80 In Home/ Kitchen Reno

Our House: Kitchen Reno Reveal

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

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A Couple Cooks Kitchen

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A Couple Cooks Kitchen Before

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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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80 Comments

  • Reply
    Maria
    October 7, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Love it so much! It makes so much more sense now. Cheers to the new kitchen and all the cooking adventures it will see!

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Shanna
    October 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You guys. It looks so good! All I kept thinking was WOW

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

    That is absolutely amazing! Totally my dream kitchen right there. (:

  • Reply
    Erin
    October 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

    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?)

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    October 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    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!!!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Linda Wagner
    October 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    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!!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

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

  • Reply
    Courtney
    October 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      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 :)

  • Reply
    Ruth Heckman
    October 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm

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

  • Reply
    Gabby
    October 8, 2013 at 2:51 am

    It looks wonderful! You should be so proud of yourselves!

  • Reply
    dana
    October 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm

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

  • Reply
    dana
    October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    p.s. spotted the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook in one of the photos. The only one I have on display! Love it.

  • Reply
    Gary K
    October 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    As someone that has recently gone through a renovation and knows the stresses involved, I can honestly say I think you guys did an amazing job! I really like the new look.

    I even included this post for a round up on my own blog, Goedeker’s Home Life, here: http://www.goedekers.com/blog/kitchen-renovation-wrap/.

    Just wanted to share the love. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    elly
    October 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Kasey
    October 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Your new kitchen is amazing! When can I move in?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

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

  • Reply
    Claire
    October 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Just so beautiful. Gorgeous renovation!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Dearna @tohercore
    November 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Wow, the new space looks great! Its amazing how much just opening up the space does – its so much brighter! Love all of the finishing touches too :)

  • Reply
    Jonathan Taphouse
    November 28, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Amazing! I love the before and after shots… SO different.

  • Reply
    sara forte
    January 8, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jax
    January 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    kelly
    January 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Wow! This is amazing! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    January 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      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. :)

  • Reply
    Maria Ladwig
    January 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    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

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Hi! It’s a kitchen aid range. We really love the double oven :)

  • Reply
    Kristi
    January 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

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

  • Reply
    T
    April 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    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)?

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks! The shelves are from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20031289/ We were a little worried about how they would hold up, but they are doing great so far. Our contractor strengthened the wall behind shelves for extra support.

  • Reply
    viktoriya smal
    May 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    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) :)

  • Reply
    Mondo | I bake he shoots
    May 20, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I love that spacious island. oh, the doughs you will roll…

  • Reply
    Tran Le
    August 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Beautiful! May I please have the color of your paint? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks! The white is called Cloud Dancer, from Valspar.

  • Reply
    Susan
    August 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    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).

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Rachel Walker
    September 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Swooning!!!
    Am not a jealous kind of gal, but this has given me serious kitchen envy!

    • Reply
      Alex
      September 4, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Haha! Thanks :)

  • Reply
    Carrie
    December 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Beautiful!!
    We are thinking of buying the Numerar Beech butcher block countertops, as well! I feel even more motivated now seeing your kitchen. :) Did you stain the wood? How did you finish it? (ie. the debate of Mineral Oil vs. Waterlox is everywhere – trying to decide what is best is tough!) Thank you! :)

    • Reply
      Alex
      December 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi! We decided to keep the natural look and use the mineral oil type finish. About once a month or so, we use this butcher block conditioner. So far we really love having the wood counters. Even though they require maintenance they’re holding up quite nicely. We do most of our dishwashing in the island, so the counters don’t get too wet. That would be my only concern — if you did have your main sink on the wood, you’d really want to stay on top of keep the counters oiled up. Hope that helps!

      • Reply
        Carrie
        December 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        Thank you so much!We’re convinced now – and we’re going to do the same thing. I love the look of what you’ve done! I’ll have to share photos of my copycat (much smaller, sadly!) kitchen when I’m done! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photos! :)

        • Reply
          Alex
          December 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

          Awesome! We’d love to see pics :)

  • Reply
    Sarah @tamingtwins
    January 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Oh I love this so much! I’m planning on repainting some of our units this year and you’ve inspired my white kitchen love even further. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jena in Atlanta
    January 31, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I’m curious to know how your Aristocraft cabinets are holding up. My designer recommended the same ones, Benton with the white paint. I’ve read some not-so-good reviews of the Aristocraft brand and I would like to know what your opinion is after a year +. I’m signing the contract on Monday and a little nervous!

    Your kitchen is lovely! I’m going for the white/pale blue/light gray look with brushed nickle hardware.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 31, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      They’ve been holding up great! No problems so far :)

  • Reply
    Ami@NaiveCookCooks
    February 25, 2015 at 10:56 am

    OMG!!Sonja I am in love with your kitchen!! So much work space and all those cookbooks!! Big time drooling!!

  • Reply
    Karisa | Petite Modern Life
    February 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Incredible you guys! What a pat on the back to you for planning this BEFORE moving in?! Sounds like brilliant insanity. What a refreshing place to prepare your amazing meals each day. Our kitchen too was boxed in + cavelike before we took a wall out (…a week into living there) and made our own island and floating shelves! Open kitchen space is phenomenal. Your lighting is inspiring me to bump our own up on the priority list. Beautiful pendants. And the ikea metal shelves are just perfect with the butcher block counters. Feeling so inspired. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      February 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Karisa, thank you so much! And yes, it absolutely was insanity! It’s a time period I’m glad is over, but all the work was definitely worth having a space we love. Would love to see your kitchen!

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Where did you find the print of the Julia Child quote? I’d love something similar for my own kitchen.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex
      March 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Hi! I actually just made the print myself… sorry that’s not very helpful :)

      • Reply
        Jen
        March 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        That’s a great idea – thanks!

  • Reply
    Kim Sly
    April 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Love your new kitchen!! It’s gorgeous!! Can I ask where you got the sink that’s underneath the window (not in the island)??

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Hi! The farmhouse sink came from IKEA.

  • Reply
    Food Prep Sundays
    May 18, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Ah what a great idea for a blog post. This is so helpful. We are renovating our kitchen in a couple of months and this has given me some great ideas. Thanks for sharing guys!

    Anna x

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 1, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Where did you get the brackets for the ikea stainless shelves? Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hi! They are the brackets IKEA sells with the shelves.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    August 19, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Where are your farmhouse sink and your faucet from?! We are getting ready to redo some of our kitchen and yours is exactly what we’ve been looking for! Also: I love your site and am always inspired by your recipes :)

  • Reply
    Betsy
    August 19, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    Annie
    September 19, 2015 at 2:15 am

    wow!! Such a drastic transformation, well done guys! You built a dream kitchen! Would you mind to share you paint color? Which white is it?

    • Reply
      Alex
      September 19, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks so much! The white is called Cloud Dancer, by Valspar.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    October 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Absolutely love your kitchen! My husband and I just bought a home which we will be doing some renovating/modernizing to. I love your dining room table and wonder where you found it?

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you! That table was actually Sonja’s grandparents…so we don’t have any good tips for you :) Sorry!

  • Reply
    priya
    December 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    SO gorgeous and love the contrasting with all the neutrals. Can you share what the paint color is for the black shaker cabinets in the center island? I love those.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Thank you so much! It is actually just dark wood — not painted! :)

  • Reply
    Priya
    December 23, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Is it black wood? Can you share where you got them from? Thank you in advance! Xo

  • Reply
    Barbara
    January 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Hi! I loved finding your blog and seeing your amazing kitchen transformation. I’m about to embark on one as well and was considering using the same floor tile (Stark Tortora). I just wanted to see how you like it now that you’ve lived with it for a while? What color/type of grout did you use?

    Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hi! We still love the tiles — I would definitely recommend. I’m not sure what grout color we used. Our contractor showed us a palette to choose from and we picked a gray/beige that was closest to the color of the tile. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Stephane Gingra
    February 25, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. Hope to hear more from you.

  • Reply
    Brandon
    July 8, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Great kitchen and I love the pictures too. I can’t wait to see your next project.

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