A Lucky Reader’s Kitchen No-Demo Reno: The Challenges + Needs + Budget + Timeline

Hardly ever is there a submit that does higher on the weblog than a kitchen reveal so THIS IS A BIG WEEK for you and me each! It’s what I believe I simply coined KRW: Kitchen Reveal Week. This time round, it’s a budget-friendly however non-DIY improve that I’m very excited to indicate you. You guys, there’s floral wallpaper, there’s darkish inexperienced paint, there’s a newly blasted ceiling! SO. MUCH. GOOD.

Just a few months in the past, we put out a name to our Portland followers for a kitchen that wanted an replace with some design and useful parts to make it higher however within the “no demo reno” type of approach (actually my favourite taste of makeovers). Most individuals merely desire a kitchen with extra operate and sure, with elevated design, however don’t essentially have the finances or time to do a full intestine job. I do know I don’t need to let you know, however y’all, a full kitchen rework with {custom} cupboards may be SO costly and sometimes feels dauntingly not possible (talking from expertise on the opposite facet of 1—I made it out alive, however I’ve a ton of compassion for all future kitchen renovators). After so many good submissions, we discovered our reader-kitchen duo (shout out to Julie!) and this week, we can be documenting the method of the way it all got here along with the large reveal on the finish. I do know persistence may be powerful on this immediate gratification world, but it surely’ll be value it. Promise.

This kitchen challenge is in collaboration with Crate & Barrel as they launch a brand new line of kitchen islands and ending touches. Once they approached me with the partnership, I requested to see the pictures of the product earlier than signing on and was extraordinarily impressed. It’s no secret that Crate is killing it within the design division—I actually have items from the Jake Arnold and Athena Calderone collections. They’re extraordinarily cool and superbly made. It was a quick and onerous “YES” as soon as I noticed the island choice. All we wanted was a kitchen that checked the next packing containers:

  • Might be accomplished in a fast timeline: It didn’t should be faux-HGTV quick, however we had beneath two months and wanted to be completed by June (so no main allowing, engineering, and so forth).
  • Stylistically labored properly with the island that I liked: This island actually may work in so many various kinds however we needed to guarantee that it didn’t really feel plugged into the mistaken home design-wise.
  • Had the correct measurement and scale: We weren’t going to maneuver partitions so we had some measurement restraints for the product.
  • Inside an affordable inexpensive non-DIY finances: This couldn’t be a teardown—there needed to be ok current bones for an improve. We had a finances of $15-20k, not the standard $100k that kitchens require as of late. I say “non-DIY” as a result of we weren’t doing it ourselves and would rent out, however actually, most of these items may completely be completed by a helpful home-owner (so it may have been a finances kitchen rework).
  • The prevailing island (if there was one) couldn’t have a sink or stovetop that we needed to re-home. The island is freestanding with storage however no plumbing or electrical.


Clearly, this kitchen had potential and was already fairly cute. However Julie, the home-owner gave us some perception into how outdated it was and the way it wasn’t assembly their household’s wants. Julie additionally is a big antiques fanatic (and even had cubicles that I’ve purchased from many occasions!), thus having cool items.

Julie’s Wants

The home was transformed within the Nineteen Nineties and it clearly wasn’t unhealthy, however a few of the design decisions within the house may use a touch-up. Moreover, a few of the cupboards have been chipped and wonky. Her largest grievances have been as follows:

  1. The home equipment have been outdated and never terribly enticing. (Though TBH, at the very least they have been white and kinda disappeared). We break up the equipment finances together with her as this wasn’t an equipment partnership and people can add up.
  2. Her island was so fairly however there wasn’t wherever for her boys to take a seat and dangle, and he or she may use extra storage for larger gadgets.
  3. She simply needed it to really feel extra designed and provides it a viewpoint. Nothing is mistaken with the present iteration, but it surely may have extra colour, sample, distinction, impression, and so forth.


Right here is the gorgeous island we selected for this challenge and after seeing it put in in particular person, I can let you know that it’s STUNNING and very high-quality. It’s comprised of white oak with a stable honed marble on high. It comes totally constructed and has so many capabilities comparable to a pull-out rubbish compartment on the left, storage for a stand mixer on the correct, and big deep drawers for pots, pans and enormous mixing bowls within the center. And it has a 14.5-inch overhang that may simply sit three individuals.

This island actually seems to be custom-made, however once more, it comes totally assembled, together with the stone at $4,999. In the event you’ve completed {custom} cabinetry earlier than you’ll know that an island this measurement would sometimes be much more costly, not together with the stone. With this island, you might be saving money and time. The slab on high is extraordinarily spectacular and exquisite (that veining is ideal, and blended with the white oak seems to be so stunning and basic and might go together with so many kinds.


I employed Sarah Weldon (former PDX assistant, at present in design college) to be the design lead and challenge supervisor on this. I used to have an in-house design workforce however I don’t up right here so I used to be SO HAPPY she stated “sure.” We designed it collectively, however she was so instrumental each in concepts and particularly in execution. After selecting the paint colour, wallpaper and accent finishes, she went to city on the renderings and calculations.

I additionally employed my brother to be the contractor (he simply obtained his license). This was an excellent first challenge for us as a result of the dimensions of it was fairly darn manageable, however the timeline was quick. He was accountable for executing all of the work, reserving the subs, and being on-site for high quality management, and so forth. It was SO FUN and fairly darn seamless working with him and Sarah. Emily M. and Gretchen (two of my Portland workforce) helped with content material and the manufacturing of the shoot day.

We would have liked to create a labor and non-Crate & Barrel prop finances which is all the time onerous with out actual quotes, however we did our greatest. Here’s what I initially mocked up:

Our Labor And Non-Product Price range:

  • Home equipment: $10-15k (our finances lined half and Julie was pleased to pay the opposite half to get what she needed.
  • Demo: My brother did this in a day, so this was wrapped up in his price.
  • Refinishing the ceiling: $4-6k (you possibly can see this in tomorrow’s submit)
  • Carpentry: i.e. shelving, any beadboard and trim work restore/substitute, and shutting up the pass-through window.
  • Paint cupboards: $4-6k?
  • New cupboard fronts for brand new panel-ready home equipment + higher cupboard above new fridge + new hood: $2-8k (I actually do not know)
  • Random non-Crate & Barrel requirements (equipment pulls, pot rack, new faucet): $2-3k
  • Contractor price: TBD however someplace between $3-10K (enormous vary, I do know)
  • Wallpaper + wallpaper set up: $1-2k

All of those have been very padded and I left loads of room for nuance. We have been beneath on some however went over on others. There have been some further sudden prices (per regular) like needing to chop the stone behind the outdated vary to suit the brand new one, and having to rent an electrician as a result of there have been some points being an older residence that we didn’t predict after we put in our new lighting. We ended up coming in at $23k (not together with any of our time, together with Sarah’s rendering and challenge administration time) and never together with the Crate & Barrel product. Even no-demo reno kitchens can add up as a result of labor or something {custom} may be very costly as of late, however I believe loads of this might have been DIY’d by a helpful and affected person home-owner.

Timeline With A Agency Deadline

Nothing like a booked photoshoot with an enormous crew flying in to gentle a hearth beneath your hood. I don’t keep in mind the precise date we began however I believe we had seven weeks earlier than the shoot. It actually felt actually doable and protected (and we had such an excellent kitchen for it). We needed to do a wonderful job and meet the deadline, so one of many causes that a few of our prices have been greater than they’d usually be is what I prefer to name a “desperation and urgency” tax. We didn’t have the luxurious of time to get a number of quotes, so if our first felt a bit of excessive however they might begin instantly, we booked them to test the field. It’s such a domino impact and a few individuals couldn’t even quote for weeks. An enormous credit score to my brother Ken for having loads of connections and being so pleasant that individuals wish to work for him, even on small-ish jobs like this.

The Design Plan

We had the home-owner’s desires and a tough (however agency) finances. By way of every thing we needed to get completed in just below two months’ time? Right here’s what we have been aiming for:

  • Refinish the ceiling. Ice blasting? sanding? Walnut blasting? Come again tomorrow and see!!
  • Take away uppers to open up the house + set up floating cabinets.
  • Rent a cupboard maker to make panels for the brand new panel-ready home equipment. Fridge, dishwasher, hood, and higher cupboard above the fridge to look extra built-in.
  • Shut up the pass-through window that they didn’t use. This might give us extra shelving house.
  • Restore and change trim and beadboard the place wanted.
  • Paint current cabinetry packing containers on website and all beadboard. All fronts have been taken to a studio and sprayed.
  • Supply panel-ready home equipment (and hood) with actually NO lead time. These wanted to be in inventory in Portland.
  • Change out the tap.
  • Change pendant over island.
  • Change out all {hardware}. This required new holes. Our painter patched the outdated holes earlier than he painted.
  • Order wallpaper and rent an installer. Timing was delicate.
  • Store and magnificence all of it out.

It seems like a mountain to climb but it surely actually did really feel so doable, possibly in even beneath a month. I’ve completed this so many occasions, although, that I knew that if we didn’t pad the timeline, we’d be in hassle if we bumped into any hiccups or something needing the luxurious of time to troubleshoot. A lot of it has to do with labor availability and we aren’t answerable for that. Once more, kudos to Ken for pulling it off. We truly obtained completed per week early and we had a lot time to type and play earlier than the Crate executives and photographers confirmed up.

The Design Board

This isn’t the ultimate design plan as a result of I wish to preserve it a secret till the reveal on Thursday, however right here you may get a way for the course we have been headed and get a peek into what you might be about to see later this week.

The ultimate design is filled with colour, so enjoyable and trendy, and with loads of whimsy. The transformation is actual and excessive impression, all in seven weeks.

Sneak Peek!!

You understand it’s onerous for me to carry onto closing pictures for too lengthy, so right here’s a bit of look into the ultimate design however not the complete colours (YET). Tomorrow, you’ll learn concerning the ceiling refinishing (it’s a factor and our first go round did NOT end up as we had hoped so it’s value a complete submit). After which come again Thursday for the complete kitchen reveal. We’re OBSESSED with the way it turned out. It’s actually so candy and stuffed with character (like Julie). It has such a viewpoint now and it appeared just like the home-owner couldn’t have been happier together with her kitchen. She was so enjoyable and straightforward to work with and the entire course of was so seamless. I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHOW YOU.

An enormous because of Sarah Weldon and Ken Starke for all their work on this, and Crate & Barrel for giving such inventive freedom. T-minus TWO DAYS earlier than the reveal of this kitchen. I believe/hope you’ll find it irresistible as a lot as we do. xx

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