Diary of a Renovation: Planning the Design Direction

April 29, 2015

This is the fifth installment in a series chronicling the renovation of our contributing editor Karin Lidbeck Brent’s classic Cape Cod home. You can read part one of the series here.

The design of the kitchen was a driving force in making interior design decisions due to its central location and the first floor’s open floor plan. I had strong ideas from the beginning about the look and feel of the kitchen, but in I really needed the help of kitchen designer to actually execute my ideas. I turned to friend and designer Rebecca Reynolds. Rebecca wanted me to focus becoming “visually invested” in the design, so we began with style and color.

I wanted something more playful than a white kitchen. I know its cliché, but I was inspired by the colors of the Cape Cod landscape, the sand, the sea, the scrubby pine, and sky. I taped numerous chips to my design book that goes with me everywhere to keep me on track.

Cape Cod Renovation

This picture my family walking on my favorite Chatham beach sums up that quintessential cape cod color for me.

Rebecca and I started with a field trip to pick the cabinetry. This is where the advice of a pro really helps move things along. Like most people, I can be trapped in the cycle of decision making for way too long and a professional gets things going and helps filter out the endless choices.

cape cod renovation paint palette

We decided to use Crystal Cabinets because they make custom cabinets at an affordable price. It is a family owned company with American-made, quality-crafted cabinets in real wood. The cabinet selections were impressive and I really liked the fact that they could color match any paint from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams.

Rebecca’s advice was to find the stone you love, and then let the final picks of kitchen color evolve from there. This was great advice, because the large island is a central focus and I want it to make a statement. With my chips of paint in hand we made multiple trips to stone suppliers from Connecticut to Massachusetts looking at all our options. Finally working with Granite World Stone Center in Harwich, Massachusetts, I found the countertop material I loved, with subtle shades of blue and greens.


cape cod renovation

cape cod renovation

With the stone selected, more and more of the elements in the kitchen began to come together. This moodboard demonstrates that we finally have a clear direction. Paradise Blue marble from Granite World, Crystal Cabinet Works' "Danbury" door in sunwashed grey and quartersawn oak, floashmount Eastmoreland pendants from Rejuvenation Lighting

cape cod renovation collage

Read the other blog posts in the series here: 

Post 1 – Getting Started

Post 2 – Hiring the Right Team

Post 3 – Creating a Home with Great Bones

Post 4 – Designing as you Go 

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