Ta da! Here it is: the big reveal of our beautiful new kitchen update we created with help from Whirlpool Canada and HGTV designer, Jo Alcorn. If you read my previous post Why We Decided to Renovate and Create a Smart Kitchen For Our Family, you’ll know that our goals for this renovation were to maximize storage, upgrade to smarter appliances, and repurpose our granite countertops while updating its overall look.
To be honest, I’ve longed for lighter and brighter countertops (ideally in marble) for many years, but after looking at the cost to replace our current countertop (even with just a laminate), we decided to stick with the high quality granite we already had. This meant that we also needed to keep the bottom cupboards, as ripping them out would not have guaranteed the survival of the countertop since there was a big possibility that it could crack. In the end, I’m super happy with our decision to keep it and think the dark countertops actually work really well with our new Black Stainless Steel appliances from Whirlpool.
Two tone cupboards also seem to be making a comeback these days, and I’m really pleased with how the wooden cupboards (which I’ve never been a fan of, until now) ground the space, while our new white cabinets make everything feel brighter and more spacious, which is exactly the outcome that we were hoping for. Jo had the great idea of simply swapping out our dated handles with something new and matte black to tie in with the Black Stainless theme, which is a simple and affordable option that I recommend to anyone who is considering an update on a budget.
Now that we’ve had over four months to fully use our completed kitchen, I want to share my thoughts on our new smart appliances and how they have really been working for our family. One of the features that I mentioned in my pre-reno blog post and was extra excited about was the fingerprint resistant feature of our new black stainless steel appliances. Now that we’ve had a chance to use them in our busy kitchen, I can confirm that this really is an incredible feature that we LOVE. Our kitchen is a hectic place and every day it feels as though we go from tidy to catastrophic and back again, many times a day. In this household, we much prefer spending quality time together than quality time cleaning, which is why we appreciate the minimal effort it requires to keep our appliances looking good and fingerprint-free.
Now, onto our killer Whirlpool Smart Slide-In Electric Range that is not only super sleek in its design, but incorporates smart technology that’s actually useful for our household. I love that even though this is an electric stovetop model, the knobs are placed at the front similar to a gas top range. I’ve always found this placement to be far more practical than having to lean over four hot pots, but love that we can still enjoy the peace of mind of electric heat while we’re cooking in our home. Best of all, this model connects to the Whirlpool App that allows you to control your oven from anywhere in your home through your smartphone.
As a busy new mom, I can tell you that this has been especially helpful when trying to get dinner ready, while also tending to my baby’s needs. Like I mentioned, the Whirlpool App allows you to control the oven from anywhere in your home, from stopping and starting, to warming or setting up a specific cooking feature, and this has proven to be especially helpful during our bedtime routine when I’m trying to get dinner ready at the same time.
After upgrading to a full-size Whirlpool dishwasher (that’s also fingerprint resistant!) from our previous Euro-sized model, I can easily say that this upgrade is one of my favourite features of our new kitchen. Not only has it been amazing to have a dishwasher that can hold double the amount of dishes, but we especially love that it is significantly quieter and more efficient. Plus, our dishes always come out sparkling clean.
Since we decided to keep our colour scheme pretty classic by sticking with new white upper cabinets and Black Stainless Steel appliances, I love that we were able to add in some fun and a bit of quirkiness with a great new backsplash. These Mezyan glass tiles are from The Good Tile and not only look great, but they’re super easy to keep clean since there is no grout to worry about – a major bonus in my books! Because the Mezyan tile is a Moroccan inspired pattern, it reminds me of my love of travel which is such a nice aspect of the new kitchen design that I would have never considered incorporating without Jo’s suggestion to use these tiles.
Incorporating more black accents throughout the kitchen was essential to compliment our new Black Stainless Steel appliances which were definitely always intended to be the focus of the new look. Since we have been a microwave-free home since we moved in nearly seven years ago, we were instead able to upgrade our heavily used counter top convection oven to a really gorgeous (and slightly larger) Dual Convection Countertop Oven from KitchenAid. I’m a little obsessed with the sleek, and somewhat retro design, of this countertop oven and of course the fact that it’s all black means it fits in perfectly with our new kitchen design, and looks really great next to our glossy white cupboards.
The other simple change that made a big difference in bringing the Black Stainless Steel theme together in our kitchen was swapping out our old stainless steel kitchen faucet with a gorgeous Junction black matte design from Delta Faucet Canada. I was worried that such a modern faucet might look better than it actually functions in a busy kitchen, but it’s been quite the opposite. Unlike our old facet, I love that this model features a pull down (our old one did not) with a powerful integrated magnet to snap the spray wand precisely back into place. This has proven to be super helpful for everything from cleaning the sink to filling up jugs of water.
Lastly, another very exciting part of this experience is that our kitchen update was featured in House and Home Magazine! After spending years feeling unhappy with the look of our kitchen and never really sharing it in photos online, I couldn’t be happier with the final result and can hardly believe how amazing it looks in these beautiful photos, and in real life of course!
Check out the full feature article here for more photos and design tips from Jo herself. Plus, you’ll see some more detail shots of our fabulous new appliances and dining room area!
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)
(Please note that this post has been brought to you in partnership with Whirlpool Canada, all thoughts and opinions are our own)