Before and After: Kitchen

This has been long overdue. I am now going to post the before pictures of the house when we first walked through it in 2006 prior to purchasing and the pictures as it looks presently.  I thought I would start with the kitchen as it has undergone the biggest transformation.

When we first bought the house, the kitchen had carpet in it. We took up the carpeting and the tile underneath it was really not in great shape, but it was better than carpet. So, it stayed black and white tile for a long time. Eventually, we moved the butler pantry back where it belonged and framed a wall up and added a laundry room.  For more details and pictures regarding the entire process, click on the tag: kitchen.

Here are the before pictures. We took down the fabric that stapled to the walls. I was able to wash the red acryllic paint off of the cabinets. And the kitchen largely stayed like this from 2006-2010 until we were able to complete renovate.

I sanded the laminate counter top, super primed it then painted it a stone fleck black. Here are some transitional pictures during that timeframe before the full remodel:

And…here are the final “after” pictures and how the kitchen presently looks. We built custom open shelving cabinets, painted the bottom cabinets, took down the wall of cabinets on the back wall. Pulled down the sheetrock and exposed the original beadboard, framed up a laundry room and moved the butler’s pantry that had been hacked out and set behind the door–back to its original home in between the kitchen and dining room.  Here is the link to the full write up: Click Here.

The demo:



Ripping out the cabinets, Steven and Vivian taking the doors off


The washer and dryer are where the cabinet is supposed to be


Butler’s pantry/cabinet


Mostly gone


Where a wall used to be in the kitchen



Kitchen gutted

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The same wall…cleaned and primed (Super duper KILZ!)

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The framing going up!

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Painted and the floor down



Where the butler pantry is supposed to be


Right before we moved it and put the floor down


moved the washer and dryer


installing the cabinet


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Framing up the laundry room

Sheetrocking in kitchen

Sheetrocking laundry

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The in between:

And here are the final pictures:

























Here is a video I posted on Youtube right before our house was appraised in 2014. I took advantage of everything being picked up and nice and neat:

Hope you had fun!  The next post will be up in a couple days of the next room.  I will continue until all rooms are shown.


Done!? Are we really?!

I hate to even make an announcement that we are finally finished, after 8 plus years of work (and lots of breaks in between :-D), because as our luck would have it, something big would break…perhaps a geyser in the yard? Or, a random safe falling from the sky making an obscene hole in the roof (hey, I’ve watched the road runner, it happens!). I also realize (cue shaking the head and wiping tears) that you are never *really* done when it comes to old house upkeep. So, maybe I can say that we are done…for now. Will that suffice?

I’ve had a lot of requests for updated pictures and more in depth before/after. In preparation for our appraisal tomorrow, I have cleaned the house and fixed quite a few cosmetic bo-bo’s (I am sure you will find quite a few more I didn’t fix), so I thought it a perfect time to take some 360 videos. Are you game? I will do some before/after photo blogs when I get around to it later this summer.

I only videoed the master bedroom, hall, living areas and kitchen. I’m not brave enough to show the kids’ rooms and who wants to see bathrooms? Coming up tomorrow will be porch and exterior tours. I thought it was fun (and a whole lot easier than taking pictures!) and I can also use it for insurance purposes should that Acme safe ever fall out the sky.

If you are new and would like to see some before pictures, you can search for “realtor walk through”, click on the name of the particular room you want to view in the cloud tag, or click on “before and after”. That should get you some really old photos to look at and compare how far we have come. Here is a post I did right after we updated our major systems (roof, plumbing, paint, mostly exterior projects).

I ordered the videos so that if you watch them in the order I posted them, you will feel that you are walking with me, or at least can make sense of the floor plan. Here you are! Tell me what you think!

PS: Note to all the perfectionists: ignore those cosmetic blemishes.

Note to old house purists: yes, I know I don’t have velvet curtains and Victorian tchotchkes. “Museum style” has never really been my thing.

Note to people who want paint colors: I will publish all paint colors in a future blog post when I do the final before/after pairings.

Did I cover it all? Leave a comment if not 🙂

Master Bedroom:

Small weird hall and the back of the Great Hall:

Front of the Great Hall, study, living room and dining room:


Kitchen finished

Here is what the kitchen looks like now. Ta-da! In a couple days, I’m going to put together a slideshow of the kitchen evolution from the realtor walk through 6 years ago to present.  Here is what we did in the first phase which included taking out cabinets and creating the laundry room.   Also, here is a link to all of the posts about the kitchen through the years if you would like to see them.



Kitchen Work

Working on the kitchen again. I really wanted some upper cabinets, so Steven was nice enough to build me some. I scribbled out how I wanted the range hood (poor Steven!) and he took that pathetic drawing of mine and made a gorgeous hood for the kitchen. Below are pictures of how it turned out. The chevrons I made from misc. wood and leftovers stains and paints. It was fun and I love the end result! We are still doing the finishing work and need to install crown molding, but when it is all finished, I will do a massive slide show of before and after.













Th bottom coat on the range hood is Artisan by Behr. The top darker coat is cast bronze by Martha Stewart. The chevron slats are a mixture of leftover paint or stain. The turquoise is a paint I bought long ago for a project that I diluted with mineral spirits to make a semi transparent stain. The light wood color is Golden Oak by Minwax. The dark brown (almost black) stain is Kona by Rustoleum. The metallic one was painted Martha Stewart’s red copper with a top coat of cast bronze. The green semi transparent stain was one I had specially mixed for our study cabinets and it is called Verdi Gris by Rustoleum specialty mixed semi sold stains.

***UPDATE: I finally found the blog with the picture that inspired our range hood design. I looked for it forever. Pretty Handy Girl posted a tutorial on how to make painted, distressed wood panels and I was so excited to the see the range hood. Thanks for posting that!  If anyone would like to view the tutorial and the projects, visit: Pretty Handy Girl: Painted and Distressed Tutorial

Porch Planters and Kitchen Cabinets

So, the upper kitchen cabinets are planned. I sketched what I wanted and measured the wall and Steven took that and measured again and calculated the amount of materials needed. Hopefully Thursday we will make our (weekly) trip to the home improvement store. To see my inspiration pics scroll down two posts for all the kitchen talk.

I found this book recently. I have had it for a while. I thought it was time to get it out and dust it off.

I want to take all of this:



And make something like this:




I want to put them:



Instead of plain wood, I have pulled some different color stains and semi transparent wood paint from other projects. I am trying to use what I have instead of it going in to a landfill somewhere. My idea is to stain or paint each piece of wood a different color.

***UPDATE: To see how they turned out, click here.

Here are my inspiration pics:

I hope to start them this weekend. If I do, I will post some updated pics on how it turned out. Wish me luck!






Kitchen Cabinet/Shelving Ideas

So, I can’t find cabinets that I like or that would fit in our kitchen. I received a couple custom cabinet quotes and, well, I am just not willing to pay the price. So, we decided to build some open shelving type cabinets. If you would like to see the kitchen evolving, click on the category “kitchen” below and you can see some of the work done to date.

Right now we are installing counters and I am going to paint the lower cabinets a dark color. Presently we have no upper cabinets. Here are my inspiration pictures of how I want to build the upper cabinet shelving followed by a peek of what is being worked on this week–laying the counter tiles, testing to see if sink fits, a look at what used to be there (ugly red laminate). I am happy with the decision to build our own. This way it will: 1) fit into the space properly; 2) won’t cost a million dollars; 3) I can design it, so I will be happy with it.









Unfortunately they may be tiny. I am publishing from my phone.




New fence and laundry room organization

So we are getting back into the swing of things…post-adoption and boy, are we doing it! Steven has been working hard putting up a new fence and I picked out a few organizational items for the house. Namely, laundry room storage. Steven just this morning put up shelves and a clothes rack! If you want to see the before pics, click on the tag Kitchen and scroll through the transformation.

Last weekend Vivian helped me plant some geraniums (my favorite!) in the permanent flower urns on the porch. Spring fever is burning in the Warren house! I have several projects that I am putting into the works for this year.












Kitchen/Laundry Room Almost Finished

Besides some trim paint and a pantry addition (hopefully a nice built in pantry), I am almost finished with our Kitchen/Laundry project we started back in November 2010.  As you noted from previous posts, it all started with me convincing Steven to lay a new floor.  After we pulled the flooring up and found the old floor plan of the kitchen…the ideas started from there…mostly mine as Steven was still content to just lay the floor.

Below, I will post a few realtor walk through pics, and then the progression of the kitchen over the past year.  However, if you would like to see all of the posts and photos of the Kitchen from the realtor walkthrough to recent posts, click here.

Without further ado, here is what we have been working on!


Framing up the laundry roomOh by the way, Steven, can you add a refrigerator alcove? Lol...

Sheetrocking laundry This is where the butler pantry was. We moved it back, now we want to make a built in pantry in this area.

TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, I am very pleased.  You can tell that I need to paint the baseboards, they are only primed.  I need to paint the broom closet door and attach it (it is to the right of the refrigerator), I need to paint the laundry room sliding door and add the hardware, and we need to put down threshholds.  Last, but not least, we need to build some kind of pantry behind the door.  Whew….I am tired of this remodel!  It took long enough!  If we ever get through this adoption process, I might spring for a new dishwasher….its a good thing Steven works for GE!  But, first things first…..

Happy Wednesday everyone!


New Kitchen Lights and the Butler’s Pantry

Five new lights and a piece of lumber sure can make a gal happy!  I have had the ugliest kitchen in the entire world for the last four years.  I don’t know what I hated the most…the awful floor, or the bank of cabinets that only collected junk.  We started ripping out the kitchen back during Thanksgiving, finished most of the laundry room addition and laid the floor, but we did not install lights or fully sheetrock and finish the laundry room. 

I received a text from a carpenter friend who had a few weeks before his next job and wanted to know if I needed any odd jobs done.  I had a whole list!  But, I settled on sheetrocking the laundry room, completely rewiring the kitchen and installing new lights, as well as finish the butler’s pantry.  He finished installing my lights and putting together the butler’s pantry today.  I am going to caulk, trim and paint the butler’s pantry myself.  Next week, he will sheetrock inside and out the laundry room and install a cabinet over my refrigerator.  Here are the pictures of what he has done so far.  I am sooooo excited!  If anyone is not impressed, you need to click here and see what the kitchen looked like when we moved in!  Watch the slideshow…it is quite entertaining.

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For the butler’s pantry, click here to see where it was and what it looked like.  We moved it back into its original location.  Now, this is what it looks like before caulk, trim and some pretty being added:

Well, people, I am excited!  Since Steven is now technically a GE employee and that means appliance discounts!!!  We have been shopping for a GE stainless steel, hidden control dishwasher.  I have been waiting on the white one to die, but it just has not given up the ghost.  To make ourselves feel better, we are telling ourselves that we can store the white one until we buy and redo another rent house.  We can use it there *wink*.  hehe…  My refrigerator and stove are stainless, so I would really like a dishwasher to match.

We have a lot of finishing work to do…baseboard, trim, quarter round, sheetrock, new dishwasher, painting the kitchen cabinets, etc. but I feel good!  We are moving right along!

Happy Saturday everyone!