When my husband and I bought our 1920s bungalow two years ago, one of the features that really sold us on the house was the oversized kitchen. We both love to cook and spend most of our time hanging out in the kitchen, so it seemed perfect for us! Of course, out of all the rooms in the house, it’s also the room in most desperate need of cosmetic updates… and as I shared last week, it’s amazing how quickly “simple cosmetic updates” can add up and get out of hand.
We don’t want our house updates to interfere with our financial goals, so a major kitchen remodel isn’t in the cards for us. However, we’ve come up with a plan and a timeline to make some changes that will have a big visual impact without wreaking havoc on our finances.
I’ll share the details of that plan in a future post, but for today, I’d like to share the fun part — inspiration!
In my opinion, when you’re working within a budget, knowing what you want is crucial to getting a great product that doesn’t break the bank. To figure out exactly what I want, I find it incredibly helpful to dream up the absolute ideal, with the assumption that you have an unlimited budget (this part always scares my husband, haha!).
After the ideal is defined and its corresponding price is calculated, we roll up our sleeves and the hard work begins — inessential elements are slashed, inexpensive dupes and DIYs are identified, and sales are exploited until the budget is whittled into submission. With this method (i.e. lots and lots of planning), I usually find that in the end, I can get something very close to my (very very expensive) ideal for a fraction of the price.
Also, I’m a classical musician, not a professional interior designer. So instead of dreaming up something from scratch, I usually comb Pinterest until I find my ideal room (I also did this with our nursery!). This kitchen, featured by House Beautiful, perfectly summarizes my aspirations for our kitchen:
Image via House Beautiful
It’s warm and inviting with a casual elegance that is classic and timeless. It’s also done with a Craftsman aesthetic, which is perfect for our 1920’s Craftsman bungalow.
Here are the exact features we want to shamelessly copy from this kitchen (spoiler: it’s pretty much everything) —
- Warm white walls (so pretty, and it will never go out of style!)
- Light oak floors
- Butcher block countertops
- Cup/bin pull handles for the drawers
- Stainless steel appliances
The few areas where we’ll deviate:
- Instead of black, we’re going with an oil-rubbed bronze finish for the hardware.
- Instead of plank cabinetry, we’ll go with shaker style.
- We’ll go in a slightly different direction with the light fixtures (maybe more of an industrial aesthetic).
- We might put in a white subway tile backsplash
In a future post, I’ll share how we plan on updating our kitchen without breaking the bank (hint: veeeery slowly), along with my exact product picks and projected numbers.