Before & After {The kitchen remodel}

You might have noticed a few changes to the blog this morning.  I’m working on a new blog header, which I think I’m close to. I’m new to this and I’m doing it all myself with no fancy computer software. Just Picasa and Picnik. So far, I’m happy with it. I’m also planning on organizing and updating some of the tab pages. So bare with me.  Back to the matter at hand…


I know, this post is long over due. I think I promised it what, 3 times? I’ve decided I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep.  Maybe from now on, I’ll just give you guys a little teaser without promising anything and then BAM! I’ll hit you with something fab. Who knows. Anyway, Let’s get to it. As promised, here is the kitchen before & after.  It took many stages to get where it is today.

We started our kitchen and bathroom remodel earlier this year in March. Our house was built in 1988 so the kitchen was pretty typical from that time. Maple cabinets, blue laminate counter tops, L-shaped peninsula that held the cook-top, dated appliances,  linoleum floors, and a small eat-in area. It was completely cut off from the rest of the first floor with a butler door connecting the kitchen to the dinning room.

sorry these pictures are so small; I had to take them from my flickr pool because the original pictures are on my old computer which kicked the bucket 2 years ago.

We walk into our house from the garage door which is just past the washer and dryer. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by the washer and dryer on the left and a 1/2 bath on the right.  No mudroom to drop your stuff off at the door.  I did find a solution during this last renovation and I’ll get to it in the bathroom before & after post. Again, no promises. One day you’ll wake up and BAM! it will be there.

When we moved in, the finish on the cabinets was looking very bad, and the whole thing was just so dark you really didn’t want to cook in it.

The first upgrade I did was about 6 years ago. I took a weekend to paint the kitchen cabinets and add new hardware. It’s amazing what can be done with a gallon of paint.   It was quite the undertaking, I did all the work myself with extremely late nights and early mornings to get it all done over one weekend but it was totally worth it. It completely transformed the look and feel of the kitchen. I was extremely proud of the job I did. It was the biggest paint job I’ve done to date and it’s still holding up.

Then, about 4 years ago we upgraded our appliances, added a new light fixture, new faucet, and added new peel and stick linoleum tiles.

The chalkboard wall was also added.

We saved our pennies and the time finally came when we were able to do a real remodel.

We knew we wanted hardwood floors throughout the main level. We went with an engineered hardwood in 3 widths in a medium brown with a hand scraped finish.

We kept our kitchen cabinets instead of buying new. There was nothing wrong with our cabinets and it saved us a ton of money. We did take out the corner cabinet by the original peninsula, it had a turnaround in it that didn’t work, so there was no need to keep it. We swapped the cabinet that holds the cooktop for the cabinet that was in the original dead area between the fridge and wall oven. Swapping those created one long row of work space on the outer wall and the other for a new home for the cook top.

The cabinet that held the cook-top was smaller than the one we moved to the other side of the kitchen which left spaces on either side of the cook-top for pull out spice racks; which I was ecstatic about. But I was less than thrilled with the price of the spice cabinet itself.  $300 for a 5″ wide spice cabinet. And I needed 2.  So I ordered the “guts” of the cabinet off Amazon for 1/2 the price and our contractor built the cabinet front and sides for us.  We attached the decorative posts to the front. I stained them with 2 different color stains to achieve the antique look.

We also decided to open up the wall between the kitchen and the dinning room to match the opening from the dining to the living room.



This was the only major snag we ran into during the entire process. During demo of the wall, the contractor ran into a water line so that had to be moved into the outer wall. Sorry, no pictures of that.

We bought our granite from the 2nd’s pile from Luckstone Corporation. It was one if the most expensive granites and is available by special order only. It’s called Golden Ivory. We got it cheaper than what any normal granite would have cost anywhere else. We were lucky in that we don’t have as much counter space as a new, bigger kitchen does so we really didn’t need that much and the Golden Ivory was what was leftover from another custom job. There was even enough in the pile that we ordered the taller tile back splash and enough to cover the whole wall behind the cook-top.

The granite has the same blue as the old blue canning jars running through it so it was my starting point in designing the rest if the kitchen. I used a blue canning jar to create the pendant light over the original porcelain kitchen sink.

The paint is called Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams. It is this gorgeous blue gray color that changes with the light. It really helped to open up the kitchen even more. I took that gray into the laundry area which also acts as our entryway into the house.

I love the color so much, I might be using it in the den soon.

Since we opened up the wall to the dining room, we had this sort if dead space that used to be the eat in part of the original kitchen.


I had a small table with two chairs in the original kitchen that we rarely used  which worked for the old floor plan.  But with the wall removed the dining room table was only steps away from the  old eat in space with no division between the two.  So we decided to bring in an island with a counter top with an overhang so we could bring in a few bar stools.

It was one of the biggest design concerns in the end trying to figure out what size of an island the space could hold and where it should sit. We always new we wanted a piece of furniture to serve as an island with an overhang to house a few bar stools. In the end, we ended with the island I shared a while ago.

It stores a few small appliances that were once held in the basement along with our knife set and other utensils, and odds and ends.

New light fixtures, curtains, and storage solutions were also added to make our new kitchen what it is today.

We love it, and couldn’t be happier. The island is used on a daily basis, and we can actually have more than one person in the kitchen at the same time without completely getting in each others way.

And now for the money shots.







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And the kitchen stayed this clean and organized for about 12 hours. It’s back to reality now. Dishes always needing to be done, clean dishes drying on the counter top, papers waiting to be filed, and what-nots   laying around.  Such is life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Have a great day!



10 thoughts on “Before & After {The kitchen remodel}

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