Kitchen Renovation Plan

October 25, 2021

Time to tackle a kitchen renovation! Here's the vision and steps we're taking to build our dream kitchen!

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Time to tackle a kitchen renovation! Here's the vision and steps we're taking to build our dream kitchen!

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Time to tackle a kitchen renovation! Here's the vision and steps we're taking to build our dream kitchen!

Time to tackle a kitchen renovation! Here's the vision and steps we're taking to build our dream kitchen!

We've been in our new house for about 3.5 WEEKS, so naturally I'm ready to rip out the kitchen and get started on a huge renovation. Ha! Not so fast, Rhonda! I know the look and style I'm going for, but I'm not exactly sure how we work in our kitchen yet. Do I need a double oven? Huge built-in fridge, or can I buy my SMEG fridge that I've been wanting for years? Do I need a walk-in pantry or can I deal with cabinet storage solutions? IDK. I'm super blessed to have the most chill husband ever and he told me I can DIY what I want or I can spend that time in other parts of my business making money and hire everything out. Aka he lets me do what I want ;) #blessed.

I've tried to write this post and map out this plan before, and it just turns into a massive renovation document with random details, budget estimates, and not something sharable and helpful for YOU (or me, tbh!). SO I have narrowed it down and come up with a way to share my thought process and renovation plan to help any other friends out there who are up against a big remodel. I'm thinking about DIYing a few things and hiring out a few things, and I may end up hiring a designer and/or architect to help me create the initial plan and think about different options or tell me I'm crazy and it can't be done. ;) I think it's important to note: I *love* a good project and DIY...I love making something with my own two hands, so I think it will be fun for me to do some work on this kitchen; I know that's not for everyone, so you do what works best for you! Who knows, I could get into this and decide that I'm moving too slow and would rather go work on landscaping instead, and then hire someone...we'll see! 

1. First, round up design inspo.

I had mine on Pinterest, Instagram, screenshots, everywhere, so I put it all into one collage for easy access. Here it is! I was pulling inspo photos for cabinet paint colors first, so most of my photos are around cabinetry. I have more, don't worry!

Find all sources linked on my Pinterest Kitchen Page

2. Next, look for common/repeating design elements that you're drawn to.

Mine are black, wood, paneling, marble. Oh, and *high-end* appliances. lol UGH there goes my budget. I love a cottage vibe with vertical paneling, and am drawn to kitchens that scream "I make sourdough!" but also to dramatic unique looks, like no upper cabinets, and a lot of black. Ultimately, I would like a mix of both. Where there's a will, there's a way! 

3. Break your renovation into phases (if you're DIYing, especially!)

Some people rip it all out at once and start from scratch, but I'm not doing that. You do you! Here's where you have to think about budget, timing, lead time for supplies or anything you want to purchase, and see what makes sense. If I ripped everything out at once, it would easily be a $30k+ project. Instead, I'm going to do smaller chunks of work and I'm trying to maintain a working kitchen throughout the entire renovation process! We'll see about that!

Here are the phases that I've come up with and what we have already done! 

Phase One: Immediate need, biggest immediate impact

We opted to do Phase One before moving in! This is something I decided to hire out due to timing. It was worth it for sure, but also a bummer because this is like the *only* step of the whole project that I'm currently qualified to do. Ha! But also, oil-based paint is no joke, and I'm so happy that I didn't have to deal with that smell and the worst of it was gone before we moved in.


  • paint walls (did the whole house interior)
  • paint cabinets
  • rip out upper cabinets on one side of kitchen
  • repair walls, spackle, texture (I DIY'd this and am so proud!)
  • spray paint existing kitchen hardware black (DIY)

Here's a before/after. The paint made a huge difference. Before, with the orangey cabinets, the floors really bothered me. Now, they are much less offensive, and I think I'll be able to work with them! 

Ignore the blue painters tape. Playing with floating shelf configuration: 2 vs 3. I think I'll go with two but will move them a bit. So now we get into the good stuff. We have kind of a blank slate to work with now, so on to Phase Two, which is really Part B of Phase One. ;) 

Phase Two: DIY updates to hold us over? 


  • refinish existing counters with faux marble countertops
  • add floating shelves
  • add sink wall sconces (probably have to hire electrician to move wiring that was under old cabinets on the sink wall)
  • kitchen & dinette light fixtures
  • new sink + faucet

Timeline: I want to do Phase Two in November 2021. The countertops are my big item to get done in that timeline. Other items depend on shipping, but I want to have them selected and ordered!

Then potentially appliances? But only if I decide on all of the real/Phase Three renovation details with a designer and the appliances will still work with all of those things? 

This is where is gets confusing and I have too many ideas at once! ;) I think I will end up working with a designer during Phase Two on some level, because there really are *so* many options and I want to make sure I look at the best option for balancing the space/functionality and budget.

We decided that our bathrooms are higher up on the renovation priority list than the kitchen so this will truly be a hold-over renovation while we focus on bathrooms then get back to the kitchen next year. *I think!*

Phase Three: bring in the big guns

Could include: 

  • new countertops
  • new fridge, if not already
  • new freestanding stove or wall oven + gas cooktop
  • build vent hood (diy?!)
  • all new custom cabinetry or just add-on to what we have
  • build banquette seating in dinette
  • dinette cabinetry wall or mudroom/pantry/laundry room creation
  • new windows
  • new dinette table and chairs

Really, we'll have to see what we are able to get done in Phase Two.

Timeline: After Phase Two, we'll shift our focus to the exterior of the house (diy painted brick comin' atcha!) and then our bathrooms that are in desperate need of attention. After the bathrooms, we'll circle back to the kitchen.

Sounds so simple, right? ;) To anyone who has renovated while still living in your house, props to you! We'll see if we waive the white flag after a few DIYs or if we can make it through! 

I'll be sharing updates along the way on Instagram @rhondajenkins, and will definitely post a reveal when each phase is complete.

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