Hey Hey Good Lookin'..Whatcha Got Cookin'?

A few weeks ago, I shared pics of our house from when we bought it 3 years ago.  I thought I'd take y'all on a tour to show you just how much has changed.  I figured I'd start in the heart of any home-the kitchen.

For me, this happens to be my favorite room in the house.  I LOVE to cook, and I'll be honest, the stove helped sell me on the house.  I had never had a stove this large in my life, and the fact that it had gas burners made me so happy.  I do remember when we saw the kitchen for the first time it was the stove that I knew would always stay...as for everything else, well, I had other plans!

Check out some of the before pics of the kitchen from the online listing of the house:

Here are the things I knew would stay:

  • The stove-obviously because it was my fav part
  • The stained glass window above the kitchen sink (it came from a dentist's office in St. Louis that dates back to the 1950s)
  • The rough hewn lumber around the stove area and above the fridge area

Josh and I looked at the kitchen months before we even lifted a hammer or crowbar to it.  We have learned over time that when it comes to renovating, especially since we do so much ourselves, it's best to live in a place for a while before we start doing any work.  By doing it this way, it gives us time to truly think about the layout, and how it works with our family.  Plus, I tend to throw out a ton of ideas, and Josh has to be the one who figures out how to make them come to life.  I'm pretty good at giving him a vision of what I want as well as my wish list.  He's the brains behind the project because he figures out how to make it all work.  But without him, our renovations would never happen.

Here are some pics of the demo in progress:

We saved a ton of money on this renovation by doing almost the entire thing ourselves (with the exception of the installation of the kitchen countertops and the installation of the hardwood floors).

Here are some tips/tricks I learned along the way:

  • Amy Howard paint is amazing!  I was able to repaint my kitchen cabinets without sanding them because of it.  You can now buy it at Ace Hardware.  I was having to have it shipped to me from an interior design shop when I did my renovation, but now, you can get it locally at Ace.  She's from Memphis, TN, and has a ton of how-to videos online.
  • I found a guy out of Memphis to build my custom table by researching it on Craigslist.  I know Craigslist doesn't always work out in people's favor, but luckily for me, I scored a great custom piece. 
  • Reuse pieces in other areas of your home-for example, the 2 stained glass windows that were in the eat-in part of the kitchen were causing the kitchen to be super dark.  Now, they are a focal part in the barn beside our house where we entertain.  
  • Borrow tools from friends.  We originally were hand-demoing our tile countertops, until Josh's friend came over and saw what we were doing.  He loaned us a tool that cut our work in half.
  • Paint is the least expensive way to update a space.  I used paint on my cabinets to give them a facelift, and painted the walls and ceilings the same shade of white to give the whole room a lighter feel.  
  • Sweat equity is the best investment you can make in your house.  Don't be afraid to try renovation projects.  
  • YouTube can be your best friend when you are learning a new skill.  We've used it many times in our DIY projects to get advice.

Now for my favorite part, here are the after photos of our work!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the change that's happened in our kitchen.  It really is the place we spend the most time, and I love how bright and airy it has become through the renovation process.  

I'm thinking next time, I'll share pics of the exterior of our home, and just how much paint and a few upgrades can make a difference.

Until next time,

Steph