FINALLY! This is the year that I am finally going to working on a project I’ve been dreaming of and talking about for years. Our kitchen. To get started, I’ve laid it all out in a California farmhouse kitchen design plan. I’ve recently started calling my design style California farmhouse because I do still like some of the farmhouse vibes, but more simplified, neutral, and bright. (post contains affiliate links, see disclosure)
We recently added this faux beam to separate the living room from the dining and kitchen area. It was the project I needed to push me to start the kitchen. To be honest, I’m still very nervous about starting. I’m scared that it won’t be perfect. That maybe my DIY skills aren’t good enough and I will notice all the imperfections every day for years to come. Because of this, there will be no deadlines, no pressure to finish. I am taking this slow so that it can be as perfect as can be.
Here’s a little before photo of our existing kitchen. I fully realize that there is nothing “wrong” with this kitchen. It’s practically brand new at only six years old. However, one of my biggest regrets about building our home was this dark cabinetry. It’s beautiful, but without any windows in this part of the house, it can feel like a black hole. Even cooking during the day, we have to turn on a light just to see. Lately, I have been thinking about adding skylight tunnels or two more windows in the dining room to bring in some more light.
I’ve also decided to break up this project into three parts. Since the pandemic, we have been using our kitchen more than ever. And I’ve also started to enjoy cooking a little bit more, so it is getting more use than it ever has. And the last thing I wanna do is start ripping it all apart. It will just add to my stress.
Surprisingly, part one is going to be the biggest change with adding additional upper cabinetry and painting the cabinets a bright white. Because our upper cabinets vary so much in sizing (not even two of them are the same) I would have to get custom cabinets made and that is just not in the budget. At one point, I even thought about removing all the upper cabinets completely, however, we are already limited on storage in this home. And I love the idea of adding onto the uppers even more. So I’m going to build faux upper cabinetry following Our Faux Farmhouse tutorial on Instagram. I love the way theirs turned out and it seems so easy.
But before I do that, I will be removing some corner cabinets to create open shelving. I’ve wanted open shelving in our kitchen forever. We had it for a short time years ago, but it was just decorative and filled with clutter. I want shelving big enough to hold our plates, bowls, glasses, etc. as well as some cute decor. Be pretty AND functional.
The pendant lights and sink faucet will be remaining the same. And I am going to be reusing our cabinet hardware. Originally I was planning to spray paint it black, but now I am thinking of aged brass or bronze. I love the warmth that mixed metals add to a room. And since our black faucet and black pendants will be staying the same, I think the brass on the hardware will be a nice touch.
I would also like to add a vertical shiplap to our kitchen island. I think this will add some texture to an all-white kitchen, without being too bold. It will be white for now, and once our countertops are replaced, I will probably paint it a moody gray or beige. New counter stools will tie it all together. I originally wanted these wood stools, however, with the beam and open shelving, there will be a lot of other wood tones in the room. So I might do black instead.
For part one, I chose to focus on things I can do now without spending a lot of money. However, part two and three is where all the money gets spent. For part two, I would like to purchase a new refrigerator and range oven. We already have a GE slate dishwasher (we had to replace our old one) so that is why I am choosing these to match. Nothing fancy, just something simple and easy to clean. Once we have the new fridge, I’d like to build it in with a cabinet surround.
I would also like to remove our over the range microwave and build a custom hood. I’ll be putting a smaller microwave in our pantry cabinet, so I also need to get everything organized. I’d love to add extra shelving and pull out shelves to all of our lower cabinets and pantry. There is nothing worse than having to dig for a Tupperware lid in the back of a cabinet right?
With the fridge and range hood plans, I think part one and two are going to be combined a little bit. I can’t exactly build upper cabinetry without doing some of the range hood. And I can’t build a fridge surround, without adjusting the cabinets above the fridge.
The last part of the California farmhouse kitchen design will be updating our laminate countertops. I’d love to have beautiful white quartz similar to the one we have in our master bathroom. Again, a major cost that I will need to save up for. I would also like to square off the angled part of the peninsula. It has always felt weird to me.
I guess it started feeling weird to our builder too because in the new design for our floorplan, the closet in the hall is completely gone and there is just one large island centered in the kitchen. It’s beautiful and is something Joe and I still think about doing. Removing that wall would open everything up so much more. However, it would require much more than just removing a wall. We would have to move electrical, flooring, etc and I’m pretty sure it’s supporting part of our roof.
After the new countertops are installed, I will also add a backsplash. I would love a pretty organic tile like this Cloe tile in gray or a creamy white. But, I also found a beautifully handcrafted tile from Lowe’s that is also white and a little more modern. But I have lots of time to decide on this!
With new countertops, also comes a new sink. Which we need desperately. I’d love to have this apron front sink that still fits standard cabinets. But I also love the contrast that a black under-mount black sink adds to white countertops. Again, another decision I have plenty of time for.
So those are plans so far, and I’m sure a lot will change as I start working on it. Will this be my dream kitchen? Not exactly. However, I’m working with what we’ve got and trying to improve it in every way I can without any major changes or renovations.