How to Completely Renovate an Old Farmhouse Kitchen

Here is everything that we did in our complete white farmhouse kitchen remodel, including all the resources we used!

We finally have our completely renovated white farmhouse kitchen!

A year feels really long when you only have a temporary kitchen set up and are doing dishes in a tiny bathroom sink.

Even though we still need to finish some details, our new kitchen is almost done and completely functional.

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The old white farmhouse kitchen

We think that our old kitchen must date back to the 1930s or 1940s because it had lath-and-plaster walls and knob-and-tube electrical (which almost completely disappeared in the 1950s).

Given its age, it is no wonder that the cabinets looked really worn and dingy, the kitchen had only a few poorly positioned outlets, and the window had been painted shut (can you imagine???).

With the refrigerator placed right next to the door the kitchen always felt cramped.

Outside of the kitchen is a 100+-year-old oak tree whose roots had been pushing up the kitchen floor and warping the tracks for the sliding door to the garden.

In other words, it was about time to do a full renovation.

old farmhouse kitchen

Our goal:

In our new kitchen, we wanted to maximize the space of our medium-sized kitchen. But even more, we wanted to make the space a lot more efficient with a better flow. While we wanted a highly functional kitchen, we also wanted it to look pretty and have the look and feel to match the rest of our 1910 home.

Obviously, one would know it’s a brand-new kitchen but we strived for a “could-have-always-been-there” look.

At some point, we considered opening the wall to the adjoining dining room and having a nice big island. However, we would have lost a lot of wall space as a result, and believe that that open floor plan would have been too modern for this vintage home.

What we did

First, we set up a temporary kitchen in our dining room. We were doing dishes in a small bathroom sink. That was fun …

Everything had to come out. We ripped out the concrete floor, the walls, and the ceiling. We had to cut the windows out of their frame.

In that process, we realized that the plumbing was literally crumbling and would have caused big leaks in the near future.

We poured a new concrete floor and my husband updated all the plumbing, gas, and electrical which means more outlets and switches in our new kitchen.

We put new sheetrock on the walls and ceiling, put in new French doors that match the original multi-light windows and completely renovated the old windows that now operate.

full kitchen renovation

 Our new white farmhouse kitchen

Wall paint

We painted the walls in Farrow & Ball All White. With our of-white kitchen cabinets, our blueish-greyish counters, and window trim that’s matching the rest of the house, we needed to bring a lot of different whites together. Therefore we chose Farrow & Ball All White. This is a pure white that doesn’t make any other white tints look off. Farrow & Ball paints are not cheap but with their pigment-rich colors and durability, I feel they’re so worth it and we couldn’t be happier!

Farrow & Ball All White paint

Window and door trim

My husband spent a lot of time milling the window and door trim so it would match the rest of the house. We were both surprised at how much time and detail orientation it takes but think that in the end, it was absolutely worth it.

Victorian farmhouse kitchen custom door trim

The cabinets

This is the third Ikea kitchen in my life and I happily chose it again. Their value is unmatched, meaning you get a lot of quality for a very good price.

We chose the Ikea Bodbyn off-white door style that actually looks closest to the interior doors in our house. Except for in a few places where we couldn’t, we have drawers in most of our base cabinets. They’re just more accessible with no crouching down to reach into lower cabinets.

We love their soft-close doors and drawers. Another plus is their interior drawers that let us maximize cabinet space.

White Ikea Farmhouse Kitchen

Cabinet hardware:

When we moved into this house, we found a lot of original stamped brass bin pulls. While the brass tone wouldn’t have looked good in our kitchen, we were so happy to find stamped bin pulls in brushed chrome. For the cabinet doors, we matched that look with very simple doorknobs.

farmhouse bin pull
cabinet hardware


Keeping with the vintage theme, we wanted to find lighting that was both practical but also period-sensitive with a bit of a feminine look. We were so happy to find a 3-light chandelier for our kitchen table and mini pendant lights for task lighting over the sink and the counter space there.

farmhouse kitchen lighting

The counters:

I really, really wanted marble counters. I know that they are a bit more high-maintenance but I just love their cool feel and look. One day last year, I went to about 8 different marble dealers in our area and could not find one slab I liked. Either the tint was off or the veining was way too dramatic and overpowering for our kitchen.

What I did find, though, was a marble-look-like quartz: MSI Carrara Grigio which has the organic look of marble with the durability and low maintenance of quartz.

white marble look alike quartz

Farmhouse sink:

In our old farmhouse kitchen, we had a white single-bowl farmhouse sink. Of course, we wanted to keep that farmhouse look. You just can’t beat the price of the Ikea Havsen apron front double bowl sink. We just love it, the fact that we can wash and splash on one side and drain dishes on the other side. Best of all, I find keeping it clean a breeze.

white Ikea farmhouse sink

The kitchen faucet:

We looked at a lot of faucets in the process (and I am so happy to report that we are still happily married!). Once we saw this vintage-style faucet, we both instantly said ‘yes’. While we’re not trying to have a completely old-fashioned kitchen, we like these nods to the past. I can easily love the two levers with the back of my hand when I need to.

Subway tile

Nothing says farmhouse style more than white subway tile. This was an easy sell since classic subway tile is very inexpensive and easy to install. Fun fact: we did it in one afternoon on our anniversary and went to dinner with bits of grout under our fingernails. It gives the kitchen that vintage look with the practicality of ease of cleaning.

white subway tile

The grout

There is a lot of cooking going on in our kitchen and inevitable splattering. White grout might look nice and clean in the beginning but we were worried that it might get dirty and dingy looking after a while. Therefore, we chose the Silver Shadow grout. It looks just slightly darker than white but will withstand stains.

The flooring

The rest of our house has the original Doug fir wood floors. Our intent was to match that as close as we could. However, we were worried about potential dishwasher leaks (or other water issues) so we felt that engineered flooring would be a good compromise.

kitchen engineered flooring

The appliances:

We kept our previous appliances which were an older Bosch range, a newer Bosch dishwasher, and a French-door refrigerator.

UPDATE January 2021: We replaced our older Bosch gas range with a new Ilve farmhouse stove. You can read all about it here.

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, both my husband and I like anything vintage. So we did think about putting in a vintage stove such as Wedgewood or O’Keefe & Merrit. I like the vintage look of them and their basic functionality while my husband loves their absolute durability. Most of those nicer ones are 36″ wide and we both felt that we would lose valuable counter and cabinet space over our trusty 30″ Bosh range. Therefore, I am happy to keep it. And let me tell you that it has worked flawlessly for us for over 10 years. My favorite functions are the simmer burners and the low oven temperature setting of 100˚F (great for proofing and fermenting).


Wall paint: Farrow & Ball All White

Kitchen cabinets: Ikea Bodbyn off-white

Drawer bin pulls: stamped brushed chro bin pulls

Cabinet door knobs: simple brushed chrome cabinet knobs

Kitchen counters: MSI Carrara Grigio

Farmhouse sink: Ikea Havsen double-bowl sink

Vintage style kitchen faucet: Kingston Brass Heritage Faucet

Tile: 3×6 white subway tile

Grout: Silver Shadow grout

Flooring: Engineered hardwood

3 light fixture: Seagull lighting (similar on amazon: Kichler Wynber chandelier)

Mini light pendants: Seagull lighting

Stove (ours is an older discontinued model but this is this successor): Bosch stove

Update January 2021: We have a new stove: Ilve Nostaglia stove

Dishwasher: Bosch dishwasher

Refrigerator (discontinued but similar model): Counter-depth French Door refrigerator

What we still need to do:

We need to finish all the door trim, install toe kicks, decorative molding, and install the vent hood.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Pin For Later:

White Ikea Farmhouse Kitchen Tour


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  6. This looks great! I love and appreciate that you kept with the vintage feel of the home (my last home was built in 1927 so I definitely have a love for old houses too). You did such a good job with all the finishing touches!

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  8. I love a good before and after! And I love the millwork around the window! The detail is beautiful.

  9. What a transformation! Turned out so beautiful. Saving for inspiration. Hoping to start mine sometime this year.

  10. Wow, you had to do so much work but it turned out fantastic! I love the look-alike quartz counters, so lovely!

    1. Thank you so much for your nice comment! And yes, we love our marble-look-alike quartz counters 😌

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