One Room Challenge {Cottage Kitchen} Week 2

Warning:  This Post is All About Nerding Out on Cabinetry

Welcome to week 2 of my kitchen renovation.  I’m happy to report that real progress has been made!  We spent the ENTIRE weekend emptying out the kitchen.  Like hours upon hours of sorting and packing.

packing up kitchen

{Saturday April 9th}

Then my carpenter, Angelo shows up on Monday and rips out the old kitchen in a matter of hours.  By Tuesday morning my new kitchen has already taken shape.  Crazy.  (It helps that I am keeping my wood floors and not changing electric or plumbing!)

base cabinets installed

{Tuesday April 12th}

The cabinet delivery is such an epic moment in a kitchen renovation because you can finally see the room take shape.  But BEFORE the cabinets arrive they need to be laid out and specified.  After much floor plan finagling I decided my current layout (designed by me 3 years ago) was the best set up for the room.  The central door and window locations are really killer but there was no way I was cutting into my stone walls to relocate them.  I also really enjoy having the island and was not willing to give that up.


Since the floor plan is mostly the same and room is very small it is imperative that I be efficient with my cabinets.  I decided custom cabinets were the best way to maximize every inch of storage.  I worked with a company in Pennsylvania to build my cabinets to my exact specifications.  I was able to draw out the layout of my utensil dividers, completely customize my spice cabinet and make my two dish cabinets be exactly symmetrical  (31.5”W x 35”H to be exact.)

We are including all the bells and whistles you would want in a small kitchen.  Every drawer and roll-out shelf has full extension, undermount guides to allow for easy access to the contents.  Doors and drawers are soft close, so no slamming shut.  Drawers are solid wood, dove-tailed and sturdy.  The pricing of my cabinets ended up being similar to a good stock cabinet, but I think the quality is much better.

Here’s me testing out the new cabinets before they’ve even gotten their adjustment.

Beyond hardware and construction, the cabinets are designed to be well-organized.  Stuff will be stored where I need it.  On the “cooking wall” we have allocated roll out shelves for pots and pans, organized drawers for cooking utensils, bowls, and pot holders.  And all are within reach from the stove.


We were able to pack a lot into the small Sink Wall.  We added a floor above the trash pull-out so that cutlery could be contained and sanitary above there.  All of my dishes, glasses and eating utensils should be able to be stored right around my sink and dishwasher.


I decided NOT to upgrade the island for this renovation.  It is a painted Ikea piece that works well enough for now and is the perfect dimension for the room.  When the budget allows I will customize the island cabinets to improve storage and certainly upgrade the hardware because the slamming drawers drive me nuts.  I did, however, just splurge new cabinet pulls that probably cost more than the entire island… but we will save that for another post.


I’m lucky in that I have a large (39Wx 93H x 24D) cabinet just outside the kitchen.  We use this as a pantry plus storage for excess kitchen items.  It’s pretty essential to keeping our small kitchen functional and it will stay.

For me picking the style of the cabinets was very easy and clear cut.  I wanted clean and classic so I went with a simple shaker door with no embellishments.  (Machine Edge, Square Bead.)  My knobs and pulls will add character to my cabinets so I prefer that my doors are more simple and timeless.  My deeper drawers will match the door style while the shallow drawers will be slab.  This was an easy place to save in my cabinet budget and I’m fine with the clean look on top.

base door        wall door

For colors, I was pretty set on black cabinets from the start.  I love black because it’s classic, dramatic, rich, and just a little edgy.  Wanting to keep the room light and bright, everything above eye level is white.  So that means the wall cabinets and tall refrigerator panel are white.  I like the mix and match of black and white.  This theme will continue with the rest of my materials.

With the cabinet delivery also came our first rounds of WHOOPSIES.  There are always mistakes and problems in renovations.  It’s just part of the game.  I thought I was ordering my dish cabinets to be glass doors with mirrors on the back of the cabinets.  Instead I got mirrored doors and plain insides.  I’m gonna need to troubleshoot this issue because I’m not feeling it.  I love a good mirror, but staring at myself in the kitchen feels a little weird.  We shall see.  It’s my policy to live with things for a few days before making a decision.

mirrored cabinet door mistake

Oh Hello there.


How are the other participants fairing in week 2?  Check out their posts below.

I personally have so much catching up to do!

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH

Next Week: My appliances are coming soon, so I will divulge all the details on those.  Picking my appliances proved to be pretty challenging for me.  I really dislike stainless so refrigerator shopping ending up being a little more intense than I thought.


Catch Up on My One Room Challenge Kitchen Renovation

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3

Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6

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  7. anubhav

    Nice Blog, Thanks to sharing your thoughts in this way..

  8. We are super impressed with all the planning that went into your new cabinets. Organization and function in a kitchen is everything!

    Cheers! xo the Waiting on Martha team

  9. Look at your progress! It’s an inspiration and I love how organized and well planned this kitchen is. Everything within reach is how it should be! I look forward to having a functional kitchen like this one day 🙂 All the best with the rest of the transformation and looking forward to checking back in to see the reveal!

  10. Barbara

    WOW!!! Its going to be quite the update! Cant wait to see it.

  11. Karena

    The black and white theme is so exciting and you are a dynamo Naomi!

    The Arts by Karena

  12. Tere Linde

    I love that you showed your design drafts with the measurements and noting what you plan to store where!

  13. I love nerding out on Cabinetry! All your ideas look amazing! I can’t wait to see the finished room!!

  14. I remember when I was building my home and how lost I was without the architectual plans. I know its so important to have the perfect plans for the job. Best of luck, I am participating in the guest challenge and truly inspired by the featured designers.Best of Luck Maria

  15. You, my dear, are a MACHINE! Every time I’ve followed you on the ORC design dare you’ve wowed me, and I can already tell this round will be no different. Love love love it and can’t wait to see more. xx Sarah

  16. I would not want to see myself first thing in the morning. Love the idea of mirrored backs. Looking great. I also love black bottom, and white tops.

  17. No doubt about it this kitchen is going to be amaze balls! Thanks for sharing all the little things!!

  18. I’m in AWE at how well planned and laid out this kitchen is going to be. That’s exactly how a kitchen should be designed! Looking forward to seeing how it goes this week, good luck!

  19. Looking good. Whoopsies are always such a pain. But I’m sure it’ll all look beautiful in the end.

  20. What? You didn’t want mirror front cabinets?! (he, he) What an oops. The glass front and mirrored back will look sooo much better.

    Loving the progress!!!


  21. R.P.

    Wow – who would have thought how crucial it is to plan out your kitchen cabinetry with so much detail (besides an excellent kitchen designer!). Kitchen is looking good and I have made a mental note to never do a kitchen remodel without an experienced kitchen designer. Can’t wait to see what happens next…

  22. I loooove the black cabinets. Such a great choice. I hope you get the mirror issue solved – I think I’d prefer the mirrored behind the dishes, too. Time will tell! Congrats on another ORC!

  23. gaby

    I just can’t wait to see this come together!

  24. Elise

    Holy moly! WHAT crazy awesome progress!!! Cheers! I can’t wait to see what appliances you chose!!! Especially the fridge! xx

  25. Cassie

    I’m so excited to watch your progress! We are about to embark on a phase one kitchen update and I’m loving your ideas!

    Did you know that Ikea sells soft close hinges? They are on our list to look into since we’ll be keeping our 90’s cabinets for now. I don’t know if they would work with your island but I think they sell several different types so maybe you can solve the slamming issue!

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