Finished Kitchen

Hello there! Did you know that our kitchen is finished? Yes – I finally taught myself how to sew, which meant I could finally make shades and finish the project!

Here’s a quick reminder of what it looked like before:

kitchen before the kitchen (before)

It’s just a wee bit different now.

the kitchen

Just about everything is new. We kept the same layout (in an effort to keep the cost down), and only the wood trim and the beat-up maple floor remain (we tell people it’s “charmingly rustic”).

You may remember that we (OK, me – I’m taking 90% of the credit on this one) tiled the backsplash. I’ve had a few people asking about the process, wanting to know if it’s very difficult. I’m happy to say that it was pretty simple! Neither of us had tiled before, but I’ve seen it on TV. If people on Trading Spaces could do it, I was pretty sure I could handle it. ;) The tile store gave us a sheet of paper with instructions, the tools we needed, and we were set.

The faucet and backsplash

We used a manual tile cutter (a little device that scores each tile), and a handheld tile saw. A clamp is helpful too (check out our fancy tools). Our arms were pretty tired by the end of the project, so I’d recommend spending the extra money and renting a wet saw. The most difficult part of the process was applying the silicone caulk between the tile and the countertop. Dang, that was tricky! I’m not bad with caulk, but silicone is goopy. Oh, it also has the added benefit of smelling terrible. We kept wiping it off and starting over until I finally figured out the trick… Pushing the caulk gun instead of pulling it made a much cleaner line, which you can then smooth with your finger (dip it in water first). Lastly (and this is the important part), you come back the next day with a razor and spend four hours cleaning up the scraggly bits. Ugh.

Back to sewing…

Kitchen Window

Originally, I had wanted Roman shades for the kitchen windows. I quickly abandoned that idea when I remembered that I’ve never sewn before, so I decided to try my hand at something easier. I made pole pocket panels that were the same size as each window, and hung them with tension rods. I gathered the fabric, making soft folds (you could hold them in place with binder clips, which I only realized after making Brandon hold the first two panels for me). Then I looped ribbon over the top and tied into bows along the bottom. Easy peasy!

I feel like I should have something profound to say about remodeling a kitchen, but I don’t. I’m just glad that we’re done.

the kitchen

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  • Reply
    November 29, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    What a great job and a very happy room to be in! It means more having done it yourself, I know that feeling. Congrats to you for a lovely job!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » We’re Up To Something
    December 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm

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    January 8, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Hello! I love your blog and I’ve ordered some things from your lovely shop. Anyhow, I am in the middle of a kitchen redo and I love your faucet. Can you share the brand and where you purchased it? I’ve been looking for something similar. Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

    wow. LOVe this space, nicole. silly question considering all the awesomeness that is your kitchen but can you tell me what those yellow flowers are called? want. need.

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    a work in progress: our home « In a Condo Far, Far Away
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    February 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Nicole – question about your homemade blinds – what do you mean by pocket panels? Can you explain a little how you made them and what materials you used? I’m such a sewing novice, but I’d like to try my hand at something similar in our office. Thanks so much! I love them.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Nicole! I love your kitchen. We are thinking about going with Ikea cabinets to cut costs like you did. I was wondering, since your reno was so long ago and you have had plenty of time to test them out, would you go with Ikea now? Do they stand up to daily use? Anything you wish you would have done different?

    Also, if it’s not too intrusive, would you share a cost break down of your kitchen reno?

    Thanks in advance!

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    March 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This is such an inspiration!

    Did you tile the backsplash before the upper cabinets were installed or after? In the picture it looks like your tile goes behind them, but I couldn’t be sure.

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    June 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

    May I ask what brand your faucet is and where you purchased?

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    July 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I love the black/white/yellow vase by the sink!

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    Melissa Richardson
    August 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I love your kitchen and I am dying to find out where you got your faucet. I have been searching for months and yours is perfect! Thanks, Melissa

  • Reply
    August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    ooo, this kitchen makes my heart ache a little bit.
    My husband and I bought our first house in Logan Square last February.
    I wish I could just snap my fingers and this would be my kitchen.

  • Reply
    Nancy R
    September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I love your beautiful kitchen! I would love to go with white cabinets someday when we do our big knock-down-a-wall remodel…do you still love the white now that you’ve got a toddler around? That’s my fear – that my cabinets will show those grubby little fingerprints easily and I’ll be too lazy to keep up!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Love the white kitchen! My husband and I are contemplating a kitchen renovation. What brand is your stove and where is your microwave?

  • Reply
    October 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Gorgeous. I absolutely love that yellow curtain. I’m obsessed with yellow, though, especially that mustard shade…. and I LOVE your billy buttons. I had those in my wedding bouquet. :)

  • Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Just another tip for caulk application. On all the home improvement shows they use two strips of painters tape, one on the counter another on the backsplash and caulk in between, that way they get a nice even line. Haven’t tried it myself yet, but I assume it works.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I have just found your website. It is a better read than the traditional Home & Garden type magazines that clutter my Kitchen. It is a great kitchen, I think you were better with the handsaw – a wetsaw might be quicker cutting the tile, but by the time you get one, set it up and clean up after the thing – you could have cut the tiles anyway.

  • Reply
    Jonathan Price
    May 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    And you have definitely made it lovely! The countertops and white cabinets really compliment each other very well! Inspiring.

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    Sally Book
    August 8, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I really like the furnishings that you have used here, making it look ‘homely’ yet still clean cut and tidy. Looks so much better than it did before. Great work!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Wow! Beautiful! I have a 70s kitchen and I so dream of a new one someday :)

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    August 27, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Wow. Your kitchen looks great. Just saw your living room on twitter. So beautiful, too. We are thinking of doing an Ikea kitchen when we redo ours. We are definitely an Ikea family (it is such a great store). Are you happy with how the cabinets have stood up?

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    Peter Lofty
    September 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Have you had any issues with the taps that you have fitted? I used what look to be the same ones, and after 6 months had a leak from near to the handle when using the cold tap. Is it just me?

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    October 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I love your kitchen window fabric!Where can I find it?

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    April 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Love your new kitchen! Would you mind sharing where you found the fabric for your kitchen window?

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