Our Mid Century Modern Kitchen Renovation

Last week I showed you our dining room reveal; this week it’s all about the kitchen. The space that had the biggest transformation was the kitchen. When we moved into our house, we knew we wanted and really needed to work on the kitchen as soon as possible. It was dark, dingy, and frankly really gross. Plus it was cut off from the dining room and I wanted to be able to see the dining room, deck and patio from the kitchen.

We originally considered refinishing the original cabinets since they were custom made and a beautiful walnut; however, a visit from a carpenter we were told to rip it all out and start fresh. Although IKEA gets a bad rep sometimes in the home design and decor space, their kitchen cabinets are top notch and come with a great warranty. However, they don’t offer enough customizations so we decided to work with Semihandmade for custom cabinet fronts. Semihandmade specializes in creating fronts that fit with IKEA products. They offer an amazing selection of fronts and customizations so you can get exactly what you want. We selected the Walnut horizontal grain fronts from Semihandmade to keep the aesthetic similar to the original kitchen, although updated. We kept the original pulls from the kitchen since they match the doorknobs and pulls in the rest of the house (the original owner of this house really paid attention to details).

Pictures by Bethany Nauert

Sources + more below!

I saw this Fireclay backsplash on Pinterest a year before we started our renovation, but I didn’t know the source. We started the renovation and I was still searching for this perfect backsplash and then Alan found it in the final hour. It’s called the Escher tile pattern and I’m in love with it. The folks at Fireclay were so amazing and they sent us samples and our beautiful tile as quickly as possible. The backsplash was installed after the kitchen was completely done but it was well worth the wait!

The flooring and countertop are from Choice Granite & Kitchen Cabinet Company in Pasadena. We wanted to keep the finishes modern but still stay true to the architecture of the house. I love Terrazzo flooring but we couldn’t swing $100/SF for the entryway and kitchen, so we found quartzstone tile that looks like terrazzo and it was only $4/SF.

Alan demolished the entire kitchen himself with a bit of help from me. Side note: I was 8 months pregnant and seeing him go to town with a sledgehammer looked soothing amidst all the chaos. So I took a few swings and it seriously was therapeutic.  Alan also put together the entire kitchen, from the IKEA boxes to Semihandmade fronts. He literally finished our kitchen the day before I went into labor with Harlee – talk about timing! I’ll be writing up a separate post about the process of buying an IKEA and Semihandmade kitchen (spoiler – it’s easy and fun!).

Kitchen Finishes: Fireclay Tile Backsplash, Semihandmade Cabinet Fronts, Quartzstone counter and terrazzo-like quartzstone floor tile, Ikea cabinet box, Delta Trinsic FaucetWest Elm Pendant Light

Other Sources: Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, West Elm Canisters, Vintage Print, Tea Towels, Hand Soap, Marble Cutting Board, French Press, Cup & Saucer, Wood Cheese Board, Vintage Runner

Check out our Dining Room Reveal and more renovation posts!


  1. July 27, 2017 / 6:55 am

    I am obsessing over this kitchen! You did such an amazing job and I love how everything came together. Also your pink dining chairs… LOVE 🙂


    Lauren // http://www.mylifeaslaurr.com

  2. Jim
    July 27, 2017 / 9:25 am

    I have seen it in real life. It’s beautiful!

  3. Ashley DTKAustin
    July 27, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m in love!!! That backsplash is amazing!

  4. Susannah
    July 27, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I got here via semihandmade’s instagram. First of all, this is beautiful!!! You did such a great job! Do you have any pics of the Before? I’m having trouble visualizing the layout before based on your description. Thank you!

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Hi Susannah! Thanks for visiting! I’m so glad you like our kitchen. You can see some images of the before via this link: https://www.avintagesplendor.com/home-update-kitchen-before-inspiration/ Essentially, where the stove and hood were, there was a wall/backsplash so when I was cooking, I couldn’t see into the dining room. There was a small doorway next to the stove but the kitchen still felt closed off so that’s the wall we knocked down and then extended the counter a bit.

      When I’m cooking now, I can interact with the dining room and see into our patio/deck area (we have sliding glass doors all along the other wall). I hope that helps!

  5. July 27, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    So in love with your kitchen! The cabinets are so different!

  6. July 27, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Your kitchen is FAB! Absolutely love the decor– great job!

  7. Sarah K Tripp
    July 30, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Your backsplash is everything!!!! So chic!

  8. August 2, 2017 / 6:39 am

    I am completely obsessed with your kitchen!! It’s so chic and your decor is gorgeous

  9. August 2, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Oh my goodness, this is BEAUTIFUL! Now I am in the mood to redo my kitchen!


  10. Lisa C
    September 10, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Would you mind sharing a link or name for your faucet? It is gorgeous!

  11. November 8, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Hi! I’d love to know more details about your floor tiles! We live in OC and could certainly look at the place where you got yours. Could you let me know the name, style, etc? Looks great!

    • November 9, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Hi Rachel! We got our floor tiles and countertop from Choice Granite in Pasadena. The style is GT101 which is a quartz tile similar to a terrazzo. I believe it is $9.00 per sqft. This type of tile comes in a lot of finishes. A lot of vendors should carry it, but if they don’t in the OC, then Greg at Choice definitely has it. We decided to do the grout white to keep it looking super clean and modern; however, it requires regular cleaning to keep it clean. I recommend sealing the tile and grout as soon as it’s installed to keep it looking crisp white! I hope this helps!

  12. January 6, 2018 / 11:12 pm

    Such lovely counter tops 😉
    – Greg from Choice Granite

  13. Leslie
    January 7, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    Hi- wondering about that cabinet hardware?
    Beautiful modern kitchen. Came together really well.

    • January 7, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you Leslie! The hardware (cabinet pulls) are from the original kitchen. They match all of the pulls and handles in the house so we kept them.

      • Leslie
        January 11, 2018 / 4:08 pm

        Oh great! My house (1962) had similar original hardware- chrome in the bathrooms and copper-plated in the kitchen, dining and hall. Sadly, the kitchen’s hardware is pretty corroded. Not sure if I can get them replated, or what.

        • January 16, 2018 / 8:19 am

          I think you should try to get them replated. Our kitchen hardware was covered in a layer of lacquer that my husband cleaned one at a time with a solution and scrubber. Lots of work, but well worth it!

          • Leslie
            January 25, 2018 / 7:45 pm

            I will let you know if I do!

  14. Janet
    January 20, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    What color grout did you use with the Escher tiles? It looks amazing.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      Thank you Janet! I don’t remember the exact color but we selected a darker grey. I believe the color is readily available since we picked it from a box of grout colors from our installer. I hope that helps!

  15. Cathy Meyer
    April 2, 2018 / 7:38 am

    Love this!

  16. Ana
    July 31, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing… love how your kitchen turned out and I’m still trying to convince my family to with ikea cabinets.

  17. Susan
    November 19, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Can you share what kind of kitchen sink you installed?

  18. Angel
    January 13, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    I’ve been looking at these cabinet doors by semihandmade. I’m curious how they’ve held up?

    • January 16, 2019 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Angel. It’s been 3 years and the cabinets still look great! We’re so happy with our kitchen and everything is still working and looking like new. I hope that helps! xx

  19. Jessica
    February 3, 2019 / 9:24 pm

    Where is your kitchen light fixture from?

  20. Jenilee
    April 12, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    I love you countertops. Do you recall what color they are? We are looking to do a similar theme in our reno and debating between a couple of whites by MSI quartz. Your kitchen came together beautifully. Love your style!

    • April 15, 2019 / 9:30 am

      Thanks Jenilee. The color is “Snow White”. I hope that helps!

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