• Wendy

My Kitchen Reno Part 2

Now that we have addressed some of the FAQ in my previous blog post here, let's get down to the itty gritty. This blog post will answer some sourcing questions. I will not have a link for everything I've used exactly because this kitchen is over two years old but I have found similar products for you to consider. And full disclosure, some of the links will give me a commission at no additional cost to you. Let me know if you have any other questions!

(PS Most of the pictures were taken by the lovely Janet Kwan.)

Paint Colour

We picked out the paint pre-blogging days so I never made note of it. But it is by Benjamin Moore and I would recommend Chantilly Lace. It is a interior designer favourite because it is neither cool or warm. It provides a very clean white that reflects your surroundings very well.


We went with shaker style cabinets from a local store in Toronto from our contractor's recommendation. The faces of the cabinets are real wood but the interior drawers are made out of MDF to give us some savings.

I chose white because I love how classic it is but I also knew that I would be able to convey different types of vibes depending on how I decorated with accessories. White was also a good choice in an open concept main floor because it didn't draw too much attention to iteself.

As I said in my previous blog post, I would not recommend our cabinet makers because they are not very responsive to clients that are not contractors. I had friends who went with them and had to chase down orders months at a time. The upside was the cost, our cabinets cost about $8000 including all the soft close hardware and considering that we had a lot of drawers, we know this was a good deal.

Cabinets vs. Drawers

Did you know that drawers are typically more expensive because more materials are and hardware are needed to make them? However, drawers provide more room for storage in terms of vertical and horizontal space. A drawer also allows the user easier access to the back of a storage space.

We still went with mostly drawers in our kitchen because we do not have upper cabinetry. We wanted a lot of storage and even customized drawers for spice racks on either side of the stove, deeper drawers to fit our pots and pans close to the stove as well.

Tall Cabinets

I had some questions regarding the two tall cabinets at the back of the kitchen. We use this as our shallow but tall pantry space. We keep canned goods and other dried food goods in here.


Contrary to popular belief, our counters are not marble! I get asked this often. They are quartz made to look like Carrara marble and thus more stain resistant because they are less porous.

We chose this material because it is known to be a bit more stain resistant and durable. This was important to us because we entertain and have people over a lot. We didn't want to have our house show the signs of high traffic.

I will say this, they are not industrictable. They can chip and they can stain. But in the two plus years that we have had this installed I have yet to chip it despite the banging and cutting directly on the counters (not recommended but I cannot control guests lol). And I have yet to encounter a stain that I could not lift out of these counters. You just need some baking soda, a few drops of water, elbow grease and some time.

I wouldn't hesitate to choose these counters again. However, technology has changed and there are other options out there now that look even closer to marble with better performance. (I'm looking at you, porcelain counters.) But I know long term, I love my counters and they are a great resale feature!

Floating Shelves

Our floating shelves were an accent feature I knew I wanted in this kitchen. We have an open floor plan and I knew that this could be viewed from all angles of our main floor. I wanted to have opportunities to create beautiful spaces, hence opting for open shelving.

The total cost of our opening shelving cost less than $120. We bought two long planks of pine wood from Home Depot, and we measured and had the folks at Home Depot cut it for us. Then we pre-stained them with Minwax wood conditioner that helps wood absorb stain evenly. Next I used Varathane Premium gel stain in Golden Pecan over them. The brackets were $15 a piece and can be found here. They are by Knape & Vogt and are made for 8"-10" shelf depth for a maximum of 16 inches apart when mounted.

We had our contractors drill them into the subway tile and into the wall. They used wall anchors and they can hold a fair bit of weight on them.

Styling Your Floating Shelves

I love our floating shelves so much and they are my favourite things to style in my home. I get asked whether we get a lot of dust on our dishes. I have found that putting beautiful items that we use everyday helps with this problem.

I keep our drinking glasses and wine glasses on my shelves and everything else is functional decor. Currently I have vases, candle sticks and wooden spoons up on the shelves. If you are concerned about dust, consider using glass containers with lids to hold like items. For instance, I currently have put all my pretty scrubbing brushes up there.

I also like to use these shelves as an opportunity to display beautiful vintage pieces I have curated through thrifting or from online IG shops. Here are a list of my favourite online IG shops that are in my area:







Just to name a few.

I would encourage you to look for vintage online shops around your area so you can pick it up locally to save on shipping costs. However, a lot of these shops do offer shipping and if you live in the States, the Canadian dollar is weaker so you may find that it is worth it to shop from your neighbouring country.

You can also look at your local charity shops and I always Google map charity shops on my travels and layovers when I was a flight attendant. You will be sure to find one of a kind pieces that are unique and often a fraction of the cost!

Tea Cups

I found my tea cups while I was thrifting and I was only able to salvage 6 out of the 12 because they were all cracked. They were originally part of a punch bowl set in carnival glass. But I did find the exact same completed set here. I also found a simpler amber option here, a stunning iridescent set here and also this pretty blue one I'm eyeing here.

Kitchen Rug

I have had the Rorkar rug in the kitchen for over a year now. It is from Ikea and you can find it here. It's flat woven, inexpensive and hides a multitudes of stains because of it's pattern. I've thrown it in the wash a few times and it isn't worse for wear. I will caution that it does seem to shrink a bit but at this cost, I'm ok with that. I do also use a rug mat underneath to keep it from sliding all over the place though.


Our floors are by a Canadian company and they are made out of natural hickory in engineered hardwood. I chose an engineered hardwood because this is an older house and we had to account for some natural bumps (like the seam between the original house and the sunroom extension.) The engineered hardwood floors are a little more flexible and could accommodate these factors.

This was definitely a splurge but we chose this particular floor because of the density factor. We knew it will take a lot of wear and tear. So far, they have held up beautifully. Very very few marks considering how rough we are with them.

Plus the variation in the floors hides a lot of potential future blemishes and dust, debris etc. I can't even see any of our hairs on it.


Our sink was K's decision to splurge on. This is our first experience with an apron/ farmhouse sink and I don't think I can go back. The amount of real estate you gain doesn't seem like much but boy did I notice a difference!

I know this is from Christmas but it is my favourite picture of our sink!

I am short. Think 5'1 short. That meant that I always leaned over the counter a bit when I did the dishes because of the extra few inches in front. It use to hurt my back but I thought that was normal. But after this, I now know it's because I had to lean in to reach into my deep sink that was further.

My sink is a fireclay sink by Franke in a collaboration with Villeroy & Boch. It is durable but very very heavy, so when we installed it we had it reinforced with wooden beams. Our counter and cabinets would not be able to hold the weight of this bad boy on it's own.

Fireclay vs. cast iron is a debate you'll have to research on your own to weigh the pros and cons. We chose this sink because it fit our dimensions exactly and we were novices when we chose it. However, I LOVE IT and do not regret it one bit. If you are clumsy and drop a lot of dishes in your sink you will break lots of dishes so keep that in mind. But you can get a sink guard to help with that problem. This will also protect your sink from chipping but we haven't found that to be a big issue at all.

We never had one and I clean my sink like I do a dish after every meal. I soap it up and rinse it down so I never had problems with stains, scratches or marks. This is a practice we adopt even when we had a stainless steel sink so the transition was seamless for us.

Cabinet Handles

You can find our cabinet handles here. They do come in various sizes. We chose this one because they were not too fussy but a little modern. I also liked it because it was inexpensive and came with the screws needed to install them.

Well that concludes the most frequently asked questions about my kitchen sources. I hoped that helped and if you have any other questions feel free to leave them down below!

Thanks for reading!



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