November 26, 2012

A Brave New Kitchen


We finished the kitchen by our Thanksgiving deadline. I was in such a hurry to get pictures on here for you before I decorated for Christmas that I couldn't even make myself wait for a proper sunny day. There are still a few details to finish like cafe curtains, a pot rack, artwork for the breakfast bar area, a new retro style refrigerator (dreaming) but for all intents and purposes...finished!


Let's start with the before:


There's a lot that doesn't show up well in a picture. I wish I had a closeup of those cabinets here. They are handmade (not in the good way) and were spray painted with a really interesting texture. Also all the upper cabinets have the vent from the stove running through them. The legs on the breakfast bar? Two awkwardly placed, upside down porch posts. Mmm hmm. Remember the jackassery I've mentioned before?

Wait, did you want a closeup of that gorgeous tile work again? Wish I had saved those corks.


  Then there was the during (also known as the what the heck have we done stage)...


So long double layer of drywall over plaster and lathe, so long nasty textured ceiling that was several inches lower than the other side of the room! Hello questioning my sanity and testing my marital bonds!

But then we have the after (and a happy marriage is restored)...


Wait. What? Let's look at that again. Side by side style.


Of course now that it is done, I couldn't be happier that we did it. This project was not for the faint of heart. I'm also not 100% sure that had I known then what I know now, that I would have said, on that fateful day "Hey Sweetie. I think we should demo the kitchen today." Sometimes it really does pay to be ignorant but enthusiastic.


We did every bit of this project ourselves. There are some places that you can see that. It's not perfect but we are proud of how it turned out. We took a space that we hated to look at and turned it into one of our favorite places in the house. This project came in at about $1200. When you consider that the quote we received just to do the ceiling, was $1500, then that's pretty amazing. That amount includes tongue and groove wood paneling on the ceiling, horizontal planking on the walls, wood for shelves, brackets, a new faucet and water dispenser, crown molding, new legs for the breakfast bar and paint. All of the materials, except paint came from Lowe's. It's our home away from home.


This isn't my dream kitchen but since my dream kitchen won't be in the budget for several more years, this will serve as a beautiful reminder to me what two people with determination can do when they don't know any better. It's easy to be brave when you have nothing to lose.

61 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! It was definitely worth all of the hard work you put into it!! I love all the open shelving and the breakfast bar. Now start decorating it for Christmas!! :)

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  2. Wonderful! Love how it all turned out...well worth the effort!

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  3. Just beautiful! I love that you and your husband did it yourselves because that makes it more perfect.

    Enjoy!

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  4. SO FABULOUS! Really, Jen, it is just beautiful. What did you do with the stove vent? Just curious.

    xo
    Claudia

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  5. Beautiful! I love the aqua bowls; can you tell me where you found them?

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  6. Love it, it's so fun and cute! The colors you choose are always so beautiful.

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  7. it's beyond beautiful, and i'm so happy for you!!! (and yay for making deadlines, amiright?!)

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  8. The price tag alone is amazing -- all of that for only $1200!! It's just gorgeous ... looks like it belongs in an 'Inspiring Kitchens' edition of a magazine. :-)

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  9. You did a fabulous job! It's beautiful! I love the open shelving!
    Michelle

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  10. That kitchen is so perfectly you. It's gorgeous and I believe you will enjoy it more because you had such a hand in creating it.
    xo~Jill

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  11. It couldn't be cuter!- congrats on your ignorance because you proved the fools win in the end! ;)

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  12. Lovely! Bravo for taking the leap. Thanks for sharing it!

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  13. I would love to putter around in your kitchen. So homey. I like that you curtained all of the base cabinets.

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  14. I LOVE it, and am so impressed at your big improvement with little expense!

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  15. Absolutely wonderful. Doesn't even look like the same space...you are so gifted seeing potential and how to make everything it's best!

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  16. Amazing well done, have fun in your new kitchen!

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  17. You did an absolutely fabulous job! Incredible. LOVE it!!!

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  18. LOVE//haha on the marriage restored and it looks great!! So happy for you!
    xo
    kara

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  19. It turned out so great!!! love all the white and then the pops of color with your dishes and accesories. so glad you guys survived a kitchen remodel... indeed not for the faint of heart :)

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  20. It's absolutely gorgeous!! What a transformation. My favorite part is the open shelving. Did you get those shelves at Lowes, too?

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  21. What a transformation! I think I would want to hang out in there just because it's so pretty. Knowing you love to cook makes the room even more special. How nice to have it done for you guests this Saturday. Let me know how it all goes. Beautiful job!

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  22. So dreamy! I just love everything you did to the space. You must just walk into the kitchen, stand there and STARE at the new space. Well done. Love it!!

    ~Shanon

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  23. I love it. It looks so fresh! And your shelves are beaut-y-ful! It must make you so happy to have such a pretty space for the holidays.

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  24. Gorgeous!!!! I would sit at your bar and just stare at all the pretty bowls, etc.
    Great job! I can't believe that transformation was only $1200.

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  25. BEAUTIFUL! Congrats on a job WELL done! It is just lovely!

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  26. What a wonderful job! Oh you should be very proud of yourself. Beautiful! Bonnie

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  27. Love it, JJ! It's so you and I absolutely adore everything about it.
    p.s. We're twins with the little white with red stripes bowl.

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  28. It looks gorgeous! It's defiantly the look that I love for a kitchen. Great job! And I know how much hard work went into that, I've been there myself. PS-where did the stove pipe go?

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  29. Absolutely lovely! It just says "jen lives here" :)

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  30. Oh happy day! It is so lovely! Great job. :) Kit

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  31. You did such a great job. I am usually a lurker, but this merits a well done!

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  32. jen, this is just beautiful. i'm so excited for you guys...and so impressed at what you did yourselves--what an accomplishment! (and the island makes me want to come bake some scones with you!) :)

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  33. Don't you dare ever change a ding dang thing. It's done!!! And it's perfect.

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  34. Congratulations! Looks like the perfect spot to cozy up n bake holiday treats with loved ones... EnJoY!!!!
    Hugs
    Leslie

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  35. Oh, Jen! Your new kitchen is just dreamy and glowing. The shiplap walls and planked ceiling, and the gorgeous kitchenware on the open shelves...ooh la.

    My husband and I (technically right now, it's mostly my husband) are renovating a small farmhouse and it's a huge mess inside at the moment from the demo. The other day he returned from working on it and announced he'd completely ripped up the dining room floor--which wasn't something we'd anticipated on doing. When I went over the next day to check it out, you better believe some choice words were coming out of my mouth when I saw he'd literally taken the entire floor up so that only the beams remained and the crawlspace was entirely exposed. (In his defense, this move was necessary--but it didn't lessen my shock at the first sight of it!)

    After knowing what a mess you went through to achieve this beautiful space, this after post gives me hope for my own place.

    Take care,
    Erin
    Carolina Country Living

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  36. what an amazing redo..did you end up not using the hutch top on the counter like you had a few weeks back...I love it all and love that you achieved it on your own...I wish my hubby was as adventurous ...do you rent yours out by the hour??? I have alot of projects waiting on mine to get in gear...

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  37. Gorgeous!
    Pretty!
    Warm and Yummy!
    So happy for you...what a terrific treat to have a beautiful kitchen in time for the holidays!

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  38. Very lovely and filled with light! You and yours did a wonderful job. I do love how your pretty pottery is showcased on your open shelving. Now it is truly the 'heart of the home'. xx

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  39. What a sweet and charming kitchen! It's simply beautiful! I'm following along. Looking forward to seeing more!

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  40. Beautiful beautiful!

    annie at firefly hill

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  41. So light and airy! Love it, Jen.

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  42. Just let me chime in with the rest and say how fantastic I think it is. You're lucky to have an enthusiastic husband who can see your vision and make it happen!

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  43. Hi Jen,
    Love your new kitchen! Your aqua accessories are gorgeous! I follow you on instagram, but cant see on your blog how to follow you?! How do I do it?
    Gem x

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  44. It is beautiful! I love it - looks so cottagey! So fun to spiff it up so you can love it while you wait on your dream kitchen!

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  45. Oh, Jen it is perfect. I'd cook there. :-)
    Enjoy, Hedy

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  46. i've been wanting to come check this put the last two days...
    so gorgeous, light, and charming! I love the ceiling you did and all the open shelving. fabulous job on all the decor too! i'm holding out for that new retro fridge too...what color do you want? what brand? Big Chill? Smeg? they are so damn $$$$!
    "jackassery"...my new fave.

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  47. Oh Jen I love it ~ every little detail!!

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  48. OH MY GOSH!
    it's my dream kitchen, for sure. amazing amazing job, jen. wow. wow. wow!!!

    wow!

    xo
    elyse

    ps
    wow!

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  49. Oh wow! I really, really adore it! It has the perfect cottage vibe and the dishes just top it off with perfection! It's really impressive!

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  50. Hey Jen.The towel is from Anthro. My favorite. :)

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  51. I just LOVE it all, every bit of it, and I wouldn't change a thing! Yay for you! Beautiful!

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  52. Jen, I love, Love, LOVE the kitchen!!!! You and Jim did such a GREAT JOB!!!! You REALLY should submit this to Romantic Country or romantic Homes! It looks straight out of their magazines!!!!!! I want to see more! :)
    xoxo
    Kristi

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  53. So incredibly charming! :) Makes me smile big! We just went through Hurricane Sandy and our entire first floor was flooded...we are gutting it now. It's going to be a long road ahead, so your lovely kitchen gives me inspiration and hope! :)

    Love from the NJ Shore!
    xo Jenny

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  54. What a stunning before and after. Great job Jen.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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