This has got to be one of the most exciting and action packed posts in the history of the blog! We moved into our little fixer upper in the country in April, and we have been working tirelessly to renovate. We have updated nearly every surface (and much of what’s below the surface) on the main floor, and perhaps the biggest transformation of all took place in our kitchen. While most of our spaces are only partially completed or partially furnished, I can say with almost complete confidence that we are DONE with the kitchen renovation. While I’m sure I will always be switching things around in styling, all the big pieces are in place and our kitchen is complete. 

I can’t say enough how much I love this kitchen. I say it out loud every day. I love the colors and the finishes, and it functions so well for our family. We really took time to process how we wanted this kitchen to function before we started the renovation, and it definitely paid off. 

As a reminder…here is where we started. 



We ripped everything out to start fresh, and at its worst, the room looked a little something like this…


And now…drumroll, please…we are FINISHED! 




We left the sink and oven in the same place they were in the original floorplan, but everything else was shifted around We removed the existing exterior door that leads to the patio in order to make more room for countertop and appliances which allowed us to change the placement of the fridge and dishwasher and make more room for cabinetry. 

We added an island in the middle of the kitchen with barstool seating for two, and that in and of itself increases our surface area so much.


We chose IKEA cabinets, but we used a company based in California called Semihandmade for all of our door fronts and drawer fronts, and we are so pleased with them! Semihandmade makes custom door and drawer fronts specifically for IKEA cabinetry, but they are real wood and have a high end look that automatically elevates the cabinets. 

You simply send your IKEA rendering to SemiHandmade, and they put together a package with all the correct items, make your custom pieces, and ship them out! We used the DIY Shaker Series cabinets and painted them ourselves using Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in Simply White (the same color on all the trim and our living and dining room walls) and Gibraltar by Sherwin Williams on the island. 

We have so much storage space in our closed cabinetry that I felt I could spare some wall space for open shelving, and it has quickly become one of my favorite elements of the space. I love the chance to switch things out seasonally and style the shelves, and it also allowed us to bring in some warmth with the natural wood tone. 



One of my favorite things in the kitchen is the antique door that we hung on a slider for the pantry. The pantry didn’t exist before, so we borrowed space from a closet in the neighboring office to create one. It’s a small pantry space, but we didn’t have a pantry at all in the last house, so I’m loving it! We even fit our microwave inside. And the beauty of the sliding barn door turns what could be a dinky little pantry into a focal point of the room. 


We really went back and forth on our countertop choice. We had a slab of Turkish Carrara marble on reserve, but while I love the look of marble, I was nervous about the maintenance factor and wanted to make sure our countertops stayed in tip-top shape for years to come. Enter: Quartz by Aurea. There are many quartz lines that make marble lookalikes, but I’ve never seen one that is as beautiful and believable as Aurea. This particular pattern is called Paragon. 

Every day we remark how glad we are that we chose these countertops. They’re beautiful (much more so in person than in photos), and they don’t stain, etch, or scratch, so they continue to look gorgeous no matter how much red wine, pasta sauce, and coffee we spill. For a messy cook like me, that is magic. 


For the backsplash, I knew I wanted Subway tile, but I was hoping for something a little more unique than the standard 3×6 subway tiles. The tiles we chose are 3″x8″ from The Tile Shop, and while that extra 2 inches in length may seem minor, I love that the size is slightly different than standard. I think it adds a little bit more uniqueness to our space even if most people wouldn’t notice the difference. 


We really put time into hunting for deals on appliances, and we ended up with three Whirlpool Gold appliances that I absolutely love! The double oven feature on the range is wonderful and I use that feature several times a week. 

We had so much fun designing this kitchen, and it has paid off. After three months of living completely without a kitchen during the Reno, I have never been more grateful for simple things like a working sink, a dishwasher, and counter space. 

If you have any questions about our renovation process, please reach out! I would love to share. I am planning on doing a budget post as well where I can share lots of details about how much we spent and how we allocated our funds. 

Until next time! 


Countertops: Aurea Stone. Sourced at OHM Nashville and fabricated by Bison Countertops. 
Cabinets: IKEA
Cabinet Doors/Drawer Fronts: Semihandmade
Sink: IKEA Domsjo Double Sink
Faucet: Delta
Range Hood: Wayfair

Shelf Brackets: Modern Urban Metals on Etsy
Island pendants: Wayfair
Hobby Lobby
Soap Dispenser: Target
Pantry Door: Nashville Flea Market
Floors: 2.25″ Red Oak Hardwoods stained in Dark Walnut by Minwax