Kitchen Renovation | Before & Design Plans

kitchen renovation before
I took these when we first moved in 2014!
It’s official! As of last Thursday, we finalized the plans for our kitchen renovation and signed all the necessary papers and contracts. In six weeks, I finally can say buh-bye to our lovely 90’s-style kitchen!


kitchen renovation before
See ya, oak cabinets.

There is a lot of work that has to be done on our end in the next six weeks, so not only am I sharing the design plans today, but I’m also starting a to-do list to hold us accountable and keep us on track.

But, without further adieu, I give you our new kitchen!

kitchen renovation design plans - white cabinets farmhouse inspired
Ignore the flooring, counter tops and knobs – this is just a mock-up of the general design

I seriously could die swooning over these plans. The white! The new pantry! The wine rack above the fridge! It’s pretty much everything I ever could’ve hoped for in the space.

If you follow me on Snapchat (msinthemidwest), then you may recall that we were debating knocking down the wall that has the fridge on it so it opened into the dining room/living room and then we would’ve had a large island, etc. Well, because of where our HVAC system is located, it was going to be a ridiculous amount of money to relocate/fix that issue, so we opted to just keep the layout as is. Is it the biggest kitchen? Of course not, but I think the white cabinets and removing the current 24″-deep pantry helps open up the space a ton.

The two lower corner cabinets, which one currently is a huge, useless corner cabinet and the other an even more useless lazy Susan, will now be pull-out drawers – hello, functionality. The cabinets on either side of the stove will have pull-out drawers inside. We’re also having a gas line put in, so I finally can go back to having a gas stove and using my stainless pots and pans the way that they were intended to be used. #kitchendreams

kitchen renovation - farmhouse inspired farm sink and open shelving

Now, this is perhaps my favorite view of the entire kitchen! I’m getting the farmhouse sink of my dreams! This was a non-negotiable design element for me when Ryan and I agreed that we were ready to do this renovation – yes, these sinks are pricey, but it’s worth it to me for both aesthetics and functionality.

We also were able to remove the super small cabinet and again, useless, corner cabinet to the left of the window, so now that all will be open to allow more light in. The cabinet to the right of the window also will be gone, and floating shelves will be up in its place – I love the look of open shelving, so I’m extra excited to see it come together in our space. There will be corbels (fancy shelving brackets) under each of those, too.

kitchen renovation - farmhouse inspired

This wall also is going to be a pretty big statement in the space. We are going to do a counter-to-ceiling backsplash of white subway tile in a brick-set pattern with gray grout to make it pop a little bit. This also will be carried through under the rest of the cabinets on the other walls. If you watch enough Property Brothers or Fixer Upper, then you know exactly the look that I’m referring to.

As a final touch, we are getting rid of the hideous box light (thank you, Lord) and having recessed lighting installed, along with a pendant light above the sink.

Here is a picture of the counter top that we chose – it is Wilsonart Quartz in Duomo if you’re interested in checking it out for yourself. I don’t feel like the photo does it justice, so I’ll be anxious to show it to you in person when it finally comes time for install.

Wilsonart Quartz Countertop Duomo

And, if all of this wasn’t enough, we are having all the flooring on the first floor replaced, with the exception of the new carpet in the family room. We currently have three different flooring situations going on – there’s hardwood in the entryway, vinyl in the kitchen, half bathroom and laundry room, and carpet in the living room/dining room (why would ANYBODY put carpet in the dining room where food falls? I’ll never understand). So, once and for all, we’re replacing all of it to have everything simplified and uniform.

Aspen Pine luxury vinyl flooring

We chose to install luxury vinyl planks because this type of flooring is a heck of a lot easier to take care of, is more durable for Finley, and is a tad more cost-effective than engineered hardwood (not a ton, but some savings is nice). Our biggest concern was that it would look fake, but you really can’t tell the difference between this flooring and wood – it looks exactly the same! We chose Moduleo Aspen Pine 28476 – it’s the exact type of barn wood look that we were searching for.

So, there you have it – that’s a rough overview of what we will be undergoing the first part of our summer! Where does that leave us? Well, we made the decision to do all the demo ourselves … yep, you’re probably thinking we’re crazy. We were able to save a ton of money by taking on these projects ourselves – ripping out the flooring, uninstalling the cabinets, etc. We’re hoping to have some help from family and friends, so overall it shouldn’t be too bad.

In the meantime, we also have quite a bit of painting to finish up – the kitchen walls and windows, the bathroom and laundry room (since everything has to be moved out of there anyways for the flooring!), and the crown molding (plus installation). Ryan has an extensive honey-do list!

I look forward to keeping all of you updated on the progress and of course, to share the final reveal when everything is finished. Stay tuned!

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.8.16
    mdb0112 said:

    Oh, I’m SO excited to see this come together! I’ve loved following along on Snapchat! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

  2. 4.28.16

    Your vision and mock-up is beautiful! I can’t wait to see it all come together! Xo, Stephanie

  3. 4.22.16
    Nadia said:

    Eeee I’m so excited for you!! My landlord had vinyl planks installed in the house I lived in a few years ago and it looked so nice and was so easy to clean! Good luck with the demo! My Dad replaced the entire kitchen in our cottage himself last fall and had a couple of guys up one weekend to help with the demo and it all went pretty quickly!

  4. 4.20.16
    Christina Sotherden said:

    This all looks amazing! I’m so glad you’re sharing the progress, I love following along! The white is gorgeous and you will love that sink – such a game changer!

    • 4.21.16

      Thanks, girl – it’s fun for me to share it, too because then I almost have a diary of everything that we do to the house. And, I’m SO excited for the sink!

  5. 4.20.16

    How exciting! I absolutely love the sink and open shelves! Your kitchen will be gorgeous – can’t wait to see it all put together.

  6. 4.19.16

    Eeeeks this is SO exciting!! Your kitchen is going to be amazing – I’m swooning over that farmhouse sink and those counter tops. Cannot wait to watch it all come together!

  7. 4.19.16
    Nidhi said:

    Good luck with finishing up the reno! The plans look and sound amazing and that countertop is GORGEOUS! I can just visualize how bright and open it will be! Excited to see the finished product!
    An Unblurred Lady

  8. 4.19.16
    Emily Dunham said:

    I love your plans! It’s going to be so gorgeous!!!! So excited for you!

  9. 4.19.16

    Looks amazing!!! We put int hardwoods and new back splash/island top in our kitchen and replaced the 90s wall paper with a light paint color. It is amazing what a difference it makes and how much more I enjoy the kitchen. You’re going to love it!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  10. 4.19.16

    I seriously live for home renovations, and yours is going to be amazing! I cannot wait to see the finished product on here.

  11. 4.19.16

    i don’t understand carpet anywhere near food or water lol. i am so excited to see your new kitchen! and i totally agree on the farmhouse sink. i always thought they were ridiculous, like people just saw something they thought was pretty and wanted it, until i had a house and had to start washing dishes that didn’t fit in the damn sink. the big things that don’t fit in the sink are always the things you need to soak!!! it drives me bonkers lol. i want a farmhouse sink!

    • 4.19.16

      Right?! So, so weird. I cannot wait for all that ugly carpet to be gone. And, I’m so with you on large sinks – it’s just a bonus that the farmhouse sink is pretty, too. 🙂

  12. 4.19.16

    I’m so excited for y’all! The design sounds gorgeous, and exactly what you want! I love the fact that you’re doing a farmhouse sink! When we built our house we got a full sink that doesn’t have the divider, and it’s probably my favorite thing in the whole kitchen! It’s so much easier to leave dishes to soak when food is all stuck on! Can’t wait to see how everything progresses!

    • 4.19.16

      Awe, thanks so much lady! We are very excited that we’re able to do this type of renovation after only being in the house a little more than a year. And, I cannot wait to not have that divider in the sink, it will make life so much easier!

  13. 4.19.16

    This is such a stunning design, talk about dream kitchen! Happy renovating!

  14. 4.19.16

    The new design is gorgeous, love how clean and chic it’ll look! Can’t wait to see the finished product <3

    Green Fashionista

  15. 4.19.16

    I don’t know why, but I am so intrigued by home makeovers! It’s probably because we live in apartments so I find it just all fascinated. Like I read every word of this and even got the property brothers reference lol! Good luck! I’m sure it will be a loooong stressful few weeks, but totally worth it. You’ll never be so happy to cool again lol. xx

    • 4.19.16

      Haha, I’m so happy that someone knows what I’m talking about! And, yes to the cooking – I’ll be thrilled to cook in the new kitchen!

  16. 4.19.16

    I’m soooo excited to see everything come together- I love all of the little details you guys chose and you have such a big space to work with! T

  17. 4.19.16

    YAY!!! Love, love love it all. It’s going to look great and all your hard work will be so worth it. Can’t wait to see the progress!

    • 4.19.16

      Thanks, lady! We already are trying to get a jump on things to alleviate some of the inevitable stress, but I keep reminding myself it will be worth it when it’s finished.

  18. 4.19.16

    Your plans look awesome! I love kitchen reno before and afters! I’m all about the white cabinets too. I can’t wait to start on our kitchen!

    • 4.19.16

      Oh, I bet! I think the kitchen is the biggest and most important renovation – that’s where everybody inevitably ends up!

  19. 4.19.16
    Debra Stachelski said:

    It’s going to be a beautiful kitchen! Of course, we will help as much as we can along the way!

  20. 4.19.16

    YAY. Super exciting! Pretty design and I can’t wait to see the before and after pictures! 🙂

  21. 4.19.16

    Ahhhhhhhh so exciting!!!!! I love the plans and everything you picked! I cannot wait to see the before and afters!

  22. 4.19.16

    its going to be beautiful!

    The Midwest Darling

  23. 4.19.16
    Jenn said:

    I LOVE the design plans! I think it’s gonna look amazing and the white is going to brighten up the space a ton!

  24. 4.19.16
    Pamela said:

    I can’t even believe that’s the same kitchen! It’s going to look amazing when it’s finished! I LOVE the sink! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  25. 4.19.16
    Erin Whalen said:

    This is going to be a dream kitchen of mine when you get it complete! I look forward to seeing it when it’s all finished! So happy for you!

  26. 4.19.16
    Biana Perez said:

    it’s going to look amazing! I love the counter tops that you guys picked out and the big pantry & wine rack above the fridge are such nice touches! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • 4.19.16

      Thank you! I always feel like the cabinets above fridges are a waste of space, so I wanted to do something more functional and pretty that suited our style.