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Before & After: Bringing Color to Kitchen #4

The kitchen remodel is DONE!

A few tweaks & adds here and there are sure to come, but 6 weeks after closing on our house (& 4 weeks after move-in), we have fully gutted and redesigned a kitchen into on we love...and as usual, it's all DIY, y'all!

Every kitchen in the homes I've owned has been neutral. White or gray. I dreamed of the colorful kitchens I'd eaten in while traveling other countries, from France to Mexico, and knew this - what we've bought to serve as our retirement cottage - would be that opportunity to bring more vibrance to where our meals are created. As you see in the slideshow, the all-white kitchen was super duper generic. So gutting, which we've done 2X, was it. I sold the cabinetry & countertops before move-in, along w/ the appliances.

Unlike our last 2 houses, I did not want to build wood open bases again. Too exhausting, plus I've done the farmhouse thing & noticed my Pinspiration is now way more colorful, with kind of a clean patisserie vibe. I've also had a Tamara Adams Mexican block print from I've always adored, while keeping the farmstead roots in me alive as well (pic at end showing the inspirations). How's that for a hybrid kitchen design?

We paid homage to our past homes' deep blue exteriors on the walls, and I used Ikea's Enhet black metal bases to build our workbenches. My husband then cut & attached faux marble tops that are both easy to clean & inexpensive.

Other details: * Frigidaire counter-depth fridge - a huge difference space-wise! The one that came with the house was not only far too voluminous, but was not a counter-depth and therefore stuck out beyond the cabinet that was built for it. This one is smaller, yet feels bigger than the KitchenAid ones we had at the last two houses.

* Frigidaire induction range - Never thought I'd say it, but I'm pretty pleased with this brand for appliances! While I loved the double oven by another brand we had at the farm, I love a knob-free induction more than having two ovens, so there ya go. * ACME kitchen island w/ drawers - I wanted something deeper than traditional countertops, so I bought this online on sale and pushed it against the wall. Plus it has drawers which we need for linens & flatware. Putting it together was murder, but my husband's grin after rolling homemade pasta on it tonight? Priceless. * Benjamin Moore "Deep Royal" paint - Zero VOC, of course. * DIY pine open shelving - 2x12's in the primary section, 2x10s over the island using water-based stain & iron brackets. * Anchor Hocking plastic-free & made-in-USA canisters. While we have the awesome new pantry, I wanted a few things upfront that hold 5 lbs worth of dry goods, namely flours for baking, and oats for both brekkie & milk-making. * Freestanding sink - I scored this bar/kitchen sink at Lowe's. The adjustable leveling feet were too low so we went to our local hardware store who helped us jerry-rig taller ones. Rad. * Samsung dishwasher - Energy Star, of course, and the third rack for knives etc that I love. * GE Convection Microwave - with AirFry, at that! * All Clad pots & pans - I've had these almost 20 years - buy once, cry once, y'all. * DeLonghi espresso machine - the Magnifico is...well...magnificent. * Gluckstein pendant light * French pig canvas - a gift to my butcher husband some years back. * Stainless rails for hanging tools - can't imagine life without them.

* Cookbook shelves - art display shelves from Ikea, same as the last house. I adore these, y'all.

* Trash/Recycling Bin - Totem Waste & Recycling Dual Kitchen Trash Can by Joseph Joseph. First time I've invested in this, but it's so, so rad.

* Lazy Susan - Acacia wood for the oils to keep them from dripping on the counter, thanks to Crate & Barrel.

Art is throughout the kitchen, from my favorite photo of my grandmother with my great-aunt, to the Mexican skeleton couple my husband put in my stocking several years back, to the Maxfield Parrish print my mother dumped in a bin on my front porch a decade plus ago, to a beloved herb print found in a shop in Giverny, France, that I mounted on wood. It's always better with art, y'all...

We only kept the backsplash & range hood. Our electrician updated the outlet for the range, and the gas lines were fully removed from the house when we installed the new multi-split heat pump. Other than that, these six weeks were 100% DIY, baby...

Total net renovation cost? $3K. Seriously. We may add a kitchen rug and/or hang the cast iron skillets, but until those decisions are made, the unfinished dining room beckons...


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