Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reminiscing: The Kitchen Makeover

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In the spirit of the upcoming "All Things Kitchen" talent scouting event for Cottages & Bungalows Magazine, I thought I'd adapt previous posts that captured the kitchen update a few years ago at WhisperWood Cottage.

When we moved into this home, the kitchen was one of the first things that needed immediate attention. The leaky faucet spewed water at its base whether it was running or not. We had to keep a towel wrapped around the faucet at all times. The countertops were old and grimy. Their forest green color, combined with the dark wood cabinets and pine clad ceiling, made the room too dark and drab. We wondered whether the installers were drunk during construction because the counters were soooo unlevel. Here are some before/during shots...

the before/during photos:

During the cabinet painting process.

My mother-in-law helping! She rocks at anything DIY!

I could NOT wait to get the kitchen makeover started! Once it started, I wondered if it would ever end!! The painting of the cabinets seemed endless! Three coats total...1 primer coat and 2 paint coats for each cabinet and cabinet door. After comparing the before photos in STAGE 1 with the photos below, the painting was definitely worth it!

the after photos:

Like those industrial stools? Found them all at Junk Bonanza...the four of them within five minutes of each other from two different vendors. It was meant to be!! They replaced some pine and woven stools that had come with the house. When I found these industrial lovelies with their rustic blue/green patina, well...need I say more?

The big letter "I" over there on the wall was from an occasional sale in Buffalo, MN. The white metal shoe stand (holding the plant) was from Texas Antique Weekend, and the brass bell was a steal of a find at a local antique store just days after we first moved in.

Hey, look, is that an actual cookbook out on the counter? Calm down! It is for display purposes only. DISCLAIMER: No cookbooks were harmed in the making of this post.

If you look over the sofa above, you can get a sneak peek at the fireplace reno that was happening at the time and is now completed.

You'll notice I don't keep a lot of stuff out on the counters. The simpler the better in my book. Even the toaster has a home when it's not being used. I picked up the vintage canisters for a song. They are perfect for holding RJNJ's coffee, coffee filters, and sugar for his morning pick-me-up.

Several years ago, I had one snarky commenter tell me that my kitchen doesn't look lived in. Well, she/he might be right. It doesn't always look this clean, but it makes me smile when it is. And why would I show photos of a dirty kitchen when I'm showcasing a makeover? I'm pretty sure that y'all know what dirty dishes and crumb-filled counters look like, so there's no need to feature them here! :) FYI, snarky comments will be deleted, because we keep things positive around here!

The apron above? Laugh it up, sister! I'm laughing with you, because you know I don't wear aprons...mostly due to the obvious fact that I don't really cook. If you notice the fabric, it has the cutest little coffee cups, too...and I don't drink coffee. Then why oh why (the world collectively asks) do I own this coffee-themed apron? It all happened one fine day, while I was innocently surfing the web and came across Dianne's apron post. The colors, the stripes and patterns, the shape of the garment, and the quality of the sewing...I just loved it! Maybe some day, when I am channeling my inner June Cleaver and want to give the world a chuckle, I might put it to use. (Just don't hold your breath.)

I also have a penchant for special brass and copper items. {sigh} 'Nuff said, right?


At some point, we switched out the builder's grade light for this star shaped pendant.

Y'all know I have a penchant for vintage signs and typography, too, right? This depression era sign was added above the sink for a little vintage whimsy.

I've realized that when it comes to making over your home, it doesn't have to be about spending a lot of money. It's about adding your touches (as simple as they might be) to each room. A coat of paint, a vintage piece, or simple organization that makes the room function for you. It's about creating a space that whispers, "Welcome home" every time you enter.

P.S. See how the kitchen was transformed for the holiday season!

P.P.S. WHERE'S TANNER: It's your day to play "Where's Tanner?" (you know, like "Where's Waldo?). Did you see him in one of the photos above? I didn't see him until now...the little sneaker! If you didn't see him, go back to find out "Where's Tanner?"


The Talent Scouting Party @WhisperWood Cottage is scouting for talented bloggers who would like to be published in Cottages & Bungalows magazine! Next Scouting Event: All Things Kitchen! "All Things Kitchen" means whole kitchens, kitchen makeovers, kitchen islands, kitchen furniture, kitchen decor, kitchen DIY, kitchen organization, kitchen solutions, or any kitchen project (EXCEPT recipes or food-related projects). Projects can be newly or previously completed. If you linked up a kitchen project to the last Talent Scouting Party, you can link it up again as long as it fits with the kitchen theme.

Linky opens on Monday, April 9!


  1. Looks beautiful, Amy! I love your ceilings...and your stools. I'm with you on counter top clutter...mostly because I have no counter top space. How awesome that your mom-in-law is a DIYer too. I hope to finally finish my kitchen in time! Would be so fun. I love C&B. I just got a new nail gun so I'm ready to build, baby!

  2. I spied that rascal peeking around the island when he thought nobody was looking! It's quite amazing what a simple paint treatment can do for kitchen cabinets. Your kitchen looks bright and clean and the vintage items you've added are a nice contrast and let us know who lives there. I love the big letter you purchased at one of my favorite haunts. In fact, I'm heading to Buffalo this weekend!!

  3. Your kitchen is beautiful, I think if I had it my neck would hurt from looking up and drooling at the ceiling! Love your vintage touches.

  4. I sure did spot him behind the counter island. Ha! He is adorable. And your kitchen is so fabulous!!!! And I love the ceiling...sigh!!

  5. Your kitchen looks beautiful.That is next on my to do list.Although I am a little nervous of the mess I will have in my kitchen in the process.If I worked on this for a week I wonder if it would be done at the end of the week?You have inspired me.

  6. Going to chime in with my love for that ceiling. We have the most horrible ceilings in our living room and kitchen--we call it "wedding cake" because it looks like frothy white frosting. I'm having a serious case of ceiling envy. But now I know just what I want. Have to pin this one!

  7. Much lighter and brighter! I love the transformation just paint can give.

    As for the snarky comment (haha...I love that word), I certainly didn't showcase my kitchen makeover with a sink that looks like my sink at precisely this very moment. Not pretty. ;) Pretty sure people wouldn't be coming back. Lol.

    I should probably get off the PC and go wash dishes now.

  8. I think we have the same chandelier. Seeing it in your kitchen makes me feel better about it in mine. :)


  9. I love your beautiful kitchen (and clean counters). I especially appreciate your last paragraph and couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  10. Love your parents did their cottage kitchen and living room. They recently did their bunkhouse addition walls and ceiling. Enjoyed finding your blog.


Life whispers...what is it saying today?