I am so excited to finally share our remodeled kitchen with you guys! We started this process with a leak back in October of last year. Our kitchen wasn’t horrible before, but after the damage from the leak so much had to be replaced that we decided if we were going to be renovating that much, we might as well do the whole thing! That led to new floors throughout the house, a new master bathroom, repainting most of the house, and all new furniture downstairs. If you give a mouse a cookie, right?
Sink area: White bowls | Pink dessert plates | Clear juice glasses | Recipe tin | Furbo | Candle | Marble/Wood Tray | Sink Caddy | Paper towel holder | Cutting board | Pink bowls | cake stand | Pink Wine Glasses
Needless to say, after the months of planning and renovating, I now have my dream kitchen! It functions so well for our little family of two, and I tried to plan it so that it will work well when we have kids too. There’s only one thing I wish it had that we didn’t have space for: barstools. But today I want to share with you everything I learned through the renovation process to help you with any big or small remodel you may have coming up!
Here are my top five tips for any home renovation:
Pinterest is obviously your best friend when it comes to remodeling. Gathering visual ideas for your contractors is essential because trying to communicate something to them versus just showing a picture makes a huge difference. Start a board for each room you want to remodel to keep things clean and organized. You can see all of my Pinterest boards HERE to see how I organized them, and my kitchen board HERE.
Kitchen details: Pop Containers | Measuring Cups & Spoons | Stand Mixer | Gold Bakeware | Salt container | Cookie Jar | White dishes | Glasses | Pendant Lanterns
2. Pick a Cohesive Look
Decide on an idea and look, and stick with it. The toughest part for me about Pinterest is I find fifty kitchens I love, and they all have a completely different look to them. While they’re all beautiful, try to narrow it down to what you love most and making your selections and decisions will be much easier. For our kitchen, I knew I wanted a clean, white look with “marble” counters and gold fixtures. It was what my eye was drawn to over and over again when scrolling through Pinterest!
3. Interview Contractors & Get Multiple Bids
We decided not to use a general contractor to oversee the project, and just hire out the individual trades ourselves. Hiring a general contractor makes the process a lot more seamless and a lot less time consuming. You are able to get reports from one person and not have to worry about individually getting bids and scheduling the drywall guy, the painter, the cabinet maker, the appliance install, etc. However, doing all this coordination yourself saves a lot of money! If you have the time and/or need to save the money, it is definitely doable to hire and schedule on your own but it is a part-time job.
Be sure to get multiple bids from general contractors or for each trade, depending on which route you take. We got three different bids for cabinets, and they were thousands of dollars apart. We were able to save money by getting different ideas and bargain with the contractor we wanted to use by providing him with a lower bid we received.
4. Plan for longer than you think
Basically don’t do what I did and start your renovation in October hoping to be done by Christmas (I don’t recommend renovating near the holidays…haha). I seriously could laugh at myself now! Contractors are typically not the most responsive and timeliest people, and their deadlines are usually very soft. Needless to say, we demoed our kitchen in October and didn’t even have a faucet until January. Nothing like washing all your dishes in your bathtub for two and a half months! If you are crunched for time, hiring a general contractor will definitely be your best bet, but be sure to still plan for longer than quoted.
5. Go with your gut!
I wanted primarily drawers for the lower cabinets in our kitchen, and I had several people try to talk me out of it because of space issues, etc. I had my cabinet maker originally draw up our plan without the drawers based on other people’s opinions. At the last second, I had him change it back to all drawers, and I am so glad I did! If there is something you really want, don’t settle because you will always wonder later.
Other things people tried to talk me out of that I am so glad I went with: a microwave drawer, our huge gold faucet, open shelving, gold hardware, deep pantry drawers, quartz countertops, spending the extra money to get “inset” cabinets (the doors sit inside the frame like a dresser).
I thought it would be so fun to share my “famous” chocolate chip cookie recipe with you to virtually celebrate our kitchen finally being done! I have made these cookies for friends and family since high school, and always get requested to bring them for different events. They’re pretty simple and a definite crowd pleaser. Be sure to let me know if you try them or if you have any questions about or remodel! Enjoy!
Daryl-Ann's Famous Cookies
A fun twist on classic chocolate chip cookies that I have been making for years!
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract plus a little extra splash!
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 375º
In a stand mixer, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix slowly until combined.
Add butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract and mix until creamy. Add in eggs and continue to beat dough mixture until uniform.
Slowly add chips while mixing.
Scoop with small ice cream scoop and add to greased or non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until golden brown on edges and top. Transfer to wire cooling racks to cool.
*Inspiration from the Original Toll House Cookie Recipe