W&D Renovates: Our Plan for the Kitchen

This post is part of a series called W&D Renovates. We’ll walk you through the ups and downs of our First Floor & Basement renovation project with McDonald Remodeling. Look for the series to continue through the end summer and into fall!

Hello, from our future kitchen! We’re excited to give you a tour of our old space and share plans for the new kitchen today. Before we get into the nitty gritty, I have to preface this post by saying there was plenty to like about our kitchen as it was before we tore out the cabinets and repurposed them elsewhere. The woodwork was beautiful. We had a cute little breakfast nook in the corner. There was some decent subway tile installed. Yet we didn’t buy this house thinking these pros would outweigh the cons: no counter space, awkward layout, outdated appliances. Joe couldn’t even sit comfortably in the breakfast nook.


Given we spend most of our time in this space, the kitchen was where we wanted to start our renovation. As you know from this post, we toyed with the idea of using the layout we had to save money and give the place a little face lift. But the more we lived here, the more we realized it would be a good investment to overhaul the flow of the kitchen completely.

Photo Apr 20, 5 17 13 PM

For reference, here’s the existing floor plan:


I thought it would be fun to post a little video to walk you through all the changes and show you some of the quirks we were living with. (Note: We shot this back in May before all the construction started!)


After airing our grievances and deciding renovation was the best way forward, Jim McDonald and I sat down one day for a few hours and decided on a layout that would do the following:

  1. Increase our workspace in the kitchen. By opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, we gained a huge amount of prep space with a peninsula.
  2. Improve the overall flow of the house. By closing off entry ways and open walls to create more defined spaces, house would feel bigger than it actually is.
  3. Honor the time period the house was built without compromising on modern living. We kept with traditional cabinetry and finishes so house maintained it’s character. We injected modern touches through light fixtures, which can easily be updated and swapped out for something more traditional.

Here’s the inspiration I shared:

Kitchen Design-02 Kitchen Design-01

And here’s an initial sketch of the design:

Screenshot 2015-08-29 14.57.02 Screenshot 2015-08-29 14.56.43

proposedDoesn’t look like the same space, right? We’re finishing up construction next week and I can’t wait to share the photos. But the kitchen isn’t the only thing we’re renovating… we are also turning our basement into a family room with fireplace and kitchenette, adding a full bath and eventually a laundry room. Stay tuned or following along on Instagram and Snapchat (username @witinreallife) for live updates.

Sources: Design/Planning by McDonald Remodeling // Benjamin Moore White Dove // Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron // Cement Tile Shop– Star //  Quartz Cambria’s Marble Collection, Ella (Note: the sample looks more pink online than it is in person) // Lacanche Range // Blu Dot Hot Mesh Counter Stool