Monday, August 7, 2017

WHAT WE LOVED AND DIDN'T ABOUT OUR MODERN FARMHOUSE STYLE KITCHEN REMODEL


What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

Well hello there!

We are fast approaching the 90-day mark on the backside of our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen reveal for the One Room Challenge (can you even believe it?!). As far as room makeovers go, I know I often wonder how the people living in the space feel about the "after" once the buzz of renovation activity has waned. Would they do anything differently given a second chance?

In that spirit, I thought I'd be a good time to circle back and let you know how things are holding up with our own kitchen remodel, what we're loving and if there are any things we'd reconsider if I had to do it all over again.

A quick reset to catch those of you up with our primary goals for this project.

Improved functionality in our smallish kitchen workspace
Durability across our selection of upgraded surfaces
Lots of layers and textural details
Creative use of space to maximize our what we have
Project an overall brighter background in a shady area of the house
Design it to flow and function well for entertaining
Ensure the update is complimentary with other areas of house

You can see what we started with [here] and what became of the adjoined kitchen / dining areas after in the reveal post [here].

So, let's break it down. Are we loving the changes we made? In short yes. Are there things we'd do differently, well maybe.


Renovation Highlights

Countertops

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources

We absolutely made the right choice in our dual countertop selection. Initially driven by budget, our decision to break out the worktop surfaces into a white quartz / acacia butcher block pairing brought a nice visual contrast and some added texture to our design. We chose wisely, opting to install wood in the areas we knew we would not beat up on a daily basis (does anyone else leave their coffee spoon on the counter like I do?).We do use them though and three months in thanks to proper preparation [here] (full post forthcoming), those wood counters still look like the day we installed them. The veiny, white Silestone has also held up beautifully to our abuse and is so easy to wipe down and keep clean - a real change from the original ceramic tile and aged grout lines we were battling before. Verdict: Thumbs up for both wood and quartz countertops.

Range / Hood

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources

We absolutely, absolutely made the right decision with our new all-gas Thor Kitchen Range. No electrical panel to worry about, a solid, even layer of burner grills on top so we can move our big spaghetti pots around with ease and burners that burn like our outdoor grill. It's been amazing and the by-product of finally owning a stove we love, is that we're cooking more than ever.  The removal of our over-range microwave and installation of our built in hood infused a more professional appearance to our home kitchen for sure. But even beyond the fan functionality, we also unexpectedly use the under-mount lighting within it so much to actually get a better look at what we're cooking nearly every time we use our range. In stark contrast, we've used that new compact microwave now hidden behind a cabinet in the peninsula maybe twice. The hidden solution isn't permanent and someday given our lack of use, we may even ditch it altogether to take back additional cupboard space. Verdict: Happy we invested in this redesign and the professional range.

Floors

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources

Perhaps not part of our original plan, the decision to update the flooring allowed for a seamless transition from living room to kitchen to dining room and really brought in the cohesiveness we were after. The floors we chose have been easy to clean and also brightened things up considerably in what can be a cavernous area with no direct sunlight. It's the first thing people comment on when they walk into the kitchen and they are just the best feeling under bare feet! Spills wipe easily and in the end - they were exactly what we were hoping for. Verdict: The floors were 100% worth the spend.

Floating shelves

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources

I didn't emphasize this in the reveal post and I think it's because I didn't yet know how much it would factor into our day to day, but the floating shelves we installed over the wet bar were outfitted with built in lighting. This was a manual build that I challenged our contractor with. One afternoon I came home with a heavy as all hell  2 x 12 x 8 solid white oak board and declared it our choice for shelving. Because of the board weight, I ended up having to order two heavy duty floating shelf brackets from a local seller on Etsy (a new method for our contractor who had to figure out how to install these over our uneven wall tile). I think this may be one of the areas where method-wise, I would have chosen to install these first and then tile around them simply because of the headache that ensued. Learnings... but guys check it out -  it's the routered in tape lighting that we use every single day to brighten up this space and illuminate the countertop grain and white tile backsplash. 
Verdict: Lighting solutions like this should not be an afterthought because they make all the difference in the day to day.

Dining Area

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources

We absolutely went in the right direction with our mixed-materials dining area. We retained our host chairs, bench and dining table, opting to refinish the table and re-upholster the seating with durable, easy to clean materials. I really love the overall look our farmhouse style black wood dining chairs (purchased here) gave the space and they are comfortable btw. I think they don't look comfortable though to visiting guests so I may eventually sew up some leather pads to make them more inviting. Verdict: We chose our mixed seating arrangement wisely and used this area to add additional comfort and texture to our kitchen.

Aside from those small tweaks, is there anything we'd reconsider in our design plan?

Happily, just two things. 

What we loved and didn't about our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel with product sources


Our faucet fixture though very attractive, has failed twice now. We returned it once and the manufacturer was so great about taking it back (I mean, really great customer service). But the switch over to stream type has never worked properly and it is so powerful that it splashes water all over the place when in use. So, I'm on the hunt for a replacement- again.

We also manually installed glass paneling and metal grills right into our existing cabinets in one section of our kitchen. But because we had a limited door depth to work with, we could only install the one pane of glass at the front and skipped the pane of glass on the back that would have allowed for easy cleaning. Not a huge miss, but one I'd spend more time solving given a timeline beyond 6 weeks. This may get reworked in the future if I decide I can't deal with the smudging. For now, we're just enjoying the new look and the way it opens up that side of the kitchen.

The decisions we made around cabinetry really deserves its own post though, so look for that. I'll be sure to dig in a little more on our process for installing the metal grill mesh and also show you how we retained and refinished our original cabinets our remodel to help save cost. 

So overall very, very happy - and I'm putting our kitchen through the paces and cooking up a storm. You can see the daily abuse (and love) with frequent posts over Instagram (follow along!).

Working on your own modern farmhouse style kitchen and interested in some of the things we used here? Here's a partial list (and sources!) for products we used - click on the text below to be directed:





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