This $50K Rustic Kitchen Renovation Will Have You Dreaming of a Mountain Retreat

Updated 04/03/19

When Emily Henderson and her family first invested in a fixer-upper located two hours outside of Los Angeles in a small mountain town back in 2017, she was looking for a respite from the city and a return to the nature she grew up loving in Oregon. Almost two years later, much of the home built in 1964 has been renovated and redesigned by Henderson and her talented team of designers and the results are simply breath-taking.

Most recently, Henderson revealed her newly completed kitchen on her blog. According to the designer, the space went through countless twists and turns to get to where it is today. In her words, the final space is a "rustic-modern-Scandinavian-contemporary-minimalist-kitchen."

In a bid to be transparent, Henderson explains that the kitchen along with much of the rest of the renovations took an entire year to complete and she estimates that the cost of the kitchen alone was anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000. Although it was no simple project, the designer is thrilled with the results and it's easy to see why. The kitchen features stunning reclaimed wood elements, gorgeous fixtures, and unique lighting, all while catering to Henderson's individual needs.

Ready to take a tour of this rustic mountain home kitchen? Keep scrolling for a look inside the light-filled space and for more insights from Henderson about how it all came together.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

Before Henderson and her team started tackling this kitchen redesign, the space looked incredibly dated (although you'd never know it looking at pictures of the finished project). It was cramped with 90s-style wooden cabinetry, an irregular-shaped island, and aging appliances. Now, beautiful reclaimed wood covers both the floor and the cabinets, windows open up the space to natural light, and a contemporary black and white kitchen island sits in the middle of the space.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

Perhaps the biggest showstopper of the rustic-meets-modern kitchen is the reclaimed wood. Although, according to Henderson, this wasn't the original plan for the space. The designer initially wanted wood that could work for the floor and the ceiling, but this idea was tossed after the real wood samples just weren't working. Then, there was the talk of using plain white shaker cabinets instead. 

Henderson would have ended up with an entirely different kitchen had it not been for Ross Alan Reclaimed Wood, a Los Angeles-based builder that was able to provide the stunning 200-year-old reclaimed Beachwood that now covers the cabinetry and flooring in this mountain home kitchen.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

The island features corral and snow fence boards that are also from Ross Alan. All it took was an ebony stain to create the refined design now on display in the kitchen. Up close, you can see all of the beautiful, natural texture of the wood. The dark black wood of the kitchen island and the much lighter reclaimed wood of the cabinets and floor creates a striking contrast that feels entirely modern and fresh, despite the home's cozy, mountainous atmosphere.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

If you were wondering why the kitchen sink is located on the island rather than along the wall, this was an intentional move by Henderson. According to her, having the sink on the island, which doubles as a countertop with extra seating, allows her to do the dishes while she chats with family or guests. This motivates her to do the dishes much more than if she were stuck facing a window or a wall on the other side of the kitchen.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson DesignSara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

Where you might expect to find a sink along the wall, there's only a stove and additional countertop space. Henderson originally planned on installing marble countertops back when she and her team had shaker cabinets in mind for the kitchen. However, after the reclaimed wood came into the picture, the designer felt like the space already had plenty of texture, so she opted for Cambria quartz countertops. According to her, they're much more durable than a natural stone like marble.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

Along with the striking, contemporary pendant light that hangs above the kitchen island, the room features modern sconces that tie in with the contrasting black details found throughout the space. We also couldn't help but drool over these light switches. Have you ever seen a chicer décor detail?

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

The kitchen opens up beautifully to the rest of the rustic abode located in the Southern California mountains. Ample light shines in through expansive windows while contemporary flush mounts with brass accents are situated on the ceiling for additional light.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

As with the kitchen island, this countertop offers a few extra seats. Henderson picked out these light wood stools with tan leather seats for the same reason she went with all-black stools for the island. They blend into their surroundings and create the illusion of more space. At a glance, you'd hardly notice the chairs are there.

Emily Henderson Mountain Kitchen
Sara Tramp ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

The finished space definitely fulfills Henderson's vision of a retreat from the bustling Los Angeles lifestyle. It feels rustic yet modern and cozy yet contemporary in all the right ways. Head to Henderson's blog for even more before and after photos of this dreamy space.

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