Well friends, the kitchen renovation that was only supposed to be an update is well underway. We’ve ripped out the old floor, put in a new floor, removed the door, put in a new window, and installed the cabinet boxes. So much for a quick, not permanent “update”.
But I am SO happy that we decided to go for the full reno. Now that we’re nearing the finish line it all feels worth it, and soon I’m going to have a beautiful kitchen that truly feels like me to cook and bake in (thanks to Julie, my dad, and all the partners that we’re working with). So today I thought I’d check in with y’all and just give you a tour of the design plans, while we all anxiously await the completion and reveal of this kitchen.
As always, let’s start at the beginning – Here’s what the kitchen looked like when we moved in:
It was weird for sure, but had its charms. And for a year and half we lived with it as was. It’s also wild to think that we’ve owned our house for TWO years now. Time really does fly when you’re pouring all your energy and resources into a renovation.
And this is how it was once we were living in it. Totally functional, but not at as pretty as it could be:
And here is what it looks like RIGHT. NOW. Surprise reveal! You’re welcome!
OMG, don’t you love it? It’s minimal, bright, and open. We felt that going with open cabinets everywhere was a bold, risky design move that we wanted to take. Not only did we do open cabinets, we did shelf-less, open cabinets. Is it functional? Not at all, but we love it. And the exposed plumbing is something I’m sure is going to be a huge 2021 design trend. The final touches are the bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling which imbue the space with an industrial vibe.
… Obviously, we aren’t done yet. Far from it. But all the DIY-able stuff is done.
- Hardwood floor has been installed
- New drywall has been installed
- New electrical has been installed throughout the entire kitchen
- The previously existing back door has been removed, and a new window has been framed into the back of the wall
- Our Ikea cabinet boxes have been installed
- Plywood sub counters have been installed
- The sink has been dropped in and connected to running water
Now it’s just about lead-times and scheduling. The cabinet fronts take 8-10 weeks to be fabricated, the appliances similarly have varying lead-times, and the stone countertops and open shelf that we actually are doing can’t be installed until both the cabinet fronts/panels and appliances are installed.
But as a little amuse-bouche, let me walk you through what it is going to look like (hopefully by January *fingers crossed*). I started by building out the kitchen cabinet plan in the Ikea kitchen planner, since we’re using Ikea cabinet boxes.
DO YOU SEE MY VISION based on these drawn on Ikea plans?! My dad didn’t. I was like “LISTEN, it’s gonna be great, so good, just…we’re gonna wing it!” JK, I immediately took my Ikea cabinet plans to Julie and begged her to help me with professional drawings and plans that I could actually pass along to the professionals (like the counter fabricator).
THANK YOU JULIE – This kitchen literally would not have been possible without you. She took my Ikea plans and modeled them in SketchUp so we could play around with different ideas:
And now here are the REAL renderings (and technical drawings, in case anyone is interested in seeing what we’re actually staring at most of the time!), along with some deets.
STOVE SIDE (The Pretty Version)
STOVE SIDE (The Technical Version)
WOW SO PRETTY. I’M SO EXCITED. Ok so here’s what’s happening on this side of the kitchen.
- Biggest news – I’M GETTING A NEW STOVE, one that will bake bread majestically, broil chicken golden-y, and pre-heat at the touch of my finger via my phone while I’m on my way home. I’ve somehow convinced KitchenAid, my dream kitchen appliance company, to partner with me for our main kitchen appliances and I could not be more excited. My KitchenAid Stand Mixer is my absolute favorite kitchen appliance after all.
- All the Ikea cabinet boxes we bought are getting custom facelifts courtesy of Kokeena, a small custom cabinet front company in Portland. Remember when I was going to go with a taupe color for the cabinets? Well, I fell in love with an absolute perfect sage green color that they fabricate for their Townsend collection, and never looked back.
- Julie can take credit for this next aspect, because not only are we doing Caesarstone countertops, we’re taking the stone all the way up the backsplash and all the way up to the hood behind the stove. It’s going to create such an elegant, seamless lewk. Mac and I are pretty stoked on the stone choice too.
This side of the kitchen is filled wall-to-wall with storage – tall cabinets flank either end, and lower and upper cabinets frame the stove. The cabinet closest to the window will be pantry storage, along with a shelf in the middle serving as an appliance shelf for a toaster and coffee maker. And our microwave is going to go in the upper cabinet to the left of the stove. The cabinet on the very right will be more pantry storage, along with storage for our broom and vacuum. The best part about all the Ikea cabinet boxes is the shelves are totally customizable, so if we need more or less storage for anything we can always modify it.
SINK SIDE (The Pretty Version)
SINK SIDE (The Technical Version)
And here’s the other side of the kitchen.
- Because we have wall-to-wall cabinets on the opposite side of the kitchen, Julie suggested we go for open shelving on this side. Originally we were going to do two shelves centered on the wall (per my earlier drawing), but decided a little later that one shelf that spans the entire open wall space would cleaner and give us more options of what could sit on the shelf. Right now the plan is to put some cookbooks, a piece of art or two, and the bowls, plates, and glasses we use every day. The rest of the dishware (extra plates, bowls, glasses, and bigger dishware) will continue to live in the bar cabinet in the dining room.
- The Caesarstone counter and backsplash will mirror what’s happening on the other side, and run all the way up to meet the floating shelf.
- I bought our sink off Craigslist – It’s a giant enamel beauty from Kohler that would have cost us $800 new, but I got it for $350. We picked it up new and in the box still from a new build site. The contractor said the client had ended up changing their minds about it. LUCKY US.
- But we’ll soon have the option to skip hand washing our dishes because WE’RE GETTING A DISHWASHER (thank you KitchenAid). I haven’t had one of these since I lived at my parent’s house. To be perfectly honest, we don’t use enough dishes every day to warrant using a dishwasher all the time. But for those nights when we have guests over it’s going to be amazing. It even has a tiny top rack perfect for cutlery, which really helps maximize space.
- Finally getting a pull-out trashcan drawer. I have no idea why, but having a non-visible trashcan has always been a real dream of mine. And it especially makes sense in our narrow galley kitchen, where there isn’t a ton of open floor space to put a trashcan.
- We’re getting a beautiful, panel-ready refrigerator. Yep, we’re going for integrated appliances in our kitchen, which means that both the dishwasher and the fridge will be covered with panels that match our cabinets, so they become invisible when they’re closed! Kokeena has the ability to custom make panels specific to just about any panel-ready appliance, and KitchenAid has a some really great, panel-ready appliance options. It was a dream team situation and is really helping me create the type of kitchen I was envisioning.
- We’ll be installing a brass rail and hook system from Rejuvenation under the floating shelf, which will span almost the entire length of the counter. Our faucet is also a beautiful brass piece from Rejuvenation, and we’ve got stunning brass light features to match. Sconces on the wall above the floating shelf, and flush mounts for the ceiling.
Originally I had wanted to do something a little wild in there, like wallpapering the ceiling. But I was told by Mark, our wallpaper installer who I really trust, that the wallpaper I wanted to use would be a bad option for a room with a lot of grease and steam. So we’ve decided to leave the ceiling white to match the walls. But I feel a lot better about the kitchen having personality now that we’ve chosen a color for the cabinets, rather than a tone.
Plus there are still a few places to bring in warmth with the roman shade choice and a runner. Haven’t decided on either of those yet.
So that’s where we are right now folks. Our kitchen is currently totally functional, with our old appliances (which came with the house), and plywood sub-counters. But already it feels miles brighter and more open. The final reveal is still a ways off (good things take time, especially when you’re doing them yourself), but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.