Just about EVERYONE wants to update their kitchen, right?? Especially if you're like us and you live in an old house and only made it slightly more livable when you moved in. AND even more so if you are in the design and food industry. Obviously our dream kitchen is still many many years and larger budgets away...but for now we decided to take on the task of updating our kitchen to make it cleaner, cooler and more functional.
We live in a 1930ish Colonial in New England. Pretty straight forward and standard with some old charming details that make these homes beautifully challenging. Some of the things I love about this old house are the grainy wood floors in our kitchen, the rounded arches and detailed moldings. That said...a home like this has a lot of challenges...like small spaces and oddly placed extras...ahem...our bathroom that is directly next to the stove AND a tiny side entry that walked you directly into a pantry. To be honest I really love these old homes, challenges and all. Because it forces you to think creatively, but also be mindful of the overall aesthetic of the home and design within that.
So when we moved in 4 or 5 years ago, we quickly knocked down the wall between the kitchen / dining room to open that space up. We painted and ripped up carpet. Widened a door way a bit to the backroom and moved right in. After living with a laminate counter top and old sink for these few years...we were totally ready for an upgrade. And seeing how much we USE our kitchen, it made sense to do this. My husband, who loves to cook, was totally down with the upgrade idea when he realized we would have a bigger sink and no more gap between the stove and counter top where there was a collection of just about every meal we've ever cooked.
We knew off the bat that replacing the cabinets was NOT in the budget. This was going to be a small upgrade to our current space to make it feel more functional, livable and stylish. I started by pulling some photos of areas that inspired me and also had a similar aesthetic and vibe to my home. I have been inspired by and drawn to white walls and painted trim lately, green to be specific. I was determined to use it, but I had to be mindful of the way it would translate on our old cabinets and in an area that doesn't get a lot of direct light. That means...just because you like something, it doesn't mean it is the best option for a space.
FIRST...I pulled some images that inspired me and felt like they had a relatable vibe aesthetically speaking. . . classic with some modern, clean elements was what I was going for.
So...we're going for clean, fresh, modern with a hint of that colonial feel that is true to the space. With this direction, I made a list of what we were going to address:
- paint walls - brighter / lighter
- paint trim & cabinets - same color to keep uniformity throughout 2 spaces
- replace hardware - *splurge to create higher end look and add visual interest
- replace counter top - clean and bright / not too expensive
- replace sink - bright, clean, larger
- replace faucet - modern, simple, black for contrast // *splurge to create higher end look and add visual interest (plus Matt loves that it's "touch" sensitive for cooking)
- add tile backsplash - simple, bright, modern (stacked straight instead of subway)
- repair ceiling
- replace cans with flush mounts - better light source and visual appeal
- replace pendants - more modern, clean
- replace fixture over dining table - more modern, clean and simple lines, but awesome visual interest
- add window treatments - fabric roman shades for visual interest
- create entry nook - create feeling of more space at door and cleaner look for storage of coats, shoes, etc.
Then I created a style board that includes most of the items. Doing as style board can be HUGELY helpful when making sure each selection feels like it works together. I find my clients really appreciate this piece because having a visual is always so helpful. Of course seeing items in person is always the best...but this is a great step regardless. I was sure to sample as many of the fabrics and finishes prior to purchasing to be sure I was happy with the color and quality.
Additionally, this is where I prefer to splurge a bit. Finding materials that are artfully and thoughtfully created is something very important to me in design. I encourage you to click on the links below to learn more about some of these designers and their studios. They're pretty badass.
We've made some progress...cabinets are painted, sink and counter tops are in, entry nook is almost complete...but I am STILL painting in some places. Next up will be our ceiling repair and light fixtures (CAN NOT WAIT!), backsplash and new stools (finish still being decided).
Here are a few pics of the BEFORE and IN PROCESS...stay tuned for some real deal pics this fall when it's complete!
We went with a light greenish gray paint color and kept it to the trim and cabinets. This helped unify the two spaces and allowed our old cabinets to still look fresh. We also don't get a ton of natural light in here, so it kept it from feeling too dark. Because of the age of our cabinets and the amount of things going on already in the space, keeping the cabinets to one color made a lot of sense. White walls with a hint of warmth played nicely with the trim color. (just wait until the rest of my house gets painted this color!)
The hardware change was a big upgrade and allowed the flat front cabinets to get a little pop. Aged brass with textural detail added interest and worked well with the color palette. AND I can't say enough about the black faucet. This was something I knew I wanted to add a modern, clean touch. It was definitely a *splurge item and totally worth it from a design and functionality stand point, since these are important factors for both Matt and me. Mixed with the white quartz top, I'm loving how clean and bright the space is starting to look.