Kitchen Renovation: The Heart of the Home

Kitchen Renovation: The Heart of the Home

When it came time to put together a plan for my house renovation project, I knew that we would be adding a new kitchen renovation as well.  When we built our home thirteen years ago, we loved the floorplan that our builder provided as it was an open plan concept.  When we built our home, our oldest was going to be starting grade one and our youngest was going to be starting kindergarten (they are twenty-two months apart).  I knew that although this was a great house and definitely an upgrade from our 1138 square foot bungalow, this was not my dream home.  There was only so much money to spend on upgrades and we were just not in any financial position to upgrade everything.  In my ‘dream home’ I would have absolutely everything that I could ever want.  I use the phrase ‘dream home’ to mean just that.  Dreamy from top to bottom, inside and out.

Kitchen Renovation


I designed my kitchen with function being the top of my list.  As an extremely organized person, and knowing how lazy we all are (and yes – even I am lazy), I knew that I wanted to have every possible pull out imaginable.  It’s just so much easier to put things away when you can pull out a drawer instead of sort-of bending down and chucking it into the back of the cupboard.

Kitchen Renovation2

Once I had my layout designed, I took that design and had three quotes put together.  I put together the quote from IKEA myself (as they have the capability to do so).  The other two quotes came from reputable kitchen cabinet companies (which I will not mention by name as it really doesn’t matter). The quote for IKEA cabinets came in at just over $6000 while the other two quotes came in at $28,000 and $32,000.  Knowing this was not our forever home and knowing the quality of IKEA (having put together numerous IKEA kitchens for clients and having friends who also have IKEA kitchens), we went ahead and ordered the Grimslöv cabinets.  I loved the off-white colour and the simplicity of the shaker style.

Pantry Design

When I designed my kitchen I knew that I wanted to take out the crazy corner pantry that was useless.  I hated that pantry the minute we moved in (and most likely hated it before we moved in).  It had wire shelves that would allow things to fall through and was not very functional.  I don’t use the word hate that often, but I did hate that pantry.

Replacing the pantry are two tall pantry cabinets that have almost every pull out imaginable.  In our 30″ cabinet drawer holds all of our ‘breakfast’ items (cereals, porridge) and lunch items (crackers, granola bars, etc.).

Since I’m not a huge baker, all of my baking supplies are in the bottom pull out that I don’t access that often.  The drawer that I access the most is the spice drawer.  I love, love, love retrieving spices as I can see every single one!

Kitchen renovation

Island Design

Our old island was stupid.  There, I said it.  We had this funky-shaped island that had our sink and dishwasher (which I do enjoy) but it really was a shitty design.

My new island is to die for (if I do say so myself).  I designed it to be straight – no funky designs here for my kitchen!  I knew I wanted seating for 2 people and I knew I wanted it to be all one level.  I also knew that I did want it to look pretty (and of course, functional).  In our island, right beside the sink is a trash/recycling pull out.  I get goose bumps just talking about this damn drawer.  I mean really – trash and garbage get put in this drawer but I can’t tell you how much I love it.  It makes recycling and putting garbage away a breeze.  I flanked our island with 15″ glass cabinets and had my electrician put in lights.  So when it’s dark, the cabinet lights are on the same switch as all of our other cabinet lighting.

kitchen renovation island

Cupboards & Cabinets

Other than taking out the wall for the pantry, we did no other major construction.  We still have wall cabinets and lower base cabinets.  I chose to go with glass cabinets on the longest wall to give a more open feel.  Our lower cabinets are all pull-out cabinets so it makes it easy to put pots and pans away.

One design element I wanted was for all of our lower cabinets to look the same.  In order to achieve this, I have a hidden pull out in each of my lower cabinets.  Although you have to open up the drawer to access the silverware or cooking utensils, it’s not a big deal and no one has ever complained that we have to do that.  I guess you can say this was my one and only case of design trumping functionality.

kitchen renovation  base cabinets


Since I saved quite a bit of money on our kitchen cabinets, I was able to get Caesarstone Quartz.  My counters are Nougat.  While they are not for everyone, I love that the colour will allow me to decorate with many different colours throughout the seasons.

kitchen renovation counters


Shocker alert: they’re white!  My vision for my kitchen was to be an all white kitchen and add colour through accents and decorating.  I also wanted something that was timeless and will pass the fads and trends.  A simple off-white subway tile, installed in thirds, is exactly what I went with.  Not only is the subway tile timeless (in my opinion), they’re cheap too! This definitely helped on the budget side of things.

kitchen renovation backsplash

Kitchen Renovation

Part of our entire home renovation included all new floors.  Throughout our entire main floor we had handscraped hardwood installed.  I chose a medium brown colour and although it’s a bit darker than I wanted, I still love the look (and my hubby got his choice)!  The hand scraped allows little nicks and scrapes to just blend in.  We used to have lino and carpet that really dictated the blueprint and floor plan of our entire main floor.  With having hardwood throughout the entire main floor, I no longer have flooring dictate where I can place furniture.  We also have complete flow from the front of our home to the back.

kitchen renovation floors

Thank you to Jennica Christine Photography who came over to take the final photos for my portfolio.  You can see all of her images here.

Next week I’ll quickly go through the other reno improvements we did in our home and that should wrap things up for this project.  I’ll talk about what we spent, some things we didn’t change (and why), and let you know who worked on my home.  Almost all of my clients are through referrals so I know how important a referral can be.  If I can help out a hard working individual or company by referring them and their quality work, I’ll do it in a heartbeat!

To see the current projects I’m working on, check out my business Facebook page  as I tend to post images and things daily.

Renewing your kitchen appliances is another way to refresh your kitchen. Check Kitchenistic for latest gadgets and products reviews.

Wishing to fall in love with your home? Contact me to discuss how I can make that happen for you.

One of the biggest investments one can make is the investment of a home and I believe you should LOVE coming home –

  Related Posts:

Master Bedroom Retreat

Adding Custom Touches to an Ikea Kitchen

Three Things We Learned While Designing and Installing an Ikea Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel: Function and Layout


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