My Very First Kitchen Remodel

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my post saying that we are under contract for a new (to us) house!

I’m over the moon excited about this house for a lot of reasons.  One of them being that it will be one floor living for us.

House with large front porch, two bay windows and dormers

Pookie and I have been looking at houses for a quite a while, waiting for the right time and the right house to come along.

We’ve prayed a lot about it too and this house is a perfect example of when God answers prayer, He does so down to the most minute detail.  I stand in awe that every single desire of my heart, when it comes to a house, is here.

If all goes according to plan (we’re trusting God for that), we will be closing on this house at the end of July.  Some of you may think that I’m “jinxing” myself by posting about this before we’ve actually closed.  But I don’t believe in jinxes.  If this is God’s plan for us, then it will be so.

 Back of house with screened porch and large deck

This is one of those houses that has awesome bones, but needs updates in every single room.

One of those rooms is the kitchen.  Making updates in there will be a priority for us.

We’ve debated about completely gutting the kitchen or working with what we have.  For now, I think we’ve settled on working with what we have with changes here and there.  I have many ideas, but would love your input and advice!

The kitchen is a humongous room.  The breakfast area is in the turret area that you see next to the screen porch in the picture above.

Kitchen before

The basic layout is good and the cabinets are in fine shape.

We plan to either add small cabinets on top of the existing ones or else build a soffit going up to the ceiling.  Storage isn’t an issue, so whatever we decide on will be purely for aesthetic reasons.

Adding a soffit above the cabinets would look something like this.

Visually extend the height of shorter cabinets by adding a soffit that goes up to the ceiling

 HGTV

Stacking small cabinets above the existing ones would look something like this.

Gorgeous kitchen

Dering Hall 

Which solution do you like the best?

I’m in a bit of a quandary over this wall though.

oven wall before

All of the appliances will be replaced and I want to add a decorative hood above the cooktop.  My dilemma is whether to keep the appliances where they are and replace the cabinets above the cooktop with a hood or replace the cooktop with a range centered on this wall with a hood above it?

Keeping the appliances in their current locations and adding a hood would look something like this (minus the refrigerator).

wall ovens and hood on the same wall

Source unknown

Taking out the wall oven and cooktop and replacing it with a range would look something like this.

Decorative hood over a range

Houzz

I think that I favor the centered hood design, but I keep thinking budget, budget!  Which look to you prefer?

On this side of the kitchen, the refrigerator will be replaced with a stainless one and the desk will be removed and probably replaced with a bank of pantry cabinets.  (Ignore the open pantry doors.  I wanted to be able to look back at my photos and remember the size of it.)

refrigerator wall

Something like this.

Pantry cabinets

Houzz

I think the existing island will go – it’s too dinky and there isn’t room for a much larger one.  I’ve debated about replacing the peninsula with an island moved to the center of the room, but after giving it a lot of thought, I think it would be too crowded looking.

I would like to add some trim to the peninsula to dress it up a bit though.

kitchen sink area

We plan to replace the floors with hardwood, replace the counters and add a backsplash, but what colors to use are up in the air at the moment.  I just know that it will be done in some sort of neutral colors – grays or tans.

looking back toward the dining room

Here’s a look at the huge breakfast area.  I have no clue what I’m going to do in here yet!

breakfast area

 That’s it in a nutshell.  Please share your thoughts and ideas with me!  I’m pretty overwhelmed at the moment.

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36 Comments

  1. What a beautiful home, with tons of potential, Suzy. I love that humongous kitchen. We just got a contract on our house, will be moving to SC, and hoping to find one-floor living as well. I’d love to find something as nice as yours! I like the look of a freestanding stove, with a beautiful hood. Your idea of changing the desk to a pantry area is perfect. We had planned to do that at this house if we were staying.

    1. Oh, and take a look at New Caledonia granite- we just put it in this house, and I love it. It has tans and black and grays and white, with sparkles of mica, very pretty. I’d love to use it again in our next home.

      1. Thank you for your suggestions, Sheila. I’ll be sure to check that granite out. It sounds really pretty. You’ll be moving a lot closer to me if you’re moving to SC. Maybe we can actually meet sometime! I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for in a house.

  2. How exciting, Suzy! Your new home is beautiful! Love the style! Gosh, you have so many great ideas swirling around in that head of yours…I can see all of your options working really well in your new kitchen. I’m no help. I can see the pros in all of your options. I’m just excited to see what you decide!

    1. Thank you, Shenita. I’m too excited and can’t wait to move in! Too many ideas – that’s my problem. lol I need someone to help me sort them all out!

  3. Nancy Carroll says:

    So excited for you GF and can’t wait to see it!!! Even though I don’t have many upper cabinets In my remodel I am glad I took the cabinets all the way to the ceiling as it gives the room so much more height….so I would go with the soffet and hefty crown molding if you don’t need the storage….or add the stackers but still take the crown to the ceiling.
    I like the idea of a range and hood centered on the wall….I think this would give you more room when cooking. Right now it looks like the cooktop is sort of crowding the sink. Might just be the picture, but you’ll want room for one person to cook while another is at the kitchen sink. Although on the other side of the coin, I love all those drawers under the oven : )
    Love the look of hardwoods in the kitchen. Also think you might miss the small island. I decided to change mine to a prep island and I’m sure glad I did. I can already tell it’s going to be the drop zone for any thing coming out of the refridgerator. You could take the current one out, put the hardwoods in then add a moveable one later if you decide you want one.
    Don’t know if I’m much help but those are my thoughts. Hope you kitchen remodel goes smoother than mine has : )

    1. My poor head is swirling with so many ideas! Now I’ve switched to thinking about removing the peninsula completely and moving the sink and dishwasher to a large island. No telling what I’ll actually wind up with. Can’t wait to show you the whole house!

  4. Nancy Carroll says:

    Oh and I’m loving the outside!! The front porch looks just like that one on Hobbs we love so much…..can’t believe you found one like it. And really loving the screened in porch on the back too. You’ll have a blast decorating!!!

  5. Sorry for my bad English, but i find your new house soooo pretty that i decided try to give my opinion 🙂
    for the first problem, i prefer the second solution (adding small cabinets). For the second problem, i prefer really really the range . Hardwood for the floor of course! Be careful with colors because you don’t have any Windows. I agree with Nancy about the problem of the sink. Perhaps you may think at this idea of a new largiest island? indeed, is it the best position for the fridge…i find it so large! (as a french perhaps^^) and it “eat” the view when you are in the breakfast room. I think you’ll find a solution (me, i would place it at the back of the kitchen perhaps, to gain much space in the larger of the room) . The desk will be removed: so, perhaps there’s a solution in that for much space.
    i wait to see, i’m sure you’ll succeed and your kitchen (and all the house!!) will be certainly very beautiful!!

    1. Your English is perfectly fine, Florence! Thank you for your input. Everyone’s advice is really a big help to me.

  6. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says:

    Hey Suzy….I had no idea that you sold your house and were looking for another one!!!….yay!….I would love to have a one floor home again!…How very exciting….the kitchen is gorgeous….you have some great ideas and the actual bones of the kitchen are great….Hubby and I were discussing how much time and energy it takes to maintain our home…we are so ready for the less maintenance home!…Congrats!!!

    1. Hey Shirley. We haven’t sold our current home yet…getting it ready to put on the market. It’s all very exciting, but a lot of work!

  7. You have wonderful ideas and I’m sure it will all come together beautifully! With a large kitchen the addition of an island, tho small, was definitely a “step saver”. Depending on what you decide to do with peninsula/island you may want to consider adding a movable island or a cart to give you a surface to place things. A friend introduced me to a blog-Dear Lillie-and while her kitchen doesn’t appear as large there are some similarities and she used a fun cart for a small island in her redo. Love your idea of replacing the desk-at least in that area. In the area where the table is, depending on if this space is needed for serving a lot of people (or is there another formal dining room?) it might be fun to have a built in on the left and maybe the right also? As another reader mentioned it may look different in person than in a picture but the wire shelving etc seems to appear “flighty” and or not really anchoring the area.The cabinets could even be less deep than kitchen cupboard but with if glass doors above and door and drawers on bottom there would be additional storage for serving/decorative pieces and the counter top area would provide serving place for beverages or dessert or additional decorating surface. you could use a tall cabinet on either side of drawers in the middle with counter top and glass front cupboards above or I had seen at one parade home where the center was a cupboard with two doors and when opened a rack with dowels could be pulled our and like 5 tablecloths hung there without being smashed in a drawer. However, if this area is needed to seat a large number of people-a different and chairs could balance the proportions of the room. You may want to consider an under cupboard outlet and fold away holder for your I Pad or tablet near your baking area so your recipes will be accessible but off the counter. Will be anxious to “follow you” to your new home. The entire home structure looks lovely and your beautiful touches will make it even lovelier..

  8. Oh Suzy I am so happy for you and I will keep my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly. I really like your ideas for the kitchen. I am not having an island in our new kitchen and I was so nervous about that. I think I was so used to having one and our brains are trained to think island. I have a lot of counter space and I think it will be fine. Now if we could just get finished and get in t here I would be happy.

    Cynthia

  9. Beautiful home. Beautiful layout. I like the added soffitt. The kitchen would be so spacious without the island!!! That would probably be especially nice when little people work in the kitchen with you. Excited to see what you decide.

  10. This isn’t my first visit to your blog, but it’s the first time I have taken the time to comment. I just had to tell you how much I love the way you showcased your faith and the provision of God in this house. I love what you said about jinxes, too. As for the house, I love the exterior and think the kitchen is going to be just beautiful no matter what you do. Your taste is impeccable, IMO.

    (But now, if we’re voting or something… I like the decorative hood version too.)

  11. Yay for you Suzy! And Mr. Suzy!! I’m going to cast my votes now. 🙂

    Since you don’t really need the storage, I would go with the soffit for height & because the top of the cabinets will be one less place to have to dust. 😉

    I like the range instead of what you have now. I have double ovens in the wall & a cooktop in my 1967 house & I soooo wish I had that extra counter space instead, especially considering how close the cooktop is to the sink. I have a similar tiny area & it really gets annoying when you’re trying to cook there.

    I think with the island and the peninsula it definitely looks crowded. I would like it without the peninsula & an island instead, housing the dishwasher & a prep area. It would make the 2 spaces feel more open & like 1 space. But that depends if you want to keep them “separate” or not.

    I can’t wait to see what you do with it!!

  12. It’s a gorgeous home and I’m sure you will make it even more beautiful! I’d go with the soffits and keeping the island. It will look so much different with new countertops and hard wood flooring. The cabinets appear to be lovely and I actually like the layout. I’d even keep the desk!! Good luck. It will be fun to watch what you do!! Cathy

  13. I am so happy for you! God is so good and I don’t believe in jinxes either 😉 He is able to go beyond anything we could ask or imagine. I can’t wait to hear more about your new home and I look forward to seeing the amazing way in which you will decorate it.

    Blessings, Mary Beth

  14. Congratulations, Suzy! Your new home is just gorgeous! What a kitchen! It’s huge! I love the idea of the soffets about the cabinets and the range hood would be so pretty! I’m so excited for you. We’ve just sold our house and are in a little condo now until we move to New York to be close to our grandbabies and would love to find a beautiful home like yours! 🙂
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  15. tammy hebert says:

    Congratulations Suzy…The kitchen is huge. I like all your ideas and those were things I was going to say also. I love islands as they give a place for many to gather around. With that being said I’d do anything to keep it so here is a thought- you know if money were not an issue 🙂
    On the side with the pantry and fridge..I’d put in a counter depth fridge and then put in pantry cabinets on both sides of it – even take out the pantry that is there and replace with pantry cabinets. Then that row of the room would all be 24 inches deep allowing you more room in the center for an new island..I’d make the island longer and remover the peninsula. Just my opinion- so much easier when it is your money 🙂 haha

  16. sweet violets says:

    Wow, lovely home and huge kitchen!! Lucky you!!
    First off, you need to live in there before making any decisions, you don’t know yet how it’s gonna work. I love the built up soffits, love the range hood with one built in stove, that oven is obtrusive……get rid of penninsula, make a longer island with sink and dishwasher in it……..love the idea of all pantry on the refrigerator wall, some with a step back and upper glass doors……..you’ll want to display some of your pretty serving pieces. I do a lot of baking and cooking so I like long, unhampered counter space. Hardwood floors are great, don’t go too dark since the kitchen light depends on the windows in the dining area. Can’t wait to see what you do!!!

  17. Connie Bishop says:

    What a beautiful home you are buying and I think it will go off without a hitch. Thank you for sharing your faith and being a Godly influence on all who read your blog.
    All of your inspiration pictures are beautiful. It will be stunning.

  18. Suzy, Your house had me at the first picture. Your kitchen will be so great. I agree with the idea of a centered range and hood. It seems that it would be a more balanced look, and would give you counter that wasn’t as choppy. The counter depth refrigerator with identical new pantries on either side also appeals to me. Again a less chopped up space. Another idea for over the cabinets is small cabinets with lighting and glass doors. You can put some colorful bowls or serving pieces to give some color in a mostly neutral room. I sorely missed an island in my current kitchen which is too small for one. Instead I have a butcher block. It does serve as the “dropoff” from the refrigerator to prep areas and the stove. A hidden charger station is so nice. My husband modified one of the drawers in a chest near my back door and I love not having the cords and mess. You have so many readers with great ideas, it should help in making decisions. I think the breakfast area could be a whole other post after some kitchen decisions are made. Good luck with selling your house.

  19. First time to comment on your lovely blog. Love the one level living, traditional brick, and generous room sizes……hard to find. I understand why most comments lean toward the centered large range and hood, and while beautiful, those professional grade ranges can be very pricey. I would consider what type of cook you are…..I love having double wall ovens separate from my cooktop…..makes holidays and cooking for a crowd much easier. If you put in double wall ovens, and had a hood built above a nice gas cooktop, I think you could still have a very attractive space with clean lines….I think that the fact that your current drawers don’t line up make the wall look choppy, and you could easily eliminate that. Also, moving the sink would help spread out the work areas. All good problems to have!!!!

  20. Hi Suzy,
    We are in the middle of a complete kitchen remodel-cabinets in, waiting for the counter-tops, week 3 of no sink, but hopefully that will end this Thursday ! My suggestion would be to talk to a kitchen designer , we did and he gave us lots of ideas that I never would have thought of, they can also draw up your exact kitchen with different suggestions using a CAD program. Good Luck !!!

  21. Christine says:

    Hi there…congratulations on your beautiful new home. To keep an eye on the budget I would remove the peninsula and create a large longer island in the center where the sink could go…I would use Quartz countertops (white with gray and blue flecks and sparkles. I would do a backsplash in gray glass subway tiles and new flooring in a warmer wood to keep the white kitchen from feeling cold. Adding the soffit would make the room look finished. Good luck on your project!

  22. Congrats on the new house! This is a great kitchen. I am planning on covering my current range hood in a similar fashion. I hate my stainless hood, it looks like an alien ship but it is new so I am just going to build around it. I have a wall oven and I have to say that I like not bending over every time I get into the oven but the range you picked is gorgeous. I like your new layout but I would consider moving the frig. We recently bought a counter depth frig and it made a huge difference in the way the kitchen feels. The frig in your current layout seems to interrupt the flow. Have you considered moving it? Next to the pantry might be a better location.
    I love renovations so I will be watching for your updates.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Traci

    1. Thank you for the suggestions, Traci. I’m glad to hear your thoughts on a stainless hood. My hubby was trying to push me in that direction at first, but I was afraid that I would wind up feeling exactly like you do about it. I’ve decided that I do want to move the fridge down next to the pantry closet. I would love it to be a counter depth one! What brand do you have?

      1. We had to replace our frig 21/2 years ago (it was only 7 years old) and we replaced it with a GE Profile since it matched our other appliances. We not only got the counter depth but the french door type with the freezer on the bottom. It has two drawers for the freezer which I love. The think that I don’t like about it is that the cheese/meat drawer will only open if both doors are open. This really bugged me at first but I am used to it now but there are models where that drawer is two smaller drawers.
        I should have realized that the counter depth frig was going to be smaller but my father had just died and I was not thinking that clearly. I just wanted to buy a frig and leave and I only realized it would hold less when it was delivered. Not a problem for us but something to definitely consider.
        I can’t wait to see what you do.
        Traci

        1. Thank you so much, Traci. Good points for me to remember!

  23. Your home has such charm Suzy! Oh that back patio area & screen porch so lovely. Looks like you have a lot of decorating fun to look forward too!
    For better flow, rather than have the fridge in the middle of the wall, how about relocating your new low profile refrigerator into the pantry closet space? Then you could re-purpose that with your pantry cabinets.
    I’d go with the soffits & range. Would remove island, probably keep peninsula, put some wainscoting on the back of the peninsula & bottom cabinets facing breakfast nook
    In the nook area, without being there to see the space it’s kind of difficult, but I was thinking perhaps a drop leaf the table up against the wall, a couch on the opposite wall & some chairs or ottoman in front of windows. An are rug to pull it together. You have exquisite taste & skills, so it will all be beautiful I’m sure, looking forward to the progression! May God continue to bless you in the sale of your home & all your endeavors!

  24. Would love to see your after pics! I’m in the middle of a remodel and really anxious about my decision to add the soffit on top of the existing crown!

  25. Would love to see your after pics! I’m in the middle of a remodel and really anxious about my decision to add the soffit on top of the existing crown!