Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen renovation was not a DIY project.  We were still baby DIYers at the time and changing the footprint of our kitchen scared us a little bit.  We paid close attention during the process and recently did the kitchen in our new house ourselves.

We went through a rough patch during the reno with our contractor… a rough patch is an understatement actually. We went through HELL.  The short story is that we were young and naive and hired the first person we came across.  He was my friend’s boyfriend and he was licensed.  Being licensed is not enough!  We didn’t ask for references or pictures and took his word that he knew what he was doing.  In the end, we asked him to stop working when he made some major mistakes and flooded the kitchen. The contractor sued us for breaking contract by firing him.  After looking at pictures of the mistakes , the judge ruled in our favor.  Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones but I found this process emotionally draining and exhausting. I never want to be in that position ever again.  EVER.

Save yourself some trouble and follow these tips on how to choose a contractor at This Old House.  You might be thinking, well that’s all common sense! It really is.  This was our first big renovation and we were absolutely clueless.

The biggest issue is that we could not find another contractor who wanted to take the job after the first contractor botched the kitchen.   The contractors all explained that they would have to assume liability for all the work that was already done incorrectly.  Then, finally one person took pity on us and took on the job.  A good friend connected us with Tom, a contractor and home inspector who saved our kitchen, the heart of our home. He did an amazing job and we are so grateful!


1960s Blue metal cabinets
1960s Blue metal cabinets

Kitchen facelift:


I wanted a bright, airy kitchen.  We added crushed recycled glass pendant lights, shortened the peninsula to increase room for walking, and removed the bulkhead.  We chose dark grey granite and milk white cabinets.  The farmhouse sink was from Ikea. We modified a standard sink cabinet to accommodate the sink.   I painted the laundry room door with chalkboard paint.  New appliances brought the kitchen up to speed, although I slightly missed my 1950s oven.  Slightly… very slightly.  John added decorative moulding to the panel on the peninsula with brad nails and trim.  We added a gas range.  My favorite thing in the kitchen was the backsplash- a light seafoam green glass tile.  We took out the ceiling fan and put in globe lights from CB2. 

Finished Kitchen:

DSC_0011 3 DSC_0015 (1) DSC_0019 (1) DSC_0024 2 DSC_0043

So many wonderful memories were made in this kitchen!  We enjoyed it so much.  Unfortunately, we ended up going over budget since we had to repair the first contractor’s bad work.  When we sold our home, the kitchen was the selling factor though.  Totally worth it!  Has anyone else had a bad experience with a contractor? How did it turn out?










My name is Amanda and I love to write about my home and family. It’s a little chaotic here sometimes but it’s a beautiful kind of chaos, the kind where sticky little children giggle and scream and make fairy trails with glitter in the living room. I’m an RN, mother of three amazing girls, and the wife of the most hard working and loving husband, John. Follow the trail of glitter and sawdust and you might find us there.


  1. So many fun memories were made in that kitchen! It’s still one of my favorite kitchens I’ve seen remodeled, but the company was always the best part!

    1. You are so right! I miss that kitchen and the memories we made there. Jocelyn is asking about Tarynn and I would love to catch up! I’ll call you tomorrow and we can book a day?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.