Kitchen Renovation Part 3 – Construction Progress and Design Finishes

Welcome to Part 3 of our Kitchen Renovation Project. (If you're not caught up check out Part 1 - Intro and Part 2 - Construction Begins.)


Ok, so now that the new window opening is complete, and the walls are patched and painted, it's time to install the new cabinets.


We had custom made cabinets by our contractor Doowood Construction. Even though the project took weeks longer than expected, we were happy with the custom cabinets. They really maximized use of the space with corner cabinets that slide out, and a secret baseboard drawer for cookie sheets and baking pans.


We definitely splurged to go for the custom cabinets (made with 3/4" prefinished birch plywood, hardwood doors, and fully adjustable European hinges). The total cost for these was:

As a comparison, we got a quote from Home Depot for something similar in a mid-range price. These simple Shaker-style cabinets would have been roughly $6000, plus installation. They would be semi-custom, but not fully customized.

So in the end we payed $3900 more for custom cabinets. I think it was worth it because it's a tight space, and maximizing storage space really makes a difference. The custom cabinets are solidly built and should last for decades.


I wanted to go with a style that had a timeless appeal instead of something trendy that could look dated in a few years. When I worked as an interior designer, this was one of my most popular posts of all time. This classic style of kitchen has been popular for hundreds of years, and is still incredibly desirable in 2018. You can always repaint the cabinets down the line to give it a fresh look.

I knew I wanted a touch of color for the base cabinets, and went with a navy grey-blue. To keep the small kitchen from feeling too heavy, I went white for the upper cabinets.

  • Base Cabinets:
    Behr PPU13-02
    Juniper Berries
  • Upper Cabinets:
    Benajmin Moore PM-2

I reused the cabinet knobs from the original kitchen, but I also bought a few drawer pulls like this for the new drawers.


Next the countertop plywood base layer goes in, followed by the countertop. Caesarstone quartz countertops are super durable, heat and knife resistant. They are easy-to-maintain, non-porous and don't need to be sealed. I like them because they look like natural stone or marble, without the high maintenance. We went with a Carrara Gioia Quartz slab which looks like a beautiful white marble with grey veins.

This job took roughly 1 slab and cost about $1000 for the countertop material alone. When budgeting for your countertops, be sure to include installation, sink, and faucet prices as well. Every kitchen counter will need these extras, and you might not always think of them.

The sink was an additional $170. This is a good size - nice and deep - single basin sink. The faucet was another $150. The high goose neck gives it a classic and dramatic look while the pull-out sprayer adds functionality.


Ok, so that's where things stand at the end of Part 3. The cabinets and door fronts have been installed, and the countertop, sink and faucet are in place.

Last but not least we'll adding the backsplash. While the kitchen is shaping up to be classic contemporary, we're throwing in a little twist with a patterned tile backsplash. Check in next week for Part 4 of our kitchen renovation project. We'll show you the big reveal, appliance selection, and final budget numbers. Stay tuned!

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