This reveal wouldn’t be possible without the support of a handful of amazing brands, who partnered with us. Thanks to KitchenAid, Caesarstone, Kokeena, and Rejuvenation for helping this kitchen come to life.
I’d like to open this blog post with a quote…
Well. Here we are folks. The end of the line. Wrap it up. We’re sending Bilbo off to the Undying Lands. It’s time to reveal my kitchen renovation that started exactly 1 year, 9 months, and 15 days ago. I am 105% ready to let your eyeballs scroll all over this kitchen. But first, a little trip down memory lane.
It was a kitchen that was literally crumbling apart at the grout lines. There were holes in the walls, at least three different paint colors between the cabinets, walls, and trim, and more than a few shelves and drawers that were falling apart. I have a hard time remembering the kitchen this way. It honestly feels like a lifetime ago. Time’s gotten weird in the last few years… gooey almost.
So, back in May of 2020 I thought “hey, let’s make this a challenge and update our kitchen, and let’s set a budget of $3k to do it, and, you know… see how far we get.” Oh, young me. Still so self-unaware. That idea snowballed fast (as most of my home projects do) into “hey, let’s renovate this whole kitchen, while we’re home all the time, and as every supply chain comes to a grading halt. How about that?” Here’s why – My dad was home too (a rare occurrence) since all film and TV production was on hold, and he was ready for a project.
Once we’d made the leap from well-intentioned and naive update, to fully unhinged renovation, I went down a design rabbit hole. I still love all of those above design directions. What we ended up going with was a modified version of Option #3, but with a lighter, less saturated green. And honestly, I can’t imagine my kitchen any other way. Green it was, is, and will be forever.
Forgetting all the emotional breakdowns, doubt, existential dread, and work over the past two years, I’m so happy we ripped off the bandaid and just went for it with the full renovation. Because now we have THIS…
A kitchen of my dreams, that I can’t believe I get to cook in. I’ll level with you – is this what our kitchen looks like all day, every day? Yes. It is the most beautiful kitchen in the world, a dirty dish has never touched that sink, my produce is always ripe, and my counters are always clear and clean. I am the most aesthetic person in the world. Thank you for reading today’s post.
“Oh, she thinks she’s a comic…”
In fact, our kitchen does not look like this every day. Think of a shoot day like school picture day, but for interiors. You clean the space up, curate it, zhuzh it. You bring in the stylist, and the hand towel you’ve never used because it’s too beautiful, but makes you look cool. You kinda live out this fantasy of what the space could be. Seeing it at its full potential. So for today, this is the version of my kitchen I’m sharing. But because I am benevolent, I will be sharing some photos of how our kitchen actually looks (…on a clean day). Including the insides of all the cabinets and drawers. But that’s content for a different post (coming soon).
Ok. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so start reading faster…and check out this video we made showing the whole space (just wait for the ad to play):
Going in alphabetical order, let’s start with the appliances. All of our major appliances (fridge, dishwasher, and range + hood) were provided by KitchenAid, and all three are a pleasure to have in our home. Emily Bowser has a KitchenAid fridge in her home, and I have always really liked the functionality of it. Plus, I already loved my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. So when it came time to choose appliances for the kitchen, they were my first choice. The range is my favorite, and is a KitchenAid 30” Commercial-Style Range. This line of ranges comes in several different colors – I have the ink blue model, which allows me to add an extra hint of color in my kitchen. After all, I am a “more is more” kinda person. It’s also just a really great range – it’s got smart capabilities so I can preheat the oven from my phone without leaving the couch, powerful burners, and an endless array of cooking capabilities. I cook at least two meals a day, so the Commercial-Style Range is a huge part of my life.
Next up is our KitchenAid, counter depth panel-ready fridge with interior dispense French doors. The freezer drawer has been the biggest upgrade in terms of food storage, and I love how spacious it is, as it lets me organize my food better.
Lastly, our KitchenAid dishwasher with panel-ready design (which blends seamlessly into our cabinets) has a third-level rack for things like spatulas, serving utensils, and measuring cups, freeing up space in the lower two racks, which helps keep our counter clear and our sink empty. And when you have a narrow kitchen, things can start feeling claustrophobic fast. Every inch of clear, clean space counts. If you’re in the market for some dreamy new appliances, check out more from KitchenAid(R) Suite Collections.
Next up – They are beauty, they are grace, they are our cabinet fronts by Kokeena in collaboration with Townsend Interiors in “Moss Green.” Solid wood, smoothly lacquered, and ready to pop right onto our self-installed Ikea cabinets. We went with their “Modern English” style cabinet fronts – essentially a shaker style cabinet to vibe with our more traditional style home. What drew me to these fine pieces of lacquered craftsmanship? Well, first of all they were green. The most lovely, perfect shade of warm, dark olive, cozy cottage green. They are also very nice people who run this small business out in Portland, and made the whole custom cabinetry front process very lovely.
And I can tell you that after about a year, they’re still holding up great. Yes. It took that long to get in all the finishing touches. But that also means that we’ve lived with our kitchen, and almost everything in it, for about a year. So I really do know how everything is holding up. And our beautiful cabinet fronts are checking all the boxes: gorgeous (duh), easily cleanable, and durable. We also used Kokeena’s brass hardware on all of the fronts, minus the fridge.
I really feel like the cabinet colors and the hardware shape keep this kitchen from feeling too modern, and really grounds the space in some vintage *emotions*.
Speaking of emotions, this photo gives me lots of them. Mostly because this kitchen was such a labor of love, and I can remember the installation of each and every piece, down to Bowser tying that kitchen towel into the most elegant knot on that tiny brass hook. But also because I feel like this kitchen really is me. Obviously the green cabinets, and brass hardware. But also the random, slightly chaotic, but cozy and lived-in feeling that I get from being in the space.
Each of those cutting boards has a personal story – The round one is a hand-me-down from Bowser, the arched one was a wedding gift from a friend, the tall one was the first nice cutting board I ever bought for myself, and the little pig was my grandmas. Does that shelf have a lot going on? Yes, but it feels warm and inviting and used. Do the brass rails and hanging baskets add a lot, visually? Definitely, but they also offer me the option of a lot more counter space by hanging items that I otherwise wouldn’t have room for. And sure, there are a lot of little things in my kitchen that probably don’t make practical sense, but they make me happy.
Like hanging this tiny little piece of art below my kitchen window, so my cats can also enjoy my vintage oil painting obsession while they eat – which is normally right under the window (painting gifted to me by the lovely Rosa Beltran after I photographed the CLAD Home storefront).
Our countertops and backsplash are from Caesarstone, in the color Statuario Nuvo with a honed finish. These counters were probably the smartest choice we made in our kitchen – they have never chipped, cracked, stained, or warped in any which way. They feel oh so velvety smooth, and I love rolling out dough on them. And they look so good. The veining throughout is delicate, the color is just slightly creamy. We went with natural stone in our bathroom, and I’m kinda wishing we had used Caesarstone again. I dunno how much more I can recommend it.
I thought the counters were going to be a really scary part of the reno, but they were actually super easy because they were the one thing we didn’t install ourselves. I connected with a fabricator in my area that Caesarstone recommended, showed them my kitchen layout, they sent someone out to measure, they told me how much stone I would need, and Caesarstone shipped the stone directly to the fabricators. The fabricators then cut the stone, and came to install it. Considering everything else that went into this kitchen (I’m looking at you floating wood shelf), it was a gentle breeze.
All that glitters isn’t gold, it’s brass. And it all comes from Rejuvenation. We’re talking the Eastmoreland arched wall sconce, the Foster flush mount ceiling fixtures, the Fenton outlet covers, the Brookside brass rail systems, the Descanso pull down faucet, and the matching dish soap dispenser that makes me feel very fancy. Even the window curtain rod that you can’t see in any photos, but I know is there. Beautiful, timeless, well crafted, and made right up in Portland. I like the outlet and switch plates so much, I didn’t even photoshop them out of the photos (I usually refer to outlets as the zits of walls). Also please, enjoy Emily Bowser’s aspirational herb drying station. We laughed about this, but she’s also serious about drying her own herbs and I’m a supportive friend.
This faucet and sink combo has proven wildly successful in our home – I nabbed that deeeeeep, Kholer, drop-in sink on Craigslist knowing I would need a kitchen bathtub for produce cleaning, washing out big pots, and maybe a kitty or future baby bath. Paired with our brass faucet that has a suuuuuuper long hose neck that can reach every nook and lustery enamel corner of that sink with either a gentle flow or powerful spray, there’s no contest.
Ahh, we’re reaching the end. Have I talked enough about my love for chaos? Have I even mentioned that hilarious vintage painted dog tray I bought in Atlanta and drove across the country with me?? Do you understand my love for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer which I use at least once a week?! I brought that tiny blue and white pitcher (and the matching sugar bowl) back from Guatemala in my carry-on because I was scared I was going to break it. And I found that wood pedestal bowl at a thrift store in Oregon on the road trip where Macauley proposed to me. THIS KITCHEN HAS EMOTIONS & MEMORIES. Unhinged ones, clearly. But they run deep.
That basil will probably die pretty soon though, so I’m trying to actually use it.
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite section of the post – before and afters:
Are you not entertained???
WOW. WE DID IT. I revealed this kitchen (that’s me, up there), and you scrolled through this whole blog post. I think we’ve both achieved something. But now it’s time for the applause round – Thank you to my brother and dad who literally installed this kitchen with their own four hands. Thank you to Julie Rose, who took my iPad drawings and measurements and turned them into something that I could actually use. Thank you to Velinda Hellen who answered 1 billion questions, and held my hand as we measured for the floating shelf because I was terrified to get it wrong (literally came over and did it with me, and by the way V, it fit perfectly). Thank you to all the brands who believed in my vision and helped it become a reality by gifting us beautiful kitchen items – KitchenAid for the appliances, Caesarstone for the counters, Kokeena & Townsend Interiors for the cabinet fronts, and Rejuvenation for so many shiny brass things. Thank you to Emily Bowser for knotting that hand towel so perfectly (and styling everything else). Thank you to the EHD team for tolerating me, and my brand of editorial chaos. And my husband Macauley for doing this whole home renovation thing with me.
So now you’ve seen the kitchen and you feel the feelings. This post was really about how I made this kitchen feel like us. But stay tuned, because in my next kitchen post I’m gonna share how I made this kitchen work for us. AND, I’m gonna be sharing photos of what it looks like on a more normal day. Because yea, we live with a rice cooker on the counter at all times. It’s a Zojirushi. It does not live in a cabinet.