Basic Steps: I collected the dishes and would work on it as a weekend project. The plywood they sell at Lowe’s is a perfect size for the spot (some things are just meant to be). I also added in shells and a spoon with the china. My inspiration was clean and vintage. I like the shabby chic look, but wanted it more modern and simple. My basic steps for achieving the look were to have one focal point of “wow,” which is the backsplash, that would distract from the less glamorous parts of the room I wasn’t able to change. The rest was up to a fresh coat of paint to brighten everything. Black and white simplifies the room and lets that natural beadboard’s beauty shine.
Advice for people thinking of doing the same: Be prepared for weirdness in the house. Our floor was not level by 1.5″, which wreaked havoc with a design that had no trim to hide uneven lines. Our contractor, Dave Rannala, actually jacked up one corner of the kitchen from the basement below in order to even things out. All the counters and shelves are totally level, but then there are all sorts of little things they did, like tapering the ceiling beams to hide the house irregularity. They did an amazing job. It is really important to have an experienced builder. Also, plan the layout beforehand and test lots of ideas. We did five different kitchen layouts before we settled on the final one. Doing that forced us to answer all the questions about the type and size of appliances and where the work stations would be. Those questions have to be answered at some point, but planning first meant that the actual reno was way less stressful. One final thing: Use simple, good quality materials that are timeless and bridge the modern and historic influences
To begin, I had a quick discussion about what my client wanted to achieve. From there, I created a pin board with her. Since we are in two different cities, Portland and Seattle, this was a quick way for us both to share inspiration. After the style was defined, I started sketching a layout and ideas of how the kitchen would look both in plan and three dimensionally. Most everything was shared over email, Skype and Pinterest. I made about three trips to Seattle throughout the process to make sure things were going as planned.