Kitchen Renovation: The Plans

The kitchen is really the heart of the home and right now mine is disgusting (the pictures may not look so but trust me).  I have been working on the plans for our impending kitchen renovation with my dad and his firm and the good folks at Vermont Custom Cabinetry.  There are things that I know I want- white subway with grey grout, two tone cabinets (grey lowers and white uppers), two Hicks pendants in black/brass and BRASS HARDWARE.  The last piece is throwing Andrew for a loop as he thinks it will go out of fashion in five minutes.  I disagree. I think brass adds a touch of warmth to an otherwise pristine and sterile white and grey kitchen.  Regardless this is a daunting process financially and aesthetically as it’s such an important room.  But I’m feeling pretty confident now!

A feast for your eyes- my kitchen as it is- straight from the 1950’s!

Knocking down walls, gutting EVERYTHING and starting from scratch! I cannot wait!!! Here are the plans!

As the space is now:

As it WILL be!

The elevations:

Some renderings of the space by Vermont Custom Cabinetry.  We chose a Shaker style cabinet doors to respect the tradition of the house but give it clean modern lines too.  It helps so much to see it this way, doesn’t it!?  The pendants aren’t sketched in but go over the new peninsula.

And here’s my board for the room.  I was 100% set on using Cararra Marble until I got some in my bathroom and have already stained and scratched it to hell.  So I am hoping to use Bianco Macabus Quartzite, as I mentioned before, which gives a similar look but is a MUCH harder material. It is expensive so I might have to cut back on appliances (bye bye Viking range-sad face) a smidge to make room in the budget for us but it’s a very important piece of the look I want to create so it will be worth it!

The lower cabinets will be a medium grey (perhaps Benjamin Moore’s La Paloma Grey) and the uppers will be Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I wanted the brass pulls to be modern instead of traditional, and a brushed matte finish.  All of our floors will be refinished dark dark walnut (whyyyyy we didn’t do this BEFORE we moved in I cannot explain).  The back splash will go to the ceiling around the hood giving some height to the space (which has low ceilings).

What do you guys think?

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  1. It will be beautiful, no doubt. I know you mentioned kicking yourself over not doing the floors before and yes, I wondered why you had not bc the sanding will cause a dust nightmare. So I have to put my two cents in about the Jacobean stain. We recently renovated and used white shaker cabinets, subway tile, grey grout, etc. stained te floors super dark (Jacobean) because that’s a great look. However, the seco. I saw it i knew it wasn’t right. Not at this time in my life anyway. They will get destroyed with scratches. I had friends sending me photos of their regretful choice in dark floors. I’m just giving you the heads up (which you may have already gotten). Anyway, I have similar perfectionist personality traits as you and it was an expensive mistake to have to re-sand/stain…. Just something to think about. I wish you the best!

  2. It looks great! I’ve heard great things about the Bianco Macabus quartzite. And I’m totally with you on the brass hardware. How exciting to have a picture of what it will looks like!

  3. It’s going to be fabulous. My uppers are white and lowers are grey and I LOVE them. I am fighting like the Dickens to get my wife to agree to let us change out the hardware to brass. I’m losing. Miserably. I think it’s definitely the new (old) classic and won’t be fading out of style any time soon. I love all the finishes you’ve specified. It’s going to be a jewel. Can’t wait to see it all unfold.

  4. Gorgeous! And don’t even doubt the brass hardware for a second. My husband and I purchased a home last fall with brass hardware throughout. The home was meticulously styled and remodeled (part of the reason we loved the home)and I could not, for the life of me, figure out why the previous owner used brass. Then, as I started living in the home, it just made sense. The home is a Georgian colonial with a portico and classic detailing. Anything BUT brass would look strange to me now! Can’t wait to see it in your home. It will be beautiful!

  5. erin– love all that you have palnned,… looks a lot like my kitchen reno (totally ransaked the space, knocking down wall to the dining room– 1928 built home). i love my dark stained wood floors (again, same stain); they show EVERY dust bunny, you name it, however, would not change them– still! good luck with the reno! go wih the brass!–deb

  6. Love love love! My hubby wouldn’t go for the brass hardware, but we did a very similar look for our recently renovated kitchen with an Everest white quartzite counter, white dove shaker cabinets, dark walnut floor, and white glass subway. We bought all Thermidor appliances and I couldn’t be happier with the look/performance although there is no timer and no clock on the stove.

  7. Erin-
    I love the Brass concept. I am over the chrome and polished nickel hardware. I think people are stuck on it b/c it “goes” with stainless steel appliances. Ugh, boring. Hardware is so underrated- it can really add to a room.
    I did my floors a similar color. It is a year later and I am not regretting it BUT any fleck of dust and dirt is noticable. I look at it as a reminder I need to dust or mop. I think it is worse because my four legged friend runs around and stirs things up…just something to consider. I pull out the swiffer often and still love my floors.
    Good luck.

  8. I am so excited for your kitchen renovation and to see the after shots. The plans you have are so classic and this kitchen will look amazing years and years down the road. The only think I would different is the charcoal grout with the white tile. I usually love high contrast interiors, but the gray grout with the white subway tile is way too busy. If I stumbled upon a kitchen in a house I wanted to buy with gray grout and white subway tile I would cry because I don’t know if it would be possible to change it. Speaking of changing out items… Go for the brass hardware, but as one reader pointed out go for a standard size so that you can easily change the hardware down the road (just in case you change your mind later). My hubby and I hope to build a home one day. I keep eyeing brass hardware, and he keeps saying no way. I personally would settle for a few brass accents like a small clock and lamp.

  9. I love all your choices. I’ve been thinking about brass hardware in my kitchen. Can’t wait to see this project unfold

  10. Your current kitchen is a gem compared to our kitchen when we first moved in. It looked like it was decorated by the Partidge Family. Try to picture, if you will, dark walnut cabinets, orange Formica (no joke) countertops and American eagle wallpaper. The pendant light looked like a prop from “Boogie Nights.”

  11. Love the layout of the kitchen…from Mississippi, might want to go with another stove…not alot of people here happy with them.

  12. Love the kitchen in concept and material selections. We redid our kitchen last year and had a pretty small footprint to work with in our 1920’s cape. Two tiny notes. We went with glass uppers on the right and left of the sink instead of over the stove since by the sink is where we have all the glassware and dishes. It makes it easy for people to feel like they can help themselves and those items are matched and attractive without being staged.

    After having a lazy susan that worked terribly with the weight of pots and pants we made our corner cabinets fixed shelves.

    If you’re having trouble parting with the carerra marble we have a cushion edged subway tile and it was less than $10/sq. ft. and has held up great.

    LOVE the hicks pendants. They are so chic.

  13. You have a great sense of style and your kitchen will be stunning. We just finished a kitchen renovation and our previous kitchen looked similar to yours so I sympathize! One suggestion…have you considered putting the trash cabinet closer to the sink and dishwasher? It makes for easier clean up to scrape dirty dishes into the trash and then load them directly into the sink or d/w, especially when you have kids helping out. Good luck with your project. Can’t wait to see the finished results!

  14. I could not afford inset cabinetry, either & we used simple white shaker with a standard toe-kick at the base. This is also our first home, so I refused to waste the money. I know they are not the fancy, inset ones like you see on pinterest, but no one else has ever noticed– I get complements on them all the time and so will you. Good luck, and enjoy your new kitchen.

  15. Looks gorgeous. I am an interior designer and I love your blog. My vote is go with the brass hardware. Its an easy changeout in 5-10 years if you are tired of it. I also have a Viking kitchen and its been a nightmare – I have spent thousands on repairs over the last 7 years. I won’t put them in clients homes anymore. Congrats on your home…that is so exciting!

  16. Not a fan of induction – you will have buy all new pots & pans. Also, don’t get sucked into the Viking snob route – a good gas stove/oven is more than fine. How much do you even cook?

  17. Love it Erin, looks amazing, can I say though that if this is your ‘dream’ home and you’re thinking that you will live here for the next 10-20 years then go the best stove/oven/cooktop you can afford. If you’re flipping it over then go for something that looks great, but is cheap.
    I am probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. As a few people have said go with quality over fashion. Thinking about 1/2 & 1/2 = gas & electric for the cook top so you can have a slow simmer and instant heat. That last tidbit if coming from the chef in me… I haven’t used induction, but I have again heard you need to buy new pans as well.
    Will look forward to the finished project!

  18. This sounds crazy- but I love the two basket trash/recycle. We’re getting one for our new house and I seriously adore it. To the point where my husband is wondering why he’s paying for granite counters when all I talk about is the trash. But we currently have a flip top trash in the kitchen and I am so over it….

    And your bookcase at the end of the island. You have such attention to detail and little things like the books will give the kitchen such life and warmth!

  19. Hi Erin! Love it! Ditto on the super dark floors comment, or use a few runners to help with the potential stain wearing off?. Or try a white oak rift cut, it’s my new favorite wood, with a simple clear satin stain, it’s timeless. More pricey than regular cut red oak. And I have just specified the same pendant for a local renovation project that I am doing. LOVE that fixture! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  20. I can’t wait to see the finished project, it looks like it will be fantastic. I personally like the way that marble wears and scratches but that’s just me.

  21. You never fail to be an incredible source of inspiration :-) Beyond excited to see the finished product!!! Best of luck during the renovation!

  22. Looks wonderful! Wanted to let you know that we refinished all our existing hardwoods in Jacobean and also added new hardwoods in our basement, also stained in Jacobean, and the color isn’t quite as dark as I might have hoped. I think there is a special technique the floor guy can use to make the dark color pop more. I am ok with the color because it matches our brown spaniel’s fur perfectly, but I definitely think there are ways to get a color closer to ebony if that is what you want.

    On the countertop material, I too was worried about marble staining & etching, so we chose Vermont marble (Imperial Danby), which is supposedly less porous than Italian marble. It has held up well in our new (1 year old) kitchen. That being said, we just finished our basement (gutted two old terrace level apartments and finished the space for our family) and I chose to use Cambria Torquay (a quartzite) for wet bar and laundry room countertop, instead of marble. It was the closest match to the Danby I could find (I looked at the Silestone and Caesarstone marble look alikes as well). It has the same goldish brown and greenish black veining as the Danby (which, BTW, would look awesome with your brass hardware). You might want to check out the Cambria Torquay if you haven’t already. You only buy the material you need vs. buying an entire slab of marble. I might have chosen the Torquay if I were redoing my kitchen (and I am definitely using it when we redo our upstairs baths) because it removes that element of “crap, did I wipe the counters down perfectly before I went to bed?” that you have with marble.

  23. Boo-hoo, no worries about no more Viking. You won’t miss the constant repairs of said brand…plenty of other (more reasonably priced for starters!)more reliable brands out there with the same look as Viking.

  24. Love the design and attention to detail, but warn against a lazy Susan! In my opinion it is a colossal waste of space and there is no way to keep it efficiently organized. I would personally go with two smaller cabinets (for cutting boards/cookie sheets/etc.) or make it fixed shelves like another poster suggested. I HATE my lazy Susan and it won’t make an appearance again when I can finally renovate my own kitchen.

  25. I am having a difficult time with the description of your current kitchen, specifically the word ‘disgusting’. Me thinks you are a bit of a princess darling. That you are even able to consider doing this kind of renovation to your house is beyond most American households. Shame on you.

  26. Love your kitchen plan! Started working on my kitchen reno plan – so your post is sooo timely!!! So far my choices are very similar to yours. Great taste ;-). I totally agree with brass for hardware!! I’ll be doing 1920’s crystal, but have brass hardware all throughout the house. It looks so much richer and warmer.
    Thanks for the Bianco Macabus Quartzite tip – must look into that, as I was going to do Carrera. Love your faucet choice too – may follow in your footsteps there.
    We transitioned from wanting Viking to Electrolux professional series. Good reviews, less $, and looks less bulky.
    I’d love to know how you arrived at the decision to open up your kitchen to the DR? We’re struggling with that – in terms of resale. Are you doing any spot lights and/or under the cabinet counter lights?

    Your blog rocks! Good luck with your renovations!

  27. Okay, just my 2cents….but honestly, this is the most un-original design you could possibly do. Come on now! Everything in your design has already been done, photographed, blogged about, pinned, etc….until I swear if I never see another Hicks pendant light again it will be too soon! For God’s sake, do something original! Surprise us!! Be a designer, not a follower of tired trends.

    The layout looks fantastic though :)

  28. Love it all, Erin. I can’t believe the quartzite is more than the marble?! Bummer for me too. There are a bunch of good looking ranges that have a similar vibe as a Viking, or so I remember seeing via the internet. Can’t wait to see the afters!

  29. Hi Erin-

    Congrats on the new home and what a great area. I actually moved from Newton Ctr back to CT and just finished construction on our first home :) The kitchen is SOOO important and i think your sketches look amazing! It’s funny, a lot of what you want in terms of layout looks similar to what we did. It will be incredible once you’re done! Since I’m missing Newton lately, I have to ask if you’ve tried out the Biltmore yet? It’s looks like the biggest hole but i promise it’s a hidden gem!! Check it out. Also, our paths definitely have crossed as one of my old bff’s was in your class at MPS. – CLG!!

    Best of luck with the renos!!

  30. Hi, love love the dark floors! Duffy floors uses a special formula! No scratches with a dog and two kids. they are the best!!!

  31. LOVE it all! In case it makes you feel better, my 10 year old viking has been a pain in the neck! Hard to clean, hard to maintain in general. I do still love my calcutta marble counters though!

  32. Erin, I love the kitchen plans! I think we have a similar idea of a dream kitchen, I am so excited to see the finished product and keep the house updates coming! I love your design style!

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