We bought our modern farmhouse style home 4 years ago.  It was safe to say that it truly is the home of my childhood dreams.  I grew up watching Little House on the Prairies and Anne of Green gables.  I’ve always been drawn to dormer windows and a wrap around porch.

How we found and purchased this house is a funny story.  To be honest, I was looking at the house for clients of mine who were interested.  When I saw the house, I fell in love with it.  I had to have a candid and awkward conversation with my clients.  I was fully prepared to walk away from it if they wanted it but it turned out that they weren’t ready to buy it and graciously let us take a shot at it!  We still joke about it.

The house itself is quite modest with basic finishing details but that wasn’t a concern when we bought the house.  We knew we could make changes and personalize it over time and the floor plan is great for our family.  The only space that didn’t function well for us and our lifestyle was the kitchen.  We knew when we bought that house that we would eventually renovate the kitchen, opening it up to the main living space.

Lacking Function

The original design had a wall between the living room and kitchen making the rooms very cut off from each other and in turn limiting the kitchen space and functionality.  Dion loves to cook, and we love to entertain;  sometimes large groups.  We knew that for our lifestyle, a functional kitchen was key.  We just needed to figure out how to best rearrange the space.

One morning, over my morning coffee (cause thats when all brilliant ideas download for me) I imagined a great solution to the main living area and kitchen.

We had this formal dining room off the kitchen that was hardly used (We’re just not formal dining room people)  My plan would involve closing off the access to this room giving more wall space for kitchen cabinets.  Then we would open up the kitchen to the living room, and move the dining room table over to the kitchen nook. In my calculation this would be enough space for a dining room.

Before I go any further, here are some “before photos” of our kitchen and dining room.

As you can see; to the right was a bank of pantry cabinets that separated the kitchen from the living room.  Also pictured is the old entrance into the formal dining room.  And the small island that they managed to cram into this space.

The series above shows a bit more of the space.  Hey, we made it work and it wasn’t all bad.  We lived with it as is for almost 4 years until we were in a position to take on the kitchen renovation that would make the space a better fit for us:)

Here are a few more photos of the space “Before”

The Renovation Process

The first step in our process was meeting with a contractor about removing the wall.  With the help of our contractor and an engineer we were able to determine the best route to go to ensure that the integrity of our home was kept in tact.

Here are a few “mid renovation” photos.  We were in a construction zone for about 8 weeks from start to finish.  We ate a lot of take out dinners, tv dinners, and I had to wash dishes in the bathroom.  Oh the joys of a renovation!

Our New Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

A client of mine owns Harbour Kitchen and Millwork so I knew I’d use his company when we renovated our kitchen.

Chelsea from Harbour Kitchens was my first contact and from there she helped me start the design process.  I came ready with my Pinterest board and she helped me narrow down the things that were going to be most important for us and bring our kitchen to the ultimate function and style.

The entire process was smooth and easy and professional.  I never felt pressure to over spend, and they stayed right on budget. They also stayed right on the timelines that they promised and the only delays were from our end.

We chose a white shaker style cabinet with simple detailing.  I really wanted to play on the Modern Farmhouse style and some of the elements that I feel brought this to life are the Kohler Farmhouse sink, subway tile backsplash, and the black Delta faucets.

For us, we wanted the island to be a statement piece and a place to gather.  So, we designed the largest island we could for the space and added some detailing on the ends.  I had a lot of islands saved on my Pinterest board that had this “x” profiling and I’m thrilled with the way Harbour Kitchen and Millwork brought my vision to life!

Because we do a lot of big dinners we opted for a prep sink in the island.  The Kohler farm style bar sink is awesome!  Its extra deep and we are just so happy with it!

Another non negotiable for us was countertops.  We figured “Go big or go home” and went for Hanstone Quartz. Choosing the actual colour and style felt like a huge commitment but we couldn’t be happier with the results!

I wanted to maximize counter space and allow for a clean visual so we decided to make a built in for the microwave right in the island.  Microwaves are great but I don’t think they need to be on display.  This still left plenty of room for some large drawers and a cabinet for storage under the prep sink.  The opposite side of the island has some more storage cabinets for items you don’t need as often.  I keep my fancy dishes, candles, art work, and miscellaneous items in these.

A few other “must have” design features were the custom range hood, open shelving and custom appliance garage.  Once again, Harbour Kitchens and Millwork worked hard to make sure I was completely satisfied.  They even made a few last minute changes going over and above the call of duty!

Because we had to make some changes to our lighting, the ceiling was going to need some major touching up.  We contemplated whether we have it drywalled again or go with something different.  I have always been drawn to shiplap ceilings and so we decided that we might as well bite the bullet and fully commit to the farmhouse vibe.  We are THRILLED with the results and so happy we went with our gut on this one.


Laundry Room

With the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen and also needing some help with functionality, we decided to also upgrade this space.  We had a big floor to ceiling pantry installed which has been a game changer for storage and pantry space!  I also had Harbour Kitchens design some pretty shelves and a hanging rod for above the washer and dryer.  Once again we decided to “go big or go home” and had the same Hanstone quartz installed for a folding station.

We are so pleased with our new kitchen! They say that kitchens and bathrooms add the most value to a home but for us it was more than that.  Our kitchen is the heart of the home and so many memories have been made and will be made in this new space.

If you are planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation in the Comox Valley, I highly recommend that you contact Harbour Kitchens and Millwork to help you bring your vision to life!

Until next time,

Photography by my dear friend Bernine Marie