Before & After | Kitchen & Dining Room Renovation

After years of planning, months of hard work… and many hours watched of HGTV 😉

I am SO excited to say our Kitchen Renovation is COMPLETE!

When we first walked into this house, we saw and felt the possibilities. The home was filled with love. The home was filled with opportunities to make it our own! After a few years of living here, working through plan after plan – trust me there were a LOT – we decided on the perfect plan that would work for our family now and into the future!

Our kitchen before pictures! I took these photos before we moved in. This home had everything we had on our ‘must have list’ including:

  • Natural Gas
  • Kitchen with an island
  • Just outside of town
  • Space to build a big garage for hubby
  • A large flat back yard for the kids and dog to run and play
  • Attached garage for me
  • Master bedroom with an ensuite
  • POTENTIAL to make it our own

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Over our years of living here we made our share of “quick fixes” to open up the kitchen. As much as I did love what I saw when we bought the house – working in the kitchen I felt very closed off. I envisioned a beautiful open space where our family could gather and enjoy each others company. Don’t get me wrong, we celebrated many birthdays, holidays and just any ordinary day in this kitchen. But we had a vision, a vision for us and our family of our dream kitchen… we just had to be patient while it began coming together.

Over the years we made some adjustments… to open up the space. However it just didn’t feel right to me. I had a vision in my mind that we had talked about for years (back to our 1st house). So although these changes were significant… it wasn’t the right space for our dream kitchen!

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We finished our basement renovation in March 2017 just in time to celebrate our daughters 9th birthday. A few weeks later we began on the upstairs… Because we were doing our kitchen and installing new flooring, we were also running that flooring throughout the main floor of the house. This is when things got interesting 😉

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During construction, hubby had just finished the flooring on the entire open main floor living space when… June 23rd we woke up to our basement flooded! All our hard work literally floating in the water. Thank god my hubby knew exactly what to do and got a couple pumps going to begin pumping out the water. It took until 1pm before the level began to go down. This photo was taken around that time when the water was beginning to actually drain from the house 😦

So that meant moving the kids and what stuff they had left (we just finished the basement and a lot of their stuff was on the floor 😦 ) upstairs to their summer ‘bedroom’ in the living room. The flooring had literally just been finished – thank god!

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Looking back in this past year its honestly amazing what we’ve worked through, gotten through and supported each other through. All the fears, what if’s, can we handle this, is it worth it, even more decisions, emotional trauma, stress… ALL WORTH IT!

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I would like to officially introduce you to our NEW Kitchen! It not only fits our family absolutely perfectly, it also fits over 40 people as well 😉 Our goal was to have the kitchen and bathroom complete to host Mom’s 60th Birthday here… and we DID!!! (Bathroom post to come soon!).

We are absolutely thrilled with the outcome. Its even better than we had originally planned. I am thankful that we took our time to figure things out. Even when that meant not having a wall dividing the old and new kitchen – we didn’t know how we wanted it to be. Deciding on a large pantry sunken into the wall and a large wall space for my growing collection of oils were two must have’s and I am so grateful we waited and got a feel for our new space before finalizing the layout! The pantry was literally installed just a few weeks before mom’s party 😉

Kitchen details…

  • Faucets – Moen Arbor Brushed Nickle with a pull down sprayer
  • Sinks – Kindred Double Kitchen Sink – Its deeper than our old kitchen and just beautiful! We opted for the rounded bottom (vs square) for ease of cleaning and I will be honest it was more affordable! We also have a Kindred bar sink in the island.
  • Fridge – We kept our GE Stainless Fridge that we bought about a year after we moved in here. Its still working so no need to replace yet.
  • Lights – I honestly wasn’t sure what kind of lights I wanted and rather than making a large investment in one’s I honestly wasn’t feeling we kept what we had and then found island lights that are matching and put pot lights in the ceiling of the kitchen.
  • Cabinets – Dustin Brown of Brown’s Custom Cabinetry was amazing to work with! We gave him our design and he went with it to create the cabinet design! Even with a corner pull out cabinet after I told him how much I didn’t like corner cupboards 😉 Dustin was so patient with us, ok lets be real with me lol I was back and forth on options, some design pieces and it took weeks – ok more like a couple/few months for the pantry to be figured out! I am absolutely in love with our cabinets, its exactly what I envisioned and he made it come to life for us. I love the two toned options of the antique white cabinet finish on the exterior and the darker stain cabinets on the island. We also opted to go for a bigger island – in this case bigger is better 😉 Because we opened up the wall between the dining area and front door we lost that space we had for our buffet cabinet. To make up for this we added a row of 12″ deep cabinets to the outside of the island – also then extending the island width to just about 4′ wide and almost 8′ long! We absolutely LOVE everything about our new cabinets!
  • Pantry – This I knew was a must have in our kitchen – although it took us months to decide where it was going to go 😉 We opted for a large 36″ wide pantry floor to ceiling height and a full depth of 24″. Its currently more space than we needed BUT I honestly like the feel of space. Im so thankful we felt out the new kitchen before making a decision on pantry size and location. Its perfect.
  • Counter top – We opted for a Caesarstone Quartz in “Moorland Fog”. We debated quartz vs granite and based on other people’s experiences and reviews opted for the quartz. The biggest benefit for us was if something happened to the hard surface it could be repaired – with granite it cannot. So that was a big plus for us just in case. We absolutely LOVE the counter top!
  • Oven – In the original kitchen we had a built in electric GE Oven and a gas cook top in our island. This honestly was a big push for me. I loved having an island, I did not love having the cook top in the island… at all. For me it took away from prep space and made the island less usable. I knew in our new kitchen the oven/cook top would not be in the island and would have its own dedicated space. We both love cooking with gas, however my hubby being a gas technician I let him make this decision! Being a gas tech he know’s his stuff and he knew exactly what he wanted and why… so we made the investment in the Blue Star 30″ Gas Range and LOVE it!
  • Paint – We opted to paint the entire main floor in a warm grey colour while leaving our one large wall the beautiful deep red colour we painted years ago. The difference was absolutely incredible. It all feels so open and inviting, comfortable and calm.
  • Trim – We also updated the trim in the entire main floor living space to a higher custom trim that finished things off beautifully.
  • Stairs – Just days before the party my hubby finished off the stairwell. What was really cool about this is it beautifully connected the new (basement), old (stairs) and new (upstairs). We kept the original post and railing, however replaced the rungs with simple black ones.
  • Oils Wall Space – With opening up the main floor we lost a lot of wall space. I knew I had to have at least 4′ of wall space to put up my ‘Tree of Life’ for all of our oils to be in a central part of our home. We use our essential oils in everything we do in our home – cooking, cleaning, physical health, emotional health – and let me tell you… they were used a LOT during the reno’s process 😉
  • Closet Space – The old coat closet we wanted to turn into an appliance beverage garage. I personally am not one who likes a lot of things on the counter, so this worked perfect. We had a piece of counter top left from one that had moved with us from our last house and it fit perfect. This holds the coffee maker, kitchen aid mixer, blender and then on shelves below other various food appliances. On the shelves above we have our bar area and it works amazing! We even painted the door chalk board on both sides for notes, meal plans, grocery lists etc and fun drawings on the outside 😉 A great use of space!

Overall we are absolutely thrilled with the improvements we have made to the heart of our home. It was worth all the blood, sweat and tears (from both of us) to make this happen and we are so grateful it all fell into place. After many years our dream kitchen has come to life ❤

Next up for our renovation journey is converting the old kitchen into a main floor laundry and mud room and then next year adding a small addition to the back of the existing attached garage to have a front entry deeper garage – for me 😉

It really is amazing how your vision can become your reality when you work hard and keep your eye on the goal.

Im excited to share with you our transformations – next up on the blog will be the main floor bathroom and the basement reno – that ironically happened twice 😉

What is even more beautiful is that when I woke up, I came out to our living room to meditate – a beautiful reflection meditation. As I was sitting here enjoying my hot lemon tea a beautiful pair of Cardinals arrived at my window and sat with me for a minute before flying off into the tree. ❤

If you are contemplating a significant renovation for your home my advice to you is to talk it out, write it out and look at various designs. Pull designs together from one to another, ask opinions of others but stay true to you and what works for your family. Also don’t skimp on quality to save a buck or two. This is an investment in your home and for your family. Let it be everything you ever hoped for and can create within your budget!

I feel so grateful to have this space in our home, I know it will continue to be a treasured heart of our home for many more years to come ❤ I also have to give a very special shout out to my hubby. It was his dedication, talent and hard work that helped bring this vision to a reality. I am so thankful for his abilities and his hard work in our home.