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Kitchen Renovation Part 2 – Designing a New Kitchen

It’s really a tough process when designing a new kitchen. There are so many options to choose from, so working with a great designer was a life saver. I could not have kept my sanity and gotten it all done -and done right – without her!

When designing a new kitchen, I found it super helpful to work with a professional designer. She helped me pick out what I needed and gave me lots of options to choose from.

Designing a New Kitchen

My new kitchen design is coming along. Thank goodness for my neighbor, Tristan, and the great people at Reico Kitchen and Bath! I have been thinking about a kitchen remodel for over two years and I had no idea where to start. What I really wanted was to have some reality show designer come to my house and create a space that I would just love! Just give them a budget and my general style and then go from there. Have them whittle out all the “noise” that I didn’t want and narrow down my choices so that it would be easier to pick my favorite items.

It turns out that no reality show was interested in my house out in the sticks and I just didn’t have the time or motivation to seek out all the bits and pieces. Thank my lucky stars that my neighbor is a kitchen designer and she held my hand and walked me thought designing a new kitchen.

Wanna know all the things I can’t stand about our kitchen? Check out my Part 1 of my Kitchen Renovation Project.

Picking out the Cabinets

Picking out our new Kitchen Cabinets was tough. We wanted modern, clean, and good construction. We opted for a Classic Square frame in Cherry.

Since there are so many cabinets in my kitchen, picking the style, color and design was the first thing we had to do. My husband and I like a clean and modern look. While white kitchen look beautiful and all the rage right now, I honestly don’t know how people keep them clean! I would see smudges all over them and it would drive me nuts! My husband was also opposed to a white kitchen, so that left natural woods. We picked out a Cherry Wood Cabinet from Merillat. We liked the simple look of the square picture frame design and plain front drawers. I didn’t want ornate designs or glazes, no recessed or  raised trim, and they had to be a full overlay door!! No more center divider bar on these cabinets. I’m really happy with my choice for this slightly understated design that won’t dominate the space.

To go with the drawers and doors, we picked rubbed bronze handles that look almost like leather straps. We haven’t had handles or pulls or knobs in out kitchen so I am really excited for this added detail.

Choosing a Countertop

Marble is beautiful but fragile. Granite is nice, but must be sealed properly. This Quartz option is perfect for my kitchen needs. No sealing, easy to clean, and the color and pattern are consistent.

Once the cabinets were settled, we moved on to the countertops. I wanted something light to contrast with the cherry cabinets. I was looking at a 99% white quartz but then kept coming back to this design with grey and gold flecks. The added details gave it more depth, and a pretty design that looked a bit more like marble. We also thought that the gold would compliment the bronze pulls nicely. What do you think?

We decided to go with quartz over granite because we are honestly lazy. We didn’t really want to go to a large granite warehouse to look at slab after slab of granite. Since granite is mined, there is no rhyme or reason to to color changes, veining, and consistency. Granite is also porous and needs to be sealed properly on a regular basis. Quartz is a mixture of crushed quartz stone and mixed with a resin binder. There is no need for sealing and since it’s not porous, it won’t collect germs or microbes in the imperfections. Stains won’t set in as easily and clean up is a breeze with just soapy water.

Quartz Countertops are a winner to me!

Working with a designer will help make the process so much easier. They've designed way more kitchens than you have, so listen to their advice.

Kitchen Design Options

In my kitchen pain points post, I talked about wanting to move the kitchen sink and stove and getting rid of the half wall between the kitchen and living room. Well, we couldn’t afford doing all of that but we could make the island bigger and incorporate an eating area into the island. Well, I’m getting a BIG island – 7 feet of island to be exact.

So, once we had the cabinet design and color and picked out the countertop, we moved on to the island. My husband wanted a butcher block top and I wasn’t as convinced on this. Have you seen the prices for butcher block countertops?? Well, after talking with some blogging friends about creating videos, they thought that the dark wood would be much better for filming on compared to white which is hard to balance. So, dark walnut Butcher Block island top it is.

Since I wanted to get rid of my table in the kitchen we decided to create two L-shaped areas for the island. One L consists of drawers, trash, and a large cabinet with the butcher block on top. The second L is the eating area. That will have the same quartz countertop and be able to seat us comfortably and give my kid an area to still sit at to get her homework done.

Before and New Design of the kitchen island with eat at area.

See how much this design is going to help my kitchen out?

  • Trash can put away ✔
  • Table out of the window ✔
  • Eating area and working area ✔
  • Closing off the tops of the cabinets to the ceiling ✔
  • Full overlay cabinets ✔
  • A built in pantry ✔
  • Large drawers for storage ✔

I’m so in love with these CAD drawing of my new kitchen. Can’t you just see it amazing it’s gonna be?

Before and New Design of the kitchen island with eat at area.

Picking the Accessories

Erik and I  had first picked put a larger farm sink with a big apron. I love the look of them and thought it would be a great change to our ceramic overlay sink that stains horribly! However, the general price tag of the sink was getting to me and I realized that I would not be able to have the fancy tilt out tray at the front of the cabinet that you can store the sponges in. So, we looked around some more and I decided to swap of the farm sink for double sink with a built in drainboard.

Kitchen Renovation update - Picking out all the new parts for a kitchen are tough! This double sink with built in drain board is going to be amazing!

As I was walking around the Reico, I noticed one of their sinks on display. It’s wasn’t something that I would have given a second glance to, but now that I was looking, it caught my eye. I would not have considered a dark sink, but I loved the contrast between the lighter countertop and the dark sink. You can see the inspiration in the photo below. I can’t wait to get this beauty installed!

Picking out Backsplash

Well, I still haven’t decided on a backsplash design. I’m torn between natural stone and glass. Or a mixture of the two… or not? We opted not to do any under cabinet lighting so I’d like something light and reflective. I’m leaning towards glass. I just need to figure out what size of tile or do a mosaic design. Ugh! One decision at a time.

Backsplash in a kitchen - There's so many choices. I still haven't decided.

And my last decision will be for my new kitchen light. There, I’m totally stuck. The lights are like a the earrings of the kitchen and I don’t do jewelry. Also, have you ever shopped for lighting? The choices are innumerous and the prices can be astronomical. We do have it narrowed down to a track lighting system, so I just need to pick out pendant lights.

Looking for more tips for your kitchen remodel? Check out 5 Kitchen Remodeling Tips from Dorothy, this Countertop and Backsplash post from Sandy (I’m really liking that backsplash BTW), and this entertaining, but totally serious post – Lessons Learned on how to Mess up your Kitchen Remodel from Kelly.

Want to follow along on my kitchen renovation project??  Watch for more on my Instagram Feed (#PSBKitchenRemodel) and IG Stories for updates on the construction.

Liz

Thursday 23rd of March 2017

I love my kitchen, but we're expanding our garage and will bump out the kitchen in the process. I know it will be marvelous when it's finished, but the long process will drive me nuts! Looks like you've made some amazing changes!

Karyn Granrud

Monday 27th of March 2017

That sounds amazing! Doing mega structural stuff is so much money. Moving walls, water and electrical lines are a pain! I hope you love your end result as much as I'm loving mine!

Carol

Wednesday 8th of March 2017

Been there...done that...don't want to have to do it ever again!!!

You worked really hard on this and I so much hope and pray that the final is exactly what you you wanted!!

Karyn Granrud

Friday 10th of March 2017

It is a lot of work! But we are loving seeing the changes being made.