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Before & After: Clarendon Kitchen

Ahhh this kitchen. One of the things I love about flipping and designing is there are always new projects to tackle... starting from scratch. If the project drags on for a long time, like it does when doing an addition, I get antsy. I change my mind. I redesign. This kitchen was 9 months in the making since this house had an addition added to the front and the back. Since it took so dang long, I'm really shocked that this kitchen didn't change too much throughout the process. The cabinet color changed about eleven-teen times and the lighting and hardware is different but the bulk of it is pretty much what was planned. 

But I digress. Let's go back to the beginning. Below is the original kitchen in this home.

REtro Kitchen Before Renovation

This is not the same room mind you. This room was gutted and eventually became a study. As mentioned in the exterior before and after post, we added on to the back of the house and part of that addition was the kitchen. Having the kitchen at the back of the house made more sense. It's nice to be able to look out on the backyard and be closer to the outdoor entertainment area. Plus, as mentioned in that exterior post, I desperately wanted a servery window. More on that in a minute.

I started by drawing out the floor plan of the new room and then put together the design board. I try to do this even for my own projects because it makes it so much easier for the contractor to "read my mind".

Clarendon New Kitchen Floor Plan and Elevations

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links for products used or originally intended to use for this design.

Top Kitchen: Lauren Liess, Middle Kitchen: Hale House , Bottom Kitchen: CKS Design Studio, Bar stool, Sconce, Faucet, Hardware, Espresso Machine

Side note: I'm pinning like a mofo. Follow me on Pinterest if you are an obsessed design badass, too.

I'm not an artist but it gets the job done. The sketches are necessary so everyone from architect to contractor can see what I'm envisioning. A floor plan alone can't always show these kinds of details. I'd like to say that I can do a 3D rendering but why bother with that learning curve when a pencil and a ruler are much faster and just as effective? Plus I like drawing.

You can see that there is a gray color in there for the cabinet paint color but of course that didn't stick bc...time. I don't even remember what color that was. Other things changed as well, such as the hardware and the sconces because I ultimately decided against brass in this kitchen. For the design board I also threw in staging items to finish off the look. Usually it's just a "suggestion", like the bar stools. Those would have been dope AF to put into my flip but with the cabinets ending up blue and that price tag, I decided to abort that mission. 

--> Links to what I did actually use are at the bottom of this post.

Guys it's AGONY to wait for 9 months to see your creation come to life. LIKE TORTURE EVEN. I'm serious. I lose my shit. I'm not even going to try to pretend I don't. I start staging when the house hasn't even been finished or cleaned yet. I have piles of furniture in a side room waiting for the right time, which still isn't the right time but it is MY time. Not convenient for anyone but yet I still do it. Anyway....it was eventually finished.

I am very happy with the results. I made quite a few decisions in this kitchen that were a little bolder than usual. To have one out there idea is fine but 4 is nerve racking.

Out There Decision One

At the time I was designing this kitchen, I was catching quite a bit of flack about my Haver Home's kitchen and its lack of upper cabinets, thus prompting me to design yet another kitchen without upper cabinets. Wahhahahaha!!! I'll show you guys. I'll stick a giant pantry in the middle of the kitchen and you can store ALL THE THINGS....AND I'll add an actual pantry closet. Nobody can tell me no upper cabinets. NOBODY. It's sad this is how my mind works but it does.

Out There Decision 2

Something that was a stretch for me, and felt quite naughty, was the backsplash. It felt so fancy to be putting in a full slab backsplash. Mind you I've been renovating houses mostly in the $100,000-$200,000 range for a decade now, so to be pushing the luxurious limits in this kitchen felt wrong but oh so right. This house would list for $600,000 so I wanted to make sure the kitchen fit the price tag. I went for it with the marble. MARBLE EVERYWHERE. And even MARBLE to put things on. So fancy.

Out There Decision 3

Another custom design element was the hood. Custom hoods are one of the easiest things to put into a kitchen without much cost or effort. All you have to do is build a box and install a hood insert. Boom. Done. This concept is not so "out there" for me at this point, but spanning it between the pantry and fridge and forgoing any upper cabinetry here felt like a bold move. I had a bunch of cedar that we tore off of my Haver Home so we wrapped the hood with that. It brought in a nice warm farm-y element. 

Out There Decision 4

The final fun design piece that was planned from the very beginning was the servery bar window. This had to be accounted for in the architectural drafting phase. From the get go this window was going to be implemented, but for some reason was very difficult to come up with a budget friendly solution. In the end my contractor had the cabinet maker build it out. I love how it swings open all inviting like.

So there you go. An out there farm-like kitchen. Let's get one final look at this house's original kitchen (not the same room) and the new kitchen.

Clarendon Kitchen Before & After.JPG

And just for fun I'll show you the original room, or at least part of it before the addition, and the new kitchen in the same area.

Farmhouse Kitchen Before and After
Dining Room Turned Farmhouse Style Kitchen

It's all worth it for those Before and After shots! Details and finishes for this kitchen are listed below.

Get your very own Before & After starting at $250. Click here for more info.

Click through here to see more of this house.


Color Palette:

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Counters: Arabescato Carrara

Counters: Arabescato Carrara


Finishes Used:

Click on any photo to learn more. Some of these are affiliate links, yo.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idea Sex: A Capsule Wardrobe for The Home

I hate clothes. They are a waste of effort in my opinion.

I couldn't even sift through photos of clothes to choose one for the top of this post. 

They are too tight or too itchy or make you feel ugly and frankly I can't stand the energy it takes to even think about what to put on. Add on to that the fact that you buy something and the next day you get bacon grease on it, it shrinks, or has a hole in it. What a waste of time and money. Plus, shopping sucks.

I am typically at construction sites, so I usually look like a slob with sweats on and a ponytail. I've been lucky that it doesn't matter much up until this year. I have been fortunate enough to take on several design projects for clients and I love it! Problem is that now I now have to show my face. Can someone really take me seriously looking like I just showed up from PE class? So, I've been pondering a uniform of sorts. I don't want to think, I just want to get dressed and look like a girl who might know how to design something. I don't need a closet full of polyester (none please!), just a few things that each go together despite the minute by minute changing Ohio weather. 

In comes the capsule wardrobe. Sadly, I didn't invent this like I thought I had. A capsule wardrobe is a set of clothes for a season that you can mix and match freely, no thinking. See more about capsule wardrobes here. Despite these ramblings, this is not a post about clothes. I always wondered why I could design the crap out of a room in 5 minutes but couldn't design my own outfits. Then it hit me: 

I struggle with clothes the same way my clients struggle with interior design. 

Thus, the Renovation Design Capsule was born. Want to put together a renovation design and not have to think about it? A template might help! I gathered all of my go to paint colors, materials and finishes into one design deck. Each of these I use all over the house whether it's in the bathroom, kitchen or living room. No, you don't have to worry about if you have nickel finishes in the kitchen but want to use gold in the bathroom. They can be mixed and even in the same room. You don't have to think about what color goes with what because everything on this deck can sit side-by-side with the others. 

These are the basics I like to use and am using in my current flip house to create a peaceful, yet pulled together look. See it in action in the kitchen of my latest project. Forgive the wretched photo. This house is still under construction. 

 In the above photo you can see 10 of the 20 go-to finishes at work here:

  • Behr Ultra White white walls
  • Behr Iron Mountain painted doors
  • Matte black door hardware
  • Carrara marble counter
  • Stainless steel range 
  • Brass cabinet hardware
  • Black overhead lighting
  • Natural wood trim and shelving
  • Gray shaker cabinetry
  • Wood flooring laid in a subway style pattern

"But, Wendy, what about your cement tile? That's not in your capsule!"

You are so so observant! I don't believe the capsule is meant to be taken so literally that only gray tile should be used or navy blue paint or marble counters. Mix up the aspects of each of item to maintain a cohesive look. Idea sex if you will. The colors are all present in that cement tile. It works. Here are some other options, some of which are scattered throughout the rest of this home.

  • Porcelain hexagon bathroom floor tile
  • Navy blue painted kitchen cabinetry
  • Marble subway tiled shower
  • Reclaimed plank accent wall

Another of our home designs from this year followed the same templates. 

In this kitchen we have at least 8 of the 20 capsule pieces represented:

  • Reclaimed wood on the island
  • White ceramic subway tile backsplash
  • White shaker cabinetry
  • Stainless faucet, cabinet hardware and range hood
  • Oil rubbed bronze pendant lights
  • White painted walls
  • Marble and ceramic decor

 

Now, you can go ahead and be like one of the commenters in the capsule wardrobe post I linked to that says,

"This is BS! What about color!? I need color!"

Don't be an idiot. But seriously, guys, this is not set in stone. Add one color, or two even! Do whatever you want. It's your house. Or, follow the scheme set forth and punch it up a bit in your decor. You can see we broke up much of the bright white with the natural wood tones, and black and yellow decor. 

What's even more impressive with this Design Capsule is that it can work with any style of home. Traditional, modern, transitional, you name it...it all works. The first kitchen shown at the top of the post is a transitional kitchen, the second is an industrial-modern kitchen, while the third is a rustic cottage style. You can't break this theory! It works!

Using a model like this Renovation Design Capsule keeps one from feeling complete overwhelm, venturing off into the design black hole. Sometimes it's best to work within a constraint. Not so much that you feel you won't get what you want, but enough to keep you from considering EVERYTHING on offer. 

And once again, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE NEUTRAL ZONE. Everything looks cozier once you add back in the furnishings and decor.

As a side note: I'm not really sure why I dated it Winter 2016 since these tried and true "rules" work in any season. The colors are neutral; the patterns are classic. I don't see this changing much over the seasons or years even. As evidence I'd like to point out that these three kitchens were all designed in different seasons and different years. Perhaps navy blue will get the heave-ho at some point and herringbone will be so last year. Who knows. If that should happen, Renovation Design Capsule 2.0 will be created with a new date or name. 

Do you have an rooms that matches this template in your house?