How did you know it was time to start the renovation?Falling down cabinets, squeaky drawers, a less than stellar layout — our small kitchen has been in need of a renovation since the day we moved in almost eight years ago. We did some minor renovations throughout the years to make it work, but we needed more functional space to work with.
Why did you choose Home Installs to do this project?We were already planning on using Home Hardware products in this renovation, so it made sense to use the Home Installs team for this project. We met with our Home Installs kitchen designer, Tammy, and she was amazing to work with! She took our rough drawings (and somehow made sense of them!) and then walked us around the showroom explaining the differences in finishes, cabinet styles, counters and more.
What information did you need to provide to the Home Installs designer?We provided them with all possible measurements (walls, ceiling height, windows, doors, appliances, etc.), the positioning of the plumbing and the positioning of the electrical. From there, Tammy drafted a few layout options for us to consider and envision.
What were your must haves for this kitchen?First things, I knew I needed a layout plan that allowed the dishwasher to be closer to the sink. In the old kitchen, the only place the dishwasher could go was in the corner furthest away from the sink. Loading it was a total pain and (before it completely stopped working), we would end up just hand washing the dishes anyway.
I also really wanted to keep some open shelving. I’m just not a fan of loads and loads of closed cabinet doors.
The last ‘non-negotiable’ design element for me was a kitchen island.
What was the biggest challenge for planning this kitchen?The size. Even though we’re effectively doubling the size of the kitchen by pulling space from our old dining room, it is still a narrow room (not quite a galley style, but almost). And let’s be real, doubling the size of a very small kitchen still results in not-the-biggest kitchen.
How did you prepare your kitchen for the renovation?In the weeks leading to Demo Day, Dan and I blitzed the entire kitchen. We each tackled one zone every couple of days to declutter.
How did you create extra storage in a small space?We designed a custom island on industrial wheels! It will mainly live on the back wall of the kitchen for everyday use. But when I want to bake with the girls, or when we are hosting parties with guests and need a buffet surface, we can wheel it out and VOILA!
What went into choosing the colour and style of cabinets?We chose shaker style cabinets because we loved how they are both classic and modern at the same time. We loved the simple lines and profile. We stuck with white for the colour for a couple reasons - firstly, the space is not huge, so we felt white would make it feel more expansive and secondly, the white feels a bit beachy - and we live by the beach! One other thing we did was match the white wall colour to the cabinets, so that the bulkhead above them visually disappears. We couldn't remove the bulkhead because it contains plumbing, so matching the doors to the paint was the best way to make an unsightly feature disappear.
What type of countertop did you choose?We chose high end laminate counters in this kitchen for two reasons: firstly, it is going to save thousands on costs and install fees. Secondly, we are planning this kitchen renovation with resale in mind. Since our neighbourhood is a starter neighbourhood, we don't feel we will necessarily get the value out of real stone or quartz counters when we go to sell.
How did you choose your backsplash?If I'm being honest, I thought I was going to agonize over this choice a lot more than I did! But I found that once we had settled on a countertop sample, picking a backsplash tile was a lot simpler. I went back and forth between a carrara marble subway tile and honed marble hexagon tiles and the hex won! I was immediately drawn to it and I think it's always safe to go with your gut.
Did you change the flooring in your kitchen?Our home has wall to wall hardwood flooring that was installed by the previous homeowner. We love it and wanted to keep it in the kitchen. This meant the Home Installs team had to patch the hardwood floor in the areas left bare when we removed the wall between the old kitchen and dining room. The crew was able to gently pull up the existing hardwood from spots that would be covered by cabinets or appliances and patch the floor perfectly! You can't even tell at all!
We are so happy we decided to go this route versus replacing the floor completely. It saved us time on the renovation and allowed us to keep continuous flooring throughout the entire main floor.
Why did you decide to move out during the renovation?Our kind and wonderful Home Installs Project Manager suggested that a kitchen remodel is no joke and that we might want to consider moving out. I’m SO glad I took her advice. As much as it was a bit of a pain to pack away the kitchen and pack to move the family out for two weeks - it was a total blessing. I mean, demolitions make a mess AND take up space.
How did you choose your paint colour?
I pulled colours from the green and blue families and even toyed with a purple-plum. But ultimately, I went with a tried and true colour that just feels SO aligned with my personal style, Fresh-ie C36-5-1572-0 by Beauti-Tone.
What finishes did you choose for your sink, faucet and hardware?We chose a stunning stainless-steel sink with a modern square design. We went back and forth on the overall finish of the faucet (a gooseneck, sleek design) but ended up with brushed nickel. It’s soft and not too shiny. For our hardware, we wanted it to stand out a bit, so we chose oil rubbed bronze which creates a strong visual presence in the kitchen.
How did you choose the lighting for your kitchen?Because our kitchen is in the middle of the house, there really is only one window in the space. Most of the light filters in from the dining room and a bit from the living room. Needless to say, choosing lighting that made sense was a priority for us. The main areas of the kitchen are now lit with LED recessed lights - which make a massive difference in the brightness!
But the one place we had some fun was with the hanging pendant light over the sink. I went with an oil-rubbed bronze pendant with a clear glass shade. It hangs in front of the only window and the glass lets us still capture the view of the yard and water beyond. It’s a great tie in to the cabinet hardware.