Welcome to the official Chapter One of our kitchen makeover. I’ve got some “renderings” (a.k.a. fauxtoshop) to share today as well as some exciting news on the appliances. I know, lots of planning and talking, not a lot of doing. It’s killing me too! But I know myself and I know any sort of makeover will become chaotic if I don’t start with a plan.
Before we go any further, let’s talk tile for a minute. We’re going to move away from the Moroccan tile backsplash idea. We’re so bummed about this but we can’t figure out a way to make it work. There’s a couple of reasons:
- We’re not digging the look of painted tile for a backsplash. We have painted tile elsewhere in our home (like our fireplace surround) but it doesn’t feel right for the backsplash in our space. We’re worried about the added texture and the very good chance it may look more DIY than what we’d want.
- We could bypass the painted tile thing by actually appropriately firing the tiles. But this was sort of a dead end for us. For at home, it’s a time issue (would take us weeks to bake 75 sq. ft. of tile) and the studio option—actually taking the tiles to a studio to fire—is not affordable for us (and a little bit of a time issue).
- Real Moroccan cement tile is our DREAM backsplash tile and as much as it kills me to say this, this is not our dream house. It would kill us to leave it behind.
- I’m having a hard time finding a pattern that doesn’t conflict with the black and white wallpaper in the kitchen. Even the most subtle of patterns was looking a little too hectic.
All of this to say, we’re 80% sure we’re going to do the tried-and-true subway tile. It’s clean, it’s bright white, it’s quick to install, it’s inexpensive and it adds a little bit of pattern without competing with the wallpaper. Now, I said 80%. That’s because a reader (thank you Joanna!) sent through this patterned tile option and we both really like it. We’re waiting for a sample to come in to see how it looks.
OK, moving on, here is basically what the kitchen looks like today (this is an older picture—look at the living room (aah!)—but the kitchen hasn’t changed). We’re ready to ditch the black walls, the hunter green cabinet trim and the speckled laminate countertops.
Here’s what’s in our minds for the makeover.
Gosh subway tile, even though you’re my number #2 choice, you make things look so good. There’s a reason you’re as popular as you are. And I think we would do white grout, not grey, so much less contrast than what shows in the photo above.
Anyways, some details on the renderings.
We’re removing two of the overhead cabinets. We won’t lose storage, it’s just that our closed storage will become open storage. These shelves will hold our plates, bowls and glassware. Closed storage will be reserved for the Gladware (a.k.a. the festival of random lids that happens at our house), cooking spices, oils, etc.
The countertop will be IKEA butcher block, mainly because we’re able to install it ourselves, we love the color and it’s the most affordable. We’re going to waterfall it down the vertical edge. I know that’s a trend these days… we’re hopping so hard on that trend train.
We would love to do a farmhouse sink, but we’re having a hard time finding one for a 30″ cabinet in our price range (less than $400). The IKEA double bowl farmhouse sink is way too big and the IKEA single bowl is a mystical unicorn that seems to have disappeared from Earth last Fall. We may end up with an undermount stainless sink. So it would look like this:
Which I’m not too mad about.
The other option we considered was two-tone uppers and lowers. Specifically, keeping the lowers their natural oak. It would look something like this:
We didn’t love it. Mainly because the butcher block doesn’t play well with the light oak, hence the reason for the white countertop used above. This option was an easy no.
Now, going back to the lead option.
If you look closely you’ll see the dishwasher has been upgraded. That is what our new appliances will look like! We’re going with the GE Artistry series in white and we are SO EXCITED to get these bad boys in.
Here’s a couple of reasons of why we chose these:
1.) Most importantly, they look awesome. We love their retro styling, the chrome handles, the throwback GE logo, etc. I love when appliances can bring more to the table than just function.
2.) They come in a high gloss white. In fact, the color options are black or white. No stainless, no taupe, just gloss black and gloss white. I love the simplicity in that. This is such a small room and I wanted the appliances to flow in to the rest of the white cabinets, versus a stainless appliance that breaks up the color even more. The gloss white will add some modernity to the space that I’m really excited about!
3.) The fridge fits our fridge space. As simple as that seems, it’s been a big deal to us. It has been next to impossible to find a modern fridge that meets our space requirements. It’s a little larger than the fridge we have now, but it still fits into our cabinet space AND it has a bottom freezer, which we’ve never had. The fridge is actually our favorite appliance. We love the look. The hidden controls on the dishwasher might be favorite thing #2 (can you tell we’ve been living with older appliances in this house?).
Now, here’s the really exciting part. Aaron and I aren’t the only ones excited about this makeover. GE is too! That’s right, THE GE, as in the maker of these appliances. They reached out to me a few weeks ago, just as I began talking about the kitchen makeover and wanted in on the project. And total transparency here: they are providing the ENTIRE Artistry appliance suite (*drops dead on the floor*) to us in exchange for a little time here on the blog. I KNOW! I’m blown away too! It’s a partnership that made so much sense to me. I love the style of their Artistry series, they like me—it’s a match made in heaven.
Color me excited, color me surprised, color me thrilled… with all of the above! This kitchen makeover is officially underway!