Tacoma Converted Garage // Moody Kitchen: Cabinets + Countertop Prep (ORC, Week 3)

TACOMA CONVERTED GARAGE

Catch up on previous weekly updates about this moody kitchen renovation here: week 1, and week 2.

We’re half way through this One Room Challenge and our moody kitchen is finally taking shape. This week we installed cabinets, prepped for countertops, fabricated the countertops, and ordered all the remaining pieces. I’m getting excited to finally see this space starting to come together!

   

Installing Cabinets

The install on these cabinets went pretty quickly, and Garrett did it by himself. Thankfully these floors are pretty level (for a change!) so that made the job go a lot smoother. We also added a 3/4″ plywood surface on the cabinets for the countertops to sit.

We decided to hang our upper cabinets at 18″ above the countertops (a pretty standard dimension these days), but I usually like my uppers another couple of inches higher. The reason we kept them to 18″ this go around was to match the top of the pantry cabinet.

I wanted to add one note about stone countertop prep for you DIYers: 2cm stone requires a plywood underlayment and 3cm does not. So the savings you see from buying 2cm countertops often washes out when you consider the expense and time to apply the plywood. We always choose 3cm when it’s available (sadly this black granite only came in 2cm).

Building in a Fridge Cabinet

I like the look of a built-in fridge. Ideally we’d have a paneled-front fridge in here, but a cabinet around the fridge will do. We ripped a piece of plywood to cabinet depth and will attach a short upper cabinet to the top of it. Then we’ll trim it out, paint everything the cabinet color, and install the fridge. I think it’ll look pretty good!

Here’s a video of the backsplash, cabinet and underlayment install. Garrett solo’d all the prep work… How did he hang those uppers by himself!? Talented guy ; )

 

To Soffit or Not to Soffit

Our big debate this week was whether to build a soffit above the cabinets or leave them open. A ton of you guys weighed in on Instagram (thank you!!!) and gave us a lot to think about. We’re still not 100% decided, but I’m leaning towards a paneled soffit that matches the cabinet style and painted in the cabinet color. I think that may help the ceilings look taller in here, plus a wall of cabinets from floor to ceiling will feel more built-in. Hopefully by next week we’ll have a decision on that.

Countertops

We also fabricated the countertops this week…actually, today. I don’t have all the photos ready to share, but I thought I’d leave you with this one. We bought pre-cut slabs (in 8′ lengths) from a local supplier and cut and honed them. Honestly, stone fabrication and install is a tough DIY (especially when dealing with corners and sink cutouts) and it never turns out as good as the professionals. At least a few times, Garrett and I questioned why we took this task on ourselves…again. But alls well that ends well and these countertops turned out pretty good. I’m excited to share more next week.

That’s all for this week. Check out all the featured and guest participants here.

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Tacoma Converted Garage // Moody Kitchen: Floor Plan + Finishes (ORC, Week 2)

TACOMA CONVERTED GARAGE

Catch up on previous weekly updates about this moody kitchen renovation here: week 1

Welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge! We have officially made zero progress on our moody kitchen renovation – we were on vacation in New York City – so we’re sweating a little bit. But I suppose if we can put together a kitchen in 5 weeks, then we can do it in four. Probably 😉 Today we’ll be sharing a floor plan as well as many of the finishes we’ve picked out so far.

The Floor Plan

The Tacoma Converted Garage has an open living, dining, and kitchen space that forms an “L” shape. We shared this plan before, but have since updated the kitchen to show our big-post-in-the-middle-of-the-island situation. It’s a doozy, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves. Hopefully the post will look like a cool architectural feature when we’re finished and not an awkward post in the middle of the island. We’ll share more about the island when we start working on it.

Garrett and I are used to renovating small kitchens in our old homes, so this one actually feels spacious in comparison. There’s room for a pantry cabinet, full-size refrigerator, a deep kitchen sink, a respectable island and a dining space nearby. But what I love most about this kitchen/living/dining space is how livable it feels. I can totally imagine myself enjoying this finished space.

Finishes

Now about those finishes… Last week we talked about all the black we have planed for this space, but we’re also bringing in lots of wood, brass, and stainless steel. Have a look.

Sources (affiliate links included): 1 // 2 Polished Concrete // 3 Absolute black granite // 4 // 5 // 6 GS Cabinets (Seattle) // 7 // 8 Dark paint (this one is SW Black Magic) // 9 SW Snowbound // 11 // 12 // 13

Obviously this isn’t all of the finishes, but these are the ones I’m focused on right now. The art options (I’m leaning to 11 or 12, what about you?) and rug are definitely not major components of this kitchen renovation, but I included them since they’ll be prominent in the finished look. It always seems like the final touches in a space are what pulls the whole room together. Ya know? When we’re renovating on a normal schedule, I usually collect these final items over time. But because I really want this kitchen to feel warm and inviting even though we’re on this accelerated ORC schedule, I’ve been thinking about these final finishes from the start this time around.

That’s it for this week. Over the next 7 days, we’ll be working on getting cabinets installed and the countertops prepped (Garrett is cutting and installing them himself!). Looking forward to sharing more next week!

Check out all the featured and guest participants here.

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Our Favorite Kitchen Renovations To Date

We’ll be getting into the Porch House kitchen renovation here on the blog soon, but before we do, I wanted to take a trip down memory lane. Garrett and I have renovated 7 kitchens to date – 5 of which we’ve lived in – and we’ve each liked and disliked different things about them. Functionality, finishes, memories…it all plays a role in the impression we’re left with. So today I thought it would be fun to share which of our previous kitchen renovations Garrett and I liked best and why.

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Cathy’s Pick // Bryant House

subway tile, antique hutch, butcher block, kitchen

It’s really hard for me to pick favorites between our homes (because I love them all for different reasons), but the Bryant House kitchen definitely sticks out. I love the simple white and wood color palette, the antique hutch in the corner, and the attached dining nook. But best of all, this kitchen gets the best natural daylight. We tore down an interior wall and aded two sliding doors and now you get light from three sides in here so even when the weather is dreary (which is a quite frequently in Seattle), this space shines.

Favorite memory: We had our first baby, Wilder, in this house and the kid could not be set down. He would just cry and cry so he spent most his time in my arms. I would spend hours sitting in here drinking coffee at the table, catching up on blogs (before this one existed), and just holding my baby. I feel like I really became a mom in this kitchen and I’ll never forget it.

See more: The Bryant kitchen // budget // reveal

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Garrett’s Pick: Dexter House

When I asked Garrett why Dexter? He said: “Well, it starts with the Blue Star range and ends with the Blue Star range!” We’ve had 7 different cooking surfaces  including an induction range top and the open, star-pattern burner on the Blue Star is the runaway favorite. “I also like the layout and natural light from the skylights.” We actually shrank the kitchen down during the remodel but that made it so much more efficient. The kitchen is wide and even though it doesn’t have an island, there are a few nice stretches of counter for prep.

Garrett’s favorite memory: walking down to the farmers market for fresh ingredients and then cooking summer dinner with a glass of wine.

See more: kitchen reveal / resources / construction

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Those are our favorites to date. Are you surprised?

Related posts

Ravenna kitchen / 6 Day Kitchen / 6 Day Kitchen Resources /

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Adding vintage charm to a kitchen // Takeaways from the Porch House Reno

There are few things I love more in a home than a beautiful kitchen with vintage appeal. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, adding vintage charm into your kitchen isn’t as hard as it seems.  Even if your kitchen is brand new and your budget is stretched super thin, vintage charm is possible!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelves and Cabs 3.2 CROPPED

our Porch House kitchen renovation (via Instagram)

Six takeaways from the Porch House renovation on how to add vintage charm to a new, old, or something-in-between kitchen. psst: these are great tips to review before starting on a kitchen renovation, especially in a vintage home!

Natural elements // wood, marble, stone and other natural materials feel old because they are old. These are also the materials that were used in kitchens at the turn of the last century – back before the advent of quartz and mdf – so these materials lend a timeless appeal to any kitchen. If you’re renovating, think about marble, soapstone, or honed black granite countertops. And if not, prop some old wood or marble boards against your backsplash. Natural materials tend to get better with age, so you can argue that they are great investments too!  That brings me to number two…

Aged Brass // in the oldest of old homes, you usually find brass hardware on the original cabinets and doors, and it’s aged to perfection. To get that feel in a new kitchen, try swapping out your hardware for unlacquerd brass (which will patina) or aged brass hardware in a classic style such as a bin pull, cabinet latch, and knob. For budget hardware options, like what we used in the Porch House kitchen, look here.

Vintage accessories // if a remodel is not in your immediate future, bring in some vintage accents. Pieces with a little patina like old bread boards, vintage cotton towels, hand-carved utensils, vintage art and rugs, your grandmother’s cookbooks, and old baskets add instant character. Place them on your countertops (in low traffic areas), on open shelves, in glass-fronted cabinets, or prop them against your backsplash. These pieces don’t need to cost a fortune, either. Try hitting up yard sales, antique shops, estate sales, or peek through your parent’s garage.

Dried herbs // growing food and making spices is a bit of a lost art these days, but hanging herbs in your kitchen (even if they’re from your grocery store’s produce section), gives your space automatic vintage appeal. I like wrapping up a few stems of thyme, sage, or lavender with a little twine and then hanging them from a peg or a small hook mounted to the underside of a cabinet. Bonus: your kitchen will smell like a five-star restaurant!

Keep the color palette simple // whether you’re renovating anew or dealing with an existing kitchen, sticking with two or three hues in your kitchen lets vintage accents shine through. At the Porch House, we painted all the walls and shelves a basic white, selected a soft neutral for the cabinetry, and topped everything with carrara marble. This simple color palette allows the eye to notice the elements we layered over top: vintage artwork, wood utensils, and brass hardware. And if you happen to have a dark kitchen or it’s wood heavy, I’d look for white stoneware and other light vintage accents to achieve a similar focal point.

Hide the hood // this tip is for folks looking to renovate or do a large DIY project. Built-in range hoods that hide all or part of the hood and vent, feel much older than their modern counterparts. At the Porch House, we drywalled the built-in hood, and in our Ravenna renovation, we built a cabinet to hide the vent.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Large HoodThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen HoodThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelf 2.1

our Porch House kitchen renovation (vintage utensils from, crockhardware, pegspot filler c/o)

Those are a few takeaways from our Porch House renovation, but I’d love to hear if you have any others. Let us know in the comments!

If you’re itching to find a few vintage (or vintage-inspired) accessories for your kitchen, here are a few items that have caught my eye as of late:

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Related: 

our favorite hardware under $7 / tips for buying vintage rugs (from Room for Tuesday) / how to age brass (from In My Own Style)

And in case you want to Pin this one for later…

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelves and Cabs 3.2 TEXT

xoxo

-Cathy

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