Monday, August 19, 2013

Details on our kitchen renovation: part 1

First of all, I need to thank you for all the amazing comments about our kitchen. I may not have been able to respond to every comment, but I cherished all of them!

We are back from our RV trip and are busy gearing up for school. Two of my girls will be in school full time this year, which they (and me, if I'm being totally honest ;) are quite excited about. I have so many plans and projects for this fall!

Today I wanted to share some details about our kitchen: what we chose and why, and what I'd do differently.


There really isn't anything I'd change about our cabinet choices. I'm so happy with how it turned out! We interviewed 4 companies to quote on our kitchen. We talked to both a local craftsman, and huge international cabinet companies. In the end, we chose a mid-sized local company. They totally understood the look we were going for, and nailed the drawings they presented to us. We were also very impressed with their quality and warranties. For those of you local to Calgary, the company is called Bow Valley Kitchens-definitely recommended!

Here's some of the decisions we made (with the help of the talented Holly Mathis and Bow Valley Kitchens) when designing this kitchen:

*Shaker style

In our last kitchen, we used raised panel cabinets, and while pretty, I knew I wanted shaker style for this kitchen. Shaker cabinets are classic and timeless and look great in many different styles of kitchens and homes.


*right to the ceiling

We took the cabinets right to the ceiling (which are 10 feet). Are the top cabinets easily accessible? No, but I use the glass uppers purely for display, and the closed uppers for storing rarely used items. Another bonus, is I don't have to struggle with what to put on top of cabinets that don't reach the ceiling. I always found it tricky to know what the heck to put up there.

*painted doors

While I do love wood cabinetry, there was absolutely no doubt we would use painted cabinets. We have so much beautiful fir trim in our home. I wanted to brighten it up with a painted kitchen. Our previous kitchen was a honey oak colour, which looked terrible next to the more red tones of our fir trim. We used a colour pretty much identical to Benjamin Moore's White Dove. The cost would have been 10% more to use the BM colour (since it was considered custom), but when I took a swatch to the showroom, it was so close to one of their stock colours that none of us could see the difference. We were happy to save money wherever we could!

*glass and closed cupboards; built-in lighting

The upper cabinets have mullioned, antiqued glass doors, with led lighting inside. All the doors and drawers are slow close (love this feature, especially when you have kids who tend to wham the doors shut!) There are also led lights under the cabinets, that are recessed so there is no valence.


*details such as crown moldings and feet at toe kicks

We chose pretty thick crown, but with a basic profile. We opted not to get anything overly fussy such as rope or dental moulding. I do love this feature in many kitchens, but was really trying to go for more of a cottage/farmhouse look vs a traditional style.

We also chose to add 'feet' to give more of a furniture look.

 you can see the 'feet' at the toe kicks, as well as the crown molding at the ceiling

*open shelving

I wasn't sure about open cabinetry. I love the look (in fact, I really love kitchens that hardly use any upper cabinets at all) but our kitchen isn't huge and I knew I needed closed upper storage. I compromised with using one bank of open shelves to store our everyday dishes. I love, love it! No, it doesn't get dusty, and yes, it makes it handier to grab our dishes. Most of all, I love the look with the beadboard back and corbels under each shelf. We added the same open shelves in the nook cabinet. I am so happy to have a space for displaying pretties!

*finished end panels

 All the end panels are finished in the same shaker style. Our previous kitchen didn't have these types of finishing details and it makes all the difference!

*Hardware and mixing metals

Holly and I thought long and hard about the hardware. I knew I wanted cup pulls and simple knobs, but finding the right shape/size is a challenge! The hardware is Richeleau and was included in the cabinetry cost. We decided to be brave and mix finishes: brass for the island and nook, and orb for the rest. This is in keeping with our lighting choice (which I will show you soon). I LOVE the mix. It is subtle, but it distinguishes the island and nook cabinetry from the rest of the kitchen.

 orb on the perimeter cabinets

 antiqued brass on the nook and island cabinets


Our backsplash is a mix of beadboard (behind the open shelves and my baking area) and simple, inexpensive white subway tiles (from Lowe's). I was willing to splurge on marble tiles, but Holly was set on keeping it simple and she was so right! I love how it turned out! I was worried that it would just be so much white-cabinets, counters, beadboard. It isn't too much white or cold looking at all, and once accessories were added, it was perfect.

 a mix of beadboard and tile backsplash
I still have so much to discuss but will do more in another post-this one is already getting long! 
Coming up: lighting, counters, appliances, accessories and details of the inside of my cupboards. I'll show you how I organized them and some fun little finds that helped me keep my cupboards and drawers clean, cute and organized! 

Linking my kitchen details to these parties:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Road Trip

We are packing up the kidlets and heading west in the ole RV to enjoy these last weeks of summer break.

We can't wait to see the Pacific Ocean, explore downtown Victoria and the beautiful Butchart Gardens, and most of all see family and friends.

I will be posting on Instagram, so you can catch up with me there, otherwise I will be back soon with a bunch of new projects to share, and details on our kitchen and other rooms.

Have a wonderful August!

I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter.