surprising kitchen renovation

Years ago I figured out that I wasn’t one of those bloggers who did big impressive reveals. I LOVE those kinds of blogs and I am so inspired and impressed with them. But I am not one of them. If I waited until I had a glory shot of each project I’d have about three posts a year. Maybe two posts. I’d probably just quit blogging.

So I share along the way cringing that these photos aren’t Pinterest worthy. What kind of home blogger am I? I double cringe every now and then when something does get pinned and it has dirty dishes, a dirty sock, and a dirty dog in the background. Such is life.

Here are photos of our in-progress kitchen renovation on an ordinary, sunshiny Tuesday morning after partially cleaning off the island right after three boys made their lunch and right before I decided not to take a shower. I think the journey is valuable so I’ll risk sharing a lived in kitchen with you. And I also want to have more than three blog posts a year, so that helps me get over me and my big self too…



The newest addition to our kitchen is the drawer pulls. Finally! I found these long bar pulls on clearance at Lowe’s months ago. But they didn’t have the two sizes I needed in stock so I bought one black pull for our dishwasher and  a sales person sent me home with a print out of what to order online for the other four. I noticed that the printout listed the color as ‘Oil Rubbed Bronze’ and I knew that wasn’t what I wanted–I wanted black.

But when I went to order them I couldn’t find the black and realized maybe that’s what they called the black ones. Sadly, they were out of stock at Lowe’s but I found the same thing online at Home Depot so I ordered them from there. And of course, when they were delivered they weren’t black.

DSC_0948Small knobs from Hobby Lobby

After much googling I realized finding simple, super long black bar pulls was more difficult than I expected. So I decided to take a risk and spray paint my pulls black. I know the risks. They could peel or scratch and normally pulls that are spray painted don’t hold up that well. But since they were already dark I decided to risk it and spray paint them a few shades darker. What’s the worst that can happen? They look horrible in two weeks and I have to start my kitchen remodel over?

rustic modern kitchen

Here’s my inspiration board

kitchen, during(during)

DSC_0950(during but a million times better)

I knew I would get faces on both ends of our cabinets once the drawer pulls were installed. Luckily these were pleasant faces. A little on the grumpy side but I can deal with them. :l


We still have to install the toe kick, paint all the walls and ceiling, tile the inset part where the range is, take the range off the wheeled dolly it’s sitting on, pass inspection and get electricity in the island outlets, one day refinish the floors…


And I decided to bring in the hutch “for now”. Famous last words.  I’m sure this hutch will still be here in fifty years. This wall is actually phase two of the kitchen (I even have a phase three but I’m not mentioning that to Chad right now). Since we are paying cash as we go, we focused on the main working parts of the kitchen first so it could be functional. Also, after moving this hutch (twice in the past few months) that door refuses to close. It’s the little things that make a house a home.


I plan to have more cabinets with a pantry on this wall along with a counter top where we’ll have the coffee maker, blender and mixer and lots more storage. But for now the hutch will do. Although the greenish color of the hutch and the wood floor aren’t getting along very well. I painted the aqua frame around the hutch inset white, but I still think I’ll paint the hutch grey so I can buy myself some more time while I save up for phase two.

kitchen beforebefore (we removed this wall and the far wall where you see the brown cabinet)

kitchen: during(during)

farmhouse kitchen(during)

I’ve been moving stuff around and I kind of like how this narrow little cabinet fits almost perfectly on the ends of the island. We could almost work in one on each end with a little shaving down of the base. So that’s why you see it moved in on some of the photos. I love the storage it adds. But it takes up precious walkway space that is really important in a small house. And…


One wall over I’m currently using another similar type of cabinet to hide the air return thing. Can someone please invent a beautiful air return thing?

DSC_0903dueling small cabinets, which one will win?

And I think they look weird this close to each other. It makes it look like my house is a furniture store. I bought both cabinets online through Joss & Main (referral code xo). I found the grey one over a year ago and I think the price has gone up considerably. Some of you have told me HomeGoods sells them, so if you are looking for one, start there!

make a niche

Sadly, this wall backs up to our stairwell to the basement. So as much as I would have LOVED to put a bunch of cabinets there we didn’t have room. But our contractor suggested an inset shelf and I thought it was a great idea. Chad made it all in one piece and it was pretty impressive the day he brought it in.


I’m still not sure what we’ll do with the niche. I intended on having shelves inside it. And I think that would be great, but before I commit I’m going to play around with it.


Here’s where we are on the little niche area. Chad installed it Christmas Eve Eve or something like that so I quickly slapped up one coat of primer and one coat of black paint just to have something. This photo was after another coat of white primer and a coat of white paint, but now the inside needs to be painted black again. Whenever I am using a dark and light paint, I always finish with the darker color because it’s easier to hide mistakes where the two colors meet.

nesting place kitchen

kitchen before

before–see where the basement stairwell wall is there on the middle left? That’s the black niche in the next photo…

nesting place kitchen


One of my favorite parts about the kitchen is that you can see the sunrise above our pond right through the bay window. I’m not a good enough photographer to capture the colors and reflection in the pond. But trust me when I say it makes me incredibly grateful to be able to look out and see this. After selling what we thought was our dream house almost eight years ago after losing a business, paying off 150,000 in five years and renting houses, we are beyond thrilled to be here. At home.


Related posts: Rustic Modern Kitchen (more about the mood board and lighting options)

The Kitchen :: Before

Hudson Counter Stools: World Market (currently unavailable but these are similar)

Cabinets: Ikea (really happy with them!)

Sink: Ikea

Faucet: Dyconn

Counter: White Quartz (I LOVE it!)

Viking Range & Thermador Hood (Craigslist: great story!)

More about our wood floors

How I thought through our kitchen remodel

My three kitchen must haves

Beaded Crystal Chandelier

My Kitchen Inspiration Pinboard