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This post is written in partnership with Kusaka Builders and ADU Appliances.

Before I share my big kitchen reveal, I wanted to chat with you a little bit about my kitchen design thoughts and the remodeling process. I am also sharing some inspiration photos, and how I landed on the final design decisions. I have dabbled a bit in sprucing up our home, but this was my first ever complete remodel. I knew I wanted bright and airy with a coastal vibe. I absolutely love the beach and living so close to the water, I wanted a casual and comfortable beach house feel to reflect that, My entire before space was beige and brown, so I always joked about de-browning my space.


Before I share the process, I wanted to share some before kitchen photos with you. This was quite literally a builder-grade kitchen. Cheap cabinets, granite counters, and beige backsplash tile with no attention to detail. You can see in the image below that the backsplash extends beyond the cabinets and it drove me absolutely crazy. The outlets were installed crooked, things like that. We lived in this house and with this kitchen for 5 years before doing the remodel, so we knew the space well. I knew what I wanted out of my new space and what currently wasn’t working for me. I had a very deep pantry space, which made it super difficult to keep an organized space. It was hard to see what was in the back of the cabinet, so it was always a mess with a lot of double and triple items because I didn’t know what I had.


I had a very deep pantry space, which made it super difficult to keep an organized space. It was hard to see what was in the back of the cabinet, so it was always a mess with a lot of double and triple items because I didn’t know what I had.

We had absolutely no venting system and our microwave was above our stove, so whenever we cooked something, my entire house would smell like a diner for hours afterward.

My kitchen island was tiny and only seated 2 people. Also, the way it was situated, the people sitting at the island would have their backs to the people sitting in the living room, so it wasn’t conducive to conversation.

I hated that my cabinets didn’t go to the ceiling so there was always dust and dirt on the top to keep clean


When it came to budget, we aren’t sure how long we will be in this home so we wanted to upgrade the space, but have it be middle of the road budget-wise. Not super high-end and not the most inexpensive solution either. I wanted bang for my buck. Not a Ferrari and not a Honda, but somewhere in between. I wanted a comfortable, practical space where people would feel at home and I wouldn’t have to worry about chasing them around with a coaster because their drink would leave a mark on my counter.

I created a wishlist of all the things I would like to see in my new space, along with some inspiration photos, as well as my budget, and met with John Odahara from Kusaka Builders to discuss my plans. The minute I met John, I knew I wanted him to be in charge of the project. He listened to all of my concerns, ideas, and what I wanted out of the space and also contributed some of his own ideas to help me visualize my ideas and create a practical space maximizing every inch I had to work with. He spent over an hour at my house, taking measurements and detailed notes and he went throughout my entire home and even crawled underneath to figure out how everything was currently connected and how he could check off every item on my wishlist. He never once told me it wasn’t possible with my budget and helped me figure out where to splurge and where to save. I was so impressed with his professionalism and his calm demeanor that I told him I would love to work with him, after our initial consultation. Even my son commented on his calm presence and soothing voice.

I created a vision board, along with some inspiration pictures for him and then John created a rendering of my new space. After a few revisions, we settled on a design and set a date for the renovation to begin. Everything moved a lot quicker than anticipated and John was with me every step of the way. From picking out a countertop to choosing my final finish of our wooden floors



Here is a ist of everything we did during the remodeling process:

Complete Kitchen RemodelRefinish Floors

Add wainscoting to the dining room and paint all the walls on the entire bottom floor

Install new vanity in the powder room and add wainscoting.

Change the fireplace tile, add a mantle, and close the wall. Mount TV

The whole thing basically turned into an entire remodel of our bottom floor.


When it came to appliances, John told me what I needed and I met with the wonderful Christy Oliff at ADU Appliances to help me pick out what I needed. I wasn’t too particular about the brand, but I knew I wanted stainless steel and my one request was an oven that also had an air fryer option. Christy and Rob met with me and walked me through their entire showroom and helped me pick out exactly what I needed within my budget. With a tight timeline, they did everything in their power to expedite the process and make sure I had my applianced on time. Christy pulled inventory from a few of her locations to ensure the remodeling process would proceed within my deadline. The only thing I had to wait for was my oven, which also ended up arriving way earlier than predicted thanks to her dedication and persistence. If you are local and are in need of appliances, I HIGHLY recommend you visit ADU appliances. You will get a customer experience like no other. They are a family-run, woman-owned business, with 7 locations throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. I highly recommend them. They will work with your design and your budget to help you create exactly what you want. Tell them I sent you.


We set an April 4th start date with a 4-week timeline. It worked well for us, as we were going to be in Arizona for spring break for a good chunk of the renovation. There were a few hiccups along the way, but nothing unmanageable and we finished the project in about 5 weeks. I have a story highlight on my Instagram, where I share more behind the scenes of the entire process.

I truly couldn’t love my new kitchen more and I can’t wait to share it with you all.


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