Kitchen Remodel Update

I didn’t mean to fall off the map – we’ve had work going on here (basement tile and carpet), and I’ve been working as well. But I’m here today to share an update to our kitchen remodel plans.  Things are coming together, slowly but surely, and I’m feeling a little more under the gun because in my last meeting with my contractor, he said he would be ready to start work around May 10th vs. June 1st, as we had originally planned.  Even though it’s not a huge change in timeline, it has sent me into a bit of a panic, making sure I have everything lined up and ready to go.

A Word on Custom vs. Semi-custom Cabinets

Originally, we met with a kitchen designer from a kitchen/bath company to get a quote on cabinets and help with the kitchen design.  Perhaps I’m a little out of touch when it comes to the cost of new cabinets, but the quote for semi-custom cabinets seemed a wee bit on the high side, plus we were limited in the cabinet color options (unless we wanted to pay an upcharge for a “custom color).  

I have been doing a lot of research and reading on cabinets, and after seeing a local custom kitchen of a friend, I reached out to her cabinet maker.  Would you believe, he works in the shop right next door to mine?  I didn’t make the connection at first, because she was referring to him by his name vs. his company name, and I didn’t put two and two together.  Small world, yes?

I met with him and he came up with a plan that incorporated the elements that we wanted (and more).  Lots of customization options, and we can get exactly what we want, all for the same price as semi-custom cabinets.  Smart storage, hidden storage, and all customizable storage. And when I say custom elements, I’m talking about things like this…

I’m really excited that we get to go custom!  And the coolest part of the whole thing is that in looking at our kitchen plan, he has virtual reality technology that makes you feel like you’re literally standing in your new kitchen.  It’s insane.  Seriously, the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  You put on the VR goggles and you can literally see and feel the kitchen as it will be when it’s done.  Plus, you can customize the plan with your own colors/counters and finishes. It just takes a lot of stress off in terms of wondering what the finished product will look like, whether you like the cabinet color, the floors, etc…  It’s a total game changer.

See Our Preliminary Kitchen Plan

You can take a peek at our preliminary 3D kitchen design plan here.  Note: I’m not planning on having white cabinets – this is the first round of plans, and we’ve already made changes, but still need to go over the final plan.  

I guess my point is, that if you’re planning a kitchen remodel, get more than one quote and take a look at some local custom shops.  You might be surprised.  They don’t have the overhead of some of the larger outfits, and you can get a kitchen that is custom made to your specifications at a comparable (or perhaps an even cheaper cost).

Cabinet Door Style

As for the door style, we’re planning on a shaker style inset door.  I like the classic and polished look of this style, and I think it will fit well into the finished space.  

I’m also planning on a lot of hidden elements as part of this remodel – integrated refrigerator, and a hidden microwave/coffee station area.  We had considered putting the microwave into the island, but after seeing this look, I really wanted to see if we could make it work.

Countertops – Quartz vs. Quartzite

Since our timeline has been bumped up, I’m feeling most pressured to choose my countertops, because they are what I will use to choose my cabinet color.  I finally pulled the trigger, and made a deposit on quartzite countertops.  I know that quartz is all the rage right now, but I can’t get away from my love of natural stone.  I love that quartzite is durable, but that it also has the veining and movement of natural stone.  I’m also high maintenance, and I really wanted a honed countertop, so with the help of my countertop shop, they were able to source the gorgeous slabs that we ended up choosing.  

This honed quartzite is called Blanco Supiriore.  I. Love. It.  It’s a warmer colored stone in comparison to many quartz counters, and personally, I think having it honed makes it look more marble-y.  I put a deposit on it today, which was a bit terrifying since it’s such a big (and expensive) decision.

The trade-off with this particular slab is that it’s smaller than some of the other slabs that they had, so my island is going to lose a little bit of length as a result.  But, I’m willing to make the trade-off for a slab that I really love.

Why Not Quartz?

I hear great things in the durability of quartz as well, and I know many people who have it and love it.  For me, I just find some (not all) of the quartz to be sort of fake looking, with the patterns and veining looking “stamped” on, for lack of a better word.  Plus, since I love the look of marble, but know it’s not realistic for a kitchen, quartzite is the next best option (for me).


The next big decision is choosing flooring, which is proving to be way more difficult than I imagined.  I’m looking for a wide plank, white oak (probably engineered) floor.  I don’t want a lot of variation in the color, and I don’t want a lot of knots in it either, to where it looks busy.  And for the stain, I’m wanting something close to natural, with a slight bit of warmth to it.  I’m either exceedingly picky (very possible), or I’m wanting the Goldilocks of white oak flooring.  I’m still looking for something along these lines…

Should be easy, right?  I have lost track of how many flooring samples I’ve had laying around my house, and yet, we’re still not quite there.  I honestly never expected it to be this difficult to find what I want when it comes to floors.  But rest assured, I will find it!  Especially now that I’m on a tighter deadline.  We all know that I work best under pressure, right?

Suffice to say that I’m not looking forward to the removal of the tile on our main level.  We had the carpet in our basement replaced, along with the tile around the bar, and it was a complete and total dust bowl.  And this was just for a small area of tile.

I owe you an update on this area now that the floors are done.  More to come – this is the year of the house around here it seems.

There are still a million little details that I’m missing – lighting, hardware, etc.., but these are the big hitters for the moment.  Any wise words of wisdom for those of you who have lived through a major renovation?  It’s going to be stressful, and the boys will be home from college during the whole thing, which I’m sure will make it highly enjoyable… 😉

I will keep you posted on the process and can’t wait to share progress once we get started!




  • Reply
    March 24, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks so much for this update! I’m literally in the beginning stages of vetting out new cabinets/countertops and have so far shopped two big box stores and one local kitchen-specific contractor. I, too, am shocked at the price tag! Thanks to your update I will continue with my search and check on local custom shops.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2021 at 2:56 pm

      In the reading I’ve done when it comes to cabinets, some people have said that the price at a big box store was far above a smaller custom shop, which really blew my mind. With the investment involved, it definitely makes sense to shop around and see what you can get for your money.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    I totally feel you on how major these decisions are! I live that we’re going through this remodel at the same time!! Can’t wait to share this journey together over a great bottle of wine 🍷

    • Reply
      March 25, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Can’t wait! It’s going to be a hot mess for awhile, but I’m so looking forward to enjoying it when it’s all done!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    It’s going to look SO good! I just redid my countertops and backsplash. I went with quartzite and agree it was a painful check to write. 😬 It is beautiful though!

    • Reply
      March 25, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      I am really excited to see it installed! I really love the look.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I, too, am liking for the unicorn of white/French oak floors. I’d love to know what you ended up using? Thank you for sharing your experiences with all other main topics; so incredibly helpful!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    All great choices! I’m getting a hard marble/quartzite countertop as well for the exact same reasons. I’m also looking for that Goldilocks white oak perfect flooring as well but not LVP 😑 if you found that flooring let us know 😀

  • Reply
    November 1, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    I’m looking for the same type of flooring that doesn’t break the bank. Which flooring did you end up choosing! I LOVE the color in the picture above. Please let me know! 🙂

  • Reply
    Universal Stone
    January 3, 2024 at 1:01 am

    The kitchen remodel update is impressive! The choice of colors and materials creates a fresh, inviting atmosphere. The attention to detail, especially with the island and lighting, is fantastic. Well done!

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