Kitchen Planning in a New Construction Home - Pretty Real

Kitchen Planning in a New Construction Home

10:26 AM

I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to get to plan a brand new kitchen.  To give you some background, 2 years ago we had a small budget to renovate our kitchen. We'd already updated the appliances and the floors.  But there was only so much lipstick we could throw on a 60 year old pig.  It was finally time to replace the counters and cabinets. Eek!  We excitedly started gathering information to estimate cost. But then we had the 3rd contractor over to fix our roof.  Which led to our entire kitchen renovation savings being spent on a roof. Which is kind of like spending $200 on socks instead of a new pair of boots.  Or like spending $5000 on surgery for your big toe when what you really want are new tatas.  It was such a bummer! And then to add insult to injury, when we put our house on the market we put in new laminate and a new sink. While it certainly wasn't what I would've chosen for a "real" remodel (although I loved this sink), it made the kitchen look about 100 times better and I hated that we hadn't done it sooner.
UPDATE- See those dark brown cabinets, all painted here!

Old Kitchen:

Now I get to start fresh! Blame Pinterest, being friends with designers, or just having good taste (ha!), but my wish list includes a few things that aren't options with this builder. I want white cabinets, honed granite, glass front cabinets, and gray grout but they aren't options. No white cabinets is the hardest to swallow. To add insult to injury, this is in the lobby of the "home store." Um, hello!  That's just what I want- light granite + white shaker style cabinets.
The sales agent we're working with is awesome and "gets it" and doesn't make me feel crazy for my obsession. Nevertheless it's not an option.  So we chose maple cabinets in umbra (keep reading for our plan for those!), bright white subway tile, moonlight granite, and laminate flooring called "antique maple dusk."
espresso wood cabinets

I'm so glad they offer something classic like subway tile.

light granite
While I was incredibly tempted to go with dark wood floors, I'm striving for a bright, open feel, and felt like these grayish brown floors would do the trick.  They are definitely a bit of a risk but after having very dark floors in our old place, I know how hard they are to keep clean.  And at the end of the day, it just felt like an opportunity to do something cool and different.

So about those cabinets.  I can live without the honed granite, the glass front cabinets, and the gray grout, but I have to have light cabinets.  I have to you guys.  I was in an espresso wood abyss for years. Like every piece of wood in our home was espresso!  Nothing against that wood- I actually have some pretty kitchens pinned with dark cabinets-- but I just really want light and bright. So we are having those umbra cabinets professionally painted. I have no problem painting wood, but painting brand new wood feels a little crazy! Nevertheless we want to love the space and this is our chance to go for it.

The Layout. (But NO to these colors!)
this is the model- our floors, backsplash, and counters will be what I detailed above.
Our house won't be finished until December but I'm already starting to think about picking a paint color. We fell in love with gray cabinetry on vacation (remember this Instagram?) and are definitely going with gray but picking the right tone is extremely difficult.  It can have a green, blue, brown, or even purple undertone. I know this from experience.  When someone walks into your new "gray" foyer and says "I love this blue!" it means you didn't quite nail it. I'd love to avoid that mistake with our kitchen so my first step has been to find some inspiration. While these kitchens feature some design elements we'd love to add later (custom cabinetry, glass front cabinets, open shelving), the colors and feel of these spaces are something we can incorporate right away.

This is just beautiful! I love the rustic look of the shelving, the slight farmhouse feel, and the classic gray cabinets and hardware.  So pretty!


I love the brass hardware and the subway tile with the very light gray cabinetry.  Stunning.

This kitchen has white cabinets but I love the accessories and pop of mint.  The one issue I'm having is finding inspiration with non-neutral color.  Every kitchen I find that I love is white, gray, wood, and some form of metal.  I love that but I can't imagine not throwing a little color in there (my very first kitchen was lime green.  LIME).

This kitchen remodel is amazing and the architect answers all questions in the comments within 2 hours of the post. It's worth the read!

Perspective (Gratitude!)
So that's where we're at.  I can't believe I have to wait 4 or 5 more months! I am SO incredibly grateful for a new house and a new kitchen.  Even if we didn't do a thing to it, it would be beautiful and much more functional than our previous space.  I get self conscious doing house related posts because I don't want it to seem as if I take anything for granted.  I think often of my "this old house" post as well as well as this post from Momastery in which she describes her "dated" kitchen.  It reads in part:

 "THIS CRAZY THING IS A WATER FAUCET. I pull this lever and CLEAN WATER POURS OUT EVERY TIME, DAY OR NIGHT. 780 million people worldwide (one in nine) lack access to clean water. Mamas everywhere spend their entire day walking miles to and from wells just for a single bucket of this- and I have it right here at my fingertips.  I’m almost embarrassed to say that we also have one of these in each of our two bathrooms, and one in the front yard with which to WASH OUR FEET.  We use clean drinking water to WASH OUR FEET. Holy bounty." - See more at:

So while I'm excited to dream about and decorate our new house regardless of how we make our house a home, we have what we need.  And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

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  1. This is SO exciting! One word of advice, if it's possible, about your kitchen island. When we built our home our builder had the same elevated portion to the island (I can't remember the technical term for it) and we chose to take that out and flatten the island so it's all one level. We LOVE that we did this!! With kiddos that elevation can be hard as well as when we're having a buffet style meal, all the food fits on one flat island top. Just a preference...and advice that our builder never told us about :) Enjoy every minute of the's so fun to see it all come together!!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Megan! It's funny you should mention that because I just started rethinking that island! It might be too late to switch but I asked the sales agent if she could show me our style of home with a flat island for comparison sake. Hoping that will help!

  2. I remember when we were remodeled our kitchen I spent endless hours with stuff like this. It is so much fun though!

  3. Just about to remodel our kitchen and I want ALL the same things that you do! I won't get them all either but it's a great starting point. Can't wait to see your new home!

    1. so funny! I guess they are trends but I think classic ones, don't you?! thanks for your comment!

  4. Wow ! Nice theme and all kitchen ideas is so amazed. I really like white cabinet and steel chairs, All pictures give us unique ideas.Kitchen remodeling Austin

  5. I like the design of your kitchen, I will tell my house contractors in the Philippines to modify mine like this. Very elegant and nice design.

  6. Those granite counter tops look great and I also like the color! Some really cool ideas that you put together there. I would also like that grey finish in my kitchen, gives everything a very modern spin. You have a bunch or really great ideas to choose from. Now, all you have to do is pick and choose what's best.

    Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express

  7. The lighter wooden floors have a really nice benefit in that they work and mesh really well with a lot of different wall colors. I'm not a big fan of the dark wood ones because they tend to clash with more vibrant colors. Nice stuff with the kitchen!

  8. Is there an updated Kitchen Post?

    1. unfortunately no. mainly because I want an amazing runner in there first which I've been unsuccessful at finding. ha! But you can see the kitchen in the post about christmas decor and the one about pendant lights!

  9. Never feel guilty for what you really want, God gives us the desires of our heart. I am 57 and have never been a home owner which is my desire, but I refuse to settle. So I am planning and preparing for that prime moment which will be awesome!! I know what I want I just got to find the home to get it done. Also I am ONE CRAZY GLASS LOVER! I think I will definety do a blog or YouTube when the time comes.

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