How I Transformed My Not So Desirable Kitchen Into A Beautiful White, Open And Spacious Kitchen.

Guys, we finally renovated our kitchen after contemplating for over 2 years since the day we moved into our 1680 square feet townhouse. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #3, I immediately knew our kitchen had to be gutted and remodeled. Now that I will be nesting with a baby, I knew I needed to love my home.  The kitchen was the one room in my house that I did not love, yet spend the most time in it.

If you ever once thought white kitchens are boring, well I hope to change your mind today. In my opinion, white kitchens are classic and timeless. For our kitchen remodel, I wanted to keep it traditional while adding some modern elements and plenty of visual interest to it.

We didn’t touch the layout as this layout functions great for our family but we pretty much replaced everything.

What we did:

  1. Added taller shaker style cabinets (old cabinets were 30″ in height, new are 42″).
  2. Added crown molding above the cabinets.
  3. Replaced the under cabinet microwave hood with a custom built in hood.
  4. Added open shelves on each side of the hood.
  5. Lowered the bar top to countertop level.
  6. Removed the pantry and replaced it with full height cabinets.
  7. Added deeper cabinets over the refrigerator and panels on each side.
  8. Replaced the travertine backsplash with white 3″x12″ subway tiles.
  9. Added shiplap above the shelves and cabinets and on the back of the peninsula.
  10. Added lighting above the shelves.
  11. Replaced the tile floors to waterproof/kid proof vinyl wood floors.
  12. Replaced the speckled corian countertop to the Calcatta gold quartz countertop.
  13. Added the waterfall effect to the countertop of the peninsula.
  14. Replaced hardware, faucet and sink.

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Despite the layout remaining the exact same, the kitchen now feels a lot more open and spacious. The taller cabinets, the open shelves, the lowering of the bar top, the replacement of the pantry with full height cabinets all played a significant role in this.

The rectangular hood above the range may appear simple but definitely added a modern statement to the overall look and feel of the kitchen.  The simple black hardware, stainless steel apron sink, champagne gold faucet and industrial glass pendant lights all added the perfect modern balance to a traditional kitchen.

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The shiplap, the crown molding, the beautiful veins on the Quartz countertop and most definitely the waterfall effect adds drama and keeps your eyes captivated despite the very white and neutral color palette.

I absolutely love how our kitchen has turned out and excited to be making many more memories with my family here. I would love to hear what your thoughts are on white kitchens. If you didn’t like them before, was I able to convince you otherwise.

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Before Photos (of when we purchased this home):

Whimsical Kid’s Playroom and Space Planning Tips

Recently I got the opportunity to design my kid’s playroom as we relocated my husband’s home office to the spare bedroom upstairs.

When designing a space, one of the first questions I always ask myself and my clients is How do you plan on using the space or what purpose will it serve you and your family? Once you have this question answered, it will be a lot easier to plan your space. In my case, I wanted this room to be a one stop shop for my kids. That meant they would use this room for: playing; reading; arts and crafts along with doing their homework. It was important for me to keep all their stuff contained in one room instead of being scattered throughout my house, which was the case prior to having a separate and enclosed playroom.

Once you understand the functions that the room will serve, it is important to prioritize that list and identify your must haves.  In some cases, you might not be able to accomodate everything for various reasons such as space and budget. My priority list is as follows:

  1. Plenty of storage: storage was extremely important as we come from a big family so my boys have accumulated quite a bit of toys over the years. The last thing I want is for those toys to end up in my “adult” space.
  2. Ample space for them to play and build. They have a lot of toys that require building such as race tracks and lego so I wanted to make sure they have enough space on the floor to do so.
  3. A large flat surface: Both my boys love to draw, color and and since Lucas is now in elementary school, a table or a flat surface for him to do his homework was definitely high on the list.
  4. Have a library: We also encourage reading in our family and typically spend about 20 to 30 minutes reading to the boys after school so I wanted an area for their books and if possible a little comfortable reading nook.

Once I determined my priorities, I measured the size of the room and planned accordingly. This is how I tackled my priority list above.

  1. I opted for these cubes from Ikea as it offers plenty of storage and I knew I could neatly separate and store their toys in baskets so they are hidden.
  2. I divided the room into two: one area for playing and the second area for doing artwork, crafts and homework. The play area, I knew I wanted a rug to create a  comfortable and defined space for them to sit and play with their toys, whether it is building a block tower or watching their hot wheels run down a track.
  3. The second area I opted for a large coffee table to be used as their workspace. Just a quick tip: using a coffee table was a lot cheaper than kid’s furniture.
  4. For their books, I used a few picture shelves and mounted it on the wall. I opted for wall shelves as it occupies less space. Since this is a multi function room, I wanted to make sure the room did not feel cramped or too busy.  For the storage cubes, instead of using all square cubes with 4 cubbies (2 on top and 2 on the bottom), I used one long one with 4 cubbies in the same row. This way I could use it to create a custom bench. Throw in a few pillows, a blankie and a stuff animal and you have a cute little reading nook.

 

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Voila! That was my space planning process. Now, everything after that is a matter of design and finishes that you select to bring the room together. I originally painted this room a beautiful navy blue color that I absolutely loved. My husband took one look at it and said “it’s nice, such a boy’s room”. And that my friends killed it for me. I guess I didn’t realize having a gender neutral room was also high on my list, not to say that blue is meant for boys. I am definitely not someone who thinks blue is for boys and pink is for girls. My boys rock pink all the time but in this case, it did feel dark and definitely had a masculine feel to it, so I repainted the entire room in a light gray.  Since it is a kid’s playroom I wanted it to be fun and whimsical so I decided to have a feature wall using wallpaper.  This one from the Hearth and Hand collection by Joanna Gaines fit the bill, neutral but playful. Since the walls were pretty neutral, even with the pattern on the wallpaper, I wanted to play up all the bright primary colors that are in my kid’s toys.  I purchased this bright geometric triangle rug and displayed some their brightest toys as part of the design element. Then it was simply adding a few final wall decor and the room was complete.

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Having this playroom has made the world of difference for us as a family. My kids spend most of their time in this room while I cook, clean or work. The most important thing is that their mess is contained in the room and not spread all over the house, which is a total win for me! They do a pretty good job at tidying up at the end of the night but for whatever reason they or I couldn’t get to it, I simply close the door! Life is good!

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XO

Kim

Master Bathroom Remodel

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This is probably one of my favorite renovations to date as we tried to keep this as budget friendly as possible. We opted for simple and minimalistic finishes, however, with all the right touches, this bathroom exudes sophistication.

Renovating a bathroom can be a costly expense but you can make smart choices to help keep your cost low. For this renovation, most of our purchases came from big box stores and we searched for sales.

Here are some BEFORE photos of the bathroom prior to the renovation.

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The existing bathroom had two single vanities. To maximize the space, we opted to remove the smaller vanity. We then converted the larger one into a double vanity. White is as classic as it gets so we chose this white marble countertop vanity.

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For the shower, we extended the width and length by 1 foot so it is now 4×4. This whole bathroom design revolved around this beautiful pattern tile we picked up at Home Depot for the shower floor. Since it is a pattern tile, we kept the shower wall simple to balance it out as well as allow the shower floor to take all the glory.  This beveled subway tile was the right decision as it was clean and simple and the edges added the right amount of visual interest.

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To keep the bathroom looking open, we chose to have a frameless glass shower wall and protected it with this glass shield to prevent calcium build up.  Our local provider had the shield applied at the manufacturer. We chose to do this because that meant there was a 2 year warranty on the glass but you could also do it yourself for a fraction of the price.

We managed to purchase this simple yet beautiful tub when it was on sale for $649. (Note: I just checked and it is on sale for less than $600 now).

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If you are looking for low maintenance, then opt for oil rubbed bronze finishes for all your faucets. It will definitely look cleaner a lot longer than your more typical chrome and nickel finishes.

Wood looking tile has definitely gained popularity over the past few years, but I’m certain it is a trend that is here to stay. We chose this neutral wood plank porcelain tile for the entire bathroom floor.

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The geometric pendant light hanging over the bath tub is probably my favorite purchase for this space. It is gorgeous, adds so much interest while not occupying a lot of space visually because of its design. To top it all off, it’s handmade from an Etsy shop in Greece and you all know how much I love to support small businesses. This is how the box came in the mail. There must have been over 50 stamps on the box.

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The vanity light is also from Etsy and we went with the brass finish as it complements the space and the oil rubbed bronze finishes in the faucets.

The distressed ship lap wall behind the bathtub was a last minute decision. We originally did not consider having a feature wall because of the tight budget. However, for a few extra hundred dollars of material and an extra day of labor, it was absolutely worth every penny. It completely transformed the space and added so much warmth and detail to the master bath.

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To finish off the space, we added these vanity mirrors from Lowes.  In terms of paint color, after many sample purchases in search of the perfect gray, we finally settled on this light gray, Shoreline, from Benjamin Moore. If you are ever looking for a perfect barely there light gray (no undertone) then this is your color.

XO,

Kim