The Aftermath: Kitchen Edition

Well law ham-mercy, we are FINALLY settling in over here.  I have an organized kitchen, my children have legitimate places to sleep, and I finally know where all my pants are.  I think we all know what that means:  BLOG TIME.

While my instinct is to regale you all with exaggerated stories about how the move went or how it’s been to live in the house so far, I figured I would go a different route this time and try to be somewhat informative–dare we say–even helpful instead.

Maybe it’s just me, but I am always curious to know exactly what is in a picture of a home renovation. Like those cabinets are cool looking, but sonova, COME ON, PINTEREST, WHAT IS THAT COLOR!?  So below, you’ll find pictures of our finished kitchen, notes about finishes, some comments on what we love so far, and a little something that didn’t exactly go as planned.


old floors

Above is a little reminder of the shape our kitchen floors were in just after we bought the house.  They were covered in tiny white tiles, so we karate chopped until we found hardwoods under tile and linoleum.  There was so much damage and glue that it’s a tiny miracle they turned out so well.  At one point, our poor contractor was hunkered down scraping them off with a….well I guess a scraping tool….and a heat gun.  Anyway, we love how they look now–they’re not perfect, but they’re full of character, and they’re holding up well to the 14 thousand Cheerios that are crushed there everyday (Cheerio example provided in the pic below for reference).  The stain color is Minwax Espresso, but I’ve heard this can sometimes look a lot darker than how it turned out below, just as an FYI if you’re about to stain your own.floors


We only used lower cabinets, and only on one side of the kitchen, since the space is a little narrow.  The paint color we chose is Sherwin Williams Magnetic Grey, which is one shade darker than the Silver Strand we used on the walls in our living and dining rooms.  They ended up looking a little lighter than I would have thought originally, but I really like how they’re a colorful, cool neutral.  The pic below is a weird angle, but it was the only one I took that seemed truest to the “in real life” color.  And omg I’m obsessed with that rug, don’t even get me started.



One of my biggest concerns was that we wouldn’t have enough room for all of our kitchen things, but so far, it’s worked out well.  To be honest, we use the bottom two of our shelves regularly, but really the other two levels are just too high to have things on there that we need.  Dust collectors?  Maybe.  Do I regret having them?  Nope.  To me, they make the kitchen feel more comfortable and homey, but also I’m not exactly Suzy Practical, so maybe just ignore my opinions on this one.  They are stained the same Espresso as the floors.


Our main storage area has been our Butler’s pantry.  A total clutch area for all the presentable dishes and cookware.

butlers pantry

But about a week before we moved in, I had a major panic attack about where our ugly stuff would go.  Like the neon baby cups, mismatched Tupperware, and my husband’s pint glasses, for example.  So we did a little rigging up of the room that goes out to the back porch.  We used the cabinets that were inexplicably in one of the bedrooms–

old cabs

–and, after a little doctoring, put the upper cabinets in that area.  A little paint, a wooden top, and a few shelves on the wall, and voila!  Room for the land of the misfit cups.

pantry finished.jpg


The paint color in the entire kitchen (plus the pantry area above) is Sherwin Williams Alabaster.  Not too creamy, not too cool–too me, she’s the perfect white.  She’ll make you feel comfortable without bossing you around or filling you with regret.  OK, I’ll calm down.  But the color is a super close match to the tile we used, and to our Cambria Torquay quartz counter tops, for anyone out there who is as anal as I am about that kind of coordination, and we used Oyster Gray grout.  As a side note, our contractor wanted to stop the tiles below the first shelf.  Big mama was not pleased.  The scale was all wrong and it was ruining everything and I rolled around on the floor in a tantrum until he agreed to tile up to the second level of shelving.  Maybe that’s not true—or IS IT!?  

countertops finished

We also used the baby hex tiles around our fireplace.  We’re hoping to do more with this area sometime soon, but for now it’s at least clean and festive.

fireplace finished

Oh no!

Our biggest headache for the kitchen was the fridge:  where to put it, how to make it look OK, etc.  The first time I walked in and saw this monster, I almost cried.  Like maybe I did cry a tiny bit.

huge fridge

WHY DID GODZILLA COME ATTACK OUR KITCHEN AND BUILD A TOWER TO LIVE IN LIKE A HUGE COMFY ENCASED DINOSAUR?!  Our ceilings are 13ft. tall, for reference, and building this thing up to the ceiling was just a no.  A huge no.  An OH NO.

side fridge

I MEAN JUST LOOK!  But anyway, everyone calmed down, and we made a plan to make that area smaller and blend the side in with some bead board.  After that, most of us started feeling a little better.  I still don’t love the disproportionately tiny doors, but we’ll fix ’em.  At least it doesn’t look like a staircase for Jack to get up to his beanstalk.

fridge finished whew

Oh yes!

Our two surprising faves so far are the little breakfast perch area–

breakfast area

and the sink.  We end up having most of our meals these days on those stools, mainly because our older daughter loves to watch the trains while she eats, and because the baby loves to sit in her high chair close by and throw her food at us.

And check out the sink in the first picture.  It’s a single basin, under-mount sink, so nothing fancy, but guess what:  I had two plates, three cups, one baby bottle, a pot, and a house plant in there when I took that picture.  That’s right, friends, this sink hides allll the dirty things until you’re ready to face them.  I love her–it’s a pure, simple, and grateful love.

All done–psyche 

So the kitchen is one of our most finished areas.  We still have one MILLION more projects to complete, but we’re feeling pretty settled in this spot, at least.  Coming up next, a little peek into our new (clean, unoccupied) bathrooms.  Coming up never, the room full of boxes that I keep ignoring.

P.S. the pot on the stove in the fist pic is a prop.  I literally got the pot from our pantry and put it on the stove to make it seem like I had a delicious roast simmering in there, but really it’s empty– or maybe it’s full of hopes and dreams, depending on how you look at it.  

Until next time, friends!


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