Kitchen before + after: #projectdecobythedocks

This kitchen remodel took slightly longer than anticipated – we did as much of the work as we possibly could ourselves, to try and save on costs, and unfortunately it kept getting put on the back burner because we've been such busy little bees. 

But, Oh! Was it worth the wait!

As it used to exist, it was poorly laid out, lacked functionality, it was claustrophobic (due to a huge bulkhead and low cabinets) and it was also quite dark (maybe something to do with the range hood being positioned in front of the only window in the room?!). It also didn’t have a dishwasher. Oh, and did we mention it was straight out of the 80’s? And definitely not in a cool, retro way. 

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So, objectives for the new kitchen included a space which feels light, bright, open and airy, a functional, organized layout with enough storage, a standard sized range (as opposed to the apartment sized one that was there before), AND a dishwasher. No mean feat with only 67ft2 (and two doorways) to work with!

Check out these floorplans to see what we did:




Moving that doorway a few inches to the left and centralizing it in the room meant we could get a full height pantry cabinet in – this was a game changer! We also shrunk back that big, ugly bulkhead a considerable amount, which really helped to open up the space. Can you believe half of it was totally hollow and there for no apparent reason - it's always worth checking behind sofits and lowered ceilings to see if there is a way to either remove or shrink them!



The cabinets are from IKEA and we managed to score them at 15% off when they were having a kitchen event (this happens a few times a year, and the sale even includes appliances). We can’t recommend them enough – they’re solid cabinets with great interior solutions, which are totally customizable. We also purchased the pretty ceramic sink and integrated dishwasher from IKEA, which came with a 5 year warranty and has been great so far! 

Semi-Handmade made the beautiful kitchen doors, and again we managed to purchase these while they were having a 20% off promotional event! We love the quality of these doors and how they turn IKEA cabinets into the “custom” kitchen of your dreams! They even made us a matching panel for the integrated dishwasher (located to the left of the sink... you'd never know, right?!). They were also always on hand to answer all of our filler-piece/toe-kick related questions! We went with their DIY Shaker Panels so that we could pick the exact shade we wanted to paint them. We also thought we’d save on costs if we rented a paint sprayer and painted them ourselves. Unfortunately when it came down to it, we totally freaked out… and realized we had nowhere to do it (apartment living = no back yard), so we enlisted the help of a professional! Good decision because they came out beautifully (and who knows how things would have ended up if we’d been let loose with a paint sprayer?!). We decided on Hush by Behr for the color. 


The countertops are white quartz (pure white) and we managed to save 30% on these. If you have a tiny kitchen it’s definitely worth checking to see if there are any stone suppliers out there who have left overs from larger orders. This is much more cost effective than ordering brand new slabs.

The hardware is Lewis Dolin, the faucet is Delta (the magnetic pull down is our favorite). The range is Blomberg and we are loving cooking on gas (with a standard sized range!). The hood is from Signature Hardware and is one of the prettiest we’ve ever seen; yay for white hoods!

The backsplash is a marble herringbone, which we got from Home Depot. We decided to go all the way up to the ceiling with it, and whilst this was back-breaking work, it has totally opened up the room. It also bounces so much light around and complements the color of the cabinets so perfectly.  

We also added a run of backsplash on the opposite wall – above the shallow countertops and framed this in with two 6ft open shelves and a couple of chrome wall sconces (to contrast all of the brass!). This has provided a ton of storage, and is actually where we keep our most-used, every day items like plates, bowls, herbs, chopping boards and glasses (mixed in with some small artwork too!). These shelves are one of our favorite parts of the kitchen – functional and pretty (and they work a million times better than wall cabinets would have done, with regards to keeping the space feeling open!). 


And finally, that Smeg fridge, the fridge of our dreams. We splurged big time here (which was the reason we built the cabinets and tiled the walls with our own fair hands) and we don’t regret it for a second! Who knew a house-hold appliance could bring such pure, unadulterated joy?!

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