by Meg Laughlin
I have always loved farmhouse kitchen designs. The combination of raw wood with clean lines and bright colors is just incredibly appealing to my eye. I bought my house in 2016 and I immediately started dreaming up my dream kitchen.
I love hosting so the kitchen is one of my favorite places in the house because it’s where I get to entertain and serve my family and friends. Aside from the living room, its the heart of my home. So I really wanted to make it a place that made me burst with joy ever time I entered. It took me about a year of designing (and saving), bouncing around ideas and going through various sketches. It took about another year to complete because I wanted to do the renovation on my own instead of hiring someone. It was a long process, but worth the wait!!
I really just started with this sketch….oh and a whole lot of excitement to make my dream a reality. You know in those Disney commercials when you see the look on a child’s face when they enter the Magic Kingdom? That’s how I feel when I dream up something and put the plan into motion. The anticipation is exciting! And that motivates me to be in it for as long as it takes.
Here is what the kitchen looked like before….
And this was my final iteration of my dream sketch….
I have many goals/questions I asked myself: (1) How can I make this kitchen look like a farmhouse kitchen without completely gutting it and starting from scratch? (2) How can I make my dream kitchen on a budget? (3) How can I do most of this myself? Well, some of my questions were actually answers to other questions. Instead of asking more questions I started making decisions. I was going to turn this kitchen into a farmhouse kitchen, by reusing as much as a could, being as creative as possible, and doing most of the handiwork myself (with a lot of help from my woodworking husband). To be honest, while I was planning this design process, I still couldn’t stand what the old kitchen looked like. So I bought some chalkboard paint and painted the countertops, painted the cabinets, and installed a shelf in front of the window to tide me over until the real design change happened. This was my intermediary kitchen.…
Now it was time to get going!!
The design consisted of these three design concepts
- What was reclaimed (base cabinet frames, trim salvaged from an old project repurposed,
- What was new (soapstone countertop, base cabinet frames, door hardware, beadboard backsplash, light fixture, farmhouse sink/fixture)
- What was handmade (barnwood floating shelves, upper cabinets)
The design consisted of these three design elements
- Wood (see the texture but with clean edges)
- Color white (the cabinets were all painted white, along with the white farmhouse sink, in order to balance the dark wood and the dark fixtures)
- Antique Bronze hardware (typically black metal pops the most with wood and white elements, but I am a big fan of vintage materials. And since we were reclaiming items, the antique brass matched our underlying upcycling design theme)
Stage 1+2 (each stage was done so we could still use the kitchen during the construction process): demo/install upper cabinets, install beadboard backspash…
*beadboard is an incredibly inexpensive way to achieve the farmhouse look on a budget. It is easy to install (drywall glue and finish nails), and it an affordable price.
Stage 3: install floating shelves
Stage 4: Install countertops, farmhouse sink, and base cabinet doors
Stage 5: finishing details!!
If you want to make your kitchen space feel more like home, identify the things you love about it, remove the things you don’t. When you do that, the things you love will stand out even more! Sometimes we think buying something new will spruce it up and make a space feel better. But I have learned that spaces feel the most inviting when they are filled with less but more meaningful pieces. Give the things you love a chance to stand out! And if you don’t love it the first, second or third try…try and try again, because the process is fun too!
Upper Cabinets + Doors: handmade (with friends at timbermadecompany.com)
Floating shelves: handmade (with friends at timbermadecompany.com)
Canisters + Tea Kettle: antiques
Copper Plant: target.com
Fixtures + Hardware + Backsplash: lowes.com