It feels a little surreal to be posting the final reveal of our kitchen and dining area today. While we’ve been finishing this space for the past six weeks as part of the One Room Challenge we started our renovation in late February. I had actually started to get so used to the mess and debris that I still don’t really believe it when I come downstairs and step into a finished main floor.
I was very lucky to work with some amazing sponsors for this One Room Challenge. A huge thank you to sponsors Kichler Lighting, Metrie, BLANCO, Liberty Hardware and PARA Paints. While I was given the products mentioned in this blog post at no cost, all opinions are my own. I only work with brands I know, love, and can honestly recommend.
So, how about a little trip down memory lane to see where this space began. Here is the old view of our kitchen:
It was a great kitchen with a design we loved (a previous One Room Challenge makeover in fact) and we had no complaints. Our dining room, however, was wasted space as it was hardly ever used. And the view from our front door was full of these half walls and pillars our builder installed that were definitely not our style:
Our goal was to remove the wall between our dining room and kitchen to create one large space for cooking, eating and entertaining. And finally my friends…it’s done!
Our new big bright welcoming space!
I think the evening the wall was removed Chris and I were sitting on the main floor (on the subfloor to be specific) surrounded with debris and boxes and a huge to-do list in front of us. I asked whether we had just done a crazy stupid thing. Was the time and stress (and cost) going to be worth it?
Absolutely. 100%. No regrets. Not only do we now have a space that will be more functional for us, but the first floor now appears bigger and is full of light.
One of the biggest updates we made as part of this project (aside from taking out walls) was the flooring. We removed the engineered hardwood from the hall, dining and living rooms and the ceramic tile from the kitchen and laid down new solid maple throughout the entire main floor. Replacing our floors also gave us the perfect excuse to replace our baseboards (which were very traditional) with new taller and more modern ones. The Very Square collection from Metrie was the perfect fit and painted grey they coordinate with the floors perfectly.
Speaking of paint, the entire first floor also got a facelift with a brighter light grey on all the walls except in the living room which I painted a deep matte navy, all from Color Journeys by PARA Paints. The cooler tones look so nice with our new grey-brown floor (which made our old grey walls look very green).
Okay, let’s get into some details!
Our new island is definitely the showstopper of the new space. It is H-U-G-E and easily replaces the cabinets that we lost by removing the wall.
We created the island using IKEA cabinets and framed them in with some MDF and a DIY bookcase. We definitely took advantage of their kitchen event and used the gift cards we got back on new drawer organizers – such a little thing but they really make me happy.
Mum is also happy because we moved all our day-to-day items like mugs, glasses and dishes into the island so she can actually reach everything. Turns out by raising our cabinets to the ceiling a few years ago we put almost every shelf out of her reach…oops! (Sorry mum).
The pendant light that used to hang above our kitchen table is absolutely one of my favourite light fixtures so I was so happy to incorporate it into the new design. Kichler sent us a second pendant so the matching pair now provide a ton of working light above the island. I cannot wait to do some serious baking using this work surface!
Kitchen Countertops & Sink
Okay, moving on to the rest of the kitchen.
We absolutely did not want to replace our granite countertops, but we did need to reconfigure some pieces which meant learning how to cut and polish granite. While it was stressful – mostly for me – Chris was able to get it done without injuring himself (or the counters).
We were able to reinstall a straight run of our old granite on the left side of the stove (which used to be an L-shape) and adapt the sink area so we could install our new sink – the BLANCO IKON 30 in metallic gray.
Guys, I am seriously in love with this sink. I mean, Chris and I have always talked about installing an apron front sink, but “farmhouse” isn’t really our style. I love how the colour of the Silgranit material and the coordinating URBENA faucet in Metallic Gray give the sink a really modern feel.
Did you notice the new cabinet hardware? Many of our antique pieces have old brass hardware and I really wanted to bring that look into the kitchen. The new drawer pulls and cabinet knobs from Liberty Hardware have that vintage look and provide a nice contrast to our white and grey cabinets.
The Dining Area
While we didn’t need a separate formal dining room we definitely wanted to continue to have a dining area where we can host family and friends. This space is still a work in progress because eventually Chris and I plan to build a rectangular dining table to sit under our new Moorgate chandelier from Kichler. But for now, our old kitchen table is working just fine. We were also able to fit our china cabinets into the new space, placing them on either side of an antique chest of drawers that holds tablecloths, napkins and silverware.
The bar is one of two completely unplanned additions to our renovation (ah scope creep). We happened to be shopping for the island cabinets during the IKEA kitchen event and decided to buy a few more cabinets to create a small bar area next to the back door. It was something we had talked about doing eventually, but by doing it now we spent enough to get the 15% back on gift cards (and those new fancy drawer dividers).
The bar now is home to all our adult beverages as well as our outdoor plates & glasses. We still haven’t figured out the countertop for the bar, so for right now I DIY’d a little something using a piece of melamine and some marble look Contact paper.
We do have one more piece of our old granite leftover that we might be able to incorporate here (fingers crossed).
And last, but certainly not least, our new pantry. This is absolutely one of my favourite examples of something frustrating becoming something wonderful. After our wall came down we had a two week delay due to some frustrating HVAC issues. The best solution left us with flexible ductwork running along our new load bearing beam and down into the floor. Our contractor suggested creating a pantry to hide the HVAC and gain some usable space.
The vintage doors were a lucky find at a local antique market. I refinished them with new stain and took them to a local glass place to get some grey-tinted mirrors installed. The new hardware enhances the vintage look and coordinates with the antique brass in the rest of the space.
Wow. I can’t believe we are actually done! This has been a long time coming and we’re so happy with our new space. Thanks so much for following along with our progress! I promise to share our full list of sources and some step-by-step tutorials for our bigger projects like the sink installation and the island build. Make sure to subscribe to my emails to find out when those posts go live!