If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.
So here we are, one week out from the reveal and I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t say I’m pretty stressed about getting everything in place in time. But, I’m letting go of the things I can’t control, yet, am going to do everything I can to get this space done in time. However, if there’s anything that’s missing next week, know that it is because renovations don’t always work on strict 5-week timelines, and it’s normal for delays to happen. Just trying to keep it real!
Regardless, I know we’re going to be so happy with where our kitchen ends up in our reveal next week!
So let’s jump in to what we’ve accomplished this past week, it was a big one.
When we initially painted this room a few weeks ago, right before we installed the cabinetry, I felt like I had to make a decision really quickly to keep from holding up the cabinetry install. I tested a few creamy white colours, picked my favourite and up the paint went. Initially I had painted Benjamin Moore White Down at 50% because it was the closest match in tone to our tile and I wanted it brighter to maximize the light.
Then, I kept staring at how the colour was looking on one wall and it just read so orange to me. After a few weeks of looking at it, I couldn’t bear to paint the rest of the room (the mudroom area) that same paint colour. So, I went back to the drawing board, pulled a bunch of warm white samples, tested them on ALL the walls, and decided to repaint the walls in Benjamin Moore Cloud White. It’s the perfect warm white – a requirement since our tile leans very warm and I didn’t want a stark contrast in warmth between them.
I’m so happy that I took the step backwards to correct my mistake because I truly love the new colour in here. It looks so fabulous on the trim too, and this room is chock full of millwork, thanks to there being a ton of doorways and several windows. For sheen, we ended up doing Eggshell on the walls (being able to wipe them down is key! plus, I’ve come to prefer a little sheen for better light reflectivity) and Pearl (essentially Satin) on the trim for a subtle extra dose of sheen. The tile is going to bring the shine, so I didn’t want to overdo it.
As with all other projects, we used our Handy Paint Pail, which is one of my favourite painting tools, since the liners make it super easy to clean, the handle allows for great mobility when painting a lot of trim and moving around a room, and the magnet on the back keeps your brush from sitting in the paint. It’s an all-around win.
We installed our cabinetry hardware this week and to say I’m obsessed would be an understatement.
On the larger drawers and appliances we went with the Haniburton pull in unlacquered brass from Schaub and Company, and it’s gorgeous! My love of unlacquered brass is well documented on this blog, but in case you’re new here, I love that it’s a living finish, so the more we use it, the more it will patina. To me, this shows that we love and use the spaces in our home, and really adds a sense of warmth and history to our 1940’s home. I love the shape of these pulls, as they are elegant and well proportions, but also comfortable to grab – pretty much everything I was hoping they would be.
For the smaller drawers and doors, I wanted to use a simple round knob to reference the shape of the knobs on our range, and since this room has a lot of cabinetry, I didn’t want it to feel like there was lots of hardware everywhere, so a more subtle knob appealed to me. When looking at the coordinating knob in the Schaub and Company Haniburton collection, it was more contemporary and modern in style than I was looking for in this space, so I looked to Schaub’s sister brand, Emtek for the knobs. I selected a super classic, simple knob and initially I stressed that it wouldn’t work together, but it totally does. The shapes play off one another really well, and since both are unlacquered brass and will age over time, any differences in the finish (which there really aren’t) between the two brands will disappear.
I’m going to write up a whole blog post about hardware after the reveal that goes in depth on how and why I chose knobs v. pulls, placement of the hardware, etc. since I know it’s a tricky subject that I had to do a ton of research on for this kitchen.
We debated what size pull to use on our 24” paneled dishwasher – the oversized 15” appliance pull or the undersized 8” drawer pull, and finally landed on the larger one. We also spent a lot of time thinking about placement of the pull, and eventually decided to place it on the recessed panel, in line with the adjacent drawer pulls, despite the more common placement being on the raised panel. We’re SO happy with our decision – it looks more visually streamlined, and it’s going to be easier to grab – which is a nice reminder that sometimes you have to do what’s less common because it better suits your space.
One other note, this Amazon tool was immensely helpful for installing our hardware and ensuring we were drilling it in the exact same spot on every single door and drawer. Once we got the first one right, we sped through the remaining, which is helpful when you’re drilling for 25+ knobs!
I say this every time, but adding trimwork is the single biggest step you can take in making the leap from a construction zone to a finished space. It’s incredible what it can do to a space. We started out by installing beadboard v-groove panels to the back of the mudroom nook from Empire Moulding ( 1×6 EC Pattern Stock ). I wanted to bring some extra detail and texture to this new space, and love that when you stand in the kitchen and look towards the mudroom area you can see paneling and when you look right you can see a larger scale paneling in the sunroom, as it helps to unify the spaces. We also will be adding back beadboard in our adjacent main floor bathroom, so I love that we’re carrying the thread between the two spaces.
This was one of our most rewarding projects so far because it was super easy, fast, and high impact. In an hour we had cut the Empire Moulding panels to size and installed them. We started out by painting all our trim outside with our new spray gun (our old one died in the middle) to speed up the process and make the finish look even better. Then we cut the pieces of paneling to size and slotted the tongues into the grooves one by one, nailing where the nails would be hidden by the casing. Then finally we caulked and admired our handiwork.
Later, we came back and installed the window and door casing throughout the room, which made such a huge difference in making the space feel more finished.
And then finally, we installed our crown moulding, also from Empire Moulding (profile EC512). We’re SUPER happy with this crown. We were looking for a very specific size, because we’re also running it along our cabinetry and wanted to maintain a specific reveal on the top of the cabinets, and we wanted the crown to visually align with the rest of the newer trim we’ve added to our home. We’ve installed about half the crown moulding and are so happy with how it polishes off the space.
Many of you messaged me asking our ceiling height because you thought they looked super tall and that maybe your ceilings were too low to add crown, but I’m happy to say we have standard 8-foot ceilings! My three biggest tips when adding crown moulding to a space without sky-high ceilings are:
- Choose a proportionally sized crown (ours is just under 4” and it’s pretty much perfect)
- Select a trim profile that matches the style of your house so it feels like it’s always been there
- Paint the crown to match your walls so your eye doesn’t stop at the crown, which would cause you to see your walls as being shorter than they are. If you do this, it will elongate your walls
Once our upper cabinetry and tile is installed we’ll be installing the remaining crown moulding, where we’re going to be painting any crown that’s touching the cabinetry a blue that’s been colour matched to our cabinetry. I’m so very excited.
This week we finished up all the work we can do on the island by adding a simple Ogee profile baseboard along the base to make it look built in and custom. We ordered this baseboard from Cliq Studios so the finish would match the cabinetry perfectly. We then went back in and caulked the seams, taping it off for a clean finish, and then came back in with a detail brush to paint the caulk to match the cabinetry. It’s looking so good.
We also spent this week building out the finished panels to cover the PSL columns that are supporting the tabletop end of the island. This was one of our more difficult projects because you have to be so careful with the finished panels. We had to miter each piece of finished panel and then each night we glued one piece in place on a table in our garage. Once we had 3-sides glued together, we glued the final piece in place on the leg, clamping it with about a dozen clamps to ensure all the corners lined up. We then repeated for the second leg. Now that we’re on the other side of this, we’re happy with how it came out. We still have some touchups to do on the edges, but it’s about 90% of the way done.
As a side note, how fantastic does that cased opening look now that it’s been trimmed out.
We also picked up our replacement window, since the original one had arrived broken, and we installed it ourselves since the first available time the vendor could install it wasn’t until after the reveal. I painted the window while it was uninstalled (SO much easier), and then it took us all of 15 minutes to swap it in. Now, we have a clear view through the window, it’s letting in so much light, and the view of our string lights on our patio is so magical at night.
Additionally, we finished building our bench seat in the mudroom area, including building a drawer to fit into the bench to house our in-use shoes.
Finally, we started swapping out our old basic outlets for these really beautiful and functional outlets from the adorne Collection by Legrand . I love how streamlined they look and the install was a breeze. For a few of our lights, we opted for WIFI connectivity because we love being able to control our lights via Alexa when our hands are full of groceries. We’ve only installed a few so far, but lots of photos coming in the reveal post once we can install all the outlets that are waiting to be installed after the tile goes up.
Our biggest hold-up right now is our lack of countertops. We just locked in tomorrow as our install date, so once they’re in we can hit the ground running. Once the countertops go, we have to: install the upper cabinetry (we have a cabinet that sits on the counter), install our range hood and exhaust vent, install and grout our Fireclay tile, install our plumbing fixtures, install our lighting, and install the crown moulding. To say we’re freaking out over all the work that needs to happen in very few days would be an understatement, but however much we get through, will have to be enough. Since this is our home, I refuse to cut corners on anything, so I’d rather reveal a space that’s 85% done than one that’s 100% done, but not done well.
As I write this from the new bench in our mudroom, Cory is installing the panels on our fridge, which I can’t wait to share on Instagram stories today, if you’re following along (spoiler alert: they look fantastic!). Next week, I can’t wait to share the finished space, especially as we’ve been receiving so many gorgeous finishing touches, like a fabulous bench cushion, stunning pillows from SWD Studio, a fabulous custom bowl from my favourite ceramist Jill Rosenwald, handmade plates and bowls from Garnet Hill and so much more.
I’m so grateful to all our sponsors on this project, who have made this project possible. All opinions are my own.
Check out progress from my fellow One Room Challenge™ featured designers below!