Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by lindseymahoney
Are you ready to see the modern traditional kitchen reveal and all of the juicy makeover details?!
The kitchen was the first renovation tackled when we were given the keys to our new home in 2019. I had big plans to open up the space and create a beautiful modern traditional kitchen for our family to gather. The architectural style of our new home is traditional, so it was important for the kitchen to complement those features while functioning for today’s modern family.
We bought our home in June and spent the summer installing hardwood floors and renovating the kitchen. While the summer was really fun and exciting, it was also incredibly stressful working on such a large project. In September, we finally moved into our new home and began enjoying our beautiful modern traditional kitchen!
Table of Contents
- Kitchen Renovation Design Plans
- Kitchen Before
- Open-Concept Traditional Kitchen Design
- Kitchen Demolition
- Finding/Ordering the Traditional Kitchen Materials
- Creative Ways we Cut Costs With the Kitchen Makeover
- Kitchen Cabinet Installation
- Kitchen Backsplash
- Subway Tile Backsplash
- Modern Traditional Kitchen Lighting
- Modern Traditional Kitchen Reveal
- Kitchen Sources
- Kitchen Decor Sources
- More Transformations You Will Love
- Pin the Image Below!
Kitchen Renovation Design Plans
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To create the open-concept kitchen we envisioned, we planned to combine the original kitchen and breakfast area. We also planned to remove the wall between the kitchen and the family room.
Here is the original kitchen from when we purchased the house.
And here is the breakfast area next to the kitchen.
The breakfast area opens up into the family room (doorway to the left) and has a large slider door to the backyard.
Now let’s chat about how we transformed this space and the products we used.
Open-Concept Traditional Kitchen Design
The first and most important step for this kitchen remodel was to come up with the design. I knew I wanted open-concept and I REALLY wanted to figure out how to add an island. We worked with my super-talented friend, Jeff Unverferth, to sketch our dream kitchen on paper. Here is a sketch of the new kitchen without the island.
Loving Jeff’s kitchen design? Check out his gorgeous Airbnb, the Gas Lantern Cottage, which he completely transformed!
And here is the kitchen layout from above. We tweaked the design plans slightly, but this is the general design we went with for the kitchen. You can see that we combined the breakfast area and kitchen and eliminated the wall in the family room.
The image below is taken from the family room looking into the breakfast area. The kitchen is behind the wall to the right and the wet bar is inside the closet to the right. In the new kitchen design, Jeff removed the kitchen wall and the walls around the closet to open up the space even more.
Once we nailed down the design, we got to work with the demolition and encountered our first big issue. In one of the kitchen soffits, there was a large support beam! This was not expected and was extremely stressful since we were already at our max budget.
We spoke with a few professionals about this issue and the current joists were at their maximum distance without requiring another header support to hold the second story. If we added another header, we would have to “bury” it so the ceiling would be even, and this a lot of work and money. Luckily, we found a solution, which was to strengthen the current joists by sandwiching plywood between the old joist and a new joist.
This added much more support to the room up above and would prevent the floor from bouncing and cracking the drywall on the ceiling. This was also much less expensive than burying a support beam and I am so grateful that we were able to save some money here.
Finding/Ordering the Traditional Kitchen Materials
I went to the Home Depot kitchen department and worked with their team to bring our kitchen design to life. After the kitchen team added the design plans into their system, the price quote was way too high. I worked with the designer to figure out how to cut some costs without completely changing the kitchen design.
Creative Ways we Cut Costs With the Kitchen Makeover
Excluded Glass from Cabinets
We saved money by purchasing the glass front cabinets without the glass fronts and shelves. It is less expensive to purchase glass separately than to buy the glass with the cabinets themselves. When the cabinets came in, I visited our local glass store, Bomar Glass, to custom-cut the glass. With five glass cabinet fronts and interior glass shelves, the savings did add up. The large glass shelves were only $20 a piece at our local glass store. Overall, this saved us a few hundred dollars.
Removed the Brackets from the Design
The original design included brackets below the upper cabinets and under the countertop on the island. First, we planned on saving money by purchasing our own wooden brackets and painting them the same color as the cabinets. This was a much cheaper option than buying the brackets through the kitchen cabinet brand. Unfortunately, our light switches were located exactly where one of the brackets was to be placed and we could not move it. We also realized that the island countertop did not require brackets for support, so we nixed the brackets altogether.
Custom Island Wood Treatment
Our kitchen design included v-groove wood planks on the back of the island. We realized that we could save money by hiring a handyman to create this accent wall instead of purchasing it through the cabinet brand. When working with a handyman, you can usually save money by purchasing the materials for them as well.
After the wood treatment was installed, I painted the wood to match the gray cabinets on the island.
Deals on Appliances
The easiest way to save money on appliances is by reusing ones that already work! We reused our dishwasher and attempted to reuse the microwave. Unfortunately, I didn’t consider cabinet measurements and the microwave was too large! We ended up having to purchase a new microwave to fit properly.
For the other kitchen appliances, we waited for a big sale weekend and saved thousands of dollars.
Pro Account: If you have an LLC, sign up for a pro account and buy your kitchen in bulk. You can save hundreds (maybe even thousands) by running your project through the bid room at Home Depot.
Nix Delivery & Pick up Cabinets Yourself
If you have the transportation (and support) you can save money by picking up your cabinets in the store.
Kitchen Cabinet Installation
The kitchen cabinet installation was challenging because of the added detail and our floors and ceilings are uneven. We found a fantastic installer who charged by the piece and not by the hours worked on the project. This was so crucial because it took a lot of time to get everything level and even. Hiring our own installer (instead of using Home Depot) also saved us some money.
The kitchen already had a lot of white in the design so I definitely wanted to add some color to the backsplash. To tie in the v-groove on the back of the island, we installed a narrower v-groove under the cabinets and color-matched it to the gray cabinets on the island. We saved money by purchasing the lumber (at Menards) for our contractor to install.
I really wanted our kitchen to look custom by adding special touches to the design. I asked our contractor to carry those same wood planks up into the glass cabinets. The planks were too thick so he had to plane them down (cut the wood in half) to allow for our plates to fit in the cabinets.
Once they were cut, I painted them and they were installed. I love how the dark backs of the glass cabinets give added dimension, especially with the cabinet lights shining from above!
Subway Tile Backsplash
To save more money, I installed the subway tile behind the range and used a dark gray grout to complete the look. I added a little customization by installing a soldier border to the bottom of the wall.
Modern Traditional Kitchen Lighting
Before the drywall was put back up, we had can lights installed. We also added lights in the glass cabinets to display our nice dishware. I wanted the pendant lights to really make a statement and found these at Rejuvenation. I am obsessed!!
Modern Traditional Kitchen Reveal
And here is our traditional kitchen reveal!
Tackling this kitchen renovation so soon after purchasing our new home definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I am so grateful that we did it. Our kitchen is the heart of the home and I finally have the open-concept kitchen of my dreams!
Kitchen remodels can be extremely expensive but don’t forget that there are lots of ways to save money, especially if you just ask! I shaved off thousands of dollars by working with my Home Depot rep and finding creative solutions to cut down on costs.
Adding some DIY projects can also help to save money on the renovation. I hope my open-concept kitchen remodel has inspired you to take the plunge with your next big project and create a space that brings you joy every day.
- KitchenMaid Cabinets (color: Dove White, door style: Holace Maple SQ) – out of stock (similar style)
- Quartz Countertops
- V-groove backsplash
- Z Line Range & Hood
- KitchenMaid Island Cabinets (color: Greyloft; door style: Holace Maple SQ) – out of stock (similar style)
- Island Pendants
- Island Tongue & Groove Back
- Subway Tile & Grout
- Wall Color: Alabaster by Sherwin Williams
- Island Stools – leather is out of stock (similar)
- Floor: White oak wood, clear-coat finish
Kitchen Decor Sources
- Flower Arrangements by Bartz Viviano
- Three Canisters – out of stock
- Dutch Oven
- Round Wood & Wire Tray
- Woven Basket on the counter – found in Target dollar bins
- Spoon Rest
- Salt bowl
- Butter holder (similar)
- Cookbook holder
- Glass Pumpkin – Home Goods
- Kitchen Rug Runner
More Transformations You Will Love
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- STUNNING Modern Dining Room Makeover
- Guest Bedroom / Office Makeover Reveal
- Awesome Unfinished Basement Before and After
- 9 Decorative Wall Trim & Molding Ideas to Try
Pin the Image Below!
Want to easily find this post to reference when you start designing your new, traditional style kitchen? I’ve got you covered! Use the pin below to save to your Dream Kitchen Pinterest board.