Less than 3 months. That’s how long it took to complete our Vermont kitchen renovation. Simultaneously there were other projects going on at the same time throughout the house so it took a bit longer than anticipated. Going into the renovation we had a pretty specific idea of the vibe we wanted. I kept calling it Nordic New England. And I pinned some of our early inspiration HERE. I was really adamant about one thing, matte black appliances.
Craig was skeptical and not sold on going with black, and it’s usually him trying to convince me of something so the tables were turned. Ultimately I got my choice and it’s safe to say we are both very happy with the decision. When we completed our kitchen renovation in Rhode Island exactly two years ago I was lucky enough to partner with Café Appliances as they were first launching their new line. We are major fans and were thrilled to team up again for our Vermont kitchen renovation.
Vermont Kitchen Renovation
The Design Inspiration
As I mentioned above the design inspiration was what I called Nordic New England. I love the neutral-heavy palette, natural textures and minimalistic aesthetic of Nordic design. Mixed with New England style design elements like wood, tongue and groove ceilings and smaller spaces it was the ideal combination. As we both pinned our favorite inspiration the common theme was beige neutrals with wood and black accents. Our kitchen faces Northwest so it doesn’t get a ton of sun in the morning. For that reason we wanted to keep the space as light and open as possible (beige and white colors, open shelving, light wood floors and countertops).
We had a hard time finding beige kitchens with black appliances. It was a little nerve racking going for black when it was hard to visualize how it would look (probably the main source for Craig’s hesitation). The Café Appliances in Matte Black are a great style combination in our kitchen. Bold and minimalistic and I love how our vision came to life.
The renovation happened in several phases: gutting the kitchen, installing the ceiling, floors, backsplash and trim, painting, installing the cabinets, countertops and sink, installing the new appliances, and finally open shelving. I will be doing a few separate posts on some of these elements to go into more depth but here’s quick breakdown of how we did the renovation:
Gutting the kitchen:
Craig pulled up the old tile floor, ripped out all of the old cabinets, ripped out the tile backsplash, removed all the old trim, and cut the opening to the kitchen as large as possible which added a considerable amount of extra light (I’ll share more images of that soon we have not finished painting the hallway yet).
Installing the ceiling, floors, backsplash, and trim:
When we bought the house there was popcorn ceiling in the kitchen, living room and hallway. The best solution for us was to cover it up. We used unprimed pine beadboard on the ceiling and backsplash and then painted it. Craig also installed new hardwood floors and new trim. We decided to use Sawyer Mason Flooring again because we had such a great experience in the Rhode Island addition. We picked wide plank french oak in Sconset. It has a nice matte finish. We retrofitted the can lights in the ceiling as well.
We spent quite a while looking for the perfect beige and white. We finally settled on Clare Trim Paint in Beigeing (used on the beadboard wall) and Wall & Trim Paint in Timeless (used on trim and all other walls).
Installing the cabinets, countertops, sink and fixtures:
We went back and forth about whether or not to replace the cabinets but they were not in good shape (20+ years old with a lot of wear and tear) and given how much work we were doing it didn’t make sense to do everything except the cabinets. We went with a simple white shaker style cabinet, wooden knobs, maple butcher block countertops and a black sink and faucet.
I get into more detail about why we picked Matte Black Café Appliances and the different options we chose below.
The last piece of the puzzle was the open shelving between the microwave and the fridge. We went with the same wood that we used for the countertops, maple butcher block. Craig cut these to fit the space (again I will share a more in depth post about this).
Café Appliances in Matte Black
I knew right away I wanted to use Matte Black appliances in the kitchen renovation and it was a major part of the initial design planning and inspiration. One of the many things I love about Café Appliances is the ability for customization. We decided on Brushed Black knobs and handles for a sleek look to compliment the wood accents throughout the kitchen.
When choosing the oven it was an absolute no-brainer to go with an induction and convection double oven.
I remember seeing demos with the induction stovetop when I went on the Café Appliances press trip and it was incredible. The cooking accuracy is great and I love how easy it is to keep clean. It’s amazing how quickly you can boil water on induction. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve since we are so used to cooking on gas in the RI house but we love it. I’m also a huge fan of the double oven and the options and flexibility it provides when cooking meals.
We went back and forth about doing an over-the-range microwave or an oven hood.
Ultimately based on space, we decided to do a microwave and I love how it looks with the surrounding open cabinets. It also gave us the ability to add the additional cabinet space above the microwave which would not have been an option with a hood.
We chose the Café 18.6 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator and I can not believe how much fits in that fridge.
It’s considerably smaller than the one we have in RI but the way it’s designed maximizes storage. It also has an internal water dispenser. It’s the perfect fridge for a smaller space.
The Stainless Steel Interior Dishwasher has over 90(!) jets and an adjustable upper rack for easy cleaning and adjustability.
It’s super quiet (one of my favorite things about it) and has different wash zones so you can run the dishwasher even if it’s not full without worrying about wasting water and energy.
I was really missing a good old fashioned coffee maker, and while it’s anything but old fashioned, I LOVE the Café Speciality Drip Coffee Maker.
It created a frenzy of questions on Instagram so I’m taking that as a sign that I’m not the only one. It’s super customizable from temperate to brew strength and has built in WiFi that works with the SmartHQ app, Alexa and Google. The carafe is also insulated so it keeps your coffee hot longer (very helpful in this house!).
We still have some finishing touches to add in the kitchen, mainly artwork, which we are hoping to find antiquing (lots of places for that in Vermont). I’ll be sharing more about the kitchen renovation over the next few weeks and I’ll be working on some additional blog posts to share more of my favorite features on our Café Appliances.
Thank you to my brand partner Café Appliances for sponsoring this post.
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