Renovating our kitchen has been a dream of mine since we bought our house nearly 15 years ago. I love to cook and entertain, and as a mom of two boys who eat constantly, I spend the majority of my time in our kitchen. Our old kitchen was very dark with wood cabinets and green granite counter tops (hello 90’s!) so I really wanted everything to be very bright, clean and timeless.
We made a few changes in order to use the space more efficiently, but basically kept the layout the same. Not having to relocate any plumbing or appliances allowed us to save a little money. We swapped out a bay window and seat for a sliding glass door which now opens to our patio, removed an upper cabinet that divided the room in half, and extended the counter so that we could have an eat-in kitchen.
Because our house is a colonial I wanted to keep the design somewhat traditional but added a modern, chic tile backsplash from FireClay to liven it up a bit. I knew I didn’t want a subway tile and when I came across their chaine homme pattern a couple years ago, I tucked it away in my files. I thought it would be a nice way to add a little character, but not go overboard. Sometimes when something has too much character I get sick of it quickly. This handmade tile comes in a number of colors but I went with white, and a light grey grout. I know, another grey and white kitchen… I plan to add in a little color with a window treatment and accessories though.
I went with a semi-custom light french grey cabinet, again because I wanted it to be classic and timeless. I considered going with a navy or a bolder color for the millwork but worried I would tire of it. So grey it is, shaker style with a rounded inset molding for a softer more traditional feel. And semi-custom because I wanted to save my money for tile, lighting and adding the sliding door. By doing a semi-custom cabinet you can cut your millwork costs in half.
I chose an Aurea Stone quartz for my countertops, supplied by Precision Stone. It’s super durable and truly looks like marble, but doesn’t stain or etch like marble does. The veining is subtle and doesn’t look manufactured, which I find is the problem with most quartz.
All my hardware is brass and comes from Rejuvenation. I wanted to warm things up a bit, and the brass does just that. I worried a little about it being trendy but know I can always change that down the line. Hardware is easy to switch.
Now let’s talk about my bar area because that is one of my favorite features, and no, not just because we all know how much I love my wine. I went with a walnut countertop for this area to make it feel more, well, bar-like. We added a beverage fridge which I love because seltzers, wine and juice boxes don’t take up valuable real estate in my main fridge. I also love my glass cabinet which holds all of our glassware.
I splurged on my pendants from Hector Finch. They were hand blown in London, and were worth the wait, and every penny. Lighting is one place to spend a little extra. Your fixtures really make the room shine, pun intended. My woven rattan stools are from Palacek. I like for every room to have a little texture, so the stools check that box. They are cushionless (because kids), durable and comfortable – my requirements for stools in a family kitchen.
Last minute we decided to recess the TV and shiplap the back wall of the room. I’m so glad we did because I feel that the wall really completes the room. Although I preferred a piece of art on that wall, we enjoy watching the news while making breakfast and dinner.
Last but not least, we replaced the wood floors because there was a significant dip right in the middle of the room. I wasn’t dying to splurge on this but knowing I could get a wider plank (I went with 5″, anything larger would of felt too farmhouse like) made the purchase worth it. We haven’t been able to stain them because in case you didn’t know were in the middle of a pandemic. ; ) Slowly but surely.
One thing I thought about but didn’t choose to move forward with was open shelving. I really struggled with this but I know how anal I am, and knew they would probably annoy me if they weren’t perfectly styled all the time. I also knew if I went with open shelving I would want to tile behind the shelves, and my tile wasn’t cheap so this was another way to save a little. I did add one built-in shelf above the bar area for a few of my favorite cookbooks and pottery.
I learned a lot through this process. Of course there are a few things I would change but overall I love the finished product. I would love to share my knowledge of how to project manage while acting as an interior designer, and help you with your next renovation. Please contact me to discuss.
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