House renovations, take three: The Kitchen (ie the motherlode)

I feel it's time to give you a sneak peek of our beloved baby in the new house: the kitchen remodel. But first, let me clarify because there have been a lot of questions about this---we are NOT living in the new house yet. We spend nearly every waking hour there each weekend and go over there every week night once Truman is alseep (in-laws listen to our monitor for us) and because of this amount of insane work we've completed, we have officially scheduled the moving van to come on Friday, April 6! This is VERY exciting you guys. It's going to be our house---the one in which we actually live, instead of the one that we just work on all the freaking time. There will be tons of projects to do once we move in, for sure. But at least our kitchen and bathrooms will work and I'm hoping to have most of my painting done at that point, too.

So anyway, about the kitchen. It's not done yet but man, it's getting there. So let's just jump right into some mind-boggling before and after pictures. Well not 'after' pictures, really, but a 'current' picture to show the progress we've made. Ta-DA!!!


Seriously. Look at more before and current pictures with me:


Whoops. Still have a lot of work to do on the back wall, huh? That's okay, plans are under way for an awesome storage/mudroom area. And yes, that is a laundry shoot you see for the giant hole in our wall. Can't cover that baby up anymore!

Are you as excited about this as we are? I cannot believe it's starting to look like a real kitchen.  Would you like to know what all we've done so far? More pictures, first.

During the renovations:


And now for the details. At first, I wanted to ditch all of the existing cabinets and start from scratch mostly because I hated the country 'loopy' detailing on the cabinets and the upper row just seemed like too much wood, too. But after some major soul-searching, we agreed to keep the cabinets, pop off the ugly trim, add more modern trim, and then add glass to our upper cabinets. I had to push for that glass (which isn't yet installed, but it will be soon) and the little frames inside the holes and I'm SO glad I did. I love it so much I could barf. And I totally stole this idea from Pinterest, of course.

We hired our handy-man neighbor to convert all of the doors on the cabinets to the newer trim and he also cut out the hole for the glass. Then Nate and my in-laws did all the sanding, repairing the wood, priming, and painting 3 layers of white paint on both the bases and the updated doors. We used Benjamin Moore's Advance latex paint and one of BM's oil based primers after a lot of people online have reported that the Advance stuff is fabulous for painting cabinets. It's freaking expensive paint though, man, but I suppose it's worth it. The crew did the primer by hand with a brush, but then Nate became obsessed with his electric paint sprayer and did the remaining coats of latex paint with that baby. HUGE time saver, my friend. Messy, and not my style, but it did save them days I'm sure.



We ordered our hinges online and love them, and then we finally found knobs and pulls that we adore after looking for freaking weeks. We ended up finding those at Home Depot in the back 'fancy designer' section of the store where there are no prices and you can't find the same things online without using them. We figured the pulls would be way out of our price range but after a few phone calls we discovered they are going to be just fine, and should arrive in about 2 weeks! I don't want to show you a picture just yet though because I'm sneaky like that. But we love them.


Yes, we went with granite counter tops. I realize that is very trendy and we did consider many other types of stone but kept coming back to the properties of granite. We found a little 'mom and pop' family owned shop in town and had a freaking BALL looking through the giant slabs of granite in their warehouse. Seriously. So much fun, and it was hard to choose but we picked this 'Colonial Gold' after leaning towards a lighter shade that would tie in our maple floors to the room. Originally I thought I wanted a super dark black color, and then I thought I wanted really REALLY light gray, but this is a happy medium that I'm glad we selected. Can't wait to see it pop even more with a great wall color and back splash!



Ah, our stainless steel appliances are one of my favorite parts of the kitchen, obvi. First of all, we have a freaking DISHWASHER which we have gone without for the past 4 years. It's high time to enjoy this puppy, right? We also got a new fridge with an ice maker (again, an upgrade from what we have now!), a gas stove (another upgrade!), and a fancy new washer and dryer for the basement (huge upgrade because they are massive and I can't wait to do gigantic loads of laundry in them). We got all of our appliances from Sears and got great deals on each---some from the 'outlet' store, or 'scratch and dent' place and some from the real Sears. We are going to take our current stainless microwave with us when we move and put it above our stove to complete the kitchen appliances.

So what's left to do? Well, besides the entire back wall of storage we also have to prep and paint all of the woodwork in the kitchen to be white. So the 3 windows and 3 door frames along with baseboards will be converted soon. Then I will probably be the one to paint the walls in there, and I'm deciding between a pretty khaki color or maybe even a gray or light aqua blue. Nate plans to polyurethane the cabinets with at least one coat to really seal them off and keep our pricey paint protected. Then we'll add the pulls/knobs, do a simple white tile back splash, and I want to make pretty curtains for the windows, too. Nate still has to install the faucet we purchased and I'm pretty sure they have more plumbing to do for the dishwasher, but overall it's really coming along! Oh, and I'm not sure if any of the pictures show the HIDEOUS overhead light in the kitchen but that puppy is going bye-bye as soon as I get the green light to shop around.

And that is that. Our beloved baby at the house that is really more of Nate's child than my own. I just give my opinions and demand certain things to be done (like the glass upper doors---but can't we all agree that was a good call on my part?) then I step aside and let the rest of them do the hard work. I didn't even pick out any of the appliances and allowed my husband to make those big decisions. Don't worry, I'm still there working my pregnant butt off but it always involves painting or cleaning up other rooms. More posts on that coming soon. But until then, I'm just going to keep staring at pictures of our kitchen. :)


  1. Looks awesome!! I love the new look!!! All of your hard work is paying off!!! Great job!!

  2. I can tell by the way you are writing the excitement is almost unbearable for you - congratulations on all of the new upgrades and good job with all of the hard work! You have earned it!

  3. Your kitchen looks awesome so far! I really love the granite you guys chose.

  4. Not sure that I've ever commented before (though I've been reading for a long time), but I just had to say that, when I saw the second photo, I honestly thought it was one of your Pinterest inspiration photos! Then I realized it's your actual kitchen!! Looks amazing! :)

  5. I love it! I've been following your pinspiration and totally agree with the glass uppers :)

  6. I love it! I've been following your pinspiration and totally agree with the glass uppers :)

  7. Looks fabulous- total transformation. I can't believe you are doing all of this while preggo, working and have a toddler- I am not telling my hubby about you or he will think I'm am a lazy bum.

  8. It looks amazing. I really love how it turned out and it't not even done yet.

  9. Love. Love. Lovelovelovelovelove. Love.

  10. AMAZING.

    Seriously. AMAZING!

    So glad you fought for those glass cabinets on top... LOVE!!

  11. One word. AMAZING! I love it all and I'm so glad you fought for the glass. It's beautiful.

  12. WOW...nice job, lady! Can't wait to see the finished product. It looks incredible!

  13. SHUT UP. I cannot believe the difference. It's AMAZING. And I love it! Especially the glass on the upper cabinets!

  14. LOVE, LOVE(!!!!!) the upper cabinets with the glass -- and the white paint and the countertops and EVERYTHING!! haha

    Excellent choices! :)

    How exciting to set a date to move! Less us know if you need extra hands.

  15. Oh my word!! This looks amazing!!! What a fabulous job! :) Can't wait to see the final reveal! (I'm sure you feel the same way!)

  16. Wow! What a transformation! It looks great and I can't believe how fast you are getting things done. Such a great call on the glass cabinets! It all looks great!

  17. I gasped so loud when I saw the "during" picture, that my husband thought someone had died! I am in awe of your kitchen, and then when I found out that you painted them yourself...jaw hit the floor. Great job, you should be proud of the house you are making for your family.

  18. Gorgeous! The upper cabinets make the kitchen. Can you spill the beans on where you found your hinges?

  19. Thanks, guys!!

    Mindy--we got the hinges online at They arrived SUPER fast and we love them. Good prices, too.

  20. Holy Cow!! What an amazing transition! I'm so clueless when it comes to this stuff. Can you share any of your planning process? I'm sure you have research or a spreadsheet somewhere, right?? ;)

  21. It looks amazing Julia!! The upper cabinets make the kitchen. That's an excellent detail. Love it! And you can't really see your gorgeous floors in these pics, but I would imagine that the granite color you chose is the perfect compliment to your floors. I can't wait to see the rest!

  22. I am really impressed with how much you've gotten done so far. We're currently working on our own kitchen transformation in the house we bought last August, and we're six weeks into it and still not close to being done. We're working full time and have a toddler and all that jazz, but clearly that's not an excuse because you do, too.

    We are also using the Benjamin Moore Advance paint on our cabinets. Did you go with straight out of the can white, or did you get it tinted? Just curious. We went with "paper mache," which is sort of a creamy/soft white, and I'm curious what others have done!

  23. It looks fantastic Julia! Such a difference. I'm a huge fan of white cabinets in the kitchen. Makes it bright and cheery.

  24. It looks SOOOO good! I love the glass cabinets. I'm super jealous, I desperately want to redo our kitchen which I currently hate but of course we need the funds and the time. Sigh.

  25. I LOVE your kitchen!!! I am having a hard time convincing my husband to paint our cabnets white, but after seeing yours, I ned to just say we are doing it- no ifs ands or buts. I also love the glass cabinets! PS- I l think we have the same stove. It's amazing!!

  26. I may have just peed my pants a little. Or a lot. I'm not telling.

    So jealous of that dishwasher mama.

  27. SO beautiful! We just started the house hunt, and it seems as though every kitchen has the same dark wooden cabinets. You know that I am bookmarking this for future reference! Can't wait to see your finished house.

  28. I cannot believe the transformation, Julia! I love it. You guys are kicking ass!

  29. Julia your kitchen is going to look amazing when you are done, it's already such a big transformation! The granite looks so nice!

  30. This is AMAZING! I can't believe those are the same cabinets! WOW! You have done so much in such a short period of time, I salute you guys! We know what it's like, we completly overhauled our kitchen a couple of years ago (and also have an old house, although not as old as yours) and it was the most expensive, time-consuming, crazy thing we've ever done with the house. We even made a video and set it to music (I KNOW you will enjoy it!):

    It's so great you are moving in soon, yay! CONGRATS on all of your hard work!


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