I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

The Official Kitchen Makeover Post | Before & After

It’s finally here!! I’ve finally sat my butt down and blogged about our kitchen makeover!! And it only took me 5 months to do it. Ha! Oh goodness…

So, a little background on why and when this all started before you see the big revealing. (The prolonging will make it more exciting than it really is…:)) Okay! We moved in this little house (it’s not super little – we wish it were) a little over 4 years ago, back in spring 2012 when the market was at its low point. It was cheap, it was somewhat different than the other houses on the street and other houses we’d seen in our price range, and it had a wonderful view of the lake behind us. All in all, we couldn’t complain. We were home-owners!!

Fast forward to just a few weeks later, and the orange wood was starting to get to us. It’s not just in one room – it’s literally everywhere. It’s in our GARAGE. On our GARAGE DOORS. On the BASEMENT WALLS. On the TRIM. On the CUPBOARDS in EVERY ROOM. Our kitchen was saturated in orange because of all the wood cabinets and trim. We were able to fix up the upstairs bedrooms by painting the trim white but we were hesitant to tackle any other room because, like I said, there was a lot of orange. After hearing from one of our friends about this cabinet painting kit that only took them a weekend to do in their kitchen, we bought it, thoroughly excited about shedding the orange. And although our intentions were good, that kit sat on our kitchen floor for years. We talked about it, dreamed about it, sometimes even reached to open it, but still the kit stayed untouched.

Until March 2016.

I don’t know why, but it was suddenly like, What are we still doing with this orange kitchen?!?! Are we mad?! So one random night, we ran to Home Depot to also buy wall paint (why only start one ginormous project? Why not add more work?) – I had this vision of a warm, brown, rustic, cozy, Italian kitchen – even though our cabinets were going to be stark white. So anyways! There we are one night, Paul starting the cupboards with the kit (which was expired so we had to buy another new kit while we were buying wall paint) and me tackling the walls. We turned on Pandora, ate random snacks and stayed up way past midnight, and before ending that first night, I talked him into busting out the gosh awful bar that stuck out from the kitchen bay window. YES!!! That had been on my list of to-do’s since day one but Paul was always against it. Not only did I use my charm to get him to take out the bar, but also the ugly, useless, 90’s computer desk!!!! SUCCESS!! Oh gosh, it was absolutely therapeutic taking a crowbar to all that orange. I was dancing around the kitchen, completely beside myself with glee. :)

And then of course as all home projects go, once you start one you can’t simply leave it at that. So our painting projects turned into new flooring, new countertops, new kitchen sink, new hardware, new faucet, new (used) furniture, new lighting, and even a new back-splash. Yes, that’s right. We attempted it all and surprisingly, did most of the work ourselves (I can’t take too much credit – I painted 1/2 of the cupboards and all of the walls while Paul did all the dirty work, like hooking up the sink and dealing with the disgusting garbage disposal, or screwing in 3 different kinds of hardware because none of them fit anymore because of the paint, or hammering out the bar and desk. Paul’s my rock, what can I say?), saved ourselves a bunch of money, and we are in love with our handy work and my visions of a cozy kitchen come to life. We sit in the kitchen for dinners now, turn on the record player and the little table lamp for company; we’ll sit there during a thunderstorm and drink coffee (him) and tea (yours truly); he’ll sit there and watch me bake or cook dinner while we tell each other about our days; we’ll drink wine and admire our work, happy to have each other and this little house. ‘Tis not a bad life, friends. :)

So, without further adieu, let me show you OUR KITCHEN!!! Let’s start with the waaaaaay before, shall we?

Here is our little kitchen before we moved in. This was taken off the realtor’s site. It really wasn’t horrible, just a lot of orange. Also, notice the bar. It shall be gone soon!

Again, another one before we moved in…

And then here it is just a year after we moved in. I was apparently too lazy to have the curtains – made by Momma – on the top half of the windows. Again, notice the ugly bar and the ugly desk on the left.

And TA-DAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Isn’t she lovely?! The bar was replaced with an old bistro set I found on Craigslist – something I had pictured for years. And do you see the cute café painting above the bistro set? It actually says “Café Nikki”!! My name is never naturally on anything, especially spelled the right way, so when I saw it at Kohl’s I HAD to have it.

The cabinets were painted white, we bought new bronze hardware, and you can even see a hint of brick wallpaper we used for our back-splash (yes, wallpaper!!).

The sink wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t feel the need for a two bin sink, nor did I care for the stainless steel. I hate the smell of it when it’s being cleaned and I hate the grime that accumulates so easily. We originally wanted a farmhouse sink, but it just didn’t work with the space we had. Instead, we opted for this beautiful white, deep, single sink and I LOVE it.

The faucet is so pretty and antique-like, I just love it! And the COUNTERTOPS!! Who knew they made laminate wood countertops?!? Not me! A cheap alternative to the butcher block look and it looks wonderful! Also, love our dish dryer. :)

Did you know that the pot rack and island didn’t come with the house? We found them at a neighbor’s garage sale just a few days after we moved in. Best $5 purchase ever. Plus, the island is also where our garbage is! Sneaky sneaky!

I just love this. So much brighter, but cozier too. (Paul says don’t mind the dishwasher – he didn’t raise it high enough when he had to remove it for the countertops (also a disgusting job) so soon he’ll be fixing that. :))

So cozy. I just love it. Have I mentioned I love it?!

See the rest of the orange in the other rooms?? Unfortunately, we’re not even attempting the railings. We must live with it. :)

My favorite spot! I read here, I write here, I dream here, I cuddle with Rusty here, I eat & talk about life with Paul here…all good things happen here.

New kitchen things call for new pretty coffee mugs. Watercolor poppies!!

And if you’re wondering what happened to the computer desk area…TA DAA!!! This used to be my mom and dad’s yellow table and we got it when we moved in this house. It’s the perfect place to store baking essentials, cookbooks, Rusty’s food, and other random stuff that seems to accumulate over time, i.e the junk drawer that everybody has.

And there you have it, friends!! Was it worth the long, procrastinated wait?? I hope so. :) And I hope it gives you a little inspiration to do things yourself. You totally can! If we can do it, you can do it! Just jump in with a crowbar and see what you come up with! Ha! :) xoxo – until next time, friends! :) :)

  1. Meghan says:

    Would you be willing to share how you did your cabinets? What you used? Did you have to sand? Your kitchen looks BEAUTIFUL ;)

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you so much Meghan!! :)

      Of course! We used the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit – honestly, I don’t think I’d use it again. It “eliminated” the need for priming, but you still use a chemical in the kit to basically sand it down. The paint color itself was not a quality paint. It actually took 6 coats!! All in all, I don’t think we’d ever use the kit again. I think we would do it the traditional way of sanding, priming, and painting.