Inside Peek: Kate’s Dining Room & Kitchen

CATEGORIES: Home Decor, Kate

Have you ever lived in and worked on a house and wondered who’s lived there throughout the years–if it was someone’s “forever house” or if it was just a stopping point? What memories were made there? What you would do if you ever found the person who walled off the hallway leading to your kid’s bedroom and then created a new doorway into the bedroom directly off the kitchen, but it wasn’t a normal-sized doorway and couldn’t accommodate normal-sized doors, so every time you did the dishes after they were in bed, they would wake up? And then, imagine sitting at your 6-year-old’s soccer game and, through the course of a conversation with another mom, you discover that she and her husband not only used to own the house, but they were responsible for the extra-wide regular door/extra-small double door.

It’s actually kind of fun.

Especially when you realize that you’re still getting their mail that was never forwarded and, after opening it based on the return address, you can start piecing together what kind of people they are. No, I really wouldn’t open someone else’s mail (although I do really, really wonder what the IRS and the multiple collection agencies want with the guy who lived here right before us).

A kitchen remodel has kind of been on my bucket list, whether I realized it or not. My parents remodeled several kitchens during my existence, so I just kind of figured it was something everybody did at some point in their life. It was expensive and exhausting and dirty and stressful, but, after living on my own for almost 12 years, I actually, finally feel like I’m home. And that’s kind of cool.

If you’re just joining us (or if you want a refresher) and you want to check out what our kitchen looked like before, check it out here. The kitchen actually wasn’t our #1 priority when we bought this house–there are a couple of bathrooms that need a lot of love, and the kitchen, while not particularly cute, was not horrible and it was functional. I’m not 100% sure why we decided to start with the kitchen, but I’m glad we did because after this, anything seems possible and easy.

When we started this, we knew it was going to be more than a little facelift–it was going to be a complete gutting. Take a look at our checklist:

  • Take everything down to the studs. Wall over weird door openings and go back to how the house was before, with the hallway leading to the kids’ room.
  • Get the washer and dryer out of the kitchen
  • Rearrange the plumbing and electrical and install a gas hookup and vent for the range
  • New cabinets and countertops
  • Paint
  • Crown molding
  • Subway tile backsplash
  • Rip out fluorescent tube lighting and install new and more lights

But then…I ran into a problem. Our dining room was a dark, dark red. I actually really liked the color, but it was super intense and, when you got back near the kitchen where there weren’t any windows, it felt so small and cave-like. Not only that, but red can be a tough color to coordinate with because it’s so dominating, so I wanted something else to lighten and open up the room. Enter…Valspar Homestead Resort Tea Room Yellow.

Then we painted all the trim Valspar Bright White (which is just that–white white white) and the ceiling Valspar Betsy’s Linen (which is my new favorite neutral white color–it’s a very soft, nice shade of white that coordinates with lots of different tones).

Then we enlarged what used to be our linen closet and turned it into a closet for a washer and dryer.

The front loaders weren’t exactly in the plans, but a) they were a steal, b) they were purchased when we were at the money-hemorrhaging, hey!-what’s-another-appliance point in the project, and c) by the time we sold our old washer and dryer, we came very, very close to breaking even. So it was all good. And they make doing laundry delightful. Doors are in the works, but we’re not quite there yet.

One little touch that I’m really excited about is this light fixture. It was in one of the bathrooms when we moved in and I always thought it was so cute and retro, but we couldn’t use it in there. We were able to re-purpose it in our little laundry closet and it adds just a little personal, homey touch.

This room has vexed me since we moved in because there is so much unbroken wall space. I’ve been fighting for wainscoting since we moved in, which my husband has been staunchly opposed to, but once we I made the decision we were painting the dining room, I decided to go big and do wainscoting while we were at it. It has helped break up that wall space so much and makes the whole room just feel more complete and cozy.

I’ve been hauling some of my mom’s china all over the country and through many, many moves, and I finally have some place to put it, so I finally got a chance to unwrap it and maybe actually use it from time to time.

Little-known Kate fact: I’m a sucker for glass jars and bottles. I keep all my glass pickle/mayonnaise/olive/ banana pepper/roasted red pepper jars and when I find those little glass milk bottles or those green apothecary bottles, I can’t help myself. It’s a disease. I got these ones at Bake It Pretty, which I love because they have a flat shipping rate, so when you order something heavy like glass bottles, it doesn’t cost any extra.

I’m a little excited for fall, even if it’s still 90 degrees here…

The two biggest problems I’ve had with this room are a) all the wall space and b) balancing a nice, pretty room, but keeping it comfortable and fun because it’s one of our main living areas. Since the china hutch side of the wall was on the formal side, I wanted something a little more homey and whimsical on the other side.

I got a bunch of different white frames in different sizes from Ikea and just picked a bunch of my favorite family snapshots. I didn’t include any professional pictures on purpose–I wanted it to be our story, our lives, from our point of view. Then in the big frame, I Photoshopped a little word cloud/subway art with words that are significant to our family–our last name, anniversary, kids’ first and middle names, the names of our pets, towns we’ve lived in, places that are special to us, a meaningful quote, and our current address.

I’ve gotta say that if you’re sticking with me here, you’re a rock star–this is already longer than an average blog post and I haven’t even gotten to the kitchen. Need an intermission? Diet Coke? Now’s your chance! Ready to move on? We’re walking, we’re walking, from the dining room… into the kitchen.

I do have to add a little disclaimer on the kitchen–we’re not 100% done, but I couldn’t wait to share this with you guys, so hopefully we can still be friends if I’m showing you the incomplete package. We have the subway tile for the backsplash, we just haven’t put it up yet. We also need to replace a few cabinet doors that were damaged when we got them, which means another 4-hour each way pilgrimage to Ikea, and we’ve got wires for undercabinet lighting, but we haven’t put it up yet. Oh, and we still have to do the crown molding. So just imagine all of those things in your brain and if anyone gets on my case about how suckily unprepared I am to be posting this today, they can come and put the subway tile up for me.

One thing I knew I wanted was a little workspace, someplace safe I could keep my laptop while I was cooking or a place where my kids could sit and do their homework while I was cooking.

We also added a shelf with some hooks so I could hang cute little aprons and remember to wear them instead of splattering spaghetti sauce all over myself.

Remember my glassware fetish? The jars? Well, that’s not all. I also have a thing for binder clips, Sharpies, and Sharpie pens. I filled the other jars with paper clips, colored pencils, pens, and pencils, so we always know where to find a pen or a pencil and doing homework (or doodling when I should be doing dishes) is a breeze.

I knew we needed more pantry and overall storage, so we put two of the tall Ikea pantries on either side of the fridge. They have several drawers inside at adjustable heights, so they’re very customizable depending on what you need and/or want.

Honestly, we’re still kind of in the polite dating stage–trying to figure each other out and if my pantry ingredients are ready to move in for good. But I really wanted a “baking center,” so I kept all my baking ingredients in the cabinet closest to the countertops and then have all my baking supplies in the drawers and lower cabinets.

And then I have those pretty glass upper cabinets so I can pretend all the insides are as nice and neat as those ones are.

One thing you can’t see is that all the doors and drawers have dampers on them so they close softly no matter how hard you slam them, which is awesome until you forget that not all doors and drawers close that way…

I have a very complicated relationship with Ikea, but one thing I can totally give them is that they make the very most of every single space. I have these deep corner cabinets, and normally, it would be really awkward to get into the back of the cabinets, but in these, we have these pull out lazy susan-ish things. So here, I have my pots and pans in the cabinet…

Then I can pull them out part of the way if I need to…

Or if I need something in the belly of the beast, I can pull the rack all the way out and then swivel it to where I need it. And it rocks.

The only time I’ve ever had a gas stove was when my husband and I were newlyweds living in a semi-ghetto student apartment and one of the burners melted and stopped working the first time we turned it on. But I knew gas was the way I wanted to go, so we fired it up and I’m loving it.

We agonized about the floors and the countertops. Ultimately, we decided on a tile floor, and I have to say that my husband rocked it. It’s one of those times that being married to someone who’s a little OCD has its perks.

The hill I was willing to die on here was the apron sink. If I got nothing else I wanted, I was going to get an apron sink and I love it on both practical and aesthetic levels–it’s so roomy and when the water splashes out, I like that it just hits the outside of the sink rather than the countertops.

I’m also loving that when I do dishes, I don’t have to stare at the wall anymore–I can look out into the dining room and watch my kids play and think about how glad I am that I won the great Wainscoting Battle of 2011.

I’ve gotten lots of questions about the paint (Valspar Winter in Paris for the walls, Betsy’s Linen for the ceiling) and about our decision on the butcher block countertops. If you guys are interested in a Q&A post, I’m totally game (we could talk Ikea kitchens, appliances, wood countertops, what I’ve learned and what I’d do differently, etc.) Since I’ve already broken a record, like, 3 times over for the longest OBB post ever, I’m not going to get into it too much right now, but, like I said earlier, I agonized about the countertops. The oak countertops were inexpensive (like about $300 total for the countertops) and I love how they look, but I was worried about durability and germs. I don’t (and never have) planned on cutting on them, which helps with both of those issues (germs like to hide in the cuts). Also, studies indicate that wood can have antibacterial properties as long as they’re properly cared for, which means keeping them clean, dry, and oiled. I figure if, in another year or so, I decide that I hate them, I can replace them. If another owner doesn’t want them in the future, everything else in the kitchen is already done, so it shouldn’t be a big deal to replace them.

So there you have it! It’s been an adventure for sure, but I learned so much and have so many fun, crazy memories of these last few weeks! I hope it’s been a fun little visit! Here’s one last little peek for now, but keep your eyes peeled for subway tile and undercabinet lighting soon!

Disclaimer: No part of this post was sponsored by any company in any way–unfortunately, I paid Ikea, Valspar, Lowe’s, and Home Depot rather than the other way around. But even if they did pay me, I’d be completely forthcoming in my opinions. I did pay the tiling guy in kisses. Hopefully that’s not breaking any ethical standards.


  1. looks great! I do want to know what kind of oil you treated your countertops with. I’m getting an Ikea island here in the next few months and it will have the butcher block wood top and I want to know the best way to treat it so I’m prepared. 🙂

    1. I live in Scandinavia and have an Ikea kitchen, including wood countertops. Ikea here sells oil for treating wood countertops, cuttingboards, etc. It’s just plain old mineral oil. I applied it 1x/day for the first week or so, now I do it every month or so.

    2. Yep, you can just use mineral oil. I’ve used the John Boos mystery oil and the cream and I’m about 95% sure I’m about to just use this on the whole thing:

      It’s a natural, more permanent seal than just oil, but it’s not like polyurethane. It seems to be the gold standard in sealing butcher block countertops, but if you’re planning on cutting on your island, it wouldn’t work.

  2. I love it!! do you know if the pull-out lazy susan-ish things come on their own? (could I buy just the shelf to install into my cupboards I already have?)

    1. They do come on their own, but I don’t know if they can be installed in regular cabinets. If you have an Ikea close by, you could always get your dimensions and then head over to Ikea and talk to someone in their kitchens department. Ikea cabinets can be really frustrating, but to Ikea’s credit, the people who work in the kitchen departments are FABULOUS.

  3. Gorgeous! Thank you. I love seeing things like this. One question, do you know/remember where you got your pasta and other storage containers in your pantry? I love them.

    1. I actually had pictures and everything about these containers because I love them so much, but it was just getting too long. They’re the OXO Pop Containers and I LOOOOOVE them!!
      They are definitely on the spendy side, but I love that the different sizes are designed to stack with each other. I was primarily concerned with things that need to be airtight that we use often–flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, craisins, oats and other grains, pasta, etc. For everything else, I bought the cheaper OXO containers. I saw them originally at Target and fell in love!

  4. What an inspiration to those of us dreaming of a kitchen re-do someday. My question for the Q&A is where did you get that china hutch? Ikea or somewhere else? Thanks!

  5. It’s nice to see someone using a diamond pattern on the tile floor. We had two small rooms we tiled and the diamond pattern really makes it feel bigger than it is. We used a similar color tile too.

  6. I love the counter tops — so beautiful! I am interesting in knowing how the wood holds up. Can you do a separate blog post on these in a few months and let us know how much you enjoy them? I believe this could be the latest and greatest new idea for kitchens.

  7. Love that you moved the sink & stove & washer/dryer ~ such a better arrangement! Did you ever ask the previous owners why they walled off the hallway & added the door?

  8. I think I have the same track lights in my kitchen. I wanted something in the middle and put two sets up to form a square. I love them! Your kitchen/dining room is lovely and I’m sure y’all are gonna love having them updated.

  9. Aah- I’m totally suffering from kitchen envy right now 🙂 It’s beautiful. I have a folder with all of my pictures and ideas for when I’m in my ‘forever’ house, and Ikea is definitely well-represented. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I LOVE it! Looks absolutely beautiful. And I am not trying to be your mom — I PROMISE I’m not — but I am a perfect stranger to you, and yet now I know your home address, your first and last name, and your kids’ complete names. I am not a stalker and perhaps I’m being paranoid, but maybe a little PhotoShop action on that word cloud is in order? I HATE to do this…offer advice when none has been requested…but I like you and want you safe! Again, BEAUTIFUL kitchen and laundry closet! 🙂

  11. Your kitchen looks awesome, I could cook there. IKEA is a favorite store in my family, all of us (lot of different ages) love it.

  12. Question: What does the seam look like where the slabs of countertop meet? I was thinking about doing this exact same countertop but got worried about the seams. Looks great though!!!

    1. Sara, it’s just an edge, we didn’t even bother mitering it. I do worry about stuff getting down in there, but I had a 2’x2′ square of countertop leftover, so I just sanded and oiled that and I keep it over the seam and use it as my cutting surface. I don’t try to HIDE it or anything, but that’s just how I keep stuff from getting down in there.

  13. Wow, you kitchen look amazing! We have corian in our kitchen and I’ve decided that isn’t the way to go if you spend much time in the kitchen at all.

    Thanks for sharing!


  14. We have that same dining room table and chairs/bench–which I am supposed to be giving a scrub down as we speak. Do you have as much trouble keeping the grooves in the top clean, too? With two young kiddos, I can’t ever seem to get all of the crumbs out.

      1. I had a table like that and I couldn’t STAND cleaning the crumbs out anymore so I filled in the groove with wood putty and painted it today! Problem solved. But also my table didn’t look that nice before I started so anything I did was an improvement. Thanks for sharing your makeover!

  15. I love the Bonnie Hunt quote from Dave! So fun 🙂 I also LOVE your little bottles from Bake It Pretty and thanks to you, there is now $100 less in my checking account, but I have pretty little bottles coming my way! Love the yellow in your dining room, and love that there is only one sharpened pencil in your pencil jar!
    I think it is perfectly acceptable to trade for payment (your kisses to the tile guy, Sam).
    Love it all, Kate!

  16. Oh I am so jealous of your kitchen! Not jealous of the 4 hour each way drives to Ikea, but the results make it seem like that drive was worth it! I cannot wait until my husband and I buy a house (we’re renting right now) and I can finally have a dream kitchen! Congratulations on being so close to done with it!

  17. Thank you for the update and pictures. Very exciting to see the finished project. I love wainscoating and think after 2 years I have convinced my husband that we should put it in our bedroom. He has already done the den and master bathroom. I would love a Ikea Q & A. My husband wants to switch our pantry cupboard to the one that you have pictured. I’m not sure if I like it or not. How do you like it? Is it easy to organize and see what you have without having to move things around.

  18. Cute kitchen, we agonized when we did a remodel on our home about whether to use Ikea or get custom cabinets. The total cost was so close that we had custom cabinets done, husband was glad that he did not have to build and install them! It is too bad that you could not utilize the space all of the way up to the ceiling, you could have had even more storage space. I bet you are way excited to put the finishing touches on the kitchen.

    1. We actually meant to get the taller cabinets, but we accidentally ordered the shorter ones. It’s okay because we have plenty of storage and I’m so short that chances are the high, high shelves would never get used, but I wouldn’t have minded it, either! 🙂

  19. It’s sooo pretty. I love those glass cabinets on top. You’ll love those slide-out cabinets. My dad installed those himself in their existing cabinets and it is so handy. I hate having to reach in the back for stuff now (after we lived with them for a few years). I love the yellow, too. Gorgeous.

  20. Beautifully done! I really think the wood countetops are charming, and want to go that route myself. I would also love to hear about how well they preform for you, especially things like pot placement (if a trivet is needed) and how it holds up with little people around. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! So I have two sets–I’ve got a set of stainless steel KitchenAid cookware, and then I have this Better Homes & Gardens set:

      I thought I wanted the stainless steel, and I’m a die-hard KitchenAid fan, but I really, really, really love the BH&G cookware. My parents have some really expensive hard anodized Calphalon pots and pans and I swear to you that these ones cook just as well as theirs.

  21. We are in the middle of a remodeling project. The bathroom is complete. I need advice about the kitchen cabinets. My husband is very picky about quality, but the budget is tight. Is it worth driving five hours to Ikea?

  22. Since you have front loaders (the best washing style out there), you can now install a worktop (counter) above them and you have a built in folding area :o)

  23. Love Love Love the new kitchen!!! I haven’t been to IKEA since there isn’t one close to me but it’s probably a good thing for my wallet. I really like the pantry cabinets on both sides of the fridge. I want those! Pretty soon I’m going to have to replace my fridge and anything to do with storage is my weakness. Right now the fridge is on a wall by itself…oh I can see possiblities.

  24. Love what you did with the space, Kate! Especially the dining room. It’s awesome.

    Ugh, when we bought our house it was a DISASTER. Luckily it had good bones and all the work we had to do was purely cosmetic, but it gave me a little glimpse of how exhausting (in every sense of the word) remodeling a home can be.

  25. Would love a what you like and dislike…what you would differently post. Live in CA and will most likely have to re-do a kitchen when we eventually buy.

  26. Oh, I am soooo excited for you that you finally have a gas stove! We just bought a home that has one, and I’m loving it. I don’t burn dinners as often, and it’s a good thing! Something about cooking with ‘fire’ is just so much better than electric!

  27. I vote for an Ikea post- we are house hunting, and might have-to/want-to do a kitchen remodel, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting your opinions about if an ikea kitchen is worth it, both money and energy wise. We only live 2 hours from ikea, so not as bad as your 4 hours, but still a commitment compared to home depot down the street.

    Also, I am confused by the tall pantry doors on either side of the fridge. Do you pull the door straight towards you, and then reach around the door to slide out the drawer you need? That seems awkward to me. Is there room to stand on the side and get access from there? And is that 2nd shelf attached to the door? Or does that pantry drawer have a side hinge and just swing out, then the drawers pull out?

  28. I love all the work you have done…it looks AWESOME!!! The cupboard Lazy Susan things are so cool!! I wish I had those in my last house! We had one of those corner cupboards that was so hard to get things in and out of…to bad I didn’t know about them then IKEA was only 45 min away then. (It’s 5 hrs now!!)

    Thanks for listing your paint colors too!! I am about to paint one of our bedrooms…the one my 5 yr old son and 9 yr old daughter share. My son wants blue and my daughter wants a light brown. I laid out all my paint chips with the art we picked out decided that a golden yellow was the color I need. Their room is above the garage with one little gabled window so their room needs to be bright. Instead of looking at paint colors at, I decided to check out the post for OBB for the day! OBB is a lot more fun than Lowes!! What a surprise…your dining room section of the post was just what I needed!!! THANK YOU!!! 🙂

    Good luck with the finishing touches!! 🙂

  29. I would love to hear more about the IKEA kitchen experience. We are considering that route and I would like to hear about the process and if it is really a big saving over a traditional remodel in the end?

    It turned out amazing, congrats!

  30. Is it okay if I copy your kitchen and dining room? 😀 As I read your post, I kept thinking, that’s what I want to do! The paint color, the wainscotting, the tile floor, the sink, even your kitchen’s layout! We just moved into a 40yo house that has NEVER had any upgrades. We have to upgrade the wiring right now, but I have major plans for the main floor when that’s done. It’s only money, right? 😉

  31. oh, and PLEASE do a post about IKEA. We are considering buying the kitchen cabinets from them, so I need all the background info I can get my hands -er, eyes- on.

  32. I love it! I’m drooling over all that storage, and the apron sink! I think you’re going to be super happy with the counters, they look great! What brand of pots/pans do you have? I’m ready to replace the ones I got for my wedding almost 10 years ago.

  33. It’s so fresh and cheery. I love the aprons hanging from the shelf hook! I never thought to use pretty aprons as part of my decor.

  34. I would love an in depth post on the what not to do’s and to do’s – I’m remodeling in the spring and starting to come up with ideas!

  35. Beautiful!! We have been pondering the Ikea butcher block counter tops for a year now. I love it in your kitchen and think I have to show my hubby the pic’s so we can finally get our kitchen done!

  36. Looks AMAZING, Kate!
    I have a question about your bead board/wainscoting in the living area. Did you paint it with rollers or brushes? We’ve just put some up in a bathroom and we’ve been having trouble with an uneven surface after painting with both brushes and rollers. Would love your advice. Thanks!!

  37. Just beautiful! The subway tile and under lighting will tie it all together. And one should ALWAYS pay the tile guy in kisses… assuming you’re married to him or otherwise not attached, that is. = )

  38. I love it.. practical and beautiful… I am working on a home remodel and was considering doing a laundry closet, I was wondering what the dimensions of your closet is?

    Thanks, Carlee

  39. First, I see that Sara has my tree thingy on her wall and now I see that you Kate have my cabinets! You made a very good choice as they are WONDERFUL! We re-did our nasty, sagging, crumbling apart, press-board cabinets in our kitchen a couple of years ago and I’m so glad we did. Those beautiful, white beauties from Ikea are really so cheap compared to everything else out there, they wash off so amazingly easily and the dampers are fantastic! I’m really just so excited for you, they’ve made me staying in my little 1000 square feet Houston house for the extra years than I was planning on living here with my family of five, so much more bearable. 🙂 Your kitchen and dining room are darling! Well done!

  40. Hi, Kate! I accidentally stumbled across your page via Pinterest (the Oreo Turkeys drew me in!), and I saw your black china hutch on this post. I am looking for something low profile just like this and just wondered if there was any chance you got this from a chain store of some sort. It is exactly what I’m looking for!

    Thanks! I will definitely be visiting your blog more often!

  41. I love it. I WANT a laundry closet. Actually I do currently have one but it is in the kitchen, kind of like your old one with cupboards above. We upgraded to front loaders recently & I really want the pedestals for under them because our family is on the taller side but can’t do that because of the cabinets above. I also want those pantries beside the fridge, I have no storage space. Good job! It’s beautiful and can’t wait to see the Subway tile backsplash.

    1. Oh and I really WANT to go to IKEA. I’ve never been to one and the closest ones are 5 & 8 hours away. A friend and I are supposed to take a girls trip probably to the 8 hour away one because of some other stores in the area also, we’re going to outfit her new craft room/basement, but I’m gonna keep an eye out for stuff for my house too.

  42. Hey Guys! I just want you to know that I really love your blog. I received a tiny little blogger award and passed it on to my 15 favorite blogs including Our Best Bites! It’s in the Rolo Cookies post from today. Thanks again for all you do!

  43. What did you use to treat your counter top? Our kitchen is by Ikea too, we got the same sink (love it!), same cabinet style, and the same counter tops as you. I love how your counter looks and would love to here what you did and/or used to treat them. THANKS!

  44. Like your kitchen. We are going to redo our kitchen in the next few months and I wondered what would you do different? Would you use Ikea again? We live only 15 minutes away.
    I just found your blog and I am enjoying it.
    Thank you.

  45. Your kitchen looks amazing! I am in the process of a kitchen remodel (due to a lovely upstairs toilet overflow–so insurance is helping cover some of the costs (mainly just the floor, but anything helps!) Anyways, am still trying to figure out what tile I want to go with in the kitchen and was very drawn to yours? What tile and color of grout did you guys use?? I love it!

  46. You are going to love the tile floor on the diagonal. It makes a room look larger, and with the tile craftsman’s skills, it looks perfectly done. Congratulations on a beautifully designed and finished kitchen and dining room!

  47. I’m so in love with your apron sink! I had no idea Ikea sold them! Super job on the kitchen!
    Totally worth the battle on the really makes the room.

  48. Beautiful kitchen…and it’s done. I’m so jealous. We have been without a kitchen since April (brand new dishwasher leaked for 7+ months and ruined our wood floor and cabinets) and we are still looking at another 2+ months until our kitchen is complete. With two children under the age of 5 eating every meal out has been a challenge. We are going with white IKEA cabinets (mine are currently sitting in boxes in the garage) and I’m so excited to choose the inserts and put everything into the cabinets…I’m such a dork, I know. Anyhow, we also purchased a “pantry” but I opted to go for a swing door with shelves rather then the pull-out door/drawers as I felt the door would just get in the way. What has your experience been so far? I was also wondering, who did the assembly and installation? And lastly, did you have any returns you needed to do and if so, how did that go?

  49. This looks amazing. I have been trying to convince hubby that we need to remodel the kitchen for so long. He is finally starting to realize it. I would love a Q & A post. Was the Ikea stuff worth it? Would you rather have used custom? I’d love to know more about why you chose butcher block countertops. I’d just love to pick your brain about the whole thing!

  50. I would love to hear more about the countertops. I am considering putting butcher block on my island and would like to know more about care, etc.

  51. Love your kitchen! We are moving into a house next month that needs a kitchen remodel…and Ikea is only 1 hour away! I’ve never been, so now I can’t wait! I absolutely love the pantry cabinets around the fridge. I looked on the Ikea website, but didn’t see those, guess I’ll just print off a picture of yours and take it in with me! Post more pics when the tile backsplash goes up!

  52. Our Ikea is about the same distance but at least it’s directly on the path to the DC temple which gives me extra incentive to make the trip more often. We did our kitchen totally Ikea with the exception of the countertop. I feel your pain at missing parts and having to make the haul back to the store but I love my kitchen now so trust me when I say it will all be worth it once you finally finish it. I loved you green Apothecary Glass Bottles in your dining room cabinet but can I ask, do you actually use for drinking? Are they large enough? I’d love to know. Thanks for the great job you do and the inspiration you give. When I see a post in my email it’s like a ray of sunshine in my inbox!

  53. I really LOVE the word cloud that you framed. I was wondering if you could post a close up of it. (But hiding the personal info) We did something similar with our Christmas letter a few years ago.

  54. We’ve just moved back to the US from England and I’m dying to decorate! I have heard fabulous things about Hobby Lobby although I’ve never been. Would love to check it out with a free gift card!

  55. We are just starting to work on some changes in our kitchen….thanks to a family member that exploded a glass baking dish melting my floor. That will be the first order of business. The hard part is deciding….too many choices! I could spend all day in Ikea.

  56. I too have a love/hate realtionship with IKEA. Love the merchandise and the price, hate the 4 hour round trip drive to the store.

  57. I love the Target! I spend so much money there anyway that $100 gift card would be DYNAMITE! (Besides, IKEA and Hobby Lobby don’t reside even close to where I reside. Isn’t that a bummer?)

  58. Dang, that last comment was supposed to go on the giveaway thing. What the heck happened?? Your kitchen is lovely! I especially love the glass doors on the cupboards!

  59. Don’t get me wrong, I use Pottery Barn for decorating inspiration, but I shop at Target, and could spend $100 there in a heart beat! BTW, both rooms are beautiful!

  60. I can’t believe I read the whole thing either! But this was a really helpful post.

    I would love a Q&A of what you’d do differently and more details on appliances and stuff. You did some changes I would love to do but without going down to studs.

  61. This is fabulous! But not quite as fabulous as you two are!

    Hands down I would choose IKEA. I have just recently moved and was just introduced to this inspiring store, love it!

  62. So wonderful! Gives me lots of good ideas on the remodeling that we are doing right now. With that said Home Depot would be my spot of choice since I already spend way to much money there. Gift card would surely help.

  63. I would love to spend the $100 at IKEA. The IKEA store here in Denver just opened and would love to go there and spend the $100 for lots of fun stuff!

  64. Love the post, love the kitchen, LOOOOVE the apron sink and am now an eensie bit more obsessed with butcher block countertops now that I know you got them at Ikea and that inexpensively.

  65. What a fun idea! I have been drooling over your remodeling photos and dreaming about what my future kitchen will look like. I really love Target. Enjoy your new kitchen!

  66. Did IKEA cut the counters tops to size for you? Really only $300? I am moving into a previously loved home in a couple of weeks, and that could be a good solution for me.
    Thanks for sharing, I love your kitchen makeover.

  67. I love the kitchen and the new office. I would love to spruce up every room in my house! My bedroom would be first! I have a blanket as a bedspread that barely covers the bed!!

  68. Kate your kitchen is beautiful and so are you! Don’t worry I’m not some weirdo leaving you compliments in your comments! I’m an old friend from the Logan High days (used to be Cassie Bush)! My sister and sis-in-law love your site and think you are doing a fabulous job!

  69. LOVE it all! I too must confess that I save all my glass jars (my husband just LOVES it…sarcasim). BUt I have yet to discover anything that gets ALL the label gunk off. Any little secret or tips??

  70. I would have say hobby lobby. I recently fell in love with their home decor and I really like their rod iron stuff. BTW your tree above the window is awesome!

  71. I hope someone hasn’t asked this already, but how are the white cabinets fairing with kids touching them all the time? Are you washing off hand prints 24/7? I would love white cabinets to brighten up my small kitchen :(, but I am so worried the cabinets will look disgusting all the time since my kids get in and out of them also. My pantry door is white and I can’t keep it clean so I keep thinking about that. Just curious what you think so far. By the way I love the kitchen! I am so jealous!

  72. oh kate! how wonderful! i’m sitting here crying because i’m so happy for you and sam! and the kids! but you know that’s how i am. love you!

  73. Both remodels look fantastic! More than anything, I am THRILLED with your success as it is truly inspiring in this down economy. Just look at what two hard-working mom’s can do! America is still the sweet land of opportunity for those who dream and work hard.

  74. I would love to find new things at the Home Depot, i do need some new lights and i just love Home Depot and all the cool stuff, love to have the $100.00 gift card.

  75. I LOVE Target and Ikea! If I had to choose I would say Target, only because Target is closer and more of an instant gratification! Oh I would love to re-do our guest bedroom and have a litte more organization in there!

  76. Love your new kitchen…and the stainless steel. We are in the process of remodeling due to Hurricane Irene. We are presently working on a bathroom installing wainscoting. I love Home Depot, Ikea, and Lowe’s.

  77. Those look like the same washer/dryer set we bought when we moved in to our house! They work wonderfully and are some of my favorite appliances! 🙂

  78. This is BEAUTIFUL. You did a lot with a little space. I’m sure this will inspire you to do even more for future cookbooks (hint, hint. . .)?!? Please do a Q&A with questions. . .it would be a great resource to go back to. Honest opinions from others that have walked the path are always best 🙂
    I’ve been begging for wainscoting in our dining room for years. . .I’m pinning your picture to show him later!

  79. I would love to receive a gift card from Target, the best store ever. I love your cookbook. I have gotten so many recipes from it that my family and I absolutely love! Thanks!

  80. I love the kitchen ewmodel and the office. I would have to say I would use the $100 at my IKEA store that just opend in Denver to redo my craft room. I would love to incorporate some of the ideas from the office into my craft room. Thanks for an opportunity to win. I love your blog!!! mwahhhhh!

  81. As a homeschool family we go through TONS of paper, ink, crayons, markers and all other manner of daily supplies- TARGET would be our store of choice!
    Great giveaway! We love your recipes!

  82. Everything looks so pretty! I’m sure someone has already asked what kind of appliances did you get? I’m looking for a new kitchen stove, refrigerator well a new everything and wanted to know your opinion. I like a gas stove but I was thinking of getting a convection oven. . . . I have heard good and bad things and wanted to ask someone I trust. Which would be you and Sarah, since you girls are my go to when it comes to cooking and baking. So what do you think?

  83. Is the pantry from Ikea a premade item, or did you have to buy several pieces and piece it together? Were there any shorter ones, or only the size you bought? Love all your pics and you are giving me some good ideas for my kitchen project!

  84. AWESOME! I envy your farmhouse sink…we just redid countertops and backsplash and we both wanted that sink!! Of course the countertop lady said it would be ‘No Problem!’…she didn’t know what she was talking about. For anyone out there that wants one…unless you are replacing your cabinets that the sink fits in…good luck! We actually found an awesome sink (in black!) that is HUGE and we love it…didn’t notice the subway tile?? I couldn’t decide between that and those little tiny tiles ($33 a ‘sheet’!)…so I worked the tiny tiles into the mix. Great Job!

  85. Hi, Kate. I’m Lizzy’s sister. I’m trying to convince Nate that we need the butcher block countertops. Where did you get yours? Your remodel is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  86. Gorgeous kitchen! I’d love to redo ours someday, but at this point we’re not sure how long we are going to be in our house. How did you decide the layout of everything? Our kitchen is big, but not very functional at all! Did you guys just plan it yourselves, or ask around?

  87. Kate! It’s gorgeous! I so want to come over and have a diet coke with chips and salsa with you. I’m so happy you have your dream kitchen. You deserve it!

  88. I have wooden countertops in my kitchen, and instead of oiling them, we got Waterlox (rather pricey but super-amazing stuff) and did several coats of Waterlox on them. The Waterlox soaks into the wood and makes it a virtually impermeable surface – you can’t use anything bleach or ammonia-based to clean it, but it makes the surface completely water tight and resistant to stains. Plus, no oiling (though the counters look similar to oiled). The main reason we chose to go with Waterlox is because we wanted to install a drop-in cast iron sink, and with just oiled wood countertops, there is concern about eventual wood rot from moisture around the sink.

    After we’d installed and sealed our counters, The Kitchn had a post about the best countertop surfaces for resisting stains, and sealed wooden counters were among the top-rated. That, and after an unfortunate plumbing leak from the upstairs bathroom, I was really glad that I didn’t have to worry about pooled/dripping water ruining my counters.

    One thing to be aware of with using Waterlox is that it has some very not-good fumes while it is curing. We were installing our counters before we moved into our house, so we just had fans on and windows open and wore masks while applying it.

  89. Hi, I’m thinking of getting those Ikea corner cabinet organizers. But I can’t seem to find anywhere what the opening of the cupboard has to be. What is the width of the opening of your cabinet with the organizers?


  90. I love your kitchen and especially the wainscot! I had to have that when we built our house and I love it! My favorite color is yellow! Would you mind sharing the name of the yellow you used on your walls. Is it just in your kitchen?

  91. I like very much your word art, with names and homes, that you did for the dining room! Must hold on to this idea for a future project! Thanks for the inspiration.

  92. I love it! We might be redoing our kitchen and I was so excited to see yours! The wainscoting Is a must as are white cabinets 🙂

  93. I happened to see your posting last week and wonder how your wainscoating is working in your dining room, now that it’s been about a year and you have little ones too. We’ve been debating it for a while now in our dining room; we have 4 kids, and wonder if the cleaning will be a bear. Our dining room is rectangular too, and I’m worried that it will make it look even more long and skinny. Love that shade of yellow!! It’s inspired me!

  94. Looks beautiful! My brother and sister-in-law did an IKEA kitchen and used the same cabinets and have had theirs for about three years now and it’s holding up well! I love the work station and where you have your aprons hanging up-too cute. I really like the butcher block counters with the white cabinets.

  95. Love how homie it looks.
    I would love a great fabulous kitchen with top notch expensive appliances but having a family oriented looking kitchen and home is all I really want. I like to live comfortable.

  96. I love your dining room! The beadboard wainscoting is adorable… my husband and I are going to be redoing the kitchen in a home we just purchased and I know I want light yellow walls and white beadboard! Did you guys install that yourselves?

  97. As I was scrolling through this I was thinking the whole time, subway tile would be the icing on the cake for your kitchen – and then I saw you mention it in the last sentence! I just installed white subway tile in my kitchen and I love it. It’s classic and will never go out of style! Fits any decor.

  98. Hi!
    Over the holidays, I saw a post where one of you had knit Christmas stockings with an initial, then a name below it. I can’t seem to relocate it on your site, so not sure whose it was. But can you tell me where you got them? I love them! I also LOVE all of your recipes and have tried many of them!

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