Recent Tweaks

Just popping in with a few photos of what Robert and I have been working on lately. Apologies for weird angles and bad lighting, Robert is the usual photographer. Also, please excuse the paint swatches taped in the living room, and on the lower cabinets (feel free to weigh in on color).

kitchen from living room

Things you should notice in the above and below photos- the new kitchen lights (sorry the one over the sink is blown out; the other is the Contour Semi-Flush Light from West Elm), the fridge surround, pantry & transom, the island, the DVD shelf, and the new wall color (Valspar’s Glass Tile from the Creative Ideas line). It’s come quite a way since October, hasn’t it?

media shelf

As far as the fridge surround and pantry go, it’s a huge upgrade from the way things were before. I think Robert is glad I took a pry bar to the old MDF pantry with broken shelves back in November, while he was out on his dad’s boat. Even if we have more trim work (crown moulding, the shelves above the fridge) and painting to do…


Oh yeah, and pantry shelves. Just in case you think I was holding out on you, the pantry has been shelf-less for going on 6 months now. Superman occasionally stops by when he can’t find a phone booth to change in.

pantry open

For anyone who hasn’t been reading since the beginning, here was our kitchen when we bought the house in 2009.

kitchen before

The upshot of slowly redoing the kitchen over the past 3.5 years? We’ve still been able to use it every day. The working triangle is so much better with the fridge and pantry swapped, and the new mini island.

kitchen angle

The fridge surround and pantry were built using three sheets of cabinet grade plywood, 1x3s for bracing, and a mixture of obscenely long deck screws (Robert likes overkill) and drywall screws. The right-hand pantry wall created a weird alcove on the pony wall, and thus the DVD shelf was born (built using scrap cabinet ply and a 1×6). Including the door, it probably cost around $200-250.

The island is red oak 3x3s (stacked, to create a 5″ tall top), the legs and apron fronts came from a table our neighbor threw out, and we added casters from eBay. The top is finished with Danish oil in natural, and we painted the legs with a sample can of Valspar’s Lyndhurst Duchess Blue. Total cost was around $130.

We still need to finish up crown moulding, cabinet doors (weighing our options, DIY vs buy custom), countertops, and a backsplash. Hopefully we’ll come in around $5,000 for the whole kitchen, including appliances.

We may take a break from the kitchen after the crown moulding, and turn our sights back to the laundry room. (Or the guest bathroom, wouldn’t that be something?)

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16 Responses to Recent Tweaks

  1. Martina says:

    Wow Cait your kitchen has come so far since you started! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a before shot of your kitchen and to say its an improvement is an understatement. I’m jealous of your pantry potential. It’s going to be awesome. :)

    • Cait says:

      Thanks, Martina! We’re still trying to determine the best layout for our shelves, but I’m so excited about it! I can’t wait until my cookbook shelves actually hold cookbooks (and not snacks, rice, dog treats, etc)!

  2. Ashley says:

    It looks so good!

    I don’t think I’d have the patience to do things a bit at a time (because I am an impatient twit), but clearly that’s the way to go to save money and have an end product that’s exactly what you want.

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Ashley! I totally get that!! The impatient side of me wanted to rip eeeeeeverything out at once and go from there, but with our guest bathroom already/still down to studs that didn’t seem like the best plan. I think either option can be affordable, with a lot of research (and sometime luck).

  3. Abby says:

    Wow, your kitchen looks great! It’s so adorable, and I had to scroll between the before and current versions about ten times to soak it all in. Nicely done!

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Abby! Sometimes I forget how much work we’ve put into the kitchen, I was a little shocked looking back at the before!

  4. It’s looking great! I like the DIY island, and I’m jealous of your pantry space. The light fixtures and faucet are pretty awesome, too. We are the little-bit-at-a-time DIYers, too. Things have to stay usable, so it’s what works for us.

    • Cait says:

      Thank so much, Tammy! I’m pretty in love with the island and pantry closet. Really all of it, I guess. The faucet was a great find (this one by Glacier Bay, though I think the price has come up some), and it pairs so nicely with our cast iron sink. High five for doing things a little bit at a time!

  5. Lindsay says:

    It’s looking super cute! Love the changes you have made.

  6. Ah, I love all the changes! It’s pretty incredible looking at the before and after photos. You’ve added so much colour and vibrancy into the space!

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Jeanette! Definitely a lot of color, haha. (So much beige before! If lime green kitchen utensils are wrong, I don’t want to be right!) I’m so proud of how many changes we’ve made.

  7. Looks great! We will be moving soon so this is really inspiring for when we have our own kitchen to remodel and decorate. :)

  8. I really love those teal legs on the island :) You’ve done a killer job on this!
    Regarding the paint swatches – I like the lighter of the two on the yellow wall by the DVD alcove.

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Jane! I love the way things are coming together in the kitchen, and the island makes such a huge difference! Funnily enough, for something relatively small.

      I think I’m leaning towards the lighter swatch, too. It’s Valspar’s Allen + Roth Portland.

  9. Mike says:

    This kitchen is so lovely and I adore the idea of the design. Great place and so inviting!

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