Kitchen Progress and Hermitage


I started a kitchen renovation a long time ago and it’s still not done. There has been bursts of progress, periods of neglect, mental blocking, grand ideas, lack of funds, influx of funds, deals and bargains. I’m happy to say there’s been lots done, but I still don’t know when the end will be. So, rather than an even longer grand reveal, I thought I’d give a progress update. I should share more of the in-betweens anyway.

If you reference the earlier kitchen post here, you’ll see a lot has happened. I still have some small loose ends like trim work, hole patching and a soffit to make, and bigger ones like ignoring the ceiling forever and making a real walnut shelf to replace that large oak board that I had laying around in the shop. Also, I thought I liked those brackets, but I think I’ll change those out too. Something more interesting, maybe hanging, or brackets above instead of below.

Since it was nice and bright today, I figured I might take some other pics of the place. It’s been a while since I had documented any home projects, and things around here have probably changed some. If you follow on Instagram, you’ve seen bits, but here’s something bigger.

A friend once introduced me to the word ‘hermitage’. No one wants to be called a hermit, but hermitage has a slightly more regal sound to it. I have a tendency to hide out sometimes and I’m perfectly comfortable with that. This place is a good reflection of me and my hermitage tendency. I like to get out of course, but for me… Damned if there’s not a better place to retreat to. Even if it’s never finished.

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22 Responses to “Kitchen Progress and Hermitage”

  1. Ross says:

    Beautiful home. Funnily enough I’ve wondered how your kitchen was getting on now and again since your first post years ago.

    Is the Eames Lounge real?

  2. Alan says:

    What kind of countertop is that?

  3. Jared says:

    Great job on the renovations, hermitage has some bad connotations but is the best word! Where is that kettle from?

  4. Mike says:

    Great job on the kitchen Matt, been seeing following bits of the in-progress on Instagram.

  5. amanda says:

    oh i love this. such a great mix of tones/textures/etc.

  6. Aunt Miki says:

    Matt, when I last saw your kitchen it was in pieces. It sure came together nicely. Good work. It’s beautiful.

  7. Ossie says:

    Details on your credenza?? It’s absolutely gorgeous.

  8. Matt!! The kitchen looks SO good. Everything looks SO good. I think I could happily live in your living room until the end of time. GUH.

  9. Aaron says:

    Matt, curious what shelving brackets and wood shelves you used (seen in the sixth image)? It looks like Elfa / Rubbermaid’s FastTrack / ClosetMaid with unfinished pine, however you don’t see the unused double bracket slots. Looking to do something similar — however read comments from Anna of Door Sixteen that Elfa was good for lightweight stuff, but not heavy books. Her’s bowed in a few months. I see some people skip the top hanging track and just use the vertical rails. Wonder if this is the problem.

    • Matt Pierce says:

      Hi Aaron. Those are just the heavier duty brackets from Home Depot, I believe. Where you can’t see the open slots, I’ve covered sections with a strip of white electrical tape. Really easy, fits good and cleans it up a lot. The shelves are 1″ Euro Ply plywood. It’s extremely rigid and beautiful, but not cheap. I was lucky enough to buy some off-cuts from a friend’s project. They are stained white and sealed in poly. All mounted to the walls with plenty of brackets, screws and anchor bolts. It’s super sturdy with no noticeable sagging really.

  10. Andrew says:

    I love these posts, especially with the accompanying photos. Livin’ the dream my friend!

  11. Tammy says:

    What a warm look, it makes me want to move right in. And I love that copper kettle, it reminds me of one my mom had years ago.

  12. GreenCanary says:

    Crud, I put my comment on the wrong post :-( Here it is again! On the right post this time.

    I have the same rocking chair! I found mine in the trash… Man, that was a great day :-) It’s the Frank Reenskaug Model 182 Rocking Chair. Frank Sinatra had one! (

  13. Laura says:

    This is lovely. Where did you find your range vent? And did you find the kitchen floor tiles in Portland? Also love the flooring in the living room, did you do it yourself?
    We’re in the process of remodeling our 1950s home in NE and these photos are great inspiration.

    • Matt Pierce says:

      Hi Laura, thanks. The range vent is a whirlpool from lowe’s. Floor tiles were found at FloorFactors in Portland… I don’t remember the manufacturer, but they are in Portland too, I believe. I did not lay the hardwood in the living room myself, and it’s third grade white oak because I liked the knots and rough parts. Good luck with your home, I hope all goes well!

  14. Simone says:

    Wow Matt; lovely, very homey in the right way, and it looks very functional as well. Love the way your boarding and the shelf surround the windows. Is that a blackboard on the left side of your fridge?
    My top tips for kitchens (when poeple ask me to make one for them) are: when there is limited counterspace, I always advise people to get a stove that is horizontal (90 cm wide and 30 cm deep) at the back of the counter (in the last 20 inches), that way the first 20 inches (provided you have a 40 inch counter) are free for choppingboards and mixing etc. it gives you a larger workspace.
    I also try to make an area kind of out of sight where regularly used “apparatus” sits together (like a coffeemachine, a toaster, a watercooker, juicer, stuff like that). It is very practical to have a shelf above that, for glasses, cups etc. Also drawers are the most practical use of space under the counter in my experience, the backspace in low deep cupboards is always hard to reach.
    It looks great your “Hermitage” a nice place to relax. Thank you for showing it to us.
    Have a wonderful day.

  15. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the info on the shelving! If they’re from Home Depot, I guess they’re ShelfTrack from ClosetMaid? Follow up question… As I mentioned, I see some people skip the top horizontal ‘hang track’ and just use the vertical ‘standard’ rails. Is this what you did? It would seem that if you used appropriate wall anchors in the ‘standard’ vertical rails and don’t go overboard with heavy items, the top ‘hang track’ is really just a back up. Make sense?

    • Matt Pierce says:

      I didn’t even know there was a hang track for these. I used serious hardware and went for studs whenever possible. When not, I used heavy duty toggle bolts. Doesn’t budge with lots of heavy books.

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