For those of you who have gone through the fun and games of a home renovation, you know too well that bumps and roadblocks are expected along the way. Whether the actual budget and timelines have been exceeded or some unexpected structural surprises were found, renovations, big or small, can often go by the wayside. However, with smart planning and mindful design decisions, when you see your dream plans come to life, the results are so rewarding!

We recently remodeled our kitchen and I’m thrilled to share a glimpse of our new, beloved space and also five worthwhile tips to get you started on your future kitchen projects!

Consider Function Before Style

The decision to overhaul our kitchen was primarily influenced by the functionality rather than aesthetics. Living in a townhouse, lighting and space has always been a challenge. Our kitchen neared the front entrance of our home and was divided from the rest of the open living and dining areas by a wall that our fridge was nestled in. This restricted the natural light that peered through the front windows and also limited the number of guests to the house due to lack of open seating and entertaining space.

When we made the decision to remodel, we ensured that the functional improvements we wanted to make were the first priorities to address and the styling considerations were secondary. To address our desire for more natural light, open concept, and extended room for entertaining, we decided to knock down the obstructing wall and moved our fridge in order to build a beautiful wide island for food preparation and entertaining.

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in order to achieve the most practical results. In our case, we sacrificed our foyer coat closet to accommodate for our fridge. We didn’t embark styling decisions until all the functional plans were in place. We are so satisfied with the layout of our kitchen!

Replacing vs. Painting Cabinet Doors

Cabinetry is a big statement item when it comes to any kitchen. Replacing your entire set of cabinets or doors isn’t the only option when it comes to giving your kitchen a new look. We decided to opt for re-painting our doors and cabinets instead for two reasons. One, our cabinets were in mint condition, it allowed us to preserve them, and two, it reduced the cost dramatically.

If you hire a reputable and experienced painter, the results are fantastic!

An Unexpected Backsplash

Think of the backsplash as the artwork in the kitchen. There are so many options when it comes to tiles, stones, and how it is installed to make your backsplash standout. Unlike the countertop which you primarily use to prepare foods and needs to withstand heat, drips and spills, the materials you choose for the backsplash can afford to be more delicate and porous. We decided to select a Carrera marble herringbone style backsplash to add an unexpected and artful twist to our kitchen.

Updating matching faucet and pulls

A simple, yet impactful update you can make to your kitchen is by modernizing sink faucets and cabinet pulls. Rounded curves and standard materials such as silver chrome are more traditional. I hunted for specialized matte black square edged pulls for an edgy and modern flare. I then matched the finish for the sink faucet so that the entire kitchen would come together in a cohesive manner.

One slab vs. two slabs

When it comes to countertops, the selection process can be overwhelming. One decision we debated on was whether to find one continuous stone slab or adjoin two together. There are pros and cons to both. The benefit of finding one single piece is that the beautiful patterns are kept in tact. The disadvantage is that, dependent on the measurements, often times finding a single slab to fit your requirements can be feat and the options are quite limited. As for us, we decided on two slabs because there were a lot more options and we were also able to use the extra stone to upgrade two of our washroom vanities! Though we had to connect the pieces together in our kitchen, we can barely notice it.

Whether you’re about to embark your own renovations or simply feeling inspired to make a few small décor updates, perhaps you’ve been inspired to consider and weigh the options that are best for your needs before getting started!!

Natalie Ho is the DIY & lifestyle personality behind My Little Secrets, a haven for the DIY and style conscious obsessed. She recently remodelled her Toronto Beaches Townhome kitchen, and we invited her to share her experience with us!