Modern, Timeless & Organic Kitchen Reveal
Remember that time my contractor told me our kitchen would take a few weeks to complete? Meanwhile, the universe laughed. We definitely hit some serious obstacles along the way such as a subcontractor disappearing for a couple of weeks, but finally, today I am ready to share out modern, timeless & organic kitchen reveal with you. After months of designing, planning, and living in a construction zone, the final product is a balance of budget friendly solutions mixed with a few splurge items that elevate the overall space. This makeover taught the most that I have ever learned from a project, and I will be sharing some of those lessons in a later post (such as why I probably won’t hire a contractor again!), but mostly it gave me confidence as a designer. I do not design spaces for others at the moment, but I thoroughly enjoy planning and creating spaces in my own home and making them function for our family life. I had a clear vision of what I wanted in this space, and seeing it come to fruition was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life… not just because we now have a kitchen I love, but because I feel a strong sense of “I did it!” A huge thank you goes out to all of the brands that partnered with me on this renovation and made it possible: Cabinets To Go, Thompson Traders, Talon Flooring, Sazerac Stitches, My Mitzi, Terrazzco, Cuisinart, and Quality Bath. Now, without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!
OK, friends, brace yourselves, because there are a lot of photos to be shared today. I want to show you every detail and every possible angle so you really get a good sense of our layout. As we’ve been building to this final reveal, I’ve shared all of the details and decisions and previous posts, and I will be linking back to those if you are looking for more information. I will also link to sources throughout, but you can find a source list at the bottom of the post as well.
Of course, the kitchen cabinetry is the largest element in any kitchen makeover. While I am definitely one for salvaging cabinets when you can (as we did in our old kitchen in Maryland), it wasn’t possible here. The original 1966 kitchen cabinetry was made to fit a very tiny 24″ wall oven that would not support our family of five. You can see it below in what is exactly the same view as above. Because of the need for a new range, there was no way to make these cabinets work, but we were able to give them to our contractor who reused them.
When it came to choosing new cabinetry, we wanted quality, something that would suit the modern style we craved yet remain timeless, and offered custom options on a budget. Cabinets To Go Shaker style in Malibu White was exactly the solution! You can read all of the details about our cabinetry here, but let me highlight some of the features for you.
As you can see, Cabinets To Go offers a variety of cabinet sizes and elements. I knew that I wanted a lazy Susan style corner cabinet, an apron sink base for our brass sink, and I wanted a lot of drawer storage as I find that easier than cabinetry. Just to the right of the stove, we have our Lazy Susan corner cabinet which offers tons of easy access storage for baked goods. You can see the interior here. In between the stove and the Lazy Susan we had room to squeeze in a skinny little cabinet which houses all of our baking sheets, our range griddle, cooling racks, and pizza stone. It’s the little cabinet I never knew I needed but now I can’t imagine living without! As for the rest of the cookware, we selected new and beautiful Cuisinart pieces because we knew they would look fabulous on our shelving (You can see two of our stock pots below), and the rest fits beautifully in the deep two drawer base cabinet which is just to the left of the three drawer base below.The three drawer bases are perfect for smaller pieces of bakeware, utensils, food storage containers, and more. We opted for two of those- one to the left of the stove, and one to the right of the dishwasher.
All of the cabinetry offers us so much unique storage to suit our family’s needs. Let’s talk about my favorite section of cabinetry!
One of the major additions for us was that pantry you see on the left. That wall now serves as our pantry and command/breakfast center. To be fair, the previous owners had a pantry there as well with a trash and coffee station.That little coffee station they had mounted to the wall was falling off, and the pantry was a really weird design. Now that wall has our large Cabinets To Go double pantry, microwave cabinet, and trash cabinet You can see below where it is in relation to the living room (behind that wall) and entry. You can also see that to the right of the cabinetry there is a space in the wall. We could have had more storage, but that’s where our dogs’ water bowl goes and we needed to have a designated space for them.
Our original plan had been to knock that wall down and put an island there, but we opted for pantry storage instead, which also saved a lot of money from knocking down this load bearing wall. As you can see, I opted to add unique hardware to the pantry to set it apart, and I am so glad I made that decision. You can read all about my process to choose hardware here.
The cabinet in the center houses the microwave which we hope to replace with the Cafe white microwave one day to match our appliances, but our budget ran out. Now, Cabinets To Go doesn’t make a microwave cabinet per se, but their 3 drawer cabinet base can be retrofitted which is exactly what we had done.Our contractor added wood and plywood to create a shelf and I had our cabinets color matched at Sherwin Williams. They are my favorite paint store, and also happened to be who Cabinets To Go recommended because they match so accurately. Check it out below- you can’t see a color difference at all from the wood I painted to the cabinet base. (Of course, you can see that my contractor’s work was a little imperfect.) Hopefully one day we can replace the microwave which will help this space look a lot better. \ For now, we’re using our old microwave and I use the extra space to store our large cutting boards. To the right of that is the trash cabinet which features two bins: one for trash, and one for recycling. Above this section of cabinetry is a large calendar that I will share more details on soon. I am old fashioned and need a wall calendar to keep track of family activities and wanted a dry-erase version. I’ll share soon how I made this one, but my friend Bryant came to the rescue by creating a custom calendar download for me that I was able to print out. He also created the art that is in our entry.
The next large scale items that were needed for our makeover were the flooring and the countertop materials.
We wanted to be as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible in this renovation and both of these materials helped us stick to that goal. The wood flooring is sustainable and responsibly sourced. As you can see in our photos, we opted to keep the original wood floors, even though they are not an exact match. You can read more about why I chose to do so here.
The wood is the same as our original floors, so in time they will come to match a bit more closely. I will add that my contractor totally messed up and used the wrong transitions. We were supposed to have flush transitions, and with a toddler I really wanted it all level. I was really disappointed when I saw that they ignored my wishes and what we had talked about. He did offer to redo it, but I was so annoyed by that point that I just wanted them out of my house and passed. Perhaps one day we will redo that. I stained the transition with the same stain I used on our shelving and it is a very close match to the new flooring.
Aside from my contractor’s major flub up, I am thrilled with the new flooring and love the sustainability, warmth, and organic feel.
The countertops and backsplash again were chosen for their sustainability, aesthetics, and they were much more affordable than the other options I had been looking into. (They did give me a substantial discount, but they were much more affordable without that, and that’s what I am basing my statement on.)Additionally, Terrazzco is a North Carolina company and I like to support local brands when possible. They are also a certified US Green Building Council Member. You can read all about why I used terrazzo.
I am thrilled that we went with custom mix that features all my favorite neutrals.
I chose these colors because I felt they worked with our home really well, and would stand the test of time. Part of me wanted to add pink, but I was not willing to be that risky in such a huge part of our kitchen.
The colors in the countertops play off of the colors in our dining room mural just as I had hoped.
Just for a little fun, here is the same view before. You couldn’t even see the back door because of the monstrosity of a sink, and as you can see, I got my touch of pink in. 😉
I could not be happier with the terrazzo countertops and backsplash. We’ve now been using them for a couple of months, and I am thrilled with the look, feel, and maintenance level. Additionally, because of the pattern, they don’t show crumbs easily, and with my family, that’s a plus. 🙂
I do want to add that our contractor was unable to find me someone to install our countertops and backsplash because according to him, people don’t like to install things that aren’t their own products. After a couple of days of research, I found a local guy who was amazing and gave me a very quick turnaround. He and his wife came and did the job together and they were just the sweetest and hardest workers.
Now let’s talk about the brass elephant in the room…. the sink!
We live in a 1966 rancher, and the first thing you see when you walk into our front door is our kitchen, and the kitchen sink at that, so it was important to me that this view be worth taking in. I took the photo below standing in our front doorway.
Now, getting a wee bit closer this is from the opening to the kitchen from the entryway.
And now, fully in the kitchen… (I told you there would be a lot of photos today!!
Below is the same view before:
With this view really being one of the first things you see in our home, I wanted to make a statement other than, “I like big refrigerators and I cannot lie.”
How about, “I like brass sinks and I cannot lie?”
When I originally spoke to my friends at Thompson Traders, I had copper in mind. However, they invited me into their local warehouse to see their display sinks, and when I spied this brass beauty, I knew it was the one.
The hammered brass finish is truly special and unique, and the company it comes from is as well. I wrote all about them as well as the decision to get this sink here. It is super easy to clean, and I plan to share a post about that in the future as well.
I was thrilled that even the drain plug is brass! They actually create custom drain decor as well, so you can’t even see the drain. Our neighbors have a copper leaf from Thompson Traders that hides the drain perfectly.
Once we nailed down that choice of sink, I was able to select so many other pieces of the puzzle, like the faucet, lighting and appliances. To accent the brass sink, I chose a modern black faucet from Quality Bath that features gold accents. It couldn’t be more perfect for this sink and kitchen. Aside from being easy on the eyes, I love how functional it is with its touch control and mobility.
As for the lighting, I knew exactly the sconces that I wanted above the shelving. Sazerac Stitches makes these incredible modern matte black sconces and I loved the simple eyeball type of design. Every space needs a little black, so I opted to bring it here in the faucet, lighting, and hardware.
With the placement of our sink, I opted to place the sconces over all of the shelving, and then one more over the calendar, leaving above the sink without a direct light. Adding one there would have felt like overkill to me.
As for the overhead lighting, we kept the placement of the light that was already in place, and changed the fixture to the Livvy from My Mitzi which brings in the milk glass white and gold that mirrors our entry fixture you can see below.I chose this light also because of its beautiful organic lines. Our contractor did a terrible job of covering up the old light fixture’s hole, so I am contemplating adding a ceiling medallion here… maybe.
Once the sink was selected, I couldn’t picture any other appliances in our kitchen besides the Cafe gold and white. Matte black appliances would have been OK, but I truly think that these appliances elevate our space incredibly. We purchased the range, the hood, the refrigerator, and the dishwasher. I am not going to lie… as soon as I hit “submit order” I began to panic because it was a lot of money. However, now that the kitchen is done and they are in place, I know I made the right decision, even if it means we’re only using this range to cook ramen. (Kidding!) The gold handles are perfection.
FYI. the refrigerator can go back a few inches more, but because of our molding right there, we have to leave ours a little more forward so that we can easily open the left door. We opted not to get the water and ice on the door because we were already spending so much money and we felt it was an extra we could live without. Inside the refrigerator is a water spout and it still has an ice maker in the freezer.As you have seen in all of the photos, we went with open shelving. OY…. this will be in the post on why I won’t hire a contractor again, because he really didn’t know what he was doing with these. Those details will come later about what went wrong, but for now just enjoy the photos of the shelving. I am insanely happy with all of the storage the shelving offers us. I know some people would think it’s crazy to lose all of what could be cabinet space, but I prefer the openness that shelving offers. Upper cabinets everywhere make me feel slightly closed in. We use these shelves for our every day dishes as seen above, cookbooks, cookware, glassware, and more. (I mean, plants- duh!)
The bottom shelf in the image above is curved a but, so I can only do rows 2 glasses deep. (Again, I will share more on this when I get to that post!). We keep our cutting boards here as well since our Cuisinart knives live here on the counter. If you’re wondering why we have so many whisks, it’s sort of a running joke in my family. My mom used to give me one almost every Christmas in my stocking. One year I finally pointed it out to her, so now my parents get me a new whisk as a joke each year. 😉
As you can see, I also opted to use the underneath of the shelving to add hooks for storage. Chris got me these new pink and copper measuring cups and spoons for Christmas (our spoons had been down the disposal once or twice!). I also created a coffee station for myself and added hooks for my cups.
The amount of storage this kitchen now offers us is incredible! I also love collecting pretty things, so I love that I can display pieces that are special to me on these shelves, like that little clay turtle all the way to the left that Sawyer made. You may have also spied the clay dinosaur and piece of cake Emmy made.
Now let’s talk about paint colors. On the walls and trim I opted for my go to white from Sherwin Williams, Pure White. I used satin on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to get a little pink in this space, so I decided to paint the back door in the same pink as my front door, Sherwin Williams Comical Coral. Before, the door was white and very scratched up from the previous owner’s great dane. You can’t see how scratched and dirty it was, but here’s the before.
And now, here is the same view with the new paint color on the door (and new everything else!).
All in all, we are thrilled with the look and functionality of our new kitchen. I love that it’s now open to the dining area and more like an eat in kitchen with lots of space.
Do you see all of that floor space? That is our dance floor! When Chris works late in the evening, the kids and I can often be found shouting at Alexa to play some of our favorite tunes, and we will all (Wilder included) sing and dance it out which helps us relieve any stress the day has brought.
Last week, Sawyer did a dance and slide move to Ice Ice Baby, and Wilder mimicked him with a dance, then slowly creep down to the floor and lay there move… it was hilarious. It was one of those moments that this kitchen was created for… memories with my family that they can take with them into the world and hold onto when I am no longer here. When I designed this kitchen, I did so with my family in mind, and since its completion, we’ve implemented a weekly game night, we cook together more, we dance, we do homework, we ask Alexa to make animal sounds. Most importantly, it gives us space to unwind together, and it gives me kids the room to be themselves and dance freely, knowing they are 100% accepted and loved. While it took months to actually complete, if you asked me if it was worth the blood, sweat, tears, money, and stress, all I have to do is think about those moments and I will tell you, yes.
Now, if you made it this far, congratulations… this just may be my longest post ever. I want to once again say thank you to my incredible sponsors for making my dreams come true and helping me to create a haven for our family.
As promised, here are all of the sources for you:
- Cabinetry– Malibu White Shaker from Cabinets To Go
- Flooring– sustainable wood from Cabinets To Go
- Brass sink– Thompson Traders (purchase here)
- Countertops & backsplash– Terrazzco
- Faucet– Quality Bath
- Cookware– Cuisinart
- Knives– Cuisinart
- Sconces– Sazerac Stitches
- Overhead fixture– My Mitzi
- Paint colors- Pure White & Comical Coral (door) by Sherwin Williams
- Cafe appliances- range, hood, refrigerator, dishwasher
- Semi-circle cabinet hardware
- Modern black bar cabinet hardware
- Calendar download
- Wood letterboard
- Dang floor mat
- Pine soap & lotion
- Our everyday dishes
- Dinosaur art
- Entry rug
- My Mother dish towel
- Dot mug
- Pink & copper measuring cups and spoons- similar
- Dining area sources- all here