Country Sampler Special Edition
COOL GRAY SOPHISTICATION
See how this Minnesota family turned their decades-old wood and wallpaper kitchen into an updated space with a touch of farmhouse glam.
The Fritsch family’s kitchen got a revamp from top to bottom in light gray and white tones.
Emily and David Fritsch have lived in their late-1970s Minnesota home for only about five years, but in that short time, they’ve remodeled nearly every room in the house. One of the first areas they tackled was the dated kitchen, with its vertically paneled oak cabinets and wallpapered soffits. From demolition to completion, the kitchen remodel took about two months, and during that time, a lot of planning, preparation and manual labor turned the 1970s country-style kitchen into a bright and modern farmhouse space with a touch of glam.
“When David and I bought our house, we did not have a lot of experience with home improvements or remodeling,” Emily says. “In order to save money, we needed to take the time to learn how to complete the projects we envisioned for our home by ourselves. With a lot of help from my parents and YouTube, we have become pretty handy.”
The plan for the new kitchen—the biggest project for the couple thus far—involved removing the old cabinets and installing new white ones, making slight changes in the arrangement to accommodate new stainless-steel appliances and to straighten out the island peninsula. The modern Shaker-style cabinets go all the way to the ceiling, which necessitated removal of the soffits. The old wall oven and cooktop were swapped for a slide-in range, allowing for the refrigerator to be repositioned slightly to make room for a larger pantry cabinet. The desk area next to the original refrigerator was redone to create a small storage and work space that features pretty glass-fronted wall cabinets with an attached wine rack. All the new cabinets were enhanced with sleek 7" stainless-steel pulls and topped with new quartz countertops
in a gray-and-white marbled finish called Everest.
Once the old cabinets were removed, Emily and David decided to tackle the ceiling before installing the new cabinets. However, after scraping off the old popcorn finish, they discovered the underlying drywall job wasn’t great. So, they brainstormed ways to hide it instead. Emily came up with the idea of a planked ceiling that would give the kitchen some shiplap styling. They set to work and installed different lengths of tongue-andgroove wood planks, which they sanded and painted white. The ceiling was definitely the hardest part of the remodel, according to Emily.
“We planked the ceilings ourselves and had to finish quickly due to the new cabinets being delivered and installed only a few days after we decided we wanted to plank the ceiling,” she notes. After the ceiling was finished, the new cabinets went in, and glossy gray subway tiles replaced the old backsplash.
The other large project involved replacing the previous flooring with a new embossed gray oak laminate that features soft brown undertones. The flooring has an authentic texture and a coloring that blends well with the cabinets and countertops.
A few more additions finalized the makeover. An electrician installed recessed lighting in the ceiling, and Emily found the perfect antique-silver pendant lamp to hang over her sink. For seating at the peninsula, she purchased counter-height gray upholstered stools decorated with gold nail-head trim. A few months later, the Fritsches added board-and-batten paneling to the accent wall in the breakfast nook and the kitchen remodel was complete.
“This space is now so bright and inviting, I think I might actually enjoy cooking,” Emily says.
Visit Emily’s blog at https://liliesandlife.com, or follow her on Facebook at www. facebook.com/liliesandlifehome or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/liliesandlife.
“This space is now so bright and inviting, I think I might actually enjoy cooking. ”