It’s your standard 13×13′ room, L shaped layout.
There’s a doorway leading from the dining room and another to the laundry room.
With the floor plan of the house, we didn’t have the option to change or increase the footprint (including widening the main doorway, which borders a bedroom).
But even if we did, the goal was to transform this room on a budget—this house will be a vacation rental and as an investment property, we need to minimize our costs.
For this makeover, that meant choosing inexpensive finishes and lots of DIY! We first replaced the old tile with durable Pergo laminate back in 2018 (currently on sale for only $2.48/sf right now, I highly recommend these for wear/durability!):
Over the last summer, we gutted the kitchen, redid some of the rotted joists, ran new plumbing and electric.
We also repaired the walls and added smooth drywall to the uneven ceiling.
We waited for Ikea’s kitchen sale and purchased all of the cabinets, built-in dishwasher and countertops for around $5800 (more details on that in this post).
The backsplash tile was installed (we hired this part out to save time) …
And then Lucas took over and spent his nights and weekends finishing the rest. So much custom work went into this, like building a custom range hood (which we finished with wallpaper!)…
Custom wood panels around the fridge…
And around the pantry cabinet…
And of course, the weeks-long process of painting the lower wood cabinets (our first time using a paint gun):
And all of the custom fit trim and baseboard around the lower cabinets…
It was truly a learning experience for Lucas, who did 95% of the work (I wish I could have helped more, but someone’s gotta watch the baby!) It was his first time figuring out most of this and I’m so proud of his work ethic and determination to complete this project.
In the end, it took significantly longer than we had expected/hoped but going into the new year we have a brand new custom kitchen that I think anyone would be happy with!
The star of this show is arguably those rich green cabinets.
I’m digging the BM Peale Green.
The warm gold finishes are a really nice compliment and I’m happy with the way they turned out. I used inexpensive pulls and knobs I had been eyeing on Lowe’s for a long time, and the finish is close to Delta’s champagne bronze faucets (a personal favorite).
I went with an affordable drop in sink for easy installation, and because the counters are not solid butcher block so we didn’t want the cut to be visible.
How neat are these shelves? I knew I wanted open shelving but thought it’d be fun to try something different than the typical floating shelves. I partnered with Shelfology to customize this Verne shelf system to perfectly fit our space.
You can get them in any size with any type of wood (I ordered the 12″d unfinished Ash and we stained them to match our countertops). They’re installed using 3 screws & anchors in each bracket—much easier than our experiences installing floating shelves!
My favorite part is that you can make the brackets any color you want. They offer custom powder coating in hundreds of colors, so I was able to choose a metallic gold that matched our faucet. Can you tell how much I love these shelves? 🙂
It adds such a nice iridescent texture to the room.
Speaking of shiny things… did you notice the appliances?! I was nervous about ordering these without seeing them in person (and very little photos of them ‘in the wild’ online) but I have to say, I’m a big fan of the Whirlpool Sunset Bronze…
We ordered the counter-depth fridge (10% off right now!) with the ice/water dispenser—very convenient for a rental! The inside is still covered in plastic but so far, so good 🙂
The matching stove is my favorite, though. It’s a touch screen with smart technology and the most high tech appliance I’ve ever owned.
We’ll be able to connect it to our smart app and monitor/control it via phone if needed, which could come in handy later on.
As for the dishwasher, we opted for the Ikea Spolad to fit with the Torhamn door for a built-in look. Haven’t ran a cycle yet so I can’t speak on the quality, but we don’t love the fact that it isn’t flush with the rest of the doors. Live and learn…
There isn’t a lot of counter space in this kitchen so this is an easy fix for that, and the bar stools provide the added bonus of seating.
You barely notice the low profile ceiling fan, but it was a necessity in this room that can quickly turn into a greenhouse with west facing single pane windows and heat from the oven and stovetop.
Does the rug look familiar to you? It’s the same rug we have in our living room (my favorite rug of all time)! I loved it so much I had to get one for this house. It looks brownish in photos but in person it has a lot of deep green in it—a perfect match for our cabinets.
Using a grasscloth wallpaper treatment on our range hood was an experiment (I’ve never seen it done before) but I’m glad we took the risk, I think it turned out to be a pretty unique feature (and so simple!)
Side note: I haven’t finished stocking the kitchen with vacation rental supplies yet, so some of these photo props were borrowed from our house and won’t be staying permanently 😉
The tall cabinet on the left will hold the microwave + broom storage. We still need to customize the shelves to make that happen…
Since no one is living here full time and we only need the basic necessities, there’s an abundance of storage space!
Painting the metal windows black was a quick and easy way to make them pop.
We can just imagine all the families that will soon get to enjoy this kitchen and make memories here!
A lot of love and time went into every detail, and we hope it shows.
The kitchen isn’t 100% finished though, we still have to swap out the laundry room door and build a large chalkboard for the back wall (between the two doorways).
The other side of the room is clearly not as exciting…
Ahh, this view is better…
Wall color: SW Pure White
Trim color: SW Loggia
Cabinets: Ikea Axstad uppers, Torhamn lowers (painted BM Peale Green)
Ikea Karlby countertops
Cabinet pulls (in 4″, 5″ and 6″)
Grasscloth wallpaper (for range hood)
A huge thank you to Lowe’s for partnering with me on this project, along with Bedrosians, Shelfology and Loloi! These have been a few of my favorite brands/products to work with over the years and they’ve really helped make this kitchen something special.
A couple side by side transformation shots, just for fun…
Ahh, so satisfying! Cheers to a clean slate in 2020—more big changes at the Riverside Retreat, coming up next!