See the 7+ year transformation and gain inspiration for your own space in this modern rustic kitchen decor tour.
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The number of iterations this kitchen has undergone over the past seven-plus years is slightly comical. It’s been a loyal testing ground as I change my mind about paint colors and as we test out different layouts. But through it all, we’ve been able to keep its role as the main gathering place for family and friends when they come to visit, for which I am oh-so-grateful.
I still remember touring this home and knowing immediately that painting the kitchen cabinets was going to be a high priority. So of course, after moving in and knocking down the main wall, the kitchen was immediately next on my list. Because I was seeing it everywhere, white was the color that I wanted to test out… but we had some differing opinions on how well that would hold up in a kitchen, so we compromised and went with a light cream. And, I got to test my hand at adding an antique style finish with glazing.
Bringing two different people’s aesthetic is a challenge and not really something I thought about before moving in together. As I started to get more clear on our blending together of traditional, modern, rustic, farmhouse and industrial styles, I got the itch to once again repaint the cabinets into something that felt more in line with how the rest of the house was coming together.
This also coincided with a slight refresh of how the kitchen was laid out. We finally had decided on the layout for the hallway with the stairs, linen closet, office, shower and pantry, so the kitchen layout needed to be changed slightly, to accommodate the pantry door (there’s that domino, catch-22 effect again).
And that’s how everything stayed until 2019/2020 when we began the entire kitchen renovation.
Where we are today: our modern rustic kitchen
I have to say, the kitchen has been the most challenging renovation – there are so many dang decisions to make and agree upon.
But also, it’s the space in the home that we absolutely spend the most time in, so I’m glad we were vocal about what we wanted and what we didn’t.
Our first major decision was figuring out how we wanted the entire space to be laid out. Yes, we knew where the pantry door was going to be located and we knew the stairs going down to the back door and basement were not going to be moved. Other than that, everything else was fair game.
In the end, we decided to keep the original layout but reconfigure where things were located.
We made the island a bit longer, moved in the sink and dishwasher and added an overhang to one side for seating.
For the main counters, we swapped the location of the oven and refrigerator, and moved the cooktop to the middle of the back counters.
I really liked the idea of open shelving but Brett wasn’t a huge fan. So, we compromised by adding two small shelves under the smaller cabinets around the range. They’ve turned into a fun place to decorate and hold the cookbook while we’re making dinner.
The last big change was extending the entire length to go past the pantry and adding a peninsula of cabinets that not only adds to the storage but also serves as a great place for food when we have family over for get togethers.
There are two other updates we made that I’m absolutely thrilled about.
Once we closed off the corner window, the wall on the other side of the stairway was looking way too lonely, so we decided to make it a permanent spot for the hutch. Brett also built a floating shelf to tie into the ones we have on the other wall.
And, last but not least, we built a new kitchen table. We were way overdue in that department – our old one had gone through four different trips to college and was with us for the first 6 years of our relationship. It was definitely time for an upgrade. We ended up finding a large slab of butcher block at our favorite builder outlet store and buying iron legs online. Overall, it was a pretty quick and easy project, and relatively inexpensive (compared to buying a brand new table). I love how the wood in the table pulls from the wood in the cabinets – and it doesn’t wobble which is a huge bonus in and of itself 🙂
Of course, after living with this kitchen for three years now, there are a few quirks, like…
The space between the island and cabinets is a little tight, especially if one person is at the sink and/or cooking, and another is trying to get into the fridge.
I didn’t realize how much we’d like to sit at the bar – and now with a growing family, we’re not able to all sit together. While there’s nothing we can do about it at this point since there isn’t any room to expand, I wish I would have taken that into more consideration when we originally were planning.
The concrete counters are wonderful but they’re starting to pop and bubble and peel. I know we haven’t done what we’re supposed to for maintenance so that breakdown is definitely on us. However, knowing we’ll have to go back through and redo them is something neither one of us is looking forward to.
All that being said, this space is a win. I absolutely love how it’s come together – from the cabinets to the floors to the quirky blue pantry door, it’s definitely the heart of our home.
So, what’s left to do to finish the kitchen?
Because there’s always something to do…
- Refinish the concrete counters
- Buy screens for the windows
- Add baseboards to the pantry and north wall
- Order new dining chairs
So unbelievably close to wrapping this one up, I’d almost consider it completely finished.
All our best,
Shop the kitchen
Kitchen paint colors
Walls: Benjamin Moore, Hazy Skies
Baseboards: Sherwin Williams, Alabaster
Window and door trim: Varathane, Espresso
Door: Dutch Boy, Whale’s Tail
Island: Dutch Boy, Sweetbrier
Hutch: Rust-oleum Chalked, Charcoal