Warrenville Couple Gets Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

white farmhouse kitchen with stackable washer dryerThis busy bohemian couple aspired to remodel their quaint kitchen, one day. As outdoor enthusiasts, updating the interior of their home often fell to the wayside, until they remodeled their family room and experienced the impact it made. They wanted to fall in love with their kitchen in the same way and called on Normandy Designer Laura Barber to partner with them on their project.

Naturally, when a couple has been planning a remodel for long a time, they’ve accumulated bits and pieces to incorporate. “They wanted a fresh, crisp farmhouse kitchen that expressed their love of nature and their eclectic personalities. Armed with a beautiful, patterned accent tile she’d been saving, and a rich antique table, we designed a space for better functionality with a few upgrades,” says Laura.

farmhouse kitchen BEFORE with outdated cabinetry and window above sink

The renovation would be limited to the existing kitchen footprint, and it was critical that every item had a purpose and fit in its designated place. “We got creative with the design and looked for tricks to make the most of every inch. Every element in this kitchen has a very specific, intentional purpose that we thoroughly scrutinized to make sure it earned its place in the design,” Laura says.

stackable washer dryer unit with blue hutch in farmhouse kitchenIn European fashion, their washing machine and dryer are located in the kitchen. “To create more space, we began by swapping out their side-by-side washer and dryer for a stackable unit that was also more pleasing to the room’s aesthetic,” Laura says. “Utilizing the extra space created, we installed a blue hutch just inside their entrance door that acts as a perfect drop spot for keys and phones, as well as a storage area for large bags of dog food.” The wall features beadboard for durability while adding farmhouse charm and is equipped with hooks for dog leashes and coats.

“Beyond incorporating her tile as an accent above the oven and the antique table as a butcher block next to the sink, we added crystal knobs on the cabinet doors, which added to the kitchen’s vintage feeling,” says Laura. “The countertops are quartz, in a honed matte finish which looks like soapstone and compliments the down-to-earth style of the kitchen so nicely.”

full size washer dryer in kitchen BEFOREeat in area with window bench in white farmhouse kitchenTo maximize every inch of space, we incorporated a bench with lift up storage that offers additional seating to complement their existing table and chairs, flanked by a small but purposeful counter and cabinet. “They wanted to keep their bill paying station in the kitchen space,” says Laura.

“One the biggest surprises we made was removing the drop ceiling and discovering we could raise the ceiling height to 9.5’. This allowed for a vaulted ceiling which really opened up the space nicely,” Laura adds.

Using durable materials was important for their particular space. “They board horses and are often in and out from the barn, with dogs in tow, so we opted for a beautiful vinyl floor. The wood-look flooring is hearty yet stays true to the fresh farmhouse appeal.”BEFORE kitchen dining area

“This kitchen was a vision years in the making and I’m so excited I got to partner with this couple to help them achieve a kitchen they absolutely adore,” Laura says.

We love to help families create truly unique spaces in their home, and our aim with each project is to reflect the character of the family who lives there. If you have been collecting ideas for a kitchen remodel or addition to your home, give Laura a call to set up a meeting. In the meantime, you can read our series on what a remodeling journey really looks like or peruse our collections of project photos on Facebook or Instagram.

white farmhouse kitchen with dark countertops and beadboard walls  farmhouse kitchen BEFORE with outdated cabinetry

When All-White Won’t Do, Consider the Softer Side of Blue

soft blue tile backsplash with stainless steel hood, white cabinetryWhite kitchens have been popular for some time, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. Perhaps you, too, are drawn to the flexibility of an all-white or soft gray kitchen, but you’d like to incorporate another shade to soften the sterile look and feel of stark white. Normandy Designer Ashley Noethe suggests using a softer shade of blue.

“Blue is a popular color for interiors now, but not just the bold and bright varieties. As a color often found in nature, a soft blue evokes the sense of relaxation and calm, which is a sentiment that many people want to invite into their homes,” Ashley says.

The color blue is often recommended for bathrooms, because of its correlation to water, but Ashley says that a soft blue can really go anywhere you want to convey the feeling of tranquility. “It works well in bedrooms and living rooms, as well as kitchens and dining rooms.”

“In the design world, a soft shade of blue is a versatile choice that can be incorporated in a modern or traditional style, depending on what it’s paired with. Blue works with both warm and cool undertones of wood as well different finishes of metals,” Ashley says.

home wet bar with blue cabinets, floating shelves, and blue backsplash tile“For kitchens, I love a variegated blue tile backsplash against gold or brushed nickel fixtures,” says Ashley. “Black hardware is also having a moment and is striking when matched with soft blue walls or painted cabinetry. If you’re after a vintage feel, consider an oil rubbed bronze light fixture or faucet. The right shade of blue lends nicely to the warmer undertones and creates a fresh aesthetic.”

If you’re still apprehensive about adding color to your remodeling project, Ashley says you can be confident that blue will stand the test of time. “Opting for blue in more substantial pieces such as tile or cabinetry is a safe choice when you want to incorporate a color while retaining its timelessness,” Ashley says. And since blue fits so nicely with different tones, it will remain relevant as the white and gray cabinets make way for beige tones.”

Whether blue is in your color wheelhouse, or you’re thinking of another shade for your upcoming remodeling project, give Ashley a call to discuss your ideas. In the meantime, you can find all of your color or neutral palette inspirations on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.


traditional kitchen in soft barely blue  primary bathroom with a double vanity and blue backsplash tile

light gray kitchen with soft blue backsplash tile  soft blue kitchen island with pillars. beverage center with open front cabinets and soft blue backsplash

modern fireplace with light blue hexagon tiles and wall paneling   

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