home tour #1: adventures in a [not so] simple kitchen remodel…


It really did start with paint. Benjamin Moore Yarmouth Blue (HC-150), to be precise.

The adventure began in the fall of 2010. After tolerating my early-90’s-style-builder-grade-cabinet-and-hunter-green-laminate-counter-kitchen for 15 years, I was ready for a change.

Change of color, that is. I didn’t have $20,000-100,000 for a complete overhaul.

Paint, however, was within my budget – and I knew I could do it myself.


It was a sad little kitchen before in sad little camera phone photos

I grabbed paint chips and samples and taped and brushed various colors on the walls.  I stood back and realized the wall colors I wanted made my cabinets look even uglier than before.

The cabinets must go!

This was not an option, but designers have always preached that paint can transform anything….

This put me 2 cans of paint away from my fabulous, new, diy remodel on the cheap:  a gallon of BM Yarmouth Blue for the walls and a gallon of BM oil-based Bittersweet Chocolate Satin Alkyd (2114-10) for the cabinets.

The major flaw in my logic:

dark cabinets + hunter green counter + no window = A CAVE

The countertops must go!

And go I went to Home Depot with my Home Depot credit card burning a hole in my purse. I chose a bright white quartz Silestone solid surface countertop in Zeus white. I signed the contract, handed over my credit card, and assured my Home Depot design rep that my kitchen cabinets were perfectly level.

My kitchen cabinets weren’t perfectly level. Nothing in my house – with its 1905 foundation – is level.

Thus started a two-month project that involved a revolving door of carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Oh, and throw in a few new appliances and a new glass tile backsplash.

So much for my planned DIY kitchen on a budget!

Though, I did do my fair share of work on the project: I painted the walls and the cabinets/drawers (I give a how to on the cabinets here), a time consuming project in its own right. And I tiled the table and made custom slipcovers for the bar-height chairs. You can find the tiling the table post here … and the parson chair wannabe chair post here.

In the end, the kitchen makeover cost a great deal more than 2 cans of paint – coming in just under $7,000 – but I couldn’t be happier with the results.

kitchen for blog close up flowers (600x450) (2)
for blog Kitchen table
for blog sink counter for blog (600x450) (2)
for blog kitchen stove for blog (600x450) (2)

We’ve lived with it for a year now and I’m still very happy …

… although, I really really want a stainless fridge and range.  It’s just not in the budget – and probably won’t happen until the kids are done with college …

… and I’m already thinking about the kitchen’s next progression. Perhaps I could enlist Mike and our new nail gun to install molding a la The Lettered Cottage blog to heighten the top cabinets and perhaps do a similar white & gray paint treatment on the uppers and lowers …

Just for fun, here are a few shots of much earlier incarnations of the kitchen:

kitchen before before 
This is a few months after we moved in.  Don’t be fooled by that innocent look on Topper’s face.  A few months later he ate a giant hole in the laminate flooring.  I guess he found it just as ugly as I did …
kitchen before before b&w
We didn’t think through the black and white check.  They were a nightmare with a tri-colored dog.  And no we didn’t abuse our child. He thought it was fun to play in the dog’s crate.  By the way, that baby is now a well-adjusted high school freshman …

Get my posts by email:

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Let’s keep in touch … 


And be sure to come back on May 29 to link up at our multi-blog “The Great Outdoors” link party.  Click on the blue folder for more …

Linking up with:
Finding Fabulous
Thrifty Decor Chic
Funky Junk Interiors
Lolly Jane Boutique
Tatertots & Jello
Under the Table and Dreaming
Homemaker on a Dime
Between Naps on the Porch
The DIY Showoff
Home Stories A 2 Z
Savvy Southern Style
The Shabby Nest
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Sisters of the Wild West
Addicted 2 Decorating
The 36th Avenue
My 1929 Charmer

and for fun, I’m linking this up internationally ….  since they so kindly invited me …
The Rosegarden in Malevik

… and in Australia where Meg invited me to join her VERY FIRST LINK PARTY EVER
Meg and Mum’s

You know how Jerry Lewis is huge in France?  Maybe I can be big in Sweden … or Australia!

Follow Along...

Subscribe by Email:


  1. says

    Looks really great! Personally, I think the white appliances look good against the dark cabinets, and the white stove top goes well with the quartz. Stainless is SUCH a pain to keep clean and who needs to be worrying about fingerprints on appliances? I have it, and want white – just sayin’…

  2. says

    What a transformation, it is truly beautiful. I’m sure you’ve hear the saying “watch out what you wish for” because you may want stainless steel, but you won’t like how it shows every smudge, it only looks clean for 10 minutes after you cleaned it. I really don’t like stainless steel, but hey what did I know. I really like the color combinations. You sure have a way with paint. Your front porch “carpet” is beautiful. Both your little ones are adorable. Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday’s Best.

  3. says

    Looks fantastic! With so many people painting their cabinets white, I kind of like the very dark that you did. I’m torn, one day I want to paint ours dark and the next, I want to do white, then I tell myself I actually like them the way they are….lol! Awesome job you did!
    Happy New Year!

  4. says

    Looks great and you should be proud that you were able to do some of it yourself. Great job. Love the little Dairy Truck.
    Blessings in 2012 … have fun,be happy.
    Audrey Z. at Timeless Treasures.

  5. says

    I had a similar situation with our kitchen. It all started with a broken oven and ended with a $4,000 kitchen update! We went with quartz as well, it’s my absolute fave. I feel like granite is just so overdone and quartz looks so clean. I would have loved to get a solid color like yours but I found a multi color on special and just went with it! I’m your newest member :) If you have a moment come visit me at AllThatBringsJoy.blogspot.com :)

  6. says

    Wow – you did a really great job on the kitchen! Love the glass tile and the white counters! I had ugly green laminate in a bathroom in my first house so I can relate! You go with your bad self!

  7. says

    Good กV I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..
    ACE Diet Pills

  8. says

    Yay for Yarmouth Blue – that’s the color of our dining room. I love kitchen makeovers – they’re almost as good as bathrooms. 😉 We’re doing the bathroom vs the kitchen debate – I think the bath is winning. The ancient cast iron tub MUST go. What a fun site – I look forward to seeing your Etsy store!

  9. says

    I just spent half an hour clicking around to places I have never been on your blog. One thing lead to another, clicked on your links and other blog links, and I now like my all white counters but decided the cabinets need a coat of your BM bittersweet chocolate. Really all I was going to comment was “you go first” on hanging the bead board wallpaper.


  10. says

    Catching up on old posts.

    You’re right – that white counter top makes a huge difference. For a second there, I was heading to Home Depot with my card in hand….then I read about “being level.”

    Uh, no. In 1959 they used pretty nice stuff (compared to today) and they left in the details. But, they were in a baby boomer RUSH. We don’t need no stinking levels.

    I can’t start a project that might end up costing $7,000.

    But, I CAN ask…

    Where did you get that great wine glass holder?
    (And, I love the little dairy truck!)

    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

  11. says

    I just want to tell you that I’m all new to weblog and honestly liked you’re web page. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your website . You certainly come with tremendous articles and reviews. Kudos for sharing your web-site.

  12. says

    We had a black and white floor in our first home (3rd floor walk-up in Hyde Park). We had a Dalmatian, so you’d think the b&w would work. It was such a mistake. I’ve learned to like kitchen floors that are more dirt colored. Especially with northern Illinois winters of snow and springs of mud. Your current kitchen is lovely.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *