Thursday, February 20, 2020

the kitchen

As I write this, I can hardly believe I finally get to share this with you.

I can hardly believe that we're finally in our new (but wonderfully old) home, and that the first stage of our renovations are finally complete.

But most importantly, I can hardly believe that this is ours. That we envisioned this, and designed it, and saw it unfold into reality.

For little perspective, while it seemed to take forever, a mere four months ago, this was what my kitchen looked like.

The entire space (the whole house really) was stripped down. We then made some adjustments to the kitchen to help open the space up, most significantly removing the den above it and opening it up as a cathedral ceiling. We also raised low windows to accommodate counters in the future and two doorways that were like little hobbit doors, barely five feet high.

Doing all of that work required a lot of our budget, but we knew it was one of the best things we could invest in. One of the other significant costs in the kitchen renovation was a custom island. There was originally a large island, but poor plumbing, and then being left vacant, left the cabinetry and many of the floorboards rotten and moldy. Ryan and I designed this piece together and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

I wanted it to have a more traditional, English feel to it, with simple inset cabinets, a stone top, apron sink with mounted faucet, and pretty unlacquered brass hardware that would age perfectly over time. I will compile a list of sources at the end for those of you who have messaged requesting them.

I mentioned earlier that this is the first stage of the renovation. As I'm sure is the case with every major renovation, we were long past our deadline and over budget, or at least were required to make adjustments to our budget as unforseen issues arose. The amount of work required in the kitchen meant full custom cabinets were no longer an option. We will eventually finish them, but until then, we salvaged what we could of the originals and freshened them up with some paint and new hardware. We had also planned to have the majority of our pantry storage in our butler's pantry just off this kitchen, but that required custom cabinetry, and therefore was also put on hold. It's required a lot of creative storage solutions! It also left a few gaps in the layout, like between my fridge and range. I don't mind though. I am currently scouring our local antique shops for something to put here in the form of a storage cart or antique table. And honestly, once it's all complete, I don't think we'll end up changing it. I have a feeling I will like the feel of it so much more.

Whatever ends up beside the range will be where I store my cooking utensils and cutting boards, my seasonings and oils, probably in an assortment of crocks and old jars.

There will also be a custom hood above the range for a vent, likely from salvaged pine floor boards that were originally in the kitchen. 

Here you can see where we made the alterations structurally. The wood beam was added. At that point, everything to the left of it was three feet lower, so you can imagine how dark and closed in this side of the kitchen felt.

I'm also looking for an antique hutch top or cupboard to have as closed storage for everyday items like breakfast cereals and smaller baking items.

Opening it up (you can see the old beam still) made everything open and so bright! It changed everything, and I can't tell you how many times we've said we're so thankful we took the chance and made that huge change. That window up in the rafters is southern facing, so I have light all day long.

And the large picture window looks out to the river.

Stage two also includes installing the remaining fixtures, including sconces on either side of the table, and two pendant lights above the island. Also some sort of simple window treatment on the picture window and end chairs. And painting that little inside of the cabinet to the left by the plate rack.

The door to the back porch is the entrance we use daily. There is no storage at all, so we had to get a little creative. I will put some peg board to the right of the door above the boot tray.

Any idea where we store shoes for our family of six?

The end of the island is a shoe cabinet. It also hides duct work to allow for heating in this part of the house where previously, there was none.

I managed to fit all my everyday china in this cabinet - thankfully it's pretty to look at!

Beautiful hardware just adds so much charm. I also decided I wanted the island to be painted a colour to contrast the light top and add a bit more warmth to the space. In the end, I settled on Edgecomb Gray and it's exactly as I hoped it would be.

We used HanStone, a Canadian company, for our quartz stone counter top. It's called Tranquility. We went with quartz for the durability. We do have four boys after all!

Also, here you can see the entrance to the butler's pantry. This doorway was only five feet tall originally. We moved it to allow for better storage in the future and added a transom window (to come) to both add some much needed light, and to show off it's beautiful exposed ceiling.

The boys requested the island had stools, and four sons means four stools. So the entire other side of the island is pretty much seating. I haven't settled on stools yet, but have narrowed it down to a few styles. To balance out the shoe cabinet on the other end, we added small drawers. I think that the inset tow kicks and small feet details make it so beautiful.

Because we had to replace so much of the flooring, we decided to salvage what we could for other use, and replace the entire floor. We used local wide plank pine flooring in an assortment of widths (between 8" and 12"). We then finished them with a clear, matte oil-based finish, again for durability. In the photo above you can see the transition from the kitchen (top) to the living room (bottom).

I will share my inspiration for the kitchen soon, as well as my design plan for the remainder of it.

But at least I could finally get around to sharing the progress we're making!

Wall Paint Colour - Simply White by Benjamin Moore, Matte
Trim and Cabinet Colour - Simply White by Benjamin Moore, Eggshell
Island Paint Colour - Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore
Countertop - Tranquility by HanStone
Sink - Charleston Farmhouse Sink by Gracie Oaks
Faucet - Heritage Standard Bridge Faucet by Kingston Brass
Cabinet Hardware - Rejuvination
Appliances - Home Depot (Whirlpool Fridge and Dishwasher, Kitchenaid Range)
Chandelier - Andover Mills


  1. absolutely beautiful! i cant wait to see the piece you pick for between the range and refrigerator and all the other finishing touches!

  2. looking forward to watching this space evolve :D


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria