The beach house kitchen will be our seventh kitchen project (!!!) after redoing three of our own (this one’s our favorite), a showhouse that we did in (seen below – we loved that blue tile), and a local teachers’ lounge that we redid last year.

And while that sounds like a lot of kitchens to have under our belts, the process can still feel pretty daunting – probably just due to the sheer number of decisions that a kitchen reno brings. “What’s the most functional layout? Is that too many drawers or not enough? Will I live to regret the lighting? Is it all going to come in within budget?” So many questions. And decisions. And changing of minds.

But as much work as it is to plan, stress, overthink, and replan a kitchen – it can easily be one of the biggest improvements you can make to a house. And now that we’re so close to FINALLY installing the beach house kitchen (hello light at the end of the tunnel!), we thought we’d take you through the steps (and kitchen planning tools) that we used to make our plan.

That photo above is what the space looked like as of last week. The lights are hung, trim is getting painted, and the floor holes are all patched with matching reclaimed pine. Once they’re sanded and sealed we can begin the kitchen install! It’s feeling very real all of a sudden. And it’s a far cry from what it looked like when we first started planning the space last year:

I won’t rehash all of the floor planning we did (it’s in this post) but you can see where we ended up below. Well, mostly ended up (the master bath got rearranged one more time to accommodate a shower). But the important part is the kitchen, which you can see in the upper left of these schematics:

We made those initial floor plans in Photoshop (like I’m sure all the professional architects do…. right?) so it wasn’t precisely to scale and not even close to something we could rely on to order cabinets. So having made the decision to order our cabinetry from Ikea, we turned to their free 3D kitchen planning software.

We went through a few different ideas and layouts within the software – like do we do upper cabinets or skip them? We eventually landed on no uppers, just because we’re suckers for open shelves and the cabinets were looking pretty heavy in the rendering, even in white (we want the room to feel balanced, not left-heavy with too much stuff on that wall as you walk into the room). And since this is going to be a weekly vacation rental, nobody is going to be living here for months on end, so we realized we’d have plenty of storage space for vacation goers – especially with the extra cabinets that we added to flank the back door.


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