Photography in story by Cafe Sucre Farine
A NEW KITCHEN RENOVATION RECIPE!
In a bowl, add together equal parts:
1. Dreamy partnership with KitchenAid,
2. Resourceful Interior Designer who likes big impact on practical budgets,
3. Renowned Food Blogger who wants a chef’s kitchen without moving walls
Once combined, let rest. Sprinkle with friendship that will last a lifetime! *The Full Back Story of how this kitchen renovation recipe came together is at the end of the post!*
We are so thrilled to reveal how we transformed Café Sucre Farine’s kitchen into a true chef’s work space that reflects all of Chris’s cooking talent and design flare…but here is the big secret: IT IS TOTALLY AFFORDABLE! No walls were moved, no custom made cabinets, and no appliances that cost as much as a luxury car. We made timeless and practical decisions by only spending money where it made the most sense and by keeping an eye out for places to make high impact, low cost choices.
Here is what we did!
BEHIND THE SCENES
Watch as Anne and Chris reveal all of the insider design tips behind this affordable kitchen renovation!
You’ve heard it said a billion times, but here I go, I’m gonna say it again! A kitchen renovation is often one of the most expensive things you’ll do in your house, so try to select finishes that are on trend but never trendy. I like the classics like subway tile, white porcelain tile, white or stainless sinks, stainless ranges, and neutral colors and materials for counters. These choices blend with anything, and they allow you get your Kicks o’ Color & Trendy Items with the accessories. Best: as color trends change (or your own tastes change), it’s a snap to switch the palette because the canvas in neutral!
We chose black granite for the counters to blend with the black grates of the range (this is deft tip for moving your eye around small kitchens). And we chose a whitish granite for the center island to lighten things up and marry nicely with the white cabinets. *These countertops can be found “off the rack” from most home improvement stores for crazy competitive prices!*
We let the small appliances and accessories do the talking, and wowie did this time-tested secret work! Hits of red and blue make the kitchen feel lively without the kitchen reading as a hue. And our little herb garden in the window is even a welcome spot to add pops of color!
SHOP THE LOOK
*You can click any item below to take you to a detailed shopping list with links to every store!*
5 TIPS ON HOW TO GET THIS LOOK
1. Choose appliances with timeless handles!
Nothing seems to date a kitchen like appliances, but the appliance handles tend to be the biggest giveaway. Try to think back to all of your refrigerators from childhood and you’ll know what I mean! For some reason, handle sizes and shapes change with with design trends more than almost anything, so try to choose large appliances with the most industrial looking handles you can find because that style is a classic.
2. Ditch the kitchen desk.
Raise your hand if you have one of these? I have never understood why these ever even became “a thing” because I have yet to meet a client who sits at these desks – and more often than not, they simply become a Clutter Catcher. Instead, use that space as a coffee bar!
3. If you can avoid the microwave vent hood combo, A.V.O.I.D.
I know that these types of hoods are sometimes a necessity, (and if you have to use one, KitchenAid makes some of the best around), but from a purely aesthetic standpoint, these kinds of hoods never seem to stand the test of time. They break up the site lines of the room and can quickly date a space because of their buttons, knobs, and handles (see tip 1). We chose a sleek and simple hood that simplifies the space and isn’t the first thing that catches your eye.
4. Built in Refrigerators.
Here’s the conundrum: Fully integrated refrigerators are really expensive, but having your refrigerators protrude into the room past the counter never looks great. The sides of the refrigerators are almost never stainless (usually a pebbly black or gray), and I think that kind of cheapens the renovation. It’s relatively inexpensive to build a cabinet around the refrigerators and create the illusion that the appliance is “built in”. We did it here and the transformation is remarkable.
5. Use a freestanding range if your tastes often change.
Chris really wanted to have pretty gray-blue glass tile for her backsplash. So with the idea that glass tiles may fall out of fashion, we made smart choices to make her design dreams practical. She went with a classic pattern in glass – an equal running bond subway tile – which will stand the test of time longer than most patterns. And we used a freestanding range to make changing the tile easier down the road. Simply pull out the range and retile around it – this minimizes the chances of damaging the counters and appliances while still allowing you to make impactful modifications as the trends come and go. **Changing tile is less expensive than changing appliances and counters!**
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Three cheers to Chris for her friendship, laughs, and for welcoming me into Cafe Sucre Farine to help design the space where she makes all of her magic! And huge thank you to KitchenAid for making this story possible and for creating such amazing and accessible products for passionate cooks and designers around the country. It is a snap to recreate this look in your own kitchen! We have linked you to all hardware, appliances, and accessories in the Shop This Look so your own kitchen renovation is easier on you and your wallet. Let us know what you think of this transformation below, and definitely shoot us some images of KitchenAid products you love and use!
How ’bout we start the share with my very own kitchen! Check the range baby!
THE BACK STORY
My mom always told me, “LambBunny, you can never have too many friends and you never know where you will meet your next great buddy.” Anyone else have a Mom who offers sage advise for free ((or gives you a weird nickname))?! But Mom was right – clients of mine have ended up becoming life long friends, and I never dreamed a design website like Hanover Avenue would connect me with so many other designers, artists, and bloggers who’d become buddies.
And that is where this kitchen renovation story begins! I was working on a room for a Hanover Avenue reader, and I needed an accessory to photoshop into the “after shots” of the space. I found some cute pansy cookies online and wrote the food blogger an email titled, “I used your cookies in the coolest way!” *below is a screen grab of that very email!*
Within minutes, I got an email back from the food blogger who turned out to be Chris Scheurer of Café Sucre Farine. We decided to chat on the phone instead of email and ended up blabbing for almost an hour! On that very call, we realized we liked each other so much we dreamed up a collaboration on a post, and through that project – The Lowes’ Kitchen – we became fast friends, reminding me that My Mom Is Always Right…you can never have too many friends and you never know where you will meet your next great buddy! *Below is an image of the Lowe’s Kitchen*
P.P.S And also, at the risk of exposing my expiration date, let this story be proof that The Good Ole’ Phone remains a magical tool in business and in life! xo