Kitchen reveal!

Finally – pictures of the kitchen!  This is going to be a picture heavy post, so sorry about that.

The kitchen is what needed the most work in the house to get it functional before we could move in.  It took us about 6 weeks to get it done because of those pesky jobs and all that 😀 .

Here are the before shots:




This radiator issue was a puzzle we had to solve. It  just doesn’t make any sense to me why they chose to do this.

Nook area:


The only thing we kept was the cabinetry – and not all of it.  Most of it was in good shape except the sink cabinet. It was totally water damaged and rotted on the inside and the doors actually were held in place with a screw LOL!  We did keep the doors of the sink cabinet, though, and reused them.   We also had to buy a new cabinet for the missing one.  The appliances we listed on Craigs list and someone took them, along with the old countertop (even though we had cut it into 2 pieces). Yay for a green renovation!

My goal in this kitchen was to brighten everything up.  It’s not a big kitchen, so it needed to be brightened up.  I don’t really understand the color choices that were made before, but then again, somebody liked them. 😯

I chose a dark floor to anchor the room and then the light colors up top.  I wanted it to be warm and fairly traditional to go with the style of the house. John basically agreed with all my decisions on finishes and fixtures.  He’s a smart man. 😉  He trusted my judgement on choices and we are both really happy with how it came out.

Then it got down to the lowest point of demo.


This is always that point where you say “Jiminy Christmas” (or something like that) and wonder if you will ever get done and what the hell were you thinking. It’s a tough point in a rehab physically and mentally.

The electrical was an issue of having those boxes and wires on the wall.  This was probably the biggest problem in the whole kitchen. What to do with electrical when you have cement walls.  Drywall and framing? No problem. You just run lines through the open spaces. With solid walls, you can’t to that.  John was able to sink one outlet into the wall, but it was so much work and was going to be impossible to do all of them.  After much consternation, we decided on a solution. He ran new conduit inside the cabinets and mounted the outlets underneath the cabinet.

Every single surface in this kitchen was touched. Wallpaper removal everywhere, painted cabinets, new counters, new backsplash, new sink, new garbage disposal, new hardware on the cabs, new floor, new lighting. That’s what took so long.  If we didn’t have to work jobs, it could have been done a lot faster 😀  Stupid bills that have to be paid.

Anyway, we do still have a few small details to touch up, but here is the kitchen as we are using it!  Nightime:







I tried to get most of the same angles for comparison.

Loving the counters:


The Waterlox has been great so far.  Water just beads up on the surface and even if it sits there for a long time, nothing happens to the surface.  Good stuff!

I also love my granite composite sink!


The nook, which is the sunniest spot in the house.


It’s Pixie’s favorite spot, too.  She hangs out here in the sun every day.  These chairs are probably not staying in here, but I need to find a couple chairs to reupholster or purchase, but for now they will do.  We eat breakfast in here every morning.

I also love the marble.  I wanted marble or soapstone counters, but they just weren’t in the budget. So, we went with my other counter choice, which was butcher block and did the backsplash in marble. 



The radiator issue we solved with making a frame for the doors around the open space.  We saved the old doors from the old cabinet to put on the new sink cabinet so they would match the others. We actually used the doors from the new sink cabinet to make these and replaced the center panel with radiator screen.  This is one of those things where I am so pleased with our cleverness LOL.   We also moved this counter section over a couple inches as well.  Now the heat can come out of the radiator screen and we don’t have to look at it.  We have a recycle bin in there, but unfortunately can’t really put a lot in this cabinet so we don’t block the heat.



So, I’ll share numbers since I shared everything else. This whole kitchen cost a little less than $5000 in materials to do, including the appliances. Not having to buy a lot of cabinetry was a huge money saver.  In retrospect, I should have bought a paint sprayer and done the cabinets with a spray gun because it took forever painting all the coats and detailed areas on the doors.  


We didn’t go high end on the appliances, but I like the ones we have, so I don’t think it makes a difference.  The most expensive thing was the cork flooring, surprisingly, but we did the nook, too – so it added to the square footage.  I can’t imagine how much this would have cost to have a contractor do this, but it probably would have been done faster LOL!  I know our sweat equity definitely increased the value of this house, so it’s worth it in the end.  Not to mention it feels really good to know that we actually did this and gave this house some of the love and attention it deserves!


Thank you if you made it to the end of this post LOL!  There is a lot more I could talk about, but I don’t want to bore you too much with the rehab details.  Besides, it’s on to the next room!

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31 thoughts on “Kitchen reveal!

  1. deb

    What a great job Lori!!! Love your countertop the bestest. 🙂 I notice alot of people are redecorating in all white in the kitchen. Its not a trend i’ll likely hop on as i like wood grain…. I cannot wait to see the next room!!! Hugs! deb

    1. Lori Post author

      I love the counter, too. I think it will look a little worn in a few years and will add charm.

      I don’t mind wood cabs, but this kitchen needed a lighter color.

  2. E. Jane

    I love the look you have given your new kitchen. I also have had white cupboards for many years and like them very much. It keeps things looking fresh! Your countertops are wonderful.

    1. Lori Post author

      I like the lighter cabinets as well. We had them in our old house, too. This color is a little off white because I wanted something warmer than a stark white, although it now doesn’t match the appliances 😀

  3. Kim

    I love how much brighter everything looks. Do you like that flat cooktop? I get soooo frustrated trying to clean those stupid trays in my stove. The flat cooktop looks so much easier. I’m with Pixie – I’d hang out in that nook as well. Would it make a nice, sunny workspace?

    1. Lori Post author

      I do like the flat cook top. We had one at our old house as well. It is hard to clean if you burn something on there, but at least there aren’t the burner grates to deal with.

      I actually hadn’t thought about working from the nook. John goes up and down the stairs a lot during the day, but I should give it a try and see what happens. It certainly would be toasty warm!

  4. Kathy W.

    It looks so bright and fresh!

    And I’m sure the house is feelin’ the love (especially after knife-throwing dude).

  5. Shelley B

    What a project – I know you were glad to start it because it meant you were finally IN the house, but I’m glad you are finished! The backsplash is my favorite part. 🙂

  6. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    So pretty! I love all of your choices! (I wonder if the previous owner chose those colors because they were available on Craigslist from someone doing a green reno. 🙂 )

    Between you and Debby, I’m turning the teensiest bit green down here! In a good way, of course, because I’m happy for you both.

    1. Lori Post author

      From all that we have gleaned from the previous owners, they didn’t Craigs list or do things on the cheap. Living beyond their means. We actually found some of the red flooring and wallpaper in the attic. Just in case we want to put it back in 😀

  7. debby

    How fun to see all the pictures from start to finish in one post!

    So, one of my big concerns was “WHERE’S THE MICROWAVE?” I think I remembered you discussing that you didn’t want it up high. And I think I spied it under the corner cabinets? That’s where I’m going to put my trusty toaster oven. The microwave is going to be over the stove, but it is supposed to be as low as the law allows!

    I’m still in awe of you doing all that work yourself, especially the technical stuff. And I do love the nook. I always wanted a breakfast nook when I used to draw house plans.

    And, um, yes, you can’t imagine how much it would cost to have a contractor do it 🙂 But I can’t really compare, because mine was new construction and included a ton of reconstruction on the bathroom and laundry room. And you are also right–you saved a TON of money on the cabinets. Ah well…

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Lori! Its been so fun to follow along. What room is next??

    1. Lori Post author

      The microwave is to the left of the sink on the other side of the espresso machine. We actually had it in a couple different places. I think you have to live in a spot for a while before every appliance finds its final resting spot 😀

      I am sure you know the cost LOL! Your reno is huge.

      The next room is the living room. I have already started removing the wallpaper. That room won’t be too bad of a project. Just wallpaper removal and paint. Possibly painting the brick fireplace (dare I say that out loud?). We might replace the brick at some point in the future, but we need to be on the lower end of the budget currently with owning 2 houses.

    1. Lori Post author

      A lot of it is doing it ourselves out of necessity. We can’t afford to hire someone to do it, but I actually enjoy it – so win/win!

  8. Helen

    I would so love to gut my kitchen and have a completely redo. But when I say “I” what I really mean is I wish I had the money to have someone come gut my kitchen and redo it LOL!

    You must feel so much satisfaction seeing everything come back to life. Kudos to you for sticking it out through the hard parts.

    1. Lori Post author

      Having it done by someone else certainly would be a nice luxury 😀 Although I would probably be looking over their shoulder all the time making sure it was done how I wanted LOL!

  9. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    We have two friends at the beginning stages of kitchen remodels and they are both paying more than double what you paid – so you know that “sweat equity” was worth it! I’m still in love with the marble backsplash, it’s just so soothing looking, which is what I love in kitchens. Plus, the white all around helps brighten everything. It’s fabulous!!

  10. Kim

    Your kitchen and nook look amazing!!! I love the countertop – so nice looking.
    Amazing that y’all basically redid an entire kitchen for $5000 – on most of the shows I watch (HGTV) that would have easily been over 10,000!!!

  11. Sarah

    Oh wow! Your design choices were spot on! The kitchen feels so cheerful and inviting now. I was a real estate agent until recently and I’d walk into houses like this and just dream about how to modify them. The butcher block and soapstone back splash work surprising well together. I bet the sink helped a lot with the connection.

    I can’t wait to see the work completed in the other rooms!

  12. Fran

    OH MY GOSH! Lori you both did such a great job on the kitchen. I absolutely love it, it’s so bright and such an improvement to what it was. Job very well well done!

    I love it that Pixie immediately found the sunniest spot in the house, pets are smart cookies when it comes to that.

    Again, I love the kitchen, something to be very proud of.

  13. Biz

    I love how everything turned out Lori! You are so handy – I need to take lessons from you! You’ve done more to your kitchen in two months than we have done in our in 14 years!

    Love the floors, how light it looks and I puffy heart your sink. Great job!

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