Our Kitchen Remodel – The Good, The Bad And Kudos To My Husband

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Wow – the evolution of our kitchen, the remodel and the before’s and after’s was one long post yesterday.  Click HERE to see it, if you missed it.  As promised, I’m back today to share why we made some of the decisions that we did- both the good and bad.  If any of you are going through something similar, or think that you may remodel one day, I hope this will help you! 

THE GOOD

Good Decision #1: Waiting until the old kitchen was totally removed to complete the layout plan. There were certain elements that I wanted, like a feature wall containing my range hood, an island and double wall ovens, but beyond that I was pretty open.  So with painter’s tape and a measuring tape in hand, Pookie and I spent several nights figuring out what would work the best for us.

Kitchen flooring demo

Good Decision #2: Taking the time to plan and tweak the layout over and over again.  We were trying to fit the largest island that we could in the middle.  Annnnd, we wanted it to accommodate counter stools.  We had to make sure that there was plenty of room at the end of the island to open the refrigerator doors, that we could still walk through when the dishwasher door was open and that no one would get their back burned while sitting at the counter when a hot oven door was opened.

Farmhouse style white kitchen remodel

Good Decision #3: Adding a deep drawer below the ovens.  Perfect spot for holding all of my cookie sheets.

Good Decision #4: Placing deep drawers below my cooktop, instead of cabinets.  I store all of my pots and pans in these two drawers and it’s super convenient to just reach down and pull out what I need, without fumbling around in a cabinet while I’m cooking.

Add panels to each side of a refrigerator to give it an expensive built-in look.

Good Decision #5: Placing everything within easy reach.  Since Pookie and I have no experience with kitchen design, the convenience of working in this kitchen is a bit of a happy accident.  Sort of.  I credit it to the large amount of time we spent getting the layout just right.  The counter at the far end of the island was left open to give me plenty of prep space.  I literally only have to turn my body and take a step or two when cooking.  And when prepping a dish to go into the oven, well – the oven is right there.

Under mount stainless sink

Good Decision #6: Pookie will disagree with this one, but I’m extremely happy with where I placed my trash can.  I had the option of using the cabinet to the left of the sink for a slide-out trash can holder, but I figured I would spend a lot of time cleaning in and around it when we accidentally spilled something.  Pookie was rooting for me to go with one less cabinet on the wall oven side and place the trash can there so that it wouldn’t be visible from the family room.  I played the “I’m the cook” card and opted to place it on the other side of the kitchen, closest to the sink.

Remodeled Farmhouse Kitchen Range Hood

Good Decision #7: Using cabinets of a different color in the island than are in the rest of the kitchen.  I think that it adds warmth to the kitchen and keeps all that white from looking too cold and sterile.  

 

THE NOT SO GOOD

Not So Good Decision #1: Not using professional cabinet installers.  To save money on the installation, we allowed our regular remodeling crew to install the cabinets.  Overall, they did a good job, but there are a few details that aren’t the best.  For example, you can’t see it in the photos, but there are a couple of places where the crown moulding was pieced together that aren’t done well.  First of all, if they had planned their cuts more carefully, there was no need to cut and piece the crown mould.  Secondly, you can see the seams and caulking in a couple of places where they did piece it together.

 White farmhouse kitchen remodel

Not So Good Decision #2: Not adding more pull-out shelves in our cabinets.  The cabinets that we chose came standard with one pull-out shelf, but I should have paid the extra money to make the top shelf a pull-out one also.  It never fails that the one thing I need is way in the back on the top shelf, which is stationary.

Not So Good Decision #3: Getting into the corner cabinet to the right of the refrigerator is a little bit tight.  I’m not sure what else we could have done though, because to make the corner larger would have meant a big layout change to the entire kitchen.  I decided that having the hood and cooktop on a wall by themselves was more important to me than living with a little bit of a tight space in the corner.  

Farmhouse style kitchen toaster nook

Not Good Decision #4: Assuming that just because an appliance is a well known brand and looks good, it’s the best one for my needs.  Our dishwasher looks exactly like I wanted it too,  It’s a well known brand, has a stainless steel interior and is unbelievably quiet.  The problem?  I have to use the longest cycle to get my dishes totally clean.  It takes forevvver!  Yes, I pre-rinse my dishes, but this dishwasher takes twice as long to run its cycle than the builder grade one in my old house did.

Sink and dishwasher in the kitchen island

In spite of the mis-steps that we made, I have absolutely no regrets with how our remodeled kitchen turned out.  It has to be the easiest and most convenient kitchen that I’ve ever used.

I can’t tell you about our kitchen remodel without giving oodles of praise to Pookie. You see, Pookie is an engineer with an engineer’s practical mind and the need to maximize every square inch of space.  We worked together to design the kitchen and while having that hood on a wall all by itself may not have been the most efficient use of space, Pookie realized that it meant a lot to me.  So THANK YOU my sweet Pookie, for helping my kitchen vision dream to become a reality.

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41 Comments

  1. Your kitchen is beautiful! Very timely post since we are just in the pre-cabinet ordering phase and after a year of planning I’m still tweaking and driving everyone nuts! Our island/kitchen layout is almost a duplicate layout of yours but with a crazy vaulted ceiling. Soooo tempted to ask which dishwasher you wished you had gone with…and we are now in the great sink debate…squared off bottom which looks great but has had some iffy reviews or a rounded bottom? How did you decide?
    I’m sure you are enjoying your fantastic kitchen with your family and friends.

    1. Hi Debbie. Kitchen remodels are exciting, but boy are they involved! I don’t know which brand I would have chosen, but I’ll be glad to tell you the brand of the one that I do have. I hate to bash a brand here on the blog, but if you’ll shoot an email to worthingcourtblog@gmail.com, I’ll be glad to share. As far as the sink goes, we went with a round bottomed one. We have a square corner one in one of our bathrooms and it’s a bit difficult to get into the corners to clean. I was afraid that keeping the corners of a sink like that clean in the kitchen (where’s it’s heavily used) would be a chore. But I admit – I love the look of the square corner ones! Have a blast with your remodel!

    2. I don’t think that the dishwasher problem is a brand problem. It’s because of requirements that the government had put on the appliance manufacturers. I had a Bosch that I loved, but my replacement in the same brand that takes forever. Supposedly new regulations will be fixing or might have already fixed this issue.

      1. We actually wound up replacing it the other day because of having to have it repaired two times and we were looking at a third repair in the near future. The new one is a Maytag and takes just as long, but does a much better job of cleaning. Our cooktop and our wall ovens are Kitchenaid brand also and both have had minor issues. I’ll never buy another Kitchenaid appliance again! It’s a shame because they used to have such a great reputation for good quality.

  2. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Love your kitchen, it looks amazing.

    1. Thank you so much, Marty!

  3. We are in the process of building a farmhouse on my husband’s family farm. Your kitchen is an inspiration! Having previously remodeled a kitchen I had to laugh at our similar experiences including the dishwasher! I am thoroughly enjoying your site. Thank you!

    1. Oooh – I’m so jealous, Cynthia! I would love to live on a farm! So glad you stopped by today!

  4. It looks fantastic. We’ve tweaked things in our kitchen over the years, but have yet to do a full remodel. Most things work for us, but I would love for our island to be bigger. Now that the girls are no longer home, we eat there all the time!! I am pretty sure we have the same dishwasher, and it takes forever. On pro was it senses the load and takes hours to run!

    1. Hi Lauren. It’s just my hubs and I at home too. I love the ability to eat at the island instead of setting the table. Yeah, that long cycle is pretty annoying. I run it overnight whenever I can remember to turn it on before I go to bed. 😀

  5. I may be wrong, but I think all of the newer dishwashers have much longer run cycles because they use less water, making them more energy efficient. By the way… love your kitchen!

    1. Thank you, Vicki! I think you’re right about why the newer dishwashers run for so long. What’s so annoying to me is that even though I pre-rinse my dishes, I still have to run the dadburn thing on the longest cycle.

  6. Faye Gates says:

    What a great job! I watch all the remodel shows, and you got it! I have never done such a large remodel.

  7. We just finished a whole house remodel/addition. While I absolutely love our new kitchen there are a couple of things we would do differently but nothing major. Your kitchen is lovely -enjoy!

  8. Kelley Jacobs says:

    It is gorgeous! I especially love the tile you chose for the backsplash. Everything looks very classy and elegant! Great job!

  9. Suzy, your kitchen is absolutely stunning! I love your choice of countertop/backsplash with the cabinets, and the lanterns above the island are gorgeous! Happy cooking!!

  10. Marilyn Soto says:

    Love your kitchen. I never really gave a lot of thought to kitchen layout…..until we moved into our current home. The previous owner had the house custom built and for some unknown reason she had the dishwasher positioned in a way that when opened you can’t open the oven ! Typically it’s just a little inconvenient when it’s just the two of us but when there’s a lot of people helping to cook and prep a meal it’s maddening. I have threatened to have it moved after every big get together. That will probably never happen but from here on out I will always be more aware of kitchen layout.

    Yours is both beautiful and functional

  11. I love your new kitchen. You and your husband dId a great job designing it!

  12. Pam Cates says:

    No one else probably notices the “little” mistakes you mentioned. It is beautiful.

  13. Great job! The kitchen looks beautiful!

  14. So light & airy,,,,its so pretty…..

  15. Love this remodel. especially those deep drawers below the ovens and the cook top and selecting a different finish for the island. I have the same darn dishwasher and I swear it runs for 3 hours. I also find I absolutely have to use rinse aid and run the sani cycle or things never dry. ugh.

  16. Very nice kitchen. It’s nice to hear do’s and don’ts from someone who’s been there.

  17. I love your kitchen! I too find adding a pop of color or even something just interesting the islands makes all the difference. Is that Granite? It’s so pretty!

  18. I think your kitchen is beautiful. I’m keeping your post because we’re going to be buying a new house next year and you made excellent observations. Oh, our dishwasher has a super long cycle, too, – so annoying!

  19. Tina Sipe says:

    I love your white kitchen. It looks so clean and crisp!

  20. Love this kitchen, I would so love to have the space/make the changes. My husband is not wanting any major work, we are 61/63 and said when we go to sell, we will reduce the price to offset the old kitchen. But have kitchen envy with friends and bloggers!!!

  21. You’ve done a beautiful job of creating a room that’s sophisticated and classic. I especially love the light fixtures over the island. I too live with an engineer who’s infuriatingly thorough when planning renovations, but his sweating the details always pays off in the long run. Enjoy the new heart of your home.

    P.S. We’re headed to Magnolia Market in two weeks. Cannot wait!

  22. I always love posts about your kitchen! It really is amazing how much we learn after finishing a project, isn’t it? I made a couple “not so good” decisions with my kitchen but overall I ended up happy as well. I think dishwashers aren’t made as well as they used to be. Our builder grade dishwasher that we had years ago cleaned better than our last one and our brand new one (both good brands). In fact, I dislike my newest one the most. The only way to get the dishes clean is to use the longest cycle AND to use those Cascade Platinum pods that the dishwasher manufacturer “recommended”. I am not thrilled having to spend the extra money for those things and I wonder how toxic they must be if they are “platinum”! Ugh -so frustrating! Anyway, like I said – always love seeing your kitchen!
    Shelley

  23. Gillian Baker says:

    Beautiful kitchen. Love the lights over your kitchen island. Can you send me info on them?

    1. Hi Gillian. The lights above my island came from Home Depot.

      1. Gillian Baker says:

        thanks! I will look for them.

  24. Susan Watkins says:

    Love the results of your new kitchen! I am in the planning stages of a kitchen remodel and you have given me lots of ideas. Thank you so much for sharing.

  25. Nancy Nettle says:

    Wow! Your remodels have been fantastic! I certainly wish that I had the space that you were working with. I love the hood and backsplash. The smooth transition from kitchen to breakfast area is seamless. Love, love, love them!

  26. A beautiful kitchen! My dishwasher has an option to use a one-hour wash (it’s not an expensive one though) and I absolutely hate the longer cycles and never use them unless I have something to sanitize. I think the lower water usage and “energy-savings” they are promoting now don’t do as good a job as the other models. I sure have heard that about washing machines! Everyone I know says keep my old one running and don’t waste my money on the newer ones!

    I love everything you’ve done in this kitchen. Am looking into redoing my counter tops and cabinets in the next couple of months. Yikes, I hate having a kitchen torn apart, but the end result will be such an improvement. I’ll be using some tips from your kitchen re-do!

  27. Merry Christmas from Plymouth Ma! Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with all of us! My husband and I admire all of your hard work and beautiful décor. We were wondering if you could share where you purchased the adorable K-cup/cocoa chalkboard dispenser? It would fit perfectly in our kitchen.
    Thank you and Take Care

    1. Hi Georgia. Merry Christmas to you from central NC! I purchased my k-cup holder in Michael’s. Sadly, they don’t sell them online. But – here’s a link to one that is almost identical to mine: http://fave.co/2gUT08I

  28. Your kitchen turned out really nice!!!!

  29. Love your Kitchen you Lucky Girl. Can you please tell be where you purchased the bar stools.
    Thank You

  30. I run my dishwasher just after midnight every time. Who cares how long it takes?
    Next time, consider a Fisher & Paykel 2-Drawer Dishwasher. I LOVE mine, and NO TRIPPING over the DOOR!