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The phases of the Kitchen renovation - Progress report 1

The kitchen was not the selling point of this house. The space is small, awkward and cramped. And with north/ west facing windows, its always dark and dreary. I hated the original sky blue paint and laminate countertops so much that I changed those shortly after we moved in. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Pale Oak and did a concrete skimcoat on the countertops (I don't recommend this, they don't hold up well). As with the bathroom, I used some grout paint to clean up the floors (I'm always amazed at how much that helps). I also added in a cabinet with mesh doors in front of the radiator in the pantry area (picture at the bottom of the post). Below is how the kitchen's been for a few years vs initial listing in the lower right corner.


The kitchen drove me crazy since we moved in, but since a big renovation is (hopefully) in our 10 year plan, I didn't want to put a lot of time and money into it. So we left it as above for a few years. Unfortunately, water in the basement forced the issue! Turns out, there was a nice big hole in our venting pipe behind our kitchen sink that was nearly impossible to get to with the sink and countertops in. So, at the very least, we needed new countertops and backsplash.

I initially thought that we would just throw in some white laminate countertops and a subway tile backsplash and call it good. I got a bunch of countertop samples... and everything looked blah. Plus, I have white laminate countertops in our upstairs bathroom and its stained and always gets so dirty so quickly. I couldn't pull the trigger. After some internet research, I decided that quartz was a better bet. I went to the countertop company recommended by my cabinet maker and fell in love with their quartzite, which was not on my radar at all! I found out that the quartzite was the same price as the quartz, and I was sold! I decided to style the kitchen around these beautiful countertops.

If we were going to put any time and money into the kitchen, I really wanted to open up the wall from our kitchen to the dining room to decrease that awful cramped feeling. The wall is not load bearing and shouldn't be a big deal in and of itself (ha! mark those words...), but will still take quite a bit of planning and thought. Because the pipe needed to be fixed sooner rather than later, I put our kitchen renovation into two phases.


Phase 1:

  1. new quartzite countertops and sink (and fix plumbing)

  2. new backsplash - zellige tiles vs textured/ glazed ceramic subway tiles

  3. new lower cabinet doors (they are literally falling apart) - white oak for a select few, otherwise painted Benjamin Moore Creamy white?

  4. add in some trim/ shiplap

  5. update wall paint colors (some version of white, probably Benjamin Moore White Dove)

  6. update hardware (or put this into phase 2)

Phase 2:

  1. remove upper cabinets in sink and pantry area

  2. open up wall to dining area

  3. add backsplash up to the ceiling

  4. add in open shelving

  5. add in some ?sconces or other lighting (the kitchen currently only has one flush mount for the whole room)

Below was my main inspiration picture.

Studio Mcgee


Here's where we're at today. Countertops are finally in after almost 3 months, and I love them! New sink is also in. Apparently, when the demo was done and the faucet was removed, they lost an essential washer. So when the plumber came back for hook up, he wasn't able to install. I had to make an emergency run to Home Depot for the cheapest faucet I could find so we didn't have to go without a kitchen sink for the entire holiday weekend (its been a rough few days without a sink/ countertops already).

I've started working with my cabinet maker for replacing some of the cabinet doors, too. I love the white oak! I used the Woca oil sealer and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how it turned out! It blends perfectly with my oak flooring.


Side note, sorry about my overgrown pothos, one day I'll move it.


That's it for now. Happy New Year!