14 July 2010

Kitchen Reno Part II & Giveaway!

(FYI...giveaway for U.S. and Canada residents only.  Enter until Friday morning, 7 a.m. Eastern)

Let's see if I can cover anymore nitty gritty details.  From the picture above, I recommend two things:

1.  I love the combination of the open cabinets with baskets on the left, and the balance of the wine racks on the right.  We do like wine, not huge drinkers, but Chris loves a chianti and I love a good, buttery Chardonnay now and then.  This is such ideal storage...out of the way and the kids can't knock it over.  I also love a little break in the monotony of cabinets.  The baskets are great because I keep baking stuff on the top basket (easy to just pull out the measuring cups from there), and tons of dish towels on the bottom.  I do my best to be 'green' and use limited paper towels.  The best part is the boys know where the towels are when they need to wipe up their own mess.

2.  The fireclay apron front farmhouse sink.  The key here is "fireclay".  Spend a little more money and get this kind because they don't scratch.  Mine hasn't yet, and I love this!  You can't get cheaper ones, but I think you may pay in the long run.  (Mine was still less than $700)

The brackets (above) are from Anthropolgie.  They are study, iron, and pretty!  I like them a lot.  The faucet is a polished chrome one from Lowe's...less than $200 and had a high customer rating.  I have been really pleased.  I can't believe how much people spend on faucets!  If you are renovating on a budget, I recommend saving on this item.

We used Ben Moore White Dove throughout the kitchen.  It is the perfect white for us...just a little hint of cream in it when the sun hits it.  I did see on The Antonio Project on HGTV that he used automobile paint for kitchen cabinets.  That is an awesome idea--you can't have too durable a paint for a kitchen!

We have beadboard surrounding half of the kitchen.  Not only is it a pretty wood treatment to look at, but it does add some durability as well....an extra layer to protect those walls!

I can't remember if I posted before about our countertops, but we used a limestone.  Not as stain-resistant as a shiny granite, but not as porous as marble.  I truly would have gone with marble, I am not too scared of red wine stains.  Limestone is less expensive than marble.

One area to save money with a budget redo is keeping the appliances in their original places.  I know we don't have the ideal "triangle"--sink, cooktop, fridge, but it would have cost a bundle to change everything around.  Keeping things as-is meant we could spend more on pretty finishes.

If you have natural light in the kitchen, which usually you have at least one good window--remember some texture on the windows!  Add a cafe curtain, some wooden blinds, a roman shade....something to add some warmth to the kitchen.  An all-white kitchen especially needs some dimension.

Use all the space you have.  We don't have any extra room in this kitchen, and that is okay.  We definitely have to stay our current sizes or we won't fit in here anymore!  We did move the old island to Chris' workshop, and we had this long island built.  It is a workhorse, and it is great.  We installed electrical outlets on both sides of the island.  We make smoothies here, blend ingredients for cakes in the KitchenAid, and even charge our Ipods here.  A definite plus.

To save a ton of counterspace, we have the microwave here, too.  A great hiding place!!

Our knobs have a little contrast.  These are glass fronts with chrome bases..and quite affordable from my knobs 

The chrome cup pulls are from Restoration Hardware.  Pricier than the glass, but they feel so sturdy and solid.

Here is another before of the former owner's kitchen.  See how much smaller the island is?  Yes, there is more room to walk around, but we now store small appliances, cookbooks, tupperware and a microwave in that long thing.  Definitely worth taking up the extra space for us.

You can see how we basically kept all the appliances in their original homes.

When I had a cookie party for Christmas, all of us women could fit around this island.  We had our cookies out, rolling them and decorating them.  It was fun to have a space where we could all fit and still see each other's faces.

Boy, and I sure wish Walker Zanger would give me a little kick-back!  Some of you readers are sure liking this tile!  I am too.  That is why I stuck to my guns when they all said, "just get subway tile!"  I love subway tile, it is all over our home, but I really think this is fun and a little unexpected.  Some of you have had trouble finding it, but it is Walker Zanger tile, style Ashby Mosaic in high gloss white.  Oyster grout.  (For really high traffic areas I would even go darker.  We have medium gray grout in the boys' bath and basement bath.  It is called medium, but it is very dark.  I love that and it is great for high-use areas.)

One last shot of new appliances...but in old places.

I think that may cover all of the kitchen renovation.  Please let me know if I missed something.

To enter the CSN giveaway for a $40 gift certificate, please just leave a comment.  Why not tell me what is one thing you have to have in the kitchen?  What is the one thing you'll spend the money on?  Or....just comment and say whatever the heck you want.

And (hopefully) I'll be back on Friday with pics of Suzanne Kasler and Jonathan Adler!

All the best,



  1. Your kitchen is SO amazing! I love it! And honestly, I would rather have the added storage/counter space than a little extra space to move around.

    I think one thing I "have" to have in my kitchen, would be some new mixing bowls.

    Jana Marie

  2. great job, babe. I love your kitchen look, especially the open shelving. you didn't specifically feature it here, but love your mirror in your eating space.

  3. You're kitchen looks great - and I REALLY love your dining area! The one thing I have to have in my kitchen is my mixer - I love to bake so it gets used quite a lot :)

  4. I don't think I can say enough how much I adore your kitchen! And I am definitely one of those people in love with your backsplash! I didn't think I would love a backsplash more than my tin ceiling one, but yours blows me away! Crossing my fingers to win. =)

  5. I love an all white kitchen, the cabinets and your sink. Eventually, my kitchen will have a sink VERY similar to that. It is to die for. One thing I love are great knobs, Hobby Lobby has some GREAT affordable ones - The best thing in my kitchen are my mackenzie-childs flower market dishes. They are great colorful contrast to an all white kitchen. :)

  6. I love your kitchen. I'm in the process of painting my cabinets right now - and it is agonizing - they are all over the main floor. I can't wait for it to be done.

    I was wondering if you bought a special microwave to put in your island or did you just put a regular countertop type there. It is a great idea. The location of the microwave is the one thing we haven't sorted out yet.

  7. Julie love this post. You can inspire so many people to go for it and redo their outdated kitchens that need updating. It seems daunting for some but it can be so much fun to make choices. I loved making choices on our home building and I got to splurge a bit because we were saving on labor costs since my husband built our house! I love Restoration Hardware's polished nickel and used it a lot in our house. I bought towel racks and light fixtures in polished nickel and love it.
    I think the three things in your kitchen that are my favorites are your brackets from Anthro, your limestone countertops and your light fixtures. I have a thing about light fixtures.
    I also have a thing for cabinet hardware and got ours from Modern Objects, it was pricey but I see it a lot and that was a splurge that I don't think most people would do but it was one I was looking forward to getting because I knew I would be looking at them all the time.
    One thing I don't like is that our bar sink that is under a counter that is stainless steel isn't 'stainless' I keep trying to get drip lines off of it. I don't think I would put stainless under a counter again.
    But my number one thing that I love about my kitchen is my dishwasher 'drawer' with the Modern Objects pull. It's the one thing guest freak out over when they come over. You don't have to stoop down you just pull out your dishwasher drawer. It was a bit pricey but sooooo worth it. So there are my splurges, also our stone countertops. Solid surface countertops are a big topic for me. I think I research counter tops to death. The one thing I really want to do now is glass painted backsplashes. The back of the glass is painted, which you can do in any color but it's pricey when you would think it wouldn't be. It basically has to be baked on. I love the reflective nature of it. It would really fit in our kitchen.
    The 'jewelry' for a kitchen is the best part.

  8. Julie, your kitchen is soooooooooo adorable, beautiful and wonderful! Oh! How I love it! Thank you for all of the photos and details! I am showing this to my hubby for inspiration!
    Have a pretty day!

  9. Hi-
    Out of all the lovely things in your kitchen...this question is really randon:) Where did you get the darling bread box? Also, the rug?
    Stephanie O.

  10. Love your renovation! White dove is one of my favorite colors! We did our kitchen reno 2 years ago and if I were to do it all over again I would have liked to have had more open shelves. The next kitchen....I will definitely have this!!

    And, I love a good giveaway! Stop over...I just posted a CSN giveaway too!!

  11. I loooove your kitchen! The tile, the light fixtures, the gold mirror...beautiful!

    If I were to splurge on one item, it would definitely be the backsplash. You can always paint the cabinets or swap out hardware or put in a new faucet, but the backsplash is a bit more permanent. So I'd spend the extra dough to get something I really love.

  12. Your kitchen is my absolute favorite! I love every single thing about it! I have actually had wallpaper in my kitchen and it has been great even as a backsplash, but now I am convinced that when we finally update I will have a tile backsplash. Just perfect work by you!!!

  13. That faucet is way too nice to have only cost $200. Do you have a name or link?


  14. Brad, I am almost positive this is it. I need to go through our records. And I am a lier...it is listed for $273 (but our contractor got discounts at Lowe's)

    Delta Victorian Chrome Double-Handle Kitchen Faucet with Side Spray
    Item #: 89235 | Model #: 2256-216
    (1 reviews)

  15. Your kitchen reno is great. My 1980s kitchen in my 1938 house looks like your "before" photos. We bought our house 3 years ago and a kitchen reno is definitely on our wish list! Thanks for a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that went into yours! Job well done!

  16. Your before and after doesn't even look like the same kitchen! I love your faucet- goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune for a great looking kitchen! Keep posting pictures, I could just admire your house all day. :)

  17. I think it looks amazing! i actually really really like! like a lot! well done!

  18. We just remodeled a 100 year old house that we bought this Spring. The two things I HAD to put into this kitchen were: glass mosaic tiles as our backsplash to bring some color into the space and a Dual Fuel Stove - with a gas top and electric oven. (I spent $200 more and got the second lower over as well - also electric). I love the mosaic tiles & color and cook like a dream on my Dual Fuel.


  19. Your kitchen is so lovely. I did a mini makeover last year to our kitchen (removed icky wallpaper, painted the cabinets, etc) but I'm really looking forward to the big remodel. Our little house doesn't have a dining room and a very small eat in space in the kitchen. It all would work better if we had a smaller table but I LOVE my table and we like to occasional have guests for dinner so the ill-fitting table is staying and we just pretend it works!

  20. I still go gaga every time I see your kitchen. I hope to be painting ours soon.

  21. First of all, your kitchen is AMAZING!! Great job. I enjoyed seeing the before & after shots!
    Our kitchen "must-have" that we spent a little extra on is a flat grill on our stovetop. My husband is a killer hibachi chef at home, and we use it a bunch. It was worth the extra pennies for sure! I also love my antique wooden basket that holds our fresh veggies and fruits.

  22. Love your kitchen! The lighting is so perfect!

    A must have for me is counter space. While renovating, all I kept saying is " I want a huge island".

  23. I love your kitchen! I can't live without my kitchen aid mixer. I love it!

  24. I love your kitchen, and of course, I have to say the tile is my favorite. So unique. I have the much more traditional (and expected) subway tile, but I picked a hand-tinted color to make it a little special.

    I'm so bummed I missed your giveaway. Oh well. Maybe next time!

  25. Julie- Love the glass lanterns in your kitchen-- do you mind sharing where you got them? Libby

  26. I seriously love the kitchen!

    I would use it towards the step 2 roller coaster on the csn toy site for my daughter for her birthday

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

  27. I'd use it toward a guidecraft kitchen helper. Thanks for the chance!

  28. I just ran across your blog and was THRILLED to see the Walker Zanger tile in your kitchen! I have been OBSESSED with that tile for the past 2 years. We were going to use in when we remodeled a kitchen in a home we WERE in escrow for. Well we ended up in a different house with a pretty nice kitchen...but I STILL want that tile darn it! Your kitchen is beautiful. Nice work!

  29. I love love your kitchen. I found you from YHL. I love the tile in your kitchen and the lighting. It is all so fresh and inviting. I noticed comparing your before and afters it looks like you went from an electric to a gas cooktop. I was wondering if you'd mind sharing the cost for that. I am considering doing it myself. The gas line is directly below my cooktop in the basement.. Our electric one is on its last legs for sure.

  30. Sara...if you get this message me again and I can give you specifics. Your profile on blogger has no email. Julie

  31. Julie
    What is the depth of your shelving? 8 or 10"?

    Love love love it!

  32. Great Kitchen!! I love the Walker Zanger tile on your backsplash, but I'm having difficulty finding the Ashby Mosaic tile anywhere - even on the Walker Zanger website. Any tips on where to find it?