A funny thing happened: my kitchen renovation, which I planned to tackle last fall, was delayed so many times that it ended up lining up perfectly with the Spring One Room Challenge! Yay!
Is it a bad idea to enter a renovation project, which has already been delayed by many months – and for which the counters and appliances are still nowhere to be found – into a design contest with a deadline only a couple of months away?
But I’ve loved my past One Room Challenge projects, so I couldn’t resist! Remember my Mom’s beautiful, mid-century inspired dining room makeover? We got so lucky finding her the perfect vintage furniture – plus I was able to collaborate with some fabulous brands. Most importantly: my Mom LOVED it. And remember my turquoise powder room makeover? It came together so organically – and ended up getting featured in print by Good Housekeeping magazine!
So I think the ORC lends a room makeover a little extra magic, and that’s what I need now… After blathering on about wanting to renovate my kitchen SINCE 2013 (and then really ramping up the kitchen talk in 2021), I am so excited to say that it is finally happening!! See? ORC magic already at work already, haha.
WHY WE’RE FINALLY RENOVATING
We ultimately decided it was finally to renovate the kitchen – after enjoying our cute, temporary DIY version for many, many years – because our fridge is dying. We’re surprised it has held out so long! It cannot be repaired and as it slowly fails, it shudders so loudly that it wakes me up every night. Our stove is also on its last legs: it sparks with I open it, squeaks for hours after it’s turned off, and is cracked in multiple places. The dishwasher, a used one we nabbed from a friend when he renovated, was a welcome replacement for the one we had – which needed to be manually set ahead halfway through a wash cycle (I’d forget and wonder why the dishwasher was running, four hours later, lol) – but it, too, is ready for the recycling heap. It only washes about 30% of the dishes and most of the parts inside have broken off.
I always said to hubby, that when these appliances kick it, we finally renovate! I originally thought we’d renovate five years into living here, but we ended up putting it off a little longer. Our DIY projects, like the wood counters and painted floors, had held up really well but, after many years, were starting to look a tiny bit worn. And the lower cabinets, original to the house, were definitely breaking apart. We had fixed and repaired – and painted them – so many times. But it was just time. This was always meant to be a temporary space and we have lived, laughed, and loved in this kitchen for 8 colorful years. I am so grateful we did DIY projects in here to make it homey and pretty, but I wanted to finally put into action the design plan I dreamed up the first minute I laid eyes on this house: make the kitchen wider, add more cabinetry, and create the gorgeous, mid-century meets coastal kitchen of my dreams. I’ve never renovated a kitchen, or had new kitchen cabinets or appliances (except one fridge!), so I am so grateful, and so excited, we can finally do this.
But also scared, I’ll admit! It’s a big project, with lots of room for error and lots of big expenditures.
MY KITCHEN DESIGN PLANS
Without further ado, let me share with you my kitchen design plans. Here is the kitchen now:
Not a lot will change with the layout from this perspective, but the kitchen will be widened along the sink wall. The length of the peninsula will be shorted by 12″ and then a 12″ deep floor to ceiling pantry will be added to the wall across from the end (where the driftwood wall hanging is located now).
This doesn’t depict my design choices, so keep reading to see those. I still have to finalize my backsplash tile color choice and choose a faucet, and then, you know, actually renovate this space. But here’s what I’ve decided on for appliances, cabinetry, flooring, counters, sink, and cabinet hardware:
First, we went appliance shopping. That was frustrating! Appliances are SO expensive. In the end, we both really like the fridge, pictured below. We really wanted a fridge with a freezer on the bottom, but we didn’t like freezer drawers, and this was one of only a few fridges that had doors for the bottom freezer. We also liked the modern look, although I was on the fence about stainless. I actually don’t mind white appliances, but stainless was way more common. This one is a really nice stainless finish in person – it was interesting to realize how widely the stainless finish varies across brands and even models.
Once we found it, we quickly found the stove that “matched,” both in style and stainless finish:
Someone asked me my criteria for choosing this stove. Honestly, my wishlist was simple: I wanted knobs on the front, a modern look, and a matching stainless finish to the fridge, because they’re on the same wall in the kitchen. Anything, features-wise, is a step up from my old oven, lol. Actually, my dream was always a double oven, but they were just too expensive.
We decided to go with an integrated dishwasher, with a panel to match the lower cabinetry. I have not seen any of these appliances since we ordered them, months ago. When we ordered them, we specifically chose appliances that, supposedly, weren’t impacted by supply chain issues. We were assured they were in a warehouse and just needed to be shipped to our city. Ha! As soon as our payment cleared, back in October, we were told they were all delayed due to supply chain issues.
With the appliances ordered, there was no going back. We picked out our cabinetry next, which was easy: walnut lower cabinets and white uppers cabinets (the pantry beside the fridge and the new pantry across from the peninsula will also be white). I have wanted this combination ever since we bought this house. We renovated the bathroom with walnut cabinetry and I’m using the same cabinets for a nice cohesiveness.
I had actually asked a kitchen designer at the place we ordered the bathroom cabinetry from to put together a kitchen design, back when we did the bathroom. She has since moved on from the company, but luckily her design was still on file. She had the genius idea of adding a floor to ceiling pantry to the wall where the driftwood wall hanging is, and I’m so grateful because I never would have thought of that! She had minimal cabinetry in the rest of her design, though, so I made some changes. I moved the fridge (she had it right against a wall, which meant it couldn’t open fully) and packed the room full of more upper cabinets. After a lot of deliberation, I am not doing ANY open shelving (or glass front cabinet doors) in the kitchen – just tons of to-the-ceiling cabinets.
I wanted hardware with a modern, sort of mid-century modern vibe, and when I found this Emtek cabinet edge pull, I knew it was the one! It comes in so many lovely finishes and I chose satin nickel finish – my favorite finish, found all throughout the house. I am so thrilled that Emtek has partnered with me for this project! I’m already impressed because the hardware was shipped so quickly – and packaged so expertly! I love the scale and feel of these cabinet pulls; they will be the perfect finishing touch for the modern cabinetry. I can’t wait to see them installed on the new cabinet doors.
The counters… ermmmm…. You can read about my counter struggles here. The short version: I ordered this slab from a photo, after the last stone slab I ordered from a photo did NOT work out. I’m just an eternal optimist, I guess! I am hopeful that the counter I picked this time, with teal veining (ahhhhhh), looks as beautiful in person as photos. I cannot wait to see this slab!! I am so, so excited.
Until I see the stone slab in person, I can’t confidently choose a backsplash tile color. But I have narrowed down my choice! I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with Mercury Mosaics – I reached out to them when I tackled the powder room renovation, but I didn’t leave myself enough time to actually choose a color and then do the tiling (oops). So I am really excited they are partnering with me now, because I have been drooling over their handmade tiles for years. I chose some teals and some neutrals, and they kindly sent me some samples (which I’ll share in Instagram stories this week). Although I’m not sure about the exact color, I have settled on a shape: I love the Moroccan fish scales because they really suit my lakeside location and also the curvy, organic veining in my stone slab.
The one included in my moodboard (and pictured below) is called Lake Superior and I would LOVE for that one to be the perfect color, just for the name alone! It’s also gorgeous – but it’s named Lake Superior!! I need this tile, obviously 😉
You might remember the gorgeous hand hammered sink from my turquoise powder room makeover?
It was provided by Thompson Traders and, when I knew we were going to renovate the kitchen, I reached out and asked if they’d like to work together again. They generously sent me my sink of choice: this stunning Quigora hammered stainless steel double sink. I wanted an apron front farmhouse sink style so I could see as much of the amazing hand hammered finish as possible. They shipped it way back in the fall and it took all of my willpower to tuck it away somewhere safe. I wanted to install it immediately – it’s just so gorgeous!
After living with a charcoal grey tile floor in the main bathroom, and loving it, I tested the color in the kitchen by painting the old vinyl floors. Many years later, I still love this flooring color (I even did a charcoal grey tile floor in the bunkie bathroom). I wanted the kitchen to tie into the other spaces in the house, and having the flooring coordinate with the main bathroom, and also the fireplace, will help my small home feel cohesive.
BUT, I didn’t want grouted tile. My well water does weird things to dark grout, and light grout is hard to keep clean. So I went around my city in search of a dark grey floor tile I didn’t need to grout. I couldn’t find the right look – until I visited End of the Roll. End of the Roll had a really impressive selection of flooring and I found something perfect that no other flooring store carried: a modern floor tile with a rich, charcoal color and subtle, lakehouse-approved design.
It looks like the shores of a nearby black sand beach that is my favorite place on earth. Here’s what it will look like, installed:
I reached out and am so thrilled that End of the Roll was excited to partner with me! I picked up the flooring at the end of last year and I cannot WAIT to install it! It’s a glue down floor (grouting optional), so installation should be a breeze and, in the event of a tile catastrophe, I can even heat a tile too loosen the glue and replace it. That’s genius! If you’re struggling with supply chain issues right now, please do yourself a favor and check out End of the Roll! Their inventory, especially of flooring you can walk out with immediately, was so impressive. Each location is independently owned and operated by members of your community, and I had such a nice chat with our local owner. She has really worked hard to supply flooring options for every budget and style to my small, far flung city where it can be a struggle to find stylish – especially modern – options.
MY KITCHEN DESIGN PLAN MOODBOARD
Here’s a little moodboard I put together so you can better envision how it will all fit together. I will be sharing tons of updates in my Instagram stories and also here, on Dans le Lakehouse. Fingers crossed I can finish this space in time for the big reveal (Wednesday, May 25th!)…