Kitchen Reveal

If you were holding your breath to see our final kitchen reveal….I’m sorry that you are passed out on the floor.

I meant to show you the after photos but got all distracted…what with the babies and all.  (sure Katie, blame the helpless infants)

But I hope it’s worth the wait to see these before and after photos in one spot.  Also, I have a pretty intense budget breakdown for those number-crunching-types and a few hundred links to all the projects that we did to make this kitchen complete.  It’s like a walk down memory lane…if you can remember where memory lane was (again…sorry it took me so long to post this and I hope these pics make it up to you!)

Okay – so here is our kitchen finished…

And here is where we started…

Wanna see that again?


Yup.  Before it was a very brown filled space.  Everything brown – cabinets, floor, backsplash, and the dark countertops didn’t help out the ‘light and bright’ factor.  You can see the first tour of the house here and then later a bit of an update.

Over the course of the first two years, we did very little in the space.  We installed a fridge and dishwasher right away but the rest was a slow crawl of improvements.  The island pendants were Pottery Barn outlet finds (they are little kid’s lights!) and the cabinet hardware was installed.

But the entire thing got really started when we decided that the stovetop was just no longer suiting our needs and the lack of proper ventilation was more than we could take.

Before it was a downdraft but there was very little drafting going on.

Our plan was to install a proper overhead vent and replace the stovetop completely.  The first step was to figure out how to vent the hood…so we removed the upper cabinet, cut a hole through the wall to the other side (the laundry room is behind it) and vented it up through the cabinet and to the outside above the laundry room cabinetry.

Once the plan was made, we raised the cabinet, installed the hood, built a new hood surround and vented it.


Then came the sanding and the painting part.  We had to completely prep the kitchen for a complete spray-down.  That’s like a ho-down but less partner-grabbing and more screaming-in-terror.  There was definitely a learning curve with this step but ::spoiler alert:: we survived.  We ended up painting all the trim, all the cabinets, and the ceiling.  Painting everything white was definitely the biggest transformation.

Then came demo.  We needed a new backsplash and partnered with The Tile Shop to get a brand new marble hex beauty.

The tiling process was the most inspiring part because we could see the light at the end of the kitchen-tunnel.  After an extensive picking process, the 1″ marble hex was the winner and we blogged about the tiling adventure and gave some tips on what worked for us.

We had a few missteps along the way – like when we painted the island a different color and the paint chipped…or how it took us ridiculously long to paint (six weeks with a toddler and no kitchen!).

But we definitely had way more victories…like scoring a discount gas stovetop and having my brother install it (I consider the free labor as payback for making me hold the nail when we were building our childhood treehouse)…or like when we successfully drilled into our tile to install some whitewashed shelves…or when we trimmed out the island to tie in some chunky shelves and corbels.

Shortly after we painted the entire space Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan, we had the fine folks at the Tile Shop shoot our kitchen - it was our first photoshoot and we absolutely loved the experience.

The kitchen transformation is definitely something that I am proud of.  I know that it sounds ridiculous but we are so thankful to be able to tackle projects like this and have the help and support of companies (let’s just be honest…it’s nice to get free stuff but it’s also really awesome to know that people think you have semi-decent style!).  It is like the biggest pat on the back as a blogger.  And to have folks like you guys cheering us on (even when we use duct tape instead of reflective tape or when we show photos of me tiling at 9 months pregnant with leggings on that show cellulite and through a bazillion other keepin-it-real moments)…excuse me while I get all sappy here…it really is so very encouraging it could literally make me cry.  This space is my favorite room in the house…and it’s held up to some pretty intense abuse from my little guys.

I just say all that now because if I forget to later…I want to make sure you hear me shout THANK YOU.  Yeah.  That’s right.  You!

And now for the budget breakdown.  I pulled all my receipts and referenced our My Lowe’s account (we love that thing) to see how it all panned out when it came to the moolah….

  • Cabinet pulls & knobs = $167
  • Cooktop = $345
  • Cabinet Paint = $168
  • Trim Paint = $58
  • Wall Paint = $60
  • Ceiling Paint = $50
  • Primer = $90
  • Grout = $15
  • Tile items = $42
  • Electrical = $67
  • Drywall = $21
  • Pendants = $60
  • Corbels for shelf = $66
  • Corbels for island = $89
  • Miscellaneous = $183
  • Range Hood =$179
  • Ducts = $39
  • Wood & trim = $38
  • Light bulbs = $27
  • Door knobs = $68
  • Faucets = $338
  • tile backsplash = $976
  • light fixture over table = $399
  • dishwasher and fridge = $2600

GRAND TOTAL = $6,145

Just to be completely honest and upfront, we received $700 from Lowe’s for a kitchen makeover so you can deduct that from our out-of-pocket costs.  The tile backsplash and the light fixture were both provided by The Tile Shop for their photoshoot of the kitchen.  So we paid roughly $4070 for our kitchen including appliances.  Our budget was under $3000 after appliances and we came in at $1470.      

Completely noteworthy considering that grand total cost is paying for what I consider a high end kitchen (granite counters, marble backsplash, stainless appliances, etc.)  Especially considering the national average for kitchen remodels cost $28K!  It’s amazing what a whole lot of paint, a little wood and some tile can do!  Plus, I believe we made the space MUCH more functional for us because we changed out the glass top stove for gas and added a hood.

And so this completes our Operation Heart of the Home.  It was a long time coming but hopefully completely worth it.

For more kitchen posts, click here and read all about the past improvements!



  1. Cheryl F. says

    I am searching all over for a 36″ gas cooktop, five burners, all knobs on the right, just like yours. I know you got it deeply discounted at Lowe’s, but I never saw where you named the brand. Can you please tell me so I can see if that company is still making a model with those specs? Thanks for sharing your absolutely beautiful transformation!

  2. Betsy Gordon says

    What a fabulous transformation! I’m curious if your cabinets are wood or laminate?

    We have a great kitchen that’s really big but really maple from ten years ago. I’m dying to paint it all. You’ve certainly inspired me to do so.


  3. Carrie says

    Ah!! Beautiful!!! And Katie, it has been at least 6 months since I checked out your blog. I got a new phone and lost my bookmarks and somehow I missed you. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on all this goodness the past 6 months. What was I thinking?! Great job, as usual. And I’m glad to be back :)

  4. elaine simmons says

    I think that is the most gorgeous kitchen transformation I have ever seen! I have maple cabinets I want to paint so badly and my counter top is similar to yours. It gives me a vision of what it could look like. Problem is, I am 73 and not sure I have the energy to do it. I know it takes time and patience. I have one question. Did you do the spray painting indoors? If so, how did you keep the paint from drifting to other rooms?

    • says

      We had it sealed off with plastic drapes on the doors. I know that there are sometimes folks that hire out just for the painting part and it is reasonably priced.
      xo – kb

  5. karen sunday says

    WOW that was my first word um that and holy sh** most beautiful kitchen ever! you should be so proud of yourselves!! k sunday

  6. Sara H. says

    Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful! I had decided on marble subway for my backsplash for my white kitchen about ahem…over a year ago! Something obviously has been holding me back from buying it-and the hex tile is making my heart flutter. Quick question in the post at the tile shop you said you settled for 2″ tile and in this post you say it is 1″. It looks like 2″ to me but I wanted to ask since sometimes things look different on the computer?

    You guys really did a great job!

  7. says

    Hi — can you comment how the Benjamin Moore Advance paint has held up now that it has been a while? I’m really curious as to its hardness, as I want to do our cabinets soon (although I’m not sure I’ll be spraying).

    Thanks and it looks beautiful!!

    • says

      Our paint has held up AMAZING. I am really glad that we chose it even though we did have to wait a LONG time for it to cure.
      xo – kb

      • says

        Awesome! You the first person I’ve found that it has been long enough and has replied! Excellent to know it is worth the cost. I’m afraid I’m not brave enough to go the spray route and the rolling and brushing will be tedious, but I’m so eager to do it!

  8. Rebecca S says

    Love! Are your countertops corian? I know they came with the house but you are so knowledgable I’m sure you know! (If you have any idea the exact countertop please share ;)

  9. says

    Holy Moly WOW WOW WOW!!! Amazingly beautiful!!! I honestly want to lick all of that creamy marble hex tile… (I would wipe it all down when I am finished) seriously though – the Way Pregnant Kitchen Reno is ROCKIN!!!!! you guys did an amazing job, and your costs are unbelievable, especially compared to the super-high-end result! I have kitchen envy big time. I just did some porcelain tile installation in our tiny half bath, and I am hooked! I now want to tile everything, and marble is my DREAM material!!! I love to touch it every time I go to the tile department. Nothing else compares to the feel of marble, in my book!!! great job Bowers!

  10. Claire says

    I was so inspired with your kitchen paint color that I used it for my bedroom paint color but it appears so much more blue than it does in your photos. Does your kitchen ever pick up more blue tones to it with different times of day/sunny vs. cloudy days? I still love the color but I am very surprised with the amount of blue I’m seeing in the paint color. Maybe I need to switch the kind of light bulbs I have in my bedroom fan. Any thoughts would be wonderful! :) You are such an inspiration, I hope someday I will be as clever and handy of a mom as you!
    Xo – Claire

    • says

      Mine doesn’t really read blue. I even have it in the downstairs bathroom that gets no natural light and Weston’s bedroom (all natural light) and it always is a gray with greenish undertones. Perhaps you had a light bulb issue or perhaps the mix was off?
      xo – kb

  11. Jen says

    Hey Katie! I kind of have a crush on your kitchen! All of the finishing details that you guys worked so hard for just make it sing! Gorgeous! Anyway, the reason I’m commenting, is because I was wondering how your cabinet paint job has held up? It’s been awhile since you did the initial paint job…are you still in love? Nicks, dings, scratches or general wear and tear???? Fill a girl in!

    • says

      There is a very small amount of wear on the trash can cabinet door (it’s by far the most used one) but all the others look still new. No nicks or scratches and that is with two small boys and an arsenal of trucks!
      xo – kb

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