Bucktown Kitchen Refresh: Full Reveal


There's nothing quite like opening the daily Domino email newsletter and seeing one of your favorite projects inside. #designgoals We recently completed a major refresh to a kitchen in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. It had the early 2000s blues - black granite as far as the eye could see, dated lighting, and glass block for days. Domino was kind enough to share our before and after story online as well as an interview with principal designer, Carly Moeller. Here's a bit more about the project including the full source lists and some crazy GIFS!

There's something to be said about renovations. Here at Unpatterned, we have a serious passion for them. It's partially the challenge of working with what you have and partially the feel good benefit when you are able to be a bit greener and consider that not EVERYTHING needs to be demoed. We worked with these clients previously on their amazing roof deck so we already knew the vibe they had going on.






Things working: layout, cabinetry, appliances. You know what they say, if it ain't broke... But the clients, who entertain a lot, wanted to make the space their own, brighten it up, and do their best to tone down the glass block. Here's what we did:

We painted the cabinets white and replaced the hardware with these delicious glass beauties that were better scaled to the large cabinets. We also added crown molding to the top of the cabinets, which gave them a bit more of the detail that they needed. 

While we couldn't replace all the glass block, we did decide to close up the block behind the backsplash. Given the placement and proximity to the adjacent property, it wasn't really doing anything for the kitchen, light wise. We installed a new glass backsplash, including the area behind the hood and range and voila no more glass block!  

We replaced the perimeter counters with a natural stone and we added a 12" overhang to the other side of the island to squeeze in one to two more seats and replaced the countertop with a wenge wood top. New single bowl deep sink, new Brizo faucet and soap dispenser plus a matching air switch for the disposal. 





New counter stools were a must, of course. We reupholstered the existing swivel club chairs because a.) why not?! and b.) the clients were already loving how they worked in the space. With an unpredictable aging chihuahua in the mix, the clients didn't want to spend any precious cash on the rug so we found a remnant of some neutral wall to wall carpeting and had the edges finished for a song. It worked out well at a custom size of 4x7 as well to keep the walkway clear and accommodate the seating area. 

I have a hard time choosing the real showstopper in this room. Is it the lighting? Because, I mean, THE LIGHTING?! I may be slightly obsessed with Rejuvenation. Or is it the fireplace? The counter and fireplace were the most problem-solving required scenarios in this project by far. We searched high and low for that wood top. Butcher block or anything requiring oiling was vetoed by the clients as they had no interest in maintaining it. Really, I don't blame them! Enter the Grothouse wood counter in the Durata finish - no maintenance!

The black granite on the fireplace had to go. It just wasn't scaled to the space. We took the gorgeously textured 4x12 limestone tile floor to ceiling and added the massive mantel and shelves,which we custom created to tie in the 2 glass block windows. This attempted to make that wall seem more like one cohesive piece - fireplace, mantel, windows and not so chopped up by the expansive albeit light-giving glass block. We originally planned to match the new mantel and shelves in the same wood as the counter. But given the length of the wood and the high cost of the finished wood product it was just too cost prohibitive. In the end, we worked with the GC and carpenter to have them made out of lumber and painted to match the cabinets. And in hindsight, I think this was the right choice even if the wood had been more affordable. It keeps the perimeter light and airy and bright and allows the island, which is the main gathering space to shine as the only warm wood piece. Wouldn't you just like to eat stack of pancakes at that island?

I couldn't resist a little GIF action of the change: BYE BYE black granite!

One more GIF for good measure. Not a bad dishwashing view.

Well that's this kitchen refresh in a nutshell! We have one more post about this kitchen to share with you for a little behind the scenes look of the thought process and some of the details. Keep an eye out for that next week!

Read the full Domino article here!


Island Pendant Lights: Rejuvenation - Hood Pendants in Polished Nickel with 18" Clear Globe Shade

Island Counter: Grothouse in Wenge Edge Grain with Durata Finish

Faucet: Brizo - Talo in Polished Nickel

Soap Dispenser: Brizo Artesso in Polished Nickel

Sink: Kraus

Hardware: Restoration Hardware - Grafton Clear Glass Pull; 6" in Polished Nickel

Backsplash Tile: Sonoma Tilemakers in Vihara Lotus - Iridescent

Fireplace Tile: Sonoma Tilemakers in 4x12 Quadrata Limestone

Counter Stools: CB2 Charlie Counter Stool

Cabinet & Mantel Paint: Benjamin Moore White

Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf 1600

Entry Chandelier (in background): West Elm Capiz Zigzag

Fireplace Chairs: Custom Upholstery

Side Table, Clear vases on mantel, pair of blue vases on mantel, wood basket, framed agate on counter: Homegoods

Terrarium on Mantel: Alapash Home

Blue Vase on counter, Silver hydrangea vessel: Vintage via thrift store

White canisters on counter: Vintage via Coyle & Herr


Interior Design & Styling: Unpatterned

Photography: Lori Sapio

General Contractor: Chris Smeaton, The Rehabber Group

A heartfelt thanks to our wonderful clients for being such a delight to work with throughout the whole process!