Feature my Kitchen

Let’s start with a little introduction…I’m Ashley – furniture painter, blogger, small business owner, decorator, wife and dog lover. When I’m not busy running around with a paint brush in my hand, you’ll find me running around…literally. Sitting still has never really been my thing. So, I guess two years ago when I declared that my Accounting desk job wasn’t really doing it for me anymore, it should have come to no surprise. However, transitioning into a hands-on creative role definitely did take some people by surprise. But for me, it came at the perfect time. We had just purchased a fixer-upper and home renovations and interior decorating were taking over my life. I was quickly learning that I loved the challenges of bringing an old home back to life and and finding ways to create your own mark on a space. This passion evolved into me creating a furniture restoration company and a blog to write about not only my furniture makeovers, but also our home renovation projects. Today, we’re going to focus on the latter of the two.

Two years ago we purchased a lake house in Wisconsin.  It had always been our dream to purchase an old home and completely renovate it.  I know many people want the "turn-key" ready house, but to me, that's boring.  I wanted something we could really leave our imprint on and add in our own personal touch.  Well, this house has proved to be nothing short of a place that we can make our own...and by that I mean, literally every square inch of the house needs work.  Going through this renovation has been somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster.  We'll get so excited about new ideas and projects, but then feel completely dejected when we uncover some new problem of the house. There are many times when we've asked ourselves, "What were we thinking?!  We're in over our heads!"  But then we think about all the great memories to be made in the future and think, "Ok, this is going to be the best dumb decision we've ever made!" So with that, I’d like to reveal the kitchen makeover. I promise you, it’s a good one!

Let's take a step back and look at how this space started. Here is a 'Before' shot.

Let’s just say the kitchen wasn’t the selling point of the home. Knotty pine, yellow formica…you get the picture. Although it wasn’t a huge space, knocking down walls wasn’t really in the realm of improvements we wanted to tackle. So, whatever upgrades we made had to be done within the confinement of the original space. We also knew that because we were renovating an entire house, we had to be budget-minded in our decisions.

Below is the scope of work:

  • Open shelving on the top
  • New countertops
  • New sink and faucet
  • New appliances
  • New flooring
  • Replace island
  • New lighting
  • Replace window
  • Remove header between kitchen and family room

That meant we would keep the following:

  • Cabinets
  • Beadboard & Paneled walls

We started by knocking out the island and removing the upper cabinets. This step alone made the room feel substantially more spacious. An added bonus was when we removed the formica backsplash, we found original beadboard underneath. We had originally planned on installing a subway tile backsplash, but embraced the character of the original details instead.

The next step was to caulk and paint. And I painted like it was going out of style! Walls, cabinets, trim, ceiling…you name it, I was lightening it up with a coat of fresh paint.

Let’s get to the ‘After” shot and then talk details.

Our farmhouse style kitchen! Of course, no farmhouse kitchen is complete without a farmhouse sink. 

I tried to keep a vintage charm to the space when picking out fixtures and hardware. The sink faucet is similar in style to the model we selected for the bathrooms (downstairs bathroom, powder room). 

These chrome cup pulls give the room a polished look, yet still maintains a charming feel.

It's hard to believe how paint and hardware can completely transform the original cabinets. For the upper area we opted for open shelving.  I bought wood boards and brackets from Home Depot that I painted the same color as the walls and cabinets. The open shelving really makes the space seem larger than it is.

Plus, it's a great way to show off vintage finds like this antique scale.

When it came to the countertops, I was originally anti-granite. It's so popular these days and I really wanted something a bit more unique. I had my heart set on marble, however after weighing out the pros and cons of each product, granite just seemed like the most practical way to go. It's low maintenance and high durability were the selling points.

I broke down though when it came to the island, and chose one with a Carrara marble top. I love the contrast of the light top and rod iron bottom against the dark countertops and white cabinets. The open bottom also helps to keep the space light and airy.

And makes it easy to reach for the necessities!

 

Although I caved to the trendy granite countertops, I opted against the stainless steel appliances that are so popular these days. GE recently came out with a retro-inspired collection that fit our space perfectly. 

For flooring, we chose the same tile throughout the majority of the first floor. The herringbone design gives it a bit of interest. I couldn't be happier with this flooring choice. The tile is a fraction of the price of wood floor, and with two dogs, we don't have to worry about scratching expensive flooring. 

When it comes to a kitchen makeover, we were able to renovate this room at a pretty low cost. Keeping the original cabinets helped to keep the cost down. We also tried to do as much of the work as possible ourselves (demo, painting, installing shelves). It's hard to give an exact estimate as we were remodeling several spaces at once. 

Overall, I am thrilled with the way this space turned out. Although it's not huge, it has a nice flow to it that makes it easy for cooking as well as entertaining. It is now fresh and updated, but still maintains some of the charm of the original farmhouse. I know we will enjoy this space for years to come and create many memories with friends and family here.

Source List:

  • Flooring - Floor & Decor
  • Appliances - GE (Home Depot)
  • Sink - Kohler
  • Faucet - Danze
  • Pendant - Pottery Barn
  • Island - Crate & Barrel
  • Bar Stools - Home Goods
  • Cabinet Hardware - Home Depot
  • Paint - Snow Fall by Behr