A Direction for the Kitchen

I'm not usually someone whose feathers get easily ruffled, but I'll admit that I've been a little flustered this week. Unpacking has been slow since the painters are still here. I feel like I live in a cave made of cardboard and superfluous sofas. Also work has been crazy, so when I do have a minute to start a project, I mostly sit here and stare wide-eyed at the chaos that is this new home. Where to even begin?

We're getting there though. I made a project timeline, and that is helping me feel like I have a little bit more control over the situation. The first focus will be on the backyard and the kitchen. These are probably the two spaces that need the most time and money, so I guess those are good places to start.




The kitchen is minuscule. We had a tiny kitchen in Cambridge, but this kitchen makes that one feel palatial. To make the space more usable, we're adding a huge wall of cabinets in the dining room (which is just around the corner) to store dishes, pots and pans, and even some pantry items. So the kitchen itself will be mostly just a cooking and washing dishes space. I can work with it.


The original plan was to replace the oak cabinet doors with new shaker style mdf doors. I found some online for about $30 a door, unpainted. Not bad, but it was still going to be around $600, so now the plan is to just trim out and paint the old doors myself. I saw a video tutorial online for how to fill heavy graining and I ordered the products to do that. And yesterday I pulled off all the cabinet doors, so we're on our way.



As far as colors go, my love affair with Farrow and Ball paint and colors continues. Inspired by this gorgeous kitchen, I'm going with a dark charcoal (Down Pipe) with brass pulls.



I really liked the look of the longer, more square bin pulls in this kitchen and thought something similar could work in mine. Thanks to twitter friends who alerted me to the price drop on these Martha Stewart pulls. They are less than $2 a pop, which is completely unbeatable, especially for unlacquered brass pulls.


I think they'll be perfect on the dark gray cabinets too.


Today I'm starting to paint the cabinet interiors and frames. Hopefully the grain filler comes tomorrow so that I can get these cabinets up and running this week! Then on to other kitchen projects: a new floor treatment, backsplash, shelving, appliances, lighting, sink/faucet, countertops... yikes!

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi ,
I love your blog and when I discovered it recently , I had to read every single post . I am so envious of your positive attitude, nothing ever seems to phase you and the results you achieve with your projects are all desirable.
Goodluck with the kitchen and the whole house. I am SOOOOO excited to see what new projects are coming soon.

Angeline said...

Best wishes to you - sounds like and looks like a lovely plan!

pve design said...

You are amazing. I really am glad to hear that you are a little agitated by the move because moving has got to be one of the most stressful things in life. Good luck with all you have on your plate and I hope things progress smoothly.
pve

pve design said...

You are amazing. I really am glad to hear that you are a little agitated by the move because moving has got to be one of the most stressful things in life. Good luck with all you have on your plate and I hope things progress smoothly.
pve

Ashley said...

If anybody has the drive and vision to get a project like this done, it's you, Jenny. It is very refreshing to hear that you're working with the cabinets that are there rather than starting completely from scratch.

I bought some MS for Home Depot knobs 2 years ago (also unlacquered brass) and I can say that they are holding up nicely.

Andrea said...

Girl, am I totally a stalker for wanting to book a flight up to NY to help you? It's overwhelming but the list will help!!

Anne said...

PLEASE post a link to the tutorial with the heavy painting graining...

Pine Tree Home said...

Wow, can't wait to see how you update the kitchen. The brass pulls and the gray are going to look fab.

Cluff Family said...

You are absolutely amazing!!! I think I would be in the corner crying if I had your list of things to do. I cannot wait to see the end result!! So excited for you guys and this new adventure! XOXO

My Crafty Home Life said...

So overwhelming, but it really is one project at a time....forever ;)

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

I do that all the time - just sit and stare at the list of all the things that need to get done! It can be overwhelming.

Love that House & Home kitchen. Yours will look just as stunning.

Jennifer {The Chronicles of Home} said...

Looks like you have your work cut out for you but the finished results will surely be gorgeous. Can't wait to see it all as you move through the reno!

laura said...

We just painted our bathroom cabinets almost that exact gray color AND we also used Martha Stewart square pulls (ours or chrome)

http://laurahildebrand.blogspot.com/2012/07/bathroom-reveal.html

Can't wait to see all your hard work!

Alex said...

I am So excited to watch you renovate your new place. Maybe you could do a post on how you organize all your projects, to do lists, and ideas for everything. Good luck!

Naz said...

If anyone can transform the look of these cabinets it's YOU. I'm always impressed with the patience you have in taking on projects.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

that IS a teeny kitchen, but I love your plan for it. Sounds like the storage will still be close and that's whats most important.

Casey said...

You could probably add trim to the cabinets like you did with the girls bedroom door for a little more shaker style architecture.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the transformation! If you need new applicances, but would be okay with one with a slight ding or scratch, a good source for discounts is Build It Green in Brooklyn. http://bignyc.org/
Good luck!

kh said...

I painted my kitchen cupboards that same color last fall and am loving them! It's such a rich color. And such a nice break from white kitchens (which are lovely too but it's a nice change). Best of luck! It'll be fabulous!

Stacey Merrill said...

love your inspiration kitchen! Off to see if my HD still has some of those awesome pulls in stock

tokyojinja.com said...

Ditto the previous comment - I was just at HD looking at another great Martha product, but I need unlaquered brass pulls for my kitchen reno too. And I love the combo with the F&B paint. If anyone can turn this sow's ear to a silk purse, we all know it is you! Good luck and keep us all updated, since we know you have so much time in your day to do that too!

colleen said...

Can't wait to see this transformation. Love the colors and concept!

Sharon@house58blog.com said...

Gorgeous selections; can't wait to see.

Anonymous said...

just wondering...how does this work out since you're renting? do you get to re-coup all the efforts you've put into the home when you move on?

Jenny at LGN said...

You guys are the best! Thanks for all the votes of confidence!!

Anon - I've talked a little about this before, but we're getting a pretty great deal on rent in exchange for renovating the house. The landlord is also reimbursing all or part of my expenses. There's also a chance we might buy the place in a couple years, though I think if we're in a position to buy then, I'll probably want to look for a new house (new project!). But most importantly, I'm doing this because it's what I love to do and what I love to blog about. :) Hopefully you guys like reading about it too. :) xx

Kathleen said...

Maybe you can post about how you are mixing metals in the kitchen? Unless you are going for a brass faucet? I also have a TINY kitchen(but no extra storage outside the room). I would love to put on brass pulls but wonder how that would work with my brushed nickle faucet, stainless steel appliances and chrome/silver light fixture?

Can't wait to see how you paint the cabinets and what products you use. I have some Dorthy Draper like chests that I need to paint this fall and need to figure out what kind of paint to use to get a lacquer look but in an diy situation plus durability.

Laurie Jones said...

I literally just posted about these Martha Stewart pulls yesterday, it's what I'm using for my soon to be baby boy's room dresser! I cannot wait to see your kitchen makeover!!!

Stephanie Sabbe said...

oh mercy Jenny! You've taken on quite a job!!! and I am 110% sure you are going to blow us away with an "after"

Barbie said...

Love down pipe. Saw it first in Tia Zoldan's dining room way back when in Cottage Living. This kitchen is inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

A few days ago you mentioned a Benjamin-Moore color called pale oak and I think maybe you even had a swatch of it painted on a wall. I was intrigued so I checked it out. On the color strip it looked a pale beigy grey, but when I took a sample home and painted it on a couple of walls in different rooms it came out a distinctly pale blue-grey. Did this happen to you?

Diane James Home said...

You are so courageous undertaking all of this work yourself - I am in awe since it took about 4 weeks for me to choose colors for my kids bedrooms! I can't wait to see the outcome and sure it will look great. Cheers, Cynthia

dervla @ The Curator said...

wow, looking forward to following along with you on this journey! Between you and Pure Style Home I've got tons of kitchen eye candy to look forward to :)

Anonymous said...

Are you painting yourself? If so and you don't mind sharing your process, please do! I desperately want to paint my kitchen cabs but all the steps seem overwhelming (and hiring a painter is about $1500 in my area. Love your inspiration kitchen. Thanks!

G said...

I love watching you transform these ugly duckling spaces...very inspiring. :)

Jenna at Homeslice said...

I love the inspiration kitchen you shared, and I'm sure yours will look fabulous. I love grey in cabinetry! Good luck!

amy said...

You are Super Woman!! I wish I had your drive and energy to everything done in a timely fashion!!! :)

Maria @ All Things Luxurious said...

Enjoy making the kitchen your own. It's going to be amazing! :-)

Brittany said...

Hey Jenny! This is going to look so cool. I love dark cabinets. :) Good luck with the move! Quick question -- and this may be totally obvious to anyone living in NYC -- but why invest money in a rental? I've only lived in mid-sized cities, where buying real estate is a realistic option (unlike NYC, as I understand it), so one would never, ever spend money to update or repair a rental property. That's the landlord's job! Is it pretty typical in NYC to invest $$ updating a rental or are you just doing so because this is your line of work? Just curious -- I am, of course, glad you're working on the place as I know it will be AMAZING when you're done!

blue chickadee said...

Cannot wait to see the progression of your new space!!! You have amazing taste!!! FARROW & BALL "Downpipe" is my absolute favorite color!! We painted our pantry walls in "Downpipe" and cabinetry "Strong White". We also painted all the trim and back porch in Downpipe-LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it every time I look at it!!! Your kitchen will look amazing painted this color!!!

Laura said...

Jenny! Your blog is my go-to first google reader read of the day! I have a similar kitchen set up to yours - outdated cabinets, same kind of tile etc - just in a bigger space and I've been wanting to paint and do a retile/new counters for ages, but it's always seemed like a job that's too big to do myself, and painters, like someone else commented, are very expensive in my area and I haven't seen any top notch work in kitchens either. I know you will make this kitchen fabulous, and can't wait to follow you every step of the way so I can get inspiration and some know-how before I get the courage to do some myself!

Keep up the fabulous work!

Bets said...

I have the same crappy, off-white (or are they just dirty & old) countertops you do, in my condo. I loathe my kitchen with the countertops, non-existent back splash and white laminate cabinets & drawers ... you know, the ones with the wood handles along the bottom. They are hideous. I can't wait to see what you do with your kitchen. And I really can't wait to see what sort of inspiration I get for my kitchen once yours is finished! :)

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

I love that color! I'm pinning it to use for a few of my interior doors. I recently painted my kitchen FB Skylight, and I'm considering Middleton Pink for the dining...I just love all their colors, too! You are amazing, that is such a huge project to tackle, and you just roll up your sleeves and hit it!

Katie M. said...

I adore your kitchen inspiration pics!

riverdaughter said...

Barker doors makes a shaker style mdf door and it's something like $11/door. I know because I just replaced my tacky melamine doors on my vanities with Barker's shaker doors. I painted them linen white. They look great. You'd think it was a brand new vanity.
Here's the link:http://www.barkerdoor.com/Shaker-MDF-Cabinet-Doors-s/49.htm

zaza said...

I love those shelves!!! where did you find them? are they home-made?
Subway tile is so classic and economic.

Erin said...

Grey and brass is EXACTLY what I've been dreaming about for our next home. VERY excited to see more pix:)

silly6 said...

I have hickory cabinet and I'm planning on painting them right after Labor Day. I woul dlove to know what product you are planning on using to fill-in the grain. Thanks for the help. LOVE the color pallet, too bad I can't get Farrow & Ball in UT.

How2home said...

The inspiration photos are lovely. That is how I dream of having my kitchen! What a deal for those Martha hardware.

Lil T said...

Absolutely love your inspiration kitchen...I have it pinned and long for it one day. We're currently renting too and not in the position to invest in our kitchen...but we are thinking about updating my MIL's kitchen as a big birthday/Christmas present. she's not in the position to afford any sort of renovation so my husband and i would have to pay for it all and we want to spend as little as possible (since we're saving for our first home, too). we were going to just paint the cabinets. But her cabinets are original and 30+ years old...and have the cooked on grease and grime to prove it. On some level it might be easier and nicer to start fresh with mdf doors. Her kitchen is tiny so we wouldn't have to buy THAT many. Do you have any experience working w/them? Or a vendor to refer? I'd love any insight you or your readers might have! Thank you!

Michelle said...

It's always the detailing that makes things look more interesting. I can't wait to see how the cabinets turn out. I'm also interested to see what you do with that built-in shelving in the kitchen.

Emily | Recently said...

Jenny, I absolutely love that you decorate on the average man's budget and still make it fab. It gives me hope that I can do the same!

Michelle @ Sweetsuite10 said...

OMG! I LOVE that inspiration kitchen. I can't wait to see what you do to yours - those pulls are making me wish I had a project I could use them on!

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion - forget those tiny shelves and make it a wall you can hang things on. Tiny shelves are an illusion of space but are hard to use - useless.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly I am a frequent lurker, but I had to comment because I have been obsessing with that Canadian House & Home Kitchen (and the video ) for some time. I love it and can't wait for your reveal.

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

I can not even believe the price on those handles- insane!!! I can't wait to see what you do- it's going to be amazing!

Brand New and Beautiful said...

I just used those bin pulls on a dresser re-do! They are really nice looking for $2/pop!

lesli devito said...

jenny...you are amazing! and you make my head spin with ideas! I love what you are doing with the cabinets...cannot wait to see each step of the journey!

Jennifer said...

Great inspiration pix and I'm sure it'll turn out fabulous as all your projects seem to do. One suggestion for a blog post (or two), is how you set a budget for a project (or projects like your house) and this whole "project timeline," which sounds very organized and scary at the same time. I think your readers would love to know how to approach these daunting tasks you take on with such ease. Thanks!

Holly said...

Kitchen redesign is so exciting and it sounds like you've got your to-do list started. I love your inspiration images. The pulls and handles we ended up using are very similar and I love them. They are easy to use and a nice clean line. Ours are a polished chrome though. Sounds like you're on your way to a new look to your kitchen which is very exciting. We renovated ours in July 2009 and it was the best thing we ever did - and now we just got new paint in there 3 years later which was also a welcome update. Looking forward to seeing more.

lkafka said...

I just found your site and am literally decorating every room by your pictures. Left ideas for your fireplace prior and have them to tie in the kithen since they're so close in proximity. Am a designer too, so it's a sickness. I see, therefore I design. =)

Leave the lovely wood of the upper and lower cabinets, but conditioning them, then either paint the countertops the glossy black or replace with slate (expensive, but has long life). Would probably go with the plain black polished stone or whatever mix of metals you end up choosing for your faucet for knobs/pulls. And stainless steel appliances - Ohhhlala! Paint the shelf nook the glossy black. Then with your dry goods in clear glass cannisters this area will simply pop and add texture and color for interest. Then to add other colors infuse your textiles like under the sink area, cafe curtains, area rug, etc. OK, I'm done. Can't wait to see the end result!

SeparatePeace said...

I think you are starting to change my feelings about brass...I've been "over it" for a while, but paired with the dark grey in a non-traditional setting, it really looks good!

Katherine said...

We used those exact pulls for our "Accidental Kitchen Remodel" a while back and I couldn't be happier with them (they were on sale for $3 though, not $2). God bless Martha Stewart and her infinite empire.

Ali said...

I am just a few weeks behind you on the kitchen remodel. I just bought my first home, and the one down side is the small kitchen. I am looking for a temporary fix for this room while I save up for a larger remodel.

I love your ideas for the cupboards and want to figure out how do that to my old cupboards and add glass panes. My other obstacle in my kitchen is lack of dining space. Do you have any ideas for creating a hideaway/collapsable dining area for entertaining? I would love some ideas.

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