Retracing our steps: home edition (kitchen)

meet lady ga-ghastly.
(previous owners, if you are reading this, that was my opinion, but thank you for inspiring us toward change…). ;)

yes, the kitchen. the room where the family experience love and grow closer in unity…

the kitchen, the heart of the home.

in our home, the heart needed a transplant. badly.

As you can tell from the picture not only were the walls a vibrant mustard (I’m trying to use positive adjectives here!), but the cupboards MUST have been from the 70s when glossy melamine was kickin’ it. I wish I had a picture of the insides of the cupboards because it looked like a 5 year old went to town with brown paint and splotched it all over. (previous owners, matter of opinion!) :) Don’t get me wrong, I love children’s artwork and glossy white (as evidenced here), but not feelin’ it here!

Want more mustard with that?
The MLS picture of the dining area that faces the kitchen with the previous owners’ furniture 
(camera was a wide angle lens so the place looks way bigger than it actually is).
We decided that a few changes needed to happen for this house to be a home.
1. paint like a fiend!!
2. replace the cupboards. fast.
3. get a more subtle backsplash
4. install some kind of stone countertop
5. prettier appliances, please!

After living in a whirlwind of sawdust, ikea runs, paint-stained pants and living in partially finished conditions, the house was slowly transforming into our home…

paint over bright walls, check. 
new IKEA cupboards, check.
(some new) appliances, check.
new granite countertops, check!

let’s just take a closer look at the shiny new countertop! 
They call it ‘Tan Brown’ (I wouldn’t want this splotchy brown tan on my bod, but it works on stone!)

Next to tackle was the backsplash. One of our good friends referred us to a liquidation tile place that sells  tile for a super cheap price & has a good selection.

We found our tile (usually $10 per sq. ft, but we got ours for $4.99/sq.ft. yeahhh!), which was a light tan & cream/grey & shimmers a bit in the light. :)

Now that we had our tile, my hubby busted off the shiny white tile that was occupying the space.

This is what we unearthed (and this is what we lived with for a couple of weeks… life gets in the way) :)

when we got sick of seeing our kitchen so scabby, my hubby got to work glueing & laying the tile.

here he is carefully lining it up. 
His rooster hair is proof that life got so in the way that a haircut was postponed as well :)

After glueing & laying, glueing & laying, gl.. (you get the idea) and grouting with a ‘warm vanilla’ coloured grout, we ended up with:

 glimmers like a mermaid’s bottom! 
 with two of our lights out, it definitely does NOT add splash to the back!
The tan backsplash does look better than the too-bright white of the previous tile.
with our island & white leather bar chairs.

All that’s left for our kitchen renovation is appliances. We like the white ones, but we’re hoping a stainless steel set will magically appear in our stockings this year ;)

So far, we’re happy with where we’ve come from…

and yes, we’re to blame for that mess… the previous owners are off the hook for this one! :)


  1. says

    Looks beautiful! The backsplash is lovely and who doesn't love a white kitchen? Some stainless appliances would look really great in their too, hope Santa brings you some! Merry Christmas!

  2. says


    Coming to you via Better After. I have a question for you. How much of an electrical pain was it to install an over the range microwave? Major bucks?

    Kitchen looks great!

  3. says

    Wow Jane, this transformation is seriously fabulous! It looks so SO much better, no offense to the previous owners :) You and your husband made some great choices, it honestly looks amazing!! I used to always want deep rich coloured cabinets (when I someday have a house :), but more and more I'm loving the bright freshness of white!

  4. says

    You hid your dishwasher. Was that a new dishwasher with the option of having a cabinet door or is it something less expensive but equally spiffy?

    • says

      Hi Nikki,
      we actually bought the door and the dishwasher from Ikea that were meant to go together (the dishwasher has the buttons on the top edge when you open the door, so the panel was designed to just stick on the front and expose the buttons).
      Hope that helps! :)

    • says

      Ahh, thanks! I discovered an unfortunate downside to upgrading appliances. While I may have gotten an awesome deal on a scratch and dent fridge in stainless (still can't find their dent and have since added my own) and a refurbished microwave to sit over my stove, replacing the stove and dishwasher to match could potentially negate those savings and then some! I've seen so many ways to

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