Kitchen Reno – Progress Update #1

Renovating PlanningThis was one of the last images taken of us in our old home, looking out into our beautiful bright kitchen, ready to start completely over. We left our awesome modern, clean, and perfectly organized kitchen for a dump- now it’s FINALLY time to make our current kitchen into something we can be proud of. Since you guys enjoyed seeing the process behind the One Room Challenge space, I thought I’d treat our kitchen reno in a similar manner… sharing progress updates along the way. Click through for a bunch of terrible before images, the items we’ve purchased so far, and a look at how demo is unfolding. 

There’s no time like the present to dive into the biggest and most stressful room renovation of our entire house. We must be crazy… deciding to tackle the kitchen during the holidays and snowy Utah winter that lies ahead. Despite the challenges and vast amount of work we’ll encounter, starting the process has me SO excited. I miss the days of entertaining, hosting dinner, and having a functional space, so I was 100% on board to start the kitchen ASAP.

kitchen before 5Our intention was to renovate the kitchen first– immediately after purchasing the home. We both agreed it would be the first room we’d transform. Well… here we are over a year later, just now starting the project. What got in the way? Other projects, the budget, timing, and life. It’s funny how things work out and plans change / evolve over time. This home has been no exception.

kitchen before 8Let me give you a refresh and share more of the before images, as it’s been awhile since I shared the renovation as we bought it. Honestly they make the space look a lot better than it was. I pulled most of them directly from the real estate listing and I’m pretty sure in addition to a super wide angle lens, the images were probably photoshopped.

kitchen before 9

kitchen before 4

kitchen before 2It’s hard to say what I hate most about the existing kitchen. Maybe the duct tape countertops? The dented and outdated appliances?

kitchen before 7

kitchen before 3The weird planter wall? The rotten squishy floor? How could I forget the metal original cabinetry that doesn’t even close all the way? Or maybe the stained and peeling layers of linoleum?

kitchen before 5I could go on and on about the negative things happening in this space. I can say with certainty, there’s not a single thing that will stay in the kitchen. Everything will be demoed- right down to the subfloor and drywall. We’re taking this baby to the studs! Here’s a preview of how demo is looking:

demo and subfloorIf you’re wondering what we’ve done thus far, I’ll give you an update. The windows were replaced last winter for efficiency, so that has already been crossed of the list. Emmett has also started the demo and rebuilding process. In the image above, he’s replacing the rotten subfloor. Here’s a look at our very long to-do list:

  1. Replace the Windows
  2. Demo Cabinetry
  3. Demo Bar Cabinet
  4. Demo Flooring
  5. Remove Existing Appliances
  6. Rebuild the Subfloor
  7. Demo Bulkhead
  8. Demo Drywall
  9. Remove Existing Lighting
  10. Replace Drywall
  11. Order New Appliances
  12. Order New Lighting
  13. Rework all Electrical
  14. Rework all Plumbing
  15. Order Tile
  16. Select Paint Colors
  17. Order Hardware
  18. Choose Countertop Slabs
  19. Order Sink & Plumbing Fixtures
  20. Design and Approve Custom Cabinetry
  21. Lay Floor Tile
  22. Cabinetry Installation
  23. Install New Appliances & Plumbing Fixtures
  24. Install Hood and Reroute Exhaust
  25. Install Countertops
  26. Tile the Backsplash
  27. Install New Light Fixtures, Recessed Lights, and Under Cabinetry Lighting
  28. Install Trim
  29. Paint
  30. Upholster Dining Bench
  31. Order and Install Window Treatments
  32. Install Hardware / Accessories / Artwork

I’m sure there are plenty of tasks I missed, but you get the point. Someone asked how long we’re expecting the renovation to take. We don’t have a hard deadline for the kitchen project and we both have full-time jobs, so we’re not in a giant rush- but living without a kitchen is incredibly inconvenient. That means we’re going to move as fast as we can. A lot of the items in the space are being custom made or have longer lead-times (cabinetry, tile, appliances, etc), so we’re sort of at the mercy of the vendors. We’re hoping to have it buttoned up by February, but unlike the One Room Challenge, it’s nice not having a hard deadline. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

I’m not going to share a moodboard quite yet (such a tease, I know)– but I will link some of the items we’ve already purchased below:


fridge // wall oven & microwave combo // cooktop (we went with induction) // hood // dishwasher // espresso maker (spoiler alert: there’s going to be an insane coffee bar!)


I got to pick out my soapstone slabs from Polycor last week (shown below), and I wish you could touch it. Soapstone has the best feel of all the stones, in my opinion. It’s going to be gorgeous!! I’ll do a post devoted specifically to soapstone and the countertops because you guys sent lots of good questions. It’s a stone that is easily misunderstood and I want to put the myths the rest because it’s one of my all-time favorite materials.

soapstone slab


The cabinetry is being custom made at Emmett’s work, and since I designed it- I don’t have specific images. I can tell you we’re doing natural wood AND paint grade. It’s going to be an epic combo (I hope).

P L U M B I N G    F I X T U R E S

faucet // sink // pot filler

Are you surprised by all of the chrome and black?! I never say never… but I’m pretty sure there won’t be a single hint of brass in the space. I’m ready to move into a new direction and we have plenty of it elsewhere in the house.

Well, that’s the update as of now… you’re all caught up. Follow along as the space continues to change. This isn’t out first rodeo… we took our last kitchen from this to this:

kitchen before & afterSee more of that project here. Apparently we have a fetish for buying the least desirable house on the block with the worst kitchen? I guess I’ll claim it because these diamonds in the rough make for THE BEST transformations. I’m hoping our current kitchen before / after side-by-side are equally as drastic and amazing. Questions about anything? Our selections? The plans? Shoot me a comment below! I’ll have another update for you next week.

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  1. Ann Heltzel says:

    eeks, you haven’t demo’d the bulkhead yet, so at least take a peek in there to make sure there’s no plumbing or wiring that needs to be re-routed! hugs.

    1. Oh, we did that before even moving in. It’s decorative… there’s nothing behind there! Even if there was, all of the plumbing and electrical is being rewired anyway. Definitely a smart thing to think about though. Thanks, Ann! xox

  2. Laurie Anne says:

    Loving that fridge!!!! I want it!!!! This is gonna be a fun transformation to follow!!!

    1. That fridge wasn’t in our original plan, but Emmett went to Lowes one day, looked at it in person, and said we HAVE to get this fridge. So… I said fine. lol

  3. Excited to see what you design for the cabinetry. That is a nice look looking fridge, he has good taste!

    1. Thanks so much, Holly!! It was a little more than we wanted to spend, but the guy is happy and I think it looks great. xox

  4. I never thought I’d describe a fridge as “dramatic,” but you (and Emmett!) have proven me wrong. :D

    And holy smokes!! That soapstone! Squeeeee!! I’m so excited for you!

    1. Haha!! I know… that fridge is CRAZY. That was not the one I picked out, but Emmett demanded that was ‘the one’. lol! Thank you so much, Jacqui! xox

  5. I’m local (in Murray). Wondering what you did with that corner metal cabinet?

  6. Olivia Rousseau says:

    What color are these cabinets – so beautiful!