Nope, we haven’t started on our own kitchen makeover yet (moodboards so far: 3, kitchen makeovers to date: 0), but I do have some fun news to share today…
My parents live about an hour away from us out in the country in a farmhouse on a hill.
The views are incredible, and it’s a really special house, but the kitchen is a little outdated…
Oak cabinets + shiny brass knobs + floral wallpaper + themed wallpaper border + 12″ pinky beige tile + maroon laminate countertops…
But as you can see, the kitchen and eating area are a great size (I LOVE the huge island in the middle) and while the oak cabinets are a bit dingy/faded, they are solid wood and in great shape.
So I was thrilled when my mom enlisted my help to come up with a plan to update the kitchen using the existing cabinets and layout!
It’s been fun coming up with ideas on a larger budget than I have for my own home and so rewarding to get to help my mom brainstorm a space that she’ll love. My family is Italian, so the kitchen is a very important part of the home!
We’ve spent a lot of time sitting down together and going over ideas and collaborating on a Pinterest inspiration board. The plan isn’t set in stone, but this will give you an idea of our vision for the kitchen:
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I landed on “Modern Victorian” to describe what we’re going for in this kitchen – dark oak + white marble (or a white marble lookalike in this case) felt very Victorian to me, but we’re also bringing in some modern elements as well.
The plan is to restain the oak cabinets a darker brown color. Not quite espresso, but a rich antique tone – this is one of our inspiration images. We won’t be using gel stain, but sanding/stripping and completely restaining, because we definitely still want the wood grain to show through and we want to keep the surface matte and slightly rustic.
I was so excited when I was able to sell my mom on the idea of white marble lookalike countertops! For maintenance reasons, actual Carrara marble was out, but she fell in love with the examples of Cambria Torquay (quartz) we found online.
The Wall Color
My mom is a long-time fan of Farrow and Ball’s gorgeous, sophisticated paint colors. “Light Blue” actually has quite a bit of green and gray in it and apparently changes color depending on the light, time of day, etc. Instead of trying to color-match this paint and potentially losing quite a bit of its depth and chameleon-like abilities, we’re going to order the real-deal.
Obviously, that wallpaper’s days are numbered.
The Eating Area
As you could see in the photos above, there’s an eating area attached the kitchen that is absolutely flooded with light between the huge arched window and the two French doors on either side, so even with the choice to go darker with the cabinets, the whole room will still feel very bright.
My mom fell in love with the look of a classic white tulip table and I suggested an oval shaped tulip table to best fill the eating area. She also wants to have my dad build a bench along the length of the arched window, and we’re going to bring in some color with the seat cushion and throw pillows (like this, although with different accent colors).
We were initially planning to use a large statement light fixture over the kitchen island, but decided to leave the recessed lighting as-is in the kitchen and use the eating area as a focal point. This chandelier from Ballard Designs is both traditional and modern, and surprising affordable.
Finally, we tossed around some different ideas for chairs to pair with the tulip table before settling on these Parisian style cafe chairs from Wayfair. There are many different options online, but my mom and I both loved the black and white design on these the best.
I’m pretty excited to get started! This won’t be a whirlwind makeover, since we’ll be doing most of the work ourselves to keep costs down, but I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated.
Full-blown kitchen renovations are gorgeous and inspiring, but my little thrift-loving soul rejoices in the idea of more-budget-friendly, smaller-scale makeovers. So I’m very much looking forward to seeing what kind of impact these mainly-cosmetic changes will have!