The Kitchen Design Plan

The kitchen design plan has been one of the harder rooms to really nail down. Overall, I’ve known what I wanted to do, but there were still a few key elements that I just couldn’t decide on. Elements, that I felt really needed to be picked before moving forward with the final plan for our kitchen.

Since we have so much work to do with the entire house, we’ve really tried to do a healthy dose of “high and low” finishes all blended together. We’ve splurged a little in some areas, while staying budget focused with other things. It’s been exciting to see it all come together in such a beautiful way. 

The kitchen is going to be a very happy balance of budget friendly items, with a few added splurges that will take it to the next level. Here’s what we’re planning!

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

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We both love to cook, so of course our first focus was on creating a kitchen that not only looked great, but functioned at the highest capacity. We don’t have a very large kitchen, so maximizing the space we do have is important. But that doesn’t mean we can’t interject plenty of style. 

In fact, so many of the items we’ll be using in the kitchen were from our honeymoon trip to Hawaii and from Telluride, right after we were married. Adding in all those fun memories makes this kitchen even better. 

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

The one thing that’s been certain from the beginning, is the color of the cabinets. We’ve both wanted to do black cabinets, and I feel like it’s the perfect choice for this kitchen. The layout is small, and we’re going to balance out the heavy with plenty of light as well. We’ll also be painting the cabinet doors ourselves to help with cost. I can’t wait to show you that tutorial!

For the actual cabinets, we decided to go with Ikea frames, and then doors from Semihandmade. I’ll share all about how we designed, ordered and installed the cabinets in another post, but the amount of savings for this project was unbeatable. Plus, the quality is great and there are so many fun features we’re looking forward too. (I’m looking at you, hidden drawers!)

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

Since the kitchen is on the smaller size, I felt like cabinets on every single wall would really make the kitchen feel overwhelmed. We’re bringing in as much storage as possible, while still keeping an airy vibe. This means we’ll be adding in open shelving to help add storage. I’m really excited about this feature, and I can’t wait to see how they compliment the dark cabinets. Above the shelves and kitchen window, we’ll be installing these wall sconces. I found them on Pottery Barn a few months ago and bought them when they were having a big sale. They’re stunning in person and such great quality! (They’re on sale again!)

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

We’re also going to be building our own vent hood. I kept imagining the style I wanted to create, but couldn’t find a picture… until I saw this kitchen. It’s exactly what I kept envisioning, and since our house style is a mix of traditional elements with some modern as well, this vent hood will add a traditional element and bring great balance to the kitchen. I can’t wait to start building it!

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage


Cabinet hardware is another element that absolutely makes cabinets. It takes cabinets to the next level. To add some warmth to the black cabinets, we chose these brass cabinet pulls and knobs from Pottery Barn. They’re stunning and such great quality. A small, but mighty splurge to the overall look of the kitchen…

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

For the countertops and backsplash, we’ll be doing formica… and this is one area of the kitchen I’m really excited about! I’m definitely pushing the envelope with what we’re doing, and I’ll be detailing all about it in a separate post. We chose Calacatta Marble by Formica in their 180fx. It looks amazing with the black cabinets and has the perfect veining to mimic real marble!

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

With the formica backsplash, we’ll also be adding some vertical paneling to the walls. This combination has felt right from the beginning. Not only will it make an impact, but the ceilings will feel taller. This is also one area we’ll be saving a few bucks… 

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage


Another splurge, was having natural gas installed for our cooktop. We also added a pot filler to go above it. Pot fillers can be expensive… but this one has amazing lines while still being affordable. Win, win!

To bring in a pop of pattern, we’ll be adding in a cozy rug. I’ve loved this one from the beginning, but it’s out of stock for several months, so we’ll see if my patience will win out, or if I decide to keep looking. 

The Kitchen Design Plan by The Wood Grain Cottage

Here’s everything we’re planning on incorporating (click to scroll through):

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I honestly can’t wait to see this kitchen come to life… and we’re getting there, slowly. We’re embracing the journey instead of the race… but I have plenty to update you on so far!


  1. This is incredibly beautiful! I’m excited to see it come together and looking forward to your tutorials. Will you be doing a tutorial on building your range hood? I would love to see that.

  2. This is all gorgeous!!! I love the combination of all of your choices!!
    You gave me some advice several years ago when I was building, about how much I could use planking and real shiplap. I used it sparingly in several rooms and love it. Now we are going to finish a large mud room and studio in our lower level. They don’t get a lot of traffic as we are retired and live mostly on the upper, main level. I had thought I wanted all planking but this vertical wood is gorgeous and a little updated? I also love board and bat. These are the only rooms on this level, so I’m just wondering how I could use 2 different wood applications so close together, or should I choose just one? I don’t think I want just sheetrock on any of the walls but am open to the possibility if all this wood will be too much. I know you don’t have a visual of these spaces, but any input would be awesome!!!!! An email would be great because I don’t know how to follow comments on your site.

    1. Hi Dianne! I love the vertical planking. I think it’s a fresh take on the traditional horizontal planking. In our kitchen, it’s also going to help “draw the eye up” to create a taller ceiling. For your home, I wouldn’t be worries about combining a vertical planking with board and batten. Perhaps in your mud room you want to do the vertical planking, and then the board and batten in your studio. The key to making it all blend together will be creating a “cohesive” feeling throughout all of the rooms. This can be done with decor items, colors and textures. Your main goal is to have the rooms “blend” together to create a house that flows, rather than having glaringly different rooms throughout the house. I hope this helps!

  3. I’m really excited that you are using laminate. I installed quartz and found it needs more care than laminate so I had it removed and replaced with Calcutta Marble laminate just like you’re using. I like it so much better than the quartz I had. I’m curious what edge you will do.

  4. I love seeing you be creative again?????. In our small kitchen, we went with the same dramatic Formica. I do love it. You are wanting to put paneling on your walls and I am wanting paneling on my ceiling. What kind of paneling will you be using? Anxious to hear and to see you gorgeous kitchen.
    You GO girl.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 For the vertical paneling, we’re still trying to decide exactly which material we want to use. I’ll be sure to share a tutorial once we’re done.

      1. If you read the Inspired Room blog/IG, she used the back side of an exterior siding for her kitchen ‘shiplap’. I think it was Hardy board. Supposed to be water proof. Worth checking out.

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