Monday, 17 January 2011

Kitchen Makeover Step 2: Narrowing Choices

Hi lovelies.

We had an awesome weekend.

Family, friends, food and frolics. Perfect.

And I've been a busy little bee, purging, binning and sorting. A whole load of tat seems to have entered our house unrequested.

Tat has a habit of doing that, I find. How rude. ;-)

I suspect the kiddiewinks are the culprits. How many scraps of paper can one child need, I ask you?

Yes, I have officially entered purging season...when I whip myself into a frenzy of throwing-away-everything-in-sight!

Do you do that too?

Welcome back to our Kitchen Makeover.

I've completed Step 1: Kitchen-Foraging (which you can see here and here).

Today is Step 2: Narrowing Your Choices.

Here's how I go about it:

 I collect together all my inspiration images. I wait a couple of weeks and then I go through them again to check they all still score nine out of ten or above and bin any that don't meet the grade.

Yep, sometimes I accidentally let an eight out of ten slip in there.


Then I spread them out on the table in front of me and have a good, long look at them to spot any themes that occur across the board.

This is the best way I've found to narrow down what I really, reeeeeeeally like, as opposed to what is currently catching my fashion-eye. My aim is to try and create a kitchen that encompasses as much as possible of what I love. And will adore for a long time to come.

Here's a collection of some of the inspiration images that I've gathered like a naughty magpie.

So....what have they got in common?

♥ Love ♥

Shaker-Style Doors
Blocks of Colour - very little pattern
Neutral shades
Wooden Units
Modern Country styling
Worktops made from natural materials.
♥ Love ♥

{Yes... I've just learnt to do that heart-thang, which is why those li'l hearts are popping up all over at the moment.}

Now that I have a list of specifics to concentrate on, I can plan my kitchen around them as much as possible......rather than scrabbling around and ending up with a hotch-potch of all the different styles I love; this way should bring out one cohesive look.

And now a little reality check....

Two words:




{What would *you* do with this room?}

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Unknown said...

These kitchens are beautiful
I always have trouble choosing
I pick up so many images ... but then I like them all ... is a real problem!
The new hearts are just cute

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Do you know how I do the hearts? There are other ways but I type in &#9829 in the html and it magics up a heart for me!

Too cool for school....


High Street Cottage said...

Sarah, I like your way of thinking. A kitchen is one of the most important rooms to decorate. And the most costly. It's good you've given it much thought. Lovely inspiration photos too. xoxo tami

michelle said...

I love your inspiration photos and their similarities! Neutral, uncluttered, natural elements are all wonderful things that I try to put in my kitchen, I don't do so well with the uncluttered part though! :) I am loving your system alot and will have to use that when we decide to redo our bathroom.

So glad that you had a wonderful weekend and purging things has begun at our house, already so much that had gone out the door!! :)

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

A girl after my own "HEART"!

Yes, how many bits of paper does one need? The word "tat" makes me giggle. Children are the culprit ;)

The kitchen in the 3rd photo really caught my eye. The white architectural beams and tall cabinets are fantastic! I'll take it with a side of farmhouse sink, please! I think it's good to go with cabinets that aren't fussy and a style that is timeless.

Glad to hear that you had a great weekend and are getting through the tat! I did lots of purging this weekend. Feels good to be able to find things. A lot that had been MIA. Feels good!

Have a lovely day, friend!

Tricia said...

I love that gray kitchen. It feels so nice and clean. Great ideas for coming up with a remodeling plan Sarah.

As for all the purging and throwing away...I'm with you. I constantly tell me kids that they can't keep EVERYTHING or they will look they are straight out of Hoarders! Have a good day ♥ Tricia

Maureen Stevens said...

beautiful beautiful images! and it's amazing to see how u do ur editing! I think I do the same thing! you should do subway tiles too! have one small area to display china with a wallpaper back splash {very little pattern}...can't wait to see all the progress!

Mrs Buttercup said...

Love the kitchens, especially the grey one at the end, Sarah....wish mine was bigger to start with though...more to play with. Anyway must go, in the middle of purging too and spring cleaning! Love all the inspiration, keep it coming :) Babsx

Unknown said...

There is some gorgeous kitchens in there Sarah the grey stands out a lot to me. I love the one with the granite breakfast bar/table gorgeous. You certainly have found your style though.

Can you knock out the wall by the oven or is it a supporting wall, it could really open up the space. Have you got pictures from the sink looking back?
Sarah x

Vanessa said...

Ohhhh...those photos make me miss my light, bright, white kitchen in our old house! I love how crisp and fresh it all looks. And, what IS it about kids and little scraps of things? My son has a "treasures" drawer in his room and it is overflowing with everything from ticket stubs, to rocks, to things he finds on the playground at school. Crazy! :-)
Can't wait to see the next part of your series!

Judy said...

I love most of these pictures, but I must admit I LOATHE the worktops in the 2nd picture. I feel like I'm looking at a lovely kitchen, then they bash me in the face out of nowhere!

Also, I like the modern country style, although I had never before realised the lack of pattern. I think I like a pattern or two in my home. Hmm.

Food for thought, Mrs Modern Country Style. (Food! Ha! We're in the kitchen... Oh dear.)

Kristen Mintz said...

Hey sweetie!
oh, I LOVE to throw things away! It is absolutely my favorite of favorite things to do!!!

And good luck with the kitchen- I adore shaker style doors, and anything uncluttered. That's a huge project to tackle!!!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you had a great weekend, Sarah. Love your inspirational photos and your plan on how to remodel your kitchen. It's definitely important to stay organized and focused on what you want in a project this big.
Hope your week is as wonderful as your weekend!
Jo :)

Erin said...

Sarah, love those tips and those hearts are making me you! Love the kitchens!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Lovely lovely kitchens (apart from the grey one - not too keen on the grey cupboards).

I try my best to purge and get rid of things but at the same time, I'm a great hoarder of tat. Oh dear.

michele said...

purge: an ugly ugly word for something that brings me much JOY. yep. subtracting my heart out here to make room for peace and new inspiration.

i adore a white kitchen. the tricky part for me is how to give it a personality while keeping it spare.

great post, Sarah! so glad i'm taking this journey with you.


Carla @ Hammers and High Heels said...

Oooo the first and third kitchens are amazing!!! I love the funny words and phrases... tat, naughty magpie, haha! New ones for me :) You make me want to redo our kitchen!

Holly said...

I really like that 3rd kitchen too! I admire how you have a system for figuring out what you ultimately want to do with a room, and the patience not to just jump in feet first with the first thing you see that you like! said...

I'm with you girl. I love purging! Sometimes it's a joke around here...don't leave anything sitting around for more than 10 minutes or mom will get it outta here! I can't wait to see what you have in mind for your kitchen. Your inspirations are beautiful. I love something in all of the pictures. So many choices. Have a great day!

GoldenValley50 said...

Hi Sarah
I have just completed the "purging season" at my place (inside and out!) I have actually got to know the fellow at the transfer station (rubbish dump!) on a first name basis. Feels so good to be rid of all that stuff. I love the way you sort out your likes and dislikes - I usually get so confused. I think your idea of putting it aside for a couple of weeks is a good idea and then going back and having a look is the way to go. I'm (nervously!)considering an overhaul of my kitchen this year however I keep hearing these little voices in my head saying "It would be sacreligious to paint over those beautiful timber cabinets!!!!" I'll just have to summons up a bit more courage (and inspiration!) before I dive in. Hope your week is going great - sun out here. Returned to work yesterday after 5 weeks hols - go figure eh? ;)Sharyne

Alison said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! I'm really enjoying your system for working out what you like and what you don't. Its made me stop and think about my own collection of ideas, thoughts and images for my kitchen...shaker doors, yes I didn't even realise how much I like them...worktops made from natural materials...yes, tick that box too. I have a list coming together and I didn't even know it! Time to start my own early spring clean! Happy purging! : )

lisaroy said...

I love your inspiration pics and your editing style is bang on! I had to really be ruthless when editing because there are just so many gorgeous options out there. But soon you get a true sense of yourself in those pics and your plan starts to come together. Can't wait to see how you progress! And as for tat, I don't have kiddiewinks - all those paper scraps are mine!! :)

Unknown said...

I love your inspiration pics, probably because they are so similar to my own! Love the butcher block counters, white shaker-style cabinets and shell pull handles. I've been REALLY looking at my own pics lately to determine my 9 outta 10's and my must have's - fab advice! xx

Samantha said...

Love the kitchen with the green backsplash and wood top island.

I have been purging too, feels good to get it out of the house. Those pesky kids bringing everything in in the first place!

Luciane at said...


You're so cool. Thank you so much for always finding the time to come to my blog. It's very special to me.

I am also dreaming with a better kitchen. The only thing is, as I said to you before we're trying to sell this place, so we can move to a place that's more "us". But I wish I could change my dark cabinets to a light one.. paint it all... but I am not sure if that would be a good idea for resale...

I love all the choices and to be 100% I'm not sure which one is my favorite. Maybe the first? You're right on doing the way you're doing... look at the pictures for a long time and get to know yourself better... what do I really like? What's really "me"??? Is this going to be out of style in 5 years? Choose classic material... they're always better for your pocket. :-)

Wish all the luck and can't wait to see the process!


Luciane at

vosgesparis said...

really some very pretty kitchens... I might renovate mine as well this year maybe ;)
Have fun with your project!

Unknown said...

I love all these kitchens! So beautiful. I love how they are all crisp and fresh. I can't wait to see what you end up doing with yours!

Cindy said...

Hi Sarah,
I love all of your inspiration photos, they are all the style that I was going for when we redid our kitchen last year. I got everything but the farmhouse sink, I couldn't find one in Canada that I didn't have to wait two months for and I didn't get my marble counter tops. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but hey, a girl can always dream.
Hugs, Cindy

Unknown said...

I was on a heart kick for a while, too! Haha! Love 'em. As for your kitchen, we're both gearing up for an overhaul. Shane has the next 4 weeks off so I want to at least get the cabinets painted. What should you do? Well, I have those French Gray cabinets in my inspiration file, too. I ADORE THEM! So, I say do that. :) Haven't you painted your kitchen since that photo? Maybe not. Anyhow, in addition to painting the cabinets, I would change out the hardware. Because of the simple style of your doors, maybe an Anthro glass knob? If that's too foofy for you, they have some other gorgeous knobs. Your natural counter tops would just fine but would also look great stained in an espresso color (if you chose the gray cabinet color), or a blue grayish stain (if you chose to go with a white cabinet.) I would get rid of that tile pronto. I think you already got rid of that metal thing in the corner. Looks like you're pretty smitten with that French Gray color so maybe paint the walls with it if you paint the cabinets white? Maybe just the wall surrounding the door as an accent color. No matter what you do, I'm sure it's going to look beautiful! You have some good inspiration to work with.


Unknown said...

Btw...your last inspiration photo is my favorite. :)

Anonymous said...

wauw, you those a few beautiful kitchens! and about your old kitchen what a space, shell we swap! you get my little kitchen and i get your space! deal!!!! :-)

Travel With Lulu said...

Totally digging the wooden top of photo #3. These are all lovely kitchens ;)

But have you noticed that 9 out of 10 remodeled kitchens in England have black granite? XOL

Travel With Lulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

That very first picture is absolute kitchen perfection to me... **sigh**

Magali at the Little White House said...

Wow! Great pictures: again, some are going to be copied and pasted to my "kitchen inspiration album"... I'm lucky enough not to be at the "narrowing phase" yet! But "narrowing" is just the right word! When I watch all the pictures I have collected, I know I will have to try to get the same kind of look in about a fourth (maybe an eighth is even more realistic) of the space these kitchen have! How did you manage? Did you also have to get rid of some of your dreams?
Oh, and by the way, about your kitchen: I would have done exactly what you have done (or at least I flatter myself thinking I would have had the same eye you had to give this room the style it deserved as you did.
Magali from the Little White House (and the cat is checking every word I write!)

Casa Très Chic said...

Beautiful kitchens, hard to choose one.

Claire Potter said...

What would I do with that room??? Paint the walls sunshine yellow and the cupboards sky blue and go for a more cluttered, colourful, less cohesive look!!! Wink wink xxx

Sofia's Ideas said...

Ha! Yes, I do that too - I yell out "I have the urge to purge!!!" and my husband & kids know to just get out of my way! LOL! :)

2k media said...

Here are the FURNITURE known for their simplistics lifestyles... ‘.
Shaker style furniture .

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