Kitchen Update – Phase 2

Kitchen Update – Phase 2

It’s been a full 18 months since we finished Phase 1 of our Kitchen Renovation (Raising our Upper Cabinets, Adding a Backslash and Purchasing new appliances)

We’re really digging the updates love the updates we’ve made, and are finally ready to make a few more changes after living in the space a little longer. There’s so much value in living in a space before making big changes. We’ve updated our plan for Phase 2 and it’s something I never would’ve thought of before being home for so long.

Phase 2 Ideas:

– Rearrange some of our uppers and add open shelves next to our sink.
– Hire an Electrician to move a 120 volt behind the range.
– Update paneling on the Peninsula
– Paint the Cabinets
– Update Cabinet Hardware

Approximate Cost for Phase 2: $1,770

Open Shelves: ~$300
(6) Metal Shelf Brackets – $230
High Quality Lumber – TBD on species – ~$50-70

Electrician: ~$250

Paint Materials: ~$200

Cabinet Hardware: ~520
(7) Mission Bin Pull – $17/ each
(5) 6″ Large Mission Drawer Pull – $40/ each
(17) Hexagon Cabinet Knob – $11/ each

Update Lighting: ~$500
4 LED Can Light: ~$100
Glass Globe Flush Mount (Nickle Mount) – Pottery Barn: $199
Mobile Chandelier – Small – West Elm: $199
28 in White Cape May Ceiling Medallion – Home Depot: $49.97


This is 100% putting the cart before the horse, but looking at Decor pieces helps me ease into the final vision for it all.


Sometimes a few images still make it hard to see the whole vision. Here’s a few accounts I’m pulling inspiration from.

6 Things we learned from the Backsplash

6 Things we learned from the Backsplash
  1. Tiling around light switches. We thought we did a great job of making sure we left enough room for the light switches to be screwed back in — we have some room for improvement. Not a huge deal, will take a little bit of extra time to drill holes into the tile.

    Use Bosch 1/8″ Carbide Tipped Drill Bit to slowly drill into the tile.
  2. Patience. It is going to take you 3x longer than you think it will take to to make the exact cut you need.
  3. Pre-Mixed Materials. We used pre-mixed thinset and grout. Saved a ton of time and you knew you had the right level of consistency.
  4. Presealed Grout. The grout we used is already sealed, which saved us a ton of time at the end of the project.
  5. Patterned tiles aren’t easy. We laid 1/3 of the backsplash in the time it took my dad to make the cuts for the design over the range.
  6. Planning. Spend the time up front to lay everything out and make sure you like the flow before laying tile.
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Kitchen Reveal – Phase 1

This kitchen project is one that we’ve been talking about since we moved in (2016) and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

Our goal in home renovation is to take on larger projects in the winter so that we can enjoy the beautiful Michigan summer while it lasts. To help us not feel too overwhelmed by the tasks, we broke our kitchen project into two phases. A la we’re sharing Phase 1 reveal with you today!

It’s always good to remind you where we started from, so check out the before:


Tiling the Backsplash

Tiling the Backsplash

Take a deep breath – its time to tile this b.

Before you dive into tiling, you should lay out the design to make sure the beginning and the end of the tile is the look that you want. We played around with different size tile spacers and layout before landing on our look. I couldn’t decide on the finished edge. Long story short, there are two options for your finished edge – bullnose (rounded edge) or Dural (metal/sharp edge).

We ended up going with bullnose because you get the softer edge (and “the metal edge can sometimes look tacky”- Jay).

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Tile Prep

Tile Prep

You know what’s the worst? Spending days on a project to have a huge mess to clean up when you’re done.

Use painters tape to tape off the edge of your counter tops – aim to adhere the tape the width of your tile away from the wall. So, if your tile is 1/8″ thick put the tape down an 1/8″ away from the wall. This will help speed up clean up.


Raise ’em up

Raise ’em up

As we started to layout our backsplash, I got the crazy idea to raise our upper cabinets. I’m sure you’re thinking “Huh? What the heck? Have you lost your mind?”. Wait until you see the before and afters.

In the 90’s, the standard cabinet height was 18″ over the counter top. Modern kitchens, cabinets are hung 19-21″. To any of you who say an inch doesn’t make a difference, come on over to our house.


Backsplash Inspiration

We’ve have been all over the place with Design ideas for our backsplash. From Mexican Tiles to White Subway and everything in between. Here’s some of the inspiration we’ve been digging.

Mexican Tile:
How fun are these tiles? If/when we fully gut our kitchen, I would love to do something over the range, similar to the grey cement tiles. The hesitation would be that we wouldn’t love it for how much work it would be to change.