Welcome to our newly updated kitchen! The freshly updated bright and airy space is now one of my favorite spots in our home. We’ve wanted to update our kitchen and paint since moving into our home over five years ago, and we finally tackled our open plan kitchen makeover… all right before baby arrived!
It seems like everyone decides to do home projects right before a baby arrives… and we were no different. We lived through this renovation, and let’s just say, I wouldn’t do it again nor would I advise it.
However, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to design the space and pick out the various finishes for our open plan kitchen makeover. While I’m not a trained designer, I enjoy interior design and have dabbled in a few prior projects; checkout this powder bathroom makeover and laundry room update.
So keep on reading to learn more about our open plan kitchen makeover and see the before & after!
Open Plan Kitchen Makeover
Our kitchen wasn’t terrible, prior to our remodel, but just a bit dated and dark. It was always a dream of mine to repaint the entire space a bright white and replace the dark granite countertops with quartz.
In a world where money wasn’t an option, I would’ve demo’d the large front island and the middle one, replacing them with one large island in the center. I would’ve also ran a line in for a gas cooktop, but jack-hammering up the floors and foundation would’ve been an absolute doozy. However, since this isn’t our forever home, keeping the two islands was a must.
Fortunately, there were plenty of ways to still update the kitchen without moving things around. I’m thrilled with how the finished makeover turned out, and I hope this post can inspire you and give you some ideas for your future kitchen makeover!
The open plan Kitchen before
A whole lotta beige going on! Our kitchen functioned fine, but as someone who spends a lot of time in her kitchen, I detested the space. Because completely gutting it wasn’t an option, we had to stick with aesthetic updates like paint, cabinet refacing and new counters + tile.
Oh granite, you had your moment and now bye. But, honestly that wasn’t the worst part of our kitchen. The prior owners painted literally everything in the home beige. Walls, wood trim, doors, you name it, all. freaking. beige. So with our kitchen and living area being a shared space, we would need to paint the entirety, not just our kitchen, in our makeover process. Let me put that to you in an easier way to understand… $$$$$$.
And now that my husband is in the home renovation business (shoutout ALE Renovations who did the work on our project!!), I better understand how there are painters, there are good painters and then there are great painters. I’m not just saying this because it’s his business, but ALE Renovations’ painting crew is incredible. They are so detailed. It’s expensive, and it takes time (it took about 2-3 weeks from start to finish for all the painting of our home), but it’s worth every penny and more.
Why I say this is because we had the opposite. The wood cabinets in our kitchen were terrible. First off they’re pre-fabricated and not my first choice in a cabinet. But they were also painted over the wood stain and finish on the existing pre-fab cabinets. They weren’t sanded, prepped or primed. The prior homeowners just simply painted RIGHT OVER the existing glossy finish of the pre-fab cabinets. Meaning they were susceptible to every scratch, ding, or hit of a fingernail – and each one was completely chipped around the knobs, revealing the finish behind the paint.
Can you tell I’m still fired up about it?
Anyways, our kitchen was functional, it just needed some updating. So here’s what our project punchlist looked like:
- Demo’ing the existing countertops and tile backsplash
- Refacing all cabinet doors and drawers, plus build a new upper cabinet for storage with glass doors, along with reconfiguring some spaces to better fit our lifestyle with the help of the carpenter
- Reduce bar high countertop on outer island to just counter-height
- Update cooktop island appearance with carpentry work & paint
- Replacing kitchen backsplash
- Replacing kitchen countertops
- Replace kitchen sink & faucet hardware
- Purchase and install new cooktop and dishwasher
- New electrical outlets, replace can lights with LED trim
- Repaint the walls, cabinets and wood trim a bright white
- Install new hardware for cabinet doors and drawers
The Open plan kitchen after
Welcome to our light, bright and airy kitchen! Goodbye beige, hello bright white!
As you can see we kept our beige tile floors, because, well, that would’ve been an absolute fortune to switch out throughout the entire house… but painting everything white and swapping out the dark granite for white quartz, truly makes such a difference.
The carpentry work and painting were the two biggest scopes of work within our project.
As mentioned above, we decided to reface all our cabinet doors and drawers, and keep the original cabinet box and shelves to save money. I chose an updated shaker style door and drawer front, and our carpenter built all of them on site with paint-grade Birch wood.
I have such an admiration for carpenters after seeing what a labor of love it is to make all of the fronts, create different types of paneling and even build a completely new cabinet box from scratch (that’s the upper cabinet with glass doors to the right of the sink!).
We modified a few of the original spaces to become drawers for better storage. With the baby arriving, I wanted a few dedicated drawers to house her bottles, formula, etc.
I opted for beautiful and classic drawer pulls and knobs. I wanted ones that would be timeless for years to come and felt substantial when you pulled doors and drawers open. If you hadn’t noticed there are a lot of door fronts and drawers in our kitchen. The price for hardware can add up super quickly!
I ended up sourcing them off Wayfair, as they were priced well in bundles and had all the sizes and quantities I needed. The Ascendra pulls and knobs by Top Knobs are the perfect pieces of ‘jewelry’ for out brand new cabinet fronts.
Let’s give a round of applause to white paint and what it can do to brighten up a space! I initially thought about painting all the cabinets the blue of our island or a sage green, but decided it was best to keep them mostly neutral for potential resale down the road. We painted the the walls, ceiling, cabinets and trim Sherwin Williams Snowbound.
I tested a lot of whites, including the white I used in my former office, now Olivia’s nursery, Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. I liked that white when I chose it a few years ago, but it’s definitely a warmer, creamier white that can read a bit yellow in certain light.
I swatched out a lot of paint colors in various parts of our living space – by the windows, on the island, on a wall that doesn’t get as much natural light, and ultimately chose Snowbound for our space because it didn’t read cold or stark. It’s a pretty white, that has a little warmth to it, while still reading soft.
The island where our cooktop lives ended up getting a little makeover of its own; we updated the front facing panel by removing the dated faux drawers and door fronts and replacing with paneling made by the carpenter. We also painted it a beautiful blue/gray that my husband picked out, Krypton by Sherwin Williams.
For countertops, I wanted something that would be easy to take care of and durable, which is how we ended up with a white quartz. I’ll admit, it’s taken some getting used to because every little mark or spill shows up on these counters, but I do love how bright they make the space!
We previously had a double bowl kitchen sink which I hated. It seemed convenient, but the bowl sizes weren’t big enough to wash pots or pans easily and it just felt dated. I’ve always loved apron-front ‘farmhouse-style’ sinks, and knew that would be part of our renovation. It was a definite splurge, but the 33′ fireclay apron front sink by Signature Hardware has been worth every penny. Paired with our new Moen Weymouth polished chrome kitchen faucet, I now love washing dishes!
Lastly, we ripped out the previously dated backsplash tile and updated it with a beautiful artisan subway tile in a blueish-silver, installed in a brick pattern. Truthfully, I had earmarked this tile for our own remodel about two years ago when working on a client project. It’s imperfections and not so perfect edges make it unique, but it’s still subtle. I directed our tile installer to install the backsplash all the way up the ceiling, behind the sink, to help draw the eye upward and highlight our tall ceilings.
While I don’t recommend living through any sort of home renovation (we lived through this… and never again), it was well worth it for the beautiful outcome of our open plan kitchen makeover.
Not only is our kitchen updated for potential resale value down the road, but it’s just such a happy and bright place now, too!
Interested in more home improvement and interior design posts like this? Be sure to check out the following: A not so boring powder bath update and our project to create a more functional laundry room.