Almost There

The kitchen is almostthere.  It feels so close that I could reach out my tongue and touch it…and let’s be honest, with my new backsplash, it’s very likely that I will be doing some secret licking in the future.

Just making sure you guys are still reading.

So in the beginning our brown-box of a kitchen was ok.  We had brown cabinets in our first house and we were fine with them…but…I really really wanted a white kitchen.  Jeremy and I are still both sold on the fact that this will probably be our long-term-we-raise-all-our-kids-here-and-pay-this-sucker-off home.  One day when all our kiddos are long gone, we will probably downsize to a more manageable place but we see us doing the long haul here.  And frankly, I wanna long haul in a white kitchen.  White kitchens feel clean and bright and happy to me.  What they don’t deliver on the ‘cozy and warm’ department, I think is made up for in the ‘photographs well’ department.

Anyhoo….here’s what it was before we moved in…

and heres what it looks like now…

It’s been seven months.  And it’s not done yet.

Let me explain to those of you just joining in on our excruciatingly long kitchen fun fest.  We moved in and made some cosmetic changes…added appliances, switched out lights, and installed hardware.  But that was about it.

Then we were going to attempt to do phase two…which included installing a vent hood, painting the cabinets, and replacing the faucets.  That was all fine and dandy, but then we decided to make the executive decision to not tape off the backsplash while we painted.  And we figured that since we were taping off the room for painting the cabinets, that we might as well paint the tan trim and the ceiling too.  It was the snowball effect on steriods and with Jolt Cola coursing through it’s veins.

So before we knew it, the phase two of our kitchen makeover blended with the phase three of the kitchen makeover.  Phase three included replacing the backsplash, replacing the stovetop and reworking the island.

So far, we did everything on our list except the island.  More on that later.

But for now, I am marveling in the beauty of a crisp white kitchen.

My favorite parts are the backsplash, the gas stovetop, and the white cabinets.  I also am completely in love with the way the hardware pops off the white cabinetry and the new faucets.

And yes, pretty much anything next to the tile looks like a million bucks.  Even my homemade art from ages ago and some discount accessories look expensive.  I am OBSESSED with the white ceramic lidded container…anything that is white and has that filigree cut outs is my jam.  It’s better than bacon.  And that is saying something.  (oh this one is from Michaels!)

The new faucet is marvelous.  I love that it has the sprayer right in the head…it makes clean up easier.

Okay – so now for a few more before & after pics…

I got the rug at Ikea as a stand in.  It was $20.  I like it okay but I think I still prefer a runner near the sink.

The only thing that sticks out at me (besides the unfinished projects we still have to do in here) is the lack of color.  I think I might bring in more color but in a seasonal way with accessories…like hydrangeas in the summer with fun blues & greens in dishtowels, accent dishes and frames…then in the winter, I can do reds and greens for Christmas or tans and warm yellows for fall.  Thats how I decorate….creating a really neutral backdrop and then accessorize with pops of color.  I’m a jeans and white tee shirt kinda girl that likes a colorful necklace…not a floral pants with a zebra top kinda girl.  I’m just not cool enough for that.

This might sound crazy because we have done so much DIY projects in the past but I am really REALLY proud of this particular space…not just for how it turned out but because the conditions were crazy hard.  It has taken us seven months because Jeremy was working across town, driving his two hour commute home, playing with Will and eating when he got here, then working on the kitchen till midnight.  And I was helping where I could…like sanding the cabinets and climbing my full-term-pregnant butt up on the counter to install the backsplash.  Oh and did I mention we lived without a kitchen for six weeks?  with a toddler?

I’m not humble-bragging…I am straight out bragging.  We did awesome.  Sure there were hiccups along the way…sure there were many tears and complaints and drag out fights from stress between Jer and I…but we did it.  WE DID IT.  I am so freaking proud of us…because we are normal folks doing what I think looks extraordinary.

BUT there is a lot more still to do.  We have the last thing on our PHASE list….the island.  I mentioned before that we painted it a darker gray color…but it started chipping right away (the culprit?  didn’t we determine that it probably was too long of a wait between the primer and the paint? lesson learned.).  Now we are gonna move forward with a plan that we’ve been mulling over for a long time…it involves building a small set of shelves on the left end and adding cleaner lines in the trim and corbels.

We also need to do some touch up paint.  Some of the cabinets never got fully done…it’s gonna be a easy job to paint.  It’s not gonna be easy to keep Will away from them while they cure.  But I guess that is what Grandmas are for…hint hint :)

And last but not least, we need to install some open shelving to the left of the window.  We decided that we are gonna do two shallow shelves mostly for decorative purposes.  We are also gonna use corbels that match the island ones (although in a smaller size).

So that’s where we are at…fun stuff…

How bout you guys?  What are you up to?  Any DIY projects?  Any new obsessions like my white cut-outs?  Not to be confused with white cut-offs…nobody wants to see that on me….my spanx would show :)



  1. Emily says

    ps: if it were my kitchen (which I realize it is not) I wouldn’t add too much color…nothing like a crisp white look :)

  2. says

    I am so proud of you guys too!! What an incredible transformation. So encouraging to see what a little hard work and perseverance can accomplish! Can’t wait to see how this space continues to become more and more your own :)

  3. Kim A says

    Love your kitchen. Would love to paint my cabinets, but the hubby would kill me. His reasoning is “if you’re gonna paint cabinets (19 years later, btw) why pay for stain grade cabinets?” I would love to paint both my master bedroom and bath, but I’m gonna wait for when we remodel the bathroom in a few years. In the meantime, I’ll sharpen up my painting skills again when I help paint my son’s house that he will be starting to build shortly.

  4. says

    Hahaha! Secret licking going on. Hahaha! Not so secret anymore.
    Now we will all get up each day and say, I wonder if Katie has licked her backsplash today.
    You are so dang funny!

    And the kitchen is beautiful. Can’t wait to see it once you’ve tweaked into perfection.

  5. says

  6. says

    The kitchen is gorgeous Katie! You guys did an amazing job! I would sleep in that kitchen if it were in my house!

    And I’m loving your tea towels with the pom poms! Can I ask where you got them? Seriously so cute!

  7. says

    The kitchen looks truly amazing! I love love love how you took the backsplash tile up higher on the left side of the window – the open shelves are going to be awesome. Love those ORB lights and cabinet hardware, too. O, and I love that backsplash tile to the moon and back. In fact, I love it all. Seriously, I want it in all my house, pronto.

  8. Kerry says

    It looks amazing! You should be proud – and bragging!

    I don’t have any kids and I can’t imagine finding the time to do that kind of overhaul. I’m pleased if I can get a room painted.

    Keep up the great work, I love seeing that house transform :)

  9. Rosie says

    Love the changes you’ve made. I have a mostly white kitchen, too, with a gray floor and I keep it “warm” all year round with accessories and all the junk we seem to accumulate.

    I just had to give my suggestion for the end of the island-a chalkboard for the kids. We have an end cabinet that wasn’t finished with a cap, so we painted it right away with chalk paint and my kids have loved having a place to count down to summer, their birthdays or whatever.

    I really love the pendants over the island-the black is really nice :)

  10. Sherri says

    Gosh, Katie. It’s so good to finally see the reveal. Can anyone say ” Drop dead gorgeous , right out of a magazine, or Pinterest worthy? ” You deserve to be proud. Outstanding job. LOVE. Btw, the boys couldn’t be any cuter in the video. Loved Will’s big-boy hairstyle and Weston’s face that lit up when he smiled. You are indeed blessed!

  11. Amanda says

    Hey Katie!
    I’ve been a reader now for a couple of years and this is my first comment! Crazy!

    I was just looking at your progress (so fantastic and unbelievable, especially when preggo) and it hit me… could you unseal the granite on your island and rotate it 180 degrees so the sink is on the other side and you’d have more prep space immediately behind you when you’re at the stove or the sink? I know it would mean relocating the sink, but it seems you guys are pretty handy when it comes to fabricating stuff like that! It would bug me to no end to have that tiny sink right where I want to put stuff!

    Keep doing what you’re doing! Love it!

  12. Catherine says

    If that was my kitchen, I would spend the whole day staring at that backsplash and get nothing else done!! I’m so curious to see how the other side of the kitchen looks (with the wall oven and built in desk)!

  13. Carolyn says

    I’m with ya, girl: a fresh, clean, neutral backdrop and then accents in different colors for the seasons. Can’t wait to see how you “decorate” the kitchen for spring! It’s absolutely gorgeous and you should be bragging!! :)

  14. Amy says

    LOVE it!! We have a 2 year old, 1 year old, and baby #3 due in 5 weeks, and just moved into our house the week before Christmas and have been remodeling it like crazy (literally demo’d the 2nd floor last week to the studs) ….all while still being super sick and pregnant. You’ve been an inspiration to me. If Katie Bower can paint on a ladder at 8 months pregnant, so can I! It also makes me feel so much better that you don’t have a nursery yet…so thanks for not only working like crazy on house projects, but showing OCD people like me that not everything has to be perfect either (i.e. unfinished nursery!).

  15. says

    It looks amazing Katie!! You have every right to be proud. I’m about to reveal our white kitchen soon and yes it’s amazing, but I cheated and hired it out. There is no way I could have done it myself with a newborn and a toddler! I know you love yours so much though and your backsplash is amazing. I seriously get giddy when I go in ours now it’s insane. Enjoy! :)

  16. says

    I freakin love it.

    Top job dudes!

    Ps my favourite thing is the hardware, it’s perfect. I also love the backsplash, the counter tops, the window, the future shelving (all of it), the cool pic of the cutlery and the filigree urn-ey thing. It rocks.

  17. says

    Really, really beautiful Katie. I don’t even know what else to say :)

    But I am super excited to see what type of shelving you add to the island. My husband and I have been wanting to add some open cookbook storage to ours for a while without having to extend the existing countertop. Now the little gears in my head are turning…

  18. Annaliza R says

    Katie I’ve gotta tell you, white kitchens are not my thing. BUT yours is to die for! It’s coming along nicely. I can definitely see your house as a “we raised all our children in this house” type of house. Love your blog!

  19. anna says

    Katie- or anyone -I’d like to know if you ever break a nail on your bin pulls? I’m thinking of getting them, but I’d hate jamming my fingers or breaking all my fingernails off. Seriously.

  20. Mary says

    I would check with granite people (even just at Home Depot) and see if your overhang is small enough and your granite thick enough to forego corbels entirely. My granite guy swore I’d hate them so I went that route.

    Is there a part 3 to the Weston birth story or did I miss it?

  21. Delane says

    I agree with everyone else! This is beautiful, clean and very tasteful! I was considering going with bold colors in the kitchen but you have convinced me to go white!

    LOVE IT!

  22. Amelia says

    WOW! It is so amazingly beautiful (and SO much brighter). You guys did such, such an incredible job. (I LOVE looking at the before-and-afters!).

    I do understand what you mean about the color – I’m looking forward to see how you accessorize it (esp. for upcoming spring – which I’m dying for, btw!). The only thing that I could think of was to paint the back of the glass cabinets, just so your white dishes pop more too – or maybe do as Sherry and John did in that bookcase project and gift-wrap some cardboard and stick it in the back to see if you like the look of color there? Random thoughts!

    • says

      My mom has been doing that cardboard trick for years so obviously I love it…J&S were so smart to tell the world about it :) I think that it will be subtle color…nothing too much…just a little bit here and there.
      xo – kb

  23. says

    Quick question about cabinets and painting. I have some cabinetry in my bathroom I would love to replace. But while the cabinets, drawers, and drawer fronts are all wood, the structures they are housed in (if that makes sense) are not. Is yours all wood? I’ve been contemplating whether I could paint the whole thing knowing that some of it is not.

    • says

      Why not try to paint first? If you hate it in the end, you might have lost a hundred bucks but replacing ONE cabinet door would cost that much!
      xo – kb

  24. Kim Q says

    Do you guys have an oven??? I am totally not seeing one in these pictures- is it hidden somewhere?

    BEAUTIFUL kitchen remodel! That you did this while pregnant, just wow.

  25. Carrie says

    If that was my backsplash I would lick it daily. I almost want to lick the screen when looking at the pictures. And I’m a major germaphobe.

  26. says

    I LOOOVE that backsplash. Like love, love, if I could steal it I would kind of love. And don’t worry, I live in Texas. Won’t be drooling through your windows any time soon. But I might have to give it a gander every few days or so… :) Great job with the entire kitchen. It really looks incredible.

  27. Amy says

    Found this on a google search. My husband and I are building our home, and we both love the color scheme of your kitchen! What is the paint color on the walls?

  28. Carmen says

    Hi Katie! Can you do an update on how your white cabinets are holding up? Do they scuff or get dirty easily? Especially with kids?? I am looking to do the same with mine!

    • says

      They do get dirty but they have held up as well as I expected. I wash them normally, then I use a magic eraser for any scuffs. There has been very little that hasn’t come off easily.
      xo – kb

  29. Kathy says

    Hi Katie,
    I just happened across your kitchen make over. I would like to do the same with my basic kitchen just like yours. I don’t know how to prep cabinets& did you have someone spray them? What kind and name of color white did you paint them? Also what color is the hardware? We will be putting on grey floor tile, 12×25. I am so worried about everything looking right, on a budget. Would like to do countertops &a backsplash too. But may need to do in phases. Thank you for your suggestions!
    Worried in Iowa, Kathy

  30. Shahana Islam says

    Hi Katie!

    Your kitchen is beautiful! May I ask what the name of the backsplash is and where it’s from?

    Thanks so much!

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