Cool Cat Kitchen

Since yesterday’s post on the herringbone tile installation was so dang long, I thought I’d saved the tantalizing reveal for today ๐Ÿ˜‰ Without a doubt, hands down, this kitchen is already functioning so much better than the last one. In all honesty, it really isn’t that much bigger (we gained 6″ on each side of the cabinetry) but it feels so much bigger. We actually have a cabinet or two that are empty right now. Whaaa?? I never thought I’d be saying those words. Holla.

As far as details go, there are so many things I absolutely love about this space, so it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite. A long time back, I spotted a herringbone tile pattern on a kitchen that was done by Urban Grace Interiors. Seriously, everything this design firm does is absolutely amazing. I remember storing that one in the memory bank for our next house. I think it’s what started my whole herringbone obsession, actually. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m so glad I saw that picture, because I think every subsequent house may need this back splash. I LOVE it.

Herringbone Subway Tile

Other than being a total pain in the tuckus to put up, this backsplash totally makes the space for me. Best part, herringbone tiles cost all of .22 each. Yep, that is cheap. So the total out of pocket cost was under $40. Yippity doo freaking dah.

Here is our problem area from before, after the grout is in. Although I still think its a bit noticeable, overall the white grout really helped to mask the issue and make it way less obvious. White on white for the win.

Herringbone Subway Tile

As far as the ergonomics of the space, I’d give it a 9.6 out of 10. The last kitchen, hmm, closer to a 7. Taking out a wall obviously made a huge difference in the overall flow of the space, and notably, it allowed us to add larger cabinetry that stores more of our day to day kitchen essentials. For instance, when we were first planning out the kitchen layout (with the wall in) we were looking at two 12″ lower cabinets. That is teeny tiny. Almost comical, actually. Now we’ve got two hefty 18″ cabinets flanking the oven, which has been more than ample storage for our cooking and dry food needs.

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

On the storage front, I knew I wanted to have a nice tall, counter mounted cabinet that would enable us to take advantage of that usual dead space in the corner. And not only does this guy meet the storage bill, he’s also quite the handsome little stud muffin, too. He’ll look even better once I give him some crown on top.

Tall Cabinet on Counter

The dining room flows right into the kitchen as well, so it’s nice to have that added space where I can hang out with Jay in the evening while he cooks dinner. (Best husband ever, right?) Long term, if we ever opt to convert the screened in porch to a more formal dining space, I’d probably make this space to a loungy couch area vs. more cabinetry, since I absolutely love having that low key, conversational aspect to our kitchen.

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

The room is still pretty small as far as modern kitchens go (10×10), but I’m totally fine with that, especially since it opens up to the adjacent 10×9 dining room. I vastly prefer a small, functional space, to one that is a bit more sprawled out. I think the key word is functional though, since a tiny space that doesn’t have enough room for your kitchen essentials is pretty obnoxious, too. Coming in from the side door entrance, you can definitely still tell it’s a smaller room, but since it’s open to the dining space now, everything feels more open and airy.

White Kitchen With Quartz Counters

For old time’s sake, lets take a look at the same view before. Wall in the way, and no frenchie french doors, either.

Taking Down Kitchen Wall

Since I’m all about breaking down the numbers, here is an overview of what we spent on the kitchen. This is by farย the most we’ve ever spent on a home renovation project, but in all honesty, I’m so happy to have such a nice, new kitchen now, that the money feels well worth it in the end. This kitchen was also a bit of a departure for us, since we are used to doing everything single detail ourselves. Since the installation was basically free though (they take off the sales tax at Lowes if you use their installers), it really didn’t make sense for us to install them and have a totally lackluster finished product.

We did try to compensate for those extra expenses by doing the things we knew we could do ourselves, like the backsplash, and later down the line the crown. A penny saved, is a dollar earned, right Benny Franklin. Seriously, where did he come up with all those fine witty sayings. Love that founding father o’ mine.

Alright, y’all ready for this? Here’s the lay of the land.

  • New Gas Line: $250
  • New Appliances: $6,041 โ€“ $750 rebate = $5,291 (DAGGER, Dagger to the heart)
  • Diamond Cabinetry: $5,018 โ€“ $565 rebate = $4,453 (Yeah, I think thatโ€™s another dagger right there)
  • Counters: $2,050 ($71 per square foot)
  • Sink: Free!
  • Faucet: $220
  • Hardware: $45
  • Herringbone Tile Installation $39

Total out of pocket:ย $9,998ย โ€“ (After sale ofย our appliances and old kitchen and rebates)

We got $1,500 for the counters and cabinets, and $850 for all the old appliances and racked up $1,315 in cash rebates. All in all, we had a total savings of $3,665 from craigslisting our old stuff, and submitting rebates.ย Malcolm approves.

Malcolm the Cat

Psst – want to see how the kitchen turned out after the crown install? Get the deets here. ๐Ÿ™‚




Mission Organization

Although the kitchen cabinets have now been installed, we are presently in a waiting pattern while the counters are being cut and getting ready for install. This is quasi sad, since it means we don’t have a sink or a dishwasher until then, but it’s allowed us to focus in on some other practical matters. Kitchen storage. Since we have the cabinets going up all the way to the ceiling, we got a bit more storage this time around. Score. Here is the main food storage area, above and around the oven.

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Whenever I see broad, open spaces. I feel the need to buy some baskets to schlep all my stuff into. It’s a sickness. I see hole, I buy basket. With Homegoods a stones throw away, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll find me a basket or two ๐Ÿ˜‰ This time around, Lowe’s actually came to the rescue with some baskets that fit just riiigght into our upper cabinets. In the lower baskets we’ve been putting out lunch stuff (granola bars, pudding, etc) and the upper baskets have our pretzels and other snacky food.

Baskets for Kitchen Storage

Down under, we had some additional storage needs. The right side of the oven is focused on food storage for our cooking needs (oil, spices, etc). Since we knew we would be using these shelves for lots of storage, we opted to get sliding shelves so that we can easily access all of the items that get put back a bit further. It was a $50 upgrade per cabinet ($100) total, but when you are working with such a small kitchen – any opportunity to optimize the space was warranted in my eyes.

Sliding shelves in cabinets

Almost every meal in this house involves a potato or an onion or both, so we have special little baskets for these guys. What can I say, we’re a meat a potato family. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now Jay can just grab them as he cooks. Easy access. Got to keep the cook happy. I considered it a sign that our baskets we already had for these babies fit perfectly into the new shelf.

Baskets for storing onions and potatos

On the shelf right above, we opted to put all our spices and some of our cooking essentials. I’m thinking long term these might get a bit messy in here as Jay rummages around for his preferred spice, so I may have to put labels on them, or something of that sort. For now – at least they are organized and all in one place.

Organizing Spices

Another feature we added on during the kitchen cabinet ordering process, was this little nifty silverware organizer. It’s a double decker! Isn’t that awesome! The one (semi annoying) thing I’ve found so far is that it definitely can’t hold as many utensils in each little cubby as we could before, due to depth. So although is definitely space saving, it’s not quite as amazing as I’d hoped. I still love it though. I’m a total sucker for organizing, if ya can’t tell.

Silverware drawer organizer

While we were at HomeGoods, we snatched some organization sets for our big utensils, too. At $8 each, I was a pretty happy camper. Plus, they fit perfectly into our 18″ pull-out drawers. It was meant to be.

Kitchen Utensil Organization

This post is part of the William Morris project at Pancakes and French Fries. Check out all the great projects here!

Reunited and it Feels So Good

Oh my kitchen. How I’ve longed for thee. Do I cook? Not a lick. Do I like it when my husband cooks for me? You bet your knickers I sure do. Also, I miss things like having a fridge that stores more than a gallon milk. Yes, we were using a 2 foot tall refrigerator for the past 2-weeks, and living in our basement as the floors get refinished. Oh, and did I mention that a 7 foot tall giant moved in with us? Yes, we don’t have a new pet dinosaur, we do have a new roommate. His name is Iain, and he is living with us for 5-weeks while he works on his Master’s at the U. What a student, what a guy. So anyway, we’ve all been camping out in the basement and storing all our worldly refrigerator items in a mini-mini fridge. Fail. Here, meet Iain.

New Roomie

So much more exciting than the addition of the giant roommate (sorry, Iain), is the addition of our new kitchen cabinets, and the addition of our appliances back in their gosh darn rightful location (hooked up, in the kitchen). Woo to the hoo. Here is a view of the room right after the installers wrapped up their day of work. Still needing a few things (appliances, backsplash, paint touch ups)… but golden mother of pearl, I think we can all agree it’s an upgrade from the empty room we’ve had for the last month.

White Kitchen With Shaker Cabinets

Literally the longest, and hardest part of installing the new appliancesย (GE Cafe Line) was getting the microwave oven in. Frickety frack. It took like 2-hours, and it was just tedious, to the max. Luckily the microwave came with a handy little template that gave us the play by play of how to get this guy in.

How to Install Wall Mounted Microwave

You literally just put this piece of paper right up against the bottom portion of the cabinets, and it told you exactly where to put each screw and drill each hole. I mean, come on, that is da bomb. Here is Jay, making some final adjustments before we popped in the new microwave. Even with all the hand holding, this step took us 2-hours, and lucky for us, we had an extra set of hands around with Iain, since this beast was heavy.

How to Install Microwave

After we got the microwave, and the rest of the appliances in for the evening, I had to go and take some beau-ti-ful after pictures of this joint. Let me preface that by saying we are missing the following: counters (obvi), hardware, backsplash, a sink, a dishwasher, touch-up paint and … I feel like I’m missing something else, so, we are probably also missing that mystery object. Ah yes – Crown!! We are planning on DIYing the crown over the next few weeks. Yippie skippie. Should be a wee bit easier with the new nail gun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is a view of the wall with our range and the microwave. I dig it. We’ll be putting backsplash behind, and there will be counters for prep on either side of the oven.

GE Cafe Gas Range

And a vantage point of just the fridge, and the cabinets around it. The sink will be going in to the right of the cabinets base beside the fridge. Is it just me, or does the area right above the fridge look kind of gappy? I think I might have the hubster come back through and add a piece of trim there to tighten that up a bit.

White Shaker Diamond Cabinets

Oh, and as with any renovation, there were a few issues. Namely, the cabinet panel for the left side of the fridge was “defective” according the the cabinet installers, so we have to order another one that they will come and install in a few weeks. At least it’s just the edge of the fridge, so it should be pretty straight forward to pop that sucker in.

Here is a close up of the fridge, you can see the gap action a bit more from this angle.

GE Cafe French Door Fridge

Overall – I am pretty gosh darn happy with how the kitchen turned out. It’s still not there (we have to wait 3+ weeks for the counters still – UGGGHHH), but man alive, it feels good to have the full-size fridge back. Fun size just wasn’t cutting it.