The Evolution of my Kitchen

WOW!!
I spent some time going through the archives from 2014.  I was putting together a parade of quilts I made that year.  Let me say it took me forever to get through it all.  It was the year we remodeled the house.  If you want to see a real live makeover of a foreclosure house, go through the archives of 2014.  The ENTIRE YEAR was spent working on this house.  There is an archive button on the right hand column of the blog.  You can click to 2014 and have a look it you’d like.

I was so happy to find this picture.  It was of my old kitchen and shows the portion of the house that we took off.  The kitchen was small and terribly laid out.

If you’re new here Kramer and I bought a foreclosure house in 2013 and spent all of 2014 remodeling it.  We moved in with it unfinished in 2015.


We knew from the moment we looked at the house that the kitchen would get a remodel.

If you look at the picture you can see studs where the shovel is leaning.  There was a wall there with a small door into the room.

Left in the picture was a terrible small bathroom and a closed in back porch with a washer and dryer.  To get to the bathroom, we had to go into the porch.  It was all pretty shoddy.  It had been a rental house for some time and owners made small improvements but none were really done the way the house deserved.

There was so much fuss over the new kitchen and layout.  I remember really struggling with it all.  I had wondered if we would ever come up with a plan.

I drew things out by hand.  I knew this was my one and only chance to pick and choose what I wanted.  I wanted it to be done right.

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The architect originally put together something I really didn’t like for this area…like a laundry area right next to the door with no door.  NOPE.  That would never have worked.

I did so much “cutting and pasting”.  I made copies of the plans, cut them all apart, and moved pieces around.  I did it for hours and hours.  I’m so glad I did as now living in the house, I can see I would have hated features of the original plan. This is… the area that was added on.  It’s 20 x 24.  My sewing room is above part of this.

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So many people told me I was crazy to want that long window in the kitchen.  I had a blog reader be rude to me about it.  I had another reader tell me “the kitchen you are putting in is the same kind of kitchen she and her husband rip out all the time” as they were remodelers.  UGH.  Seriously, of all the comments about my kitchen that were made, criticizing me for the tall window was in the top comments.  There were so many outcrys that I should make the cabinets turn and put in a lazy susan.

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This is how my kitchen turned out.  We have trim up now and a fix on the trim over the sink.  We have a fan above the stove.

We didn’t have a cabinet maker make an island.  We did this instead.

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There is that window….The one so many told me not to put in.

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I was told I would regret it.

I don’t.  I never have.  Every time I look at the window I smile.  I am so happy that I didn’t listen to anyone and instead did just what I thought was best for me.

That window is used all of the time.  It lets so much light into my kitchen.  I have childcare kids and grandkids there all of the time.  They are always looking out that window.  Sure, I could have had more cabinets but seriously, I don’t need anymore.

In the end…to date, there really is nothing that I regret of would change of all the things we did except, I would have put more lighting in the kitchen.  The electrician omitted one light that we requested.  It was just a mistake on their part.  We ended up doing something else and that’s okay.  I would have added can lighting though.  At the time they suggested it but Kramer and I didn’t want a modern look…now, modern or not, I wish I had more lighting in the kitchen.

Every single day I walk into the kitchen I am still loving it.  Women all the time fantasize about their dream kitchen.  Mine is exactly what I have but with more lighting.

Looking back on this has made me realize that of all the people that know me, I know me best.  I know that sounds silly but I’m a person that has long second guessed myself.  Seeing that tall window, remembering the criticism I got for it, in the end, after much fretting, I did what I thought was right for me and I did know best what I wanted…and it turned out perfectly-for me.  I know it’s not for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay.

I need to remember, I know me best…  It’s good to consider othe opinions, but in the end I really do know me best.  I need to be more confident in myself more often.

So that’s what happened along my way of trying to put together a post of the quilts of 2014.  I did get that done.  I’ll be featuring that tomorrow.

30 thoughts on “The Evolution of my Kitchen

  1. Chris

    That is your house and your kitchen and should be what you want it to be. It is just like a quilt…it should make YOU happy.

    Reply
  2. Susan Smit

    If you did not have that window it would be quite a dark room I can imagine Jo. And the memories you are making for the little ones as they can see the world outside at any time of the year as too can you. Yes do what’s right for you, people are so quick to judge and say their piece but in the end it’s you that lives with it. If you had listened to that person you would never of been happy. Your kitchen is so you and such a center of your family.

    Reply
  3. Ginny Clyne

    We remodeled the kitchen last year during Covid. My husband did much of the work himself except for the install of cabinets and counter tops. I wanted more lighting, as you age lighting becomes more important I find. He thought we had enough I still wish we had more perhaps at a later time I will convince him.

    Reply
  4. Pam Daily

    Smart girl! Some of us just think differently than the general population. Glad you listened to yourself. It’s that little voice inside that is usually right!

    Reply
  5. Helen A

    I really love all the work you and Roger did on your home. I used to think if I purchased a home with a lot of wood in it that I would definitely paint any existing wood (around windows, stair railings etc) white. I can remember you saying that you would never cover over wood with white paint. After seeing your beautiful home and all the wood in it I now completely agree with you! It is all absolutely beautiful.

    Regarding the kitchen window I think you definitely need to do what you think is right. You are the one living in the space not anyone else. I actually love the window there. I’m sure it’s nice to have the extra natural light and also to have a nice view while being in the space. I really love the red counters as well.

    Reply
  6. Kate

    You were so right to go with your gut feelings and thankfully Kramer supported you with that. You certainly accomplished so much that year. You have come a long ways in the five plus years you have lived there. It is a very nice looking place.

    Reply
  7. brenda

    trying to figure out what the objection to the window was all about. ?? excuse my doltishness but cannot see what the todo was all about. ‘
    Glad you got your kitchen you certainly worked hard to make it happen.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      People were commented that the kitchen would be “old fashion” with a tall window. People also commented about how much cabinet and counter space I would lose. I didn’t mind missing the cabinet space as what I would mostly “gain” is a lazy susan and I don’t like them.

      Reply
  8. Tina W from Oregon

    I know what you mean about having more light. When we built our house, I thought I was getting under the counter lights but it didn’t happen! I bought a couple stick-up LED lights that I can turn on and off as needed. They work just fine for me.

    Reply
  9. Rita

    We just remodel out kitchen of 20 years installed new counter tops …but my husband insisted we add more lighting …we installing strip lighting under the cabinets …it was cheap and it’s great if you have plug ins on the back splash you plug them in and then can be connected all to together . My kitchen is in the middle of the house ,no windows ….but this is an added solution . I lived in remodeled houses all our married life …we just survive . I decided there’s no perfect kitchen …not is this life

    Reply
  10. Jill Klop

    It’s so good that you stuck to your guns and got the kitchen that YOU wanted. We’ve moved so many time with my husband’s job. I get nice kitchens, but they are someone else’s. I can honestly tell you that I will never buy stainless steel appliances. Everyone seems to love them but me! I’m not all that wild about granite countertops either! People will probably read this and think I’m crazy. I’ve had good Formica, granite and Silestone. I’d take the Formica just as easily as the granite! But, you are happy with your kitchen and that’s all that matters. I remember when you guys went through all of that. I remember being so happy to see the house when it was finished.

    Reply
    1. Ila

      Under cabinet lighting will put the light where you need it without shadows. One of the best things I put in my remodeled kitchen.

      Reply
  11. Joy

    One thing I learned a long time ago is that everyone has an opinion on how you should do things. I spent many hours designing our house and was criticized for this and that, but after twenty years of living here, my only regret is our choice of contractors as we’ve had to replace several things where he (unbeknownst to us at the time) cut corners. I was also criticized for wanting a widow over my kitchen sink but have never regretted that either.

    Reply
  12. Elle

    It is interesting in our culture how sure people seem to be that they know what is best! They don’t interview, they don’t learn, they simply TELL!

    I’m with you and the kitchen you love. I love mine too. Solid Alder cabinets from 1989. No, I will not paint them white. Corian counters/sinks from the 90s. No, I won’t tear them out for granite or whatever the stone dejour is right now. No, I don’t want stainless appliances. I don’t like them. No shiplap. No grey paint. No No No.

    Happy Weekend to you!

    Reply
    1. Jean

      I was just making a similar comment to my husband about half an hour ago in regards to some “my way or the highway” quilters. Just do not get why they think others should want and do what they want. Thank goodness life offers us a huge variety of ideas all of them having merit depending on individual tastes and preferences. Life would be much duller if everyone wanted the same things. I also have no desire for stainless appliances or granite counters.

      Reply
  13. Carol M Collier

    I love your kitchen! I could not stand not having a window over the sink — I spend so much time there, and love looking outside while working. Have you seen those LED light strips that you put underneath your cabinets. They look like they would add so much light and so easy to install, and not too expensive. They are on my list.

    Reply
  14. linda jackson

    I am with you on the windows. The more the better in my opinion! I always look at the windows when I buy a new house. If you have a good view while cooking or doing dishes, life is much better in the kitchen.. I love it.

    Reply
  15. JanetB

    I have a long window in my kitchen. We remodeled our house when my husband and I married in 1996. There was a short window in the kitchen. I wanted tall windows across the front of the house so it wouldn’t be obvious where certain rooms were inside. I love my long window. We have an eat-in table in front of it and we “people watch” while we eat.

    Reply
  16. Lace Faerie

    I love that you stuck to your guns and got the YOU wanted! I have always wanted a kitchen with a wood burning fireplace and enough room for a rocking chair. We live in a 1000sq’ home that we built with our own hands. I’ve had several chances of moving to something larger but I couldn’t leave the home my HH built for me and our babies. We came out of a small 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment and when they were 5 and under, this house seemed so roomy! We laugh about that now. I can honestly pivot on one foot and touch sink, dishwasher, oven and fridge. Fortunately, the sink is on a half wall open to the dining room and living room, or it would feel like a closet. I smile every time I see your red counter tops! I still love my 1992 dark teal ones. And I hate my updated LG stainless steel appliances, constantly wiping them down and if I don’t, they get permanent shadows.

    Reply
  17. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    I love your long kitchen window. I have always lived in older houses, which offer lots of charm/character; we enjoyed the light and view from a long kitchen window in two of them. Toddlers and dogs also benefit. Your kitchen is great!

    Reply
  18. Betty from Canada

    I like you long kitchen window. I bet Rosie likes to look out to. Also the grandkids probably like t look out too. As far as more lighting goes maybe look and see what you want and get a quote and see what the budget looks like it might be cheaper than you think.

    Reply
  19. Judith Fairchild

    I am so glad you stuck to what you knew you wanted. Several years ago i saw a man wearing a t-shirt. That said Happy wife, Happy life. Since the kitchen is your domain you need what you want. I ‘m glad your husband listened to you.

    Reply
  20. brenda king

    I too am glad you got what YOU wanted in your kitchen! We built our “forever home” about 25 yrs. ago. I designed it, and LOVE it still. (I fought for more lighting in the kitchen too!) Also, have a deep counter top into a bay window in my kitchen, that holds plants and pretties galore! And, it get lots of nice light from the 6′ X 12′ window! My house is a reproduction two story farm house, with porches wrapping around it. We live on a nice 40 acre lot, with a pond, many trees, and a beautiful mountain view! Like you, we decorated with turn of the century Oak pieces. Many we have refinished. They have served our needs beautifully since we started collecting right after our marriage, 51 years ago! Wish we could be neighbors. I think we would have a lot of fun! Our family lives in town, two dtrs, one married, two grandsons, a boy and a girl great grands, and another on the way! I LOVE my life, home, and quilts, and enjoy all you share! Thanks!

    Reply
  21. Donna

    I remember my mom telling me that if I make a major change in something, I’m the one that has to live with it. What’s so wonderful is that you designed what YOU wanted and continue to love living with it. And that’s what matters – plus the fact that you and Kramer worked on it together – the memories! :-)
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  22. Kim J LeMere

    I have always enjoyed windows, let bring the outside in and give us light. Both of your windows fit your homes character. We have remodeled a few homes and I love windows that go low and lets the kids see out. I also love that you used to pieces of kitchen furniture to make your center island, how clever. Its perfect and I bet well used with all the time your family spends cooking and being together. It was bold of you to add the red and yet it works beautifully. I’m glad you knew what you wanted and since you and Kramer were making this your family home, make it what you want. Great finish and a welcoming , loving home.

    Reply

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