Our Small However Mighty Kitchen Is Finished!

It might go down as our most gradual kitchen renovation ever, however nearly precisely two years into residing right here (we hit that milestone final Saturday!), our kitchen is formally DONE! New cupboards? Verify. Tiled backsplash to the ceiling? Yup. Quartz counter tops and a sink that’s 3X deeper than the overmount sink of yore? Affirmative.

New hidden vary hood? You betcha. Extra purposeful storage within the type of further drawers, new higher cupboards, and a generously sized pantry cupboard? Yessir. Tons of earlier than & after images? That’s what this submit is for! Plus we’ve bought a full price range breakdown for you. So within the illustrious phrases of Tiesto, let’s get right down to enterprise.

Painted Ikea Kitchen With Tile Backsplash


desk | chairs | wall shelf | {hardware} | woven pendant | bookshelf | fruit bowl | toaster | comparable plant pot | espresso desk

To us (and perhaps to you as effectively) this has felt like a really gradual transformation as a result of we simply form of tweaked and adjusted issues over the past two years in lots of small phases, reasonably than going by one mega-gut-renovation like our final home’s kitchen. And the excellent news is that irrespective of how slowly you peel the potato (is {that a} saying? If not, let’s make it one), the change nonetheless feels fairly dramatic after we look again on the day we purchased it.


Not solely is it a reduction that it’s lastly full, we’re additionally so grateful for the way purposeful it has turned out to be. I’d be mendacity if I didn’t say we weren’t somewhat skeptical of this house after we first laid eyes on it (okay, I used to be skeptical – Sherry’s a type of perenially optimistic individuals who really believed on this room).

So think about my elation that it has turned out to be one of the environment friendly and easy-to-cook-in kitchens that we’ve ever had. After coming off of such a big kitchen in our final home, that was the most important shock. The work triangle in right here is so direct and simple, it takes fewer steps to seize issues and assemble meals (whether or not it’s a fast lunch or a deep and concerned dinner). And we even have a bigger pantry cupboard than we did in our large Richmond kitchen!

I’ve mentioned it earlier than and I’ll say it once more: one large professional to renovating an area in numerous phases over a time frame is that you just actually get to stay with issues, establish points, and check out options earlier than touchdown on the ultimate design. In order that positively helped us in right here.

Talking of which, this video not solely captures the completed kitchen because it seems to be proper now, it begins with a flashback to what it appeared like after we first laid eyes on it. In some ways it fills in additional blanks than the complete remainder of this submit as a result of a video is definitely price 1,000 footage. So for those who do nothing else, ensure you watch this video:

Be aware: You may also watch this video on YouTube.

The Evolution Of Our Kitchen

Once more, that is the kitchen we laid eyes on after we purchased the home (it’s one in every of many “befores” that we documented on this submit). Between the soffit that ran throughout two partitions of the room, the popcorn ceiling, and the mismatched home equipment – there was loads that we hoped to improve. And let’s not overlook the boob mild shining brightly on the ceiling.


As a part of our pre-move-in renovations, our contractor made some large enhancements whereas we have been nonetheless in Richmond – eradicating the soffit & uppers, taking out the peninsula, patching the flooring, and re-drywalling (we needed to redo the complete first ground’s drywall and patch the flooring all through on account of moisture points) in addition to including some can lights. However a lot to their shock, we left a lot of the kitchen intact.

By the point we moved in, that is how we first lived with the house. Thoughts you, this was Might of 2020 after we have been nonetheless just about cooking and consuming each meal at residence, so it was a little bit of an adjustment. However it labored!

These first few weeks gave us confidence that we might stay with this kitchen “as is” for some time, which gave us permission to make enhancements slowly – and that’s largely what you noticed us do over the past two years. We hung cabinets. We put in a pendant mild that we swagged over the desk. We painted the cupboards mauve to match the laminate counters.

Then, a few yr in the past, we had a clearer imaginative and prescient of what we needed from the completed house. We moved the fridge and constructed a big pantry cupboard round it for additional storage. We bought a bigger desk that seats extra folks. We added a door the place a window had been (which leads out to our grill & s’mores pit). We hung extra cabinets. Sherry reduce the pendant mild in half. You already know, the standard tweaks.

After which lastly this spring, we changed the unique cupboards with better-functioning Ikea cupboards (and painted them the identical mauve coloration), bought new counters, and – as you’re seeing for the primary time on this submit – added higher cupboards and tiled the backsplash! We additionally hung a new woven pendant mild as a semi-flush-mount, reasonably than swagging it over the desk like we used to do, which feels ethereal and easy. And the substantial brass faucet under it feels balanced and ties into the brass {hardware}.

Painted Ikea Kitchen With Tile Backsplash


chairs | desk | woven pendant | bookshelf | knife block | fruit bowl | toaster | comparable plant pot | espresso desk

From the delicate backsplash (Sherry describes it as: “a pearly-blue coloration that feels excellent for the seashore – like the within of an oyster shell”) to the traditional marble-like quartz counters and the mauve coloration that we introduced over to the brand new cupboards (which has at all times been on this room and feels meant to remain) – we actually like the place we ended up. The cupboard coloration is Artsy Pink by Sherwin Williams by the best way.

So let’s discuss these new additions for a second…

Our New Tile Backsplash

This backsplash is definitely what kicked off this final section of the renovation. It was a type of “In case you give a mouse a cookie” eventualities. We needed so as to add a backsplash, however we knew it solely made sense to do AFTER we changed the counter. And it solely made sense to switch the counter AFTER we changed the cupboards. These have been issues we meant to do finally, however the need for a backsplash is what made us lastly pull the ripcord and go in any case three. Additionally, our previous sink was so shallow you possibly can see a small cup protruding excessive edge. In order that state of affairs has drastically improved. Now we are able to cover all of the soiled dishes. Lengthy stay the deep sink!

However again to the backsplash. Our preliminary objective was so as to add some texture and shine, however not a ton of daring sample or coloration like we’ve completed earlier than. We simply needed it to really feel mild, relaxed, and beachy – and because it shares house with a sitting space and could be seen from the entrance door, we didn’t need something too busy or daring that we would tire of over time. We rapidly zeroed in on this inexpensive 4×4″ zellige-style tile within the “Sky” colorway. It’s extraordinarily laborious to seize in images, however it’s really a really delicate blue-gray tone with plenty of sheen.

The entire wall solely price us about $325 to do and we knocked it out in about 2.5 days, together with grout. I gained’t bore you with the step-by-step particulars, since we’ve talked extensively about tiling earlier than (right here’s our backsplash tutorial, together with a video!) however it got here collectively fairly rapidly and instantly gave us that shine and delicate texture we have been hoping for. It truly is like the within of an oyster shell.

Tiling Zellige Backsplash Under Mauve Cabinets

The one factor about tiling a kitchen backsplash that I’ll reiterate is the purpose I illustrate on this submit about LAYOUT PLANNING. Please, please, pleeeeease take time to plan your tile structure earlier than you start. You’ll in all probability need to reduce the necessity for small slivers of tile round any edges (just like the ceiling or in opposition to the cupboards) so measure and/or dry suit your tiles to see how issues look first. You possibly can at all times make changes – like slicing your backside row barely or shifting your centerline to be on a grout line, reasonably than the middle of a tile (or vice versa).

John adding last row of tiles above kitchen window

It really took us just a few tries of dry becoming (no mastic, we simply leaned issues up in opposition to the wall to visualise just a few choices) to ensure we selected a structure that appeared even & symmetrical across the window AND in opposition to the facet partitions, particularly for the reason that window isn’t centered on that again wall.

Side View Of Ikea Kitchen With White And Mauve Cabinets And Long Table


chairs | desk | woven pendant | bookshelf | knife block | fruit bowl | toaster | comparable plant pot

My solely different tip for putting in zellige or zellige-inspired tiles is to type them forward of time, paying shut consideration to the completely different sheens and/or “instructions” of the tile. A few of ours have been extra matte than others. Some had vertical or horizontal motion, others had a extra round feeling of their distinctive handmade-looking shapes (these don’t have precise sq. edges and the fronts fluctuate of their peaks and valleys and shapes too). You possibly can type of see what I imply right here:

So to attain a pleasant randomized look, we really needed to be fairly deliberate about putting differing tiles subsequent to 1 one other, typically rotating them if two with vertical motion have been about to be subsequent to one another. As for the grout we used, we needed one thing that blends in, so we picked an previous favourite: Mapei Flexcolor grout within the “heat grey” coloration.

You may also see under that we painted that window trim the identical tone because the tiles. It was feeling weirdly shiny and white whereas every little thing else was deliberately tonal on that again wall, so it felt so significantly better as quickly as we painted it to recede with the tile. We purposely picked a extra gray-toned quartz counter to go along with the blue-gray backsplash tile and our softly toned cupboards, as a result of we have been hoping for a delicate layered impact and the result’s so calming and delicate in actual life. Remember to watch the video for a greater view of it – no image can actually seize it as effectively.

The Higher Cupboards & Hidden Hood

You may also see that we made the leap from open cabinets to closed higher cupboards on this final section of the renovation. It was one thing we went forwards and backwards on, however in the end have been swayed by two issues:

  1. Including extra hidden storage, which feels much less busy (now we have open cabinets by the desk, so two partitions of it was loads)
  2. Gaining a hidden vary hood (a hood wasn’t required by code, however we at all times hoped to finally add one)

Plus, we additionally suppose in the long run that the kitchen feels greater and taller in individual thanks to those higher cupboards that go all the best way to the ceiling. Two completely different mates have come over and been like “how bizarre is it that including these large cupboards really makes the again wall really feel additional again and better?!”

We’ll share extra about what’s IN all of those cupboards and the way they’re organized in a future submit, however I did need to present you the hidden vary hood cupboard over the range (though it’s arguably the least organized in the entire room).

It is a trick chances are you’ll bear in mind from our duplex kitchens, however it’s simply the Ikea OMSINNAD vary hood which is designed to suit inside an higher cupboard. It’s not the most cost effective vary hood on the earth, however we have been decided to maintain that again wall wanting as symmetrical & balanced as potential, so hiding the hood inside this cupboard was the right answer.

After not having a spread hood for nearly years, we’ve actually appreciated proudly owning one once more (they assist enhance indoor air high quality, reduce down on airborne grease, and – bonus! – mainly gave us below cupboard lighting on one facet of the kitchen). Hashtag fancypants.

Additionally a deep stainless single bowl sink is endlessly our favourite selection for a kitchen (we’ve had a double bowl and even a white forged iron sink, however that is simply ALWAYS our favourite). In order that, together with a pull-down faucet that may be managed with one hand is the jackpot for us (the entire managed by one hand with one single toggle bar = why we’ve by no means gone for a bridge faucet).

It has been so nice having the hood and higher cupboards that it makes us really feel foolish that we ever debated them within the first place. They helped this develop into, as I mentioned initially, one of the environment friendly and easy-to-cook in kitchens that we’ve ever had…

… in all probability solely rivaled by our first home’s kitchen, which had a equally hardworking work triangle, however a lot much less pantry storage than now we have right here.

So…. winner winner hen dinner. That rating positively has loads to do with this kitchen’s compact dimension and the truth that every little thing is rarely quite a lot of steps away. And let’s not overlook how far more purposeful and enjoyable this whole house turned with the addition of this door that leads out to our new kitchen porch, full with a grill that’s not more than 5 steps away.

It is a earlier than of the exact same angle. Fairly unbelievable, proper? Discover how a lot taller the ceiling feels simply by eradicating the soffit to permit for taller cupboards and elongating that window right into a door.

Kitchen Before Photo With Pink Counters And Yellow Walls

By no means earlier than have we had an out of doors grill this shut and simply accessible from the kitchen. It truly is just some steps away, which makes it ridiculously environment friendly and is unquestionably one of many causes that we grill out a lot extra now. We even have an out of doors cupboard on order that can mainly elongate our present kitchen counter and primarily join it to the grill outdoors. So our grill instruments could be saved on the market and we’ll acquire further outside counter house.

Due to our new kitchen porch, we even have the selection of sitting outdoors to eat, and what can I say… we like choices. If mates come over, the children may find yourself inside on the desk whereas we’re out right here (or vice versa). Plus now we have an enormous desk on the higher deck that seats 8 extra if now we have a much bigger gathering or need to head up there for a sport event after dinner!

We even have a door on the opposite facet of the kitchen that mirrors the door that leads out to the deck, which is a utility closet that runs below the steps. We lately redid all of it to achieve a LOT extra purposeful storage in there, so we are able to’t wait to point out you ways that closet has advanced. It homes our HVAC system, and likewise had our water heater, so it used to mainly be blocked up and filled with simply that stuff…

… however we made the change to a tankless water heater, so now there’s SO MUCH BONUS SPACE on this closet! It’ll by no means be a real pantry or something for the reason that HVAC system has to remain in there – however we added some useful storage and even a worktop floor – plus it’s the place we preserve our vacuum and broom and all that stuff. We’ll {photograph} and share all that we did in there in a future submit.

Talking of additional features, one other factor that makes this one in every of our favourite kitchens is the truth that this house just isn’t JUST a kitchen. It additionally has a lounging/entertaining/hanging out space proper close by.

And in comparison with this image taken throughout the preliminary renovation, the view has improved fairly a bit.

Kitchen Mid Renovation With Torn Up Walls And Floors

The Kitchen Sitting Space

About half of this room is the kitchen zone, and the opposite half is a sitting space that’s SO USEFUL to us. All of us spend hours in right here daily, and after two years of getting it, we are able to’t think about this home with out it.

It’s an space that we positively didn’t anticipate utilizing or having fun with as a lot as we do – we simply thought we’d strive it out and see if we used it, and if not we’d put the eating desk right here and add an island to the kitchen or one thing. However boy will we use it.

That is what it appeared like after we purchased the home and, as a part of our preliminary renovations, we closed off a part of that opening to create our bed room. Our guess is that the earlier house owners had a eating desk right here perhaps?

Right here’s one other view of what it appeared like earlier than. That’s the previous kitchen peninsula within the foreground and that door is our entrance door. So perhaps it was some eating room / lobby state of affairs for the earlier house owners?

For us it has develop into the right small sitting space downstairs – for studying or hanging out with mates who cease by whereas their children run off to play outdoors or upstairs. It’s additionally the place our children hang around whereas we’re making meals (within the morning earlier than faculty we’re all in there – and within the night round dinnertime too). Making this space work with two doorways type of in the course of it took some strategic furnishings shopping for. Just like the cozy loveseat and our new spherical terrazzo espresso desk – however it got here collectively higher than we might’ve imagined.

In a smaller home there’s a sure luxurious to having a hangout space downstairs in addition to a comfortable TV/film room upstairs (as soon as once more, we are able to have mates over and sit and chat right here whereas the children are upstairs crafting or watching a film). It actually helps the home “stay massive” as a result of we don’t really feel like we’re all on high of one another.

Right here’s a shot with some folks and a sure smiling canine for a greater sense of scale. I’d say it is a fairly typical scene, though I’d in all probability be taking part in Wordle and Sherry could be whispering candy nothings to Penny like she is under (maybe whereas additionally making an attempt to beat me at Wordle and speaking smack like solely a girl from New Jersey can).

As a lot as we beloved our previous storage espresso desk, we knew one thing spherical would give the room higher stream. And slowly over time as we lived right here, we have been in a position so as to add extra built-in storage (like our bed room wardrobes, the cupboards flanking our fire, the media cupboard upstairs – and much more lately optimized the utility closet within the kitchen) which meant that we had plenty of alternate spots for the gadgets that we used to retailer within the previous espresso desk. Sherry has beloved this terrazzo desk from CB2 for a very long time, so it was a simple selection as soon as we eradicated the necessity for a espresso desk with storage.

Though it’s fairly substantial wanting because it’s product of stone, the sunshine coloration helps this facet of the room really feel extra open and ethereal than it did with the opposite desk. Plus the terrazzo texture performs properly with the sturdy metallic rug we’ve had endlessly.

Talking of a room that works additional laborious for us, we would as effectively swing over to the opposite zone on this room… the laundry closet. Yup, behind these two doorways = a complete laundry station. I’m telling you, this room works so laborious for our household.

View Of Closet Laundry Closet Next To Seating Area

couch | pillows | gold body | cell | door handles

Little half peek:

One Door Open In Open Laundry Closet Behind Seating Area In Kitchen

couch | pillows | gold body | wooden containers in laundry | felt bins in laundry | cell

Full monty:

View Of Open Laundry Closet Behind Seating Area In Kitchen

couch | pillows | gold body | wooden containers in laundry | felt bins in laundry | cell

Let’s flash again to a earlier than shot from the identical angle, only for enjoyable. it was much less huge (only one door) and it inexplicably led into one of many bedrooms (which additionally had a standard door for entry, so we closed the again of the laundry closet off actual fast).

Before Photo of Laundry Closet With Single Door And Yellow Walls

It feels actually good to have the kitchen feeling extra purposeful and streamlined together with a settled-feeling sitting space and a super-efficient laundry zone. We tried all kinds of insane structure concepts for the sitting space earlier than touchdown on one thing that labored, btw, so don’t get discouraged if a difficult house feels prefer it’s evading you. Simply preserve making an attempt new issues and rearranging stuff, and two years later you may simply be like… “that is IT!”

Earlier than I get away some math on you within the type of a price range breakdown (you realize I really like a spreadsheet) let’s take one final have a look at the actual star of this room, curled up in one in every of her go-to spots. Penny appears to like this loveseat simply as a lot as her brother did.

The Kitchen Renovation Price range

This was one in every of my more durable budgets to piece collectively as a result of it was unfold over so many months, however I did my greatest to hit all the main renovation components you see within the completed kitchen (the pendant, new faucet, cupboards, counters, sink, disposal, tile, paint, home equipment, {hardware}, and so on). It’s strictly a kitchen reno/materials price range so I didn’t add the fruit bowl, toaster, desk, chairs, and so on – since that stuff isn’t hooked up to the precise home/reno and I felt like it could simply get insane to attempt to tabulate each bowl & plant pot.

I additionally didn’t embrace contractor prices from the preliminary home replace earlier than we moved in, as a result of we left the kitchen intact for probably the most half (the previous cupboards/counters/sink remained) and I can’t get away *simply the kitchen costs* from our authentic renovation (line gadgets have been extra like: “entire home new drywall”, “entire home flooring patched”). So this price range is from the purpose of beginning with a room that has drywall and doesn’t have holes within the ground, which looks as if a fairly widespread beginning place.

We did the entire different work ourselves (cupboard set up, portray the cupboards, tiling the backsplash, and so on) in order that’s why you don’t see any line gadgets for that. The counter execs did set up the counters, however that’s included within the value under:

*Our range, dishwasher, and fridge have been purchased second-hand for $500, which was the deal of our lives, because of Fb Market and our realtor (the equipment complete is $930 above as a result of it additionally consists of the Ikea hood).

Be aware: Altering the kitchen window to a door was half of a bigger contractor value for redoing our whole kitchen porch. We’d guess it was about $1,270 for that a part of the job (round $900 for labor + $370 for the door), though the associated fee will seemingly fluctuate based mostly in your state of affairs & the door you select.

And whereas we’re on the kitchen price range topic, you may try how a lot the duplex kitchens price proper right here and see one other superb kitchen renovation that was completed on a price range that we featured some time in the past proper right here.

Okay. We did it. One large photo-filled submit about our completed kitchen with plenty of earlier than & after images, in addition to a video (really, the video offers you a lot of a greater feeling for the house than any sequence of images can, so watch that at any time when you may).

Thanks for following alongside as we shared probably the most gradual kitchen renovation we’ve ever completed. There have been plenty of small victories alongside the best way, like lastly having a pantry or lastly getting a spread hood – and man it feels good to stay a fork in it (*insert dangerous dad-joke about forks belonging in kitchens right here*).

And for those who’d prefer to look again on all the opposite kitchens we’ve renovated over time, we’ve bought you lined:

That makes this kitchen our seventh one (!!!) and we wouldn’t thoughts if it was our final. Fortunate seven looks like a superb place to cease. Though Sherry helped a neighbor replace her kitchen (whereas protecting her wood-toned cupboards!) so we hope to get that up on the weblog finally.

*This submit comprises affiliate hyperlinks, so we could earn a small fee if you make a purchase order by hyperlinks on our website at no further price to you.