Our Kitchen Reno, so-far

Most people ring in the new year at a party.  Surrounded by their loved ones and a glass of wine.  Watching the ball drop.  How did I spend New Year's Eve?  With suds up to my elbows as I washed away layers of renovation dust off of every single dish I own.

On Boxing Day, Mark said, "Honey, why don't we renovate our kitchen?"  Less than 6 hours later, our kitchen looked like this:

That's our newest tenant, Tyler in the photo.  He lives in our basement.  Turns out he loves smashing things.  These two smashed all night long.

The next day, we focused on the beam.  Because we took down the wall between the kitchen and dinning room, we had a lot of structural work to do.  I got these awesome beams from this farm in Caledonia.  They have an old bank barn full of barn beams, barnboard, planks, the works.  I was in heaven. 

 So, with the girls in their carseats and a couple of 12' beams between them, we headed home.

We sourced a lot of our kitchen on Kijiji.  One of the main reasons we decided to renovate was because we found these beautiful cabinets for a really good price.  We worked it out, and with a few little modifications, they fit perfectly in the space.

 Now, we are far from done, but here is what our kitchen looks like now, 5 days later.

We are leaving the exposed brick.  Sarah Richardson would paint it white.  I say no way.  It's way to gorgeous.  Mark has a friend who does brick work, so he is (hopefully) going to be coming by this week to clean up the brick for us and make it look all pretty.

Here you can see the beam a bit more, and the awesome pendant lights. 

 I just started to paint the cabinets tonight.  They had to be white.  I adore white kitchens.  I'm painting the exteriors of the doors while they are still hung, then I will be disassembling them to paint the rest. 

(The gaping hole is where the dishwasher is going)

This is the island.  I got it for $100 off Kijiji.  I had to drive all the way to Dunnville to pick it up, and rope two guys into helping me lift it into my van, but they got it in, and it looks awesome!  

We put a  piece of butcher block counter on it, and installed a double sink.  It is my favourite part about the kitchen.  I may milk paint it a dark green, re-stain it, paint it white to match the cabinets... or I may just leave it.  I think it's really fun and full of character just the way it is.

How am I managing with 2 babies through such an extensive reno?  It's hard!  I take them with me to pick up supplies in the morning, and then we make lunch in our bedroom, wash dishes in our bathroom, and try to get them to nap through circular saws and sledge hammers.  I also have a very gracious Mom who likes to have them over for sleep-overs!  But our kitchen is functionable now again, so we can get back to some-what of a normal life.

Here are their faces the first morning I brought them down after we demo-ed the kitchen:

"MOM!  What have you done to our house?!"

The first morning I showed them the demolished kitchen, Hannah was in my arms, and after taking it all in for a few seconds with wide eyes, she grabed her head and said, "ooohhhhh".  I howled.

They have been exceptionally cute lately.  Here's a quick moment from our Christmas Eve with the Vanderherberg's.  These are Mark's brothers, Stephen and Michael.  They were pushing Caroline in a stroller, since she refused to nap.  We took a walk through the beautiful ice storm.

Well, hopefully the next blog post you will see much progress in the finishing details of the kitchen project.  Then it will be back to furniture.  Until then!


  1. Well done guys! Still you never cease to amaze us. Keep it up!

  2. Amazing, love love the brick and island!

  3. wonderful Jen and Mark!! Five days is a pretty impressive timeline too... wow... looks amazing!

  4. YES looks wonderful, love the character you are leaving in it - the oldness & the newness.....and in only 5 days time I think it is a miracle, and you are so lucky to have a spouse who says "Let's Do It - NOW"....wow. Anxious to see the final reveal.....

  5. I saw the result of your kitchen, and it’s really lovely. I just can’t believe that you started the job right away, 6 hours after your husband mentioned it. For some they prefer to consult a designer or contractor first, to know all the ups and downs of the renovation process. But you’re quite different, but in a good way. Congratulations on a great job!

    Arthur @ ContractorExpress.com