Wu Haus Kitchen Remodel

Wu Haus Kitchen Remodel

The Wu Haus Kitchen is finally done!!! And I’m beyond excited to be sharing the results with you today on the blog. After 9 weeks of renovations that had us cooking all our meals off a $14 hot plate in the dining room, we’re finally moved back into our brand new kitchen and absolutely loving it. I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and it was more than worth any of the chaos that came with remodeling.

First and foremost, I have to give MAJOR props and endless gratitude to our amazing contractor, Forrest, who worked his ass off on this project. My husband definitely put some time and elbow grease in, which was great, but for the most part, Forrest did everything on his own, from demo to the Venetian plaster walls to wiring the lighting to installing the new sink and plumbing to making the open shelving. It’s really quite amazing to work with someone who knows how to do literally everything.

I’d also like to thank my good friend and designer Jacob Schaeperkoetter-Cochran of Young American for helping me bring my vision to life. Jacob has a brilliant eye for design and offered so much guidance and advice on making this kitchen the most beautiful it could be. It was so fun working with him on our kitchen and watching as his plans became reality over the past several weeks.

Starting this project, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted. I played around with different layout ideas, but without changing the structure of the room too much, this layout made the most sense. We removed one wall that enclosed a “butler’s pantry” and took out the corner by the old refrigerator that we thought was the old oil-heat chimney. On our first day of demo, we soon found out that the “chimney” was actually my husband’s closet in our second bedroom. Oops. Not quite sure how we overlooked that. Anyways, we decided to roll with the original design of the kitchen and worry about the closet situation later. Still haven’t figured out where my husband’s new closet will go…I’ll keep you posted on that!

All of the amazing pendant lighting came from Rejuvenation. The pendants I chose are a collaboration with Portland-based ceramics studio, Pigeon Toe. During this whole process, I got to go tour Pigeon Toe’s studio and see how the ceramic pendants are made. I love supporting two Portland-based brands, and Pigeon Toe is woman-owned and operated. At one point, I felt like we went overboard with the lighting, as we also did recessed cans and under cabinet lighting, but now that I’m in the space working, I’m SO glad we went with all these lighting options. The pendants really allow for mood lighting, while the cans and under cabinet lighting is great for working. Since our kitchen is north facing and there’s only one window, having good lighting really makes a massive difference.

We decided to do the floors pretty last minute, like 4 weeks into the project, but I think it was one of the best decisions we made. Looking at it now, I think the finished floor really lends to the whole vibe and aesthetic of the kitchen. If we had kept the orange-hued wood floors that are in the rest of our haus, I think it would have really detracted from the finished look. It took Forrest a bit to get it just right, as Skimstone is essentially like a plaster application where you hand brush it on. Skimstone is a great option if you want something that looks like concrete.

I knew from the get go that I wanted marble countertops, and despite pretty much everyone advising me against it in the beginning, I’m so glad I stuck to my guns. If you aren’t familiar, marble etches form acids like lemon, vinegar and tomatoes and can stain easily. Personally, I love the way marble ages. The stains tell a story over time, and I think lend to a beautiful aged look. It’s definitely not for everyone. If you are type A or a particularly messy cook, I would suggest going with something more forgiving like quartz or granite.

We spent a good amount of our budget on the countertops, the refrigerator and other design details. Where we chose to save money was on the cabinets. Custom cabinetry can get really, really expensive, so we decided to use IKEA Sektion frames and use semihandmade custom fronts/doors. I’m SO happy with how they look, and that we decided to go this route. Semihandmade has lots of options and I found them incredibly easy to work with.

Walls: Venetian plaster application. Accent walls color matched to Pout from Miller Paint.
Countertops: Carrara marble slabs from Oregon Tile & Marble.
Floors: Skimstone Arctic White with the smallest amount of Oystershell added in
Lighting: All pendants from Rejuvenation. Recessed lighting from Home Depot.
Cabinets: IKEA Sektion frames with Semihandmade Cabinet Fronts in Supermatte Clay
Hardware: Park Studio X Sarah Sherman Samuel Half Moon, Ottawa and Mackinaw in Brushed Brass
Shelving: Plywood with maple facing
Sink: ROHL Shaws Classic Fireclay Single Basin Undermount Sink
Faucet: Delta Trinsic Pull Down Single Handle Kitchen Faucet
Refrigerator: smeg Fab 32

The BEFORE photos…Haha I guess I should have put these at the beginning of the post, but come on, I’ve been just dying to show you the AFTERs, so I had to get right to it. Honestly, our old kitchen doesn’t look so bad, but since I spend most of my day in this space and it’s essentially my office, I really wanted to up level the space and make it into something I feel incredibly inspired by.

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19 comments

PKJ April 9, 2018 - 4:15 pm

Beautiful! Who designed those little cups shaped like heads?

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Desi April 9, 2018 - 7:09 pm

What a beautiful kitchen! You did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

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Robyn April 9, 2018 - 9:42 pm

Looks very clean and matches your personality.Reminds me of an O.V.outfit you wore once. Wondering how much you like the SMEG.space wise it seems slightly smaller then the steel fridge. Looks like the kitchen will highlight your colorful delicious rainbow food creations….Best in the New Kitchen

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Amber (@hereforafew) April 10, 2018 - 1:18 am

I’m obsessed!! Well done 🙂

Reply
Be Inspired! Volume 6 | BESPOKE BODY April 10, 2018 - 9:36 am

[…] I love everything about Alison Wu’s blog, her food, her vibe… everything! She’s just posted on her completed kitchen renovation and it is absolutely DREAMY! Want. Check it out here. […]

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Ellen April 15, 2018 - 6:25 pm

Hi! I’m a Portland native living in Denver and hoping to re-do my first kitchen soon. I have looked at the Smeg fridge to save space because the room is tiny. Do you find that the reduced size takes away any functionality? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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alison wu April 20, 2018 - 6:48 pm

I’ve posted about the size on my Instagram feed. It was definitely a big down size for us, but I love it. I’m more of a European-style shopper anyways, so I go to the grocery store every couple days.

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Heather Schroeder May 16, 2018 - 3:18 pm

Love the vibe , who makes the water purifier on counter ? Where can I get one ?

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#DREAMERIEfinds No. 4 – The Dreamerie June 10, 2018 - 5:03 pm

[…] kitchen re-model is an actual […]

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#DREAMERIEfinds No. 4 – The Dreamerie June 10, 2018 - 6:06 pm

[…] kitchen re-model is an actual […]

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Smoothie bowl queen Alison Wu shares the coolest hangouts in Portland – Mags News July 18, 2018 - 3:44 am

[…] restaurants: Tusk is by far the prettiest restaurant in town—I basically want my haus to look like this place. Oh, and the salads/food are spectacular too. No trip to Portland is […]

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Smoothie bowl queen Alison Wu shares the coolest hangouts in Portland – Supreme Health And Fitness Hub July 18, 2018 - 8:33 am

[…] restaurants: Tusk is by far the prettiest restaurant in town—I basically want my haus to look like this place. Oh, and the salads/food are spectacular too. No trip to Portland is […]

Reply
jasika December 5, 2018 - 11:29 am

Firstly, congratulation to move back into your new kitchen! You did an amazing job with in 9 weeks of kitchen renovation. I loved your updating kitchen pictures. I’m sure your kitchen actually will have more fabulous look that in pictures. Its looks clean and feel fresh environment. One question I want to ask. How much did your kitchen remodel cost?

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Bob January 24, 2019 - 9:56 pm

beautiful renovation! I love the pale pink plaster walls. Did you guys do it yourselves or hire someone? Do you have any tips or recommendations for products and techniques?

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alison wu January 28, 2019 - 11:43 pm

Hi! Thank you! Our contractor did it. Unfortunately, I’ve never done it before, so I don’t have much advice on technique or products.

XO

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Bronwyn Reed January 28, 2019 - 7:49 pm

so stunning. the perfect kitchen! so curious about where you got the marble with gold accents bowl and platter? xx

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alison wu January 28, 2019 - 11:42 pm

Thank you! They’re from Target.

XO

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Weekly Shopping and Printable Grocery List - Wu Haus February 26, 2019 - 5:28 pm

[…] have a relatively small fridge (as you may have seen), but it works with the way I do the grocery shopping. I prefer to go to the store every few days […]

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Wu Haus Office + Den Makeover - Wu Haus March 18, 2019 - 3:02 pm

[…] you may remember, my husband ended up losing his closet in this room when we remodeled the kitchen. (In case you don’t remember: what everyone working on the project thought was the walls […]

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