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Behind the Scenes: Our Kitchen Reno

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

If you’ve been following our blog this summer, you probably caught the first couple hints about our new house around mid-May. We weren’t necessarily house shopping, just keeping half an eye on any new listings in the neighborhood — when a house popped up just a few blocks away from our (old) house that we just couldn’t resist. Tons of charm, plenty of space, and a kitchen just begging to be remodeled.

Living in a beautiful 1920′s neighborhood in Indianapolis has plenty of perks, but large kitchens (and decent-sized closets) come few and far between. It didn’t take us long to decide that the possibility of remodeling a kitchen, while staying in a location within walking distance of our favorite locales, was too good of a opportunity to pass on.

We had 6 weeks before closing to design our perfect kitchen. Of course, perfect meant stylish, functional, and most importantly, within our budget. This was a tough 6 weeks. Sonja would pin items to our Pinterest boards feverishly every single night. Meanwhile, I would try to find the cost of the “in real life” items that she was pinning. It was a LOT harder than we would have ever expected. Designing a kitchen without being in the space, without seeing many of the items before purchasing them (like cabinets), and staying within our budget was tough! I can’t even count how many decisions were required for us to make. We had more than a few “what have we gotten ourselves into” and “NEVER doing this again” ‘s, but we survived. And we love the final result.

We are having so much fun with a big island, two sinks, lots of windows, and a wide open room. It’s pretty much a home cook’s dream! Here are a few before-and-after pictures, and a gallery of the finished kitchen. Thanks for cheering us on during the process — we can’t to develop new recipes for you from our new space!

A few detailed notes about the project for those of you that like this sort of thing:

  • We sealed off a door just to the left of the two windows in the kitchen. This allowed us to put in a ton more counter space.
  • We widened the door from the kitchen to the dining room.
  • We refinished the painted floor in the dining room to the original 90-year old maple floor.

Floor Plan

 

The Finished Product (see below for Before + After shots)

Wondering about our inspirations while designing the kitchen? Check out our Pinterest board. After gathering enough images, we realized that the butcher block / white shaker cabinet / subway tile style is what we are drawn towards. In particular, we were strongly inspired by the cabin renovation that Sarah from Smitten Studio has been sharing on her blog.

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

 

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

Before / After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before / After

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen Before

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen Before

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen BeforeA Couple Cooks Kitchen

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen BeforeA Couple Cooks Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before / After

A Couple Cooks Kitchen Before

A Couple Cooks Kitchen

In Our New Space

A Couple Cooks

Let us know if you have any questions, or kitchen design stories to share – we love hearing them, especially now that we’re on the other side. We’d like to thank our the contractor, Matt Troyer and Emergent Investments, for all of their hard work making it happen. And, thanks again for all your support through this process!

Here’s a list of the main components we ended up deciding on. We wouldn’t have been able to design our kitchen without all the bloggers who’ve shared their renovations before us!

Cabinets — Aristokraft Benton in a White Finish
Floors — Stark Tortora from The Tile Shop
Island Countertop — Caeserstone London Grey
Outside Countertops — IKEA Beech Numerar Butcher Block
Open Shelves — IKEA Ekby Mossby
Pendant Lights — Pottery Barn Classic Pendant
Stools — Tabouret Stools from Overstock

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AlexBehind the Scenes: Our Kitchen Reno

Comments 46

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  1. Erin

    Love all the before and afters! It looks like the old kitchen was pretty okay (I’ve seen some doozies so this one seems fine in comparison!) and had some new-ish appliances – did you keep those, and did you use the old cabinets for anything? (like putting them in a basement or garage?)

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      Alex

      Yeah — the old kitchen wasn’t bad at all, just an awkward layout without much counter space. We sold all the old appliances and fixtures on craigslist and I’m planning a sweet work room in the garage with all of the old cabinets.

  2. Joanna

    Congratulation!!! Renovations are really challenging but also rewording! You have done amazing job. I love, love the white kitchen. Very bright, speciousness and great looking!!!

  3. Linda Wagner

    Brilliant!! I love the bright white and subway tiling! Amazing what a difference opening up the doorway and closing the other door made! Love it and congrats!!

    1. Sonja

      Thank you so much! Yes, we were pleasantly surprised that closing off a door actually made the room seem larger!

  4. Courtney

    It’s gorgeous, guys! That last picture of you two is more adorable than words. I hope it goes on the wall somewhere in the new house. Also, can I go ahead and ask for a tour next time I’m in Indy visiting Annie?

    1. Sonja

      Oh, you are sweet – thank you! Yes, please come visit — we’d absolutely love to see you! Let us know when you’ll be in town next :)

  5. Ruth Heckman

    I love the way your kitchen turned out! It’s fantastic and must be a joy to spend time in your new home!

  6. dana

    Absolutely stunning! Suits you two to a “t.” Now, if I could only figure out a way to live in there…

    1. Sonja

      Aww, thanks Dana! I think there’s space in the cupboard, haha :) And yes, love the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook too!

    1. Sonja

      Thanks, Gary! At this point the stresses seem worth it (though at the time it had us wondering) :) Thanks for featuring us on your blog!

  7. elly

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love it so much. We’re house-hunting and I’m pretty confident a kitchen reno is in our future regardless, so I love seeing beautifully done kitchens and getting some ideas.

    1. Sonja

      Thank you, Elly! Good luck on your future kitchen reno. It’s incredibly tough (!), but rewarding too! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    1. Sonja

      Thanks Kasey! We’d love for you to move in as soon as possible :) {Can’t wait to meet in person sometime soon!}

  8. sara forte

    so gorgegous! I am beyond jealous. If we could afford to get a house around here, a kitchen remodel is a ways off, but I am dying to do it. Cheers to you both, your work certainly paid off.

  9. Jax

    We are restoring our second old home and are considering doing something similar in our kitchen renovation — taking an eat-in area full of windows and incorporating it into the main kitchen. This involves putting counters in front of windows that are currently dipping lower than counter-depth. It looks like you had to shorten yours; did you replace the windows and have to do siding work on the exterior of your home as well? This seems like the only option for us; just wondered how you handled it.

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      Alex

      Hi! That’s exactly what we had to do. We ordered windows that were the same width and about a foot shorter. The outside of our house is stucco, so the contractor was able to patch and repaint that area. Good luck with yours!

  10. Jackie

    How are you liking the butcher block counters? I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about using them in the kitchen and was weary when I read “not suitable for use in wet rooms” on the IKEA site. Did you seal them to prevent water damage?

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      Alex

      We’re loving them so far! Our main dish washing sink is in the island, so the butcher block doesn’t get exposed to too much water. We seal them about once a month with a butcher block wax. They are so affordable, we figured it couldn’t hurt to use them. :)

  11. Maria Ladwig

    Can you tell me the brand of your new stove? We are getting ready to redo a kitchen and I really like your stove.
    Thanks

    Maria Ladwig

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  12. Kristi

    Just wondering where your kitchen floor tile is from? Love the renovation. Where are in the process right now.

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  13. T

    I absolutely love the renovations you did! I can’t even imagine making all of those decisions, you did an amazing job! Do you mind sharing where you bought your floating shelves (the ones that surround your oven)?

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  14. viktoriya smal

    we just built our house so i totally understand how crazy it is making decisions on a deadline. you did awesome! love the kitchen! (and love the blog) :)

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  15. Susan

    I just discovered your blog today and had to check out your kitchen reno to see what you did. It looks nice, although the idea of keeping those open shelves clean is crazy making for me. I have a question for you: in the dining room photos, do I see some Bauer depression pottery bowls on the shelf? I used to have some of them and loved them (my sister still uses Bauer dishes exclusively).

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      Alex

      The trick is that you don’t think about cleaning the shelves! We have picked up a lot if old plates at antique stores, I think you are right that it is Bauer!

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