Behind the Scenes
Believe it or not, we renovated this kitchen over a decade ago and it still looks fantastic! Why? We didn’t make one trendy choice. We honored the bones of this charming Urban Farmhouse on the East Side of Austin, Texas by softly breathing new life into an already gracious room. Here’s how we designed a “new vintage kitchen”!
4 Insider Secrets
1. If you can salvage wooden cabinets, DO it! So many people disagree. They believe one should always go for the new, soft glide, enamel painted cabinets, but I just don’t buy that (literally!). It is so rare to find cabinets made today as well as they used to be made – with hardwood, dovetailed, mitered. And let’s face it, when they are made that well today, they are crazy expensive. So I say, if your house has beautiful hardwood cabinets, KEEP THEM! Bonus: they can be painted over and over again, which means you can change the look as often as you like.
2. Add splashes of color where its’s easiest to change your mind. It’s hard to change tile, countertops, and floors, but it’s easy to switch out paint! We chose to add the color inside of the cabinets rather that on the outside because it gave the room the nod of green without screaming, “GREEN KITCHEN”. We knew that our clients’ tastes might take another turn, and now they can paint the insides a sunny yellow or fun turquoise for dollars down the road. Even better, because the other fixed elements of the room are so neutral, any future color palette will work.
3. Porcelain petit hex floors are chic, durable and economical. I cannot tell you how may times I have used this trick in commercial and residential projects! These petit hexes can be laid in any pattern you chose and with as many colors as you want. They are crazy well priced, and typically, the two-toned patterns like we used in this kitchen come on sheets! They are installed like field tiles for speed and efficiency. Almost every major tile house offers petit hex options for bonkers good prices. Pro Tip: I like to break up the petit hexes with a complimentary band of squares or rectangles around the edge of the room like we did here.
4. Make the fixed elements timeless and have fun with the accessories. We touched on this in Secret #2, but let’s take a deeper look. The countertops are absolute black granite (a classic that gets better with wear and time), the backsplash is subway tile (another durable classic), the floor is a vintage pattern in a neutral palette (chic, cleanable classic) and we chose a white porcelain farmhouse sink (soooo classic). All of these choices stand the test of time in both style and function, which allowed us to have fun with the other elements in the room. We added a colorful nude painting, folk art, candlesticks over doorways, and wacky collections of chairs and accessories from almost every decade.
Shop The Look
We love creating spaces like this with our clients and hope these tips inspire you to tackle your own kitchen renovation. We want you to have fun making your house feel like home, and if we can help your design journey along the way, that makes us smile! Please reach out in the comments below with any questions/feedback, and of course, always send us your before and afters so we can oooh and ahhh with you!