My Kitchen Makeover Revealed

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , By Catherine

I hinted about my kitchen makeover a few weeks ago, and now I am super excited to finally share pictures of the transformation with you!

As explained in a previous article, we purchased a house that was untouched since the 80s and renovating the kitchen was up high on the wish list. I am not going to lie, this project took longer than expected. That’s because 1) we did a complete overhaul, knocking down a wall and discovering asbestos in the process, 2) we did everything ourselves and 3) we did a lot of research… And I am saving you a bulk of time by telling you all about Kitch!

The Process

First, let me give you some context. For our new kitchen, I approached a rising architect, a talented interior designer, and a local carpenter. Their solutions were all beautiful and interesting. However, there were things we didn’t want to compromise on, like new flooring or a high quality stone countertop. Plus, we had to change all appliances… So our budget didn’t allow us to go for what the aforementioned professionals proposed. Unafraid of DIYs, we took this project into our own hands and went to IKEA instead.

The quality of the Swedish giant’s cabinets is totally acceptable, affordable, and they are guaranteed for 25 years. But I didn’t want a cookie-cutter look, and I certainly did not want the new kitchen to look quickly pieced together by two amateurs… We wanted to have a high level of detail and, most importantly, to create a space that felt like us and tailored to our lifestyle. After all, we were going to spend a considerable amount of money on this renovation and we were planning to live here for a while, so better do it well, right? Enters Kitch.

Founded in 2017 by Andrew Hibbs (read my interview with him to find out more), Kitch manufactures stylish fronts and side panels to customize IKEA products. The company promises a perfect balance between style and budget, with virtually endless possibilities. And the process is simple: Make a choice between slab or shaker doors, then select a premium finish and color. Share your IKEA plan with the Kitch team and place your order. Everything is delivered in 3-5 weeks, and you’ll pay between 25-50% less compared to a complete tailor-made option. You can either keep that money into your pocket, or splurge on a few amazing upgrades instead (which we did!).

Here are some pictures of my newly renovated kitchen.


Fronts & panels

These fronts and side panels from Kitch are made with Fenix NTM®. It is a super matte, soft to the touch, and also anti-fingerprint -Awesome when you have children and love dark cabinets (two things that usually don’t go hand in hand). Plus, it is highly durable, anti-bacterial, mould-proof, liquid repellent, resistant to scratches and dry heat. So many pros, and perfect for our family!

I wanted a black kitchen for so long, but in an unexpected twist of events, we ultimately chose to go for a green color. We were drawn to that muted shade that transforms beautifully with the light, and that reminds us of the surrounding nature. It gives a modern and edgy look to the space, while still being in character with the rest of the house. It has personality, but it is also classic and versatile.

The color scheme indeed gives us flexibility when it comes to faucet and hardware. We now opted for black, but in a few years, we can change it up for brass, chrome, wood or oiled bronze, and it will still look great. Longevity of the design, its ability to age well, was very important to us.



Worktops & backsplash

While I love the look and natural feel of marble, it wasn’t an option for us because of the upkeep. Yes, yes… Patina is what makes a stone so beautiful, but I am the kind of clumsy person who finds a way to dirty a clean shirt by 9h30 in the morning… And I couldn’t stand the thought of having red wine stains or etched spots from my morning lemon water within a week. So I wanted to spare me some anxiety and went for quartz instead. I am very happy with this stain-resistant (or “cath-proof”, as the running gag goes) option, and I think it looks great. It reflects the light around the room nicely, and I like the contrast of the white and grey stone with the dark cabinets.



We chose to hide appliances. The fridge, dishwasher, microwave and wine cooler are all hidden behind doors. Only exception: Our Bertazzoni cooking range which is our statement piece.





As previously mentioned, going for IKEA cabinets allowed us to free up some budget for extras and upgrades. The solid slab backsplash is one of my favorite elements of the design, as well as the waterfall countertop. I also enjoy our numerous accessories like drawer lights, mats, cutlery trays, and dividers; all non-essentials that make daily use more enjoyable.



We painted the walls in Gray Owl from Benjamin Moore. The floors are from Unik Parquet. I found the hardware in Sweden, and the faucet is from Riobel, a local company. We found two gorgeous Soft Edge stools by Hay at Jamais Assez, a nice little design shop in Montreal. I needed lights above the island for the photo shoot; We used two Romeo Louis pendants from Flos we already had. I didn’t planned on putting them up initially, but the look is growing on me!

The paintings is by me – Click here for more info.

Oh, and if you are curious, here are pictures from before we moved in:


If you’d like to know more about Kitch, check out their website! I highly recommend them.

Photos: Jolène Richer for Nordic Design

Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Kitch. I received a discount in exchange for visibility on my website. All words are my own. It is a company that I genuinely like and recommend. My partners contribute to the growth of Nordic Design, and I thank you for supporting them.



  1. Edward
    9 Oct 2019 / 20:55

    And where do the gorgeous hardwood floors come from???

    • 10 Oct 2019 / 20:56

      Hi Edward, thanks for your comment! They are from a Montreal-based company called Unik Parquet. It is oiled white oak.

  2. 10 Oct 2019 / 19:01

    This is really something! Amazing how you were able to get the look well “put together”, please mentor me! ?????

    • 10 Oct 2019 / 20:58

      Thank you so much Michelle! It was a lot of work, and lots of details to figure out… But I’ve taken notes during the entire process, and I’m looking into creating a little course to help people renovate their kitchen for less. Is that something you’d be interested in?

  3. Kim
    14 Oct 2019 / 11:45

    Love the dark green! Did you keep the wall cut out between the kitchen and living room? Would like to see a pic taken from the same angle as the “before” image.

  4. Emilie
    14 Oct 2019 / 23:35

    C’est vraiment magnifique! J’adore tous les détails, le tout est très inspirant.

  5. Tyler
    28 May 2020 / 21:34

    Which countertop did you go with? We’re in the process of re-doing our kitchen as well, and this looks close to what we’re looking for.

    Also, how high are your upper cabinets above the range? Is the bottom cover panel just shy of the cabinet depth with the lighting tucked in that space?

    • Catherine
      27 Sep 2021 / 21:27

      Oh my! Sorry for the very long delay… I just came across your comment…
      We cut the bottom panel to fit the range hood and about 1″ shy of the cabinet depth so we could insert a strip of LED light. For the height, we went with 28″, but the main thing to consider is the minimum height required by your range hood’s installation manual.

  6. Irena
    5 Aug 2020 / 13:30

    Wonderful job! How waid is your Bertazzoni? How much do you like it now as you have it for a while?
    Thank you..

    • 12 Aug 2020 / 09:34

      I absolutely love it! The induction top changed my life, I can be clumsy when I cook so it’s so much easier to clean up after a pot/pan overflowed, for instance. Worth the splurge!

  7. 18 Oct 2020 / 12:10

    Thanks for this post, Catherine! I’m planning a full kitchen reno early 2021, and Fenix plus “upgraded” Ikea were both on my list. Impressed to discover that Kitch has brought both together at a price point that might allow us to splurge on all-Miele appliances. Considering not just Fenix fronts, but also countertops. Did you work with your own contractor or did Kitch set you up with a trusted vendor?

    • Catherine
      19 Oct 2020 / 16:25

      Hi Kyle,
      Thank you for your comment! We did all the work ourselves! But more and more companies offer to build your Ikea kitchen for you. The panels were shipped at home (free shipping across Canada), ready to install. I am not sure I’d recommend countertops in Fenix, although I know it is possible. It does scratch easier than expected, and not everything you’ll see is repairable… But if you are careful and don’t drag pots and pans around, it might be fine. Just order a sample, and test it out :)

  8. Crystal
    29 Jan 2021 / 22:30

    So beautiful! Just wondering what appliances you went with? Assuming they had to be compatible with the kitch fronts?

    • Catherine
      8 Feb 2021 / 20:23

      Hi Crystal, Thank you!
      Kitch offers custom panels and they can be easily attached to any appliances that were designed to be built-in. So I didn’t even have to validate if my appliances were compatible! :)

  9. Esther Melamed
    30 Sep 2021 / 23:00

    Your kitchen turned out really great! I am just in the middle of a kitchen renovation – and also thinking of a dark green cabinet – what is the color you used? Is the quartz countertop Caesar stone? I have looked at so many quartz slabs that by now they all look alike! So hard to decide! Would appreciated your input, Catherine! Thanks!

    • Catherine
      1 Oct 2021 / 15:12

      Thank you, Esther! This is Fenix NTM in Verde Comodoro. I could try to color match it for you if you’d like!
      The quartz is Calacatta Gold by Silestone. It has a bit of brown to it, which I like because it adds a hint of warmth.
      I recommend you see large slabs before deciding on a countertop – The look is VERY different on a large surface compared to a small pocket-size sample.

  10. Amy
    23 Mar 2022 / 14:58

    Such a beautiful kitchen! I am in the planning stages of my own kitchen redo. May I ask what fridge you went with? A panel-ready fridge is my dream but I haven’t found any in my price range yet. Thank you!

    • Catherine
      4 Apr 2022 / 20:08

      Hi Amy, thank you for your comment!
      We went for a DIY built-in fridge. Having recently moved from Europe, where built-in fridges are so common they are sold at Ikea, we couldn’t wrap our head around buying one with a North American price tag… So the largest cabinet we could have with a single door was 30″, so we found a counter-depth, narrow but taller fridge. Granted, it isn’t big but for our family of three, it is perfect. We bought a wine fridge that is also partly used for soft drinks, sparkling water, etc – It makes up for the space we occasionally miss in our fridge. We made sure there was sufficient space around and above the fridge inside the cabinet to allow warm air to circulate. This also meant we had to sacrifice a few inches at the back of the entire wall for our plan to work, but we had ample space left. The fridge doors are also very flat, which allowed us to add a bracket & sliding hardware (also DIY, inspired by what Ikea sells in Europe). We are pretty happy with the solution, considering the limited budget we had. It sure is fun to have made it work and to have kept things very symmetrical in terms of design (keeping that horizontal line with the countertop was important for me). But in retrospect, for the time and efforts we put into figuring out a way around paying for a panel-ready fridge, I am not 100% sure that our Plan B was really worth it.
      I do recommend you shop for deals during Black Friday or Boxing Day – This is when I shop for appliances and I always got bargains :)

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