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kitchen follow-ups

    Thank you for all of the nice comments on our kitchen. I know I’ve shown it a million times, but I realized that my old post from my old blog didn’t transfer the photos when we moved to this new site, so I figured I should do a new one.  Anyway, thanks for looking {again}.

    In answer to some questions:

    1. We do drink coffee {you know, being from Seattle and all} and it is kept in the butler’s pantry {between the kitchen and dining room}.

    coffee  coffee 2

    Don’t judge too harshly the fact that the butler’s pantry is unfinished {and has been for the past two years : we are really great at starting projects, but not so great at finishing them}. One of these days we’ll get around to adding the molding and putting the light switch plates back on. Geesh.

    2. We also eat food. It is stored in the pantry that is across from the coffee station in the butler’s pantry.


    Our enormous microwave lives here.  Because it is not an appliance we use on a daily basis, we really didn’t want it taking up space on the counter. So we stuck it in the pantry.

    pantry jars

    Ryan went on an organizing kick one day and went crazy with the jars {from IKEA}.  It is really nice to be able to see everything and the jars have rubber seals on the lids that keep things surprisingly fresh.

    3. Our table looks like this most of the time:


    I enjoy a tidy space, but for some reason paper, pencils and markers strewn about the table doesn’t bother me too much. We like that the boys are artistic and making these items easily accessible is important to us. Glue, stickers, paint, etc. is kept in a bin in the pantry for other crafts, but mostly the boys just like to draw. And use tape. We go through lots of tape.

    4. The files were a find from Goodwill. Ryan inherited an eye for treasures from his mom. It was originally the most terrible hot pink you’ve ever seen so we sprayed it with a million coats of white paint to cover. I just added stickers for the numbers.


    I haven’t found anything just like this, but here are a couple of hanging wall files that would work equally well:


    {ballard designs}

    pottery barn

    {pottery barn}

    5. That big picture above the bench is a topographical map of Mt.Rainier.

    mt rainier

    Ryan has summited the mountain a couple of times because he is amazing like that and someday he is hoping to take the boys up the mountain with him.

    6. We kept the white appliances that came with the house. Of course I love the look of fancy stainless commercial grade ones, but a} we didn’t have the budget b}our appliances were brand new and c} I actually like the look of white appliances with white cabinets. They blend in well.

    7. Other than the granite installation, we did all of the work ourselves. I sanded and painted the cabinets {with oil-based paint using a small foam roller} and Ryan did all of the demolition and construction. I am pretty thankful that my husband is so handy. When we don’t know how to do something, we just sort of wing it. So don’t look too closely or you may see that things are not perfect. But it works.

    8. Our {approximate} breakdown of costs:

    kitchen cost

    I’m pretty sure there are more expenses that I did not account for {nails for the nail gun, electrical wiring, many trips to the hardware store picking up some little piece of trim or screw that we had forgotten}. A remodel is always more expensive than you think it will be.  We tried to come up with a less expensive counter surface {we played with the idea of pouring our own concrete countertops which is what I really wanted, but it was too risky} and without the granite, the kitchen facelift would have been very affordable. But the granite was worth it as it is sturdy and looks nice and will hopefully add value to our home when we sell it.

    Okay, are you kitchened out? I will not show any more photos of it for a while.

    Or at least until I redecorate the shelves. 

    38 thoughts on “kitchen follow-ups”

    1. Hi Emily!
      We are considering painting our maple cabinets white as well and I wanted to ask you if they are hard to maintain, especially with four kids?! That’s really my only concern, but other than that I really want white cabinets! Your feedback would be greatly appreciated, I LOVE your kitchen!

    2. I absolutely adore your style and creativity! I can get in trouble getting lost on your blog : ) I wanted to ask if the glass multi-size canisters/jars that you have your flour, formula, cereal, etc. in have the rubber seal. If not, does your food still stay fresh? Also, where did you find them?
      Thank you so much!

    3. You’re brilliant! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see your microwave in the pantry. My fiance and I are starting to house hunt and talk about home preferences. Your pantry is exactly the image I had in my head. I love keeping most appliances (especially bulky microwaves) our of the way! He loved seeing this idea too. Thank you!

    4. We have been searching for the perfect kitchen inspiration and have found it! Thank you JDC!!!

      Could you give us a tutorial on how to make that bench? We want to build one! Or at least direct us to where we can find instructions.

      Thank you for inspiring us to jump in and create the kitchen we so desire!

    5. hilarious! We found that exact target file thingy at goodwill in AZ and it was the hot pink you describe! only we kept it hot pink because our daughters room is hot pink and grass green lol. We gave it to her for christmas with a bunch of books to keep in her room as a bookholder. I really love your idea though of painting and numbering it. perhaps I will have to steal the filer back from her one day, as her room is ever changing. :D i LoVe goodwill. it is certainly a treasure trove isn’t it!

    6. First, I didn’t notice a single thing wrong w/ the butlers pantry till you mentioned it! :) These kitchen posts were really fun & inspiring.
      On a different kitchen note, since you hardly use the microwave do you also have amazing home cooked meals everyday? Maybe you could share some cooking tips next, on how to manage that well. I’m still sortof newly wed and still trying to figure out how to make good meals for just the 2 of us more than just a couple times a week.

    7. Thanks for sharing the details. LOVE those canisters from IKEA. I’m redoing my pantry now and will be getting those. Also love that you have the microwave in there. I may try that, too. I’ve got that same little wine cooler, although it usually ends up full of kids drinks these days. HA I wouldn’t worry too much about not having stainless appliances. They are SO high maintenance. It seems that all I do is clean mine, so I can’t really enjoy them. Can’t wait to put some of your ideas to work.

    8. Thanks for sharing where you purchased the canisters! I’ve been looking for some but haven’t found any with seals! What’s the point of a canister without a seal?! Also, my kids had a thing for tape when they were little, too…..weird. By the way, you can show pictures of your kitchen all day long! :)

    9. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! We’re finalizing our kitchen reno, and added a little coffee nook after seeing yours – thanks for the idea!! I’ll be sure to send pictures when it’s all done… in six months or so since we’re doing it all ourselves… EEEK!
      Love your site, keep it up!
      PS – your holiday tags were a BIG hit on my presents this year! :)

    10. I LOVE your kitchen & don’t get tired of seeing it at all. =)

      I would love to hear more about how you painted the cabinets too. We’re redoing our kitchen this spring & yours is our inspiration. I’ll be doing the cabinet painting so a tutorial or any helpful advice would be great!

    11. I really love your kitchen and can’t get enough of it! It got me thinking about what we want to do with ours. Thanks for the inspiration. I really liked seeing the breakdown of the cost too, that was so helpful. I was wondering if you’d be willing to share where you got the pot rack?
      Also kudos to you and your husband for tackling all the work together, it sounds like you make a great team! xoxo

    12. Emily, I am NOT kitchened out! I love the butler’s pantry and your food pantry and might I add that I am jealous!! My dream is to have a pantry big enough to store my small appliances AND my food. I can’t wait to leave my rental only we just got here about 6 months ago!! I love your “messy” kitchen table. When my boys were 2-3, they began drawing and my rooms were littered with paper, markers and crayons. They are now 14 & 15 and they still draw, not as much since ipods, computers and game systems compete for their attention but they still love it! Your pic of scattered papers and markers brought a big smile to my face:) Thanks

    13. Girl, I LOVE your kitchen. Really, it is stunning and I love that you and your husband designed it and did the work yourselves. Everything you did I love and adore. It is beautiful and I just wanted to say great job, you are very talented!

    14. Emily – I am envious of your pantry….I never thought of a microwave in the pantry but I love it! love your kitchen..and the basket with markers and such…genius!

    15. I love your kitchen as well! My favorite part is the benches…I so want to do benches around our table. Did you come up with the plan on your own? And do they have storage in them? Thanks for all the great inspiration!

    16. I love your kitchen and have appreciated your posts about it! I’ve saved a picture for inspiration for our kitchen reno in the future. Thanks for all the information and for sharing your beautiful kitchen with us.

    17. Thanks for sharing all the details Emily! I’d still love to know about the curtains/drapes in the breakfast nook area….Thanks :)

    18. :D And THIS is why I visit your blog every day, with squirmy 9mth old in my lap — for all the beautiful perfection, there is lovely, undying honesty. You are my favorite!

    19. “We also eat food” – that cracked me up. I also meant to say on my last comment on the real kitchen post that our dishes are white and we use clear glass. I think that’s why I was so thrilled to stumble across your blog because I see myself in a lot of it! :) We have some storage jars but they just have scew-on lids and aren’t that great. The rubber-top ones – great idea!

      And, glad that table gets messy.

    20. I actually love reading about your home and decorating it. It makes me want to do SO many things to our house, now it’s just figuring out time, money, and where to even begin! :) I was wondering if you could go into detail about painting the cabinets. I would love to paint our trim and I’m sure its the same concept as painting cabinets but so many times people paint wood and it can look horrible, (paint scratches off, see brush strokes, etc.). And what color white did you use? Thanks!!

    21. Love it! Love the Jars in the pantry idea. I may steal that one. I am always looking for ways to better organize our pantry. Love the breakfast station too!

    22. Nope. Could NEVER be sick of photos of your house! Keep posting them and sharing the details. I LOVE it all! Totally enjoy the photos, details, where you bought things, ideas etc. etc. etc!!!!!
      Don’t stop……your on a roll!

    23. I’m definitely not sick of hearing about your kitchen. Now I’m waiting for tours of the rest of the rooms of your house to pop up, especially your living room. I don’t think I’ve seen a post on that one. I’m also looking forward to the return of What I Wore. Your style is inspiring.

      1. I have yet to post on the living room as it is still in progress. Will it ever be finished?!! Ryan just finished the built-in shelves in there and now we have to resurface the fireplace. Once that is done, I’ll get some photos up. As for What I Wore … I’ll bring it back. I needed a break from photographing my silly outfits, but it does wonders for me getting dressed in the morning!

    24. i will never be sick of your kitchen or any rooms you show us in your gorgeous house! thanks so much for writing this follow-up to answer questions…i sent my cabinet making dad pictures and showed him and my husband that this is exactly what i want. :) you’re an inspiration!

    25. I have been intently reading your kitchen posts and revisiting them over and over. In fact, you have inspired us to redo our kitchen and we are using yours as inspiration. We too, wanted to focus on resale value and frankly, that led to keeping it very boring for me. We are starting this spring! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic ideas and work!

    26. Thanks, Emily for answering questions. I love that about you!! Your pantry is so neat. How do you stay soo organized with four children?? I feel like I am always picking up with just one. Thanks again for inspiring me daily!!

      1. Oh don’t be fooled … I just organized the pantry last night so that I could take photos this morning! It stays mostly neat because of the jars, but this is not a ‘real’ depiction of our everyday pantry.

    27. No, i am not sick of the kitchen. Thanks for sharing even more details today!!! I LOVE when you show us (blog readers) your space. How you stretch creativity and money to the max is just inspiring! Thanks, Emily!

    28. Emily, There are so many things that I like about this: 1. Your courage to show the unfinished work…we are also very good, masters actually, at not finishing projects. I think it’s the creative notion to move onto the next idea that pops into your head. And when you marry a creative soul, you are simply destined to have unfinished work. It’s just nature. 2. The microwave out of the kitchen…they aren’t to pretty to look at or great to use often, and we keep ours out of the way, too, in the laundry room. 3. Love the nod to Mt. Ranier…my husband did the summit, and it was one of our first vacations together. Just beautiful. Thanks for always sharing your talent. Great job!

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