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New Year’s Goals and Another Kitchen Progress Update

Happy New Year! What did you do to ring in 2013?

Every year we have a New Year’s Day party. It’s our annual tradition. This year we almost didn’t have our party because our kitchen was in such a disheveled state. But, I remember someone wise asked if you wait until your house is perfect to invite people over or recognize that your true friends will come to see you and not your house. Of course in our case, I’m sure there was a few curious people as well.

But, honestly, this was one of the most memorable parties we’ve had! The guests drew on the floor:

The kids colored in coloring sheets to help us pick out color schemes for our kitchen. There were some really creative ideas.

I love this drawing from our friend’s 9 year old son! He has a future in design  for sure!

Finally, everyone placed their predictions on when the kitchen would be complete. The guest who guesses closest to the actual day will win a Lowe’s gift card from us.

Some of the dates picked are comical, like my little niece who guessed January 30th, 2013. Gulp. I’d better get busy!

For my 2013 Goals, I’ve decided that I need to have one goal, one mission, one task that cannot wait until 2014. That would be to complete our kitchen no matter what I have to do to make that happen (even if it means hiring out some help.)

Speaking of getting to work, I figured I should list out all the tasks that need to be completed in the kitchen.

It was one long list! So far it has 33 items on that list.

At the last minute I added #34 – “Consider hiring subcontractors.”

Kitchen Update: 

The kitchen progression leaves a lot for the imagination. Most of the work has been happening exactly there, in my imagination. But, those plans are starting to make sense in my mind’s eye and we’re almost ready to pull the trigger on ordering cabinets and countertops.

We’ve moved our table and tucked it into the bay window where I’m planning to build a window seat. This will maximize our walkway in the new layout. The table with its four legs won’t work as is because it is too hard to maneuver around the legs to the bench seat. But the table top is the perfect size and shape, so I’m planning on building a pedestal style base for the table.

The fridge is in its new location. However don’t tell him, but I’ve been shopping for a new fridge to take its old energy hogging place. This refrigerator has been in the house for two previous owners, that’s how old it is! Please ignore the half wall of boxes on the right of the fridge. They were just returned to us this week from the restoration company.


The pantry, where do I begin? I haven’t had the energy to put everything back in its place since being returned by the restoration company. Basically I’m going to gut the pantry and rebuild it with deeper lower shelves and some shorter upper shelves for cans and jars. Plus, I want to create a little moveable cart that can be a mobile island and small appliance garage. I’m thinking about having a place to park it in the pantry when not in use. I also mulled over the idea of putting sliding barn doors over the pantry, but just couldn’t find the optimal situation without building a wall to the left and paying crazy money on two sliding door tracks. For now, I think the bi-fold doors will go back, but will have a special decorative treatment. I’d love to hear any thoughts you have!

This corner will be the new location of our family command center! I bought a kitchen desk from the ReStore and plan on painting it the color of our cabinets. This will be a good opportunity to make sure I love the color. That little table is going to give up its top so I can refinish it and add it to the kitchen desk. Eventually I’ll have built in shelves on the wall and possibly a sconce for lighting.

I can’t tell you how less stressful it is for us to be able to live with the kitchen in this state. You may think I’m crazy, but we arranged everything into the new layout. It’s a great way to give the new kitchen footprint a trial run before ordering cabinets and making any permanent decisions. I actually feel lucky that we get this dress rehearsal.

I did make progress in the mudroom and laundry room over the break. We FINALLY got a tile floor in with a super special component underneath that is bound to make my toes happy in the coldest of winter days. I’ll be sharing more on that soon. But, here’s a sneak peek:

Those are porcelain tiles that are ink jet printed to look like slate. They were the most realistic looking tiles I have found. And they also happened to be the most affordable. I purchased the 12″ square Aspen Sunset tiles from Lowe’s. This is a link for Aspen Caramel, which is similar but has a warmer color palette. After researching using real slate, I decided that these will be more durable and have less upkeep than true slate.

Now that the mudroom and laundry room floor is done, we can upgrade our dishwashing facilities…

…from the cooler in the bathtub to the luxurious utility sink. My back is happy and we have a new DIY drying rack!

A small ladder outfitted with scrap boards works beautifully for stacking wet dishes and the dish drainer.

That pretty much wraps up all the plans and progress for now. I’ll keep you in the loop as best I can. In the meantime, do you follow me on Instagram? You can get up to the minute updates there ;-).

Happy New Year y’all! See you next week.

You can read more about our kitchen disaster and renovation in these updates:

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  1. shirley@housepitalitydesigns
    [email protected] says:

    Sounds like you had great fun on New Years!!…I love the idea of the window seat in the breakfast area…I want one in my dining room..but the price that the carpenter gave me was surprisingly high…I could actually buy a full sofa for the price he quoted me…and you are the clever one….love your drying rack…I know your kitchen will be beautiful with you behind the power tools!!!

  2. Julie
    Julie says:

    I have so been there and done that. I didn’t have a kitchen the entire first year of marriage. We set up a temporary kitchennette in the laundry room…refrigerator and a table with microwave and toast oven. I can relate to the dishwashing problem. Try washing dishes in the bathroom sink for a year…I wasn’t as clever as you with using a cooler. I lived to tell about and I’m sure you will too. Wish I lived closer so I could help you out. Good Luck!

  3. Barbara in CT
    Barbara in CT says:

    You certainly get the award for making lemonade out of lemons. I will be eagerly following your remodel. I hope all your bad karma is behind you.

  4. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    Wow, I can’t wait to see the finish results. Really. I have been there and done that and my husband and I said we would not do this again. It’s a lot of work, but truth be told, I love the demo part. I was going to town on the demo. LOL, You rock, Brittany!



  5. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Can’t wait to see your progress on the kitchen Brittany.

    The porcelain tile floor in the laundry room and mudroom is awesome. Are you thinking of using these tiles in the kitchen?

    I’d be curious to see how many permits you need for the kitchen renovation. For example, do you need one for plumbing, then a separate one for electrical, or is it just one permit that covers everything. Also, does the cost of the permit depend on the total remodel price or is it a flat fee, e.g. $85.

    Thanks for all the great informative information 🙂

  6. Mimi
    Mimi says:

    Wow, what a project! I can’t wait to follow along and see all your choices. My little Kitchen makeover doesn’t seem nearly as daunting now.

  7. Kimberly Bruhn
    Kimberly Bruhn says:

    Hey… Love your inspiration! I thought I’d tell you (and I’ll send you a photo, if I can get my phone to work) that we put a door on our pantry that’s very similar to yours. We went to a farm supply store and bought the literal barn door track and installed it on the outside of the wall (obviously, above the door opening). It was really inexpensive (like under $50 for all the parts and track). My husband kind of thought it would be weird, but I like eclectic stuff and I have farm/barn influences all over our kitchen anyway. We don’t have the best ReStore here (sounds like you do, though…I’m jealous), but have a liquidator place for building materials and found a super neat, solid wood door with two panels that I painted white for the track. I put dry erase circles on the top since I couldn’t seem to commit to chalkboard on them (yet). Maybe this year? BTW, we have been remodeling/building our house for 13 years this February. Doing it as we can afford it and we have a son with leukemia (fighting it since 2008) so the time, energy and funds available got in our way. We had tons of structural stuff to do, so it was a major gut in some cases. And my husband does IT for a living, not our house, so it took awhile for us. Because of our son’s illness and my autoimmune stuff, we tried to make our house as people-friendly as possible (I was going to say eco-friendly, but isn’t it really about people?). We, like you, have relied on Lowes and their availability of “green” products. From the insulation WITHOUT formeldehyde to the Olympic no-VOC paint, we’ve tried so hard to limit the amount of chemicals in our home. We even hired a local guy to build our cabinets (bases, etc) with plywood without nasty stuff and to coat the wood finish more naturally. We live in a supposedly “aware” community with lots of health food stores, more natural healthy providers, etc. but let me tell you, it’s all about effort. You have to do the research and then follow-through to choose what’s best for you and your family. I commend you and your family for taking care of the mold! We had it in our attic insulation…it tested negative but I was sure it was a problem (I’m super sensitive)so we replaced it with Johns Manville (I think that’s the stuff we used from Lowes). Well, thanks again for all your wonderful ideas. And thank you for reading my novel! Kimberly

  8. Jen
    Jen says:

    You have the best attitude about this! I love the party activities. I hope we are able to (finally) begin our kitchen reno this year. The layout was fine when we had two kids…but with four. GAH! It definitely needs some help.

  9. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    Oh my gosh I think that a kitchen reno has got to be the worst inconvenience of all possible renos. Living in a disheveled mess would drive me ca-ray-zee! I can’t wait to see it complete! And I bet you can’t either. 🙂

  10. Feral Turtle
    Feral Turtle says:

    Love your new dish rack!!!!! How lucky you are to have a trial run with your kitchen. I am hoping for an early finish time for you. Kitchens are so much work. It’s been 12 years for hubby and I. We have renovation burnout. We still need to build 6 more doors for our kitchen. lol


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