25 Jun White on White Kitchen Renovation
It seems like only yesterday we closed on our very first fixer-upper. It’s been 4 years since then and we’ve transformed so much of this Astoria property.
After renovating our guest room, our Air BnB space, and our master bedroom, we knew it was time to tackle the kitchen. It was going to be the biggest project this house would throw at us, but we were fresh off the set of HGTV’s Beach Flip and we were so ready to keep the projects coming! And we weren’t the only ones. Our fellow competitor, Beach Flip winner, and new lifelong friend, Alex Borre, of team Alex and Martha, flew in from Chicago to help us get down and dirty with our reno. Just because he’s that nice. Alex stayed with us for a few nights, sleeping on an air mattress downstairs next to the kitchen. He was a trooper and an asset to this project! We love and thank you, Alex! Check out Martha and Alex’s Chicago renovation company Hunter Road Homes.
Not only was Alex there to help, but my dad was there for several weeks too. With all hands on deck we were ready to take this kitchen from dark and blah to light and airy.
This kitchen had been recently “updated” but the quality of the products that were in place were poor. The cabinets were cheap, the flooring was a peel-n-stick, and the washer only turned on when you slammed the lid. Everything was pretty dark and poorly laid out. It needed a major facelift. It needed to be reimagined. We couldn’t wait to get started.
Because of other projects and renovations around the house, we had to get in to the kitchen ceilings and walls to address some plumbing and electrical issues. This left holes everywhere. Easy to patch and paint, yes, but we wanted to wait til we were ready to completely overhaul the space. So, for awhile, we stared at BX cable and pipes.
This hallway was so dark and disgusting.
You’d hate cooking too if this was your kitchen.
We started out by deciding we would take the separate laundry room and kitchen and make them one. It would maximize the small space. We knocked down the wall separating the spaces and purchased stackable washer and dryer units and then planned on enclosing them behind custom cabinets that would match the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen.
The original layout of the kitchen had the oven in the most random of places. This kitchen needed flow. When we moved the oven and took down the wall behind it we discovered a gorgeous brick wall! We repointed the brick and left it exposed!
We knew we wanted to keep this kitchen classy. Our home was built in 1940, so a nod to some of those period elements were essential. I was on the hunt for an affordable fireclay farmhouse sink. Everything online was so pricy. I then went to Ebay, with my fingers crossed, and found one at ⅓ of the price of retail sinks. There was a hairline crack on the top of the sink. This small imperfection made the sink affordable and I quickly snatched it up. However, I found this sink after we ordered our cabinets and the sink was a little smaller than we anticipated. So, we worked around it, adjusted the stock cabinet where we needed to and saved a boat load of cash! Stock cabinetry and shopping for deals is a great way to cut costs on gorgeous pieces.
Another fun element to this kitchen is our island “chandelier”. While visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Seattle, we went to a street fair and found these two 1950’s gas station lights.
I was obsessed with the shade of green they were rocking. They had just the right amount of rust, too. Yes, I said it, I wanted them to be a bit rusty. I knew we could wire these babies up using plumbing pipes and fittings as the hardware. We just had to get past all the weird looks as we boarded the plane from Seattle to NYC with two old lighting fixtures as our carry on.
I’m not sure if my writing is coming across like this was the most easy breezy kitchen reno ever. It wasn’t. They never really are. For one thing, we had to make a temporary kitchen space in our tiny NYC living room. It was terrible. No matter how much plastic you put up around your entryways elsewhere in the house, dust finds a way to creep up into your living spaces and wreck havoc on your anxiety levels. It was less than fun. Keeping our make-shift kitchen decluttered and tidy at all times helped. So did ordering take out.
We also needed to store everything that was once in cupboards and pantries somewhere. It wasn’t quite enough to require storage space so, our living room would have to do.
Okay, back to all the cool stuff this kitchen has.
There were some water and gas lines that had to run through the ceiling of the kitchen, however, if we created a soffit we could make the ceilings much higher everywhere else. I really didn’t want a boring drywall soffit running through my adorable “vintage” kitchen, so we decided to clad it in reclaimed wood. Brick, wood, plumbing fixtures – this kitchen screamed eclectic-rustic-vintage-Sarah-n-Nick. It was coming together.
Things started to come together. From the sink fixtures to the quartz countertops, our eclectic kitchen was about to be a showstopper! We wanted to pay attention to every detail. We planned on using the cabinets we sell, Choice Cabinet, so that we could invite potential clients over for wine and show them what we could do for them and their space! And we did just that. Since completing the space we’ve had numerous potential clients over who became excited to work with us after seeing how passionate we are about renovating and design. Here are those after pics we’ve been anxiously waiting to share with you!
We made the faucet a wall mount in an effort to keep the countertops clean and dry as much as possible. Also, our hexagon backsplash was one of my favorite finds!
There are those gorgeous stackables we splurged on. My must-have? A steam setting. Worth. Every. Penny.
So many textures in our white kitchen! From the bead board ceilings to our hand made sliding barn door made with recycled wood from our renovation, to our newly exposed brick wall, we love every surface in this kitchen.
When shopping for appliances we came across the GE Artistry series. It’s an affordable package that boasted classic design elements. How cute is that fridge?!
We don’t have a garage. It’s not easy being a home improvement company with only this tiny closet and a not-much-larger shed outside. Good thing there is a full-time professional organizer on-hand to maximize space! Slat board, Closet-Maid, and craft organizers help us keep hand tools…well, on hand!
And our custom sliding barn door covers it up nicely when not in use and without taking up space.
And there she is. Our pride and joy. We LOVE renovating kitchens. If you know of one that needs saving, let us know!
Should out to Kris Rogers Photography for helping us capture these amazing images!