Our long-awaiting kitchen renovation is finally DONE! I can hardly believe it. We started the renovation four months ago and didn't expect it to take that long, however, we ended up doing almost all of the work ourselves. That meant we had a limited amount of time that we could spend on the project, and it took time to figure things out.

I could not be happier with it! I honestly don't think I would change a thing. We moved into the house a year and a half ago, and I think it was very helpful to live in the space for a while before we remodeled. It gave me an opportunity to figure out what exactly I wanted and how I wanted the kitchen to flow and work for me.

Here's how it looked the very first time we saw it...

We started by tearing out the cabinets and moving them all into the dining room. We also moved the stove, wall oven and fridge into the dining room. This gave us a temporary kitchen (but without a sink) that functioned fairly well for a few months. That saved my sanity. We used the sink in the mudroom when we needed water.

We moved all of the appliances around to fit the space better. We put a pantry where the original fridge was. We switched the stove and sink around, and we put the new fridge where the wall ovens used to be.

Before we started the remodel, I had hung a poster board on the wall in the old kitchen with all my design ideas. It was so helpful to see the ideas up on a wall where I could look at it every day. There are so many small decisions that need to be made, and it's hard to envision how all the pieces will work together. It helps to see all the ideas in one physical spot. This was my design board...


We kept the overall space the same size but took everything out and started from scratch. By the time we started the kitchen, I had a very concrete idea of the finishes I wanted in the space and how I wanted it to feel.

I was going for:  light, bright, different wood textures, unique arches to go with the arched brick that was already there, slightly industrial elements but with a small cottage feel. I also wanted to err on the side of commercial-style function and classic/timeless rather than use products that are very trendy right now (shiplap/farmhouse sink). Although I love the trends right now, I really wanted to be cautious about using too many of them. I kept thinking "Is this going to look dated in 20 years?". Obviously, we don't know where the trends will go, but I did want to do my best to keep the kitchen classic. We live in a cottage-style home, so I also wanted the kitchen to match the overall feel of the house.

Here are some photo of the phases of the renovation...

Except for a bit of help with electrical and plumbing, we did all of the work ourselves. I'm convinced that my husband can do ANYTHING. It is just amazing what he can figure out and create. We saved so much money by doing it ourselves, plus it was a great feeling of accomplishment. We would have saved a lot of time by hiring it all out, but it was worth it.




We went with Shaker-style custom cabinets in solid white. My uncle has a small cabinet shop, and he made them for us, which was so special. He had also made the cabinets at our previous house. He does an awesome job and was able to make them exactly the way we wanted.

I knew I wanted smaller top cabinets with glass fronts to create a cottage-style look. I still need to find the perfect hardware for them. We had him create arch details in the island cabinet to go with the other arches in the space.

Cabinet Hardware:

The drawer pulls are Amerock BP53010FB in solid black. The door knobs are Amerock BP53011FB also in solid black.


The White Countertops:

We went with quartz countertops for the perimeter counters. They are Zodiaq quartz in London Sky with a standard eased edge. I love them so far. They are super easy to clean, and I like how they have some gray veining in them, so they look a lot like marble.


I searched high and low for the perfect faucet. I knew I wanted a stainless steel commercial-looking one but most were more than we wanted to spend. Finally I found the perfect one that I love. It's called the Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer. We bought ours from Home Depot.

Pot Filler:

Having a pot filler has been more handy than I imagined. I'm so glad we put one in! The one we have is called Kingston Concord Pot Filler in Satin Nickel from Amazon.



We went with standard white subway tile with light gray grout. We bought the tile from a local flooring company and installed it ourselves. It really wasn't as difficult as we thought it would be. We decided to make the backsplash cover the entire wall behind the stove. I knew right away that I wanted this classic look, and I'm so glad we used it. I really love it!


 I knew I wanted to go with a stainless steel sink because of how easy they are to clean, and you don't have to worry about discolorations and getting scratched. We decided to go with an undermount sink that is installed flush with the counters. It's called Lansen by Karran LE-58. It is extra deep and commercial-looking, which we weren't quite sure about at first, but now I really like it.


The Island Countertop:

This is one of the most special parts of the whole kitchen. My dad created the counter for us out of walnut wood from my mom's hometown in Ohio. I was able to watch the whole process of choosing the wood and seeing it all put together. It is about 2.5" thick and such a statement piece in the middle of the kitchen. Here is another post with more details.


Open Shelving:

I designed the shelves and hubs figured out how to create it for me. He used walnut wood slabs for the shelves and pipe fixtures from the hardware store for the brackets. Here is another post detailing how we made them. They have been such a fun way to display some of my pieces and add color to the otherwise neutral kitchen. I was originally going to have six shelves, but after the cabinets were installed, I decided it would be too crowded, so we went with four instead. I use the shelves for plates and cups that we use a lot, and it's very handy to quickly grab things. Things definitely get dusty if they aren't used a lot, but the look is worth it to me.


The flooring was the most difficult design choice to make. Ultimately, we decided to go with practical and affordable. We used Armstrong vinyl plank flooring, which is very easy to install. It's called Armstrong Vivero Gallery Oak Chestnut. It hides the dirt so well and is super easy to clean. I would have preferred to go with real wood, but we felt like with the age of our kids, it would be a good choice to use vinyl. We used the same flooring in the kitchen and dining room.



Arched Pantry Door:

I know I keep saying this, but this truly is one of my favorite parts about the kitchen. Originally we were going to create a sliding door, but I was determined that it needed to be arched. And it's difficult to do an arched sliding door, plus I don't love that look, so we decided not to make it sliding.

And can I just say again, hubs is AMAZING. He's never done anything like this before, and he literally created it out of leftover walnut wood and old hardware from a barn sale. It cost almost nothing to make. He made the arched door trim and made the door to fit perfectly. It is a work of art. He also created the pantry shelves out wood and made them sliding, so they are very handy to use. I'll do another blog post about the pantry, so you can see all the details.




Choosing the lighting was a really fun process for me. I took my time and made sure I found exactly what I was looking for. The light over the sink is Aedan 1-Light Wall Sconce from Globe Electric Company. I bought it from Wayfair

The pendants over the island are called Westinghouse 63087A Boswell One-Light LED Indoor Pendant in oil rubbed bronze. I bought them from Amazon. They look more like solid black than oil rubbed.

The chandelier in the dining room is called the Petra 6-Light Chandelier from Joss and Main.

Island Stools:

The stools are called the Steve Wilson Company Winston Counter Stool. The wood seats didn't match with the wood in the kitchen, so we painted them black and distressed them a bit.

Here is what the dining room looking like when we first saw it...

For the dining room, we had to change the flooring and trim, and we painted the walls. We also changed out the chandelier. Otherwise, we kept it the same. The wall paint color is Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore and the trim is Simply White by Benjamin Moore.



Our dining room table was getting pretty worn out, so I stripped the top and refinished it and also painted the chairs. I'll show more about the process of refinishing it in a different blog post.


So there you have it! If you have any questions about the kitchen, feel free to leave a comment and I'll answer as best I can. I'll share more details about different elements in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!

Find my kitchen featured on Shutterfly!


May 03, 2017 — Aimee Weaver