our kitchen

As I mentioned last week, we remodeled our kitchen just a year or two after we moved into our house. It was a fine kitchen and believe me, we were thrilled to have such a luxurious place to cook and eat coming from our previous teensy old house that didn’t have a dishwasher, let alone any counter space to set a dish. junejuly 188

{photo taken before we moved in}

autumn 001

So we decorated and added our style to the space {hanging pot rack, giant chalkboard, ticking fabric folded and stuck on the window frame in a fake roman shade – the Nester would be proud of my curtain mistreatment – or maybe she wouldn’t : it really looks terrible}.

But it just wasn’t doing it for us. After searching through tons of magazine clippings and coming up with a sketch of our own for what we wanted it to look like, we took the plunge.

kitchen sketch

{sketch by Ryan}

With a bit of muscle {tearing off the tile, removing the upper cabinets} a whole lot of patience {rolling the lower cabinets and waiting for the oil based paint to dry}, some expert craftsmanship from my handy husband {the bead board backsplash and built-in bench} and the nice guys from the granite place, we have a whole new kitchen.


I think the best decision we made was extending the counter on that right hand side. The little beverage fridge is a great addition, but I mostly love having more counter space to work on.

kitchen 2

We also extended the island so that we could fit three chairs and added the bookshelf on the side for cookbooks & the kids’ workbooks/crafts.

kitchen 3


The built-in bench was a feature we’ve always admired in other kitchens and it is so useful in ours.


The boys spend a lot of time at the table drawing {hence the basket of markers and colored pencils}.

file  drawing

We keep their drawings in these numbered files until they overflow and their terrible mommy takes them to the recycle bin.  Although I would not think of tossing that darth vader picture. Nope, not me.

kitchen 4

I am often asked if I like having open shelves. My answer is a resounding yes! We are very happy with them.

kitchen window

I like having our dishes so easily accessible. I like seeing our simple white dishware and clear glasses – I think they are pretty.  And I like being able to decorate them with the seasons.

kitchen left

Sure, some items get a little dusty. But if you give it a quick rinse, it’s like that dust was never there. Or at least that is what I tell myself.


The brackets & shelves are from IKEA. We purchased the birch wood shelves then sanded and painted them the same color as the cabinets.


Love this print from Vol. 25.


I like our big sink too. It is by Kohler and the protector inside is a life {or sink} saver


This is our breakfast station. Life cereal {my fave}, oatmeal, brown sugar & baby formula.

frige  side

Are you a fridge minimalist or the magnet type? Ryan prefers a clean fridge, I like photos, invitations and the kid’s drawings. So I use the side to hold all of my random things {although my stuff often creeps onto the front as well}

kitchen 7

kitchen number

Another fun touch are these glitter numbers that line the wall above the doorway. You hardly notice them, but they make me smile. And they come in handy when the boys need to know how to write a number.

Let’s look one more time at the before:

autumn 011

and after:

kitchen 9

Ahhh : much better.


shelves & brackets  : IKEA

wall paint : Benjamin Moore Texas Leather

cabinet paint : custom white matched to our existing trim.

granite, sink, bead board, faucet : Home Depot

Table & bench : CB2

pendant light & striped rug : IKEA

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143 Responses to our kitchen

  1. Jamie April 28, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    This makes me want to rip out all of our upper cabinets and install shelves. And also put the baby formula in a pretty jar for display. Love, love, love!

  2. Katy May 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    I love the open shelves. It is exactly what I want to do and I am grateful for the visual

  3. michelle June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    im a magnet person too!!!!!!!! i love a fridge with stuff especially in such a beautiful kitchen. thanks for sharing.

  4. Jennifer June 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I just found your blog and fell madly in love with your kitchen! I really like how open and airy the shelving makes your kitchen. Now I just need to convince my hubby. Great job.

  5. Rachel Hodges June 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures of your home with us! I recently signed up for your blog (my sister introduced it to me) and it’s so uplifting. I’ve been trying to think more on “whatever is good, whatever is lovely”, and your website is great for a quick fix when I get the moody pregnant lady blues! Thanks for the pick-me-up!

  6. Brittany Jelinski June 24, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    I have absolutely fallen in love with your kitchen, and I definitely definitely DEFINITELY want my kitchen to be like yours one day. You have so many wonderful ideas to make everything feel open and clean and welcoming. {Now my next step is to get a house and stop renting!! :D }

  7. Stephanie June 28, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Absolutely love your kitchen. Our cabinets are almost the same color as your before. How did you paint them. Do they look as great in person as they do in the photos?

  8. Dana snyder August 1, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Hi… I was wondering if you can tell me where you found your white barstools? I’ve been looking for some exactly like them and haven’t come across them. Thanks!!

  9. Gloria October 20, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    LOve it!! So creative!

  10. Lora October 21, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    A couple of years into it, I’m wondering how your paint on your cabinets is holding up? We are looking to do this very project (painting cabinets) and I keep having everyone tell me they get nicked too easily…what are your thoughts? Thanks!!!

  11. Sara December 20, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    Just curious where you’re hiding your microwave, coffee maker and other small appliances? I’d LOVE to pull off our cabinet doors and sand down the shelving so that it’s all open! The one drawback is that I have to have my microwave sitting out on the counter…serious space stealer! Any thoughts? Thanks!

  12. Jana January 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    It’s amazing how much more chic your white stove looks after the remodel!

    I love it all. Nicely done!

  13. Fawn January 4, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    LOVE your kitchen…just showed the hubby and he loved it too!! Was curious, what do you do for venting on your stove top? We really want to redo our kitchen and love your island idea!

  14. Dee Titus February 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I know your cabinet color is a mixed paint but I would love it if you would send me the formula for it. I love creams and whites together and am doing the white and cream in my new kitchen but am not to good with color. I love your kitchen. I know this is a lot to ask of you but if you have time could you e-mail it to me. If not I will understand. Thanks so much and God has blessed you with such talent to share with others. Sincerely, Dee Titus

  15. Marlene March 19, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Love your kitchen! I’m in love :)
    Would you give me the size of your kitchen, please. My next step is to build my house and when I saw your kitchen I would love to make something similar.

  16. Amy Smith March 19, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    You have done an amazing job with the kitchen. My husband and I are going for a chic beach cottage look and we just did granite countertops but no backsplash. I love your idea of the bead board. Is it waterproof? How does it work to keep from having too much moisture? Any problems with it? Thanks!! Keep the posts coming!

  17. Angela April 18, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Emily, I have looked at this post before but love the kitchen so much, thought I would look at it again. Thinking of painting my kitchen cupboards white do you have the paint colour that you painted yours.


  18. Tracy May 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Great job on the kitchen, I love what you did!!!

  19. Brittany July 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I have a question about the OLD kitchen, actually. Where did you get the large chalkboard that used to be in the dining area?

  20. KATE July 27, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Awesome Job!!!!

  21. Anna September 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Oh I DO love your kitchen! It’s very Scandinavian!

  22. kitchen and bath remodel Vail, Colorado December 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading the article. Hope to get something better than this.

  23. Kinetico January 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Wonderful job on the kitchen remodel. The colors really go well together. I’m definitely gonna use your “breakfast station” idea. There is nothing worse than opening a box of cereal that was left wide open…

  24. Liz February 11, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    The kitchen looks awesome! Questions about the island & range setup. Do you have a ventilation hood over it that we can’t see? I’m renovating our kitchen and will have a range in the island. I’m looking for ideas of avoiding having a hood dropped from the vaulted ceilings. Would love to know what type of range you have if you’ve avoided the overhead vent system.

  25. Kinetico Utah March 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Wow, you’ve got some serious talent for kitchen remodeling. I also enjoyed Ryan’s sketch and how you were able to work off it. He must be the artist, and you must be the designer. Is that right?

  26. LILIA March 20, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Love your kitchen!!!…What about an extractor? I am thinking about taking it off like in yours but not sure. Lovely kitchen! Lovely house!

  27. Michelle Viera March 20, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Question. Do you have a step by step on the built in bench?
    Did you do that yourselves? I am trying to get hubby to tackle this project, but I think he’s intimdated by the process. I don’t think it’s difficult, but…
    Any suggestions, tips or ideas?
    Congrats on BHG

    • emily March 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      We redid our kitchen before the blog was around, so now step-by-steps for the bench. It is basically just a box built out 2 x 4’s and then covered with beadboard and trim around the base. Hope this helps!

  28. Mandy March 25, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Could you tell me the name of the granite you used?


    • emily March 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      I wish we knew! We purchased it from home depot, so it was just one of their standard options.

  29. Sylvette May 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    WOW!! Simply beautiful! I love the open look… love it all. Great job!

  30. Krystal Wight Armstrong June 18, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hi, Emily,
    I’m currently hunting for similar glass storage jars for the baking staples (flour, sugar, etc.) like you have your Life cereal in. Would you mind telling me where you got yours? Are they air tight, also? And I assume, but thought I’d also ask, if you got them all together so they’re a matching bunch (brand/style-wise)?
    Every time I find some I like there aren’t more than one of the same kind on the store shelves!

    Thank you!

  31. Elizabeth September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I would love to open up our kitchen like this! Beautiful! I want to add an island but not sure if we have the walkway like yours.

    Just wondering, what is the clearance measurement between your oven and the counter with the sink?

  32. claudia April 2, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    I was wondering how did you change the color of your cabinets? Did you have to sand them and re paint them or just painted over them? Any advises?

    • emily April 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      We did them ourselves – sanding, priming, painting with oil based paint for several coats. They have held up really well!

  33. Emily Carl July 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Em! You kept the numbers! I am so glad. I always wondered if you were able to use them or not. They look great. I still have some, but they are just packed away (not quite as crafty). I am trying though. You are such a talented gal! I am proud of you! Hopefully, I will get some inspiration for our new (rental) home in Vegas. It needs some love. Take care and God bless. I will forever appreciate you and the help you gave us for our wedding.

  34. Megan August 13, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Uh oh! Where did all the pictures go?!?!


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