Your kitchen inspiration vs. final product?

FSachsNovember 4, 2011

A post on another thread talked about a practice here of people finding an inspiration picture for their kitchen redo and then trying to copy it exactly. That got me to wondering, as I am planning my own reno, about inspiration pictures in general and how closely people's inspiration photos resembled the finished product.

So, how closely did you follow your inspiration picture(s)? It would be interesting to see people posting their inspiration photo and their finished kitchen.

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Good question!

I did not have a vision of a final kitchen when I started. In fact, I "auditioned" different looks. I held an orb chandy over the island and decided I wanted to go another way. I tried out orb knobs, decided I wanted more sparkle. Midway through the reno, I found that famous Kraftmaid ad, and I said, "that is exactly the look I'm going for". Traditional, but modern features, kind of glammy. Of course my kitchen is nowhere near this large. It was more about the overall feel of the kitchen. I don't have the glass cabinets, nor the mosaic backsplash, but I get the same feeling in my real kitchen that I do when I look at the inspiration photo.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Interesting thread. I was wondering the same thing when I read that post, because I realized my kitchen looks nothing like any of my inspiration photos (I have about two or three). I never really had any intention of copying them exactly, though. I had a vision of where I wanted to go with my kitchen right from the start (open and filled with natural light).

Even my white inset cabinets, which are one of the very few similarities to my favorite inspiration kitchen, were not chosen to emulate that kitchen. They were chosen because when I saw a display of them, they were the ones that really grabbed me. I had originally intended to have full overlay cabinets installed. They were always going to be white, even before I knew that it was popular here on GW or ever heard about some of the designers that designed white kitchens, or ever saw any of my inspiration photos.

I really chose each element of my kitchen separately, after doing hours of research about each item, looking at a multitude of photos to figure out what I liked, and then looking at the items in person. My inspiration photos were just that, inspirational. They represented the idea that someday I could have my dream kitchen, whatever that would end up being. I still look at the inspiration photos because I love them, even though my kitchen is close to being finished. Of course, there's at least one thing I would do differently, but overall, what ended up in my kitchen were the things I really liked the best.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:04AM
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I did my kitchen seven years ago and I have a very layered kitchen, quite busy and small. We are starting to get plans to build a new addition to house a new kitchen but it will not be completed for quite sometime. Because we knew that we wanted to build a new kitchen in the future we did a facelift only. Refinished existing cabs and added counters, copper sink, builtin spice shelves, backsplash, potfiller and appliances. I saw a pic of a kitchen with marble and dark wood and was in love at the time and on a very small budget tried to create the feel.
My inspiration was a bit busy too.

my kitchen

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I don't have pics but I was originally going to go with maple stained cabinets because in our location that is what you are "supposed" to do. But the pictures I was drawn to here and in magazines were those of white kitchens which I already had and really liked.
The pictures that I liked were of white kitchens, monochromatic (my new word instead of neutral thanks to palimpsest because that really is what I have) with simple strong lines. I liked the ones with long lines of counters, the ones with the dark island, with lots of windows and a sense of airiness about the space.

I didn't follow a specific picture but more the feel of the pictures that I liked. My KD executed my vision really well. We added more windows, vaulted the ceiling, added glass panels to the cabinets to give that sense of airiness. My main counter run is 19' long with the range in the middle for that long line. I didn't have room for an island but my peninsula overhang is a 5 1/2' x 18" piece of dark stained maple to give that two-toned look against the creamy cabinets. The monochromatic look is anchored by the giallo ornamentale granite with the cream cabinets, copper mosaic backsplash, mid-toned maple floors, dark stained maple overhang, and the illusion cotton backsplash adding to the overall feeling of the space.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 11:15AM
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This is a great question. Two of my friends just got new kitchens and I learned from both of them. One is off white, with brown antiquing in the Quaker style cabs. The counters are dark uba tuba. The other is totally contemporary with pale grey hi gloss slabs and white ceasarstone and no upper cabinets. I loved the slabs and the light colored counters. Both kitchens have long runs of counters and I knew I had to have that.(both are gorgeous kitchens.) I started with my random wood floors throughout the whole house and the fact that the house has an open plan so from the kitchen you can see a lot. I didn't want my first choice, cherry cabs, to compete. So we decided on light maple slabs. The KD at Lowes did the design and then it was just a case of going to 3 different granite yards, walking around and then stopping and falling in love with a slab. My kitchen doesn't look either of my friend's kitchens' but both of them inspired me. Looking back it was easy, but I certainly stayed up nights worrying about my choices and installation etc.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 11:54AM
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I took two island in ads and designed our island:


Two pages from magazine kitchens used for black hutch/coffee station:


I also showed the trim carpenter an outdoor potting bench to replicate in the pantry (holds microwave and toaster above), bulk items below.

Sorry, would type more but grandbaby is fussy.

Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 1:47PM
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My kitchen is still not quite done (still waiting for DH to finish crown molding and paint trim around the window and pantry door and we need more art/accessories). The finished product doesn't really look like my inspiration kitchen. What I mostly like about the inspiration kitchen was the white uppers, and 2 different finishes on the lowers (black and brown). I used 2 different finishes on my lowers but the difference turned out to be much slighter than I thought it would be. I can see it, however, when I'm in the kitchen and I like how it turned out.


From [Kitchen](

My almost finished kitchen pictures are not very good...

From [Kitchen]( From [Kitchen]( From [Kitchen](
    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:07PM
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I pretty much lifted my general color scheme from my inspiration picture, but in the end I think my kitchen looks heavily inspired by, but not copied from the original.

Inspiration picture:

My finished kitchen:

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:09PM
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The kitchens that inspired me had a certain 'feel' to them, rather than a certain look. Most of them were all white, which mine sure isn't! :-)

The similarities to the kitchens that served as inspiration are wood top on my island, a good-size window, and the farmhouse or cottage type appearance (hutches and such). I designed a "range-like area" to emulate the big, gorgeous ranges I loved, but couldn't afford and didn't work with my other plans. --So, in short, I used inspiration kitchens to help me hone where I was headed in my own, but didn't try to copy any one in particular.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Allison, Thanks for those photos. Currently I am having a difficult time getting the people who look at my kitchen plan to understand what I'm talking about when I tell them "beverage center with a tiny sink". Now all these photos are going in MY inspiration folder for the new kitchen! Thanks!

I really love this thread.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Can you please share the details of your kitchen? It's lovely! I like it even better than your inspiration photo.

rhome's kitchen is in my folder of 'favorite GW kitchens' I still just love to 'visit' her kitchen from time to time to get more inspiration. :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:53PM
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You're welcome, beekeeperswife. fwiw, we never use the sink in the black hutch.

I didn't post a picture of the pine hutch, which has chicken wire doors like the black magazine hutch... and a double plate rack (didn't save that magazine page). 5th picture down in link (above post).

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:15PM
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Thank you, melaska! That's a nice thing to say.

Here's a link to my almost finished kitchen thread that has all the details, as well as pictures of my sorry looking "before" kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:28PM
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You are very welcome :) Now I remember drooling over your original thread. Definitely going into my 'Favorite GW kitchens folder"! :) You sure did a wonderful transformation of the before kitchen.

I think one reason I like yours more than the inspiration pic is your choice of flooring. It lets the backsplash be the star whereas the whatever tile flooring in your inspiration pic competes with the backsplash. The wooden floor 'anchors' your entire kitchen. In my mind, anyway :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Final product:

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 5:14PM
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This is a great thread and I hope y'all keep it coming with lots of pictures!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 11:17PM
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Love the responses here! I hope more people post pictures. Allison your island is beautiful!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 9:28PM
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We did not have an inspiration picture per se; we just knew that we were at the end of our patience with the layout and that SOMETHING had to change. That said, I did start looking at kitchen magazines (didn't know about GW and FKB until much later)and this really appealed to me:

But for DH, not so much, although there were aspects of it that he liked. So we ended up with this:

Here's the before, with the finally untenable traffic jam area (the refrigerator door didn't quite hit the end of the peninsula . . .)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 10:54PM
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My inspiration was a hutch my dh and I bought at the Brimfield Flea Market in MA just after we bought our house almost 25 years ago. We weren't into buying furniture since we had plenty of hand me downs from our families. But we fell in love with the cabinet.

I liked the warmth of the wood, the simplicity of the plain glass, the balance of drawers and doors without being totally symmetrical.

Final product:

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:30AM
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My inspiration:

Finished kitchen:

I haven't really posted my finished kitchen yet but I guess here it is...

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:06AM
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We haven't finished our kitchen yet, but even my in progress musings feel somewhat related.

Like a lot of people, DH and I are trying to pull together a kitchen not from a single source of inspiration, but from several. From my perspective, there are 2 kitchens in particular that have served as inspiration. One I have posted before:

From Kitchen remodel

The other is honeyb2's absolutely beautiful lyptus kitchen:

From Kitchen remodel

I have been particularly drawn to the casual feel of the first kitchen, and the warmth of the second kitchen, but they have different vibes going on, and so I have wondered, what is this strange hybrid going to look like? How are the elements going to come together? These doubts have spurred some excessive internet image searches, as if my kitchen must be out there, I just haven't seen it yet.

And then, in quiet response the the latest DAT thread (rustic modern) I did a search for mid century rustic, and came across this kitchen, which in my mind looks like it could be a cross between my two inspiration kitchens:

From Kitchen remodel

Our kitchen isn't going to look like this one (maybe will be able to pass as a sibling?), but I do love it, and just seeing it reassures me. Had I seen this image earlier I would have more seriously considered slab doors (we are going with shaker) and a whiter laminate (we are going with more an off-white/yellow). I had originally dismissed slab as too modern, even though the original cabinets in our house (a plain 1964 ranch) were slab. This kitchen does reassure me about our selection of lyptus - I had been having second thoughts (the kitchen above states that it is "african mahogany" but it does look similar) and makes me think that laminate with wood edge counter-tops really is a good choice for our home.

That green stove brings back fond memories of the avocado green stove one we had growing up (which my mom hated) and makes me want to paint our new stove that same shade of green (a slide in stove works best in our situation, and I don't find coils all that functional, but I do love the look of vintage stoves). I know it wouldn't be the same though

We are enlarging and opening up of kitchen area, so that will yield a much different vibe than the cozy one in the third photo...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:12AM
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