Before & After: Our Kitchen Renovation

Our kitchen + dining room renovation has been complete for over a month now, and as much as I've been dying to share the before & after pictures with anyone and everyone (they are SO good), I think I've been putting it off until I take "official pictures". Welp, that's just not going to happen. So I am just going to share the pictures I do have, most of which were taken with my iPhone (or are pictures from the original listing on our house). 

A little background info: We sold our first home in March, just after 2 years of living there, because the housing market in Los Angeles went even crazier than we ever imagined and it seemed like we might be able to make a decent amount of money. Our plan was to sell for a profit and buy a fixer that we could work to make our own. We did just that! We bought a 3 bedroom + 2 bathroom house in the San Fernando Valley that NEEDED EVERYTHING. In just a few short months of living here (we moved in April) we have replaced or repaired: The roof, the HVAC, the sewer line, all the flooring & paint, and now a complete renovation of the kitchen and dining room. We still need to fix/renovate: our front yard, back yard, pool, windows, and 2 bathrooms. So it's definitely a work in progress but we are absolutely in love with the kitchen and dining room changes. 

Disclaimer: Absolutely nothing about this renovation was sponsored. We paid real money for every single thing and we didn't work with any specific brands. None of the links in this post are affiliate links. All opinions are my own, obviously. And I will say right off the bat the most necessary kitchen item is a good quality bluetooth speaker. We used the Beats Pill every single day because KITCHENS ARE FOR DANCING. 

Here are some before/after pictures:  

Pretty different, huh? A few major things: We removed the wall that was between the dining room and the kitchen, relocated the refrigerator to a different wall, added a huge island, and of course, the major fireplace renovation. 

We removed all of the disgusting green carpet and replaced it with a high-quality laminate. We had hardwood in our old house and although it was beautiful, it was difficult to maintain with our two dogs. We've had the laminate for several months now and could not be happier with our decision. What I don't love about laminate is that it can look "stripey" so we picked a color with less variation between boards and we love how it looks. (Brand: Oasis, Color: Straws). So far it's held up perfectly and still looks brand new. 

We also removed the horrendous & very outdated rock fireplace. We had the rocks ripped out and new drywall put in, and then we replaced with some gorgeous cement tiles.  This was a splurge because cement tile + installing cement tile is expensive. However, going floor to ceiling with this tile really made a statement and it's now our FAVORITE design feature of the entire space. (Tile brand: Granada Tile, Pattern: Badajoz). We also called in a tile expert to install these (instead of using our contractor) and we are SO GLAD we did because they were challenging even for an expert. 

I'm still working on organizing and styling the open shelves, but we absolutely love them. It's so easy to just grab what you need from them and they are visually interesting as well. We ordered ours from Shelfology because you can order them to the exact width and length that you need. We ordered ours 30 inches long and 12 inches wide. (Color: Nearly Naked Smooth Alder). Our kitchen was done a few weeks before we received the open shelves and once we installed them we both agreed they absolutely MAKE the whole kitchen. 

Shout out to new kitchen appliances! The ones that came with the house were legitimately so gross. We scored big during some Memorial Day sales and ordered most of our appliances: Range, hood, Microwave and Dishwasher. My parents gave us their old refrigerator that they had only had for two years and got a new one, so that saved us a ton of money and we love the fridge! We lucked out and we seriously love every single appliance. The range/oven cooks SO well, the hood is amazing, the dishwasher cleans SO well and it's incredibly quiet, and we are obsessed with the drawer microwave. 

The other "splurge" item we decided on was the Delta touch faucet. We ordered it in champagne bronze. I was worried we overspent on something that wasn't that important but I am happy to report WE LOVE the touch feature and use it all day every day. It is just so darn easy and functional and amazing. The only downside is that now when I go to my Mom's house I  standing in front of her kitchen tapping the faucet waiting for it to come on for way too long before I realize my mistake. Plus the champagne bronze is so pretty and it goes really well with our LD Brushed Brass cabinet hardware from SemiHandmade. 


We also had our Electrician add a power outlet to the inside of our pantry. Our contractor installed pull out shelves in the pantry, so now we have the perfect hiding place for our coffee maker. It's easily accessible but doesn't take up any counter space. This is easily one of my favorite features - we love how it turned out!

The counter tops are quartz, but I don't have a brand name or color. Our contractor brought us several samples and we picked the one that looked the most similar to marble. So far we love them. I also spent an inordinate amount of time looking at tile for the backsplash but ultimately ended up with this tile from Floor & Decor because it was simple but different enough from the plain subway tile you see all the time AND it was $4.99 sq/foot so you can't beat that. I originally found it at Lowe's for $12.99 sq/foot so once I found almost the exact same tile for way cheaper, it was an easy decision. It's also the number one thing people comment on when they see our kitchen - everyone loves the backsplash. And so do we!

Our new dining room table is from Structube and it also gets lots of compliments. Our dining room chairs are from World Market and the stools at the end of our island are from Wayfair. The awesome floor-to-ceiling bookshelf is from CB2 and it fits perfect on an awkward, angled wall that is between our dining room and kitchen. 

The whole renovation took about 6 weeks, which feels like forever when you are living without a kitchen; but when you consider how much was done, I feel like it was actually a pretty reasonable amount of time. The aesthetic + functionality of the space was improved 150% and now we love living and entertaining in our little slice of LA heaven. 

We still have plans to add another chair or another small seating area by the fireplace & we need to find a fireplace screen that fits there as well. I plan to also keep adding/changing the items on the open shelving until they feel completely right (maybe some plants + artwork?). But overall we are just taking some deep breaths and enjoying the new space, before we think too much about everything else we still need to do to this house BEACUSE OMG WE HAVE SO MUCH LEFT TO DO. 


Oh and the pendant lights are from Wayfair but I can't find them anymore. Mmmmkay byeee! xoxo