others have mentioned in the comments. Best of luck!!


I love all of them! (Haha not helpful.) Though I would pick a more muted green as opposed to a more saturated green. I might be least likely to choose the butcher block counters because the floors will be wood, but that’s me spending someone else’s money 😉

Thanks for the link to Velinda’s kitchen, I’d seen it before but now that I’m thinking about kitchen reno options it was a good re-read. Lots of great tips!

Honestly I think everything has been great so far, I trust whatever you end up with will be awesome 😀


We remodeled our kitchen last summer (after saving for 15 years), and I ended up going with pure white quartz countertops that came from a place that sold pre-made slabs. It’s super affordable for a galley style kitchen. I had also been thinking about butcher block, but the pre-made quartz was the SAME cost. I’m not even kidding. I needed three pieces of quartz which was less then $1000. I used a drop in sink so that cut was $100. Add installation and I think I spent $1500 total.
In NorCal the place was called Granite Depot, I don’t know if they have stores down there but they have to have something similar.


I love option # 1. I would rethink two-tone cabinets though. With a small space, may be best to have one color for both lowers and uppers.


We have black cabinets in our kitchen, and I love them, but I find they actually show dirt/smudges more easily than light ones!

Sarah M.

They are all GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see more. I have a tiny kitchen and this will def be used as inspiration. The moodier kitchen options have my vote.


Definitely option 1 if Mac is on board. I think you have enough dark going on in this house (which I love!) that a slightly different color scheme would be a good thing. Can’t wait to see this project as it unfolds!


I vote BLACK! We had our honey oak cabinets painted black on the bottom. Timeless! Green is amazing but will feel dated in 10-15 years. There I said it. It doesn’t matter if YOU love it; but the fact that you are a memeber in the design industry it’s totally going to bug you eventually. I have one west facing window in my kitchen and the black lowers are not too dark, I have a ton of lighting so that definitely helps. If you can swing Stone countertops go for it! Don’t go into debt over it! Wood is beautiful too! That being said I would be head over heels for any of these kitchen designs! Ok essay over.


I’m coming round to the taupe idea, based on Daniel Kanter’s one as somebody else mentioned – it would be great to see something new and the black or green ones have been around for a while now. I say this as someone who has a black kitchen! Have a look at the DeVol refectory red kitchen – it’s beautiful! Or wooden cabinets with stone worktops and dusky pink walls? I painted my cabinets using Farrow and Ball paint and they’ve held up really well. Then you could choose any colour you like!


Option #1 hands down. With a galley kitchen things can get claustrophobic fast, going dark would make it even more so. Plus it would compete with the TV room which is stunning. I like the oatmeal lowers because it creates a subtle contrast. I like the idea of 2 different counter tops as well, but worry it could be too busy with 2 different cabinet colors. If you go with one cabinet color I’d go all oatmeal & then 2 different counter tops could work. Also a white tile back splash would keep it classic & bright. Can’t wait to follow your process!

Ellen Warner

I love the green tower cabinet, stainless appliances, mix of dark stone countertop and possibly wood countertop.


I’d do option 1 or 3. Your kitchen does not appear to have plentiful natural light, so personally I wouldn’t go with super dark cabinets. And like you said, you already have some dark moody moments in your other rooms.
Big fan of going ahead and doing the whole kitchen now. It’s gonna be so worth all the hard work. Good luck!

Jenn B

Option 4 is great and you can do stone later. It could easily save you a couple of thousand of dollars.


Option #3, followed by option #2. #1 is honestly too safe, and ubiquitous. I beg you not to go with wood countertops, around the sink it will be a problem. (Ask Orlando.)

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