The Kitchen Reveal!

Hey everyone!  I've been talking about this big project that we've been working on for what seems like a very long time, so I hope I haven't created a bigger build-up than it deserves.  You just have to keep in mind that we are older, move slower, & take longer to make up our minds about "stuff."  This was definitely how it went with our kitchen.  This is going to be a long post with tons of photos; so grab a snack, something to sip, & please keep all sharp objects locked away in case you feel like harming yourselves because this post is soooo.... long!  Here we go and you've been warned....lol!

It was truly a very nice kitchen from the get-go but just needed some TLC.  Here are a couple of pics of what it looked like just before we moved in last August.
A "sea of tile" with tiled countertops & floor.  I truly don't think anyone cooked in this kitchen, because the tile & grout were pristine. 

The dishwasher was broken (thank goodness), so it got replaced right away.  
Matchstick roman shades -- gotta go!

By early November, we had already made some major changes.

New granite, stainless steel dishwasher & refrigerator, stainless sink, shutters, cabinet hardware & a "wimpy" but much needed pendant over the island.  

Looks good, & we thought we were finished, or rather The Man thought we were finished!  I think he actually forgot, momentarily, who he has been married to for 43+ years -- silly man!

This was also when I scooped up my little oak kitchen table & chairs on Craigslist.

Looks cozy...........

Very user friendly with lots of counter-space.

Large island......are you waiting for the "but," because it's coming!
BUT, the kitchen & breakfast room just didn't feel complete.  It needed somethin', somethin'!

Now, if you are expecting to see white cabinets, nope, that didn't happen.  Oak cabinets are getting such bad press these days, & painting our cabinets white was something we thought long and hard about doing.  We chose not to do that because of the size of our kitchen, the light tile, white shutters & the fact that it's super-hard to make oak look good painted white.  I know some of you have been successful at doing this, but we had our concerns.  Maybe it's because we're older, but we actually like the beautiful grain designs of stained oak -- so sue us!  We did want some contrast, & The Man wanted to add crown above the cabinets & decorative trim below so that he could conceal the lighting he wanted to add in both places.  We also wanted to add a cabinet to the left of the sink (always looked like something was missing), & I wanted a desk-buffet under the window in the breakfast area.  Knowing that it would be almost impossible to get those pieces & have them match the existing stain, our solution was to go "dark."  We used a Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation Kit in Espresso on the island, some of the trim & the cabinets we used for the desk-buffet.

I did the following collage so you can see the immediate contrasts of the before's & after's, but there are many more photos to come -- just incase you hoped thought this was it!

Using the Espresso on the trim between the cabinet top & the crown & also on the trim around the bottom of the cabinets, was The Man's idea.  He had done something similar in the kitchen of our last home & always got compliments on it.

The first thing we used the Espresso on, however, was the oak table top.  We didn't think we had much to lose, because the top was really beat up.  We were nervous about this color & needed to see it on something in our space.

We loved it immediately.  The color was just what our kitchen-breakfast room needed.  As I worked on the table, The Man worked in the garage (it was so hot) on the trim pieces.  The Rustoleum kit includes everything you need, including an instruction DVD, but it is a 4-step process which takes quite a while.  It worked out best to do everything we needed to do in stages.

Timing is everything, so THEY say, which meant we could work on another kitchen project while we waited for the painted pieces to dry and cure.
We had been wanting to add a backsplash but were slow in deciding what we wanted.  We also didn't want to spend an arm & leg to do it.

Thank you, Costco, for having this great glass & stone mosaic tile!  It was exactly what we had been looking at in some other places, but it was quite pricey.  Costco had boxes of 5 sheets for $20 -- so, yes, we scooped up enough for the kitchen & laundry rooms!

This is a close-up of the tile (sorry for the glare) & the dark trim The Man added to the bottom of the cabinets to conceal the lighting.

Here's a close-up of the trim & crown.  I don't know why the top of the crown looks funny on the upper edge -- some reflection, I guess.

Better view of the tile.  We had never tiled before, so this was quite interesting, & we didn't even get too upset with each other -- heehee!

Here you can see the new pendant light above the dark island & the new upper cabinet to 
the left of the sink.

I really like having the desk-buffet under the window.  And, yes, we are going to be painting the chandy to match the oil-rubbed bronze pendant -- it just never ends, does it?

I can't believe what a difference all the extra lights make, both above & below the cabinets.

I'm not going to share close-ups of most of my vignettes at this time, but will do a separate post since most of them are Fall-related.

I could see myself blogging here, but I think it will be used more for buffets.  I also have my cookbooks in one of the cabinets, so it's a great place for menu-planning.

Oops, forgot to put away that step-stool!

I love the reflections on the wall & ceiling from the lights.

With the under-cabinet lights, I don't even need to turn on the recessed lights in the ceiling unless I'm using the island.  

One last look, because the previous "gazillion" pics just weren't enough, right?

That does it for now.  You will be seeing more of our kitchen-breakfast room in upcoming posts as I share some of my Fall decor in these rooms.  I'll also be posting about our laundry room makeover which was going on at the same time as the kitchen -- yeah, we may be old & slow, but we don't shy away from hard work!  Actually, we are a bit DIY shy right now as we wait for tired, achy 
muscles to heal.....lol!  I am so happy that you stopped by, and I truly hope you will come again soon.


I'm happy to be linking to the following parties:

Susan  at Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday 
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Table Top Tuesdays 
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays 
 Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Katie at Katherine's Corner for Thursday Favorite Things
 Kristen at Kristen's Creations for Share Your Creations on Thursday
Heather & Vanessa  At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday


  1. Looks great! And I didn't feel like the post was too long at all. Loved every second of it! We have an oak kitchen too, and I'm not too sure what to do with it eventually, but for now, I have to admit that I really don't hate it as much as I think I should. :)

  2. Wow, unreal transformation. I love the use of the dark as a contrast. You guys made a ton of changes. Nice kitchen with tons of storage and counter space. That is fantastic. Hugs, Marty

  3. It turned out fabulous, I really like the addition of the wall cabinet to the left of the sink. That really balanced out the window. Like the island going dark and the table top. I think all cupboards need crown molding so that was a hit. Great looking kitchen, and yes all that tile needed to go:)

  4. Hi Cas! Wow, the two of you have been busy. Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous; great job. The espresso trim and island look fantastic. And I love the new cabinetry; it makes your kitchen look bigger. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Blessings, Dani

  5. lovely. The back splash is wonderful too! hugs

  6. Great job!! Your kitchen is beautiful!!! Can't wait to see your laundry room.

  7. Carol - You and The Man did a fantastic job! It looks like an entirely different kitchen. The dark trim that was added to the cabinets is just the trick for tying it all together. One big "atta girl" for you and one big "atta boy" for The Man! Looking forward to seeing the laundry room.

  8. What a FABULOUS transformation!! I know you must be very proud. N worries on it taking a while. I am in my later 30s and it takes me forever to make decisions and decide on things too!;) Really love it!

  9. It nevers does end....looks like at lot of work and I love, love how that table turned out.

  10. I love what you and your handy husband have done with the kitchen! It's warm and cozy now as well as updated...it has so much personality! I really do like everything and I'm looking forward to a close up of your fall decor! :)


  11. This turned out so great! We lived in AZ for a long time, and all those oak kitchens looked the same. I was always hesitant to paint them as well. I love all the extras you did to make the space your own and give it personality. Very pretty.
    Have a blessed Sunday!

  12. Love it! Turned out wonderful, love the dark contrast. And adding that cabinet was a good thing, I thought it looked unbalanced in the second 'before moving in' picture. Big difference!
    Debbie :)

  13. Y'all did such a great job! I have a friend that used the Rustoleu
    stuff in that color & it's so pretty! I still have a few things to do in my kitchen.

  14. Your kitchen look wonderful, you did a great job abd I really like the tails as back splash, with a little granite as well. We have the granite all the way up, it works just as great! I love the new cabinet,one can never have enough! Have a happy week.

  15. I love it! Especially the trim on the cabinets, really made them classy looking! Also love your island and the new light fixture...great job!

  16. I certainly hope that you are treating that "silly" man of yours right, and cooking for him in that beautiful kitchen every day, because he did a FABULOUS job! Wow!!! Yes, I was expecting to see some painted cabinets.....but this is one of the prettiest kitchen make overs I have seen that doesn't include painted cabinets. Great job!

    Now, if your not cooking for him, you just give him my name and number please :) I can keep him really busy and I will cook for him to

  17. That was fabulous. I bet you are so pleased with it. It looks mighty fine. The dark on the table came out so pretty. Enjoy the cooler weather we've been having. Hugs.

  18. It looks amazing! Your kitchen looks SO much better with all the changes you have made! I especially love the upper cabinet on the side of the sink....it makes the kitchen look so much more balanced! Great job! Angie xo

  19. WOW, you have been one busy girl! I love the changes you've made. Your kitchen looks FANTASTIC!! I love the dark island and the dark trim around the cabinets. The backsplash is pretty and of course I love all the fall items. You and hubby rocked this kitchen, fabulous job!! Can't wait to see more...XOXO ~Liz

  20. Cas, it looks amazing!! I love the changes they look fabulous! You guys were definitely busy and it took a lot of hard work but it was totally worth it!

  21. Hi Cas,
    Your kitchen came out wonderful. Loved the dark expresso island and the dark touches your hubby added to the cabinets, and the new cabinet looks great and
    does tend to make it look a bit more finished somehow. All that lighting is great too........very very nice. Know you must be thrilled, oh, and your table blends in and looks great with it all. That was a great idea.............
    Blessings for much enjoyment and family fun in thatlovely kitchen,

  22. Oh my goodness! Your kitchen turned out beautiful. Adding the dark espresso color really made it look "rich!" And adding that cabinet to the left of the sink did balance everything. I am so impressed with the work you guys did yourselves. WOW!

  23. Oh it looks beautiful! I think adding the espresso touches here & there was just the right thing to do. I love how the table top turned out. You also did a wonderful job on the tile...wow!

  24. Very nice! Oak cabinets do get a bad rap...I kinda like them to be honest! Gotta love that Costco tile, they have the best deals.

  25. Wow! I am really liking the dark and the oak together - what a beautiful transformation. Adding the upper cabinet was a great finishing touch! I am in the process of re-doing my oak kitchen too. I am going for the white, for the sole reason that I have wanted a white kitchen for 30 years and finally convinced my husband to let me do it - lucky me it is the "in" thing to do! Ha ha! But I do still love an all wood kitchen too! So many choices! Yours is gorgeous!!!!!!! Jane

  26. Cas, your kitchen looks amazing!!! I just love all the changes and upgrades you guys have made! The island looks beautiful with the dark stain and it ties in so well with your new backsplash, which, by the way, it is gorgeous!!! Also love your table set and all the Fall decoration looks so pretty with the new lighting. Very, very pretty! I know it had to be a lot of work, but all sooo worth it!

  27. Wow!!!!! It looks great I really love your counters and the island. I am sure you are loving your kitchen. I need to send my friend over to your blog to see your pictures. She wants to do some similar things and doesn't want to paint her cabinets.

  28. love everything about your new kitchen. All the rich colors. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  29. HOLY CRAP! Seriously.. holy crap! You and I have the EXACT same kitchen.. Same cabinets, same granite and I even used that same backsplash tile (Costco right?) . I stained my island espresso too. The only difference is that I just painted my cabinets tan. Come over and check it out.. Seriously.. You will die it is so similar. I would like to think that we both have good taste! :D

    Nice job! Clearly I love it!

  30. Well Cas you and the Man did it, looks fantastic, love the expresso island, roosters of course, and clever on the trim to hide the under cabinet lighting!
    We just had that problem of installing them without your clever idea. Jealous you are done and can enjoy you beautiful kitchen, mine is still on the to do list! Great Job!

  31. Hi,
    Your kitchen looks wonderful. Your kitchen reminds me a lot of mine. I have the tops of mine decorated, I have tile flooring, almost identical table and chairs, and the same rooster pictures. :) Mine has not been updated. I'd love too, but hubby isn't ready yet.... gotta work on him a while longer.

    I'm a new follower. Would love if you would visit. Have a great week.

  32. Wowee!! It looks so fantastic!! The island and table are beautiful and that back splash is gorgeous. Well done! :-)

  33. Love the painted island! Your home is gorgeous!

  34. Is it okay that I like both the before and the fabulous after? Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Your participation helps make it a success.I'm sorry I am slow to visit I am fighting a nasty head cold and my time on the computer has been limited.Wishing you a beautiful day .xo

  35. CAS, you all outDID yourselves! I LOVE your "new" kitchen. Bringing in the warmer accents with paint, and that fabulous tile backsplash, were just what your already beautiful kitchen needed. I'm truly impressed with your skills ... well, WELL done! And, I love the addition of the new "display" cabinet, too!

  36. Wow Awesome job, really love the lighting on top and below the cabinets. It really shows
    off your pretty decorations. Just out blog hopping, have a great weekend!

  37. What a beautiful kitchen! You have so much counter space, and your improvements are lovely! Have a Happy Easter!

    ~Abby =)


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