Well, after months of planning, painting and microwaved meals, the finished product is finally here–a brand new kitchen!

The final touch to the space was our cabinets. My wife and I both agreed that the cabinetry had to fit with the house, maybe either a Craftsman or Shaker style. We started our search at Home Depot for ideas, but knew we would end up at Artisan Cabinetry, a local custom cabinet company. At first, I envisioned  light honey for our stain color, but soon realized it would contrast too heavily against our dark wood floors. My wife suggested a more natural or darker stain, and suggested we go with a cherry wood grain instead of oak. We made our decision–natural cherry cabinets.

When the cabinets arrived on installation day, everything came in pieces–and some of those pieces were big! Note to others doing kitchen remodels: Make sure to tell your supplier the size of your door openings. Luckily, I was able to remove the patio doors to allow for all the cabinet components to make it into the kitchen. Installation took about three days, including some minor hiccups, but the cabinets look great.

Old cabinets

New cabinets

Getting the countertops installed took a little longer, about three weeks. We had to wait for the cabinets to be installed so the countertop people could then measure and install. We wanted to find countertops that would go with the cabinets and also with the style and color of our sink. We chose Cambria quartz countertops in Sutton, sort of a tan base color. For our kitchen sink, we went with a cast iron, Kohler® Deerfield undercounter sink in Cashmere, a medium gray color. Everything blends really nicely.

The bridge style faucet was another attempt to work in our design theme of a Craftsman-style kitchen. We chose the Kohler Parq faucet in stainless steel with a matching sidespray and soap dispenser.

Old sink

New sink

For our appliances, we chose stainless steel and my only real must-have: a gas cooktop. We despised our old electric version, and as an avid cook, I need a cooktop I like.

From our wishlist came the SoundTile® speakers. We love music–and a wide variety of music at that–so we wanted to incorporate speakers into the ceiling of the kitchen and dining area. Kohler makes SoundTiles for showers, and we thought it would be great to have them in the kitchen.

Another high-tech feature is our lighting. If you ever have the chance to go to BBC Lighting in Milwaukee, I highly recommend it. We ended up purchasing a light fixture for over the dining table that moves up and down; we saw it in a catalog. We also got some pendant lights for over the island. They’re made of German glass and are really beautiful.

Kristin’s only must-have was a wood table, custom made by a local antique store owner, Jay, of Three Barns Full. Jay made a beautiful table using old wood as the top, with thick legs. We ordered the dining chairs from Chairs1000.com in a simple black back with cherry wood seat. The island stools are from Target, and we got the rug from Nest, another great shop in Sheboygan. It really ties the living room and kitchen together.

Finally, we incorporated some old furniture pieces from each of our grandmothers, which are in the dining area. We also added a small desk organizer that we had custom built by Dovetail Woodworking. It gives the space a bit of an eclectic feel, mixing old with new.

Everything came together beautifully, and we were able to use all our old dishes and display some pieces and collectables in the glass-front cabinets. The end result is beyond our expectations. It was awesome watching everything come to life. We enjoy our kitchen every day and we have been doing a lot of entertaining!

Hopefully my project helped shed a little light on kitchen remodeling. If you’ve got any questions or stories about your remodel process, I’d love to hear them.


Since 1873, Kohler Co. has been improving the level of gracious living among its customers by providing exceptional products and services for the home. As a recognized global brand, Kohler leads the way in design, craftsmanship and innovation. Kohler's product offering spans across all price points, offering consumers a wide variety of options in kitchen and bath fixtures, faucets, and more.

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