Our Second Kitchen Renovation

DSC00721The heart of any home is typically always the kitchen. It’s where we gather together, enjoy good company and meals together. So when we moved into our current home we knew the kitchen stuck in the 70’s era had to say its final goodbye. The layout did not work for our expanding family and there was a lack of cabinet space. It’s incredible how much space kitchen gadgets take up. Gotta love white backsplash tiles with hints of pink in it. What were the home designers thinking?!

Our kitchen renovation took approximately twelve weeks to complete and we did the entire remodel ourselves. Let’s just say there was lots of late nights, weekends, blood and sweat that went into this renovation. (But worth every tear and penny!) You might not think you have the time or inclination to do a kitchen renovation yourself but the fact is that it pays off to do as much of the renovation as you can by yourself. Our kitchen would have cost us triple the amount we paid if we had hired professional contractors. For this renovation, I was the chief designer while Matt was the SUPER DUPER handyman. (Yes, he deserves the uppercase acknowledgment) IMG_5172

We started off by designing our dream kitchen for this home on Ikea’s handy planning tool which can be found here. By purchasing mass-produced cabinets we were able to save some major bucks. You are more then welcome to look at custom cabinetry but why not save the change and plan a fun family vacation instead? We chose a high gloss white finish for the top kitchen cabinets and a grey wood grain finish for the bottom cabinets. Most people who step into our kitchen assume its custom anyway. They are shocked to learn that its not. Installing the cabinets is super easy but if you’re not up for the challenge you can actually hire Ikea employees to come to your home to install them for you. I’m proud to note that I built almost all the cabinets by myself and I was four months pregnant at the time.

KitchenReno copyThe biggest decision we had to make was to choose a counter-top finish we both loved at a reasonable price. We debated between marble, granite and quartz finishes. We spent weeks hunting different showrooms around Calgary trying to find the perfect fit. Word of advice. Take your time selecting your countertops. Rock countertops are an investment and you want to be happy with the selection you make. We ended up choosing a granite from Pacific Stone located locally in Calgary, Alberta. The price was reasonable (which included installation) and the customer service was excellent. From the time we ordered our granite to the final installation it only took three weeks. We’ve had the granite tops now for almost an entire year and I have yet to find anything wrong with the product. Looks amazing!

For our kitchen floors we wanted to install a tile as we both agreed that our hardwood floors throughout the main floor could be easily damaged in the kitchen. We selected a grey wash porcelain  floor tile. While our backsplash is a combination of glass tile with marble pieces. The backsplash was purchased at Lowes.

IMG_8220Our original kitchen had no island in the centre but due to the space we had in this room we were able to install a kitchen island. Best decision made! I love being able to prep meals on the island without feeling cramped for space. We were able to hide our dishwasher in the island and install one set of Ikea cabinets where we keep all of our dishes. Makes unloading the dishwasher so much easier. On a side note, we get compliments on the white leather stools around our island and if you’re wondering where we purchased them.. they are from Homesense 🙂 Originally, we were also planning to also install a wine fridge in the island but due to the measurements this was not a feasible option. Now I’m contemplating on where I’m going to install my wine fridge that I already had purchased. I’m thinking my office might be a good starting point?

If you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen in the near future we highly recommend it. Yes it is an investment but it is worth every penny. Especially if you are thinking of reselling your home down the road. Remember to stay flexible. Sometimes deadlines are not met and life does throw us curveballs at some point or another. You can skimp on a few details such as mass-produced cabinets instead of custom but when it comes to finishing touches such as the backsplash tile we recommend spending a little more. You’ll be staring at those tiles on a daily basis you might as well be happy with your selection. If you have any kitchen questions feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to answer them 🙂


  1. Love all the renos! Catching up on older posts. I’d love to see more posts about how your family enjoys the space!! Kind of ‘a day in the life’ would be fun to read!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *