Update Your Kitchen

Ahh yes.  Your kitchen.  The heart of your home.  Or the bane of your existence?


The kitchen seems to be the place in the home that people fret over the most.  In my work I come across two types of kitchen regularly. The first being a kitchen built in the 90s that may have cabinets with an orange-ish tone to them, an awkward gap between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling and perhaps a beige tile floor.  The second type of kitchen I see regularly is that of an old Portland Bungalow.  These kitchens have some great details, but tend to be smaller, boxed in and with cabinets hung too close to the counter (which doesn’t give you the clearance to place life’s important pieces, like wine bottles on the counter).

Typical 90s Kitchen

I think many people get overwhelmed with the daunting task of updating a kitchen because A) money and TIME B) the myriad of choices and decision that need to be made C) fear of choosing something “wrong” that will end up being a very expensive mistake you have to stare at daily.

Will I make a decision based on a trend and then end up hating it in two years? How will I manage to make all of these decisions when I have a full-time job? Is it really worth the money?

The one answer that I cannot really answer for you is if it’s worth the money.  I think money and design are very personal and ultimately it ends up being a choice based on your values.  However, if you are using money as the excuse to delay something that you know that will increase the efficiency and joy in your home then that is where I come into play.

Our (almost done!) kitchen

You can farm out the creative process and get help with the “choice fatigue” from me.  I want to share with you a recent project that I am working on with a lovely family that lives in a home built in the 90s.  It has never been updated and we are working together on their Do-It-Mostly-Themselves plan for updating the kitchen.


Their kitchen is the typical 90s kitchen and my clients are drawn to classic and timeless designs.  The first step in any design process if finding the inspiration behind the ideas and concepts.  Here are some of the inspirational photos that we collected that really speak to the homeowners.


The second step is to find the common themes with the client’s inspirations and edit them down to images/concepts that really embody the essence of the clients wants, desires and personalities.  After collecting and editing down their inspiration, I created two common themes that I found: Timeless Chic and Timeless Rustic.

Both of these design concepts bring in timeless elements as a base, like the subway tile and hardwoods, and layer on the personality with the lighting, pops of color and hardware (all of which are easy to change in 5 years if you need to update again without a full-on remodel).  Can we get an amen for the blue range? I’m really loving these new appliance designs on the market right now.


Now the clients are sitting with these concepts and picking and choosing which elements feel the most them.  Our next step is to refine the concept and fill in all of the details to compile with their final design plan.


Which concepts do you like the most?

Photo Credit:

Emily Henderson’s New Kitchen

Newton Custom Interiors