Kitchen Remodel Progress Report

by Julie on November 12, 2012 · 2Leave a comment

I recently shared that we are in the midst of a kitchen remodel. We’re a couple of weeks in and things are getting exciting, so I wanted to give you an update.

Before I get to what’s been done so far, let me break down what specifically needed updating and why.

1 – I love that we have a built-in spot for our refrigerator, but I hate that it’s too small for many of the refrigerators on the market today. Specifically, the opening needed to be taller.

2 – This area was built for the previous owner’s TV. We don’t use it for that, resulting in this awkwardly sized, open cabinet.

3 – This counter space was too small to be a workspace and had become a catch-all. This whole area needed better function.

4 – The main kitchen lighting was a fluorescent light box, which we hated.

5 – The room has nine foot ceilings and could have accommodated taller cabinets. That left a large area between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.

6 – The countertops were laminate, with a wood edge. I’m sure the wood edge was beautiful when installed, but years of water and wear & tear left it looking worn. The countertops were white (i.e. they showed everything) and the backsplash had burgandy and hunter green accent tiles ,which really dated the space.

7 – The island had lots of room for storage, but it was just one, large space with no shelves or drawers, and therefore no functionality. The pots and pans stored there became one, large jumbled mess. There was often a large crash followed by swearing when trying to pull a pan from the bottom of the pile.

8 – The previous owners had this sliding door put in for their dog bowl. I didn’t mind it so much; it was kind of a conversation piece. And my son used to stash his treasures in there when he was young. In fact, we pulled a bunch of Pokemon cards out of it when we were cleaning out the kitchen. (That may or may not have made me tear up just a bit.) But the real issue was that the opening required a big box built inside the island, which took up valuable storage space. So it was time for the dog bowl/Pokemon area to go.

So now that you know what the issues were, here’s where we are today…

The fluorescent light is gone and has been replaced with four new can lights and wiring for two pendants that will go over the island. The popcorn ceiling was scraped and replaced with a textured knock-down ceiling.

FYI: That dining room table in the next room is not a scene from Hoarders, although we’re living a bit like hoarders right now. The dining room and living room are where everything had to go while all this is taking place. You discover just how much your kitchen holds when you have to move everything out of it.

The built-in area for the fridge was pulled out and raised a few inches to accommodate a larger refrigerator. The area around the bottom will be trimmed out and then painted when the cabinets are painted so it should appear pretty seemless.

A new cabinet was built next to the refrigerator to accommodate a microwave and a couple of shelves for cookbooks, etc.

New granite countertops have been installed, along with an undermount sink. A new faucet and soap dispenser will also be added.

A white, beveled subway tile backsplash is up and is being grouted as I type.

Under cabinet lighting has been installed to provide both task lighting and to highlight the granite.

A new island was built and is my favorite thing so far. Is it too dramatic to say that it’s life-changing? Probably.

But the new island is six inches longer than the old one and has two pull-out drawers for pots and pans. It also has built-in, vertical storage for cutting boards, cookie sheets, and platters. I am definitely in love.

So what’s left to do?

  • Crown moulding will be installed all around the top of the kitchen. The will visually shrink the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Some other trim work remains as well.
  • Three cabinets doors are being replaced with glass fronts to add a little character. That’s why you see cabinet doors off in various pictures. I was experimenting with different cabinets in order to make a final decision.
  • All the cabinets, woodwork, and walls are being painted and new cabinet hardware installed.
  • New light fixtures will go up over the island and over the kitchen table (that area is not shown in these pictures).
  • Finally, new appliances are being installed. We’re keeping the existing double ovens, but will have a new microwave (our old one has already died), dishwasher (on it’s last legs), a larger refrigerator. The new cooktop is already in place in these pictures.

All of this should all be done in another two weeks, give or take. I look forward to getting everything back in place and showing you the finished result!

Note: I'm no longer adding new posts to The Family CEO. I am, however, writing at Creating This Life, where we talk about home, books, travel, and other life stuff.

Click here to subscribe to Creating This Life or click here to visit. I hope to see you there! - Julie

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon November 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Julie! Oh my! This looks awesome!!! Okay, so I’m a little jealous of the kitchen island. You ended up with an electric stove? Which is the reason you can have that awesome pull out drawers below!

I LOVE the subway tile and may do the same in my kitchen…either that or wainscoting.

Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!!! You lucky girl!!


Julie November 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Sharon, thank you and thank you also for giving me feedback on your cooktop. My first choice was gas, but we decided not to go with that because of the cost of running a gas line to the island and also the lack of ventilation. I went with an electric induction cooktop, which is supposed to have many of the advantages of cooking with gas, namely super quick temperature adjustments. Hope I like it!


Julie November 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

P.S. I love kitchens with wainscoting/beadboard as a backsplash. Let me know what you decide.


Hunter November 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

It ‘s looking really good. Nice work!


Julie November 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Thank you, Hunter.


Thelma November 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

Hi Julie,

Really enjoy your posts! I’m wondering why I do not see photos with this one. I must not be “clicking” some link, eh?????

Thelma :)


Julie November 13, 2012 at 8:13 am

Thelma, I’m so sorry you’re not seeing pics. Are you reading it via email, a reader, or directly on the site?


Rebekah November 13, 2012 at 10:42 am

I’m reading directly on the website and not seeing pictures either – huh?


Julie November 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

Shoot…I’m looking into it. Thanks for letting me know.


Rebekah November 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

I can see them now. Thanks!

Thelma November 13, 2012 at 11:46 am


Your photos show great details regarding the changes. Everything looks absolutely awesome. I, too, have a white kitchen and want to change it to a warm wood tone, but maybe I need to rething that…thanks to you!
T :)


Julie November 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

Thelma, I love white cabinets, but I am looking for ways to inject some warmth into the room when it’s done.


Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter November 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

The kitchen looks awesome. You are going to love your island. We love ours and use it all the time. It really helps open up the space you have to cook.


Julie November 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

That re-designed island has me so excited, Miss T. :)


Sunny November 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Wow your kitchen looks great. Can’t wait to see the final reveal. I must say this is inspiring me to re-visit updating my kitchen.


Julie November 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Thank you, Sunny! I’m glad you’re inspired. Send pics if you decide to do it!


Christa November 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

Looks amazing already! My favorite part? the vertical shelves for cutting boards and cookie sheets. Good luck with the rest of the remodel!


Julie November 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

That’s my favorite part too, Christa. :) It’s always the simplest things, isn’t it?


Marci January 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hi! Can you tell me what is that color of your walls? I love them!
Thank you!


Julie January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Marci, it’s Beigewood by Benjamin Moore.


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