A Cozy Kitchen Kitchen Renovation!!!: PART 1

Adventures, DIY, Kitchen

Big news today in cozy land because we’re moving!

We’ve lived in our beloved lil’ Echo Park apartment for a long time but we’ve been kinda outgrowing it and looking for a new place for a while so when Josh’s dad moved out of state (for a new job) and asked us to move in to takeover his house for the next 5 years or so, the timing was perfect.

Before we officially move in, we’re renovating the kitchen. And by renovating I mean tearing every single thing out, knocking down a few walls and starting from scratch. I have never done a renovation before so it say it is a bit of a dream is an understatement. It’s also a bit overwhelming because there are SO many choices and decisions and I fully understand why people hire a designer to help them.

Initially we were gonna start the renovation back in June but I’m so happy that we waited because it really gave me time to understand what would look best in the space. I really believe that kitchens, and frankly any renovation, should complement the house itself.

The house is a bit like an English cottage. It’s cute with red brick, built in the 1920s. There are beautiful green vines growing on the outside and SO many roses in the front yard and in the backyard. It’s quite adorable and it’s the perfect size (not too big, not too small). It has charm like no other but it does need a bit of love in the kitchen department.

At the beginning of this whole venture, I thought a lot about what I wanted from a kitchen and I kept coming back to super modern, clean style cabinets with cozy, sweet colors.

This is what I had in mind:

I was really into completely flat cabinets with little leather handles (we all know those can’t be durable, I was picturing myself with frosting on my hands ruining those things).

But this felt too sterile and new for the house. I’m so happy I came across Devol Kitchens, a kitchen designing duo in England, because they create the perfect kitchens for this house.

I’m absolutely obsessed with the inset cabinets (spoiler alert: custom cabinets were way too expensive so we’re going a cheaper route) with calcutta marble, sage green, warm tones.

All my Scandinavian kitchen dreams flew out the window when I came across their kitchen designs. Every single one of them made me want to bake and cook in these spaces. None of them looked too fancy or fussy.

They looked durable and sturdy. They have a bit of an old feel while still feeling relevant and new.

The layout of the kitchen has been formatted. Demo starts today!! WOOHOO!!

And of course here are the before photos. Two walls are coming down. The original windows are going to be peeled and restored with new hardware. The old 50s tile is going to be scraped off the walls and ceiling and the laminate floors are going to be ripped up and trashed.

We’re getting beautiful appliances from Kitchenaid!

We currently have one of those fridges that are white that comes with basically every rental in Los Angeles so this upgrade is going to be pretty epic. I’m going to feel like a MF-ing rich person!

So here is what I’m thinking for the kitchen:

1. Sage green cabinets. This color from Farrow and Ball makes my heart sing.
2. Shaker-style cabinets. We’re going to match the cabinets with the marble we get so it’s sort of TBD.
3. Neutral accents (I think). I love this lighting pendant for the little kitchen nook.
4. Legit appliances. This beautiful black Kitchenaid range.
5. Grown-up fridge from Kitchenaid.
6. Calcutta marble countertops. I haven’t picked out the exact slab yet but the ones I’ve seen are beautiful and I can’t wait.
7. Farmhouse sink. They are perfect and large and it means I can wash a half baking sheet with no problem at all.
8. Light wood/tile floors. We wanted to keep it simple and clean-looking.
9. Subway tiles. And yes, subway tiles because the backsplash I really wanted (a scalloped white tile) was like 3k and I WAS LIKE OH HELL NO. Also I love the classic look of subway tiles. I’m going to be using a darker grout to give it some contrast.
10 + 11. Matching matte black faucet and handles.

There are also a bunch of other decisions that I wasn’t sure of so I ordered multiples of some things (from places that didn’t have restocking fees) and we’re gonna do some voting on Insta Stories!!

It’s so hard to put rooms together when you haven’t seen the items together so some of it just needs to be voted on. I need opinions!

I’m going to be giving a tour via my Insta Stories today! So take a look for yourself.

There are also gonna be lots of updates on Insta Stories so be sure to check every day (if you’re into that sort of thing).

And I’ll be sure to talk about the process during, before and after.

Have you done a reno before? Do you have tips and tricks? Am I going to be stressed haha? So far I’ve been feeling pretty good!

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  • Reply Kieran Ha August 29, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Love all of your interior ideas! Can’t wait to see the final product as I’m sure it’ll be amazing… but also very stressful along the way.

  • Reply Tina August 29, 2017 at 6:49 am

    This looks so incredibly tasty! I cannot wait to try this recipe out, thanks for the share.

  • Reply Mollie August 29, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Wow, your kitchen is AMAZING!!! Such an incredible remodel. So, so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing the before and after photos.

    xoxo Mollie

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 10:23 am

      These are just the before photos + inspiration photos (not the actual kitchen…yet). 🙂

      • Reply Mollie August 29, 2017 at 10:28 am

        I didn’t realize these were just ideas! Haha, that’s what I get for reading at work. My jaw was dripping thinking those were after photos!! Hahaha, my bad! I can’t wait to see what you draw from your inspiration!

  • Reply LuAnn August 29, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I’m sad you’re removing the vintage wall tile. It’s so classic with the cottage’s era.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 8:08 am

      They’re cute but the tile isn’t original to the house AND the tile is actually in pretty bad condition: super scratched and chipped. But we will miss it! 🙂

  • Reply Taylor August 29, 2017 at 8:18 am

    CANNOT wait to see the finished product and follow along with the progress along the way! I love a good kitchen remodel and your taste is right up my alley! Also, I feel ya on having a sink large enough to wash a half sheet pan! The struggle is real! Haha

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 10:04 am

      oh man right now (at my apt) i have one of those annoying 2 part metal sinks and you literally can’t fit anything in it. i feel like this is going to be luxury!

  • Reply Cookbook August 29, 2017 at 8:57 am

    How exciting! I’m glad to Corgi is staying haha. Demo day is the second best day. Finish day is #1. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

      she was up for debate hahah!

    • Reply Rachel August 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      SAME and I hate it. Always get water on the floor when I wash my sheet pans. Can’t wait to follow your reno progress!!

  • Reply Priti August 29, 2017 at 9:29 am

    sooooo pumped!!! you’ll crush this whole thang

  • Reply Aimee August 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

    what fun! I love your mood board – can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  • Reply CN August 29, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Do you know what color is in the top photo? Thank you… your kitchen should be as wonderful as your site.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I took this exact photo to Farrow and Ball and they said it’s VERT DE TERRE No. 234

      I’m not so sure though. I’m really going to have to paint like a piece of wood and put it in the kitchen to make sure it’ll match. Benjamin Moore also has like the most beautiful hues of green, too.

      • Reply Shelley Hale January 3, 2020 at 12:57 pm

        Did you end up going to a BM green? Interested to know what you used.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

      And thank you–so sweet!

  • Reply Heather August 29, 2017 at 10:33 am


    So exciting! We just finished our kitchen remodel. We decided to do it ourselves, which cut down on costs, but it took just over two years, which was extremely painful. I stressed out so much about the little details – paint color, faucets, sinks etc. but when it came down to it, the most important thing in my opinion was getting the flow and ergonomics correct. It’s crazy how even a few inches can totally throw off the work flow. We built a cardboard island and worked around it for a few weeks, tweeking spacing, counter height, distance from sink to oven to dishwasher. I’m glad we took the time, but now it’s freaking amazing, flows so smooth. I love Devol kitchens and took a lot of my inspiration from them as well. If you ever need any help or want to shoot ideas my way I’d be happy to pass on any tips I learned along the way!


  • Reply Melissa August 29, 2017 at 10:35 am

    OK super stoked for you! The before photos make me think that my 1920’s tile-clad apartment up north in Glendale is super modern and cool. There’s definitely something to be said for the old tiles, but man – after almost a billion years of use, they get USED and there’s no amount of grout in the world to fix it. (Plus my kitchen is yellow and brown tile which is the opposite of food-inspiring.)

    Anyway, I love the designs and can’t wait to see how it all turns out! So happy that you guys got a lucky break in the housing hellhole that is this city 🙂 (Ahhh, it’s hard to make that seem sincere, and not like “I’m sooooo haaaaaaapppy for you *eyeroll*” but for reals.)

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 29, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Yes exactly. It might not look bad but the tile is all messed up and scratched and cracked. It’s had a good run. 🙂

      Umm…we were looking at buying and it was super depressing. The prices are just out of control! I’m so grateful for this opportunity!

  • Reply mimi August 29, 2017 at 10:36 am

    What fun! I inherited a stupid double sink when I moved into this house. Finally I got it replaced as well as countertops, and I had them make a farmhouse sink that was as big, deep and wide that could fit into the space allowed. I actually love washing dishes now. It can hold my widest pots and skillets, and even my oven racks for cleaning. You will not regret having this sink!!!

  • Reply carlos at Spoonabilities August 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Love it! Great choice! I love the kind current but at the same time old vibe. And, the appliances will give the extra elegant touch. Congratulations!

  • Reply sue | theviewfromgreatisland August 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Wow ~ I’m SO jealous, you’re going to have the ultimate ‘cozy kitchen ‘ when it’s all finished! I shared your heirloom Tomato Jam in a big round-up of freezer jams today on my blog 🙂

  • Reply Amal September 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

    *faints* Can I live in one of your cabinets? I promise not to make any strange noises….you know unless you’re recipe testing and then I might crawl out The Ring girl style and lick your pans clean.

  • Reply Lisa Cox September 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I am so happy for you! You must be over-the-top with excitement. Having noticed the Devol cabinets on Houzz and needing to pick cabinets myself in a few months time, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of them, their service, quality, and price. Which color sage did you pick by the way? Pigeon? The link just went to the page with all of the colors.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      I’m not getting Devol cabinets! I’m getting Ikea with Semihandmade. 🙂

      • Reply Lisa Cox September 3, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        Good to know! Been wondering about them too. Keep us informed. Still looking forward to your columns!

  • Reply Cindy Rahe September 4, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I have never done a reno but I am so excited for you! I did choose the finishes for our new house (also going with subway tile bc CLASSIC and grey grout). I am jealous of your marble! Our builder won’t even install it in kitchens without a waiver (bc ppl freak out about the care).

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 5, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks girlfriend! Yeah it’s a lot of care but I’ve worked on marble slabs for so long and I don’t have any issues with them. You definitely have to be ok with imperfection.

  • Reply Christine September 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

    You make me laugh.

    A) Corgi will stay.
    B) Legit appliances.
    C) Grown up fridge.

    Excellent goal! Good luck!

  • Reply A Cozy Kitchen Renovation!!!: Part 2 – A Cozy Kitchen October 4, 2017 at 12:00 am

    […] we start, here’s a link to Part 1 in case you missed […]

  • Reply Ricki Jill Treleaven October 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Very inspiring! I love your mood board. I can’t wait to see the adorable kitchen once it’s complete. I’d also like a peek at the front exterior with the pretty roses! ;P

  • Reply Brooke October 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I’m about to read part 2. Can’t wait to see how it’s coming (or finished). I can’t believe they tiled the ceiling! Who does that??? And the mirror in front of the sink between the two windows? Nobody wants to stare at themselves while washing dishes. And I thought some of the renovations in my house just before I bought it were bizarre (like not a single phone jack [they had walled over them!] – this was March 2000. I had to pay the phone company $125 to install one jack!). I love the ideas you have for the new kitchen. And sage green is such a nice color for a kitchen.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Totally agree with you. Some of the choices made absolutely no sense. Someone in the 60s or 70s wanted to see themselves washing dishes! Haha I have no idea. So random.

  • Reply Betsy King October 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Love this! We have basically the same house. Little older brick number with arched doorways, and the same kitchen layout. It will be cool to watch you do yours because we need to do the same exact things with ours! It will be fun to get some ideas from what y’all do. The vibe is perfection.

  • Reply Amanda October 23, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Hi. Who is your contactor?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      email me and I’ll intro you if you’re really interested.

  • Reply The Coziest Kitchens to Get You Through Winter — Kitchens from Santa – Mediasota November 30, 2017 at 8:51 am

    […] more renovation inspiration: A Cozy Kitchen Renovation Part 1 at A Cozy […]

  • Reply JulieD January 4, 2020 at 6:05 am

    I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait to follow along. We want to do a kitchen reno too and I’m overwhelmed as well!