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 Based in Chicago, Illinois. Available for travel.

Our Coastal Kitchen Design

First on my list and priority was the kitchen when it came to designing it. I’ve dreamt of a big luxury kitchen for a while but didn’t want to spent a lot upfront. When we were out at Waterset last month, we got so lucky that we were able to see a home being built with the same floor plan as us so I had a good idea of how big the kitchen would be.

To get my dream kitchen, it would easily cost us probably $40 excluding appliances. To help with our budget, I had to cleverly come up with design solutions that would fit both our every day needs and aesthetics. For the cabinets, DW offered Timberlake cabinets. We upgraded to the New Haven cabinets as you see on the photos.

What we ended up getting upgraded:

  1. Kitchen sink – we had to do this upgrade upfront because of the shape of the quartz. With the farmhouse sink with apron, the cutout of the quartz is different from your typical countertop. They also glue the countertop on so it will be a hassle to do this later on.
  2. Perimeter drawers – once the cabinets are installed, there’s little leeway to redo this later on
  3. Wood Range and Hood – I wanted this early on as they would have to install a different range if we stuck with our default one. I didn’t want to have to pay for 2 range vents.
  4. Kitchen island pendants – because I’m bougie AF and it didn’t cost that much extra to have installed.

The Design

After our trip to the design center, it took me 2 weeks to finalize our kitchen design. After doing some extensive researching and asking a lot more questions on email, I was able to figure out the best design that is both beautiful and functional. We probably spent around $25k on the kitchen upgrades and that’s considered to be on the lower end side. With our design selections, I left enough room to make improvements later on. What we couldn’t do was select our appliances. Our kitchen already came with the stovetop, dishwasher, microwave and oven. We will be selecting our refrigerator separately but I already have an idea on what I want (ahem, looking at you Cafe Appliances!).


Here are the tips on how I saved a lot for our dream kitchen:

  1. Glass kitchen cabinet doors can be installed after closing for a cheaper cost. It would’ve cost us $480/door upfront.
  2. Subway tiles are cheap but very versatile and durable. We decided on a herringbone pattern which gives our kitchen that subtle modern vibe instead of just staggered.
  3. We chose a cheaper white quartz on our kitchen perimeters and splurged on our kitchen island. I really wanted our kitchen island to stand out so I went for a higher end quartz with gorgeous veins.
  4. Have the kitchen island painted after closing. We had our builders install white cabinets for the island and we will be hiring someone to paint it light blue to give it the coastal feel I’ve always wanted.
  5. Go with the default kitchen island faucet and upgrade later. You can save a ton of money this way and pick out your own faucet.

Shop my kitchen


And there you have it, our dream coastal kitchen! Let me know on Instagram what you think of my design. I look forward to giving updates to our future home.


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