It took me six months to renovate the three bedroom Millie’s Remodel house, but it’s taken me much longer to share the reveal with you. Today is the day, I’m taking you inside for a full tour! Are you ready for this amazing transformation?

Millie’s Remodel: Ugly Ranch to Mid-Century Modern Dream House

I’m so honored to take you on a tour of the Millie’s Remodel house today! I know you’ve been so patient, and I can’t thank you enough. To be totally honest, the house has been finished for a year, but life has been upside down for me this last year. Regardless, I am excited to invite you in to see the progression of this house from an ugly ranch to a mid-century modern dream house!

Video Tour:

To give you the full experience, I created a video tour just for you! If you like, you can read on to see still photos and learn more about all the work that went into this house. I hope you enjoy the tour and feel free to leave me a comment on YouTube or here. If you are looking for the source for anything in the house, scroll down to the end of this post.

Did you enjoy that video? Want to dive deep into the entire Millie’s Remodel? You can watch all the videos in the Millie’s Remodel playlist:

Millie’s Remodel Before and After:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

When I bought the house, it was a bit of an eyesore from the curb. Especially with an ugly carport, weeds, and the leaning split rail fence.

The color scheme had to go. Nothing screams 1990’s like a house with tan vinyl siding paired with hunter-green vinyl shutters. Speaking of hunter green, I hear it’s making a comeback. What do you think, is it time to embrace it again?

I knew I wanted to paint the entire house from the start and luckily I discovered Romabio Masonry paint, a mineral paint that allows the brick to breathe after application. This prevents the paint from bubbling and flaking, but more importantly, it protects the brick from deterioration. Before painting, my siding contractor stripped off the dated vinyl siding. We were both amazed when the original wood siding was discovered underneath in perfect condition. Many times adding aluminum or vinyl siding over wood will lock in moisture and cause wood rot.

removed-old-siding to reveal wood siding white and brick front house

After agonizing over the color choices, I chose Romabio’s Sage Advice as the color to paint the house. I love the green color and the fact that it is completely different from the adjacent houses.

But, Millie still needed a little more style, so I decided to try my hand at building shutters. These DIY Modern shutters were remarkably easy to build and I was able to finish them over the weekend and install them around the front windows.

You probably noticed I painted the front door too. It’s called Loyal Blue by Sherwin Williams.  A DIY modern address number sign, a modern mailbox, and a modern bubble glass light completed the transformation of this home’s curb appeal.

Kichler Riverpath light fixture

The only thing missing was some foundation plantings. After all, we can’t have Millie looking a little naked from the waist down!

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

My friends at STIHL sent me the KombiSystem to clear gravel from the front, till the soil, and plant new bushes. You can see more details about this amazing battery-powered motor that has a huge variety of interchangeable heads in my mailbox garden bed tutorial.

STIHL KombiSystem

That looks much better. Within a year, the Japonicas have really filled out. But, the privets aren’t too happy. I might switch them out this fall.

millies remodel front house view

Although the back of the house will only be visible to the tenants, it got some major changes as well.

The first thing to go was the very loud and broken HVAC unit. During the inspection, it was cooling fine, but wouldn’t heat because a safety feature had kicked on. I was more than happy to let my friends at TRANE install a new system. You can read the amazing story of how long a TRANE will really last here.

One of the strategies I implemented when renovating this house was to replace all the systems to eliminate lots of repair calls. Installing a new HVAC unit was a smart decision and gives potential tenants peace of mind knowing that they won’t have any issues with the heat or air conditioning. We also ran new electrical wiring in the house (because there was no ground wire) and new plumbing because of the plethora of leaks from the old pipes.

Another thing that needed to go was the ugly dilapidated shed. From the looks of it, I worried the shed would fall apart when we tried to move it. At a minimum, it needed to at least be raised onto concrete blocks because the floor system was built on the ground giving easy access to termites and other insects.

My husband, my teenage son, and I spent a day rolling the shed to the back of the lot. It was slow going at first until we learned the easiest way to roll it. You can see our adventures moving the old shed. Believe it or not, it was a very rewarding experience!

After adding paint and trim, it’s hard to believe this is the same shed! I’ll let you in on a little secret: the new windows are actually the old window sashes from the bathroom window. Keep scrolling to find out why I replaced the bathroom window.

The front and back of the house got new gutters to prevent wood rot and protect the foundation from water damage. Do you like the rain chain? It was the best solution for an area that would have been difficult to add a downspout.

Interior Transformation:

Enough about the outside, let’s go inside to see the transformation!

The Living Room:

It’s a good thing you can’t smell this picture. Although the house looked clean, the smell was a horrid concoction of mold, menthol cigarettes, and fish odor.

Just inside the front door was the combined living and dining area. Besides a dated ceiling fan and boob light, there was a decent amount of natural light in this room. However, the carport outside the windows facing the driveway was ugly and blocked the view. I sold the carport on Facebook Marketplace and someone came and disassembled it and hauled it off in one day.

The carpet appeared to be brand new, but it was just cut and laid on the floor. No floor pad, and thankfully no staples! This made for super easy removal of the carpeting throughout the house. Likewise, the laminate flooring in the dining area popped up easily. But, underneath was peel and stick vinyl tiles that left a gooey mess on the wood floor. I spent the better part of a day cleaning it off the wood with Citristrip and mineral spirits.

To capitalize on an open concept layout, the corner wall to the kitchen had to go. (I consulted with my structural engineer, who showed me how the roof system was a series of trusses that supported the weight of the roof without this wall.) This one small change made a big difference in the entire feel of the home.

Yes, I swear this is the same house! The doorway you see in the dining area leads to a newly added powder room and laundry area. More on that space later.

The Kitchen:

The kitchen needed the most work of any room in the house. The floor was rotted under the fridge.

The walls behind the cabinets were filled with plumbing leaks and consequently mold growth.

But, the biggest feat was leveling the kitchen floor for tile. It was a good 1.5 inches out of level and ultimately I had to pour self-leveling compound and use cedar shakes to shim along the sink area.

But, the results were well worth the effort! Don’t you agree?

I embraced the black and white color palette and used gold accents to add warmth.

Those hexagon pendants are my favorite light fixtures in the house.

Besides the pendant lights, my second favorite features are the floating shelves with under cabinet lighting. You can follow my tutorial to build these super-strong display shelves.

The coat closet across from the kitchen got a light and shelves to create a much-needed pantry storage area.

To make up for the lack of a coat closet, I created a coat rack area inside the back door.

The Main Bathroom:

This was the only bathroom in this house and it had definitely seen better days!

The chipped frameless mirror, super short vanity, and Hollywood light fixture had to go.

Although the tub was cast iron, it had a horrible DIY paint job on it. The window was an original wood window that was deteriorating from the water and moisture in the shower. I removed it and used the sashes on the shed you saw up above.

During demolition, I found a nest in the wall behind the shower walls, a huge rotting hole under the toilet, and a mouse hotel under the tub. After a full gut, the bathroom received the royal treatment with all new tile, plumbing fixtures, and a stylish mid-century modern vanity (which was previously a dresser! See how to make a vanity out of a dresser here.)

Millie's remodel bathroom, white stacked subway tile around white tub gold finishes and black and yellow houndstooth floor pattern

The lighted mirror from Kichler puts off the softest and most flattering light. Now I need to incorporate lighted mirrors in my own bathroom project!

This was my first time using Schluter Profiles instead of caulk joints. After a year, it’s wonderful not having to replace or clean moldy caulk.

bright window in shower with white stacked tile around window

The new window is vinyl so it won’t rot or deteriorate. It also has obscure glass so no one can see into the bathroom.

Millie's remodel bathroom, white stacked subway tile around white tub gold finishes and black and yellow houndstooth floor pattern

While my plumber was replacing the plumbing lines, he ran new lines to the old laundry room for a new half bathroom. Adding a second bathroom was a huge improvement to this small house.

The powder room shares space with a stacked washer and dryer, but you’d never know because usually it’s hidden behind the curtain.

Using the light patterned Mia 4 Lili Cement tiles kept the room bright even though the only window is the transom over the toilet.

Lili Cement Tile Mia 4, Navy and White diagonal box tiles

The Bedrooms:

Down the hall from the kitchen and living area are three bedrooms.

Lucky for me, the bedrooms needed minimal work. After removing the carpeting, I had the wood floors sanded and refinished.

Unfortunately, the house had a variety of door styles. Luckily, I found a few flat panel doors at my local Habitat ReStore that was more fitting of the house age and style. They all got a few coats of Dark Night paint by Sherwin Williams and new doorknobs from Schlage.

My favorite upgrade in the bedrooms was adding modern LED ceiling fans. The fan above is the Ridley II from Kichler, and this one below is the Incus fan, also from Kichler.

This concludes the tour. I hope you enjoyed following the Millie’s Remodel project. Would you love to see me transform another investment house?

In the meantime, I’ve already started working on some projects in my own home for a change. I can’t wait to share them with you.


Living Room:

LED lights: Horizon II from Kichler

Wall color: Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Wood Floor stain: Golden Oak by Minwax

Century Smart Lock Front Door Hardware from Schlage



Cabinets: Charleston Driftwood by Cabinets to Go

Drawer pulls

Countertop: Via Lactea Granite

Forious Gold Faucet with Sprayer

USB charging outlets by Leviton

Floor Tiles: Iron Anthracite by Happy Floors

Backsplash Tiles: Misha Hex Tiles


LED Tape Lights from Kichler

Rocklyn Hexagon Pendants from Kichler

Industrial Coat Hooks from Liberty Hardware



Moen Tub & Shower Fixtures

Moen Tub/Shower Valve

Moen Tub Drain Kit

Bootz Insulated Soaking Tub

Moen Sink Faucet

Integrated Light & Exhaust Fan

Vegas 3 Cement Tiles by Lili Tiles

Vanity Top: Honed Negresco Granite

Modern Dresser turned into a Vanity

Door Hardware: Schlage Latitude Door Knobs

24″ Towel Bar & Toilet Paper Holder

One Piece Toto Toilet

Ryame Lighted Mirror from Kichler

Jasper Three Bulb LED Light from Kichler

Wall Color: Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Door Color: Dark Night by Sherwin Williams


Powder Room/Laundry Room:

Sink Vanity & Top: Allen + Roth 24 inch Presnell Navy Vanity & Porcelain Top

Sink Faucet: Keeney Delphi Matte Gold 2-handle 4-in centerset Bathroom Sink Faucet with Drain

Modern Black Frame Round Mirror

Indeco LED Light by Kichler

Armstrong Ceiling Light by Kichler

Broan Exhaust Fan

Mia 4 Cement Tiles from Lili Tiles

Toilet Paper Holder & Hand Towel Bar



Incus Fan from Kichler

Ridley II Fan from Kichler

Wall Color: Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Door Color: Dark Night by Sherwin Williams

Door Hardware: Latitude by Schlage


A special thank you to all the sponsors of the Millie’s Remodel house. As you know, I’m very particular about the brands I work with. I only recommend brands and products I’d use in my own personal house because I want to use fixtures that will outlive me.

millies remodel sponsors logos

Thanks for joining me on this journey! It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to start on a new project.

Learn the simplest and most accurate way to build drawer boxes with this easy tutorial.

Drawer Box Build

Welcome back, this is Kristen from In Her Garage Woodworking here with another build plan for you.  When I first began my DIY woodworking journey over 5 years ago I was most intimidated by building drawers. I avoided them because I thought there were too many measurements and too much room for error. But, with a simple plan and a lot of practice, I now make drawers consistently and accurately.  These are the exact plans I use to this day to make drawer boxes for all of my commissioned furniture pieces because when you’re able to make something quickly and easily that is solid and looks great, why would you ever change it?


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)



Your drawer can be any depth you wish, but before building the drawers, rip your 3/4″ material to the drawer height you desire (if you are using plywood or if your 3/4″ material is wider than your finished drawer.

Step #1: Cut drawer box sides

Using your miter or circular saw, cut two identical 3/4” boards to the same length of the drawer slides you’ll be using.

Step #2: Cut drawer box front and back

Cut two pieces of the 3/4 inch material for the front and back of the drawer box.  If you’re using ¾” material to build the drawer box then the length of the front and back can be calculated as follows (see equation and picture below):

Width of drawer box – 1½” = width of front and back drawer box boards

Drawer Box Diagram

Step #3: Add groove for drawer bottom (optional)

Taking all four 3/4″ boards to the table saw cut a groove 1/4” from the bottom of all sides that is 1/4” deep. Run the 3/4 board through one time, then adjust the fence (or your saw) to cut another groove next to the first. (A standard saw blade is 1/8” wide so you will need to make two passes in each board to achieve a 1/4″ groove for the 1/4″ drawer bottom material.

Dry-fit the plywood to check for fit.


Step #4: Create pocket-holes

Using your Kreg jig make 2 pocket-holes at either end of the front and back boards on the opposite side as the plywood bottom groove if you chose to do this step. Be sure to avoid the groove.

Step #5: Assembly

If you DID NOT cut a groove to accept the plywood bottom, then you can assemble the drawer box using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket screws.

Then, you will cut your bottom 1/4″ panel to the length and width of the drawer box and simply glue and nail it to the bottom of the drawer box

If you DID create a groove for the bottom panel assemble the front and both sides using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket screws.

Next, cut the ¼” plywood to fit into the bottom of the drawer box groove dry fitting the back panel to check for fit.

Once you have the correct size for the plywood bottom then slide it into the groove and attached the back piece of the drawer box using wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket screws.  There is no need to apply glue into the panel groove.  The plywood bottom will “float” in place.

No need to worry about filling the pocket-holes because you will be applying a drawer face directly over them.

Be sure to check for square by measuring both diagonals of the drawer box.  If one measurement is longer simply squeeze the longer diagonal until both are the same.

Allow drawer box to dry.

That is the basic drawer box build that I use and it is strong and easy to put together. I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to tackle that project you’ve been putting off.  Next, I will teach you my favorite method for installing drawers and how I troubleshoot drawer boxes that just aren’t quite the right fit!

Finishing Tips:

If you are making your drawer boxes out of plywood then check out Brittany’s Edge Banding Tutorial and learn how to cover that unsightly plywood edge.

Wondering how, or if, you should apply a protective finish to the drawer box? If I am working with solid wood for the drawer sides then I will give the material a quick finish sanding and that’s it. But, for plywood, I typically do one of two things, depending upon what I have on hand at that time.

  • Option 1: Apply 1 or 2 coats of sanding sealer to raise the grain of plywood and sand smooth. Sanding sealer is clear, easy to apply, and dries quickly. If I have the time and patience I may also apply a quick spray of clear, semi-gloss, water-based topcoat to give it a little shine but it isn’t necessary.
  • Option 2: Apply 2 to 3 coats of spray shellac to seal the plywood.  Spray shellac dries quickly and won’t leave any chemical smell behind. But be aware that it will give the plywood a slight amber tone which typically isn’t big deal.  Remember to lightly sand between coats.

Hi! I’m Kristen, from In Her Garage, and I am a self-taught woodworker and DIY fanatic from Minnesota where I live with my husband and our two daughters. Between being a wife, mom and, registered nurse, I try to make as much time for DIY as possible. My love for building came after our family built our current home in 2015. After we moved in, we needed furniture and instead of spending massive amounts of money to order the pieces we wanted I decided that I would build them myself. I started with a buffet table plan from the fabulous Ana-white and quickly set out to remodel my entire home office.

Since then I have started a side business building furniture for the people in my community. I love hearing my clients talk about the pieces they wish they had whether it be a rustic buffet table, a one drawer side table, or a toy box, and then making it a reality for them. While starting my small business it made perfect sense that I would document my building journey so I simultaneously launched the In Her Garage blog and I love sharing my plans, tips, and tricks.

Making something beautiful with your own two hands through a little preparation and determination is an amazing feeling and I hope to bring inspiration and know-how to those looking to tackle a big or small project.

I am so glad that you found me here and please feel free to connect with me on PinterestInstagram, and Facebook to see what I am working on right now. And check out the brand new In Her Garage Etsy shop for other plans or to have a furniture item made especially for you!

Join me today as I share this Millie’s Remodel Update where I’m installing the kitchen cabinets (mostly by myself!)

Millie’s Remodel: Installing the Kitchen Cabinets

Hey all you Millie’s Remodel fans! Today we’ll be hanging out in the kitchen to install the kitchen cabinets. If you’ve never installed cabinets, it’s not too difficult, but installing them level is important before you can have the countertops installed.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Welcome back to a new Millie’s Remodel update. Today we’re finally giving the kitchen function by installing the cabinets.

As a reminder this is what the kitchen looked like when I bought the house.

After removing the old cabinets I discovered more water leaks than I’ve ever seen in a house. If there was a water line, it had a leak! There was lots of mold forcing me to complete some HAZMAT demolition while taking extreme precautions. It’s been quite a process building the kitchen back.

black mold on drywall

Interior Design Help:

As I was trying to wrap my head around a kitchen design plan, I discovered a local designer on Instagram and reached out to her. Elizabeth Burns, a local interior designer helped me come up with a floor plan for the kitchen. Now I can’t wait to get started making those plans a reality.

kitchen layout of Millie's Remodel project

I ordered all the cabinets from Cabinets-to-Go. Although I previously used a shaker style cabinet from Cabinets-to-Go for Saving Etta, I decided to use a modern-looking cabinet for Millie and selected the Charleston Driftwood cabinets.

When the cabinets arrived for pick up, I loaded my truck and drove them straight to the Millie’s Remodel house. That’s where I discovered several of the boxes were super heavy and labeled with a warning label that it was a two-person lift. Being that I was working alone most of the time, I attempted to unload all the boxes by myself. You can see how that went and how the installation process when in this video:

Something Different for the Range Hood Cabinet:

When it came time to choose a range hood cabinet, I decided to use a simple white cabinet with a glass front instead of the Charleston Driftwood. I wanted the cabinet to float on the wall and not look dark. The only snafu was the sides of the cabinet are white, where I thought they would match the glass frame (stainless steel.) To solve the issue, I installed self-adhesive stainless steel vinyl on the side. It looks much better now and once the open shelves and backsplash are installed you probably won’t even notice it.

The range hood was a mid-range Broan NuTone stainless steel under cabinet hood. It wasn’t super fancy but looks sleek and modern. This is a similar range hood to the one I bought.

Once the range hood was hung, I connected the ductwork and hid it behind some extra shelving material that came with the white cabinet.

Affordable Cabinet Pulls:

I opted for modern gold pulls on the cabinet drawers and the cabinets. Luckily, I purchased them for a steal on Amazon. When they arrived, they felt lightweight, but once mounted onto the doors you can’t tell that they feel less than solid.

I ended up putting a small microwave into the pantry cabinet (shown above). Personally I don’t like seeing the microwave on display in a kitchen and this hides it away nicely until the renters want to use it.

After a busy week, the kitchen cabinets are finally installed and ready for the countertop templating process.

Next week I’ll take you with me to shop for countertops. It’s going to be fun!

Have you been enjoying the Millie’s Remodel updates? Have you missed any of them?

Millie’s Remodel: First Day Tour

Millie’s Remodel: Mini Demo Update

Millie’s Remodel: HAZMAT Demolition

Millie’s Remodel: Why I’m Canceling my Termite Contract

Millie’s Remodel: Framing, Plumbing, & Electrical Oh My!

Millie’s Remodel: HVAC Update (How to Extend Your System’s Life Span)

Millie’s Remodel: Main Bathroom Design

Millie’s Remodel: Powder Room & Laundry Room Design

Millie’s Remodel: Kitchen Design Plans

Millie’s Remodel: Help Me Decide! Mid-Century Lighting Options

Millie’s Remodel: Tips and Tricks to Self Level a Floor

Millie’s Remodel: How to Waterproof Floors in Any Room

Millie’s Remodel: Drywall Update and Critters

Millie’s Remodel: Laying the Cement Tiles in the Bathrooms

Millie’s Remodel: Help Me Choose Exterior Paint Colors

Millie’s Remodel: Exterior Paint Color Reveal

Millie’s Remodel: Front Exterior Reveal

Millie’s Remodel: Lighting and Fan Reveal

Millie’s Remodel: Moving the Shed

A special thank you to the Millie’s Remodel Sponsors:

The Millie’s Remodel project sponsors have donated materials for the Millie’s Remodel project. As you know I am very particular about the brands I work with and recommend. As a general contractor, I choose the products used on my projects wisely to make sure they last a lifetime. Therefore, I have no reservations putting my name behind each and every one of these sponsors.

millies remodel sponsors logos

The kitchen at Millie’s Remodel has been opened up by removing a wall and the moldy drywall and subfloor have been replaced. Now it’s time for me to start thinking about the kitchen design elements for this very important space.

Millie’s Remodel: Kitchen Design

Do you remember what the kitchen looked like when I first started working on Millie’s Remodel? The room was closed off and had two doorways from the house plus a back door.

The wall behind the refrigerator needed to come down in my opinion. This would allow for a much more open concept.

After tearing down that corner wall, it was amazing how much more light flooded into the kitchen area. Plus, it made the kitchen feel more spacious.

view into kitchen showing half wall for bar top

You may recall I worked with a local designer to create a fresh vision of the kitchen layout.

kitchen layout of Millie's Remodel project

Pencil sketch of Millie's Remodel Kitchen


I still have some issues to contend with (like a very sloped kitchen sub-floor). But first I need to create a design plan for the kitchen. A design board will allow me to order cabinets, lighting, and other fixtures. I am leaning toward a mid-century modern vibe in this house, especially since it was built in 1957. Simple fixtures and graphic lines will maintain a minimalist modern look.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Floating Shelves (DIY) | Misha Hex Tiles | Rocklyn Pendant LightsGold Kitchen Faucet | Via Lactea Granite | Schlage Black Modern Door LeverCharleston Driftwood Cabinets | Gold Cabinet Pulls

I’m excited to start putting this Humpty Dumpty of a kitchen back together soon and see the finishes installed. I think they’ll look beautiful together. What do you think?

P.s. Schlage, and Kichler are sponsors of the Millie’s Remodel project. I am so grateful for their support of this project.

A special thank you to the Millie’s Remodel Sponsors:

The Millie’s Remodel project sponsors have donated materials for the Millie’s Remodel project. As you know I am very particular about the brands I work with and recommend. As a general contractor, I choose the products used on my projects wisely to make sure they last a lifetime. Therefore, I have no reservations putting my name behind each and every one of these sponsors.

millies remodel sponsors logos

Saving Etta: Kitchen RevealSaving Etta: The Long Awaited Kitchen Reveal

Thank you all so much for your patience with me as I put together the final Saving Etta updates. I have more to come, but for now I know you’re anxious to see the Saving Etta kitchen reveal. Get settled down with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate because there are many photos coming your way!

Before I show you this beautiful modern farmhouse kitchen, I want to thank the Saving Etta sponsors who made it all possible!

Plygem, Broan-Nutone, Impressions Hardwood Collection, Leviton, Ask for Purple Drywall, Wood It’s Real, STIHL, Schlage, Duluth Trading Company, Magnolia Home Paint, KILZ, Jeffrey Court Tile,  The Builder Depot, Wilkinson Supply Co., Designer Drains, Liberty Hardware, and Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

My Big Fat Crazy Push to Finish

Remember when I told you I was on a tight deadline? In early October, I had an inkling that I needed to get the house finished and listed for sale within 6 weeks. My husband thought I was crazy (and in hindsight I probably was).  Market strategists had been predicting a downturn in the fourth quarter of 2018 and I could tell things were starting to get inflated near downtown Raleigh. Surrounding homes were selling for more and more since I bought Etta in May of 2017. I felt a strong need to get the house on the market before things slowed down for the holidays. This meant a final push and a self imposed crazy work schedule for me.

My day started at 5am to shower, eat, and get my sons out the door. We’d leave the house at 6:45 to drive my eldest to school. After dropping him off I’d head downtown. By 7:30am I’d arrive at the house and get straight to work planning out the tasks for the day. My subcontractors usually showed up at 8:30 or 9 am. They took a break for lunch but then got back to work until about five o’clock. By then, it was solidly dark and my subs headed home to their families. I usually worked until about 8 or 9 pm and grabbed dinner at one of several fast food restaurants on my way home.

Once home I had just enough time to answer emails and throw some tools and materials in the truck for the next day. The good part about my crazy schedule was I usually fell asleep easily after a long day’s work. The bad part was I packed on about ten pounds eating mostly fast food (even though I rarely sat still all day).

Lest you think I was working inside a cozy climate controlled house, I wasn’t. It was early November and the cold weather had set in. I bundled up and warmed myself in front of the space heater from time to time. I even bought a little used Keurig single serve maker to be able to drink warm coffee and tea. We didn’t get the gas meter hooked up and approval to run the heat until the day before the open house (almost a month after tiling the backsplash.)

Was it all worth it? Absolutely! The house turned out amazing and I was pleased with the final results. And just a little reminder of what the kitchen looked like when I bought the house (you can see more progress shots in this kitchen update post):

Saving Etta - The Story of Saving a House Built in 1900 | Pretty Handy Girl

Saving Etta - The Story of Saving a House Built in 1900 | Pretty Handy Girl

Ready to see the kitchen? Without further adieu…

The Saving Etta Kitchen Reveal

This is just one angle of the kitchen. You can read how I installed the cabinets with some help from my husband and a good friend here.

gray shaker cabinets with subway tile backsplash and stainless steel hood from Broan

I love the sleek stainless steel range hood I chose. It’s the Broan RM533004 30″ Chimney Hood. And you can see how it was installed and why I had to act as supervisor.

Plygem mira window with facet pendant light and subway tile

This kitchen sink, faucet, pendant light, and the window brought me joy, partly because they all lined up perfectly! Anyone who does kitchen renovations knows it can be hard to center all these elements with each other during the rough in stage without the cabinets or countertops in.

As I mentioned the other day, the pendant light was a swap I made after the first light wouldn’t cooperate. I took down the first pendant light and replaced it with this modern geometric pendant and pendant light kit from Lowe’s. I really like the open cage, no glass shade to clean!

Plygem Mira black framed casement window over bronze faucet subway tile open shelving

The window is a Plygem Mira casement window. It has a folding hand crank for opening to let in fresh air, but the handle tucks neatly out of the way when not in use. All the Plygem Mira windows in the house operate smoothly and look gorgeous! Especially with the simulated divided light grilles. You can read more about the windows and how they are installed in a new construction house.

Plygem Mira black framed casement window over bronze faucet subway tile open shelving

Just outside the window is one of the reclaimed doors I saved from a series of 1890-1920 houses that were slated for demolition. Behind the door is a little shed off the side porch.  It’s nice being able to gaze on that gorgeous wood door while at the sink. Plus, the homeowners can see anyone pulling in the driveway from here.

PHG using Mirabelle kitchen sink sprayer

You may have noticed that beautiful faucet! It’s a: Mirabelle Calverton Pull Down Faucet in oil rubbed bronze. The finish on this faucet is beautiful and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, & Lighting Gallery stocks the Mirabelle line of kitchen and bath products (and provided the faucet and sink for the Saving Etta kitchen). If you’ve never been to a Ferguson showroom, you have to go! Especially if you are getting ready to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, or build a new house.

Mirabelle Faucet by Single Basin Sink

The sink is a Mirabelle Totten Single Bowl Granite Composite Sink (also available from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, & Lighting Gallery). The granite composite is definitely a material I wasn’t familiar with. It has a very slight texture but looks like a cast iron farmhouse sink. Luckily it’s not as hard or as heavy as cast iron. Which makes it easier to install and more forgiving if you drop a glass or dish in the sink.

Plygem Mira black framed casement window over bronze faucet and gray cabinets

When I was finishing up the house, I was going to forgo staging and save some money. But, after seeing how pretty this kitchen was and how empty everything felt, I opted to hire a local stager. I discovered Minted Spaces on Instagram and immediately fell in love with Aryn’s design style. I knew her staging would appeal to a wide variety of buyers. In the end, they did a phenomenal job staging the Saving Etta house.

reclaimed lumber open shelving modern farmhouse style with glasses

These open shelves aren’t just your random reclaimed lumber. Nay, they were made from the original mantel shelf! When I decided to salvage and re-use the 1900 mantle from one of the front rooms, I didn’t think about trying to purchase gas logs to fit inside the old mantel. Unfortunately once the fireplace was installed, I realized I needed to widen the legs to make it work.

reclaimed lumber open shelving modern farmhouse style with glasses

Luckily I work with a local salvage company who found some longer lumber to match the old mantel shelf. After we rebuilt the new fireplace mantel surround, I wasn’t sure what to do with the old shelf until I realized I could cut it in half and use it for the open shelving. At first I was going to round the cut ends, but decided to leave it because it helps tell the story of it’s origin. (You can see the re-built mantel in the background below.)

All together, I’m so happy with this area of the kitchen. It has the perfect blend of modern and aged rustic elements.

Open modern farmhouse shelves on subway backsplash

The Pantry

For some reason, I came up with the idea to paint the interior of the pantry black. It might have stemmed from my desire to do something different in there. Originally I thought about wallpaper, but I knew patterns are a personal preference, and one pattern may be loved by one person and hated by another.

When I saw photos of Blackboard from the new Magnolia Home paint line, I envisioned how the food labels and packaging would look in front of a dark background. The colors would stand out for certain! Although Magnolia Home partnered with me as the paint sponsor for the Saving Etta house, my last minute decision on the pantry color lead me to my local Ace Hardware to purchase a gallon of blackboard.

Pantry with Reclaimed door and microwave. Black walls

That’s how I found myself painting this little pantry Blackboard by Magnolia Home Paint. One concern I had was how durable the paint would be in the pantry. After cleaning off dirty finger prints and dings on the rest of the walls, I knew this paint could withstand a fair amount of scrubbing. But, I didn’t expect it to perform like this!

You may recognize that wood door as a twin of outside shed door. It was salvaged from the same house being demolished. For some reason this door has a much more unique wood grain on the panels than the shed door. At first I thought about covering up the grain, but the more I saw it the more I fell in love with the uniqueness of the lines.

Pantry with Reclaimed door and microwave. Black walls

We can’t forget the beautiful glass door knob. Did you think it was an antique knob salvaged from an old house? What would you say if I told you it’s brand new and you can buy these knobs for your house! Schlage was also a sponsor of the Saving Etta house and they provided me with those beautiful Schlage Hobson Glass Knobs with Century Trim.

Gray shaker style kitchen cabinets and stainless steel dishwasher

The huge island in the kitchen was a must for this space. (And because I wish we had the room in our kitchen for a big island!) The side closest to the refrigerator has two cabinets with five drawers total.

Liberty Classic Square and Lombard pull on gray shaker cabinet

The cabinets have beautiful iron knobs and pulls. The Liberty Hardware Classic Square Cabinet Knob in Soft Iron are supposed to be installed as squares, but I turned them on an angle to reflect the diamond theme from Etta’s exterior. The Liberty Hardware Lombard Cabinet Pulls have the same soft iron color and a square end to match the knobs. I love how soft and sleek the pulls feel in your hand.

island cabinets on seating side

The other side of the islands has two more cabinets with shelves inside for extra storage. This side also has a one foot overhang for extra seating. I bought these cute Liberty Brand Acrylic Faceted Knob with oil-rubbed bronze and copper for a change from the rest of the cabinet hardware.

Leviton gray usb charging outlet in gray island

You might recall I installed this USB charging outlet in the side of the island. I love that Leviton has colors to match almost any wall or cabinet color you can dream of. You’ll notice the same outlet in white below.

White subway backsplash open reclaimed wood shelving

The countertops are Carrara Venatino Quartz from Cosmos. I love the look and how similar it looks to marble without the softness of real stone.

liberty lombard kitchen cabinet pulls and carrara quartz countertops

The larger scale Jeffrey Court 4 x 12 Subway Tile backsplash really makes this space in my opinion. They are classic but also modern. The white tiles provide a nice contrast against the gray cabinets.

Subway tile backsplash, gray shaker cabinets, stainless steel range hood from Broan

The light fixture over the island is from Houzz. I’m not going to link to it, because frankly I’m not very pleased with the quality and it was a pain to install (remember I had to go hunt for the parts.)

Beautiful modern farmhouse reclaimed open shelves subway tiles and carrara quartz countertops

The Impressions Hardwood Collection Elegance Series wood floors throughout the house are beautiful! They are the real deal, solid white oak floors with wire brushing to give them an aged look. You can find out more about the wood floors in my post about why I couldn’t save the original flooring.

I am proud of how the kitchen turned out. I poured a lot of thought and effort into the design and tried to envision how the kitchen would function for future homeowners.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen in a 1900 historic house

I hope the kitchen reveal was worth the wait. What did you think? Do you like the fixtures I chose or if not what would you do differently?

Kitchen Sources:

A huge shout out to all the brands who sponsored the Saving Etta project and helped me turn this ugly duckling…

Saving Etta - One Woman's Journey to Save a House Built in 1900 | Pretty Handy Girl

…into a beautiful swan again.

saving etta beautiful restored 1900 house near downtown Raleigh

I hope you will consider using some of the sponsoring brands when you are ready to take on a new kitchen, bath, or renovation project in your home.

Which were your favorite elements in this beautiful kitchen?

Disclosure: I received materials and/or compensation from the sponsors of the Saving Etta project. These were the kitchen sponsors: Plygem, Broan-Nutone, Impressions Hardwood Collection, Leviton, Schlage, Magnolia Home Paint, KILZ, Jeffrey Court Tile, Liberty Hardware, and Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. I was not told what to write. All opinions and words are my own. As always, I will notify you if you are reading as sponsored post or if I was compensated. Rest assured I am very particular about the brands I work with. Only brands I use in my own home or that I’ve had a positive experience with will be showcased on this blog.