Pinterest and a Plan: James Shares His Kitchen Inspiration & Budget

Pinterest and a Plan: James Shares His Kitchen Inspiration & Budget

Renovation Diary
Jan 5, 2017
(Image credit: Stadshem via My Domaine)

Name: James
Type of Project: Kitchen Remodel
Location: Prospect Heights — Brooklyn, New York
Type of building: One Bedroom Co-op

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

James designed his kitchen himself (round of applause) so there was some serious pinteresting going down in the planning phase. He walks us through some of the most inspiring photos, and his estimates for how much it'll cost to turn his dreams into reality. Take a look and see if you can spot them in the final space!

Here's a little bit from James about his inspiration and plans:

My apartment is in a building that was constructed in 1910, and while everything in the kitchen will be new, I'd like it to feel contextual. I love modern kitchens, but not in this particular space. I also want something that will have broad aesthetic appeal, yet still reflect my personal style – clean, uncluttered, bright, mixing mid-century with antiques.

→ Ready for More? Read James' complete Renovation Diary series right now.

Since the project is relatively straightforward, I decided to do most of the design myself. That said, I definitely consulted friends with a design or architecture background. Here's what I'm thinking:

An early rendering
(Image credit: James)
(Image credit: Cle Tile)

I think encaustic cement tiles are really beautiful. Choosing a pattern for the floor will likely be the most difficult design decision. I prefer matte surfaces and muted tones – grays, whites – to bright colors with sheen. I'd like the transition from the living space to the kitchen to be as seamless as possible. I might consider extending the wood floors (which were recently refinished) into the kitchen. I've also considered exposing the brick walls after seeing my neighbor's apartment.

Materials I plan on using:

  • Encaustic cement tiles
  • Paintable cabinet doors
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Marble or soapstone countertops

I've hired a general contractor. The plumbing and electrical work should be minimal, though professionals will be on hand as needed. At first I thought I might do some of the demolition myself to save on costs, but I was quickly talked out of that. Our work agreement states that I will supply most of the materials.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)



  • Demolition: $2,700 (includes: removal of wall, all kitchen cabinets and appliances, dropped ceiling soffit, and tile)
  • Electrical: $650 (includes: relocating various outlets/switches, updating lighting)
  • Plumbing: $800 (update waste lines, sink supply and install all appliances)
  • Carpentry: $4,500 (includes: custom shelving, skim-coating, fixing subfloor, installing cabinets, matching baseboards as needed, installing crown molding in bedroom, tile work, etc.)
  • Overhead: $1,350
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000

Total: Estimated at $12,000


  • Refrigerator: $1,700
  • Dishwasher: $800
  • Range: $2,100


  • Sink: $400
  • Faucet: $300
  • Hardware: $200

Cabinets and Countertops:

  • Countertop: $1,800
  • Cabinetry: $2,000


  • Tile: $600 for 45 square feet


  • Paint: $200

Grand Total: $18,300

→ Keep on Reading: James' complete Renovation Diary series

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