Some of the products in these kitchen plans are sponsored. I’m so grateful to the following sponsors for helping make these kitchen plans a reality (Silestone by Cosentino, Liberty Hardware, Vigo Industries, Wayfair Canada, Breville, Insinkerator and General Paint). See my full policies here.
So remember back when I shared our design plans for the first space we were remodelling in our house? And then there was radio silence for a LONG time? Yeah, turns out living through a massive renovation like this with 4 little kids goes a little slower than we’d pictured. I’m pretty sure everyone everywhere is nodding their heads. So it’s been a little longer than we’d planned BUT it’s looking so great and we really have been enjoying doing these renovations with the kids helping- it’s a totally different experience than our last place now that the kids are older. We are learning to enjoy the process no matter how messy and behind schedule and of course… the end product always makes it so worth it too!
Today I’m excited to share an update of how the remodel is going and give some in-between details before we share our big Before/After reveal in a couple weeks! I took some VLOG style videos throughout the process and have compiled those into a YouTube video (embedded below) but I also took some photos and am going to chat through some of the decisions we ended up making and hiccups we had along the way in this post. I hope if you’re thinking of renovating, this helps shed some light on what it’s like with kiddos in the mix and as always, if you have questions- please ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer! Ready to see the demo and slow rebuild?
Alright- if you missed my first posts or would like a refresher… HERE is all the BEFORE photos of our new house. We moved in June and this is the first space we’re tackling (other than this one which we didn’t really do ourselves). Then RIGHT HERE I shared all of our design plans for the space and sources of the finishes we’re choosing for the kitchen.
SO since we were moving the kitchen, we did have to do some demolition before we could even finalize the cabinet order. There were walls that needed to move in order to see what was back there (hello that 3 different depth wall!?) which meant that we were without a kitchen for LONGER than a standard kitchen remodel that replaces things in the same shell of a room. We tried to keep the basics to continue functioning as long as possible. Before ordering the cabinets, we just took out the one wall that we needed to for measurements. This left us with the stove and the sink and we were able to move the fridge to the empty breakfast nook area.
Next, we took out the rest of that wall and rebuilt the ceiling. We were lucky that we had beams that could support the length of the room so didn’t need to add additional support. Since we were still living in the house and demolition is messy… and since the attic is full of blown in insulation- we did our best to tarp off each area that we were working on to keep the rest of the house liveable. This was definitely more time consuming than when we remodelled our last kitchen and were NOT living there. We didn’t have to worry about any of this! I feel like I spent SO much time packing back up things that had just been unpacked into the kitchen and moving them around depending where we were working.
We were working on a total time crunch on this space. We managed to squeeze in on a cancellation and speed up the cabinet wait time. It typically would take 10 weeks between final measurements/design and install. That would have meant 10 weeks AFTER we removed the walls. That felt totally unmanageable for our family so this was a total blessing. If you’re in Kamloops- we used Top 40 Woodworks for our cabinets (not sponsored) and were really happy with how efficiently they were able to get our kitchen through. Since we were on such a crunch for time…. we worked late pretty much every evening for this few weeks. And since electric was cut because we were running it again… this was all pretttttty much in the dark. So photos are lacking. Plus… we had plywood over the windows for a good few weeks which didn’t help the darkness in there. I am so glad it was summer though and we had later evening light!
Also since we were pressed for time… we didn’t do things how we probably would have if we had more time. We just couldn’t get it all done in the proper order so we kind of triaged what needed to be done. Floor removal didn’t happen until after drywall finishing. Painting was finished hours before cabinets showed up. Electrical and plumbing didn’t get finished until after cabinets went in. Windows didn’t get finished until after countertops… and the day before tile backsplash. It was a total hustle. But it felt good to be getting everything done so quickly!
So see all those cute kids helping?! They are cute but I’m not going to lie- this was a total test of our parenting and our time management to get this done. We were really great about giving the kids jobs that they could do. Demolition on walls with no electrical – carrying out old cabinet faces or floor boards – painting where the cabinets or tile would be going… BUT then sometimes babies sneak in and you end up with this last picture- ha! Just keeping it real for you guys. I also should have taken a photo of our living room. It had everything from our kitchen and dining room crammed in there. We ate in there, chopped stuff in there, and everything else. I am going to share a post once this is all done about living through kitchen renovations with a family but for now… just know that even though we did enjoy the process it was darn hard. If you’re interested in kids and renovations- I wrote a post about it a few years ago too!
The greatest challenge that we had in this renovation was the flooring. On more than one level. Removing the old kitchen/entry flooring was a complete pain… we actually aren’t done it. There was FOUR LAYERS of flooring there, you guys. The vinyl tile that was there was glued to a thick porcelain tile which was mortared on to plywood which was screwed (liberally) through the linoleum flooring beneath that was glued to the subfloor. We found the BEST, most efficient, least frustrating way to remove it was in two layers. To do the two layers of tile in one go and then the plywood and linoleum in another. Once we had this system down, it went much faster. SO why isn’t it done? Because our stair railing in the entry (which is the same tile) was never secured properly to the subfloor. So the vinyl tile comes off and the spindles just fall out. We can’t have that with little babies and kids walking and crawling around so we’ve had to pause the floor removal (and new floor installation) while we wait on a new railing.
More issues with the flooring? I wasn’t kidding – the floors have been the biggest stress of this whole space. We had planned to continue the flooring from the main floor of the house (that brown laminate) through the kitchen and dining room. We had some boxes in the basement from the previous owner so knew what we were looking for. I honestly didn’t even think it would be an issue since we knew who installed it, where they’d ordered it from, what it was called… BUT turns out it was completely unavailable. Anywhere. I called SO many places and so many people took pity on me and called around too. The rep for the flooring company was over getting phone calls about it so made it very clear that they discontinued this flooring years ago and have none in stock ANYWHERE.
We had the choice to tile the kitchen, dining and entryway with long transitions to the laminate or to refloor the whole house. We found a mad floor sale on laminate from Home Depot and well… we’re nuts and decided to do the whole freaking main floor. We’re still working on it… but it’s looking so great so we are totally happy with that decision. But talk about UNEXPECTED expense and time suck. It’s been a LOT of work. We are planning on reusing the old flooring in our unfinished portion of the basement so it won’t go to waste.
SO you can imagine how excited we were when cabinet install happened! I mentioned in my kitchen design post that we decided to hire out cabinets this time around. We did IKEA in our last kitchen and loved them but there are some weird angles in here and we honestly didn’t see a way that we could make it look great ourselves. This was such a great decision. And watching the kitchen cabinets come together over just a couple days while I took my kids to their first days of kindergarten was a total dream.
There was ONE more hiccup. The kitchen plans had the peninsula (the L) larger than it’s ended up. When it was being installed it was really clear to me and the installers that it was too long. There would be now ay to open the fridge comfortably with it as big as it was so we had to get it replaced with smaller drawers to accommodate. I really didn’t want to push the countertop templating and wait longer (it’s a two week wait after they’re templated before install… and they can’t be templated until cabinets are done!). The cabinet place was so great at getting in a new cabinet base so that we could have templating done and just replaced the drawer faces after templating (it was a longer wait to have them painted).
Cabinets going in made the kitchen feel real and gave us enough energy to push through getting it functional. The next big step forward was the countertop install. The countertops we chose are so dang beautiful, you guys. They’re from Silestone by Cosentino and the colour is called Lagoon. We chose an ambiguous pattern (that’s the word, right? Non directional!) because of all the angles in the kitchen. The subtle veining is so beautiful on the larger scale and I’m totally in love with how it looks against that green cabinetry! The cabinet colour is called Dakota by General Paint.
Once the countertop was on- the undermount sink (a gorgeous stainless steel one from Vigo!) was put in and the faucet (matte black beauty also from Vigo!) was plumbed. This was a game changer again. Being able to wash dishes in our kitchen and not the bathroom… hurray! Our good friend is a plumber and it was so sweet watching our kids ask to help uncle just like they ask to help us. It made me so grateful for the village we get to raise our kids around.
Alright… I’m going to leave it with this gem! Once cabinets were in, we hustled to get flooring done enough to get the appliances in place when they were delivered the following week. Other than the stair rail issue which we really couldn’t have seen coming… I’m really proud of how well we planned the timing of everything. We were without a kitchen for the least amount of time possible and it’s coming together so well. I can’t wait to share the finished space with you all! You know… once it’s totally finished ;)
- Arm Lights – Wayfair
- North Dalston Drawer Pulls – Liberty Hardware
- Silestone Lagoon Quartz Countertop
- Dakota (cabinet colour) & Expert White (Wall Colour) both from General Paint
- Suffolk Undermount Stainless Steel Sink – Vigo Idustries
- Greenwich Matte Black Pull Down Faucet – Vigo Industries
- Matte Black Hot Water Dispenser (H3300) – InsinkErator