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Kitchen Remodel

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It is finally time to share our kitchen remodel. I am so excited to show you some before and afters of our new space.

Collage of images of new kitchen, pantry and living room.

For those of you that haven’t been following along in the email newsletters,  we have spent all of 2024 in remodel mode.

Actually, it all started last January. We knew we wanted to redo the kitchen and I knew I didn’t want the house to be upside down during the holidays.

So we targeted January 2024 and started reaching out to contractors. We knew the cabinet maker we wanted to use books up several months in advance, so we got on his calendar.

We also brought Refuge Interiors by Casey on board to do design work. It was so exciting to see her 3D renderings transform our space.

(Check out her photos of the new kitchen design too. She came with some of her goodies and dressed it up nice!)

We live in a craftsman style bungalow that is over 100 years old. That means our kitchen is on the smaller side.

With double brick exterior and the placement of the stairs, the footprint couldn’t change much without doing major structural work. So, we tried to maximize the storage and counter space in the area that we had.

We knew we  wanted to keep as much original character as we could. That charm is what made us fall in love with the house in the beginning and we wanted to keep as much of our trim as possible.

As the design progressed, it became clear that the kitchen remodel was going to be a first-floor remodel. So we accepted it and I’m happy we did!

The Design Work

I am so glad we had a designer to help us along the way. Casey not only drew up the plans, but she helped pick out finishes and fixtures.

3d rendering of wall with double ovens, sink and cabinets.

I am highly susceptible to decision fatigue. Having too many choices is overwhelming.

It was nice to have someone show up with 3 flooring samples or 4 light fixtures to choose from. That way we had options, not anxiety.

3d rendering of design for dining room and kitchen with the pantry space barely visible in background.

Plus, she helped to maintain a cohesive look throughout the space. I am not sure we could have done it without her.

The Contractor

My husband owns a small contracting business, so picking a contractor was easy. The only downside to going that route was that he was too busy to pull the guys and work the project like a job.

So he ended up doing most of the work on nights and weekends, only bringing in a crew as necessary.

Space during the remodel with new flooring down with ramboard over top to protect it and tools etc. everywhere.

I know the quality of his work, so it was worth having the project take a little longer. Besides, firing him might have made things awkward! 😆

He did a great job keeping the project moving, even when he was tired and over it. His eye for detail shows through and we are very happy with the results.

The Kitchen

Of course, the star of the show is the kitchen. I knew I wanted light colors because of the smaller space.

All of the kitchens I was drawn to on Pinterest had white counters and backsplash and light gray cabinets. Casey talked us into champagne bronze pulls and faucets, and I’m so glad she did.

View of new light gray cabinets, dishwasher, sink, double ovens and pendant light over the sink.

I love the vertical storage above the oven for sheet pans, etc. It works just like I envisioned it.

We also have vertical storage under the cooktop for cutting boards. The adjustable drawer organizer from Target have been fabulous too.

We have more upper cabinets than we did before and more usable counterspace. So it feels like a much more usable kitchen despite being the same size.

One of our other favorite features is the quartz backsplash. It’s a solid surface continuation of the counters, and it is so easy to clean if there is splatter!

Baking drawer with adjustable drawer organizer separating measuring spoons, cups, spatulas, etc.

The Appliances

We went to a local appliance store to outfit the kitchen because we wanted to be able to get our questions answered and get real opinions. They steered us towards mostly Frigidaire appliances because they are reliable and there are local service people if we need them.

That’s important when you live in a smaller town in the middle of nowhere! We didn’t want to have to wait for a tech to come from St. Louis if we needed a repair.

I was so excited to get a double oven. Just think of all of the things I can bake with double the space!

Wall with double ovens, sink, dishwasher, light gray cabinets and wood floors.

We picked the Frigidaire Pro double wall oven. I have to say, we love it.

It can bake, air fry, convection bake, and even steam bake. It came with an air fryer basket and a gliding rack, which we love so much we already ordered a second one!

We also got the Frigidaire Pro refrigerator. It has ice in the door and a second ice maker in the freezer that you can turn off if you’d rather have the freezer space.

We love that the top shelves retract if you have something tall to chill. And we use that extra ice in the drawer all of the time.

View of two ice maker in the fridge, one in the door and one in the drawer.

The microwave is a Frigidaire Gallery. We were tempted to go Pro to match the others, but we didn’t need air fryer or convection oven capabilities in the microwave and we liked the sleek look without a handle.

We went with an induction cook top from Frigidaire Gallery as well, and we love it! It is so much easier to clean than the gas stove in our old duel fuel range. The high power boils water in 2 minutes, and the low power numbers are super gentle.

View of kitchen with fridge and microwave with new cabinets.

We had to pick up some new stainless pans to use on the induction cooktop as most of our saucepans and skillets weren’t induction friendly. We chose pans from Heritage Steel because they are a small family owned company in Tennessee and their products are high quality.

For nonstick, we ordered induction friendly Swiss Diamond, because we loved our old skillets and the finish stayed great on them after several years of heavy use. Luckily, our enameled cast iron pans still work.

We got a Maytag dishwasher after a disappointing experience with the Samsung dishwasher we had before this project. We love the third rack, and so far so good on cleaning dishes and volume.

The Pantry

Our old pantry was basically a closet with shelves and bifold doors. It was in what is essentially a hallway between the kitchen and the half bathroom.

It worked relatively well, but there was a lot of wasted space, and it certainly wasn’t pretty. Now, it is more like a butler’s pantry.

We love the pop of color from the blue cabinets. And the white quartz counters and backsplash are continued here.

There is an appliance garage for the toaster and little blender. We keep our coffee maker here too, and we can envision this being the drink station when we host parties.

The Rest

The new hardwood floors are what prompted the project creep. The half bath got paint, hardwood, a light fixture and art.

We lost the wall between the living room and dining room. That makes both feel a lot more spacious.

We replaced some of the plaster with drywall in the dining room. We also got new light fixtures and, of course, paint.

The living room also got paint and flooring. We also installed a gas fireplace, which is super cozy.

I love the new sconces and the brighter feel in the room. We are so excited about the new space!

If you want more details on anything specific, let me know. I’m happy to share what we’re loving and if there’s anything we aren’t.

Now I’m off to enjoy our new space!

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Saturday 27th of April 2024

Wow, Carlee! How beautiful. I bet you are so excited. I’ll be anxious to hear how you like your induction cooktop - I’m considering getting one, too. You are going to love having double ovens - they make a world of difference. Enjoy, Alli


Saturday 27th of April 2024

Thank you! We really are very happy with everything. Little Dude loves showing off the fact that the stove can boil water in 2 minutes. It is taking a little getting used to knowing where the perfect settings are. Power level 1 is too low for a simmer, for example. You need a 2-3 to maintain a simmer after a boil. But it is so easy to clean and we love it so far!

GG Johnson

Friday 26th of April 2024

Dear Lady, what a wonderful kitchen you have and one you well deserve. We love your recipes and I always look forward to all you provide. It is also very sweet when you are cooking with "little Dude". He will be the next chef in the family. Just so happy for you that you have the remodel over as I have gone through a whole house remodel and that took 6 years. You have a very wonderful and devoted husband who I am sure is just as happy to have the remodel over for now but with an old house it is never really done. Trust me, I know of which I speak. May God Bless you and your family Carlee.


Saturday 27th of April 2024

That is so true, it is never done. We already have a couple of smaller projects on the list for next year. For now though, it is time for a little home reno break! Thank you so much ❤️

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Friday 26th of April 2024

This is soooo nice!! I love the "butler's pantry" look! I'm very jealous of your double ovens. I don't often need them, but when I do I really desperately need them!


Saturday 27th of April 2024

I am so excited about the ovens. It will be nice to be able to bake two things at different temperatures. I am sure they are going to get a workout. We love the new pantry area too. It is taking a little getting used to finding everything in its new spot, but I am sure it will feel natural soon.


Friday 26th of April 2024

Love your remodel kitchen and thanks for sharing it the remodel project with us.


Saturday 27th of April 2024

Thank you! It was a lot of work, but we are so happy to be at the point where we can show it off!


Friday 26th of April 2024

It all looks so wonderful! I would think removing the original pantry closet may have seemed scary, but wow! What a wonderful new pantry and drink station!! Your remodel is giving me ideas! :)


Saturday 27th of April 2024

It was scary! The old pantry wasn't pretty but it held a lot and I was so used to the shelves, but we are loving the new design.