a kitchen renovation, a long time in the making…

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this is a story of a kitchen that just wasn’t working for us.  now, the kitchen is what sold me on the house in the first place when we bought it 9 1/2 years ago, but we knew right away that we would be re-doing it eventually. our kitchen does a lot.  we cook, eat, socialize, and school in it.  it’s the warmest room in the house during the winter months.  but it was just so….ugly.


That sink faucet dripped since the day we moved in. And that white ceramic stovetop? Impossible to keep clean!

go ahead and take a look at these before photos (pardon the dark first photo…it’s also the darkest room in the house!) and wince away.  it’s as though the 1980s and the 1900s collided with a very busy family:


Clutter, clutter, clutter. That custom-made hutch is now on the back porch (our new school room) stuffed with books and art supplies. It’s where it belongs! That tiny white fridge back in the corner is now in my parents’ garage. Oh, that wallpaper.



We love our back staircase. And the transoms above two of our doorways/window. But that green, antiqued with a brown stain was always hideous. And I like green!!



We have that great, big wallspace that we used for an old fashioned chalkboard (which we used a lot!). The wall is now open and I can’t wait to fill it with kitchen-y things. Like a smaller board and coffee nook. Or a white-painted old fashioned hutch. Oh the ideas are endless!

The teaser photo at the top was from the day the granite was installed.  Here are the remaining photos of the rest of the kitchen.  Which really, truly is my dream kitchen.


These pictures don’t do these granite countertops justice. The flecks of red and green stone within the marbling is just so lovely. Natural stone is quite a wonder. I’m glad we get to eat and work on it every day!



That window looks back onto our enclosed back porch (now our “school” room).

Notice the transom above that window.  It was white before because the previous owner dropped the ceiling behind it (you can tell form the before photos).  I always thought it would be nice to have someone make us stained glass windows for those transoms, and I mentioned that to a group of moms I was chatting to at our homeschool art class one day.  One of them suggested looking at window clings at one of the big box home improvement stores.  I looked online and found www.wallpops.com that sells rolls of window and wall clings for a fraction of the cost at the big stores.  And I LOVE this blue iris design!


See that big, empty wall (and the other “stained glass” transom)?  I see a clean slate and can’t wait for what goes there.  We can’t decide.  Shelving for my cookbooks?  A long, thin counter with shelving underneath to serve as a “breakfast nook?” I love that we don’t have plans for it yet!  I love a blank slate!


Yep, that’s an old garden rake, rusty and everything! I think it’s perfect in its new home!

Kenny wired some under-cabinet lighting, which we had in our kitchen upgrade in our previous house (a decade ago!).  We missed that extra counter lighting!


A close-up of my favorite new “stained glass” in the house.

In a house that’s 120 years old, the walls and ceilings are never even.  Painting them different colors is always a challenge!


This was my little “afterthought” last week.  I scoured craigslist for an old china closet for this corner in our kitchen.  I wanted it to be cheap and it didn’t have to be in great shape because I wanted to paint it white and add our thrifted china that was crowding our “real” china closet in our dining room.  I love this little corner nook in my kitchen!

We found those black stools for a steal on Amazon.  We got six of them!

Our “inaugural” dinner was a nearly complete Thanksgiving meal – a turkey breast with stuffing and mashed potatoes.  We all sat around the island and ate because our dining room is still a mess from holding so much kitchen “stuff.”  We’re still going through, throwing away and donating so much stuff.

I can’t wait to share the kitchen with friends and families for gatherings!