Our Best project Yet
In partnership with The Home Depot
I can’t believe this day is finally here! Four months plus a thousand trips to Home Depot later we officially have our dream kitchen.
When Ryan and I sat down together in June to make an official plan I said, “I want a green kitchen.” He just looked at me funny…
“You mean grey or blue or white, right?!”
For some reason I just had it in my head that our kitchen was meant to be green and I couldn’t shake it. I searched Pinterest to show him what I had in my head, but truthfully there wasn’t much out there. So I showed him the few images I found and just said “trust me.” And fortunately, he said “let’s go for it!”
When I thought of a dream kitchen for our little bungalow I kept envisioning something with a lot of charm and warmth. Our house isn’t all that big, but it’s really sweet. We’ve made a ton of updates, and I just wanted a kitchen that flowed with the house. Not someone else’s house, our house. I wanted a kitchen that felt like it belonged right here in the heart of our home.
I wanted the warmth of brass mixed with the structure of stainless steal. I wanted the charm of a farm sink and a spot for our cook books. I wanted a modern feel of the bright quartz countertops and backsplash. I wanted an island big enough to host a 100 parties. A spot to read a book on a rainy afternoon while cookies bake in the oven. I wanted dark wood floors that made the space feel grounded. But most of all I wanted a kitchen that felt inviting, a place you’d like to have a cup of tea. I knew exactly what I wanted. I sketched it out a million times over, just praying what I *hoped* it would look like would work in reality.
Our kitchen is basically our entire house so….there was like, no pressure or anything.
When we embarked on this project on the first of July, we kind of just went in head first. Ryan is an incredibly quick study which was our greatest asset during this project. If he didn’t know how to do it, he’d study up on it, watch a few YouTube videos, rent/buy the equipment, read the manual front to back (a few times while taking notes), confirm with a friend, then in. His ability to learn fast along with his infuriating perfectionism made this project go as smoothly as it did. He couldn’t sleep unless it was done right, and sometimes that meant taking the upper cabinets off the walls T-H-R-E-E times. Y’all, by the third time I had to take a walk around the block. ha!
So as you can imagine, Home Depot became our late night and weekend spot. We were constantly on their Mobile App to locate products, order online, and image search! I can’t tell you how useful the app was. Whether I was trying to see how quickly we could get our sink delivered or at 7 pm checking if the screws Ryan needed to finish a project were in fact in stock! I spent many of mornings, afternoons, and evenings at the Home Depot Curbside (which by the way is my favorite way to shop at THD!). After confirming our item was in stock, I’d place my order and race down to our store! As soon as I got there I’d “check-in” via the app and within minutes I was on my way back home! For us the mobile app has made DIY-ing anything and everything a million times easier! I’m not sure we would have been able to do it without it!
Every little project we crossed off the list felt like an Olympic victory. And now that it’s over, I can’t tell you the overwhelming pride we have. Each cup of coffee feels sweeter and every time I turn on the stove I do a little happy dance. So without further ado, welcome to our cozy little kitchen!
Remembering the old…
Here’s a little refresher of what we were working with before we started our renovation. Our kitchen was functional and had worked well for us for years. It was built in 2001 and everything was builder grade and *well* loved. But one of the greatest parts of this kitchen was and is the real wood cabinets. We were able to reuse and re-situate a lot of our cabinets which was AMAZING. Our new island is actually built with most of our old island’s cabinets, crazy right?!
So, let’s Take it from the Top
Here’s what we did…
Removed Backsplash & Raised Cabinets
We removed our old backsplash. We’d never done this before and wow did we learn quickly! Ha! This was our first of many, “well that was harder than we thought” moments. But once the new drywall was in and dry, we felt like we could tackle the world. Next we raised our existing wall cabinets up 1.5” (reference the 3xs above ;)) which has made a HUGE difference, especially because we wanted to add under cabinet lighting!
Refrigerator Cabinet Build Out
Ryan then built out a custom cabinet for our refrigerator. This by the way looks AMAZING, it’s definitely in my top 5 favorite things about the new kitchen… This is an easy fix to any builder grade kitchen and so worth it! Ryan shines with wood working, and it shows.
*DIY post on this will be coming soon!
Crown Molding & Light Rail
Then we put up new crown molding and light rail on all of our wall cabinets. This was the project that landed us in the ER at 11:00 pm on a Sunday night. Thank goodness Ryan’s finger made a full recovery, but it’s definitely a story for the history books! ha!
The crown molding was a huge change and really made the cabinets pop! Our cabinets looked like this for so long I had so many people ask me if we were leaving it two-toned, which made me giggle.
Under Cabinet Lights
Once the light railing was up we installed under cabinet lights. WHO KNEW that under cabinet lights would change my life. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Ryan had to reroute some electrical to make it happen, but wow, SO worth it. Also, they are on a dimmer with makes them extra magical.
Under cabinet lights bring the romance and the cozy.
Demoed Kitchen Island & Removed Column
Then things started to get serious. We demoed our island. This was a 10:00 pm on a Monday night project. Dolly just sat on the couch and just looked at us like, “you ding-dongs have no idea what you are doing”… she was kind of right.
Don’t worry, our kitchen column was just for “looks”, not load bearing in the least! This is always something you want to be careful with, and we were. We inspected it inside and out, and through the attic, and also bounced it off of a couple engineers. So once we had the official go-ahead we took that sucker down. Things started to get real, and by real, I mean REALLY DIRTY.
Once the column came down and things started moving fast. Ryan re-routed the electrical that was in the column back through the attic, down through the wall, and eventually (after the tile was removed) through a channel in the concrete subflooring.
*Side Note : Recommend using a licensed electrician and engineer for a project like this!
Then had to move completely out of the house (while still living in it!) so that our tile floor could be removed and our wood flooring put in. We did hire out for this because of the size of the project and because we did not have the equipment to capture all of the dust. It was the right choice – fast, easy, and dustless! We practically put our whole life into a Pod in our driveway and our garage. It was pure chaos. If you are looking to do either of these things, I wrote a long blog post on it here! You should 100% DO IT. But prepare yourself for the insanity. Ha.
Appliances Delivered & Installed
Next up appliances! New range hood, oven, and dishwasher! All of our appliance were original to the house, and I’ve got to tell ya, they’ve made some changes in 20 years! Also, we took full advantage of Home Depot’s delivery. I love how they not only delivered our appliances, but they hauled away our old ones. Seriously. Heaven.
For the range hood, we opted to vent the exhaust through a vent in the roof. We also hired this out to our roofer so we would not void the warranty on our year old roof – plus it’s a tricky job. Ryan installed the ducting from the range hood into the attic and let the roofing contractor do the rest.
*side note, we moved our microwave into our pantry…. and it’s awesome.
Installed Farmhouse Apron Sink
While we waited for the new wood flooring to arrive (about a month) we lived on unsealed concrete. Things…. were… dusty. We just leaned into the dirt to be honest. Ryan at this point was able to demo our old sink and install our farmhouse sink. Installing a farmhouse sink is fairly in depth, he wrote an entire DIY post on it here! I can’t say enough great things about our sink!
New Wood Flooring
Then we got FLOORS!! The best day, honestly. We went with engineered hardwood in French Oak. We love it so much. Here’s a whole blog post on how to choose the correct wood floors! The floors made this project feel real, and well, not as dirty!
Island Build Out
Once the floors went in we were finally able to start configuring our kitchen island. This took a lot of arranging and re-arranging. It was like a tricky puzzle. But I’m SO thrilled with what we landed on. We re-used 3 of our original island cabinets, Ryan built 1 custom cabinet and he ordered 2 pre-made cabinets from Home Depot. The island is the show stopper of our kitchen for sure and completely Ryan’s vision. He kept sketching it out and tweaking it as he went. I gave him direction and he put his own twist on it. Truly it’s beautiful.
The custom cabinet may be the sweetest addition to our island…. I love the little spot for our cookbooks and of course our beloved Brava oven! And the pre-made cabinets are AMAZING as well. They provide so much more storage on the backside, it’s unbelieveable!
*Side note: We decided to do an 16” counter overhang. I can’t recommend it enough. I can sit criss-cross-apple-sauce comfortably and drink my coffee. It makes me sooo happy.
Counter Top Installation
The next BIG thing that happened was getting our counter tops installed. The counter tops may have been an even better day than the flooring day. I will NEVER and I mean NEVER take wiping down a counter for granted. Honestly, right now I do it just for fun I love it so much. We ended up going with Caesarstone Quartz Countertop in Calacatta Nuvo. We went with standard height (about 1.25 inches) on the perimeter cabinets and on the island we upped the height to 2 inches. It makes a huge difference in my opinion and I love the look! We also used the same stone for our backsplash, but that was installed later.
PAINT PAINT PAINT!!!!
Then. Drumroll…. paint. When we were mapping out this project we went through the list of everything we needed to do, what we thought we could tackle ourselves and what we couldn’t and painting was one of them. You don’t know this about us, but we HATE to paint. I will do anything to avoid painting, and so will Ryan. So we hired Jamie to bring her crew in and paint.
Jamie was highly recommended by a friend of ours, and we quickly found out why! One of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Jamie is in high demand so we had to wait, but so worth it. We came back from a mini getaway to THE GREEN KITCHEN OF MY DREAMS. I did a whole post on picking out our green – it was not for the faint of heart…
As for the actual color – we color matched Farrow and Ball’s Vert De Terre at The Home Depot and guys, I could not love it more. It’s all the green you need without being overkill. It’s absolutely perfect.
The Home Depot was so incredibly helpful when it came to color matching. I tried so many different shades of green, but when I came across F&B’s Vert De Terre on Pinterest I had an inkling that it was THE one. I took the color name and number along with a handful of others into the store and handed them over to the paint department. The team behind the counter was so helpful and many of the colors I wanted to test Home Depot already had the formulas in their system. It was SO easy.
Paint Color (color matched at The Home Depot)
Backsplash and Remaining Updates
Once the cabinets were painted, doors installed (praise the Lord!), the backsplash went up. Next we isntalled a new pendant light above the kitchen sink, framed in the window and made final caulking/paint touchups, installed the cabinet hardware, and situated the counter stools which had finally arrived.
We officially had a finished kitchen.
I can’t believe it.
I can say with 100% certainty it was all worth it. I’m so grateful to Ryan for literally rolling up his sleeves and learning something completely new. He amazes me.
Inside the house, day in and day, out it was mostly just the two of us. But our “text” support team was STRONG. Jamie guided us every step of the way. Stacie gave me so much confidence in making decisions. Ryan’s best friend Brad and my brother-in-law Bobby who are both general contractors and talked us through endless projects via face time. And lastly our neighborhood The Home Depot family cheered us on as the helped us find yet another item we didn’t know we needed.
I hope this post encourages you to think outside the box when it comes to your home and to realize you too can do whatever you put your mind to. Until we really started to think of the possibilities, ask the questions, we never thought this kitchen would have been possible in this house. So I hope this gives you the permission to dream a little bit too!
Now, who’s coming over for dinner?!
P.S. We are part of a group of DIY Bloggers/YouTubers that are all working on projects throughout the year, so you’ll have to pop over to the #THDDoerProject to see everyone’s progress! Also, if you are working on a DIY use the hashtag #DoersChallenge so we can follow along!
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