Kitchen Reno: The Details

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Now on to the fun part, the details (or as Justin says: "the finishes"). These are the decisions that ultimately make each kitchen different - Appliances, Countertops, Backsplash, Hardware, Sink and the Faucet

Appliances: We replaced all four major appliances in the kitchen (Refrigerator, Range, Microwave and  dishwasher. The brand we chose was LG because it had a more modern/clean line look and the price was right. Of course, we like the newer refrigerators that have the bottom freezer, but those cost at least $600-800+ more. We also liked the LG stove that had large knobs on the front and was a slide-in range (meaning it didn't have the back part that sticks up); however, once again it wasn't worth the extra cost.
One update we wanted for the kitchen was adding shutters to the bay window. They definitely cost more than blinds, but they also look better. We constantly used the shutters as a gauge for decisions by asking, "do we want the slide in range or the shutters?" I highly encourage using the approach when you're on a budget. The shutters were our last big purchase, so it was up to us whether or not the money would be in the budget. This technique definitely helps you prioritize what matters most when making home decisions.
Countertops: In every home magazine and home d├ęcor Pinterest board, you will find beautiful marble countertops. However, when you walk into the store to purchase counters, they will quickly advise you to not use marble in the your kitchen. Marble is a soft material that is not ideal for kitchens because it will etch and will not withstand the acids found in foods. Basically, if you plan on using your kitchen, please be advised that marble is not a good choice. If your kitchen is just for looks - go right ahead!
After talking to the sales associate, she showed us an option called quartzite. It's a much more durable countertop that is available in lighter colors. The warehouse of the company we worked with didn't have much of a selection of quartzite, so they gave us the addresses of a couple of their distributors so we could see what else was out there. We spent a Saturday looking at two huge warehouses and ended up finding the perfect counter (above). One thing that's pretty special about our countertop: it was made in Brazil (where I grew up).
Backsplash - I love the simple look of subway tile, so this was an easy choice. Besides, it's also very economical.

 Hardware - A great way to make your Ikea cabinets not look so "Ikea" is to pair them with accessories that you find elsewhere. We used hardware from home Depot that we found online. This polished handles definitely make the cabinets look more upscale.
Sink - We ordered the sink (three times) from Amazon. We definitely wanted a double-sink and we also decided to go with a sink that had a lower divider in the middle.
Faucet - This is probably one of my favorite things in the kitchen. I wanted something that made an elegant statement and this beautiful faucet does that! I was inspired by another blogger's faucet, but they had used on that was custom made in England for $2,000+. Obviously, that was not in the budget. Meanwhile, I scoured different websites and Pinterest to find alternative faucets that were budget friendly. (For a look at the various faucets that I came across, visit my Pinterest Kitchen Reno board.) We ended up finding one of the faucets I wanted on ebay, so that saves us some money because the original box was opened. This faucet definitely makes a statement!
Check back next week for the reveal! We're so excited to finally share the result of all of the hard work!


  1. Looking great! I like seeing what you're doing since we're mid-reno. We also picked LG for appliances (except Samsung for fridge) based largely off of reviews...I spent a lot of time researching since they're such big purchases. We bought ours during Home Depot's 4th of July sale so we got huge discounts...$1000 off the fridge alone for example. Looking forward to seeing the big reveal!


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