interiors & styling: Kitchen Renovation

I am so excited to finally share our full kitchen renovation! It is one of my favorite places in the house and I truly enjoy spending time in this space. You won’t believe the transformation; we spent so many hours doing demolition and rebuilding, but it definitely paid off.


The kitchen was in horrible shape when we purchased the home. A quick history: we bought a foreclosure and the kitchen wasn’t even in working condition. There were no countertops, only plywood covered in mold. The cabinets were once probably very beautiful, but unfortunately they were also covered in mold and lots of the beautiful glass work was broken. The only thing I really wanted to keep was the original kitchen sink. Kalyn didn’t think it was very practical, so we came to a compromise. I kept the sink and still plan to refinish it, but it is going to live in the laundry room.

We started demo in this room first because of the horrible smell and the mold; it was clearly the one spot in the house that needed the most attention. This is one of the images posted from the original foreclosure listing, so you can see what we were dealing with:

We ripped everything out, including a few layers of linoleum (complete with asbestos) and a plaster wall, patched and refinished the hardwood floors, and then started rebuilding from there. Lots of elbow grease and MANY hours later, this is the final result:

We left a partial wall, making the space feel more open and larger. It serves as an easy transition from the kitchen to the dining room.

The sink and faucet are two of my favorite elements in the kitchen. Even though I wanted to keep the original sink, Kalyn had a good point in regards to practicality. The sink is a single vessel and there is so much space! The faucet is equally as awesome. It’s a smart touch, so it has a handy attachment that comes out, making dishes and cleaning a lot easier. Plus- it just looks amazing: the color, the shape, the design is really solid. Super happy with the combo!

Another thing I love about the sink is the deep window above it. I have lately become obsessed with plants of all sorts and I loving lining them up in the window sill. If I get bored with a few, I just move them around or change them out; it’s a constant rotation. Kalyn thinks I’m crazy.

Even though he thinks I’m nuts when it comes to my plants, he refuses to let me touch his bonsai tree, which also lives in our kitchen window. His mother got him this tree for his birthday a couple years ago and he’s been taking great care of it ever since. The problem? The original pot it came in was plastic and an ugly shape, clearly meant to be temporary. I found this really cool vintage planter on Etsy and he came home to find it replanted. Luckily the plant survived the repotting and all is well- we’re still married.

Picking out the cabinet hardware was the second most difficult decision in the kitchen (first being the counter top). I tried buying hardware online three different times and ended up sending it all back. I struggled to match the hardware to the faucet, so I decided physically going to a store was the only option. I finally found a great store in Cincinnati, called Norwood Hardware– if you’re in the area I highly recommend; they have tons of options from various manufacturers and exceptional customer service. I went with simple and classic hardware with an antique brass finish. The really cool thing about the hardware is each piece is made from 100% recycled material!

When nearly finished with our kitchen, we ran into a bit of a road bump- the appliances. To be specific, the fridge would not fit into its designated little nook. Kalyn ended up having to freehand cut part of a cabinet out and order a new cabinet door, allowing room for the fridge. In the end, somehow it all worked out.

Overall, I love our kitchen! I don’t think there is a single thing I would change. For a small space, we made the most of it and it’s really functional. We also stayed within a pretty tight budget. We tried to get standard cabinets and appliances, but still make it look unique and custom. Here’s a little tip for making standard cabinets feel custom: build a bulkhead above the cabinets; this will make them appear to extend all the way to the ceiling or trim. It eliminates negative space and elongates your cabinetry.

We also saved a ton of money doing most everything ourself. Believe it or not, demo took the most time. Aside from that, Kalyn did all of the electrical and plumbing work, with the help of my stepdad Chris. I’m lucky to have such handy guys in my life. However, if you’re not handy or don’t have handy friends, no worries- there are so many great tutorials online. We definitely referred to YouTube more than once.

I’m sure we’ll accumulate some more fun little accessories for our kitchen, like tea towels and canisters. I’ll be sure to post little vignettes as they happen! What do you think of our kitchen transformation? I love to hear feedback!

Sources:  Apron Front Kitchen Sink  //  Faucet in Brushed Bronze  //  Hardware  //  Pendant Light Above Sink (Vintage)  //  Medium White Subway Tile Back Splash + Gray Grout  //  Counter Top  //  Cabinets  //  Brass Terrarium (Wedding Gift)  //  White Ceramic Planter (Vintage)  //  Rug


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