Parents Kitchen Renovation - Dreaming Up Plans

Happy New Year!

It's been a minute since I posted a project on the blog. The last few months of 2017 were pretty chaotic - a few top moments were vacationing at Disneyland, hosting a Friendsgiving, attending friends holiday parties and saying goodbye to our au pair, Maria (we miss her so much!).  We continued to work on the house but the small projects were not very blog-worthy.

But it is a new year and I have a list of resolutions, one of which is hopping back on the blogging bandwagon.  We will be selling our home in a few short months so I will have plenty of material for the blog. Once we find our new home I know there will be tons of fun projects to tackle and share as well.

Today I want to share my parents kitchen with you.  They recently moved into a fantastic new home, but the kitchen has some undesirable features. I took some notes on what my parents disliked about the kitchen and then went to work planning their renovation. Major renovations like this are always daunting and I hope seeing a layout and getting a price estimate will help my parents determine when they can start renovations.


  • Layout
  • Lack of storage
  • Aesthetic
  • Noise

Here are some photos from Zillow when they purchased the home:

You can see in the photo below that the fridge and oven are located in a narrow galley. On the other side of the fridge is a small counter top and cabinet as well.  This layout is not functional at all and is challenging to fully utilize anything in this small space.

My parents have taken down the wallpaper which is an improvement to the room, but they still dislike the flooring, cabinets, countertops & lighting (so...everything).

Side note: Why do people put fans in the kitchen where dust can fly in the food?

Do you like the runway of lights that guides you to the fridge?

One of the previous renovations included a full bathroom complete with a shower. The homeowners decided to take some of the space from the kitchen. It's not noticeable at all, right? LOL.

In theory, adding another full bathroom seems like a great idea, however the placement of the bathroom is awkward and it takes valuable space from the kitchen. This alienates buyers who want an updated kitchen and space with a natural flow when cooking.  This bathroom is off of the dining room, so it isn't a natural place for a guest to go and take a shower.

When I created the plans for my parents, I tried to be as cost conscious as possible.  I wanted the renovation to be functional without breaking the bank.

The first thing that HAD to go was the protruding bathroom into the kitchen. I converted the full bath into a half bathroom which gave us more space in the kitchen. I turned the awkward galley space into a pantry with a pocket door.  This will solve many of their storage problems.

The original home layout included a walkway from the dining room into the kitchen that was closed off at some point. I would like to open this back up to let in more light and encourage people to utilize the dining room space.

Ikea has a great tool that helps visualize how a space will look with actual furnishings. I created a rough visual of my plans and love how it looks! Again, this is not exact - there are some cabinets missing (next to and over the fridge) but it gives you a feel for the layout.  

The red circle shows where the pantry would be located. I have labeled the cabinets to the right the coffee bar, but it can be used for anything. Open shelving above the cabinets & subway tile would keep the kitchen feeling open and airy.

The bathroom has downsized and would be a minimal cost if the toilet & sink were re-used. There would be some work on moving the walls, plumbing for the toilet & sink, light electrical work and new tile for the floors. The window and door would stay intact.

For the kitchen design, I love the look of navy lower cabinets & white uppers. Appliances will be stainless steel and the back splash would be crisp white subway tiles. For the flooring, in an ideal world we could salvage the wood floors under the current tile, but if that does not work, I like large hexagon tiles in lighter neutral colors.

Check out my pinterest board for their kitchen to see more inspiration pins: