I’ve been wanting to share this post for so long now. With the baby almost here, we have been finally organizing and completing many parts of the house in anticipation of the fact that we might not have as much time once he arrives. I finally carved out some time to photograph our home kitchen renovation and share it with you all!
Our kitchen was definitely our biggest project after we bought our home in 2017. I can’t believe we have been living here for almost 2 years! When we saw the home, we loved the single story style, large backyard and minimal feel of the entire home. The home was move-in ready and was very well-maintained by the previous owners. The only parts of the home that we felt needed some updating was the kitchen and master bathroom (see previous post on our master bathroom remodel). The kitchen was small compared to the rest of the house and it had weird cutouts in the walls to connect the dining room and living room. Plus the cabinets and floor were just not my style. I knew immediately that we had to renovate the kitchen if we bought this house. We saw so much potential in the house and soon after, made it our home!
Let me backtrack a bit and give you a little history of my living spaces. I lived in apartments almost my whole life – growing up with my family and most of my adult life. No joke, I’ve probably moved 15 times in my life. So when Jason and I were searching for our “forever” home – our home where we would hopefully start and grow our family, having a big kitchen was on the top of my list and having a big yard was on Jason’s list (he’s from Texas y’all). I always dreamed of having a big kitchen island where our family would gather around. And guess what – we built two big kitchen islands! I know, for two people that never really cook, we ended up with a huge kitchen. But I am so happy how it turned it out and it’s definitely my favorite place in the house. Every time I walk in the front door, I see our kitchen immediately and it always makes me smile.
The whole renovation process was actually very fun for me (Jason probably did not feel the same way lol). I got to get my Joanna Gaines on and it was challenging but so fun. We designed the whole kitchen ourselves and hired our friend’s dad as our contractor. We didn’t hire a designer because I felt like I already knew what I wanted so I didn’t see the need for one at the time. In hindsight, I can see how having a designer is extremely valuable and there were a lot of details that I didn’t think about but eventually figured out via google and pinterest. Having a designer would probably have made the process faster and smoother but I think we did a great job nevertheless! I still can’t believe we lived in the house during the whole remodel AND it was during the same time Morning Lavender Cafe was under construction.
So here is the before photo of our kitchen. Again not bad and definitely liveable, but not my style. You an also see the walls with the cutouts. Behind the kitchen on the left side was the living room and behind the right side was the fireplace and dining room.
After watching a lot of Fixer Upper in the past few years, one of the first things I said to Jason after seeing the house was “we need to take down the walls”. So that’s what we did:
Our contractor had to end up putting one beam in after taking down one of the walls. Once the walls were removed, we had this large blank space and deciding what to do with it was the hardest decision. It’s almost harder when you have such a blank canvas! I finally decided on bright and white as I love having an airy home with a lot of natural light. I’m going to use “I” a lot in this post because Jason only had a few requests (1) not too girly, (2) soft closing cabinets, (3) lots of storage and (4) not too much gold. We left the fireplace and instead of removing all the stone, we put up drywall and mounted our TV to it. With the wall down, we now had this big opening from the living room into the kitchen which I love.
The home originally had the living room and a small family room right next to the kitchen. I found this photo from the real estate listing:
I didn’t see much purpose in having these two distinct spaces once the walls were taken down. So I decided to make the small family room the new dining room and make the whole new kitchen the size of the original kitchen and dining room. This allowed for a lot of cabinets and my large kitchen island! What really happened is that we ended up with soooo much kitchen! So I debated adding a wall to make a small butler’s pantry (I know we just took down a wall) or making a small breakfast nook. But then again why did we need two places to dine plus the island? In the end, I finally decided on having a double island to fill the space and also provide extra surface and storage. I’m soooo happy with this decision and when we have guests over, we surprisingly use a lot of the surface and space!
Now I didn’t realize having two kitchen islands would be double the costs, especially when you are doing waterfall countertops. But we saw this kitchen as an investment and we hope that what we were doing would increase the value of the home if we ever wanted to sell it, which after moving 15+ times, I’m hoping would be never. Having a big kitchen also meant the costs of custom cabinets would add up. So like our master bathroom, we used an online cabinet site called Cliq Studios. You save by using Cliq Studios because you buy factory direct and we liked that the service also included a an online kitchen designer! Our designer was awesome, especially since Jason and I were so indecisive about where to put our sink and major appliances. Now I don’t usually go all crazy on the feng shui but I hear it’s bad luck to have your sink (water) and stove (fire) directly across from each other and since we had this blank canvas, I thought why not try to avoid this??? So we ended up putting the sink on one island and the stove across from the other island. Oh yeah and the biggest splurge was our Wolf Range. Again for two people that don’t really cook, this was also a bit of a ridiculous purchase. But we had this huge white kitchen and it just complimented the whole space so well :). Since the range was such a statement piece, I wanted it to be the focal point of the kitchen and the center of the opening from the living room and when you walked into the house. Because of this, we ended up removing the existing large window so we could put up a wall and backsplash for the range and added two smaller windows on each side. I know – I’m crazy! My contractor surely thought I was (and Jason is pretty use to my crazy ideas).
After we decided on these big elements, the rest was just in the details. As you can see in the before images, the flooring were these stone tiles which were not my style nor were they easy on the feet. Changing the flooring dramatically changed the entire look of the space. We continued the floor throughout the living room as well.
We opted for subway tiles to continue the clean, bright white look and quartz countertops that had the beautiful marble look but were lower maintenance. I balanced gold hardware with matte black finishes in the black faucet hardware and pendant lighting so Jason would be happy :). I added some floating natural wood shelves to warm up the space a bit as we already had a ton of cabinet space. And what about small appliances? We hid them in the pantry cabinets to reduce clutter on the countertops. And yes Jason got his soft closing cabinets :). He let me get away with one girlie detail which were the pink stools. I was actually surprised he was okay with them! Marriage is all about compromise right? =P
Thank you for viewing our kitchen renovation post! Now back to finishing the nursery which I hope to share soon!