house stuff

kitchen renovation | before & after

March 22, 2016

kitchen renovation | stuff steph does

Well folks, this is it! The final room of our renovation. The kitchen is by far the biggest transformation and also the most used space of the house. I easily spend more time in this room than any other in the house (while I’m awake, that is). If you missed any of the other reveals you can check them out here:

|   Main Bathroom   |   Home Office   |   Master Bedroom   |   Powder Room   |   Living Room   |

Now that everyone is all caught up – on with the final reveal!



Here’s a view of what it was before with the living room behind me. That big bump out is the laundry room and half bath that took up half of the kitchen. The track lighting was super dark and the cabinets over the microwave don’t match everything else because they had fallen off the wall.

kitchen renovation | stuff steph does

Now the whole space is opened up.

Since it is so small, the house does not have an actual dining room. We had a really tiny 2 seater table in old kitchen that was right next to a bunch of pots and pans. By getting rid of the laundry/bathroom in this space we were able to make an actual dining area that can easily sit 4 at any time and could expand to seat 6. The table can actually fit 8 with the leaf – but probably not in this room. We bought the table with the anticipation of it being able to grow with us in a future house. The bench seating is made out of Ikea wall cabinets with a piece of stained pine on top for the bench seat. More seating and more storage all in one!

dining renovation | stuff steph does

The black bump out also has some function and houses all the plumbing and some HVAC from the second floor that goes down to the basement. I knew we couldn’t get away with a totally smooth wall without some major HVAC finagling (which meant major $$) so we decided to play it up and use that bump out as a way to define the dining area. The black paint is Sherwin Williams Caviar. And how great is it to have TWO windows in the kitchen now? SO much brighter.

kitchen renovation | stuff steph does

Those giant cabinets in the back are one the best decisions we made and house a pantry, broom closet, dog food, large dishes, and tons of other stuff, including a step stool to access everything since they are so tall. See exhibit A:

Ikea Cabinet Assembly

Fits adult humans with ease (Lucy could have fit in there with me, too…)

And Exhibit B:

ikea cabinet storage

So much storage!

Alright, we’ll move on. I promise not to spend this much time on each cabinet in the kitchen.

When were designing the kitchen we considered 4 different doors throughout the process.

Ikea Cabinet Doors

From the get go I wanted a white kitchen. Its just clean, timeless, and happy. But I wasn’t sold on the Grimslov doors. I didn’t like the thick border; especially on the smaller drawer fronts which I knew we were going to have. We also toyed around with the idea of doing the bottom cabinets in the Laxarby doors and the top in white, but we didn’t like that the profiles wouldn’t match, and the space is so small we wanted to be careful not to do too much to overcrowd it. We also considered the Bodbyn grey doors. Which look really nice and I love grey kitchens, but (another but) we wanted the main paint color to be grey and grey walls and grey cabinets would have just been too much. Enter the Bjorket Door. I love the profile of that door. Definitely more shaker style than the Grimslov, but we didn’t like the light wood. It just felt unfinished to us and too modern for the house.

kitchen renovation | before and after

So we decided to paint the Bjorket doors white! That way we got the white kitchen we wanted with the profile we liked the best. We painted them our trusty Sherwin Williams Pure White (SW7005) that is the same color as all the trim in the house. We hired someone to spray them so they had a smooth finish. For the most part it was a good idea. (I’m sensing a future Ikea Kitchen post because this post is getting pretty lengthy already…)

We went back and forth on the sink for a while, too. One compartment, or two? Obviously, you can see what we decided on. One giant sink. And its huge. And we love it.

Caesarstone Misty Carrera Countertops

The counter tops are Misty Carrera Quartz by Caesarstone. We did a fun waterfall edge at the end of the counter next to the dishwasher.

kitchen renovation | stuff steph does

Our once brick wall is now fully covered in subway tile and I don’t regret it one bit. It’s much easier to clean and you’d never know that the sink isn’t centered on it. The open shelves are pine that we stained. The rug is a simple dhurrie rug from Rugs USA.

*Sigh*Remember when it looked like this?


And of course, Lucy’s dining accommodations were also upgraded:

Dog Dining Area | stuff steph does

We found the placemat at the Columbus Museum of Art Gift Shop and thought that our pooch should be a little more cultured while she dines on her kibble.

That’s sort of a funny photo to end on, but I’m gonna do it. Thanks for sticking around for all the reveals! The house definitely isn’t finished and we still have some work to do, so stick around for our upcoming projects! Until then, the source list.

Source List:

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  • Reply Melanie March 22, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Would like your opinion or thoughts on Rugs USA. Good quality? Good company to order from? I know the have great prices and a great selection. I have a few selected online from them right now, just not quite ready to pull the trigger. Any input or advice you could offer regarding your experience with them would be appreciated.

    • Reply steph March 22, 2016 at 10:47 am

      I have no complaints with them! We ordered the rug that’s now in the office but used to be in our bedroom back in 2013 from them and it gets vacuumed every week and has held up. It’s starting to look a little worn, but we paid less than $200 for a 5×8 rug.

      The kitchen rug was around $120 for a 5×8 and since it’s so flat I think it will hold up even better than the one upstairs. I would be nervous buying a really shaggy rug for that price, but the two rugs we got have been great and I’ll definitely use them again!

  • Reply Melanie March 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm


  • Reply Nicole March 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    We are getting ready to start our Ikea kitchen reno, but don’t like the off white color they offer now versus a true white. I hadn’t even thought about painting them! So I’m intrigued….can you tell me a little more about that process? I would be worried about the paint adhering to the veneer. Did you just sand them first? (Your kitchen looks fantastic, by the way!) Thanks!

  • Reply steph April 12, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks, Nicole! The rail around the Bjorket doors is real wood and doesn’t have a melamine finish on it, which I think is what makes them paintable. I don’t think you could paint the Grimslov door because it has a melamine finish. They were sanded but just enough to give the paint some grip, they were not stripped by any means. They were primed and then painted with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint. So far they’ve held up pretty well! We are able to wipe them down and they are still looking good! Good luck with your renovation!

  • Reply Bailey May 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    1) those chairs <3
    2) I've been searching and searching and have yet to find anyone courageous enough to paint the Bjorket doors, even though that's what I'm thinking we may do. It looks great! So glad you wrote this!!

    • Reply steph May 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Yay! Glad I could help! We haven’t had any issues with the painted cabinets so far, I would just make sure you spray them so its a smooth finish and we used the Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint which dries really hard and is more durable and scrubbable.

  • Reply alexis f. December 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Hi! I came across your blog as we are getting ready to do our own kitchen renovation! I love the idea of painting the bjorket doors, would you mind if i asked how much it was to have them painted?
    thank you, and your home is lovely!

  • Reply Molly March 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Curious about your sink. It’s just what I’m looking for. Could you share the source? Thanks!

  • Reply Jackie May 21, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I see that your wrote it was a good idea “for the most part”…what was the issue/s you ran into with painting the doors. We are planning on painting the doors for all of the same reasons you did and I just want make sure there aren’t any surprises. Thanks!

    • Reply steph May 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Jackie, I don’t think there are any surprises – I think the cabinets have held up as well as any painted cabinet would. We wipe them down a lot and they still look good. We had some issues with our painter and bubble wrap and different sheens of paint that made me sound hesitant about painting the cabinets. The process ended up being a lot harder than I thought it would be, but we are totally happy with the end product!

  • Reply Bill June 19, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I love your new kitchen. Can you provide some info about the countertops?

    • Reply steph June 23, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, Bill!

      The countertops are quartz by Caesarstone and the color is Misty Carrera.

      • Reply Bill June 23, 2017 at 10:28 am

        Thank you!

  • Reply Erica Thompson July 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Did you do the sanding yourself? What gloss did you paint these? Matte, semi gloss, high gloss? I just love these true shaker style. I was wanting to paint them. Glad I stumbled upon your post!

    • Reply steph July 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      I honestly can’t remember the sheen. I think it was semi-gloss? We used the Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Enamel. Definitely not high gloss.

  • Reply Cheryl July 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Another person painting the Bjorket doors, here! How did you go about finding someone to paint the doors? I’m having trouble finding someone who does this type of thing.

    • Reply steph July 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Woo Hoo! We already knew of a guy who did painting through a friend. Good luck with your kitchen!

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