5 Kitchen Trends We Love

As we mentioned in the last post, the Barton kitchen is on the large side—at least for this style/age of house and neighborhood—and we’re super excited to create this hub of the home. We’ve been playing with different layouts using Ikea’s home planner (addictive), and thinking about how to give the room some style and personality without going overboard—we want potential buyers to easily envision putting their own stamp on the space.

We went fairly basic with our first renovation, with white cabinets, butcher block counters, subway tile, and stainless appliances. We loved the clean look, but we don’t want to do exactly the same thing. Here are a few things we’re considering this time around.

  1. Grey Cabinets

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White kitchens will probably never go out of style, but the all-white look can feel a bit one-dimensional. That’s why we’re leaning toward a pale gray cabinet instead. In the right shade, it warms up the room and adds an unexpected element, and it pairs beautifully with white subway tile (which we’ll probably use again, just maybe a slightly larger size).

2. Cement Tiles

cement tile

Cement tiles (or cement-look) are definitely very trendy right now, and they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we love the look of a few placed over a range. It’s a simple, low-cost detail that can have a huge impact. And as trendy as these patterned tiles are, they’ve been decorating buildings in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco for centuries and no one’s complaining.

3. Open Shelving

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Yes, open shelving means you have to make a bit more of an effort when it comes to keeping your dishes organized, but it also means they’re within easy reach. And if you have cute dishes, why not show them off? The look is open and airy, and best of all, installing shelves is a heckuva lot cheaper than a bunch of wall cabinets. We think we can get away with it here because the kitchen will have a big pantry, too.

4. Subway Tile to the Ceiling

subway tile

Because we’re just going with shelves up top, we’re thinking tiling all the way to the ceiling will help create a more finished look. Subway tiles come in a range of sizes, but they always look clean and crisp—and they’re always affordable.

5. Herringbone Floor

herringbone floor

We haven’t decided for sure what to do with the floor—one of us is leaning toward wood to keep a nice flow with the rest of the house. But we also really like the look of a slate-like tile installed in a herringbone pattern.

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The Barton House: Before Photos

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Some people would walk into a house like this and walk right back out. It’s old. It’s dirty. It needs so much help. But walking into a house like this makes us giddy. We work hard to look past the grime and the years of neglect and see the possibilities. And there are so many of them. We’re so excited to get started on this house!

First, the exterior. It doesn’t look awful, but we’ll be painting it (stay tuned for a post on choosing exterior paint colors), completely replacing the roof, replacing the front door, landscaping, installing a fence, redoing the sidewalk, installing porch railings, replacing the light fixtures, and doing other minor repairs.

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Inside, the layout is very segmented, with every room situated off of a main hallway. We plan to open this up as much as we can, including the walls between the living and dining rooms (above) as well as the hallway. This should brighten things up quite a bit and improve the flow dramatically. The fireplace will be a challenge to work around, but we’re excited about the wood floors and great natural light.

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Of course, the kitchen is a complete gut job (as it would be in any older home). But if we’re able to open up the walls between the kitchen, dining room, and mudroom, we’re going to have a ton of space to work with. We may be able to add a walk-in pantry, an island, and a little breakfast nook if all goes according to plan. As for the overall look, we’re thinking of using classic subway tile again, a nice slate tile floor in a herringbone pattern, quartz or granite counters, open shelving on one wall, and some really great lighting. We want to make this room a real gathering place in the home.

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There are technically four bedrooms upstairs, but one is very small without a closet. We’ll either turn that space into a master bath or a walk-in closet/dressing room, depending on how our budget shakes out.

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This is the current state of the upstairs bath. Unlike the Griffin house, we won’t be keeping the clawfoot in this reno. It’s just too big for the space, which is pretty compact. Instead, we’ll be adding a new tub with a tile surround. The downstairs bath is pretty much too small to photograph, but we’re hoping to do something fun in there, like a patterned floor tile.

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The bedrooms are all a good size, but as with most of these older homes, the closets are tiny. We could either eat into the floor space by adding new closets, or hope buyers will be OK with what we’ve got. We always lean toward the latter option, because we prefer to keep the square footage.

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This house has a great backyard with both shady and sunny spots. We’ll be removing that old balcony and replacing the door with a window. We’ll also add a privacy fence around the whole shebang.

Next steps: We’re getting quotes from contractors and starting to put together our budget and shopping list, with everything from tile and light fixtures to appliances and doorknobs. Luckily, we learned a thing or two from our last renovation, so this stage will be quicker—and probably more fun—than last time.

Want to see what’s inspiring us? Take a peek at our Barton House Pinterest board, which we’ll be updating on the regs.