Kitchen Transformation: Before and After

The kitchen is the heart of the home.

I didn’t have a list of kitchen must-haves except that of a bright space that would feel clean and unruffled. Sometimes therapeutic and sometimes invigorating, our kitchen has become just what we needed it to be. And for this we are grateful.

We painted the walls pearly white and the trim sharp white which immediately freshened our transforming kitchen.

The island is the hub of the kitchen.

Whether it’s mixing batter for batches of muffins, stirring ingredients for Saturday morning pancakes, rolling out pizza dough with friends, the island is the perfect place for children to help. The kitchen didn’t have an island, and I knew we wanted to find a solution. While Nathan took a pause from the house remodel to attend a work conference, the kids, my mom (here visiting and helping), and I went to IKEA. Our solution was in the clearance center. I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I was paying at the register. It had a large mark on the butcher block, but the price was worth taking it home. We kept it in the barn until the kitchen was ready for its centerpiece. We had the two bar stools from our old house which I painted black.

Cupboards speak style not just storage.

The cupboards are low end updated with oak doors in the 80s. Brass knobs and so many closed up spaces felt heavy and dark. We hadn’t a budget for a kitchen renovation, but we bought paint and hardware for the cupboards. I took the top cupboard doors off to show open shelves and chose a bright white for the paint. I painted to bottom cupboards a fieldstone gray for interest and depth. Inexpensive industrial pendant lights and craigslist refrigerator and stove added a modern comfort. A long woven diamond rug and a brightly patterned curtain instead of pantry doors helps to soften and warm up our kitchen. I like that these two items could be replaced when we need a fresh kitchen look for a very low cost. With a breadboard backsplash and brackets under the upper cupboards, Nathan gave it a familiar farmhouse feel.

Rethinking bare necessities.

We don’t have a dishwasher nor a microwave, which can be unusual and surprising since our family size of nine is growing. Both Nathan and I had grown up without a dishwasher, and it has been good for us all to slow down at the sink. Two of the children take turns by month doing the dishes. Sometimes mom comes to the rescue at breakfast and lunch when we’re trying to move quickly to the next activity (go somewhere, start school, etc). We recently acquired these plates, which is proving to make their job easier. The new dishes are very lightweight and chip resistant. Using canning jars for drinking glasses has reduced the amount of broken cups dramatically.

As you can imagine, we love and well-use our kitchen. It was a cost-effective renovation but well worth it.

Let’s plan a time for tea!

with love, Damaris

The Loft Reveal!!!

Happy Monday morning, friends! Through the pictures on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook, you’ve been able to see small frames of our beautiful farmhouse. We’re excited to welcome you into our home and plan to slowly introduce you to our little piece of world by sharing more “now and before” posts. I’ve been looking through some of the before pictures, and I could hardly believe it! Honestly, I had forgotten what some of the rooms used to look like. Nathan is responsible for most of the transformation. He has great taste, and I know you agree : )

We bought the farmhouse in 2014, and like most homes, there’s always one more thing to fix. The latest remodel that is pretty much completed is The Loft.

Our house did not have a loft, but in the renovation of the girls’ bedroom, the ceiling collapsed! You don’t even want to know the plaster/dust/black debris that covered Nathan and two church friends that were helping that evening. The three of them slaved away to clean up the mess with shovels and wheelbarrows. One of the guys helping out was an architectural student at University of Michigan, and had a great idea – “Hey, instead of replacing the ceiling, why don’t you just leave the attic open?” And now we have a loft : )

We opened up the ceiling to follow the roof rafters, that allowed us to expose some beautiful hewn beams. Then we extended the wall above the girls doorway back into the attic about 8 feet, that gives the girls an attic loft that’s about 8′ deep by 16′ wide.

Carpet cozied up the space immediately, and we found a perfect dresser in the IKEA clearance room. Our oldest daughter, Eva, had been looking forward to this little space, and she has made it all her own.

with love, Damaris