June 26, 2022

“We simply couldn’t work out why you weren’t tearing out the kitchen.”

That’s what one among our contractor’s guys stated to us proper as we moved in final yr. I understood his confusion. We have been redoing flooring, shifting doorways, vaulting ceilings, and many others – however we left the small outdated kitchen comparatively untouched – full with mauve laminate counter tops. You’ll be able to see what I imply in this submit.

However to know us is to know that we strongly choose to stay with an expensive-to-renovate room like a kitchen first, simply so we don’t rush into spending main cash on large everlasting adjustments that we’d later remorse or want that we thought by way of just a little longer. So we spent the final 16 months debating numerous large concepts for this room, all whereas peppering in some easy smaller updates to get a really feel for a way they assist enhance the area and what we’d need for our extra long-term plan.









desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

Over the previous 16 months, we debated including extra cabinetry in numerous spots, later realized that we had an opportunity so as to add a pleasant large pantry with a built-in fridge on all the stair wall (extra on that in a second), and likewise debated closing off a window – or at the least half of it – to accommodate a toilet off of our bed room… that we later realized could be a lot smarter in a totally completely different place (extra on that right here).

Not solely did we land on a higher spot for our ensuite lavatory, we now have a a lot better concept for that aspect kitchen window and the porch that it overlooks – so we’re sharing that in a while on this submit too. In brief: sixteen months of slowly including in a bunch of cheap updates (portray the cupboards, including new {hardware}, hanging some cabinets and artwork, rearranging the desk and sitting space till they felt proper, and many others) gave us loads of time to visualise numerous issues and make the kitchen extra environment friendly and purposeful for us – all whereas permitting us to save lots of up for a number of of the extra main long-term updates.

We’ll get into our large plans on this submit (as a result of the excellent news is that we predict we’re on the point of confidently making some larger, extra everlasting renovations to the area!) – however I additionally wish to take you thru among the latest updates which have helped us benefit from our modestly sized kitchen… a lot of which we haven’t even proven you but right here on the weblog. However first…

A Fast Video Tour

Let’s kick issues off with a video of all the area. A little bit walk-about feels a lot extra such as you’re within the area than 1,000 images, so click on play (no have to have sound on, there’s no narration) to get a a lot better concept of how the entire room seems & feels:

Notice: You too can watch this video on YouTube.

Okay, and now let’s get into the 9 updates that we’ve slowly labored in over the previous few months.

Including A Constructed-In Pantry

The most important enchancment we’ve made these days is including a built-in floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard that created SO MUCH STORAGE that we didn’t have earlier than. Beforehand we solely had 7 kitchen cupboards (right here’s how we organized them) which is why we relied so closely on some freestanding Ikea Fjalkinge cabinets to carry all of our meals, serving ware, and even instruments.






It labored nicely sufficient within the quick time period, however we needed one thing deeper and rather more purposeful for the lengthy haul. So over the summer time, we ordered two large Ikea cupboards – one tall pantry cupboard and one over-the-fridge cupboard – and a few aspect panel items to make it occur. Working with Ikea cupboards is outdated hat for us by now, however you’ll be able to learn our ideas and tips for putting in them for those who’re new to it.


Ikea Kitchen Pantry In Progress With Frame Built And Doors Still Off



When you construct all of them in, they appear actually crisp and polished – they usually include all kinds of inserts and choices (for instance, the pantry cupboard might have cupboards or drawers on the underside, and many others. We determined to maintain this space of cabinetry easy (flat fronted and white) quite than portray them mauve to match the opposite cupboards since they go all the best way to the ceiling and we thought that aspect of the room would possibly really feel heavy and out of stability with the remainder of the room. However we did set up these matching knobs to tie them to the prevailing kitchen (right here’s how you can rapidly set up new {hardware}).

Not solely was it an enormous aesthetic enchancment (particularly having the fridge in-built!) it was a HUGE purposeful enchancment that earned us tons of additional storage. Virtually greater than we knew what to do with! We even ran an extension wire to place our microwave in there and get it off our counter (keep in mind to depart your pantry door open for air flow when it’s operating for those who retailer yours in a closed cupboard or “equipment storage”).


Ikea Kitchen Built-In Pantry With Doors Open to Show Shelf Organization With Baskets


storage bins | microwave | {hardware}

There’s not a lot magic to the group in right here. Sherry simply used some storage baskets that we already needed to wrangle classes of issues like: baking stuff, chips, snack luggage, nutritional vitamins, and many others. We use the highest for much less accessed stuff, like our s’mores provide caddy, and “backstock” meals, like further cereal. We additionally crammed the within of the doorways with favourite household images (a lot of which we had taped up in our outdated mudroom cupboards at our final home). I promise they’re much less blurry in actual life 😉


Close Up Shot Of Pantry Shelves With Baskets And Microwave



We selected the Ikea pantry cupboard that had drawers on the underside as a result of we love having drawers on a decrease cupboard. It capabilities equally to the freestanding Fjalkinge items the place we used to retailer our meals, however these drawers are deeper and taller. I can’t underscore how rather more storage we now have now that we’ve added this (don’t neglect the large cupboard over the fridge that we gained too!).


Ikea Built-In Pantry With Lower Drawers Open to Show Walking Space



Including this pantry cupboard additionally allowed us so as to add one different little bit of comfort and performance too…

Wall-Mounting A Spice Rack

Beforehand all of our spices have been in one of many Fjalkinge shelving items, a number of steps from the range and cooking space the place we wanted them most. Ideally, they’d’ve been within the skinny drawer proper subsequent to the range, however alas, it was too slim to suit greater than 3 or 4 spice jars directly.

So we ordered this wall-mounted spice rack and secured it to the aspect of the pantry (it’s magnetic so it will possibly stick proper to the aspect of a fridge, however it additionally comes with screws to hold it if in case you have a aspect panel like ours). We additionally ordered a set of matching spice jars (that include pages of simple-looking labels) and now every little thing is true inside attain of the range and requires zero fishing round in a drawer.

You’ll be able to see it additionally holds a roll of paper towels, in order that was one other factor we have been in a position to get off the countertop. Between that and the microwave being gone, we felt like we gained a lot of area up there!

Beefing Up The Floating Cabinets

The subsequent couple of enhancements are extra visible than purposeful, however have been nonetheless actually useful in making the room really feel prefer it’s inching nearer to the ultimate outcome that we’re going for. The unique “floating” wooden cabinets have been a fast and soiled DIY that we did shortly after we moved in with wooden leftover from our laundry closet shelving. We had all the time deliberate to interchange them with somebody extra everlasting, it simply took us over a yr to take action!






The new cabinets are from Pottery Barn they usually’re good & chunky, and actually floating (in contrast to the outdated ones that have been held up by some brackets that we strategically obscured by the objects on the cabinets). We lucked out that these cabinets got here premade in each 48″ and 36″ lengths, because the window isn’t centered on that wall.


Straight View Of Beach Kitchen With Pink Mauve Cabinets And Floating Shelves




desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | {hardware} | water filter

They’re deep and durable sufficient to carry our greatest plates, so they stunning a lot checked each field we had for them. They have been additionally tremendous simple to put in. 5 stars. Extremely advocate. Unsure why we waited so lengthy to make the change.


Mauve Painted Kitchen Cabinets With View Through Window And Open Shelves




sconces | floating cabinets | {hardware} | desk | chairs | wall shelf | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

And proper above the cabinets, you’ll be able to see our different “visible” enchancment

Hanging Wall-Mounted Sconces

We’ve all the time needed some sconces above the floating cabinets however we weren’t wanting ahead to the difficulty of an electrician tearing up the partitions – particularly if we’re not doing a full-fledged reno but (we now have 8 ceiling lights on this room, so we’re not precisely hurting for illumination). So we determined to hold some ornamental sconces (sure, they’re purely ornamental at this level – as a result of they’re actually sans wiring) simply to verify we favored the look & placement earlier than getting them hardwired (which we’ll probably do once we add the backsplash).


Beachy Kitchen With Mauve Pink Cabinets And Wood Floating Shelves With Mid Century Modern Lights





We used the mid-century sconces we designed within the brass + white combo to tie in the entire brass and white components all through our home. We simply screwed the included mounting brace proper into the drywall, since there’s no fixture field there presently. The wires are nonetheless properly capped and tied up inside, so we are able to get them wired ultimately, however for now they’re serving to us work out the place/if we wish one thing everlasting there in the long term.

Additionally, if we ever wish to truly “flip them on,” we purchased these rechargeable battery-powered gentle bulbs that activate as quickly as you screw them in – no wiring wanted in any respect. They’re designed as a back-up gentle supply in case of an influence outage, however they work nicely on this utility too!

Hiding Ugly Stuff Outdoors With A Window Field

We’re spoiled with a lot of fairly views in our home, however this view out the window above the sink in all probability ranks on the backside of the listing. Other than our lavatory window (which is frosted), this one is fortunately the one one that appears immediately into the fence…


Closer View Of Beachy Kitchen From Sitting Area With Dining Table And Built In Pantry






desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

… and we made the view even worse when our pool was being put in as a result of the one place the pool gear could possibly be positioned was proper exterior this window. Our generator, A/C unit, and fuel meter are already on the market, so it was a pure place for all of the ugly issues to congregate. It simply didn’t make the view whereas doing dishes any higher. So, like we’ve achieved earlier than right here and right here, we improved the view with crops.


View Through Kitchen Window With Window Box And Tropical Plants



We simply hung a window field exterior and crammed it with foxtail ferns and inchplants (they’re the purple ones), which totally block the underside few inches of the window, which is the place we might see all that ugly gear again there on the bottom. When doubtful… put a plant on it. Or twenty.

Eradicating The Backsplash

Earlier than you assume “why would you ever take away a backsplash” or “wait, what backsplash?” let me make clear – I’m speaking concerning the 4′ piece of matching laminate that prolonged up from the again of the counter tops. You’ll be able to see it within the picture beneath, together with the outdated cabinets.






You in all probability don’t even discover it a lot in these images, however having it out makes the kitchen really feel just a little extra streamlined and trendy (and it’s not like we didn’t have range splatters continually hitting above that tiny “backsplash” anyway – we simply wipe down the wall they usually come proper off. As for a way we bought the backsplash out, Sherry simply smiled at me after I walked out the door to run errands after which pried it off and patched/smoothed/painted the drywall behind it whereas I used to be gone. She loves an enormous reveal like that. Our eventual plans are to tile this whole again wall to the ceiling, so now we’re one step nearer. Additionally I really like a venture that magically occurs after I’m gone.


Beachy Kitchen With Mauve Pink Cabinets And Wood Floating Shelves With Mid Century Modern Lights





Eradicating it did depart a small hole behind the counter tops, however we predict we’ll simply seize a small piece of trim and paint it to match the counters and shove it again there. It’s not large enough to lose meals or spoons in it or something (and it’ll ultimately be crammed by an actual tile backsplash at which level we’ll additionally get new counters) however simply so we don’t have a bizarre little crumb valley, the wooden trim piece shall be a pleasant (literal) stopgap.

Making Plans For A Door

As I stated, all of those upgrades and tweaks are inching us nearer to creating some larger, extra everlasting adjustments to this area. One in all which is changing this aspect window with a door. I do know, you didn’t see that coming. We didn’t both till we lived right here for some time!


Mauve Painted Kitchen Cabinets With View Through Window And Open Shelves




desk | chairs | sconces | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

That is a type of adjustments we by no means would’ve thought of off the bat (particularly as a result of we initially deliberate so as to add a toilet that connected to our bed room in that spot – extra on why that plan modified right here). Proper exterior that window is a coated aspect porch that we realized over time could be SO NICE to have entry to from the kitchen.

  • It could give us a direct entrance to the kitchen for unloading groceries (our most well-liked parking area is true on the market so it could be rather more environment friendly than our longer present route).
  • With higher entry to that porch, we’d lastly have a handy spot for a grill that we might use proper off of the kitchen (we didn’t need a grill on our entrance porch, however love the concept of 1 on a hidden aspect porch).
  • It could let much more gentle into the kitchen.
  • It results in a fenced in space the place Burger could be let loose (proper now he makes use of the entrance door, which isn’t a fenced space – however this aspect porch is throughout the fence that encirles our fireplace pit space as nicely)
  • Talking of which, we’d have a door that results in our fireplace pit as an alternative of all the time utilizing the doorways in our bed room – which feels good for once we entertain and don’t need everybody to should traipse by way of our room (one other option to get to it’s to stroll out our entrance door, stroll left for some time exterior, and undergo the fence to enter it, however this shall be rather more direct).

Sherry has whipped up just a little Photoshop motion to point out you what we imply. Flawless, no?


Photoshop Rendering Of Doorway In Place Of Mauve Cabinets And One Window



The one draw back to the plan is that we lose about 18″ of cupboard area (after we issue within the area that we achieve within the nook, which is presently blocked by the cabs that run alongside the wall the place the door will go). See that area to the suitable of the dishwasher? That’ll grow to be a freed up good vast decrease cupboard with a drawer above it (26″ vast)- so we achieve that. However we lose the little peninsula of cupboards that’s presently blocking it, which is 44″ vast (therefore my calculation that we lose 18″ general).


Straight View Of Beach Kitchen With Pink Mauve Cabinets And Floating Shelves




desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

We weighed the professionals and cons and have determined it’s nonetheless value going for it – particularly as a result of we gained a lot storage once we added our pantry cupboard. And to check it out, we’ve simply stopped utilizing that complete run of cabinetry for the final a number of weeks to verify can do with out them (simply emptied them out and stated: “we’ll see how this goes”). Up to now, it feels completely positive to lose them perpetually with a view to achieve all of the bulleted professionals that we listed above. Once more, that’s why we like to stay with issues earlier than making any large choices. Notice: it actually could be argued that extra cabinetry is best for resale than including a door, however we’re making this variation as a result of it really works higher for our household (in different phrases: resale shmesale).

Conserving Extra Shelf Storage

After shifting the Fjalkinge cabinets, we realized we nonetheless cherished having our bowls and cups and glasses on the wall by the eating desk. Enter this CB2 ladder shelf, stage proper (we simply took off the underside two cabinets and it nests proper in with our equally shiny white desk like they have been all the time meant to be collectively).


Vertical View Of Walking Space To Beachy Kitchen With Wood Furniture And Mauve Cabinets


espresso desk | rug | desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

This shelf had been upstairs, however it was displaced by the 2 Fjalkinge bookcases that we moved up there (which seem like they have been all the time meant to stay up there). Right here’s the place Sherry would clap her fingers and say “Store. Your. Home. And. Strive. New. Preparations. What’s the worst that might occur?!”





chandelier | bookshelves | desk | desk chair | couch | related rug

The peak of the shelf is sweet because it balances the peak of the home windows (and the longer term door!) and since we now have some artwork hanging within the sitting space and above the kitchen cabinets, it’s good to have a show spot/purposeful storage right here versus simply one other framed piece of artwork.


White CB2 Breakfast Table Against White Wall Shelf With Bowls And Cups



Sherry’s fast shelf-styling tip is so as to add just a little plant or some artwork if issues look too sterile – and a tray can assist comprise like objects and make them really feel much less jumbled (all of our white mugs get stacked in ours).


Detail View Of CB2 Floating Ladder Bookcase With Kitchenware On It



Whereas we’re right here, let’s preserve spinning across the room and speak about our sitting space that’s adjoining to the kitchen.

Nice-Tuning The Sitting Space

That is has been one of many hardest areas to determine for us in the home because it wanted to do lots in just a little space. Again in January, we confirmed you the way we maximized it with a cushty loveseat, some cozy chairs, and a hardworking storage espresso desk.


Beach Kitchen Seating Area With Loveseat Chairs And Painting


desk | chairs | wall shelf | flooring lamp | chairs | espresso desk | loveseat | pillow

All of these components are nonetheless the identical, however they’ve gotten a bit extra respiration room now that the large Fjalkinge cabinets are upstairs. We had some neighbors over not too long ago and that is the place the 4 of us frolicked all night time whereas the children performed upstairs. I do know it will possibly look just a little tight in footage, however in particular person it’s completely cozy (I believe the video does a greater job of exhibiting you the way this room feels in actual life – so attempt to watch that for those who haven’t but).


View Of Kitchen Sitting Area With Door And Window Out To Front Yard


chairs | espresso desk | loveseat | pillows | rug

The principle factor we’ve modified is that I constructed a custom-sized four-cube cubby proper subsequent to the door that completely matches towards the aspect of the loveseat’s armrest and provides us a spot to retailer our on a regular basis footwear and plenty of the opposite stuff we seize on the best way out the door (like facemasks, sunscreen, an umbrella, and many others).

So it really works remarkably nicely as a “lobby” of kinds, since we’ve bought footwear within the cubby and jackets & backpacks held on the again of the laundry closet’s double-doors (you’ll be able to see the within of our laundry closet right here – though that was earlier than the children have been again at school, so now simply image jackets & backpacks on the inside door hooks).


Entry Zone Of Kitchen With Sitting Area And Breakfast Table


chairs | espresso desk | loveseat | pillows | rug

It feels prefer it took us some time to determine the movement on this room (I believe there have been one thing like 10+ furnishings preparations on this entrance sitting space earlier than we figured issues out), however we’re actually pleasantly stunned by how nicely it really works. I even let Sherry have a “informed you so” second not too long ago as a result of I had my doubts throughout a few of our earlier structure makes an attempt, however we hang around right here each morning with the children earlier than college and use it anytime pals drop in and even for studying on lazy weekends. It felt like we’d by no means have a cushty seating space on this spot, and now it will get extra use than the sofa upstairs! #nevergiveup


View Towards Stairs And Back Hallway Of House With Lots Of Plants And Frames


espresso desk | rug | small desk in hallway | cupboard {hardware}

A Few Fast Earlier than & Afters

That is the kitchen because it regarded once we purchased our home:






And right here we are actually:


Closer View Of Beachy Kitchen From Sitting Area With Dining Table And Built In Pantry






desk | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating cabinets | wall shelf | {hardware} | cupboard shade: SW Artsy Pink

Dealing with the opposite approach, right here is the earlier than:






And now:


View Towards Sitting Area With White Modern Dining Table And Wood Chairs


chairs | espresso desk | loveseat | pillows | rug

In order that’s the present state of our kitchen. Functionally it really works very well for us and the structure is lastly beginning to “click on” for us too. That’s why we really feel like we’re lastly getting nearer to creating some extra dramatic adjustments, like including that new door and upgrading that again wall of cupboards, getting new counters, and including that backsplash to the ceiling. I can’t even inform you how a lot we’re wanting ahead to a sink that’s greater than 5″ deep. That’s going to be the icing on the cake.

We’ve even ordered some pattern backsplash tiles and labored out the brand new cupboards we wish to order. Unsure about counters but, however one factor we’re sure of is a brilliant deep stainless single bowl sink (after MANY kitchen renos, it’ll simply all the time be our favourite). I believe all the “actual reno” stage of this kitchen shall be round 5K whole (together with the brand new door to the aspect porch, new cupboards, new counters, a brand new sink and tap, and a full wall of backsplash tile) in order that’s one different perk to the gradual evolution in the direction of a completed product… and a smaller kitchen with out tons of recent cupboards to should buy!

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