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We've been passively looking at homes for the last few years and everything we loved always seemed just a little bit out of our budget as we were looking in High Park proper. So we decided to look just a little west. My hubby was searching online and came across a beautiful townhome just about 10-15 mins west of High Park in an area that was very familiar to me because my Grandma McCarthy and Uncle John lived in the area when I was a child. We had a tour of it on my birthday and the rest is history. Everything fell into place!
We knew from the moment we saw it that it felt right because it had really good energy and it was a gut feeling. I swear that's a huge part of it.
That being said, we didn't love the kitchen because it was pretty outdated even though it was of excellent quality (cameo kitchen). It definitely needed a good refresh. We got thinking, how can we give this kitchen a makeover without breaking the bank?
Here's what the kitchen looked like before.
In this post, I'm going to share everything we changed in the kitchen with links to each item from the lights, to the faucets, counters, and more. We are so happy with how it turned out! There are a few odds and ends we still have left to do but that will happen in time.
Everything is itemized below in case you're looking at doing a kitchen update. We did a LOT of research to find the best brands and quality and price that worked for us.
We got new countertops
The countertops needed an update and we wanted to change the shape of the island to make it bigger since we spend so much time in the kitchen! We went with "Organic White" from Caesarstone that we bought from Stone Lab who also installed it. Stone Lab was excellent to deal with and no installation issues. The countertops are gorgeous!! This made an immediate difference before the cabinets were even sprayed!!
We replaced the backsplash
The backsplash before was a taupe colour that didn't feel bright and fresh. We chose to do a herringbone design to elevate the space and I'm so glad we did! Even though herringbone is more expensive to install and takes a little longer, it was totally worth it. That backsplash took 5 days to complete but I LOVE IT! We bought all our tile from Centura Tile. Shoutout to Linda who was the amazing sales rep who helped us find everything and gave us amazing advice. She also helped us with our bathroom renos.
We had our kitchen painted white and the island painted navy blue
The original kitchen was outdated as you saw and just too much brown especially with the hardwood floors. So we had it sprayed "Chantilly White" by Paint Core (the same company that does the Property Brothers show!) and the island painted Hale Navy. We had quite a bit of back and forth deciding whether to do the island white or navy - Walker really wanted to do it navy and I wanted it white. We went with navy and I am so happy we did because I LOVE it!! Our dear friend who is an interior designer, Emilia suggested those colors to us and even though I was hesitant on the blue, I'm so glad we did it because it turned out gorgeous!
My hubby got about 6 or 7 quotes and he did a ton of research on companies and people who paint kitchens. While Paint Core was not the cheapest, they were by far the most professional and we felt confident they knew what they were doing.
Please note if you're sensitive to smelly stuff you don't want to be home when they spray cause the primer doesn't smell good. It took about 3-4 days to air out. We had the windows open, the central heat off and the Dyson filter blasting. We were not living here the day it was sprayed. We moved in after it was all done. They do not spray the doors while they are attached, they take them away and spray them at the warehouse which can take up to two weeks but it's all good because this helped us get to know where everything is found in the kitchen without cabinet doors!
We replaced all the hardware
We wanted a more warm and cozy vibe for our kitchen which is why we chose brass for the door handles and knobs. Omg, I love!! I got overly obsessed with this look spending far too much time looking at kitchens on Pinterest!! It looks so elegant and beautiful. We ordered "satin brass" pulls and these knobs for the cabinet doors. The brand is Emtek and you can buy them at various stores and online shops.
We removed the glass cabinet doors
We wanted a more cozy vibe so we didn't put the doors back on these two upper cabinets.
We got a new sink and stovetop
The old sink was two separate sinks that felt small. We wanted a spacious bucket sink since we do so much cooking (which also means washing) so we bought a sink from Teco Canada - nothing fancy, just functional. We also have the grill on the bottom of the sink so it doesn't get all scratched. Stone Lab installed our sink when they installed the countertop. As for the stovetop, we replaced that as well and bought a JennAir.
We replaced the kitchen faucet and added a filtered water faucet
Staying with the satin brass theme of our pulls and knobs, we bought this gorgeous faucet from Delta in "champagne bronze". This is the same faucet we had in our condo (but in chrome) and it was still in great shape after 6 years. We bought a matching water filtration faucet cause the ones that come with water filters ain't pretty!
We installed a water filtration system under the sink
After many hours of research from structured water to RO, we decided on a water filtration system from Watermart in Toronto. We have a 4 stage filter that removes 99% of the contaminants including fluoride and arsenic but not the minerals. We decided against an RO filter since that removes everything (including the minerals) and I don't like the taste of RO water - we had that in our condo. Walker did the installation himself, it was pretty easy.
We replaced all the lighting
We had 3 pot lights installed by an electrician around the island and Walker installed four new pendant lights we bought from Crate and Barrel. What a difference good lighting makes! The kitchen was very dark before and the lights were very outdated as you probably saw in the "before" photo. We bought the lights in brass to match the kitchen faucets and all the cabinetry hardware.
At the same time, we replaced the lighting in the dining room too. We also removed a gas fireplace that was a monstrosity in the middle of our living area. We took it out because we wanted to put our dining table there and the fireplace was too large for the space.
Here's the BEFORE photo.
That gorgeous chandelier is from West Elm - swoon!
I also want to mention that we had an amazing contractor demo the kitchen (remove the backsplash and counters) in a few hours. If you're in Toronto and want their contact info, just email [email protected]. They are also in the process of redoing Vienna's bathroom which I will share pics once it's all done!
What's left to do
When you're standing in the kitchen looking out - you either look into our backyard and see fir trees or this (photo below) is opposite the kitchen - a yellow second-hand couch with our McJordan gallery wall. We also have a family room on the other side of this wall - to the left and that's a work in progress. I'm doing a few more decorating touches to this area of our home so stay tuned for that! I ordered a rug from Baba Souk that I can't wait to receive!
There you have it! Our kitchen makeover without gutting the whole kitchen. What a difference it makes to really brighten up the space.
I just want to say a special thanks to my hubby Walker. He did so much organizing for this all to happen weeks before we moved in so everything went smoothly. We made all the big decisions for the kitchen about 6 weeks before so that all the changes could happen as soon as we got possession from the kitchen demo to the counter installation to the painting of the whole kitchen.
Also special thanks to our dear friend Emilia who we bugged with our barrage of text messages asking her what she thought of this and that, haha! It helps when you're friends with a designer! She helped us fine-tune things in the early stages.
In a couple of weeks, I will share our joyous bathroom renos with you!
Have a great rest of your day!