Embarking on Our Kitchen Renovation

If you follow me on Instagram (@seasonserveblog and @seasonservehome), you will know that we are embarking on a kitchen renovation! In today’s post, I will be showing you our current kitchen and discussing the main drivers behind the kitchen renovation. I can’t wait to reveal the design in a few days (both on the blog and YouTube), and I know you are all going to love it!

Read on down below to see our current kitchen, major changes that are going to take place, and to see who we are working with to make our dream kitchen come to life!

Why We are Renovating

We have been planning this renovation basically since we moved into our home in 2018. The kitchen can definitely still be used, however it is not our style, nor is it functional for our needs. Limited counter space, chipped cupboards and flooring, outdated finishes, and a HUGE out-of-commission fireplace were the main drivers behind this renovation.

Out-of-commission fireplace in current kitchen
Current oven and fridge walls
Current sink wall

A Few Major Changes For the Better

Fireplace Removal

As you can see from the photos above, the fireplace is taking up tons of space in both our current kitchen and adjoining sitting room. Unfortunately, one of the previous owners of the house had the fireplace decommissioned by removing the flue lining, and shortening and capping the chimney on the roof so it is no longer working. From a financial perspective, it is MUCH cheaper to have this removed than to bring it back up to code, so that’s what we are going to do!

Now this fireplace removal is going to be tricky as the plaster wall surrounding the fireplace contains asbestos. Remediation teams will be coming in to remove and dispose of all the plaster properly and do a full chimney removal all the way up to the roof. Another team will be coming in to repair the roof, the ceiling, and seal off the floor so that we don’t have a hole in the floor that goes all the way to the basement! ðŸĪŠ

I am definitely going to miss the exposed brick and having a fireplace mantle to decorate for Christmas, however I am so excited to have this space opened up. Also, what we are putting here in it’s place is SO much better and will make the kitchen way more functional!

View of the fireplace from our sitting room

Functional (and Symmetrical!) Drawers and Cupboards

There’s nothing more frustrating to a home cook than not having a functional storage system to find all your kitchen utensils. Obviously, with the work that I do, it makes my life so much easier to have everything organized and easily accessible, and this is not the case with the current kitchen drawers and cupboards.

While I appreciate deep drawers for storing bowls and servingware, they do not cut it when it comes to storing cooking utensils. For this, I am talking about vegetable peelers, cooking thermometers, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, microplanes, potato ricers, and other kitchen utensils that make your life way easier when preparing food. Having to dig through LAYERS of kitchen utensils is not fun (and can be dangerous if they are sharp…like a pizza wheel!). I much prefer shallow drawers where all utensils can be laid out in a single layer, and so that you can easily see them all at once to find what you are looking for. We have come up with an amazing solution to fix this problem in our new kitchen design, which will be revealed shortly!

Additionally, designing the kitchen to be as symmetrical as possible is an important aspect of our kitchen renovation. My detailed-oriented Virgo tendencies do not thrive too well with the current design as many drawers and cupboards are not symmetrical. This unbalanced look is not the best in terms of design, nor does it maximize the space to the best ability. This has definitely been solved in the new design…and it makes me SO happy!

Unbalanced design on oven wall

Updated & Durable Finishes

We estimate that our current kitchen was installed in the early 2000’s, likely between 2004 to 2006, and it definitely looks like it! The Tuscan-style that was all the rage those days is prominent throughout the kitchen, from the backsplash to the countertop, cupboards, and the cherry wood flooring. While it is not the worst (and is still functional), we are noticing a lot of wear and tear. The majority of the cupboards were chipped when we moved in as well as the laminate flooring. The laminate countertop is also becoming warped around the sink and dishwasher due to moisture over time…. so an update is much needed!

We will be updating the cupboards and cabinets from this traditional shaker style (with ridges that collect ALL the dust and dirt) to a more sleek and modern shaker style. For the countertops, we are going to replace them with a beautiful white quartz countertop that has a taupe marbling. I think I am most excited for the countertops to be replaced as they will be fresh and much more durable than laminate…PLUS the dirt and debris will not be able to camouflage like it does with the current countertop!

Flooring is also a big part of the kitchen renovation and we are getting rid of those cherry wood floors and installing a product that is much more West Coast looking. We actually already began installing our flooring in other areas of our home in advance of the kitchen renovation to ensure that we now have one continuous floor throughout the house. It has made such a difference and really brightens up the space.

A new updated undermount stainless steel sink will also be installed. We have selected the largest size sink that will fit in our cabinet base, and let me tell you, it is going to make washing our pots and pans so much easier! The current sink barely fits a 12″ pan, and don’t get me started with my 16″ wok! The undermount sink will also make it so much easier to sweep food debris into the sink as there won’t be a lip around the sink for it to get suck on ur under!

The backsplash is still TBD, but we are leaning towards a white square glazed tile.

Outdated backsplash tile and countertops
Current detailed shaker style cabinets and cherry-wood flooring
Current drop-in sink

Who We are Working With

We are working with two main contractors on this kitchen renovation project. The main project is being managed by Michael Moser Contracting. Michael is a general contractor based in Victoria, and he has built some amazing kitchens over time! We are leaning on Michael to coordinate various aspects of our project and getting crews in to help with more specialized tasks, such as the fireplace removal, asbestos remediation, roof and ceiling repairs, electrical, and plumbing.

In terms of the kitchen design, we hired IKAN to design an install our cabinets. IKAN is an amazing company here in Victoria that designs and installs kitchens using IKEA products. IKEA has some gorgeous (and cost-effective) cabinets, and IKAN is able to source them and install them for clients. I was surprised at the amount of customization that IKAN can do to make your kitchen work for you, and it’s impressive that the cabinetry has a 25 year warranty! Plus, all the cabinets and finishes are super modern and have those oh-so-satisying soft-close drawers and cupbards that any new kitchen needs. Our kitchen designer is named Amy and she did a great job in listening to our needs and shaping the kitchen around them. I can’t wait to show you her design soon!

For our flooring needs, we worked with Hourigans Flooring. Our client representative, Jen, was so patient with us when we were selecting our flooring and she offered lots of help, guidance, and options. While Hourigans has flooring crews to install floors for clients, we actually opted to install the floors ourselves. It was a lot of work (and sore knees!), but it was easy once we got the hang of it…and became so satisfying to see the floor come together!

For our countertops, we are working with Paterson Countertops LTD. They offer a wide variety of different countertop materials, including a huge selection of quartz countertops with varying styles. All the client service representatives were super helpful and were impressed with our design and our taste! We are also sourcing our new sink and faucet from Paterson’s as they work with a local sink and faucet company called Life With Pearl. We were instantly sold on this sink company as they are based out of Vancouver, and Pearl is the name our our cat! It was too perfect!

Sneak peek of our kitchen inspo!

Come Along on Our Kitchen Renovation Journey!

We are so excited and fortunate to be able to renovate our kitchen and we want to share our journey with you. Follow along to see how the entire process unfolds in building our dream kitchen. You can follow me here on my blog, as well as on Instagram (@seasonserveblog and @seasonservehome), and YouTube as I document the whole process.

I hope this blog series is helpful to those living on Vancouver Island and throughout Canada to see where you can source products and get rough cost estimates. Let’s go on this journey together! 💚

4 thoughts on “Embarking on Our Kitchen Renovation

    1. Thanks Carissa! It’s going to be a fun journey! I’m glad you are following along 🙂

  1. I’m excited to see how your renovation goes! I’m needing one too. I want to get my cabinet painting done soon! Thanks for sharing, I’m excited to see how it all turns out!

    1. Thank you so much Hazel! Hopefully I can give you some tips and inspiration for your kitchen renovation. Painting cabinets will totally freshen up the space…and will cost WAYYY less than buying all new ones! Let me know if you have any questions on what we did!

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