6 Day Kitchen Reno // Resources

JULIA AND GARRETT’S KITCHEN

The #6daykitchenreno is done, which means that I get to share my favorite part of every renovation with you guys today, the ‘before and afters’. But before I get to that, I’ll share all sources with you. And if you want to know more about the #6daykitchen, you can read up here: intro, design, construction, and reveal.

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Like all of our renovations, I mixed high and low finishes in this kitchen. We splurged on the sconce, appliances, countertops, and tile (due to the sheer quantity). But we were able to offset some of those costs by buying budget hardware, stock cabinets (which we painted ourselves), and an inexpensive sink. I invariably forget a resource or two, so let me know in the comment section if you want to know where anything else came from.

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Resources: Sherwin Williams Naval (blue) | Sherwin Williams Snowbound | Sconce Rejuvenation | Faucet Delta faucet | Tile Subway tiles | Cutting Board Williams Sonoma | Cabinets GS Cabinet | Towel Williams Sonoma | Floors Lumber Liquidators | Marble Board Anthropologie | Cabinet Pull Martha Stewart | Kob Martha Stewart | Vase Anthropologie | all appliances, Kitchen Aid | Sink (not shown), Amazon

Now about those ‘before and afters’. This renovation yielded some pretty great ones, if I do say so myself. In a matter of 7 days, we took this space from dark and demo’d (which the homeowners did before we arrived) to bright and beautiful. Have a look:

the-grit-and-polish-6-day-before-and-afterthe-grit-and-polish-window-before-and-afterthe-grit-and-polish-6-day-before-and-after-2the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-fridge-before-and-after

Better, right?!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this renovation. Any materials you love or would have picked differently?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. I’m obsessing over this stack of textiles.  I’d love them all in any (or all) of the farmhouse bedrooms.

p.p.s. Did you guys see Studio McGee’s Windsong house reveal this week? It had me at the copper gutter on the eve (and then the front deck and then the great room and then the kitchen island and…)

p.p.p.s. A few of my favorite kitchens this week on Pinterest: 1, 2, and 3. Plus, a reader recently sent me this photo as inspiration for our staircase, and oh my goodness I love it! Thanks, Geraldine!

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6 Day Kitchen Reno // Reveal

JULIA AND GARRETT’S KITCHEN

Well the day is finally here. I get to show you the finished kitchen renovation for our #6daykitchenreno project! And if you have no idea what I’m taking about, you can get caught up on the design here and construction here. Or just watch this 11 second clip for the cliff note version.

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That’s us up there, and you can see how happy and exhausted we are after a week of non-stop renovating. Even with the help of the homeowners (our friends Julia and Garrett), we barely finished this project in 7 days. But the experience was as fun as it was hard, and I can’t wait to tackle our next quickie project!

With or without the short timeline, I’m really proud of this renovation. We turned a dark and dated kitchen into a bright and beautiful space.

the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-1the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-sink-flowersthe-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-west-2the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-doors

Let’s talk about the navy! The color is Naval by Sherwin Williams (stay tuned for all the kitchen resources next week), and I love it. We had originally planned on gray base cabinets and than switched to white.  At the last minute, Julia decided that in her heart of hearts, navy was what she wanted, and I was 100% in. The navy color was a bit controversial with lookie loos during the renovation, but hopefully the finished kitchen sways them. What about you guys? Do you like the navy?

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Obviously, there’s a lot that I love about this kitchen, but at the top of that list is the sconce that we hung above the sink. It’s from Rejuvenation and just So. Darn. Pretty! This is actually the first kitchen I’ve done using brass hardware (I know! where have I been?!), and you can consider me firmly on that band wagon from here on out. Brass is just so warm and pretty and I can’t wait to use it all over the farmhouse!

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The floors were another last minute change that I’m so happy we made! We had originally planned to use 12″x24″ tiles on the floors in here, but when we laid them out with the countertops and backsplash, they just looked flat. So on day 3 of the remodel, Julia and I ran around Seattle in rush-hour traffic to find pre-finished red oak floors. And it was totally worth the hassle, because these floors are stunning. Sometimes game day changes are the best decisions you make all renovation long!

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Another big feature in this kitchen is the subway tiles. We were absolutely crazy to tile every wall surface during a week-long kitchen remodel, but I’m so glad we did.  The tiles bounce the light around the room and the white on white tile/grout/cabinets combination gives the space a really polished look.

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Garrett and I are thrilled with how this quick kitchen renovation turned out, and even more importantly, the homeowners are too! It’s amazing what you can get done in 7 days with the right planning and a whole lot of elbow grease.

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Stay tuned for resources next week.  Anything else you want to know about this quick kitchen reno? Leave me a note in the comments.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. About that fast timeline… Veronica puts us to shame. She’s designed 300+ homes and most of them were constructed from the ground up in 7 days (!!!). Consider me blown away!

p.p.s. A few home tours to peruse instead of being productive during nap-time: 1, 2, 3. You’re welcome.

p.p.p.s. Bringing more joy into your home. Isn’t that what design is all about?!

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Vintage Sinks in the Kitchen

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Let’s talk about vintage kitchen sinks for a minute.  I LOVE the look of vintage sinks in kitchens, especially in remodeled kitchens in older homes.  So when we began the kitchen remodel at the Dexter House, I scoured salvage stores and stalked Craigslist daily.  But I just couldn’t find the right one.

That’s when I stumbled upon vintage replica sinks…

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen After

This 42″ washboard sink looks old but is actually brand new.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen After Sink Wall

The sink fit perfectly in my kitchen design.  And we were able to tuck the dishwasher underneath the washboard side to save space.  And while I would have preferred to use an old sink (that’s just how I roll…), I love that this sink improved upon some of the pitfalls of antique sinks: it has a deeper basin and the drain hole is wide enough to accommodate a garbage disposal.  So even though the sink was over $700, it was a no brainer for this remodel.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Sink Flowers

We’ve been using this kitchen for six months now and are pretty happy with it.  I wish the basin was still a little deeper, and Garrett wishes we picked a lower faucet so water wouldn’t splash outside the sink as much.  But we both love the integral backsplash and the built-in drainboard for drying dishes and baby stuff.  I would definitely consider using this sink in another remodel, and of course I would definitely consider using a vintage sink, should the right one come along.

Here are three other kitchens who I think are using vintage sinks (or well-done replicas) awesomely:

Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 1 Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 2 Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 3

Sources: One | Two | Three

That first image is my all-time dream antique sink.  A washboard and an apron front (!).  Which I would put in my dream country house, of course.

I’d love to hear what you guys think.  Would you ever use a vintage sink in your kitchen? How about a vintage replica sink?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. I spend my time reading about historic kitchen materials.  It’s cool.  Get on board!

p.p.s. Loving the idea of a fireplace in a dining room.  It seems so cozy.  You’d never have to leave the table in a room like this!

p.p.p.s. And speaking of dream dining rooms…oh weren’t we?! Mine would definitely have a table like this one in it. Must see if Garrett can build me one!

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Dexter Kitchen Renovation Part 2: the Reveal

THE DEXTER HOUSE

This is part 2 of a series on the Dexter House kitchen renovation.  Part 1 (the Renovation Process) can be found here.

After months of hard work, it’s finally time to share the renovated Dexter House kitchen with you.  And let me just say that no one is more excited about the finished space than me!  I love this kitchen – it is simple, elegant, efficient, and totally approachable.  And best of all, it’s 100% done!  Well 95%, but who’s counting…

I already told you guys about the renovation process in part 1, so lets get down to the main attraction.  The ‘after’ photos of the Dexter kitchen…

The Grit and Polish - Dexter KitchenThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel northThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel south

Early in the design process, I decided to go with a ‘decidedly-not-white’ approach for this space, opting instead for a tuxedo plan that called for black lower cabinets.  The look is quite a bit different then our previous all-white kitchens (like the kitchens at the Ravenna and Bryant houses), but one that we really like.  In fact, this is both Garrett and my favorite kitchen renovation to date.

It took us a good 5 months to complete this room in tandem with the rest of the Dexter House renovation.  We did all of the work ourselves with some help from family and friends.  And by ‘family’ I mean mostly Papa, my father-in-law, and by ‘some’ I mean all of his nights and all of his weekends for the better part of half a year.  I know, you’re wondering where to get yourself a Papa right about now…what can I say, you’ve got to marry in 😉

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel open shelvesThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen AfterThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen After Sink BigThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Renovation Details Collage 2

There’s a lot that I love about this kitchen.  I love the warmth of the wood, the sleekness of the stove, and vintage-feel of the sink.  I love that we can fit two adults plus a sweet baby and a toddler nicknamed “the tornado” in here and still manage to cook dinner.  I love that the kitchen is open enough to the dining room that you can sit and have a conversation with the chef (aka Garrett) but it’s not open so much that it feels like your whole house is a mess if there’s a bowl left out on the counter.  There’s also something not too precious about this space (as opposed to the Ravenna kitchen, which always felt a bit on the precious side), like you could render a duck in here and that’d be cool.  But what I love the most is that the kitchen feels cohesive with the rest of our 1905 Spanish-style house, which was my number one goal.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel AllThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Renovation Shelf Details CollageThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel mudroom

At the end of every renovation, I like to take a look at the before and afters.  It really puts into perspective just how much work we’ve done.  So without further ado, here’s a look back to the Dexter House in May 2015 compared with how it looks today.

The Grit and Polish - Before and After Collage EastThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Before and After South The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Before and After North Wall

Back in June, I wrote this description of what I wanted this kitchen renovation to turn out like:

“…I’m going for something a bit more cozy and rustic and old world.  A space that may look a bit more chaotic, but always feels like the heart of our family.  Basically I want the Dexter kitchen to feel like the kitchen of a 50-year-old Italian/Spanish/French mother of six, where you roll out biscuits right on the countertop, stir boiling pots of homemade marinara with your kids (your great grandmother’s recipe, obviously), and wear a cotton apron all day long.  Or perhaps an efficient, newer version of that.  Do you feel me?”

I summed it up as a “warm European feel” in August.  And while I think we achieved that generally, along the way, we also drifted off the mark a bit (like painting the lowers in high-gloss and installing an pro-style range).  But ultimately, we ended up with what we wanted.  Something efficient, welcoming, and ‘decidedly not-white’.  And most importantly, we ended up with a kitchen that we love!

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel W and Mama

And in case you’re wondering why I said we’re only 95% done, well there’s still some paint touchup and caulking left to do.  But if you didn’t notice, I’m not going to point it out! 😉

Here’s a recap of all the Dexter kitchen posts… Campaign hardware | Butcher Block Countertops | Tuxedo Kitchen Progress | Cement Tile Backsplash | Tuxedo kitchen plan | Drywall and Cabinets | Rough In | Dexter Kitchen Plan | Framing and Final Demo | and all about the Mudroom

Next up is the budget and resources for this renovation.  But in the meantime, lay it on me.  What do you guys think about our tuxedo kitchen renovation?  I’d love to hear it…the good, the bad, and the I-would-never-ever-EVER-do-that!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. I’ve been pretty obsessed with “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” lately.  Not that obsession is a bad thing.  Have you seen it?  In another life, I think I might have married Phil and weighed 300 pounds and laughed so hard every day that I had a wrinkly face and killer abs.  ps It’s on Netflix!

p.p.s. Need a home tour fix?  Here’s another great Amber Interiors project, and check out how these newlyweds redid Grandpa’s Hollywood home.  And for something a little more sophisticated, check out this Brooklyn townhouse!

p.p.p.s. Planet 9.  The never seen, newly discovered planet in our solar system.  And shucks, they want to name it after one of my favorite nephews! 😉

p.p.p.p.s. I’m going on 30 days of clean eating and I’m loving it!  Actually the whole family has been loving it…our 2-year-old included!  Have any meal suggestions or tips for sticking with it?  I’ve got a small collection on Pinterest but would love more recipies!

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Dexter Kitchen: Campaign Hardware

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Well, I can finally say that I like the look of the campaign hardware as much as I had hoped.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Campaign Hardware

There are also more issues with the hardware than I expected (did you notice the booboo on the lower right drawer?), but I’ll get to that in a minute. First up, let’s talk about where we found this undeniably beautiful cabinet hardware and the installation process.

After searching high and low for recessed pulls for the kitchen drawers, I found the perfect campaign-style pulls on Etsy.  They’re handcrafted to by a group down in LA.

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Installation was tricky at best even for an experienced DIY-er (or maybe not even then…see aforementioned booboo).  We had 13 pulls to put in and it took three of us a solid 6 hours.

Since campaign hardware is recessed below the face of the drawer, you have to use a router for installation.  You need a template of the recessed area that will serve as a guide for the router blade.  Garrett made us one by tracing the back of the pull on a small piece of mdf and then cutting it out with a jigsaw.  Let me apologize in advance for the slew of bad iPhone pictures coming your way…

The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install template

The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 2

We clamped the template to the drawer face, checking that it was tight and centered, so the pulls would end up in the middle of the drawer – obviously this is super important for function and form.  Next we drilled two holes for the screws before cutting out the recessed area with the router.  Routers are messy, so we had the shop vac on hand.

The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 3 The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 4 The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 1The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 6

We attached the pulls with screws from the inside of the drawer and voila!

The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 7

Oh, but this bottom drawer.  The template wasn’t on securely when we began to router, so the template shifted, causing a large hole in the drawer face.  We filled the hole with putty, but haven’t gotten around to painting it.  Super frustrating!

The Grit and Polish - Campaign Hardware Install 8

So, what do I think about the campaign hardware as pulls?  They’re beautiful!  And unique.  Kind of like our shop vac operator 😉

On the flip side, the pulls are hard to use.  Since the recess isn’t very deep, it is difficult to grab the pull unless you have toddler-sized fingers.  Really this hardware is pretty much the opposite of child-safety latches: hard for adults to use but easy for toddlers.  And that is not a good thing in our home these days!

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Campaign Hardware and Wilder

My other complaints are that these cabinet pulls were expensive – like $25 apiece – and they’re on the ‘very difficult’ side of the hardware-install scale, probably best left to a professional.  So while I love them, I probably wouldn’t use them again in a kitchen.  Maybe on a furniture piece or some rarely-used storage but not in a heavy use area like the kitchen.

What do you guys think about the look of the campaign hardware?  I’d love to hear it!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. did you see Chip and Joanna’s “barndominium” project?  I dig it!

p.p.s. Speaking of barns, check out this barn house.  I would have lightened the interiors up a bit, but I love the concept!  In fact, I’ve got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to barn houses, cause that’s just how I roll.

p.p.p.s. More “after” photos of the Dexter kitchen are coming next week!  But in the meantime, I’ve been posting a few peaks on my Instagram page.

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Our Tuxedo Kitchen Progress

THE DEXTER HOUSE

It’s funny how completely my focus has shifted from the Dexter House renovation to the baby.  He’s now 8 days overdue and needs to come immediately, or I will go insane.  I’m all about walks, squats, acupuncture, and anything else I can do or eat to get this kiddo moving.  Wish me luck!!!

So the kitchen.  You might remember that I went in a decidedly-not-white direction for this kitchen, as opposed to the Ravenna and Bryant remodels (you can read about those here and here).  After hours of Pinterest “research” and daydreaming, I came up with a tuxedo kitchen plan that is primarily black and white with some natural wood elements thrown in to soften the overall results.  The kitchen has white upper and black lower cabinets, butcher block countertops, and a cement tile backsplash, ala this:

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Progress 6

But let’s rewind a bit and look at the work that got us here.  We bought inexpensive stock cabinets from a place in south Seattle and painted them.  Painting cabinets is nothing new for us, but it’s always a bit of a process.  First we gave all of the cabinets a good sanding with 150 grit sandpaper and a palm sander.  Then we removed all the doors and drawers and lined them up in the basement.  I made sure to label all the hinges I pulled off so we could rehang them in the right place when the paint dried.

The Grit and Polish - Kitchen Sanding CabinetsThe Grit and Polish - Kitchen Paint Prep Cleaning

After a good cleaning, we masked off the countertops (I know, I know…I haven’t even shown you those yet, but they deserve a post of their own!) and the backsplash and primed everything.

The Grit and Polish - Kitchen PaintThe Grit and Polish - Primed Cabinets

Looking good right?! Yeah, not so much.

Next came the paint.  We started with the uppers since those cabinets are the same color as the trim (Benjamin Moore’s Simply White).  We didn’t worry about masking the lower cabinets and walls since those would be painted later.  After the uppers dried we masked them off and painted the rest of the kitchen, notably the lowers in Benjamin Moore’s Onyx, high gloss.

The Grit and Polish - Cabinet Masking The Grit and Polish - Wall Paint Kitchen Paint

When we pulled up all that floor masking there were a few spots where paint had soaked through onto my newly-refinished hardwood floors.  After trying a number of products and putting in a ton of elbow grease, we finally tried Goof Off, which worked like a charm.

After another good cleaning, we put the cabinet doors and drawers back in place, and Papa hardwired my swing arm lights.  Gorgeous, right?!  I bet you already figured this out, but a couple of open shelves will hang under those lights.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Progress 7The Grit and Polish - Dexter Progress 10The Grit and Polish - Dexter Progress 9

I’ll tell you what, we have the worst luck with appliances (I wrote a whole post about it at the Ravenna House here)!  When we finally installed the dishwasher that we had bought at a warehouse sale last March, it had a hole in the main compartment and leaked all the way through the floor to the basement.  I got on the phone with customer service, and they got us a replacement dishwasher in a couple of days (happily a dishwasher with a custom/panel front!) but it showed up with a dented door.  We were able to make it work, but still frustrating.

For all our appliance woes, I’ll tell you that Blue Star range and Bertazzoni hood vent (both bought for a steal at the warehouse sale) make up for it.  They are AMAZING!  Garrett and I have been fighting over who gets to put the oatmeal on every morning.   It is just that much of a pleasure to cook on these appliances!

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Progress stove and potfiller

Next up for the kitchen: finishing the countertops, installing hardware, and hanging those open shelves.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Have any good suggestions on how to get a baby moving? Send them my way and I will be eternally grateful!!!!

p.p.s. These guys are downright awesome!  I love the idea of building a little house on a trailer and adventuring full time!

p.p.p.s. Want some eye candy??!  Check out the Cooper Lounge in Denver!  Seriously unbelievable!

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