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Modern Classic Kitchen Design Board – Phase 2 and 3

Alriiiiiiight! I can’t even explain how excited we are to be almost ready to jump into phase 2 of the kitchen. If you remember, we did a quick kitchen refresh about a year ago – I tried to organize the spices and it devolved into removing half our cabinets and moving the island and painting and adding open shelves and and and … kidding. That’s as far as we got (see the Quick Kitchen Refresh here). Then we reigned ourselves in and focused on some kitchen organization [more on that HERE]. But we’ve been planning to do more of a kitchen reno since we moved in, and we’re so ready to tackle it!

This is where we started at the very beginning and then after “organizing the spices”:

The original plan was to wait until we could completely gut and redo this space. Basically do a dream kitchen. I had a few budget-friendly updates I wanted to do before a full remodel, such as change countertops out for butcher block, paint the yellow backsplash, and paint the pink floor tile – keep it all pretty simple and mostly save for the big remodel. Though we didn’t have any timeline in mind yet. But, as fate would have it, our dishwasher broke a couple months ago and then the sink faucet went down a few weeks later. That was enough to spur us into action. Actually, we were stupid-excited when the faucet broke because it finally gave us an excuse to jump into it!

Just for sh*ts and giggles, I figured we might as well at least look around at quotes for custom or semi-custom cabinets to get a ballpark idea if we wanted to just go all-in on the remodel or stick with the plan to do a few smaller, budget-friendly upgrades and wait for the big remodel. Well, let me tell you. After getting a few quotes for cabinets, our kitchen started to look a lot more beautiful just as it is … no need for a remodel. Ever. 😅

But for real. Do you know how expensive new cabinets are?! On the low end for semi-custom cabinets in our medium sized kitchen (so not even full custom cabinets) it was like $25k.

Just for the cabinets.


If we ever have that kind of money lying around, I think we might go ahead a try to buy some land or something. I mean …

Just the cabinets for that price! No countertops, floor, backsplash, lights, etc.



And that wasn’t even for custom cabinets 😳

While we absolutely LOVE this house, our dream would be to have a bit more land some day. So $25k or more for cabinets just isn’t realistic if this isn’t our forever home. Now, since I’ve just written that down, of course we’ll probably end up staying in this house forever. But, if that’s the case, maybe we’ll decide to do cabinets in like 20 years. At that point, it would make more sense you know?

Of course, there are other options for new cabinets that are more budget friendly, such as using stock cabinets or ready-to-assemble cabinets. That would fall somewhere near/just under $10k for a kitchen of this size. But we already have nice stock cabinets. No, they aren’t the current super popular inset shaker style doors and drawers. They’re a slightly different molding design. But they’re in great shape and affordable! At the end of the day, there’s really no reason to replace them if we’re replacing them with the same basic thing. We’re also ok with building them up to look more custom – no need to order all those customizations to extend them to the ceiling. We have perfectly good cabinets that we can work with.

Knowing the expense of new cabinets and that this is (probably) not our forever home, we decided that this is the kitchen remodel that we’ll do in this house. And there was no reason to just do the other budget-friendly updates if we cut out that cost of new cabinets. Might as well go for the rest of it! So the plan was to keep the current cabinets but, more importantly, we’d have to keep the same layout since there wasn’t a way to change it without new cabinets.

However, after much searching, I happened to find our exact cabinets at Home Depot! It just so happens that they still carry them.

** cue angels singing **

Meant to beeeeeeee.

With that little piece of information, we can just add a few here and there to get to the kitchen that we had wanted to do in a full remodel! Being able to order the same style gives us the freedom to make a few changes to the kitchen layout and only have to order like three new cabinets. Calling that a win!

So that brings us to: doing the full remodel, minus brand new cabinets, which will keep it within budget! Though the cabinets will look new by the time it’s all said and done 😉 Stay tuned!

There’s been some back and forth on the final layout. But, after much deliberation, musical kitchen trying different layouts, and some awesome input from Instagram, we’ve landed on the final design. It’s still going to be a couple phases to get to the end goal. But now we have a plan and realistic approach! Phase one was the quick kitchen refresh. Here’s the plan for phase two.

Modern Classic Kitchen Phase 2 – L Shaped Kitchen with Large Island

Phase 2 will get us about half way to the final kitchen layout. We’re going to start with new flooring across the whole main area – including the living room, dining room, kitchen. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, that’s already been a whole long saga. But we finally got there! We’ve settled on Malibu Wide Plank French Oak Astoria from Home Depot. It’s a beautiful warm, but light, flooring. It pulls the lighter stone colors from the fireplace and compliments the darker furniture. We can’t wait to see it across the space! And we are also fairly nervous 😅 It’s so tricky to pick flooring. The colors are wildly different in the house than in-store or online. Boy, do I have some lessons-learned to share from that experience! I’m working on a post to share what finally did work for us.

Anyhoo, then we’re going to extend the side of the kitchen by moving one of the island cabinets over next to the back door where that desk used to be (circled in the photo below). We put the coffee hutch there for a bit as well [see DIY Coffee Hutch]. Since I found our matching cabinets, we can now extend the whole kitchen that way!

Then we’ll redo the island with three new cabinets to make it more functional. It will be a large 36″ cabinet with doors and a drawer and two 15″ cabinets, one of which will house the garbage. We loved having a pullout garbage in our last house [see that DIY Kitchen Island here], and I’m so excited to add it to this kitchen. For a total of four new cabinets, we’ll be able to add so much more function to the space!

We’re also going to do new countertops, sink, faucet (the one we replaced the old one with when it broke a few weeks ago), and backsplash. We’ll be well on the way toward the vision we’ve always had for this kitchen!

Kitchen Phase 3

Phase three will be the final phase and involves a few more changes to the floorplan. We’d like to add a door to the garage. The attached garage was added after the house was built and they never put a door into the house. So it’s technically an attached garage but functions more like a detached garage. It would be so nice to be able to access it from the house. We are also in desperate need of some sort of entryway or mudroom.

The plan is to take out the pantry, add a door to the garage in its place, add floor-to-ceiling cabinets for a mudroom, and floor-to-ceiling cabinets along the far wall of the kitchen replace the pantry space. We’ll have to move a couple cabinets around again to make it work. So once those cabinets are all finalized, I’ll build the tops of all the cabinets up to the ceiling, complete with crown molding, and paint them!

Which brings us to: our design vision and mood board for the kitchen (though it won’t look like this for a while).

Modern Classic Kitchen Design

I’ve been loving earthy tones for this kitchen. The goal is a more classic kitchen feel while bringing in some depth and color.

The plan is mushroom cabinets with black countertops around the walls of the kitchen and a dark green island with a light countertop for the island. The contrast with the island and cabinets and countertops is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see how it compliments the stone on the fireplace in the living room. Going for an alpine classic vibe. Or something like that. I don’t know 😂 Nature-inspired, but classic and modern.

Why aren’t we doing phase 2 and 3 at the same time? That would make sense since a few cabinets have to move around in phase 3 as well, I know. But we’re spacing it out to help with costs AND it’s too cold right now to bust a hole in the wall and add the door to the garage. That’s a fair weather project. So here we are! Taking it one piece at a time in a way that makes sense for us. I’ve also tetris-ed it in such a way that all the cabinets that get moved in phase 3 will be used in new places in the final layout, so none will go to waste.

There you have it – the full kitchen plan and design inspo. We’re very excited to get started and can’t wait to share the process with you. Follow along on Instagram to see it all come together in real time!

It’s always a little intimidating at the beginning of a project, knowing the amount of work ahead. But it’s always worth it!

| Tylynn |

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