Our Modern Kitchen Update

Our Modern Kitchen Update
modern kitchen decor
We have lived in our house for about 4.5 years and never did much updating to it. We bought the house already renovated but the kitchen, over the last few years, had become slightly out of date. Also, it just wasn't the color scheme I wanted and since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we decided to do a small update. 
We plan to only stay in this home for another 3-5 years, so we wanted it to be an affordable update. If you've ever looked into a kitchen remodel, you know it will run you 40-100k. That was NOT what we were looking to do. I met with a few contractors and after receiving the estimates, I chose to piece out the jobs to smaller contractors and companies. It took more coordinating on my end but, in the long run, saved us tens of thousands of dollars.


kitchen remodel before and after


white and black modern kitchen decor

We chose to leave the island with the black countertops as a cost savings. I ended up really loving the contrast and it saved some money!

modern kitchen decor


Modern Wall Art



I wasn't crazy about the black countertops and I really wanted white cabinets. Another addition was the wine refrigerator on the left where the drawers were. I might be most excited about this!

We used Granite Republic in Dallas for the countertops. They're Calacatta Sponda Quartz and they are so great! We've spilled red wine on them numerous times and they don't stain. They give that marble effect without the resealing and staining issues.

For the cabinets, we hired another local Dallas company. I'm not going to mention them because, frankly, it was three star service. I had to have the painters come back a few times to fix errors. For the color, we went with Sherwin Williams Snowbound. I went to a store and the helpful sales rep sent me home with a color swatch book. Honestly, Snowbound looked really gray in the book but I have a friend that had her cabinets painted in Snowbound so I got to see the color in person. It's definitely white with just a hint of gray, which is exactly what I wanted. I absolutely love the color in our space. I polled Instagram and another popular color was Pure White if you're needing a place to start with colors.

We ordered the wine refrigerator from ABT Electronics. I had never heard of this company so it was a little bit of a gamble but I had a great experience. It's a Whirlpool 46 bottle dual zone refrigerator and it arrived on time. Because we were contracting out all of these jobs, we had to measure the cabinet space and order the right size refrigerator. When it came in, we actually thought it was too tall. Talk about a panic attack! I immediately got on the chat feature on ABT's website and the customer service representative was so helpful. She said we could ship it back for a full refund or exchange but the shipping and repacking cost would be at my expense. We had already completely unpacked it so ABT would have to come in and repack it. LUCKILY, we were able to unscrew the feet on the bottom so it could slide right in leaving just enough space for it to breathe. Maybe this is why you hire professionals?! Nah, we survived.

We hired Mr. Handyman to install it and they did a great job! It took the handyman about 5 hours and the cost was around $750. Mr. Handyman is perfect for a number of jobs around the house. The countertop company wasn't licensed to re-hookup our sink so I had Mr. Handyman do that, too.

See what I mean about more work on my end?? It was definitely worth it, though.




  • Make sure you order the right height and width. Open the cabinets or drawers where the refrigerator will go and measure from the top inside to the floor. Also measure from the inside of the cabinets or drawers for the width.
  • Wine refrigerators need breathing room so add that into your dimensions before ordering. I believe ours required 3/4" of an inch on all sides.
  • If you're having a handyman install it, make sure you're placing it in the cabinets near an outlet so he or she can easily connect the refrigerator to power.
  • When purchasing a wine refrigerator, MAKE SURE you get one that doesn't require being hooked up to the water line. Mr. Handyman said they couldn't do it if it required water.
  • Confirm before purchasing that the refrigerator is for being built in to cabinets. There are a lot of free-standing refrigerators out there but they cannot be installed in cabinets because they won't breathe properly and they'll overheat. Built in refrigerators have a vent at the front for breathing, whereas free-standing ones have vents on the sides or back. 

modern kitchen remodeling ideas


Now for the fun stuff! The decor. Next to photographing gorgeous destinations and sweet people, I LOVE LOVE LOVE shopping for home decor. Even though, we've been in our house for over 4 years, we really haven't done much decorating. Matt and my tastes have evolved a lot over the years, so we decided to hold off on making any big or small purchases.

Until now! We had to find common ground for decor. I would decorate everything SO girly, but I live with a boy ;P. Since the cabinets and counters are very black and white, we rolled with that color scheme. Honestly, I think my favorite color is black and white together in a color block.

Have you seen our dog? Love that little guy!


We are BIG coffee drinkers. We've kind of become snobs about it...well mostly Matt. There's nothing better than Saturday morning coffee so we did a lot of research for high quality coffee machines and a grinder. For coffee, we have an OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker and we love it. Before we purchased this one, we really struggled with a burnt taste in our coffee. We learned that the key is to use a high quality machine along with freshly ground whole beans. Again, you'll want to use a high quality bean. Lately, we've been loving Stumptown whole coffee beans. There are several varieties and they're so smooth and full of flavor. Coffee is very personal, though!

For grinding, we have a Breville Dose Control Grinder. We like this one because my husband likes to make French Press coffee and this grinder has a setting to grind beans for French Press.

Additionally, I have been dying for a Nespresso machine probably since I was born. When we travel, most hotels in Europe have Nespresso machines and I'm hooked. For Christmas, my sweet mom got me a Breville Nespresso Creatista with Milk Auto Steam Wand. YOU GUYS. This machine is fabulous. I can make cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, and three different sizes of espresso. I love that I don't have to have a separate device to steam my milk, too. It's all in one and so convenient.

With Nespresso machines, you have to either order pods online or purchase them at the store. I always order online. It's so easy and they offer free overnight shipping with orders over $35. 

What's better? They have a completely FREE recycling program. When you place your pod order, add a recycling bag to your order with a prepaid shipping label and once it's full, ship it back to Nespresso. This is something I can feel good about!

nespresso creatista machine

Breville Nespresso Creatista Machine

best nespresso maker

Breville Nespresso Creatista Machine


which nespresso machine is best

Nespresso bamboo pod tray

Bamboo Nespresso Pod Tray

best coffee maker

Oxo 9 Cup Coffee Maker

Latte Mug - $4.95 from CB2

best coffee bean grinder

Breville Dose Control Coffee Grinder

OK, but the mugs! I love these mugs so much. They're from CB2, which I'm completely obsessed with by the way.  I want everything in this store. The best part about these mugs is that they're cheap and very modern!

chic modern black and white coffee mugs

These mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Large Mug ( and it's large!) - $6.95
Latte Mug - $4.95
Espresso Mug - $3.95
chic gold and black coffee mugs
I also have these mugs from Anthropologie. While they're not dishwasher and microwave safe because of the gold flecking, they're SO pretty. They're handmade in Portugal.


affordable custom framing

    THE ART 

    Most of you know I'm a photographer, so I like to incorporate my prints in our decor. It brings me joy to see, on a daily basis, the places we've traveled to - such good memories. But, I also like to purchase from artists, as well. I want every piece of art in our home to either have a story behind it or I know a hardworking artist created it.

    Every time someone purchases a print from me, my phone makes a cha-ching sound and you have no idea how happy it makes me! And when I see my prints framed in your homes, I'm beside myself. This is why I purchase from other artists. We love what we do and work hard every day to keep doing it.

    modern minimalism kitchen design

    This is a 33x50 inch print. I chose this Santorini Print because the colors coordinate perfectly with everything else in this space. It's white and minimalist with a hint of warmth. Santorini is probably my most favorite destination to date so seeing this print every day makes me smile.

    Art should evoke emotion. It's meant for more than making the space look pretty.

    I ordered a custom frame from Frame It Easy and it was SO easy. I chose this size because it was the largest size frame with affordable shipping. Any size larger than this was much more expensive to ship. Shipping for a 33x50 or 50x33, depending on orientation, will be around $40. The next size up jumped to about $240.

    I framed it in 93 Satin Black for a modern look, though, they have several framing options. I also chose non-glare acrylic and I HIGHLY recommend getting this. It was only a few dollars more and it's so high quality.

    I shopped around and this was the most affordable custom framing I could find for extra large prints. The cost for the frame with shipping to Dallas was $197 but I have a 10% OFF discount for you! Visit from this blog post and your 10% discount will be applied at checkout.


    SANTORINI PRINT - Sunset in Oia

    BLACK DINING CHAIRS - Set of two $137



    PLANT - I ordered this plant on Amazon and it arrived in tact! Excellent price, too.


    DINING TABLE - This isn't our exact table but it's similar

    WOOD BENCH - This isn't our exact bench but it's similar


    affordable mid century modern plant stand

    minimalism abstract art

    I wanted an abstract art piece to mix in and, as mentioned before, I wanted it to be from an artist rather than something I picked up at Target or IKEA. My go-to for this type of art is Minted. The artist behind this beautiful piece of work is Jennifer Daily and I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Commissioning abstract art is extremely expensive, which is why I love Minted. The artists paint the piece and then scan it to create a giclée print. This makes the art affordable but was still created by an actual person that originally put a paint brush to paper. This art print is one of a limited edition of 350, too.


    modern kitchen bowls and platesMAGNETIC KNIFE HOLDER 






    modern dish soap

    You want this dish soap! Not only is it antibacterial but it smells like a sexy man and, frankly, this helps me want to do dishes. ;) Plus, it's a London company and I love that.

    THAT'S IT!

    This update took about 2.5-3 months and there was quite a bit of organizing and shopping around for the perfect decor since I didn't hire an interior designer, but I love how it turned out. I'm ready to get cooking!

    I didn't link items that we purchased years ago because they're not available anymore. If you have questions about any products or framing prints, just leave me a comment below.

    Thanks for stopping by!