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A few of you made comments yesterday that my little to-do list looks a little like a movie poster with my “Coming Winter 2013” label on the bottom.

And you know me – I’m going to roll with it and act like I meant to do it.

Except now you know I didn’t.

So nevermind. Psssh. Needy internet. But I’m still doing it (hence today’s movie title attempt… think Die Hard franchise where the titles get progressively worse – that’s the direction we’re going here).



I thought today would be fun to start off where things ended yesterday. Now that you’ve seen the to-do list, you’re ready to see the plan (so far):  my kitchen mood board. Again, nothing has really been purchased except for a tea towel from West Elm that I plan to frame as kitchen art. The one in the mood board above isn’t the same one, but it sets the same general black/white/gray neutral color palette that I’m gravitating to. Add a few natural wood elements in there, and I’ve got a nice, clean kitchen. I’ll later add some bits of color with accessories that can be easily changed out. Upper white cabinets will brighten up the kitchen, while the lower dark gray cabinets will play off the butcher block countertop (Ikea is likely) and also keep a cohesive feel with the black and white staircase (since parts of the kitchen can be easily seen right from the front door).

Also pictured (both in the post and in my mind):  sink from here and faucet from here.

As you can also probably tell, I don’t yet have a backsplash idea in mind. I have been really admiring the use of penny tiles on Pinterest and other sites, but I don’t think I have the patience that penny tile requires. I like subway, but I think it may not be the right choice for this house. I’m sure I’ll find something that works eventually, but for now I’m okay with leaving it alone. I’ve got enough to do already!

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  1. Very excited to see the transformation. I’ve finally added you to my reader after coming back sporadically for inspiration ;)

  2. I like (and expected) what you have compiled so far. Modern, clean…I see these items as your style. I know you have talked about resale concerns (regarding the stair runner) and normally I would say “do what you want” but the penny tile thing I think is very unique and would throw ALOT of people if you had to sell. I can see you finding a modern tile for your backsplash…I am not a “modern girl” but with what you have shown I could see a smaller rectangular tile with a glass? sort of look to it??? Seems like that may flow nice and look modern. Have fun at Haven and stand tall! You are not the odd, goof you think you are, I’m sure:)

    1. Thanks for the link! Definitely giving this some thought on that farmhouse sink now. I love them though, and it would still be a perfect fit for this little cottage style home… stainless is always a great option no matter what!

  3. Love it! Who says the backsplash has to be tile? Play off the grey lowers and go with zinc, tin or stainless for the backsplash. Maybe horizontal pallet wood with square iron nails for a little industriical (yes, industrial + rustic = industrical) flair. Or even (gasp!) just leave the naked painted wall!

  4. May I suggest a white or light grey (or marbled white-grey) hex tile? I think it’ll give you the feel of a penny-tile background while being a) bigger tiles and b) very classic and yet modern. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! We’re looking at houses right now, and all the kitchens need some serious help, so I’m sure I’ll be contemplating backsplashes before long…


  5. I love it. Do tell on the colors for the cabinets. I’ve decided to paint mine grey (on the bottom) and white (up top). Great minds think alike!

    1. I haven’t really picked “real” paint colors yet. I know that I want white uppers and dark lowers. I might just go with the pale gray that I’m using throughout the downstairs for the upper color (Benjamin Moore Dove Wing) and mix my own swatch for the lowers, then go get them color matched to a specific paint brand. I need to decide soon, so I’ll certainly post updates when I purchase the paint!

  6. The plan looks great. I love neutral colors as well and I agree with Julie W, go with a zinc or tin for the backsplash. They work so much better for renovations like yours. I like the tea towels! Great post!

  7. I love it all – especially the counter top and sink. Can’t wait to see it once it is done! You can do it!!! :)

    1. Thanks Kay! Those two colors aren’t really paint colors at all – just swatches of two colors that I found appealing. I’m trying to first pick the paint brand I want to use (still on the fence about that, but I’ve narrowed it down to two). Then I’ll actually choose “real” colors or mix my own and take it to a place to have them color matched.

  8. Love the mood board! Have you thought about a glass splash back instead of tiles? No grout and super easy to clean. I love mine and it has made the kitchen have such clean lines with a modern touch. Also makes my kitchen look so much bigger!

    1. Great tip – I don’t know what I’ll consider for the back splash, so I’m pretty much open to all suggestions for the moment! I think once the cabinets are painted and such, I’ll be able to better decide on what will look best. I’ll definitely add glass to the list of options to check out. Thanks!

  9. Hi! I just finished reading your blog, from oldest to newest. I must say, the progress you’ve made with the house is astonishing! I love that your style for the house has evolved to reflect your quirkiness (as evidenced by your writing style). I can’t wait to see how it goes with the kitchen! I found your blog by first reading all of DIY Diva’s blog, oldest to newest. I totally see how you two became friends! Keep up the good work, not just with the house, but with school too! It’s hard, but so totally worth it. I just graduated last year with my Bachelor’s and am so proud of myself for finishing (I’m 33) while working full time, raising my 2 natural born boys and adopting my 2 nephews. You’ll feel the same sense of accomplishment when you get that degree in the mail!!

    1. Thank you! And congrats on finishing your degree. Doing that with four kiddos in the mix can’t be easy! That’s quite the accomplishment. How on earth did you find time to read BOTH blogs from start to finish with all of that on your plate?

      1. The blogs sort of became an obsession. I would just read every evening after the kiddos were asleep. I get like that with reading when something holds my attention. As for finishing my degree, I had a lot of inspiration, but it was never easy. Luckily I work from home (my kids are in school and daycare) and my degree was also offered mostly online with only a few classes requiring actually attending class, so that’s where my late night staying on the computer first started. Haha!

        1. I get the staying up late on sites part (obviously! ha!) – I do it all the time when I’m coding or just doing research on plugins (which is exactly what I’m doing right now). I’m jealous of your ability to work from home. Would be nice to have that option. But then again, I might not get anything done when there are project temptations all around me!

  10. I love everything about your plans! Our sink and faucet came in while we were at Haven and we can’t wait to get started. We too are doing butcher block from Ikea… hoping to have ours finished by the end of this month! :)

  11. You have some great inspirational choices there. I recently finished my kitchen update and went with all white cupboards. Same handles as you have picked out and I added molding to each cabinet door to make them look shaker style (they were flat panelled, like yours are).

    I was stuck on the backsplash. 1st I choice white subway tile, meh, then I chose a mosaic glass and marble, meh…the truth was that I wanted something that I could easily change and tile is not an easy change. I ended up going with a planked wood look. I stained them two times, once in hickory the second time in white pickling stain. The effect was exactly what I was after. When I tire of it, it will be easy to remove with little damage to the walls as it’s only nailed in.

    Here is a link to the finished kitchen, take a look and maybe it will help to inspire you or make you run in fear LOL


  12. I just started following today. Very excited to see how your kitchen remodel goes. I too am a single gal fixing up my little home. :)