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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

    139 thoughts on “our kitchen”

    1. Pingback: Ideas To Organize Your Kitchen

    2. 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.

    3. 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?

    4. 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?

    5. 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!

    6. 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

      1. 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!

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

    8. 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?

    9. 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.

    10. 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…

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

    12. 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.


    13. Emily
      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!

    14. 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.

    15. 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

    16. 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!

    17. 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!

    18. 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!!!

    19. 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!!

    20. 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?

    21. 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 }

    22. 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!

    23. 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.

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

    25. 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!

    26. This is so amazing I love it all, but especially the open shelves! It just looks so wonderful!

      I would love to have you come do a special guest post about this on my blog Remodelaholic if you are interested I will send you the details!

      Thanks, Cassity

    27. I love your house…its got class, style, functionality. Perfection! Could you tell where you got the vertical file holder that you use for your children’s artwork? I have 3 budding boy artists and think this would be perfect to store their masterpieces.

    28. How did I miss this post?!! Your kitchen is absolutely fabulous!!!! I love your breakfast station and would do the same if I had the space. Great vision with the bench and extended island. Love it all!!

    29. Hi! Random question: Where is the folder on the fridge from? Maybe you have already answered that question somewhere else, but I didn’t see it… I haven’t found anything so simple to hide coupons, bills, etc. that end up on the fridge. Love it! If you made it, can you post a tutorial? :)

    30. Hi Emily! I love your kitchen remodel and am in the middle of my own. I wanted to know if you used a satin or semi-gloss finish on your cabinets? I just bought paint at Benjamin Moore and let the sales guy assure me that most people paint their cabinets in satin but I am finding as I do a little more research that is not necessarily the case.

    31. Okay, random little thing I saw. Where did you get the cool wall bottle opener that is on the left of your stove? We jsut re-did our kitchen too and I think that would be a perfect little V-Day gift!

    32. I’ve been thinking about your dilemma with your fridge since I have the same problem….. and I think I’ve come up with a genius idea! I want to decorate my fridge with magnets and papers, but it looks too sloppy. So I came across vinyl decals. I think I’m going to use this one on our fridge.

      Just an idea…..little decor and something fun that is removeable. Adore your kitchen by the way.

    33. Ok. Since I am now OBSESSED with your kitchen after logging on a looking at it countless times…… (we are bordering on stalking your awesome blog by now.LOL) Can you please share where you purchased your kitchen table. I have 5 boys and this would work well in our small kitchen. Love the bench idea since they never push in their chairs!!!!!

    34. Hi, Emily.
      I love the burlap organizer as well! I just made burlap curtains for my kitchen, and this organizer would match perfectly on my fridge. Did you purchase or make yourself? Thanks!

    35. Beautiful, of course! I didn’t notice if you already said but did you share the color formula for your cabinets? I know you color-matched it, but I’m desperate for a white that will look good with my white appliances. Any help you can offer would be great. Thanks!

    36. Love the kitchen! I have a sink exactly like yours… and the cleaning product Bar Keeper’s Friend is my best friend! It cleans all of the dings/marks that show on a white sink. It is cheap, and I buy it from Target. Hope this helps :)

    37. THANK YOU! for sharing your kitchen photos! We’re amidst a remodel RIGHT NOW and I find them so helpful.

      no really. I emailed a picture of those shelves to my contractor this afternoon. (he was like, “wat? IKEA shelves in the kitchen?”)

      I should comment more, or at all. (heh. sorry) but I’m always skimming your archives and finding inspiration from your work. thank you!!!

    38. This is very inspiring. I live in a builder grade house and would love to put really nice marble countertops in even though the current ones are perfectly functional. As you say – LIVE where you live! You may help me take the plunge!

    39. I have always loved your kitchen re-do! Thanks for sharing how the whole room came together. If my kitchen had a better layout (and I didn’t want to rip the whole thing down to the studs), I would love to do a half-reno like this!

    40. Absolutely beautiful!!! I wouldn’t mind cooking in your kitchen. BTW, I love the “grateful” print, and just ordered it! Thanks for sharing.

    41. Your kitchen is beautiful. I’m waiting to redo our kitchen. Our current kitchen sounds like your old. I love the open shelving, but we don’t have enough storage space as it is. Nor enough counter space. I would love to know what’s framed behind the bench as well. You used to have a big chalkboard there, would you mind sharing how you did that?

    42. You’ve heard it over and over in the other comments, but your kitchen is beautiful. You and your husband are so talented! I am curious about a couple of things, though…where do you keep your food (in a pantry?) and what is framed behind the bench? Blessings!

    43. Isn’t it great to be married to someone who can do a lot of household fixin’ ? Your kitchen looks great – and to my eye with the counters extended in both spaces it still looks larger. Thanks for the details, I liked seeing the process…well the finished process.

    44. I ADORE your kitchen! So glad you did this more detailed post. Just noticed the big map above the bench, is that of Mt. Rainier by chance? Another Washingtonian here : )

    45. I just LOVE your kitchen and have looked at it SO many times. We have the exact same cabinest and countertops you did when you first bought your home and ALL I want is exactly what you have for your new kitchen. I am in the Seattle area, did you use a local granite company? Did you sand, prime and paint the cabinets? Any recommendations on paint? Ahhhh, I am just so jealous and inspired!

    46. Beautiful! This may be the one that pushes me over the edge into painting my honey oak cabinets (UGH!! Why do builder’s like those?)

    47. This is completely wonderful. Such inspiration. I don’t know if I can do the open shelving but to have the space without open shelving seems absolutely wonderful. My kids put away the dishes and boy would it be easier than opening cabinets, etc. Plus, my cabinets need to be redone. I’m definitely thinking on this one. Thank you for the inspiration.

    48. Sweet. Stinkin’. Post. I’ve admired your kitchen from previous posts, but this was still so awesome to see the whole breakdown. Beautiful work!

    49. Your kitchen is so amazingly beautiful, so fresh, and such a breath of fresh air! Thank you for sharing your life with so many other moms. :) Blessings to you! jane

    50. I love your open shelving at the end of your island. And the window seat is awesome! Not sure I could handle open shelving (the pressure to keep them looking nice), but it sure looks cool!

      Happy Monday!

    51. Amazing, once again. Yes, I’m a stalker of your kitchen pictures! Where did you find the metal filing cabinet/organizer for your boys art work? I want something similar to that in my bathroom. I saw one on Isabella and Max’s room as well, but you are local for me so I thought it would help to as you instead =)

    52. As I’m scrolling through the pictures I just keep saying, “ahhh… gorgeous” over and over. You guys did SUCH an amazing job, it’s so perfectly personalized. BRAVO!!! ENCORE!!! ENCORE!!! I’m itching to see more of your house :D

    53. LOVE your kitchen – very similar to what I want to do to our kitchen, if there is some way I can convince my husband :) Love that print too – so pretty and a perfect daily reminder. Congrats on the kitchen – beautiful!

    54. Love, love, love your kitchen. It’s so open and airy and fresh. A kitchen redo is (hopefully) in the cards for our old place. Thanks for the inspiration, and the great ideas to take what we have and make it work for us.

    55. I love how you have the dark ribbon of color at the top of the walls to draw the room together visually. All that white and we’d be lost. The island is a tons nicer and except for the granite…a huge improvement without the big bucks. Great job!!!
      PS. Don’t know I could do the open shelves….the yuck would get to me…but I love seeing yours!

    56. Love it, and gorgeous and wow! I did something similar to our kitchen 3yrs back and it’s so satisfying to remember how hideous it was and how beautiful it is now!

      But…where’s your microwave and coffee maker??? ;)

    57. You did such a beautiful job on this kitchen! It doesn’t even look like the same room. I *heart* white cabinets. They are never outdated imho. Great vision for the end product. Blessings to you today!

    58. I absolutely LOVE your kitchen. I really appreciate you going over how you did the whole thing… From the drawing of the idea, to the finished product… What a dramatic change! The white contrasted with the brown on the walls and pretty counters are a wonderful combination. It’s one of my favorite online kitchens!


    59. I love your kitchen and all the open shelving. You did an amazing job transforming an ordinary kitchen into a cozy, inviting and stylish space. I have always wanted a lamp on my kitchen counter. Great idea to extend the counter just a little to make room for one! Love everything about this!

    60. GORGEOUS! I love it Emily, I love how it’s chic, feminine but at the same time handsome and kid friendly! You guys are awesome. I love your clear glass jars for food storage.

    61. I love, love, love your kitchen! We’ve done our own little touches to our “builders special” kitchen, but it is nowhere near as beautiful as yours :)

    62. It’s gorgeous, Emily. A kitchen reno is in our future and there will be lots of open shelving. I’m marking the stainless IKEA brackets for my husband to look at.

    63. OK, I’ve been hoping, hoping you’d do a post with more pictures of your kitchen. this is awesome! I love the beadboard, the built-in bench and extra bookcase. I love the table and the pot rack and the beverage fridge. I would LOVE a beverage fridge and an ice machine (that makes tiny sonic ice, of course) in my some-day house. For now we’re thrilled to have a french door fridge that keeps everything the right temperature. I would LOVE to see updates as you re-style the shelves for each season!!!

    64. I LOVE this transformation!!! That truly looks like the heart of the home, where everyone would want to gather. Just curious, do you have a pantry? The organizer in me wants to know where you store all your pantry goods. Thanks for sharing!!

    65. Oh…heavenly! The difference is AMAZING. Night and day. I am a HUGE kitchen advocate. As a mom you spend 23 hours a day there, so you must LOVE it!
      Would it be too must to tell us a ballpark number on how much the remodel cost you? I’m very curious to see how “doable” it is!

      We live in a darling little home in our towns downtown. Built in 1948, it has tons of character, and we LOVE IT. However, as we grow and add babies to our family, we will need something bigger. I have always absolutely dreaded thinking of having to buy a “regular” new construction home in our price range because there is absolutely no character. but I love your blog because you beat that stereotype! YOU put the character in your home! And make it totally YOU, instead of it looking exactly like your next door neighbors house, and the people across the street, too.

      WELL DONE!!

    66. I would like to request a kitchen redo post once a month. I love seeing how you did it and THAT you did it. My kitchen is just fine and I’m very grateful for it, but it is not “us.”

      We are getting very inspired by your kitchen and I think that we might just do something about it in 2011.

      ps…counter space + open kitchen = priceless.

    67. Can you come help me with my house? I’ll fly you out and everything ;) LOVE every detail… girl you are so talented! Seriously, if you need a few days of just “me” time, I’m here!

    68. Thanks for sharing, Emily. It looks wonderful!! I have been wanting to repaint my cabinets. My husband thinks the wood is too nice to paint. They are not antique!! I will have to show show him these photos. You and your husband did an amazing job!!

    69. Thanks for the tour, Emily! Great job -and looks relatively “affordable” (excluding the granite) – I noticed you kept your appliances. Thanks for the HOPE ! Our kitchen is a disaster – not ‘us’ at all!

    70. I’ve seen many kitchen transformations, and this is one of my favorites. You’ve really made the space your own and it’s full of charm. The open shelving is a favorite feature. I’m sure it’s wonderful not having the cabinets overhead while using the counter surface. Truly, a fantastic space.

    71. I love your kitchen! The numbered files are genius! Our little guys are constantly drawing and I am losing space to put it all. I must know where you got that numbered file! thanks for sharing!

    72. I love what you did with the place! It’s gorgeous! I love the contrast of the white bead board with the dark paint color. The open shelves look spectacular because all your dish wear is so uniform. Beautiful job!

    73. I love it! Our kichen (we re-did it, too, last year) has a similar color scheme…white cabinets, gray walls, almost-black countertops. But it’s TINY. Oh well.

      Hey, what I really want to know… my kids color and draw all. the. time. But somehow markers ALWAYS get strewn about with lids off and I end up having to toss them. Warnings and reminders don’t seem to help. Please tell me your kids aren’t always so neat and tidy – ha! (Or, what is wrong with mine?!)

    74. We are getting ready to start a major renovation/addition to our home and this has been SUCH an inspiration for me- thank you, thank you! LOVE your kitchen- love the white, simplicity and the open shelves are gorgeous!!

    75. Emily… I remember seeing your kitchen at Kelly’s Korner Show us your life! I think you were Lex Industries back then! I was so excited when a friend mentioned you had Jones Design Co.! The kitchen is fabulous, more because its seems comfortable/functional/loved than over the top. It has great style, but feels real! Thanks for sharing!

    76. LOVE all your ideas, you are an inspiration, I’m not kidding! I have those Ikea shelves right above my computer desk, but i got mine in Athens, Greece. I am from Renton originally so it’s funny that you shop at that one! I will be home next week, looking forward to picking up some new fabrics, and making over my house when I get back to Europe! :) Have a nice day, and thank you again for what you do!

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