We spent most of 2018 renovating/adding onto our home and I shared a lot of the process on Instagram stories. To say I felt stressed during this time is an understatement. I spent MANY nights lying awake in bed redoing the layout of certain rooms in my head or figuring out if we could afford to add in things that would put us over budget. Of all the rooms in the house I think the most thought goes into a kitchen renovation. Today I’m partnering with Showcase Kitchens (in Canton, CT) to share my experience and my number one tip if you’re looking to renovate your kitchen in the near future.
My #1 Kitchen Renovation Tip
So I’ll cut to the chase – HIRE HELP with the design. You may have hundreds of pinned images of you dream kitchen (follow my Pinterest kitchen board) but when it comes time to renovate you generally combine elements from several different spaces to make them work in your own home.
One of the most stressful days of our kitchen renovation was when half of our kitchen was torn out and the contractor was asking me where I was placing the island so he could center the electrical for the pendant lights above it. I went into a panic. I didn’t have an island, and only an idea of what pendant lights I wanted. An unreliable cabinet maker who wasn’t returning phone calls was supposed to construct the island and in that scenario I was going to design the island myself. The island is just one small piece of the kitchen renovation, but involved SO MANY DECISIONS:
- how big of an island do you want?
- how many seats are you looking to put at the island?
- do you want electrical in the island? where?
- do you want drawers or cabinets?
- do you want cabinets with pull out shelves, 2 or 3 shelves?
- what color do you want the island?
- what kind of hardware do you want? different on the cabinet doors vs. the drawers?
- what type of counter do you want?
- where do you want the lighting placed above the island?
- how far do you want it from the dishwasher vs. the wall?
- do you need wine yet?? this list is a drop in the bucket.
EEEEEK!!! It’s taking me back to those days when I had this many decisions every single day. This is why my number one tip for a kitchen renovation is to HIRE HELP with at LEAST the kitchen design!!!!
I called Showcase Kitchens (in Canton, CT) because my friend had recently redone her kitchen using them and it was BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Kitchen Island Design
The day after I called them one of their designers came out and met with my contractor and I to take measurements and advise on the layout of the island. He was able to give advice on the size we could accomadate and draw up a sketch based on what I was looking to include in the island (trash/recycle, storage for entertaining pieces like serving bowls, a charging station, and a spot to hide the microwave).
Showcase Kitchens took so much off my plate just by handling the island! I wished I had contacted them sooner to handle the entire kitchen. My stress level was much more manageable once they came in to give recommendations. Not only that – I tend to make mistakes since I am an untrained in interior design, so hiring a professional can actually save you money in the big picture.
We did not do a full kitchen gut in 2018, so to keep costs down I kept much of the existing cabinetry which was already painted “Dove White” by Benjamin Moore. This white is a tad “creamy” next to other whites so I warn you to consider your trim color when you’re painting your kitchen. My crown moldings are much “whiter” than the “creamy” white cabinets.
Showcase Kitchen offers factory painted cabinetry that would not exactly match the white of my cabinets. You never know how much variation there is in whites until you renovate a “white” kitchen. I’ve seen some awesome contrasting islands like black and blue but my personal preference was to keep it light and bright. I opted for a light gray (called “Lunar Gray”) so there wouldn’t be too many shades of white cabinets in close proximity.
Marble Counters – Worth it?
Lastly – I wanted to mention the counter tops. Showcase Kitchens stocks many samples of quartz counter tops, but I would highly recommend going to see a full slab before making your decision. I have had marble counters in my kitchen for about 3 years and they are VERY fragile. My lifestyle (wine drinker 🙋♀️ with 2 kids), turned me off to marble counter tops in the kitchen. On the island and a neighboring “coffee bar” I went with Alleanza Quartz countertops in Carrara polished with an eased edge. Showcase Kitchens arranged the template and install of the counters.
My marble counters have chips and scratches EVERYWHERE, while my island counter tops are holding up great to the constant use and abuse of 2 young boys who like to color and eat a couple meals here every day.
If you guys are local I encourage you to check out Showcase Kitchens on Instagram and whether you’re local or not, in my opinion it often saves a lot of time and stress to hire a professional to help make renovation decisions.
SHOP MY KITCHEN DETAILS
I’d love to hear any renovations tips you all might have!! We are considering taking on another project in the near future.