Hana’s House

The Kitchen Remodel

Buying our house, we knew the kitchen would be a big project that would need to happen. In the new house, we felt we were upgrading that space a bit because the kitchen was open to other areas of the house… but we lost a full walk-in pantry with 9ft ceilings and lost some counter space our old house had. 

The plan was always to expand it but knew it would be a big undertaking and a high budget home remodeling project so we pushed it off for a bit. 

Before:  The situation and the frustrations

In the three or four years since we bought the house and when we actually became serious about the kitchen, we chatted about it often when family and friends were over. What we thought we would do, when we might do the project,etc. In that time we had good ideas to reimagine the house overall- the best idea was to swap the spaces so the kitchen was in our current playroom instead of just expanding it (we have to contend with some weird angles and beams due to the way the addition was built).

Like so many, being home more during the pandemic brought our house frustrations to the forefront and we were using our kitchen more than ever before. The inadequacies of the space, being a main thoroughfare of traffic, lack of counter space, and other frustrations were highlighted to the point where it became the next major project to tackle. 

I started talking to our designer, Andy Pauldine, in late 2021 that we were going to have the project upcoming and what we were going to be doing and said we were looking to do begin the process after the holidays.

Kitchen Remodel Hana before picture
Kitchen Remodel Hana Kitchen Before
Kitchen Remodel: Hana Kitchen Before

Follow along on Hana’s kitchen remodel journey.  Next step, meet with the kitchen designer.


This step was the most fun for me personally because it was the ‘we’re actually starting the remodel!’ moment. As I am in Capitol’s showrooms often and have previously designed kitchens, this is when we actually started putting pen to paper to design the Sullenger Kitchen!

This appointment was about an hour or so and we were able to show Andy what we had previously discussed. We expanded upon how we use our kitchen, our frustrations in our current kitchen, and our wants/desires in the new kitchen. 

In our kitchen remodel we are actually moving the kitchen to another part of the house so the visual was very important to assist with the design. 

Our Kitchen Planning Guide information was very helpful to have for this discussion. 

You can check out my video here and see my filled out guide. This showcases our various items we need to consider and helps us put into writing the aspects we want to address with the remodel. 


We got a first design from Andy a few weeks after our house measure and set up a followup for my husband and I to come into the showroom to discuss it and look at finishes. We reviewed the initial design- what we liked about it, things we were concerned about, suggestions, etc. We talked through with Andy how we would use the new kitchen to make sure the design worked for us. 

 When we talked at our in home design meeting, I listed off several things I had envisioned in what the space would look like and that I’d like to have in there. Andy did a great job making sure those items (a dedicated coffee bar, a low seating area with drawers under the window) were in there. But unfortunately those items detracted from the overall kitchen in how we would use it and look we wanted so we had to move in a bit of a different direction. 

During our time with Andy we were able to prioritize what WAS most important to us. This is always a challenge for those remodeling – especially if you are expanding your space or changing your layout. It is very important to have your list of wants- and all your wants. But to know what items on that list are More important than others is imperative for a smooth remodeling process. 

If you are unsure of that list or those priorities keep changing, the design will never be set and you will never be able to move forward. 

After working through the design we looked at samples to narrow down what doorstyles, wood, and colors/stains we would want. I personally had a hard time with this – much to Andy’s and my husband Mike’s amusement. I always loved when new samples came into the showroom – and the showroom staff would discuss the new styles. What type of kitchens it would work with, other coordinating colors and countertops, if it was their personal style, etc. We have a display in Saratoga I’ve LOVED since we put it in – but Mike flat out said NO to putting in our house. So I had lots of ideas of various styles I liked- but I never narrowed it down to one option. 

The actual process took a while- probably 45 minutes of going through the samples and the different brands to ensure we were in the right brand. We decided we wanted to do two tones as we were going to have lots of cabinets and I wanted a color in our kitchen. I knew I didn’t want a white/cream color or a straight gray. So I pulled various blue and green paints and narrowed that down to 2 or 3 choices. Then I started to look for colors to match. Mike likes wood tones and seeing the grain and I don’t like too much grain (like an Oak) so we tried to focus on samples that had those features. Andy suggested we stick with an Alder wood to get the wood grain for Mike and coordinate well with the paint door style. 

We got down to 2 choices – what we called the ‘Green Option’ and the ‘Blue Option’. For each we chose a door style that would coordinate with the overall feel of the choices. Andy walked us through the various construction types (ie: Mieter door) to consider and what would be best for the cabinets to last long term without seams cracking over time. 

We coordinated our final choices with a Cambria Quartz countertop and faucet finishes for a complete look. Recording our choices, we borrowed the samples to see it at home in our space, in our lighting, and to determine which way to go. 


getting started on your kitchen remodel
Kitchen Cabinets and Countertop
Kitchen Countertops and Cabinets
two tone cabinets


Andy updated our design with our color choices. Initially we had discussed that to do all of the lower cabinets and island in the painted color it might be too much blue or green. But after seeing the design it was WAY to brown and because our kitchen is long- the blue was really only visible on one end of the island. 

 Andy updated the design to have all lower cabinets in blue and only uppers/tall cabinets in brown and as soon as I saw it- I knew that was my kitchen!

 The next step was to review our cabinets, ensure that the drawers vs cabinets were all what we wanted and to look at storage solutions to ensure we had any of those incorporated as well. 

 Because our kitchen is doubling in size and everything is moving- I had to spend time going through our current kitchen (and pantry, and closet, and basement) to see all the kitchen items we had and to account for where they would go. From here I could better see if we needed more or less drawers. I also looked at Woodland’s site and their storage options (https://woodlandcabinetry.com/explore-woodland-cabinetry-products/smart-organization/) to see what we would want to incorporate. 

 If you are not replacing your current kitchen with the exact same layout and cabinets- I strongly recommend doing what I did. Label where everything would go. This will make sure you have the storage and organization you need and nothing gets missed. We never want someone to finish their kitchen install and then be disappointed because it doesn’t function properly.

We’ll help you get the kitchen or bath you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford. These planning guides are filled with our advice and tips, to remodeling smarter and getting the best kitchen or bath—for less.

Kitchen Planning Guide

Kitchen Planning Guide

Whether your kitchen is past due for a makeover or you’re only dreaming about what could be, start with our Kitchen Planning Guide.

Bathroom Planning Guide

Bathroom Planning Guide

Whether your bathroom is past due for a makeover or you’re only dreaming about what could be, start with our Bathroom Planning Guide.

Kitchen Remodel Checklist

Kitchen Remodel Checklist

Remodeling a kitchen is a big undertaking. Before you start, consult this checklist to avoid delays and extra costs.

Bathroom Remodel Checklist

Bathroom Remodel Checklist

Before you start your remodeling project, review this checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the necessary bases.