Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2

Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2

This week I am back at it with sharing about my kitchen, the Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2 to be exact!

Last week I rolled out a ton of the details in part 1, explaining the layout and plans as well as cabinet color. You can find that blog post by clicking here. Today let’s jump into the style and finishes I have planned! I want my kitchen to be a reflection of my decorating style, which leans to cool colors, pops of bright colors, geometric patterns and a mix of rustic and light colors. Yep, totally legit decorating style. I went bold with turquoise for the kitchen cabinets which makes a statement.

Before I jump into the Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2 I wanted to share a few lucky breaks we got in terms of designing this kitchen and keeping overall costs down. First, I used most of our existing cabinets, just re configuring the layout of them. Second, I found our exact wood floors that we installed 7 years ago at a store close out sale!

So instead of having to pick up and carefully piece back together the wood floors once the wall and cabinets were removed I was just able to feather in the new ones. This was a crazy lucky break! Lastly, at the store close out sale there was this beauty of a farmhouse sink marked down to just $75!!! Yes, that is all I paid for this massive porcelain sink. Having the new flooring matching the old flooring and this new sink I knew this kitchen renovation was going to be a success. The design gods were smiling down on me!

Keeping the bright cabinet color in mind I have to balance out more simple design ideas to not have my kitchen be overwhelming. This will include hardware, lighting, wall paper, counter tops, island style and back splash.

Speaking of back splash, that was a big decision. The back splash felt like just as big of a decision as the cabinet color, maybe more so because it is more expensive and time consuming to change up. Cabinets can be painted again but replacing tile back splash is a whole other kind of beast I did not want to tackle anytime soon. So I had to pick the tile that I can live with for a long time!

Since the kitchen cabinets are such a bold blue color I knew I had to balance that out with lighter and more simple back splash. I like bold decorating choices but going overboard with them can make a room feel busy. I naturally gravitated towards white back splash with light gray grout.

With these general plans in mind I went to a tile store and found a few options. I also pretty much knew I was going to go with a marble finish counter top, so white with gray and black details would be the counter top.

I found these three different back splash tiles –

I love the herringbone pattern and have used it in a few places in my home. That was initially the pattern I thought I was going to go with, just needing to decide on if I would go with marble, plain white or with a more dramatic dark gray detail. I threw in the scalloped one last minute as we were leaving the tile store just to try out a different shape in the kitchen.

After sitting with all of the options for a while, holding them up to the wall, asking other peoples opinion and letting my kids weigh in on the choice I decided to go with the scalloped, or as my kids call it the mermaid tile. It surprised be that I loved it so much! I like the curves and that it is a subtle nod to my coastal style but with a modern twist of geometric and simple with it just being white.

I will be sharing the tile tutorial soon! It is finally 100% finished! My kids even got to help lay the tiles!

Tiling barefoot is the way to go around here…

With the tile, color, flooring and sink figured out it was time to look at the rest of the space. I wanted to finalize the counter tops next. We had a few different options and I was dreaming of beautiful quartz counter tops with a marble finish. But, I was also dreaming of new appliances and we could do one or the other. So I started researching other counter top alternatives.

There is laminate, granite, concrete and tile. We had laminate in here originally and I swore I would not go back to that. I told Dale that this is our chance to have a grown up kitchen, no more builders grade basic stuff.

Then we happened upon the IKEA clearance section and found a comp Ekbracken countertop, white marble effect piece that was on sale for $20! Guys, a massive 90ft piece of counter top with one small bit of damage to the back corner was on sale for $20!!! No it was not what I had planned but I love a good deal and this is the biggest deal I have ever seen.

We talked about it while our kids stood there telling us they were hungry, tired, their sock felt weird… things all kids do in any store. I realized while we were talking about this option and deciding if we were going to go for it Dale and I both had our hands on the counter top and were not letting it go. Apparently our minds had already been made up. So we hauled it to the check out, paid the $20 and squished it into our minivan. On the way home we stopped and grabbed a pizza for dinner which I will note we paid more for than we did our kitchen counter tops!

Yes this is laminate, yes I may upgrade to quartz in a few years. Which I will feel ok in doing because I only spent $20 on the counter tops. If we get even one year out of this we got out monies worth. It is also a beautiful finish that looks legit. I like that the IKEA marble counter tops are also very durable.

I am not one that needs to pretend, I don’t need this to pass as marble because I tell everyone that comments on it how much I paid for it. Just as I do with clothes Someone says to me, “Oh I like your dress!” I say back “Thank you, I got it on sale for $5 and it has pockets!!!” The conversation goes the same way with compliments on my counter tops “Thanks, I got them from IKEA for $20!!” No shame in my thrifting game. I will note that I never, EVER go to IKEA without stopping at the clearance section now. You never know what you will find.

Initially the plan was to have the island counter top match the rest of the kitchen counter tops. But with my amazing deal it kind of threw that idea out of the window. IKEA is great for basic counter tops, the one I purchased can be purchased in two different sizes already pre cut for under $100. However, the size of the island was planned to be 6 feet long and three feet wide, much wider than the standard counter depth. So I needed to get creative to come up with a solution.

Oh, I want to pause and explain how I came to figure out the size of the island. First I organized the cabinets I was going to use to build the island, one being a wide cabinet where the trash and recycling will go. The other cabinet is a thinner one that stores our dog food and is the ever present junk drawer in our home. Hey, you have one, I have one, everyone has a junk drawer! Next we had to measure out the size needed for the cabinet to house the microwave. Eventually we will be getting a drawer microwave so I planned the space to be large enough to store that.

Once the cabinet needs were decided on I measured it out and taped up the square footage of it on the floor of the kitchen. I explained in the part 1 post about the rules for spacing between cabinets and an island, the general rule of thumb is 38 inches around the island. Keeping that in mind I measured out how big my island could be. I ended up with a 6 foot long island with a width of 3 feet. It is a big island and I love that!

With the back splash being white and the counter top also being white I felt it was necessary to warm up the space. I was leaning to a butcher block counter top, possibly in a fun herringbone pattern.

While looking for options online and deciding if I was going to make the island counter top or purchase it I stumbled upon a few pictures of kitchen with a live wood edge counter top and absolutely fell in love!

I liked the idea of the wood being rough around the edges and because of the light, bright and white colors I chose in the kitchen I could go with a rustic and chunky island top without it feeling too country. Also with the live edge version I don’t have to try to match the wood tones to my hardwood floors, it can look intentionally different.

Scouring the internet for a massive sized live edge wood piece proved difficult or was going to be a very expensive custom piece. But of course since I don’t do anything expensive I was not going to settle until I found a good deal for this live edge island top from The Home Depot! They have an acacia wood live edge piece, in two different sizes. One size is three feet long and the other is 6 feet long. Exactly what I needed for my kitchen! I mean, you cannot pass up when decorating dreams come true.

This beautify was shipped directly to my house and was sooooo simple to install! This blog post is all about Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2, I will be breaking down each project into tutorial blog posts soon. The building up of this island will be one of those tutorials for sure!

The last addition to the island is wallpaper! I know this is a surprising place to put wallpaper. The plan is to have it on the front of the island that is facing the large entryway into the kitchen, under the island where the stools will go.

Originally my plan was to tile this spot with a busy and funky tile. Since I kept the back splash tile so simple and all of the finishes in the kitchen are pretty calming I wanted a punch of personality. However, going completely funky with tile would commit me to the look for a long time. I decided to do wallpaper instead because it is much easier to change out if I get tired of the pattern.

This meant I had a ton of options, do I go blue, gray, white? If blue do I try and match it to the turquoise of the cabinet color or go with an accent navy blue which I have in my living room? Geometric, waves, circles, lines, texture? There was a lot, A LOT of options! As far as cost and ease of installation I decided to go with a peel and stick paper option. I will share a few I considered along with the one I ended up going with.

Here is the wall paper choices for this Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2

I went with this paper from Wayfair to go under the island!

The color matches the light gray walls in my living room, kitchen and dining room. I also love the pattern, it is busy without being too bold. It also looks so much like actual tile. The pattern has circle shapes which blends in really well with the shape of the mermaid back splash. Little touches like this bring all of the details and finishes together beautifully!

I do however love the bold blue choices and the wallpaper that had waves on it really, REALLY almost made it as the winner. But I decided to go with this wallpaper instead because it was not screaming coastal themed. I want to tow the line of tasteful and not nautical crazy in my home. I may still find a place for the wave wallpaper somewhere in my home in the future though.

Whew, that is more or less what I have so far in the kitchen as far as the design and plans. I will break down even more within each tutorial I roll out on the blog. I think I am going to start with the wall repair and the back splash or the cabinet painting. Both of those were one of the earlier big projects I did with this kitchen.

I am also excited to break down the finishing elements like wood trim, entryway door trim and crown molding but I think that will all make a lot more sense to share as I am sharing the tutorials. As of now I cannot share those things because it is not done yet, I am currently finishing up the doorway trim and have a little but more sanding to do on the window trim. The crown molding has not even been started yet.

Crazy to think where this kitchen was 1 year ago! When I break down the projects it does show just how much work has been involved! For every project done in this kitchen renovation there is 10 others waiting to get done. It has been constant for so long and I am still not done. I am really taking my time with this kitchen remodel though. This will be the last time we renovate it and I want all of the polished and pretty finishes in this kitchen. Beautiful woodwork and every smaller detail done nicely, which takes time.

As far as this Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2 blog post I am finally done sharing the hows and whys for this kitchen with you! Now I can share projects as they get done because you can follow along and understand the projects better. This week I took a few days to redecorate my daughter’s bedroom and also changed up the artwork in my living room. I will always be ride or die for my coastal themed art but it feels more authentic this time of year to leave the ocean and surfboard art for later in the year. I will share the fun and new wall art next week! Once that is done I can share my home tour and finally feature the kitchen!

All of this work and the longest year of renovations has been worth it! This kitchen is now big enough for my entire family of 5 to easily crowd in and help cook, do homework, wrap gifts and entertain here. A long road but soooooo worth it! Let me know what you think of my design choices in this Kitchen renovation ideas and details, part 2 blog post. Did I pick the wall paper you would have picked? Are you as obsessed with live edge as I am?



  1. Love the tile you chose! And the color of the cabinets is perfect!

  2. I love those Ekbracken countertops and the ALL of the wallpaper!

  3. I LOVE the color of the cabinets, the whole room looks so much brighter! The walls are gorgeous, as well. The open glass door is great, as well, it doesn’t’ interfere with the open design. The room looks great!

  4. Hey
    Hope you and your family are good
    Have not received anything in months from you. Do you not blog anymore.
    Hope all is well.

  5. Beautiful.
    I like your projects on here. I’m going to try out a portion of the dining room buffet you made.
    Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  6. Absolutely great color choices here! Gives a real sense of home and warmth to the space. It’s bright and fun now which is definitely great to see!

  7. I’ve had your kitchen Reno part one opened on my computer for a very long time to convince my hubby we need to do ours I just went through your part 2 and am so grateful for your amazing ideas for low budget awesomeness! All the kitchen Reno I see are way expensive & just not realistic for us – thanks so much for your inspiration!!! I desperately needed to feel it cause I was getting discouraged- again thank you! I hope you post another kitchen update!

    • Becky, I am so happy you found some inspiration from my kitchen to start your own kitchen project! Also, your kind words were so wonderful to read, thank you! Redoing a kitchen can be done within any budget, you just have to get creative. Reusing some of the current cabinets if it works, shop clearance… there is a lot of options to make it realistic to tackle a kitchen renovation without having to spend a ton. I am finally able to start blogging again and have tons of updates on my kitchen and a few others rooms in my home. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and support. Good luck with your kitchen remodel!

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