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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Modern traditional DIY kitchen reno REVEAL!

I LOVE THIS KITCHEN!!!! Such an exciting day after lots of hard work in here!

Almost two months ago now we demolished the cabinets, flooring, trim, and lighting in our 1980's oak kitchen and rebuilt everything ourselves. The end goal: the white kitchen I've been dreaming of since Pinterest began (!), plus some very 2019 touches including a modern traditional/updated classic/Emily Henderson-approved vibe.

The budget: not much to speak of. The time commitment: ~5 days of work work work, then another couple weeks of fixing this and that during baby naptimes. We learned new skills, made mistakes, made messes, cleaned (most of) them up... and I got to carry out my design vision for a space starting from scratch!

Modern traditional DIY kitchen renovation


I am so excited to reveal our modern traditional, entirely DIY kitchen renovation!

Huge thank you to Walcraft Cabinetry, Armstrong Flooring, Elkay, Sumner Street Hardware, Sears Outlet, Zephyr, and Minted for collaborating with me on this renovation! I linked all sources and products below. These brands provided product or discount in exchange for review.

Remember you can also check out other posts on this DIY kitchen reno:

I have to show you the "before" for you to fully understand how grateful and excited we are to have this kitchen. This home was built in the 30's but modernized in the 70's and 80's, and (aside from some bold paint color choices) not touched much since. The kitchen has a north-facing window and is small, galley-style. The countertops were stained melamine/laminate and the one to the left of the stove had a mysterious opening in it. Despite professional and our cleaning, nothing in this kitchen felt truly clean. It was just so dark and depressing before! It also was lacking in storage, with standard height cabinets despite the tall ceiling, and a narrow IKEA pantry add-in in one corner. Oh, and the fridge was HUGE and stuck out way too far.

You can read about practically every step in this reno in the posts linked above. So much hard work!! I took a couple days off work, but Jason did SO much of it (he has a couple months off this summer).

I agonized over the design for months and months, including cabinet layout (Walcraft Cabinetry sent me so many renderings as I tried things out!) and finishes/hardware. Here's the final mood board.


Aside from a few more plants and warm wood, I think I really nailed it with that mood board! That's totally the vibe we captured in the new kitchen!

Welcome in... this is the view from the dining room. We replaced the huge fridge with a counter depth one, with hidden water dispenser. Just getting that extra 8" or so of floor space (and not blocking the view into the breakfast nook to the right) made such a difference!

Turn left and you'll see the rest of the kitchen. We moved the dishwasher to the other side of the sink (and got a panel-ready one), but other than that we kept the layout the same.

I love these black base globe lights and they are so fun and HUGE in person! Plus they are so affordable!

The sink wall is my fave. I wanted open shelving but we had to cover up an electrical box at the top left corner of the wall (it had been covered by a mini-soffit before, above the cabinet that stopped 1-2' shy of the ceiling), so we needed a cabinet there. Thankfully with a tiny filler piece and the cabinet, we were able to hide the box. We did 27" of open shelving (tutorial here, they are made from stair treads!!) and of course crown molding above, and I think it just looks so unique and custom! The warm wood adds a really nice accent to the rest of the room (which was feeling very muted before the hardware was installed and it was just white and black!).

The shelves are also a great place to display our favorite things, frequently used things, and other accents. That black candle holder adds the bold black lines I wanted (like in that bottom right inspiration photo in the collage), and the painting from Minted is so pretty!!

A while back on a Your Home Story podcast episode, we talked about art in every room--does every room need art?? Even the kitchen!? Our answer was a definite YES! And I love this landscape by artist Laura Alvarez on Minted--it's called "Stay Still," a great message for me when I'm rushing through making dinner or getting ready for work.

I love this view of our longest run of cabinetry.  I am SO excited we did the panel-ready dishwasher and flat fronts on the top drawers. Extra touches that make this kitchen feel so special.

We LOVE our cabinets from Walcraft Cabinetry--they are a beautiful creamy white, the finish is sturdy and smooth (SO wipeable!!!! So easy to clean!), they are classic but still modern... they are the Dover/Essex line of theirs and you can read how we built them here and how we installed them here. I will share a comparison of the cabinet brands we considered later this week, but spoiler alert: we have been very happy with the service and product from Walcraft, and they were so affordable. If you are considering renovating a kitchen, PLEASE reach out to them as well as playing around with the IKEA kitchen planner tool--they have some great options and can help you with the design, and have great prices! (And tell them I sent you!)

I am also in love with our chrome faucet. YES, you can mix metals like antique brass and polished chrome. Our home has the original chrome door hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms and I am sure would have had a polished chrome faucet originally so I love keeping it classic (and I had a really hard time choosing, so that fact helped!). Our sink is a single-bowl, undermount quartz one with asummetrical drain (see more about it here) by Elkay and we are so happy with it too!

The range wall has two showstoppers: I am SO glad we upgraded all of our appliances including this perfect Kitchenaid range--we wanted to stick with electric but wanted a straight, more classic handle style. We got all of our appliances from scratch-and-dent places like Sears Outlet which allowed us to get much nicer pieces than we would have been able to afford brand new at the big box stores! (Read my post here about how you can save $4k buying all three like ours!)

Also on this wall: our range hood. Isn't it cool!?!?!? I really wanted a custom, built-in vent hood rather than a stainless steel standard wall one. We used a high quality but affordable Zephyr insert and built the cover ourselves.

Also note the adorable satin brass knobs and pulls on the drawers. I love the look of two little knobs and it works well on the smaller top drawers, and with the wide frame on the shaker style drawers the pulls (long for the 24" bases and and short for the 15" cabinet) look great. I recently found this brand, Sumner Street Hardware, and they are actually based in Portland like me and have a ton of traditional looking hardware at affordable prices (and great quality!).

They tie in with the brass of the pendant light above the sink, and the original hardware on the outside of the doors!

Our countertops are pre-fab marble-look quartz, which saved us a ton and still got us gorgeous, smooth, durable counters. I am also so happy with the backsplash tile we chose, and I love the white grout!

Let's flip around; here we are again from the breakfast nook, which is almost done as well--I am just waiting to find the perfect antique table to replace the blond one that came with the house. The door just next to the pantry goes back to the dining room, and the door on the other side of the range wall goes to the hallway that connects to the downstairs bedrooms and bath. The door that sticks out a little goes to the basement stairwell and our side door outside. That space also got some new paint and flooring, thank goodness, but is also not quite done.

We love this flooring SO much--when we decided not to do oak in here I struggled at first on choosing an alternative, but this slate-look sheet vinyl looks absolutely gorgeous (has fooled basically everyone who has seen our kitchen in person!), is super easy to clean, is comfortable underfoot, and was a great DIY project! We are so happy with it!!

That about covers it. We love our new kitchen so, so much and feel so proud and empowered. It kicked off some other projects like our yard and the basement stairwell, and our next big project is the downstairs bathroom, so I'm hoping the positive vibes carry us through to starting that one, too!

A few final favorite shots...



I just love it! Having the kitchen clean, white, and our style has made us like the WHOLE HOUSE so much more!! I am so, so glad we took the jump and took on this big project!

Huge thank you to Walcraft CabinetryArmstrong FlooringElkaySumner Street HardwareSears OutletZephyr, and Minted for collaborating with me on this renovation! 

All sources:


Cabinets: Dover/Essex fronts from Walcraft Cabinetry
Countertops: Calacatta marble look quartz from Sunset Granite in Hillsboro, OR
Sheet vinyl: Amalfi Black from Armstrong Flooring
Range: Kitchenaid from Sears Outlet
Dishwasher: panel-ready Bosch from local scratch-and-dent place, panel from Walcraft Cabinetry
Fridge: Jenn Aire from local scratch-and-dent place
Sink: undermount quartz in White by Elkay
Faucet: Explore single handle faucet by Elkay
Garbage disposal: a Badger one from HD
Range hood insert: Monsoon Mini by Zephyr (30" version but style of the 36"--photography is not updated yet for the 30")
Range hood: DIY
Backsplash tile: this one from Lowe's
Grout: Snow White unsanded from HD
Cabinet Hardware: Charlotte/Laurel line from Sumner Street Hardware (long pulls, short pulls, knobs)
Pendant light: Farmhouse antique brass from Elk Lighting
Semi flush mounts: Portland by Globe Electric
Shelves: Pine stair treads from HD (36" or 48")
Shelf brackets: Amazon
Crown molding: Lowes I think, 5-3/4"
Art: Stay Still from Minted

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