Sharing all the details about my kitchen renovation and remodel. We tore down walls, ceilings, and floors, got new cabinets, appliances, and counters, all to build our dream kitchen.
Before and After
We moved into this house in May 2020, knowing full well that the kitchen was a disaster and would have to be redone.
Because of the timing of our move we decided it would be best to wait until after the chaos in the world calmed down.
But a year later, the half-functioning kitchen started breaking down in ways far beyond inconvenience. The refrigerator couldn’t regulate temperature, only half of the burners on the stove were working, the microwave had never worked, and the dishwasher completely stopped turning on. It was time!
We’d done much smaller scale kitchen renovations before, but this was going to be much bigger. And in the year that we’d lived in the home, I’d come up with some ideas about what we wanted.
It was really a matter of finding the people to make our dream come alive!
The kitchen was small with lots of walls and felt very closed in. It had very little counter space and almost no storage. I wanted to build a big, open kitchen that allowed my entire family to eat-in and gather.
So we starting talking to some local contractors and found a great one – Eagle Feather Properties. We highly recommend them!
They tore out the ceilings, walls, and floors and made the dining room and kitchen into one large eat-in kitchen.
This effectively doubled the size of the small kitchen and made the space much more functional, and it turned the second living room into the new dining room.
The textured ceilings came down, and with new drywall ceilings came lots of recessed lights! Goodbye darkness!!
The tile floors were replaced with mixed width pine floors to match (as much as possible) the other pine floors in the rest of the house, and we had all the floors in the house sanded and stained a lighter color.
While the kitchen renovation was happening, they also added a bathroom to the basement and finished a bunch of other odds and ends. It felt like the whole house was a work zone!
We wound up with almost every single thing we wanted! Lots of storage and countertop space, workhorse appliances, and more.
Overall, the entire renovation process wasn’t painful, but it lasted well over two months and that was tiresome. The delay was mostly because the floors has to be replaced a second time because they were faulty the first time.
These are leathered marble countertops. The leathered finish is supposed to hide the damage that will ultimately happen to the counters (I’ve accepted it’s going to get stained and chipped), but so far, even with some use, it’s holding up great!
The island is 13 feet long, and it has a 15 inch overhang to accommodate taller people’s legs and kicking kids, with a 1/4 bevel edge.
I agonized over whether to add pendant lights over our island or not. But in the end, the kitchen has a galley feel to it and I thought pendant lights would be distracting.
We chose JennAir appliances and converted to gas for the stove (yay!!!). The refrigerator, range hood, and 36 inch stove work wonderfully and I really like them a lot.
However, the dishwasher’s bottom rack isn’t tall enough to fit even my smallest standard size plates, which is a huge disappointment.
I’m not sure if they made it smaller to accommodate the third rack, but it isn’t particularly useful as it stands. I will say it is quiet and seems to work well otherwise.
We got mid-grade Allen & Roth cabinets. The island is Stonewall gray and the rest of the kitchen is Aveley. The gold fixtures are from Lowes, too!
The paint is repose gray from Sherwin Williams. The tile backsplash is a white picket tile from Lowes.
I polled my Instagram followers about if I should paint or stain the shelf over the coffee bar, and the results were almost exactly 50/50. So until I can make up my mind, it’s staying unstained and unpainted.
The only thing I wish I could go back and change is the drawer with canisters directly beside the stove. It’s supposed to hold cooking utensils like spatulas, whisks, etc. It doesn’t open or close easily because it’s badly designed without anything to contain the utensils in the canisters.
We had to set the top drawer to the lowest setting to accommodate any of the utensils I own, and so all the space below it is useless. I suppose if you kept forks and knives in there it might work out better since they’re much shorter, but what’s the point of that?
My Favorite Things
The one thing I really wanted for this kitchen was utility. There’s no sense in making the kitchen pretty if I can’t comfortably move around and function while cooking.
So my favorite things might be a little surprising, but they’re things that make the function of the kitchen better.
- Self Sharpening Knife Block. I hate dull knives because of my carpel tunnel, so this is fabulous.
- Pot Filler over the coffee bar. This has made my life SO wonderful! I used to fill my Berkey twice a day by either carrying the whole thing over to the sink, or filling it pitcher by pitcher. Both ways resulted in minor spills, every single time.
- Magnetic Paper Towel Holder. I stuck it to the side of the refrigerator so it takes up no space on the counters, but it’s still available quickly if there’s a spill. I plan to switch out to reusable paper towels soon!
- Spice Drawer Organizer. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this organizer. No fiddling around trying to figure out where I put a spice. I can see everything easily!
- Comfortable leather counter height chairs. My kids can’t easily tip these over, fall off the back, or stain them – triple win!