Claire & Jeffrey's Kitchen: The Big Reveal

Renovation Diary

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Name: Claire & Jeffrey
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: Single-family bungalow, 950 square feet

For all of us who have been following along with Claire and Jeffrey's renovation, the ultimate moment has finally arrived. That's right — the kitchen is finally complete, and it's time for the big reveal. 

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Before: The space viewed from the living room entry. 

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After: Now, the kitchen is wide open, with an uninterrupted view of the window to the backyard.

From Claire:

We spend all of our free time in this room. It's changed our daily rituals quite a bit. We're no longer regulars at the local watering hole! We both look forward to cooking all of our meals at home because the space is so inviting. We even wake up earlier than we used to just so we can get a few more minutes with a cup of coffee at the table with the morning sun coming in.

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Before: mismatched cabinets, peeling contact paper. 

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After, looking northwest into the new space.

A favorite element is not easy to define. It's more than an element, it's kind of the entire essence of the room that we love. Because our house is so small, it is so rewarding to finally have this space flow with the rest of it. It feels very authentically us. It's comfortable, clean, inviting, and energizing. 

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Before, looking into the kitchen from the basement door, facing southwest.

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After: Looking at the entry door from where the basement entry used to be. We've completely changed the way the room flows and we've added a much needed hangout space.

Our favorite thing about it is the vibe. And I smile every time I look at the coral back door. Every. Single. Time. And Jeffrey loves the counter tops. They lend a sense of earthy texture into the otherwise very modern and clean look. They seem to be a big hit with visitors, too.  

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Before: tall ceilings, short cabinets. 

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After: We took full advantage of the height of the space by taking cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. Two general lights, a sconce, and a coat of satin white paint make the room feel bright, airy, and well-lit even at night.

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The new apron sink. It is so spacious. We splurged on a high-quality faucet. Totally worth it! To the left, a pull-out trash can. To the right, an integrated dishwasher (which has been very good for our relationship!). The new concrete countertops are so great, and they already have a gorgeous patina.Above, the floating walnut shelf illuminates the counter as well as keeping daily items at arm's length. We LOVE this set up!  

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The walnut floating shelf. A perfect excuse to polish your wine glasses until they sparkle.

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A detail of the new DIY concrete counters. They were A LOT of work. But we are so pleased with the result. The natural texture adds so much to a white kitchen.

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An even closer look. The light tone-on-tone look is a result of filling millions of bubbles (we call them our "concrete galaxies) with generic concrete patching compound, a lighter, more flexible product.

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Left: Under the walnut shelf. This shot demonstrates how we routed the channel deep enough to diffuse the LED tape. It also shows off the live edge which, I swear, was custom-grown for this space! Right: The IKEA Abstract cabinet faces. Gorgeous, shiny, and so easy to clean. We spent hours looking for cabinet hardware and were discouraged when everything we loved was outrageously expensive. We stuck with the $2ish/pop IKEA handles and painted them a rubbed oil color to tone down the starkness of aluminum against shiny white. And they're currently affixed with double-stick tape, so when the time is right, we'll upgrade to something we love. Also, note the organic edge of the concrete countertop. This was caused by bubbles in the mix. We patched it and love the effect.

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Left: Before, looking east toward the backyard. Right: After. The entry to the basement stairs has been moved, and the refrigerator was moved to the north wall to allow for an uninterrupted view to the backyard — now the space looks much bigger. 

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The redirected staircase. We decided to clean up the landing last minute since it is now so open to the space. We installed matte black penny tile, a revamped brass chandelier from craigslist (painted satin black and given fun globe bulbs), and instead of replacing the gross, old door, we painted it the happiest color we could think of. It's now a bright semi-gloss coral and I like to strategically keep it in the corner of my eye when I sit down at the table. Because it makes me THAT happy.

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Left: We left some character on the old back door. You gotta embrace that stuff! Turns out, you also have to embrace a fun color in your modernist world once in a while. Right: The matte black penny tile, with black grout, is the new back landing. It feels really fresh with the coral door and a fresh coat of white throughout the stairwell.

Congratulations, Claire and Jeffrey! Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And be sure to join us next week for a full budget breakdown.

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

(Images and diary text: Claire Moyle)

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