Our Kitchen Renovation 5 Years Later and What I’d Do Differently

loft kitchen renovation

It’s been about 5 years since we renovated our loft apartment, specifically the kitchen renovation. I wanted to look back on the process and share with you the things I’d do differently if I could do it all over again.

Lets start with some before photos. Hello 1990’s!

loft apartment kitchen renovation before

Note that this kitchen renovation was done in less than 1 month and my family and I work in the industry so I got a lot of deals on skilled trades and materials.

Things to make note of, the puke green on the walls, the purple beams and ceiling, the raised bar and the insanely awkward layout with the fridge, stove and dishwasher opening onto each other! There was also a half wall behind the sink that contained plumbing and electrical. It all had to go!

loft apartment kitchen renovation before

Here’s what it looked like fully gutted, the hole in the back wall shows through into the bathroom, we stole a bit of space from the bathroom closet to even out the wall in the kitchen and we extended the half wall behind the sink all the way up, since we couldn’t remove it. At this point we had also removed the laminate floors to reveal blue painted floors that we’d later struggle to remove, see more about that in this post.


Drywalled up and a mix of new cabinets and recycled cabinets. The doors are all new, but it just goes to show you that you can reuse old cabinet boxes if the layout is very simple and you don’t care what the inside looks like.

loft apartment kitchen renovation before

Here’s the after, we really simplified the layout and opened it up into the main living space.


Here’s what I’d do differently if I could do it all over again.

Laminate cabinets for the uppers, we did laminate for the lower cabinets, they are so low maintenance and wear so well, people mistake them for real wood. The painted uppers are harder to clean and the paint is already starting to chip. I might consider ordering new doors for the upper cabinets in 5 years, or wait 10 years and replace all of the doors for something totally different.

Gray grout for the backsplash, the white just doesn’t show off the tiles. I’d still do white tiles because they’re timeless.

Caesarstone quartz countertops, ours are Corian because we got an amazing deal.

LED under cabinet lighting, sadly 5 years ago the technology just wasn’t there, maybe one day we’ll upgrade the lighting, because the one’s we put in get so hot.

Connect proper venting for the hood fan. Our suite didn’t come with existing venting for the hood fan and we didn’t want to start cutting holes in walls and ceilings so we installed a charcoal filter recycled air hood fan, it’s so loud and doesn’t do much considering we cook every day.

Get a different range, we got a Maytag gas range, it was a good deal, but it’s been a pain from day 1, broken seals, leveling issues and mostly the grate on top corroded. My dream would be to own a Bertazzoni if I won the lottery.

Overall I’m generally happy with our decisions and love the more functional and brighter design.


I’m making a small but impactful change in the next few weeks, I’ve ordered some matte black pulls for the cabinets to change things up a bit without spending too much money and changing anything big, they’re from Marathon Hardware. I’ll also bring in some more black accents on our open shelving to help incorporate the black hardware into the design.

loft apartment kitchen

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