Anytime I post a picture of our kitchen, I usually get asked a TON of questions. What kind of counter is that, what’s the flooring like, how easy is that backsplash to clean…Today on the blog I’m sharing my ultimate guide to our kitchen renovation. I’ll be talking about where we saved money, and of course, where we spent money, wisely and not so wisely 😉 Read on for more, and feel free to email me or leave a comment if I did not answer your question!!!

Kitchen Do's and Don'ts

  • Counters: Splurge or Save?
    Don’t let that marble looking counter fool you. It’s not marble! This is probably my most asked question! We opted for a ‘Super Grey’ Quartzite, which in some stores is categorized as granite. We found it went by both names depending on which vendor we were shopping at. Ok, so it’s still pricey. BUT, it’s not as pricey as marble. While I initially dreamt of a perfectly white kitchen with gorgeous marble counters, I ultimately decided to be a little more practical. The grey breaks up the all white, and while it does stain over time, it has a better resistance than marble. I’m a messy cook and we don’t even have kids yet so this just seemed the best way to go!! Tip: Just make sure to pick the slab yourself! I made sure mine had as few dark grey veins as possible
  • Cabinet Fixtures: Splurge or Save?
    This one was a hard purchase to initially justify. For all of you who haven’t bought a home or renovated a kitchen yet: the handles do NOT come with the cabinets!! Since we were doing a full gut job on our kitchen, I searched high and low for more cost effective cabinet fixtures but in the end, these Restoration Hardware ones won out. Everything else looked, for lack of a better word, cheap. And let me tell you, the fixtures are one of the most admired details of my kitchen when I have guests over. It just ties everything in together!! It’s definitely a splurge you may think not necessary, but that last detail is just so important!!
  • Splurge and Steals: My Kitchen Reno

  • Backsplash: Splurge or Save?
    I am so glad we went with a basic white subway tile. I initially picked it out for purely aesthetic reasons but I’m happy that’s the one we chose. Why? Well, it’s so easy to clean. Especially the ones behind the stove. They get covered in grease and sauce all the time!! I can’t imagine maintaining a marble backsplash or anything higher end.
  • White Subway Tile Backsplash

  • Light Fixtures: Splurge or Save?
    Splurge or find a really good knockoff!!
    Like the handle fixtures, our lights are always complimented. More so than our cabinets, our chairs, our counters and so on. A little bit of polish (pun intended) goes a long way in tying a room together. We went with these pendants here, and while I haven’t seen these ones in person, they do seem pretty similar and at a much better cost.
  • Kitchen Saves and Splurges

  • Flooring: Splurge or Save?
    Two exclamation points needed for that one because everyone is always surprised to see that our floors are actually porcelain and not hardwood. Because our washer dryer is right off of the kitchen, we opted for porcelain immediately. I’ve heard too many horror stories of dishwasher leaks and so on to even take the risk. Plus it’s so easy to clean! Sure hardwood looks great, but there’s the rest of the house for that!!
  • Bar stools: Splurge or Save?
    A little of column A, a little of column B.
    I found all sorts of prices when looking for barstools and we ended up going right down the middle of the path. These CB2 stools added a little bit of a modern touch and are super easy to clean and maintain.
  • CB2 Ghost Bar Stools

Cabinets and appliances are a bit tricker to navigate. They entirely depend on your financial situation! We went with wooden cabinets and splurged a bit on our appliances. This is the house we want to grow old in (hopefully with not too many wrinkles) so it was an easy justification. Planning on moving within a few years? Well than perhaps MDF is a better cost effective alternative!! Feel free to comment with any other questions you have, I think I covered most of it!! xx

A huge thanks to Aura Design for the gorgeous blooms in these shots!
Photography by Lisa Renault Photographie

It's a Sparkly Life Kitchen Reveal Kitchen Renovations: Steals and Splurges | It's a Sparkly Life My Kitchen Reveal


  1. Heather
    June 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm (7 months ago)

    Do you know the exact white that was used on the kitchen cabinets?

    • G.
      June 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm (7 months ago)

      The white came straight from the cabinet maker- they had four finishes of white, I don’t believe there is a standard paint equivalent! Our moldings are Benjamin Moore OC-118 Snowfall White and they are extremely similar!


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