7QT #50: Kitchen reno! Finally!!!

I promised that I would eventually get a kitchen renovation post up here, and after seeing Colleen's great transformation I decided to make it the subject of my quick takes! What better for my 50th edition of quick takes? Linking up with Kelly!

Here's the before, and a post about the before if you were unfamiliar.

Yeah, I kind of purposely took photos when it was full & messy & cluttered so the transformation would be THAT much more dramatic.

Some words of (fair) warning:

Right now we're in the midst of tons of house showings, so keeping the kitchen clean is priority #1 around here, since it's the most improved part of the house. That means the counters are clean of anything (which is a really beautiful way to live but pretty impractical), and we've been eating a lot of dinners at my parents' house instead of making stuff here after showings.

So take the cleanliness with a grain of salt!

First, the new floor!

We used this slight wood grain tile from Lowe's, deviating from our usual Menards-only routine because they didn't have anything like what we wanted. It matches the bathroom, which I thought was somewhat necessary since this doesn't exactly fit with the old style of the home (our house was built in 1930).

Funny story about the tiling: the evening David decided to do the tiling, we ended up having a bunch of tornado sirens go off and a ton of hail. He started near the end of the hallway and worked toward the door, thinking that the hail would subside by the time he got there...guess what? It only got worse. So the poor guy was crouching on the back steps, being pelted by hail, while finishing the last few pieces of tile.

It was definitely more labor than he had anticipated. Kate and I kept ourselves busy in the basement during the tornado sirens, and I was vigilantly checking to make sure no *actual* tornadoes were coming near us so he could continue working uninterrupted -- tile is one of those things that has to be done all at once, or it can dry funny & lopsided.

Now onto the rest of the kitchen...

Huge difference, right??

Basically the only things we didn't touch were the countertops and the appliances, all of which were in really good shape and were, honestly, out of the budget to replace. It also didn't make much sense to replace all the appliances right before moving if we weren't staying there -- especially since they worked just fine!

But other than that, we:
- removed all the fake brick on the walls
- patched the plaster that wanted to come all down when the fake brick was removed
- painted all the cabinets
- added a backsplash
- painted the walls & ceiling

For being a pretty small blueprint, it was a lot of things to complete in a short amount of time.

Here's a view from the other side:

That little square print of Kitty has been hanging on the back door in the kitchen since her 1st birthday party, and I couldn't bring myself to move it out of the kitchen, so it just got moved a little bit. :)

These shelves were my proudest idea/recommendation for the whole renovation.

David was pretty adamantly against them from the beginning. Before, there was a long skinny cabinet on that tiny wall between the door and the long wall - big enough only for small boxes of food, and really pretty useless storage from top to bottom. I finally convinced him it'd be worth it to rip it out and put in open shelving (all the rage, don't you know?) and I'm SO happy with how it turned out.

It adds a lot of function and style to the kitchen, and gives it a little more dimension to that side of the wall.

I also whipped up those curtains out of some fabric from Hobby Lobby one night, because the whiteness of the room made it SUPER bright in there in the middle of the afternoon -- almost blindingly so.

All in all, I think we spent a solid week working on the kitchen, plus 3 or 4 nights after work after that putting the finishing touches on everything -- and by we, I mean David did 99% of the labor and I did some painting (well-ventilated, don't worry).

Kitty spent a lot of time watching Daniel Tiger and making messes in the living room while we worked, and she was a trooper through the whole thing, even when basically the entire contents of our kitchen were on the floor in the living & dining rooms. She was great!

She had her first taste of Sonic the other day and I'm going to add that picture here even though it has nothing to do with anything we've talked about, just because she looks so cute:

She still had a struggle with the "hold the cup down and suck" with normal straws but we'll get there. It decreased her sugar intake, at least. :)

Head on over to Kelly's for more quick takes about things other than home renovations, probably!


  1. Y'all did such a good job! We had one apartment with open shelving and it was enough to convert me to how awesome it is (in non-earthquake prone areas) for speedy checking of pantry goods.

  2. Oh my goodness, it looks SO GOOD! It's crazy how just a few changes can make a world of difference. So glad you survived the reno too!

  3. It looks great! Kitty is adorable!!!

  4. The pictures on my tiny phone were amazing but now I am looking on a real computer so I can comment and WOW. it really is a transformation, even without the exaggerated clutter/vs empty. The backsplash, colours and tile floor really just make it so appealing! You barely even notice its tiny any more because its so appealing! I hope one of your house shoings turns into an offer so you can return to cooking!

    1. Ugh, so do I, Amy! I mean, I know I'm not the most organized person but I never thought our house was crazy messy before but the amount of cleaning I've done in the last 8 days for house showings is telling me that I need to step up my cleaning game...or maybe go the opposite direction. ;)

  5. Random question: How do you keep the door from hitting the open shelves when you open it?

  6. Love the kitchen. Where did you get your open shelves?

    1. They are just prefab shelves from Menards, with cheap premade brackets to hold them up! Pretty much any home improvement store has them. I'm not sure the material they're made out of, maybe MDF? but definitely not real wood. They come cut & finished already which makes them super easy to install!


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