11.21.2011

Kitchen in progress...

farmhouse renovations
Last week on twitter I mentioned that I was considering showing photos of our kitchen. I started to write the post and then I chickened out! The kitchen's still very much in progress but, after thinking about it a bit (and after a little tweet from Lynn), I realized I was being absolutely ridiculous. As I've said before, there are always going to be varying opinions about the way a house is decorated, but at the end of the day, this is what works best for our family. We've lived here less than 4 months and it's come a long way from the hot flipping mess we started with (above). Below is what 1/2 of our kitchen looked like yesterday. Full disclosure: there's usually a sink full of dirty dishes and the crockpot isn't usually on the counter:

renovationPRH and I refinished the floors throughout the entire house. The kitchen and dining room are really just one big room, which is more obvious in these photos. There are 4 different types of wood on the first floor alone, so we stained everything to match the kitchen floors, which are the darkest. Below you can see the dining room floors on the left and the kitchen floors on the right. I love, love, love having hardwood floors in our kitchen.

renovationWe both cook a lot, so we really want to take our time to figure out how the room does and doesn't work before we make any drastic changes. The cabinets were built by the previous owners and are built like a brick...well, let's just say they were built to last. I painted the lower cabinets in Valspar's Forest Canopy Green and swapped out the old hardware for brass Bedford pulls and knobs by Martha Stewart for Home Depot. We left the upper cabinets white to sort of blend with the walls. I'm only showing half the room because we chopped up one side of the upper cabinets and it's a total wreck. I waffle between getting rid of the upper cabinets altogether or just changing the style. Please weigh in here: do you prefer upper cabinets or no upper cabinets?

renovationWe found the "island" in the barn; it was the previous owner's woodshop work bench. PRH hauled it out of the barn, cleaned it, sanded it, and coated it with food grade mineral oil. It may be a little wobbly on top, but it's the perfect height and works great for now. PRH is itching to have it back out in the barn. We keep fizzy water, veggies, and the kids' drawing materials on the bottom (the old picnic basket is full of construction paper and coloring books).

You can sort of see where we've chopped the upper cabinets (far right). The backsplash, if I can even call it that, is actually two layers of super old linoleum that's tacked (yes, with thumb tacks) to the original plaster/lathe walls. My parents gave us a lovely gas stove to replace that electric beast, so we may tackle the backsplash situation when we replace the stove. Deep breaths, PRH.

renovationAhhh...the green countertops. For as old as they are they're in good shape, and they've grown on me. We need to figure out what to do with the cabinets before we make any decisions about the countertops.

The light between the windows isn't original. The bathroom in our Buffalo apartment had similar fixtures (including chrome-topped bulbs) and I always liked how simple they were. We wanted something to blend a bit, so my parents gave us this light fixture that they had kicking around in their barn. Yay! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

renovationSo, that's 1/2 of our kitchen tour for now. Like I said, it is a work in progress, but I promise to be less anxious about showing our progress. Thanks for the push, Lynn!

Thank you to Circle & Sprout for sponsoring today's post.

53 comments:

Martha said...

I think it is looking fantastic so far! I like the upper cabinets that you have kept, I think the door above the door look has a neat vintage vibe. Maybe you could eventually put a hood above the stove to break it up there? But the floors and the colors and hardware on the cabinets are perfect. The antlers to hang up your dish towels is a great idea--I'm always wishing I had something to hang up a dishtowel near the sink.

Beaner said...

I love your antler towel hook! (and everything else for that matter) I like the cupboards (esp in white) on top :)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

wow! what a difference so far! it is looking amazing!

Amy said...

The kitchen looks great - as someone else with a "work-in-progress" kitchen, I appreciate you sharing yours. With big reno projects, it's so easy (for me/us) to let indecision make the decisions, but it's really better to "try" things out before making things permanent.

Anyway on the topic of upper cabinets - I'm tall so I love them (and use them more frequently than the lower ones), but I don't like them visually. I love your solution of painting them to blend into the walls versus having them match the lower ones. I'm inspired to try that in our kitchen too.

Mea said...

No reason to be anxious! Its really really nice, love the mix of colours! Greetings from Berlin!

Happy Thoughts said...

don't be so hard on yourself Abbey! Make it the way you like it and feel it... It looks perfect to me! You are amazing actually xxx

Lenore said...

Looks great! Truly, it's incredible how far you've come on it in so little time. I do have a question, it looks like the old cabinets had some mold issues (or maybe that's just old paint?). How did you handle that? Does painting seal the mold in the wood so it doesn't release spores?

A Beautiful Party said...

Abbey that is absolutely amazing what you have done in such little time! We are house-hunting right now and some of the place I see I speculate it will take us about five years to get the house where we want it to be. Maybe I'm selling myself short... It looks great! And I prefer lots of cabinets but I'm sure whatever you decide will be awesome!

Lynn said...

You're welcome! :-)It was worth the wait - I am so filled with admiration for what you two have achieved in such a short time. There may still be stuff to dream and do, but what a warm, welcoming, friendly family kitchen, full of personality!

Kim Hambric said...

Wow! This is fantastic. A beautiful and friendly room.

I love that you used a darker color on the bottom cabinets. Very attractive and practical. As far as having upper cabinets -- in my opinion, a kitchen is for cooking and closed cabinets hide a lot of unattractive things. I do love the look of open shelving for dishes and glasses. In my kitchen, there is a mix and I love it.

marisa said...

i love it! i thought the lower cabinets were black at first, which would be very abbey, but the green is nice. and like everyone else, i want the antlers.

i have considered getting rid of my upper cabinets on the wall where i keep my dishes (and not on the wall by my stove, where they hold spices and cookbooks and tea and things). i like the look of open shelving for dishes, but i worry that perhaps i'm not tidy enough. i also have a cabinet above my fridge where i stash all kinds of madness, which i wouldn't want out in the open. so basically i'm also still just wondering! :)

frecklewonder said...

DANG y'all! i'd call that major progress. for being there for just 4 short months, you guys have accomplished SO MUCH!!!!!!!

the kitchen is so pretty and bright and light filled, i LOVE it.

Mama Fabun said...

It looks wonderful! I'm so impressed with your DIYness. =)

Dawn Trest said...

That kitchen looks so so good! You have to feel proud of all the work y'all have done! Great job!
xo, Dawn
www.hellodearie.com

Angeline said...

Amazing from where it began to know - esp love your color selection - the dark green with the brass and the wood flooring - Lovely! I know just what you mean about those tall cabinets - I finally took down another tall upper cabinet in our old kitchen - though very functional and well-made seemed to overwhelm the room...for me - so far I haven't convinced my husband it "needed " to be done! :)

katherine. said...

oh my, it is gorgeous! you can hardly tell it's the same kitchen - you and your husband definitely have an eye for remodeling! i love that you keep posting progress of your new house - i am renting an apartment now, but your renovations make me hope for the day that i might have a fixer upper of my very own :)

have a happy first thanksgiving in your new home!

Sonchia said...

I think it looks absolutely amazing - particularly given you guys have been in the house only 4 months and have tackled so many other projects as well. I think living in a house and figuring out what you want/need before renovating makes the most sense. Wonderful work - I have really enjoying watching your progress.

Liz said...

It looks phenominal - so inspiring. Love the dark cabinets with the dress. The uppers look fantastic, though I've never met a set of open shelves in the kitchen that I didn't like... love the island and the marker/coloring access for the kiddos. Your before and afters are always amazing - please keep them coming!

Sierra said...

I think its wonderful so far as well!

2 thoughts...first, I love the current counter tops but you'd have to work around it I'm sure with cabinets, so you'd really have to love them.

second, my om did a HUGE kitchen renovation on her house and opted to forgo top cabinets for all large windows. She does however have a large space with plenty of lower cabinet storage and a huge pantry to make up for it. I like working better in a kitchen without them and being only 5'2" I can't reach the upper shelves anyway. BUT...you can store a ton of stuff in upper cabinets.

I love seeing the posts of your home progress, thank you for sharing!

tinyparticlesoflight said...

Wow - it looks awesome to me! I like the countertops for their vintage charm and for the fact that there's no grout. Love that. Also if/when we re-do our kitchen I think I'd like to get rid of our upper cabinets and put clean shelving in instead - or possibly cabinets with clear fronts to help open up our small space.

Your floors are to DIE for!

xo
cortnie

curlygirlpress said...

I'm a fan of upper cabinets, but perhaps you could do glass doors on them so it's a more open look? The before and after shots are AMAZING - you guys do great work. = )

Julia said...

i love progress pictures. thanks for sharing. its encouraging too, we don't have the money to redo our kitchen all at once. but we could do our cabinets. or floors...

bethany said...

Hello from Pittsburgh, PA!
I totally agree with Mea! Your kitchen progress is amazing! No need to be anxious! I love the green you used on the bottom cabinets to coordinate with the countertops. Fanfriggintastic.
I would keep the tippy top cabinets if they butt up against your ceiling. Great for hiding things you don't use often. We had cabinets that "floated" 2' down from our ceiling and it looked weird. That empty space was useless and you could see the dust collecting on top of the cabinets when coming down the stairs. I moved them up to be high cabinets like you have then installed open shelves below and that looks and works out great for everyday dishes.
Keep up the great work, you guys rock!!

beth lehman said...

looks amazing!! the way you've put color together is lovely - I really like the pops of yellow and the turquoise countertop! what a transformation a refinished floor and some paint can make!

EliseBlaha said...

this looks amazing. I dream about a kitchen that looks like your half-finished version. Congrats, congrats!!

Anonymous said...

I love this. It looks so fresh - the white and green!

Meghan said...

The island is fantastic! Personally, I would keep the upper cabinets, because I like to have as much storage space as I can. But if you don't like them or need them, rip them out! It's your kitchen after all. Do what makes you happy.

Handbags*N*Pigtails said...

Abbey its looking wonderful! The floors are my favorite. Wanna come over next summer and help us do ours? :) Our floors look just like yours and we also have differing shades of stain. Whats up with that?

HK said...

I adore what you've done with it so far! The brass hardware and the darker lower cabinets are fantastic!!! As far as ideas for the upper cabinets, I think they would look especially lovely with glass doors... Not exactly conducive to hiding messes, but would be oh so pretty.

Emily said...

I'm so impressed! It looks wonderful, amazing job on the floors and I think the choice to keep the counter tops was right for now- it really blends in. I would loose the upper cabinets and just stick to wall. I think it will look more balanced that way. Great job!

juli said...

We just replaced all of our upper cabinets with open shelving and we love it! I was hesitant at first, but I just make sure to put our 'ugly' cookware in the lower cabinets and only keep the 'pretty' stuff on the open shelves. And putting things away is a breeze. I love the vintage style counter tops and the hardwood floor in your kitchen!Thanks for sharing :)

Amy said...

wow, oh wow! hard to believe it is the same space. It is amazing what a little bit of paint and a lot of elbow grease can do! Fabulous, thanks for sharing!!!

Weazie said...

It's amazing to me that you were stressed about showing your kitchen, and to me it looks like something out of a magazine! I think it's lovely and I'm sure it will be some kind of amazing by the time you guys are done with it.
I'm a fan of storage space in the kitchen, so I say keep the upper cupboards, but I also have no aesthetic bones in my body, so not sure if my opinion really helps much. :)

kristin said...

it. looks. awesome. i would never think of dark green cabinets and brass knobs, but they look amazing with the original countertops. i originally thought you were posting "inspiration" photos, not the actual kitchen! great job. oh, and i like a mix of open shelving and uppers, where it makes sense with the space? I've been wanting to knock out a few upper cabinets in our kitchen but i'm chicken. ;)

leFiligree said...

im loving this stage. even the green counter tops-theyre cool. we have upper cabinets in 2 sections of the kitchen only: above the dishwasher for cups and bowls, and where the microwave is. no need for wall to wall uppers IMO

Gail said...

I think this is an example of awesome resourcefulness! I found myself loving the color solution of really dark below, blend-in white above, with the green countertops bridging the two. I find I quite often prefer the surprises borne of being resourceful more than the expectedness that can be the result of having a carte blanche time/expense account.

I have no upper cabinets in my kitchen, but that's because I'm 4' 11' tall! Instead, there are banks of drawers with wonderful modern slider hardware.

Kristin said...

SWEET LORD, GIRL! You have TWO children and have only been there FOUR months and yet you managed to turn that kitchen around THAT much? I am bewildered by you! That thing is rockin - I love it just how you have it now! And the island from the barn? I would tell PRH to kiss it goodbye because the kitchen claims it forever! Really, I am super impressed with you and you should give yourself a much deserved pat on the back!

Amy said...

You know, I really really like the green countertops. It may be that they remind me of the red countertops of my childhood kitchen, or it just may be the shade-that low key green you can't go out and buy. I love when kitchens don't follow all the rules, they're the truth of the house, the closet the home gets to it's genuine personality-a room that is meant to be messed up a certain amount of time, where the best stories are told, most of the fights, most of the laughter. I love what you've done so far.

Jen said...

Abbey - This is so amazing! What a transformation. I love love love the color combo. I think your white upper cabinets look great even though I am a fan of no upper cabinets. We have a "country" kitchen in our farmhouse with no upper cabinets or shelves and I love it. I wasn't sure at first, but we have a huge pantry so I didn't need the extra storage of upper cabinets. I think getting rid of the upper cabinets makes the space much more open, but your room appears to be big and open anyway. Keep these photos coming...you totally inspire me.

Cerises said...

You did an amazing job.
ì am so impressed that you turned that first picture (yucki) into that funcitonnal really really nice kitchen..
I am so impressed because I am quite sure that I would not have had the 'vision' to use what existed and turned it into suchg a nice kitchen with minimal investment (except you sweat!!!). Waooh

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thank you all for your amazing comments! Wow! We're still undecided about the cabinets, so we're going to keep them until a decision feels right.

Lenore- what looks like mold on the outside was just a hideous paint job. Can you believe that?! Ugh. There was a little mold on the inside (the house had been abandoned for several years), so we took all of the doors off, washed everything with a bleach/water solution, and then painted them. We haven't had any problems since. Here's a close-up image of the cabinets. :)
x,
Abbey

Rosemary said...

Everything looks great, I love the colors and how you made that green counter work. If you want a temporary backsplash fix, I had a similar linoleum-on-the-wall situation in my kitchen, and I slapped up some beadboard textured wallpaper from Lowes. It was super easy and looks much better than I thought it would, and definitely better than the linoleum. It's paintable, too, though I haven't gotten to that part, yet. Thanks for all the inspiration!

Cat said...

I think your kitchen looks awesome!! My head reels with all the work you and your husband have put into the farmhouse in such a short time. Since you guys did ALL that work it may not feel like a short time to you but it looks great so far. Aesthetically I love the look of no upper cabs but need the storage space. I love Juli's idea of going with open shelving but that might not be feasible if the dust situation is really bad. (I've noticed that some houses get dusty faster than others!!) Then I liked the idea of glass front cabs as a compromise if open shelves don't work for you. Anyways, you asked--opinion given!! Love your blog, BTW--you live an interesting life and you are a very good writer!! Looking forward to your further DIY adventures!!

The Frugal Hostess said...

I absolutely love the green counter-tops. Don't get rid of them!!! J/K, do what you want. I'm just jealous of all of the character of your house. Ours is from the 1940s, but the last owner did so much renovating that all of the period details (except the floors and fireplace) are gone. The grass(or counter, in this case)is always greener!

Abbey said...

this is fantastic!!!!! I love all of it. I can't believe how FAST you are making progress. Congrats!

Holly said...

WOW! You go girl! I'll have to read more about this. I've visited before but visiting again from With Two Cats - loved your interview today.

The Stapelia Company said...

Wow. I just love your refinished floors. They look amazing! Your whole house is really coming along from those before pics. Holy smokes, gross. Love the kitchen and the living room! :)

Kate said...

I love the upper and lower cabinet combo, but my house has almost no kitchen storage, so I may be biased. Upper cabinets keep the wee ones out things. Frosted glass doors might make just enough of a difference in looks without a big change (and you don't have to worry about keeping open shelving neat and tidy). I love love love the hardwood floors, paint combo, and new hardware!

Wendy said...

Absolutely lovely!!! You have amazing taste!

Lori said...

Love the floors...one suggestion about the cabinets, Rustoleum has a cabinet and counter restoration kit that is a lot cheaper than hiring a professional or buying new. The results on their website look amazing. Hope this helps.

Anna said...

I like the green countertops! and your little island is perfect!

Frau Haselmayer said...

It looks so amazing! The floors, the cabinets, everything! You did a fantastic job!

I'm dreaming of a new kitchen but truth is I'm dreaming of an old kitchen like yours to renovate! No new kitchen could ever be so great...

Anna said...

Wow, this is fantastic. I just found your blog the other day and, as a newish homeowner in Vermont also doing DIY renovations (though slightly less ambitious), I am happily reading back through your house progress and gleaning lots of inspiration. Thank you!!

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