Our Kitchen Renovation: The Planning (and Dreaming!) Begins

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When BlogHer and LG Studio asked me to write a post where I can dream about the small, yet impactful, changes we can make in our kitchen to make it look and function better for our family, I was (enthusiastically!) on board.

We moved into our new house a few months ago, and while the kitchen was already in fairly good shape, there are a few aesthetic, storage, and general flow issues we’d love to address – and soon, if possible. New high-end appliances, too – that would be pretty awesome. We’re on a tight budget, but hey, this is about dreaming!

Today I’m sharing all about the changes we’d love to make to our own home kitchen, along with some info about LG Studio’s high-end line of kitchen appliances and an incredible new contest they’re launching. LG Studio’s new partnership with celebrity decorator Nate Berkus has resulted in a contest you can enter to win your very own Nate-designed dream kitchen, complete with a few gorgeous LG Studio appliances of your very own! Sounds like a dream to me.

Our Kitchen Now



What we love

  • The counters. They’re actually a solid, quality laminate that we love. They’re forgiving of my messy kitchen ways, and they don’t *scream* “hey, we’re laminate!” Do I freakin’ LOVE the look of carrera marble? Yes, yes I do. Would I stain my new marble countertops within one hour of installation? Yes, yes I would.
  • The nice, big chunk of counter space on the island. So perfect for rolling pastries, baking cookies, and myriad other kitchen tasks that require a good deal of unencumbered counter space.
  • The light. We get such good light in this kitchen!
  • The floors. Hardwoods aren’t the most practical choice for the kitchen, but they’re sure pretty.

What we don’t love … and what we would like to do instead

  • We love the space on the island, but the configuration is a little weird. There’s a bar there, so theoretically there should be room for seating, but it’s way too tight of a space for bar stools. So we just tuck the pet bowls underneath. Not great.
  • And yeah, more counter space would be good. On the refrigerator side of the kitchen is a wall of cabinets that serve as food storage and, in theory, they should be kind of incredible in lieu of a pantry. But in actuality, we miss an actual pantry, and we would love more counter space and small appliance storage. So we want to knock out the wall of cabinets on that wall and put in a countertop (with upper cabinets and lower cabinets so we don’t sacrifice too much storage). And then we’ll move the food back to the pantry that’s on the other side of the fridge. That pantry currently functions as a frustrating catch-all for grocery bags, BBQ utensils, cutting boards, and appliances. Oh, and we’ve got our jars of flour and sugar in there, too.
  • The pot rack above the island. I thought we’d get rid of it the first week we lived in the house, but as it turned out, we really need it to store our pots and pans. But perhaps we can reconfigure the island underneath to efficiently store those pots and pans – and then install some nice pendant lighting above the island.
  • We don’t love the builder-grade cabinets, but mostly we’re opposed to the color. We want to paint them and update the hardware. And I’d like to add a few window fronts to show off my Fiestaware.
  • The lone cupboard to the left of the sink. I’d like to swap that out for some open shelving to help lighten up the room.
  • The electric stove. We like gas, man! So we would love to make the swap.
  • The fridge. We just really need something bigger.
  • The sink. My guy actually doesn’t mind the black granite sink, but it’s not my fave. Fortunately, he does have dreams of an undermount sink (“you can just sweep the crumbs right in!”) and I have dreams of a farmhouse sink. And there are undermount farmhouse sinks, so, yay! That’s on our wish list.
  • That backsplash. We’ve actually received a lot of compliments on it since we moved in, but I prefer to replace it with something light, bright, and airy.
  • The breakfast nook. What would normally be formal dining space, we set up as our daughter’s playroom. So the table in the nook is all we’ve got. But it also gets in the way of the only door that goes outside, so we’d like reconfigure things a bit, there. We’re just not really sure how! I do know I’d like to paint the chairs in brighter, happier colors (or replace them altogether), and paint the table white (or replace it altogether).

Our Dream Kitchen

Okay, so our dream kitchen really involves knocking out a wall or two, to make it bigger, open up the space, and reconfigure the flow, but right now, we’ve got to work within our means. This inspiration board mostly reflects the realistic updates/upgrades we’d like to make happen – with a few dream items here and there, too. Because it’s good to dream!

Kitchen Treaty dream kitchen

Clockwise from top: Benjamin Moore paint colors Gray Owl / White Dove / Van Alen Green / Calypso Blue | Subway tile via Overstock.com | Kitchen cabinet door and hardware via Lowes.com | Delicious wooden kitchen sign from SunFla on Etsy| Anthropologie Etched Perennial Pot in Lime  | LG Studio Four-Door French Door Refrigerator | Overstock “La France” Pedastal Dining Table | Mint Ghost Chair via Joss & Main | Kohler Apron-Front Sink | Fiestaware 4-Piece Place Setting in Turquoise | Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Pastry Slab | Dash & Albert Fisher Ticking Woven Cotton Rug | Barnlight Electric Contemporary Bronzed Stem Mount Pendant | Anthropologie Galleria Stemware | LG Studio Gas Single Oven Range | LG Studio Over-the-Range Microwave | Rustic Wood Peace Sign Wall Decor from shoponelove on Etsy.

I love light, bright, white kitchens – and for ours, I can’t help but want to incorporate beachy pops of color here and there. There’s just something about the coastal cottage vibe that just makes me happy – and it’s perfect for our casual, low-key family. And the peace sign is a must – we’ve got a “kitchen treaty,” after all! We’d love to include a few high-end appliances in our remodel, and we definitely are eyeing LG Studio Collection. The biggie is that we would like to swap our existing electric stove for a high-end gas version, and we’re pretty sold on the LG Studio model. The clean lines give it a timeless look that’ll last us through this remodel and beyond – well beyond. It’s solid, sophisticated, and innovative. Naturally, we’d want to replace our over-range microwave with an LG Studio version to match. And LG Studio’s high-capacity refrigerator is just up our alley, too. I must admit, I especially love the blue radiant interior LED lighting on LG Studio’s appliances – not only is it seriously sleek looking, but the gorgeous blue ties in nicely with our color scheme! Matching colors please me – what can I say.

I’ve created a new “Design Your Signature Kitchen” Pinterest board in partnership with LG Studio, as well – so be sure to head over there if you’re looking for a little more kitchen inspiration!

Stay tuned for more about our kitchen remodel. Can’t wait to make this happen!

More About LG Studio & Nate Berkus

LG Studio announced its partnership with renowned decorator and product designer Nate Berkus for its high-end LG Studio kitchen line earlier this year.  LG Studio chose to partner with Nate as a result of their shared commitment to living with what is well thought out and well designed, without sacrificing personality. His unique skill set complements LG Studio’s plans to continue delivering premium appliances built with sophistication and functional elegance in mind. Timeless sophistication is the signature of the LG Studio Collection, a beautiful complement to the advanced technology that elevates the entire series. As the artistic advisor to the LG Studio Collection, Nate brings his celebrated style to LG’s premium appliances. His sophisticated yet accessible style resonates strongly with homeowners, and he is recognized amongst them as an inspirational expert on kitchen remodeling and design.


Nate and LG Studio have teamed up to help homeowners create their signature kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, but for many, it’s one of the most difficult rooms to design. His expertise and insight will provide consumers with useful feedback to help them create their most beautiful kitchens. The LG Studio Signature Kitchen with Nate Berkus focuses on a kitchen web series in which Nate responds to kitchen remodeling and design-based questions from his and LG’s social communities in the form of personalized videos, some of which were shot during a live event at the LG Studio Kitchen in Manhattan last week. Nate also filmed five exclusive videos offering insight and expertise on various design trends, including achieving a well-appointed kitchen, summer in the kitchen, layered design, entertaining in the kitchen, and technology in the kitchen. Visit LGStudioKitchen.com to watch Nate in the kitchen sharing his expert design tips and insights! 


“My Kitchen Needs Nate” Contest 

Beginning June 19 and extending to July 31, consumers are encouraged to enter the “My Kitchen Needs Nate” contest in which the winner will receive a Nate Berkus designed and remodeled kitchen that incorporates LG Studio appliances. Contestants are asked to shoot a video of themselves in their kitchen, noting the personal inspiration point they want Nate to incorporate in his design and why they’re excited about LG Studio’s line of appliances. LG Studio and Nate will choose the winner based on the following criteria: compelling design opportunity, quality of LG Studio appliance-based answer and visibility of kitchen space. Once the renovation is complete, renovation episodes, tip videos and images capturing the renovation will be posted to LGStudioKitchen.com and shared across LG and Nate’s social properties. 

Readers may submit video entries at LGStudioKitchen.com for a chance to win a new kitchen renovation, designed by celebrity designer Nate Berkus and furnished with LG Studio appliances. 

Does your kitchen need Nate and the LG Studio line of appliances? Send LG Studio a video and tell them all about it.  Make sure to include the following:

  • You are the star. Make sure you’re in your kitchen and that LG Studio can see a 360° view of it.
  • Tell LG Studio your story. Describe for them the design elements that matter most to you. NOTE: They’re going to see a lot of videos, so make it great!
  • Tell LG Studio what you love so much about LG Studio appliances
  • Enter the My Kitchen Needs Nate contest for a chance to win a new kitchen renovation, designed by celebrity designer Nate Berkus and furnished with LG Studio appliances 

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.

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