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So It Begins – Our Kitchen Remodel!

It’s officially official. We’re doing a kitchen remodel! It’s been over a year since we’ve done any major remodeling work—after 6 straight years we were feeling a bit burned out and took a much needed break. In this case, absence certainly did make the heart grow fonder—we are back and better than ever! 

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via decoholic

This isn’t our first kitchen remodel…this will end up being our fourth, which is crazy town! This time will be different for one reason—we are designing this kitchen for us, not anyone else. The other three times were for houses we were living in while flipping and selling (see them here: house number one, house number two, house number three). This time, we are staying!

I don’t want to be foolish and claim a lifelong allegiance to this kitchen—who knows where we’ll end up. But this is the first time in 7 years that we are putting roots down—and that feels really, really good. 

As far as plans go—I have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to do. I’ve pinned about a million and ten photos on Pinterest. More importantly, Scott and I have talked through the most important parts of the function of the kitchen itself. We entertain a ton and love to cook—but we are working with a relatively small space and a limited budget. 

Here’s the kitchen as it was when we bought the house 2 years ago:


As a quick fix, we painted the upper cabinets white and the lower cabinets navy—the painted two toned look really helped brighten it up!


We always knew that was a temporary fix, which allowed us to take time to think about what we really wanted to change.

The main issues we had with the kitchen were:

  • Not enough counter space
  • Outdated appliances – I couldn’t even fit a cookie sheet in our oven because the oven was too small.
  • Poor lighting – there’s no window in the kitchen and the two tiny lights in it are not very good lighting.
  • Nearly impossible to entertain—it was completely cut off from the living room and dining room
  • Small pantry that was non functional—it is very deep…I couldn’t even reach the back with my entire arm stretched out!
  • Weird layout—we don’t need an eat-in kitchen since we have a dining room. 
  • Extremely narrow – the dishwasher could barely open before hitting the other cabinets!
  • “Not us” – the floor tile, backsplash, counter…everything was so orangey-beige. Even the grout. Blah. Orangey-beige just happens to be my least favorite color ever. 

With all that being said, here are some ideas I have!

I’m 90% sold on a white kitchen, and 100% sold on gold accents—is anyone surprised? I love how bright and airy this one is. 

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via decoholic

I’m also 100% sold on counters that look like marble. I say “look like” because I know I’m not up for the task of caring for marble counters, even though they are so gorgeous! I’ve been looking at some quartz options that look like marble and have been really impressed! They actually cost MORE than real marble, but they are the most durable, low-maintance option out there, and I’m about that life. 

Also…venthood goals! 

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean. 
via decorpad

Our floor plan has both a peninsula and an island in it! The peninsula is about the size of the photo below, but it will give us the benefits of a little more counter space and a little bit of extra seating. 

 The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via decorpad

I’m strongly considering only having open shelving on the top instead of upper cabinets. I’d love to hear any personal experiences you guys have had with them!

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via Lindye Galloway Interiors

So, I can’t add a wall of gorgeous windows but I can add a gorgeous undermount apron-front farmhouse sink!

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via Birmingham Home & Garden

And, of course, a gold faucet. This sink has so many accessories (is that even the right word?) I can’t figure out what some of these even are!

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.
via Nicole Davis Interiors

Another decision we are trying to make is what color of appliances to go with. I’m a big fan of white appliances and am 80% leaning that way—but there are so many more options in stainless steel! 

The white kitchen is my favorite! White cabinets and white counters are just so pretty and clean.via Verandah House

So, that’s where we’re at. We are in a flurry of choosing cabinets and flooring and finding plumbers and whatever else we are supposed to do. Phew. 

What projects have you all been working on lately? And if you have them, tell me about your experience with open shelving in the kitchen?! 

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. Good luck! Your ideas are beautiful! Can’t wait to see the progress! I really need to do my kitchen too but I won’t be changing anything major like layout… just sink, counters, and possibly some appliances.


  2. Plan to make your kitchen as classic and simple (style wise) as possible. I designed our kitchen 30 years ago back when it was all done with graph paper and rulers. I ripped up magazines saving every good storage idea I could find.

    Our kitchen was done thirty years ago but it still looks good. My best choice was making every base cabinet as drawers. I can easily reach every inch. No dark recesses to lose pots and pans. The only thing I’d change now are the counters. I originally used Formica as that was within my budget. Ten years later when I had more money, I replaced it with Italian tiles. If I were doing it today with the material choices available, I’d use quartz for durability and ease of maintenance.

    Our old kitchen cabinets, although ugly, were solid wood so I recycled them to the basement And a few years ago when I redid our dark hole we called the laundry room, I repainted them and used them to make a craft room / laundry room. It really bugs me when remodelers just smash up old cabinets when many can be used on other projects…

    1. Hi Patricia! Great ideas! I LOVE drawers too…I want to do all my cabinets drawer also. We are planning on using our cabinets in the garage to make a nice tool area, but a few were damaged and had to be thrown away. I love keeping materials and recycling too. <3

    2. Me too. I actually bought several sets of used cabinets and made a beautiful laundry. Another set for my art studio and another for my husbands work/storage room.

  3. Beautiful! Love the two tone cabinets. Thanks so much for sharing with us this week at Brag About It! Stumbled to share.

  4. I’ve been considering open shelves as uppers also. However, I have decided on a combination. I have some lovely things to display/store on open shelves. But I also know me. I need to have some place to keep all those irregular, jumbled up things that make my kitchen work so efficiently. They just are not what I want to showcase on open shelves. So … I am going to have a mixture.

    Hope this adds to your stream of thinking.

  5. Based on your inspiration pics here I think your kitchen is gonna look pretty darn awesome! As far as the open shelving goes, I love when there’s some open shelving and some cabinets. Good luck with the new reno, stopping by from Wine’d Down Wednesday!

  6. Hi Tania, three years ago when we moved in to our townhouse, we did DIY very budget-friendly kitchen renovation. We partially removed top cabinets and installed DIYed open shelves. Remaining top cabinets we painted off-white and bottom – blue. I love my open shelves, First two shelves I use for frequently used item. so they never get dusty. However, top shelf is used less, so grease and dust tends to settle there. Next time I do open shelves I will do only those at comfortable heights and display only items that are used on daily basis.
    you can see our kitchen here: http://www.dodesignyourself.com/home/kitchen-makeover

  7. I can’t wait to see what you do with your kitchen! We just moved into a house last week and ours has an identical layout to yours. Although I won’t be able to remodel in the near future (we’ve got furniture to buy and some smaller projects) it is definitely on my to-do list. Your ideas are great and it’s inspirational seeing all your past projects.

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole! 🙂 There are some advantages to a galley kitchen too—no one can see your mess! 😛 I think it’s better to wait and not rush into a remodel until you know exactly what the best function of each room is for you. I’m sure you’ll make it so cute, whatever you do! <3

  8. Beautiful kitchen, what is the name of your countertops, we’re in the process of redoing ours now and I’m having a difficult time deciding, I also would like the look of marble without the maintenance. Thank you.

  9. what kind of tile did you use in the second photo? And where did you get it? Doing a similar kitchen. Looking for a light gray tile backsplash. Not having much luck with tile.

    1. Hi Tania. I just found your information on Pinterest but I didn’t see anything that showed your finished kitchen. Are you still answering emails on this site? I’d like to see what you did.

  10. Beautiful kitchen! Can you please tell me the color and brand of the light grey backsplash subway tile? In the photo with the grey and white hood. Gorgeous!

    Thank you and good luck with your home!

    1. Hope you’re still answering questions. Could I ask you what color white you painted your kitchen cabinets? Thank you!

  11. Hi there! Can I ask where did you purchase your backsplash tile? It looks like a very light grey Almost off white? It’s stunning! What colour and make is it?

    1. Hi! I actually bought this tile at Costco, but I don’t think they sell it anymore. It’s the Golden Select Casablanca Marble, Glass and Stone Mosaic Wall Tile. It really is lovely!

  12. Can you share the dets for the whitish gray glossy subway tile in the kitchen picture with the white and gray vent hood? Love it!

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