12 March 2013

Kitchen is Done!

Before and After Kitchen

Coolest Little Kitchen

Freestanding Kitchen

This side and the island are freestanding and DIY.  The cabinets by the stove still have their back wheels.

Kitchen Remodel is Complete!

I will write more facts about this project in a future post, but today, 
I am excited to post the photos!!!

This kitchen has been in the planning and works for about a year, and it was completed on a budget.

It's unique.  
And what mattered to my family is that the kitchen, besides functional, had to be fun, happy, and relaxed and 84 square feet of cute.  It makes me smile every time I see it.

I was going for a French country or vintage, cottage kitchen with a furniture look. 

This house was a total fixer-upper and the kitchen almost non-existent,
 but I could see that she was cute potential.

I started with my own sketch and a design board that I made.

We did the stove side and island all ourselves, including the cabinets.

Affordable DIY Kitchen Remodel

We stayed on budget; and it's paid for, because it took nearly a year, and because we had to have professionals fix the entire home's plumbing and electrical systems before we could start! 
One needs enough circuits to run today's appliances when remodeling older kitchens.

 We did all the grunt work: moldings, design, figuring it out, beadboard planked walls and ceilings, baseboards, tear down, floors, painting, building the shelves, picked up the cabinets, hauled away boxes and debris, and cabinets next to the stove on the left side of the kitchen, all the left side of the kitchen and island, etcetera.....  We used layaway for two of the appliances. My parents gave us the Breville and the new door.

I'm not including the electrical and plumbing in the overall budget, because the pros did that as a separate project for the whole house before we did anything.  During the kitchen remodel we did have to spend 400 with the electrician for new outlets.

Except for a few items, I had the decor and the art.

It was a lot of work, but so worth it, and the remodel had some comical moments.


70s laminate over original 1944 cabinets which had rotted and started to pull away from the wall.
(Above:  Non support wall and cabinets we removed.)

This original window is still here, because the options to replace it looked like bathroom windows.  On the left side we removed most of the nonsupport wall, but not all because plumbing was in it (the left side is where the dining room is.) The space to the right of the sink was for the refrigerator and opposite it was the stove.  The solid door and small doorway into the kitchen made it look like a cave.  We moved the refrigerator to the other side.  So we changed the footprint a little, but nothing major in a costly way.

Opened Up


Kitchen by butterflyandbungalow featuring leather handbags

We went with a Swedish Electrolux ICON gas stove and hood, and we changed the tile to beadboard planks, because the plaster was so badly damaged.  Thomasville cabinets are on the sink side, because they were the best price; they were less than Kraft Maid, Martha Stewart, and one other that the depot carried.  Believe it or not.

Peek Through the Door

Epoxy Concrete Painted Floors  (We did the floors.)

Stove and Refrigerator Side

The small honed, marble topped islands are moveable if we desire to clean behind.  I left the two back wheels on each of them, and I can roll them out.

SMEG Kitchen 

I designed and made these "cabinets" with my spouse using Ikea and some ingenuity.   All the baskets are from Pottery Barn.  And the SMEG refrigerator is pastel blue.

We made the shelving.  The design is meant to compliment the door of the large armoire in the adjacent dining room.

The cafe eating area off the kitchen is a nice spot when the temperature is right.

Sink Side
River White Granite

Hand Hammered Copper Sink and Brushed Nickel Faucet
During the installation one end was not right and my spouse had to pull out a hammer for the granite guy, and my spouse banged the rim of the sink, while the granite installer adjusted it.  It didn't damage it, besides the rim is under the granite.

I knew the faucet finish would work, because I've seen plenty of Zuni jewelry with these colors and turquoise.  All the metals in the room are brushed, not shiny. 

That's a cutting board for the island on the butcher block,
and it is made out of the same granite as the counter-top.
It ties it all the granite together making a triangle of color.

 The river white granite is polished and it coordinates nicely with the honed marble countertops.

A mischievous fox who would probably get the quail, rooster, and rabbit if he could.

Keep Scrolling... :) Please...  So many photos the sidebar is in the way.

The sink is really deep and dirty dishes can't be seen from the front door.

We planked the walls and  ceiling giving it a bead-board look.

View of how the rooms connect now.
My dining table's wood is the same shade as the copper sink.  

On the island's top I used Boo's cream.  The numbers were my daughter's idea, and it is the year the cottage was built!  Children love numbers and words.

View From Front Door
The copper sink is a similar shade of my dining room table and the original concrete colored floors peeking out in the living room by the piano.  See how the sink can be seen from the front door, but it so deep one cannot see dishes.

View From Kitchen Looking at Front Door
See the blue door and the blue fridge :)

For the sink side I worked with Home Depot.
I came up with the sink side design after many meetings with the Home Depot Technician over six months; if you want to do something different in a small kitchen one really has to show them inspiration ideas.  It is easier to design a big kitchen than a small kitchen.  For example the kitchen could not have a pennisula; one can see that in the before, but the tech had to try it out to see that I knew what I was talking about

Depot contractors installed the cabinets on the left right sink side and its granite, otherwise all the work, except electricity and plumbing repaired and brought to code, was done by my husband and me.


We really love it.
It is such a fun space and it has enough counters for the three of us to work at once.  My daughter calls it her cafe.
For the organizationally challenged, it is perfect.  We can see where things belong, and it makes our home neater.

Updated to add the new French door which finished the inside space.  We still need to finish out the crown molding at the ceiling above the door and armoire.

Armoire Pantry

We use the armoire to store more dishes.


  1. It's just perfect, I love everything about it:) You did a wonderful job and should be so proud.

  2. Oh, my! Your kitchen is so pretty! I love how you managed to link it to the other rooms thanks to your use of colour. Your sink is gorgeous. Enjoy your time in your beautiful kitchen.

  3. You have done an incredible job on your kitchen, it looks amazing! You should be very proud! I have never seen a sink like that before, looks great!

  4. What an amazing transformation! It's beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. What a job! I involved dd in the process to keep her spirits up.

  5. This is just over the top gorgeous -
    That fridge is stunning - and what are your floor? They
    look gorgeous too!

    1. Hi, Suzan. When they built some of these desert cottages in the 40s they put in colored concrete because it hid the dirt and was cool to the feet. It also has a sleeping porch. This was in the days of swamp coolers; swamp coolers don't work when the humidity is high during the monsoon.

      Over the years some of the floors were covered. (My daughter's room is in near perfect condition.)
      Well, we acid washed (pool acid) ALL of them and scraped them. Two rooms with a little latex stain look spectacular; the living room looked great just with washing and scraping, but the kitchen and dining area's color was really bad probably from whatever they had on it. So we painted the concrete SW Fawn Brindle (looks like wet concrete color) and then put an epoxy over them. It makes the concrete paint super tough and shiny, and it should lasts for years. It just wipes up with a damp cloth.

    2. I forgot to add that I've seen these floors on new modern/contemporary custom houses. There was an example of one on Houzz on a house in Carmel, California.

  6. You guys did an amazing job - such a transformation! I just love the light & airy feeling it has.

  7. Well done! It is gorgeous. You are so talented. I love how it fits so well with the rest of your house.

  8. Fabulous job! I loved peeking through the back door, that's the way good friends enter!
    It is warm and welcoming. I love it!

  9. Look GREAT!!!! I am in the middle of my kitchen re-do...hope mine comes out as good as yours!!!! Deb www.vintageonadime.blogspot.com

  10. It looks amazing! And oh my, I am in love with your copper sink and your blue fridge. Did you mention before where you found it? It's amazing, truly. Great job!!! Very inspiring. ~Angela~

    1. The copper sink came from Home Depot. The Smeg refrigerator came from AJ Madison in NY. West Elm sells it too for the same price, but they charge shipping.

  11. Awe, that copper sink is so wonderful. The whole kitchen looks amazing. I am sure you are going to enjoy cooking in there.

  12. Well, I opened your blog this morning and realized that this required me heading back to get a fresh cup of coffee and settle myself in to study your post. I am enjoying every image as it really gives us a good understanding of how you coordinated your overall space. I know myself,living in a small space, that you need to consider all the elements in order to arrive with a cohesive and beautiful space as you have. And you really have Sue. It all flows so lovely and exudes such a wonderful sense of warmth.
    Enjoy Sue...enjoy.

    1. Thank you, Donna. Hugs.

      Some things I don't think I've mentioned, at least not recently.

      I did the tall cabinet with the shelves to increase food storage below. The bottom is a really big cabinet. I'd say it's more than half the closet I had in my other house. It's deeper than the other cabinets on that side. This allowed that all kitchen dishes and pans are outside on the shelves.

      I can fit a portable dishwasher under the sink if I want, but there is usually only two or three of us here at a time, and we are actually better at washing dishes than emptying a dishwasher. I don't have a garbage disposal; my dad advises against them, (although he lives to far away to do our plumbing.) In regards to a dishwasher, it would have taken another cabinet, and it would have meant a smaller sink. Side to side there is about 91 inches on both sides, a little more than 7.5 feet. The room is wider than it is long.

      The counter-tops are also deeper than unusual because the block walls are not straight, so the bottom cabinets were pulled forward an inch and a half and hung on wood.

      I noticed people have questions, but I wanted to get the photos posted! :)

  13. I love every last detail. You have great taste and style, thanks for sharing your lovely work.


  14. OMGoodness! You did an amazing job on your kitchen. Love the sink!! Love it all! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. It means the world. Would love it if you would share this at the Make it Pretty Monday party. Here's the link if you want to check it out. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2013/03/make-it-pretty-monday-week-40.html Really a job well done!! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  16. Thanks so much for visiting my humble blog! I am adding you to my blogroll for sure. I did not know that you and your pretty home were out there in Blogland. Wow and double wow on your kitchen! I can't wait to sit down, relax, and scroll through all the information and photos about your kitchen and your bungalow. It all looks absolutely gorgeous! I hope we will be completely finished with our kitchen by the end of the summer. When I see yours, I know there is hope! :)

    1. Thank you. I had already added you, but I joined your linky too! I'll be following along, because I love remodels of small homes!

      It does take a really long time when you do all the work, but it is so rewarding when a project is finished! It's one thing at a time; isn't it?

      I saw your husband had surgery too! My husband had 9 stitches from a hammering error; it slowed him down for three or four weeks, because it was in an odd spot.

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. your kitchen is stunning. love every single detail and that sink is gorgeous beyond words. you certainly did an amazing job on it.

  19. Your kitchen is gorgeous and it is so evident that you put such a huge amount of thought and energy into it. I love every detail and it all flows so nicely.

    Have a great weekend!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  20. Wow!! I'm having serious kitchen envy! All your hard work has paid off-gorgeous!

  21. Oh I am gasping with delight! I am ready to begin cooking. :)

    I do hope you have entered the springtime giveaway I am currently hosting.

    May you and yours enjoy a lovely St. Patrick's Day!

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. I pinned your absolutely gorgeous kitchen!!! I love the refrigerator, the sink, and that great beadboard ceiling! So much here that i like. :-) I'm following via GFC and Feedly Reader.

    Thanks for stopping in at Cranberry Morning and your advice on the white kitchen! :-)

  24. Wow what an incredible transformation. I am not sure what is my favorite part because I love it all. The kitchen sink is fabulous though.

    Great Job.


    Creative Raisins

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. Wow I love your style, your blog is very interesting and beautiful, congratulations and kisses from Spain.


  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Hi, I am visiting from The Scoop link party. Y'all did an amazing job on your kitchen! I love your color and material choices. The kitchen flows so well into the adjoining room. You have a beautiful home.

    1. Thank you, Sharon! So nice of you to visit. I bookmarked your blog and look forward to reading.

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  30. I love everything!! Especially the smeg!

    1. Thank you, Rie. It's adorable ;) There were only 4 or 5 brands of refrigerator that would fit without going way over budget.

  31. I think I've pinned every shot of your kitchen that you posted! Come help me fix my kitchen!!!! Love this kitchen so much.

    You did a fabulous job. *sigh*

  32. Love your kitchen :-) Especially the copper sink and the fridge- Great job!!!!!

  33. I am in love with your kitchen! My favorite bit is the "cabinetry" choice on either side of the stove. What a unique and wonderful look. I'm pinning that one for sure! I stopped by from Life in Grace!

  34. Wowza- amazing!
    Visiting from Edie's link up. :-)
    I love, love, love how you maximized every inch and made your kitchen's diminutive size work in your favor.
    You taste is impeccable and I am eager to explore more of your home and get to know you too!

  35. What a gorgeous renovation! This turned out beautifully!

    I'd love to pin this to The Home Depot's Pinterest board if you don't mind?

    Senior Editor, The Home Depot

    1. Thank you, Caroline. I'm glad you like it. Yes, I'd love it if it was pinned to The Home Depot's Pinterest board! It's an honor. We kid one another that Home Depot is our home away from home.

      Sue Johnson

  36. Well, I just had to take a spin through your kitchen, and I'm so impressed! It looks amazing! Love that fridge!

  37. Featuring you today! Hope you are having a great Memorial weekend! Do you want to host my next giveaway with me. It's on my blog. Let me know.

  38. I'm so impressed you remodeled your kitchen yourselves. I love your kitchen and your blog!

    1. Thank you, Laurel. It was the only way to create what I had in mind. It is a small kitchen 7 feet 8 inches on two sides and about 11 feet across. 83 square feet. It helps that my spouse is handy, and that he learned a lot from working with his carpenter father.

  39. Your kitchen is fabulous! That little Smeg refrigerator is dreamy! You obviously put so much thought into every detail. Love it!

  40. Looks beautiful. We are just about ready for granite install on a rustic cabin, river white as well, and still not quite sure about what sink to get. Copper is a big contender, but the one I found and like, the inside opening is 27 inches long by 17 wide and 10 inches deep. What size is yours? and so far, how do you like the copper? it's functionality etc? Thank you.

  41. Looks beautiful. We are just about ready for granite install on a rustic cabin, river white as well, and still not quite sure about what sink to get. Copper is a big contender, but the one I found and like, the inside opening is 27 inches long by 17 wide and 10 inches deep. What size is yours? and so far, how do you like the copper? it's functionality etc? Thank you.

  42. It’s been over 10 months since I’ve remodeled my kitchen and the compliments received from my family and friends just keep coming. I hired the team at Classic Kitchen and Bath in Illinois because they are a family business and have been around for as long as I can remember. Remodeling can be quite a hassle but these guys made the process much simpler for me. It was a great experience working with the team at CKB- a company that prides itself on quality workmanship, timeliness, and customer service. Visit their website today www.myclassickitchenandbath.com or call 630-515-9151. I highly recommend them to anyone considering a new kitchen or bathroom.

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