Kitchen Design Part I: Before + Mood Board

When the cop and I bought our house we knew one of the first major projects we’d want to tackle was the kitchen. The seller had done a few updates to the house to get it market ready (namely fresh grey paint in all of the rooms, new pergo flooring in the family room, living room, dining and hallway, grey carpet in the bedrooms) but the kitchen was untouched in all of it’s 1970’s glory. If you missed it last week, you can see the full “before” tour of the house here. To give you a refresher though, this is the kitchen we inherited.

Kitchen looking into the dining room

Breakfast nook with table that weighs 400 pounds (don’t mind our moving mess..)

Kitchen facing the living room

Living room facing the kitchen

Livable? Yes… Enjoyable? Heck no. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on this project. And though we knew it would be a big undertaking.. we were excited about the challenge of renovating to our taste on a budget.

When planning the kitchen design the most important things to us were:

  1. Budget and Resale: This house is beautiful and suits our needs at the present moment, but it won’t be our forever home. Our main priority with the kitchen design was sticking to a tight budget (though not at the expense of quality) and creating a universal design that will appeal to buyers.
  2. Openness: We knew we wanted to take a wall down. The tiny drive through window that lived between the kitchen and family room had to go. Who on earth thought that was a good idea in the first place? It was important to us to open up the kitchen to the family room to make the space feel bigger, let light into the darker family room and make the space better for entertaining.
  3. Cohesiveness: Especially since the kitchen would be open to the family room, I wanted the design of the kitchen to feel cohesive with the rest of the house. Our house is casual and lived in. Grey paneling lines the walls of the family room, and a farmhouse style grey washed floor can be found in most rooms. We decided to stick to a simple color palette in the kitchen to appeal to buyers and match the aesthetic of the house. Grey and white is the name of the game.

You’ve seen my kitchen inspiration: white and bright, simple farmhouse appeal, comfortable and easy to use. It took a while to track down the exact items to fit our design aesthetic (at the price we could afford) but we landed on the following overall kitchen design.

Kitchen Design Sources:

[1] Behr Paint – we color matched our paint to exactly match the grey that the seller used in the rest of the house (and didn’t give us the name of!)

[2] Dining Room Chandelier – As soon as I saw this chandelier from Lowes I knew it was the one. Simple flat black with farmhouse appeal. We initially bought this to go over the kitchen table in the breakfast nook but it felt too large – so it found a forever home in our dining room.

[3] Lantern Pendant Light – It took a few tries to find the right light for the breakfast nook (I kept buying fixtures that were too large). This lantern pendant was the perfect size for our smaller round table (12″). This light wasn’t the exact color I was looking for (they didn’t offer flat black, only an oil rubbed bronze) so I spray painted it with matte black spray paint. It fits in with our design aesthetic without distracting from the rest of the kitchen. I love that there is no glass to keep clean!

[4] Pillows – My amazing mother made pillows in this french grey gingham fabric for the breakfast nook. They add just the right touch of comfort and charm.

[5] Bin Pulls and Knobs – I debated for a while about chrome versus flat black hardware. I ultimately landed on flat black because it felt fresh to me. It also felt a little more approachable. Our house isn’t over the top and formal (which chrome tends to lend to). The square bin pulls are one of my favorite elements of the kitchen! A modernized take on a round cup pull.

[6] Counter Stools – I actually owned two of these seagrass bar stools from a pub table that I used at my old condo. They were still in great shape so we ordered a third to match! The rattan gives our white kitchen balance and warmth.

[7] Delta Faucet – We went with a stainless steel sink and appliances (partly for looks, partly for budget reasons) and I wanted a stainless steel faucet to match. This Delta faucet is wonderful. It’s simple in design and has all of the features I was looking for.

[8] Floors, Counters, Cabinets and Backsplash – We went with simple white shaker cabinets, grey granite counters (Himalayan is the exact color) and a white beveled subway tile with white grout. I found the subway tile on clearance at Home Depot! For the floors we continued the grey washed pergo flooring that the seller installed in the adjoining dining room and family room.


I hope you enjoyed Part I of our Kitchen Design! Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing our demo experience very soon!

xoxo Rachel

1 Comment

  1. […] we began planning out our kitchen design there were a few things we were certain we wanted. One was white shaker cabinets. Another was a […]

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