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the style sourcebook: kitchen renovation

August 17, 2021

I can often be found in the dance studio (or my kitchen) working on my bachata form or creating with my kids and husband, who inspire me daily and are the "why" behind what I do. An avid baker, I am often making a new bread recipe, baking homemade cinnamon rolls, or desperately trying to drink the rest of my coffee while it's hot. My mission? To help others create and cultivate a home that they love!

I'm Catherine

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sourcing the materials | flooring:

kitchen flooring install

When I create concepts for clients, I typically pull a variety of pieces that speak to their personal style, and then expand it. For myself, this was no different…except for that I am my own toughest client. I knew I wanted to update the flooring and I also didn’t want it to be a huge blow to the budget, either. I set my roots down in attainability and sustainability, so I don’t stray from that goal easily.

Bearing in mind that we have a larger dog that’s quite active, along with two toddlers who are seemingly never still, I wanted a durable flooring that was easy to install on our own to help save even more. I sampled a few different color variations and ultimately decided on the “Driftwood Oak” shade from NuCore flooring. They’re constructed with a thick wear layer of 22mm and come with a lifetime residential warranty. I chose this shade because I wanted something that was a balance between cool tones and warm with a light and airy feel. I’d say I nailed it with this choice.

sourcing the finishing touches | faucet

kitchen faucet install kitchen update

For a few weeks, I was certain that I wanted to have a black faucet. I held off, and then ordered a low-cost option when it was on a special “lightning deal” from Amazon. It arrived, I unpacked it and I just felt a bit deflated about it. After sleeping on it overnight to think about it, I opted to return it and instead continued my search. Don’t be discouraged if the first choice isn’t right for you. This option was my first choice.

My requirements for the faucet were something with a modern silhouette, a spray function, and a long-reach for the hose for those times I need to give my little plant babies a shower. I searched high and low, and I began to get discouraged because everything I found was in the $500 range. Yikes! Was that what it had come to? I knew I wanted quality, so I kept searching and when I found this one, I knew it was perfect. I took a chance and sprang on a model that had been previously returned but was in pristine condition and even in the original packaging. The kicker? It was about $200 below the retail price! It hurt a little still to drop that amount on a faucet, but I was so happy when it arrived. The real test would be when the granite was installed. Installed it easily by myself while my husband ran out for some plumber’s putty for the sink basin. You can purchase the faucet here.

sourcing the countertops | selecting the granite

I was beginning to think I would almost never find the right one. What was so overwhelming were the literal dozens of choices, but when I reigned in on the price range for the stone, I felt like I had more freedom in choosing the material that was right for our style, and right for our wallet. Being a stylist (and knowing myself), I knew I wanted something earthy and completely unique. My salesperson recommended Colonial White, but I was discouraged because so many of the slabs were a combination of white/black/deep garnet. I was not a fan. That is, until I saw one at another distributor – I looked at it on the best resolution I could and I saw GREEN!!! Yesss! Come to mama! Not long after, I secured the slabs with a deposit and could scratch that huge integral part off of my list. Much like paint, stone is very personal. I love how I was able to get a completely unique stone with all the qualities I was looking for. Once I viewed it after it had arrived here locally, I knew it was absolutely perfect!

changing the cabinets | choosing the paint & color

kitchen inspiration color mood board minimalist earthy color palette

Now, this one I have to differentiate between the paint type and the color. Most importantly, you should choose the kids of feel and function you would like for the cabinets. Do you want spaghetti sauce to slide right off, or would you mind touching them up if necessary? There are a few routes to go here, and personally I chose a durable primer to act as the perfect adhesion for my topcoat paint. I knew I wanted the durability of an oil-based paint, however, I did not want the smell that comes with oil-based paints. I did a ton of research on what types would be best based on the finish I wanted.

Personally, I wanted a satin finish that was neither shiny in appearance, nor so flat that I would wipe off paint if I needed to wipe the surface after a spill. I ultimately chose a urethane alkyd satin enamel – sounds like a mouthful, right? Bottom line, it provides the durability of an oil-based finish with a water-based formula. You know what that sounds like? Music to my ears. Cleanup is a breeze with this, and after two coats on all of the raw pieces, it finished and cured beautifully.

Once I had determined the type of paint and finish, the color part was easy! I wanted something earthy and green with just a hint of “is that blue or green”? I love colors that keep you guessing and make you think, and this was the one. While it’s not an exact match to my goal color, it’s better than I imagined and the care and attention from the associate at Home Depot was great! Together, we tweaked the base color to get the closest we could to my inspo color: Willowleaf by Sherwin Williams.

If you’re looking for a color to use on cabinets without the hassle of shopping the store – head on over to Backdrop. They recently launched a cabinet paint line – and hello, that’s the stuff of my dreams! Check out this close color for soft sage-y vibes!

sourcing the accent | the backsplash

white subway tile samples with wooden bowl and pothos

Well, let’s just say that I really like tile. There’s no hiding it – quite literally. There are samples in my studio with a great amount of variety and styles that when clients are looking for an example, it’s a pretty good bet that I’ll have something to communicate that style they’re looking for. I struggled SO much with this choice, because I knew exactly what I wanted and was not going to settle with anything less than what I wanted. I took time to search and then stopped when I got fatigued from it.

When I wasn’t counting on it, I opened an email from a retailer and there it was! I ordered a few samples so that I could be sure it was the right one, and surely it was! I’ve since ordered my tiles, and in my excitement…forgot about bullnose for the top and sides that connect to the arches. I’ll be doing one walled portion at a time to keep it manageable and I’ll start with the easiest wall (the coffee bar) and work in that direction. I’ll share them more once they arrive, but you can find some similar ones here as well. The exact tiles I used were the Portmore White from TileBar – shop them here.
Now, can someone help me finish all these cabinet panels? Kidding…sort of. I have just FIVE panels standing between me and finished cabinets. Almost there!

*Originally, I planned to order them once I had a firm count (with extra) and had my layout fully planned, but I ended up not ordering them at all – and I don’t miss them!
The panels are all finished, aside from the corner storage…I know, I know. I still need hinges, but at least the panels are finished.

Thanks for following along!

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  1. […] What are your favorite kitchen gadgets & tools that are a staple in your kitchen? Tell me below! Hungry for more? Check out my kitchen sourcing post here. […]

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