My Kitchen Renovation Reveal
I can hardly believe the day has come for my kitchen renovation reveal. Say what?! I’ve been dreaming about this day since…well since we bought our house in May 2019. And here we are with a completely new kitchen that our little family absolutely loves.
I started sharing the design plans back in August; the demo started in September; work continued in October; and we just finished up in November. It’s been a rough few months of chaos and dust in this household, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. It was completely worth it!
Let’s start with the before and after because I can hardly believe it’s the same space!
Our Kitchen Before & After
It is WILD! I mean, whoa…from all of that oak to what we have now. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come.
The Evolution of Our Kitchen
So let’s back up to when we bought our house in May 2019. We took a look at the kitchen and saw tons of potential. I mean the space is HUGE! But at that time we were already spending over $100k on the rest of the house (more about our renovation budget here) and we didn’t have the funds to gut the kitchen. Plus, I always think it’s a good idea to live in a space for a long time to figure out how you really want to use it. If we had changed the space immediately, I’m confident it wouldn’t be anything like it is now. I’m so happy we waited.
So all we did in the kitchen was change out the flooring, paint, swap the trim and doors, remove the track lighting, and that’s about it. Our space then stayed this way for a year and a half while we pinched our pennies and dreamed of our new kitchen.
After five months of designing, planning, and ordering items, we officially started the demo at the end of September and it has been a whirlwind ever since.
The Crazy Door Situation
So first, let’s talk about the crazy door situation. In the very first blog post of the kitchen series, I explained how we had a basement door in the middle of our kitchen. I don’t think people really understood until we removed all of the cabinets and you literally saw the door!
This door is a walkout from our basement to the side of our house and it had to stay. We rarely ever use this door because we have an interior door that we use to go downstairs. However, it needed to stay because it’s our fire exit and there really isn’t a good way to fix the crazy situation. I’m telling ya, 100-year-old houses are just quirky like that.
Once our cabinets were in, you couldn’t even tell that the door was there. We ended up ordering a shallow depth kitchen cabinet so we would have enough clearance for the doorway, and still have a bit of storage within the cabinet. We were super worried about it working because it was hard to measure with the old cabinets in place, but it actually worked out beautifully. You obviously can’t even tell when you look at our kitchen. The doorway is still intact and up to code; we have storage; and our kitchen is exactly how we want it. This little shallow cabinet is where we store all of our baking supplies and it works great!
Our New Layout
The biggest change to the space was the new layout. We ended up moving absolutely everything in this room. We took the window out, moved the sink to the kitchen island, placed the fridge on a different wall, and added a double oven and range. Everything got a new home!
This flows so much better for our family. When one of us is washing dishes at the sink, we can still be a part of the conversation and we don’t have our back to the room.The fridge is also in a much better spot for us. Instead of it being all the way on the far side of the room, it’s more centrally located in the house.
Upgraded Back Door
In order to bring the cabinetry all the way to the wall, we had to replace the door on the back of the house. This wasn’t cheap (I think the new door from Pella was around $5,000), but the old door was in rough shape and we were able to get exactly what we wanted. Our old door swung in, which took up a lot of real estate in the kitchen. Now we have a slider, so the door doesn’t come into the kitchen at all. We also decided to go with black and I love the sleek look.
Next to the door, I have our cute little dinner bell that we’ve had for years now. I have to say Rory is so intrigued by it and always stares at it when we’re eating dinner. Let’s just hope it’s awhile before she realizes that it makes a really loud sound. I have a feeling she would love to ring it all day long.
The Dining Nook
The coziest part of the room is our new dining area. I shared all of the scoop about this space back in this blog post and everything I said there stands true. We use this area daily and love it so much. Many people have inquired about the bench and if we had to have it custom built. We just ordered the bench cabinets along with our kitchen cabinets, so it was all a part of the kitchen cabinet installation.
We have four deep drawers and only one of them actually has stuff in it right now! I love that we have so much storage and room to grow in here. I think this will probably be a spot where Rory ends up putting a few of her toys when she is hanging in the kitchen with us.
The one addition you haven’t seen yet is the cushion from Patio Lane. The fabric we used is from Sunbrella and their new Horizon Marine collection. This fabric is actually used on boats, so it’s super water-resistant and durable. That’s one of the main reasons we went with it. Plus, the color is perfection. It’s called “Capriccio Toast”. I knew that I wanted a leather looking fabric for the seats so we could easily wipe them down. It’s a 4-inch cushion with double welting. Absolute perfection. (P.S. If you’re in need of a cushion, use code DIYPLAYBOOK10 for 10% off at Patio Lane).
The Bar Area
I had to drop in this “before” photo of our nonexistent bar area to show you how it used to be a big plain wall with only our TV hanging on it. That was not the best look. Now, it is both functional and beautiful!
I mean, hubba hubba! Am I right? Not only does this area contain my beloved wine fridge, which is stocked with champagne, thanks to that smart husband of mine, but it has so.much.storage. The cabinets are all pretty empty and we have a charging drawer and “junk drawer” on top. I’m planning to go into detail about organizing the pantry, drawers, and cabinets in January, so stay tuned for that.
We have all of our glassware in the left cabinet and our serving ware is housed in the right. All of this used to take up a lot of space in our party hutch and the main area of the kitchen and now it lives here. Amazing!
I’m really happy we ended up adding beadboard to the wall because it adds some good texture behind the TV. I didn’t want this to be alllll about the TV and I think this setup works well. Plus, having the Frame TV really fools people into thinking it’s art.
Our Appliance Garage
One of the things that bothered me about our old kitchen was that we had too many things out on the countertops. I vowed that we would keep our countertops fairly clear in our new space. Our appliance garage definitely helps with that. This little area over here holds our bottle maker for Rory and coffee maker for me! The door is on a little hinge and pulls up to reveal the appliances. Above the appliance garage, we have a large cabinet where we store mugs, coffee, and other beverage goodies.
Because of this, we don’t have any appliances out on our countertops. Instead, I just have a few small decorative items that make me happy, along with our wood tray for fruit (from HomeGoods)!
Our Walnut Wood Shelves
I was waiting on the shelves to arrive to reveal the kitchen and I’m so happy I waited! They add so much to the space. I went with walnut wood to tie in the walnut from both the butcher block and the dining room table. It adds warmth, color, and life to the kitchen. Plus, it’s nice to have a spot to display cute kitchen items.
I went with Shelfology because you can customize the shelves in every single way…the wood, the thickness, the color, the length, the depth. These are the Askel Walnut Floating Shelves by Shelfology. They’re 1.5 inches thick, 19 inches long, 10 inches deep, and the finish is clear satin. My contractor installed them into the quartz and they’re incredibly sturdy.
On the shelves, I have framed recipe cards…one is a handwritten recipe from my grandmother and the other from my great-grandmother. I love incorporating special pieces like that into a kitchen. They make for easy art that tell a story.
I also added cookbooks, greenery, baskets, and other kitchen decor pieces to finish off these shelves.
The Butcher Block Area
I already shared all of the details about our butcher block back in this post, so I’ll keep this part short (this post is turning into quite the novel!), but we’ve been using the butcher block all day, every day, and it still looks fantastic. Finn oils it up once a week and it is still beautiful. In the drawers below, he has his knives stored in this cutting block and a whole new set of spices from The Spice House. (I’ll show you those spots in January.)
I ended up adding some extra platters and trays underneath the butcher block, along with some cookbooks. Behind that, I have hand-painted canisters that my mom received from my great-grandmother for her wedding. My mom let me use them in the kitchen and I love the touch of family history in here!
I walk into this room and I smile every single time. This was a lot of hard work, a lot of money (more on the budget coming soon), and a lot of mess for a while there, but it was 100000% worth it to us. Now we have the kitchen of our dreams and a place that works well for our family.
Hardwood Flooring // Kitchen Cabinetry in the colors “Bonsai” & “Cottage” // Quartz Countertops // Pendant Lights // Under-cabinet Lighting // Counter Stools // Farmhouse Sink // Polished Nickel Faucet // Pot Filler // Soap Dispensers // Sink Tray (HomeGoods) // Sink Scrub Brush // Dutch Oven // Butcher Block // Refrigerator // Dishwasher // Range // Kitchen Runner // Double Oven // Gold Knobs // Gold Pulls // Counter Canisters // Microwave
Walnut Dining Table // Chairs // Chandelier // Gold Pulls // KraftMaid cabinets in the Color “Cottage” // Wall Color // Marble Fruit Stand // Vase (thrifted) // Turkish Pillow (this Etsy shop) // Tassel Pillow // Black Pillow // All Other Pillows (HomeGoods) // Coasters // Bench Cushion from Patio Lane in Sunbrella Fabric “Capriccio Toast” // Dinner Bell
Askel Walnut Floating Shelves by Shelfology // Wood Fruit Tray (HomeGoods) // Dutch Oven // Small Vase // Planter (Lowe’s) // Small Gray Ceramic Box // Gold Bowl (thrifted) // Pot Filler // Rattan Bowl // Wood Cutting Board // Marble Utensil Holder //Salt & Pepper Shakers // Spoon Rest // Hood (KraftMaid)
More Kitchen Posts to Come
I’ve already written so many kitchen posts – if you need more details about any particular item in the kitchen, check the list at the very bottom of this post first – but I still have a few more yet to publish.
- What I Learned from the Kitchen Renovation (tomorrow!)
- Kitchen Video Tour (Thursday)
- Our Kitchen Appliances (Friday)
- The Kitchen Budget Breakdown (next Tuesday)
- Plus, lots of organization posts coming in January!
Thank you for your encouragement every step of the way. Every time I posted a little peek on Instagram I was always bombarded with supportive and kind messages. I love this community and really enjoy taking you along for the ride. Thanks for being a part of this really fun project.
Catch Up On Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before Photos
- Hiring a Designer
- Our New Kitchen Layout
- Design Plan & Mood Board
- Single vs Double Bowl Sink
- Ordering Our Kitchen Cabinets
- Tasks To Do Before a Kitchen Renovation
- Our Old Kitchen Is Out
- Creating Our Electrical Plan
- Our Kitchen Cabinets Are In!
- Kitchen Hardware Guide
- Dining Nook Design Plan
- Choosing Quartz Countertops
- Painting the Kitchen
- Our Dining Room Nook
- Finding a Kitchen Runner
- Our New Lighting
- Our Wood Butcher Block
- The Kitchen Renovation Timeline
- The Big Kitchen Reveal
- What I Learned from Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before & After Video
- Our Kitchen Appliances
- Renovation Budget & Cost
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.