our kitchen: before and after

Welcome to our kitchen renovation! The total time that this project took was approximately 3.5 months. 

During that time, we were also renovating our living room, hence the delay! It felt like a long process, but one that wasn’t as stressful as I had originally thought. Below are the before pictures.

Our goal for the room changed quite a few times. First it was to get new flooring and counter tops, but to leave the sink. Then it was to get all three. By the end, we decided on a new floor and sink, and to leave the preexisting counter tops. Meanwhile, we were always set on refacing the bottom cabinets and replacing the uppers. And that’s what happened!

We began this process by first taking down our upper cabinets. Removing them went fairly smoothly, but what was behind them was a bit of a mess. Where there was drywall, it was bumpy and uneven. In other parts, they had cut away the drywall to install the cabinets. The window casing also decided to come down with the cabinets. Because we were wanting to install floating shelves, the walls needed to be even and smooth. It took a lot of mudding, sanding, puttying, and more sanding, but we finally got them to a usable state!

Meanwhile, we had the same company return to rip out the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, and install the same dark laminate that we used in the spare bedroom. I love a dark floor with white cabinets, and thought that continuing it in this room would be to our advantage. After a day of labour, it was in!

Next we had a contracting company come and reface our bottom cabinets. We had never had this done before and were curious and excited to see how it would play out. We chose to reface instead of install new cabinetry for many reasons. The first was to keep the costs low. The second was because it was quicker. The third because it created less of a mess and we could still use our kitchen while it was getting done. They made us new soft-close drawers from scratch, reconfigured a few things, and ironed on the new material. I chose these drawer pulls from Amazon. Although it took three long days, we were so happy with the results!

After our cabinets were refaced, we set about painting the kitchen. This was pretty straightforward. It took four heavy coats of white to cover the dark and grease-stained walls and off-white ceiling. It was the most time-consuming project in the entire renovation!

We ordered our new appliances from Home Depot and Trail Appliances. We went during a big sales event at Home Depot for a new fridge and stove. It turns out that they ordered us the wrong fridge (but we kept it), and our stove was back-ordered for two months. I don’t think that we’ll be going back there again for appliances. Our dishwasher, on the other hand, came from Trail Appliances. We picked it out and picked it up that same day, and the sales team and entire experience was so enjoyable. We were even given a discount just because the salesman liked us! I definitely recommend a smaller company like them over a big box store.

Choosing our floating shelves was probably the hardest process in this makeover. I bought and returned so many different types and colours of shelves- it was insane! Here is Geoffrey testing out a MDF wall shelf and a barn wood shelf. We ended up going with neither! Instead, we chose wide plank pine shelving.

We ended up going with these brackets from Amazon. The least expensive brackets that I could find at Home Depot and Rona were around $10. Because we needed 17 of them, I wanted to find a cheaper option. The brackets that we ordered were only $5 each, and looked better than anything that I could find in the city. Hooray!

I also ordered our light fixture, sink, and faucet from Amazon. Those were the last to be installed. We chose a sink that was a little larger than our previous one, and so much better looking. The faucet is so neat. It has an LED light that turns blue when the water is cold, green when it’s neutral, and red when it’s hot. The plumber said that he had never seen one like it before. He took a video and a few pictures of it, and said that he wanted to order them for the shop. Too funny! After spending an entire day here, and $1100 later, our sink and faucet were in. We were done!

Down the road, and if we stay in this house, we would like to order a chimney range hood for over the stove. I would also like subway tile back splash in the kitchen! I think that it would pull it all together.

We learned so much from this renovation. I’m just thankful that we were able to continue to use our kitchen the entire time. I couldn’t imagine not being able to! In that regard, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments. ;-)))

Emory

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dining room: before and after

Hello, friends! Today is the day that I get to reveal our renovated dining room to you all! First, here are a few before pictures.

These were actually taken after I had already removed the hideous pink wallpaper from the lower portion of the walls. As you can see, we also needed to get rid of the carpet and (flickering) light fixture in addition to painting and patching the walls, and refinishing the floors. Below are the floors in the state that we found them.

I almost don’t know where to begin! When Geoffrey left for training over the summer, Remy and I worked on this room together. After the wallpaper came down, I set out to removing the carpet and underlay. It was soooo gross. Every square inch was covered in mouse poop, and the carpet was incredibly stained. That only took a few days, and then we had to wait a few months for Geoff to come back home and finish what I started.

We rented a floor sander in November, and he had the entire room sanded in about an hour. It was much easier than using a small hand sander! I don’t think that we’ll ever revert back to the latter when it comes to sanding floors. Duh, right?

Next, Geoffrey added quarter round moulding and patched and sealed the vents. Then we painted the walls and ceiling. We used the same bright white that can be found throughout the rest of the house for continuity. Now for some after pictures!

I ended up purchasing a new light fixture from Home Depot. I wanted one that was completely different from what was hanging there previously. Rather than a small, brass, and round chandelier, I chose a large, black, and rectangular one! I also purchased four Edison bulbs for it, as we have them throughout our home and just love them.

Geoffrey stained the floors after that. Then we hung some hooks that I also purchased from Home Depot, changed the switch plates, and I bought a few things to go on the walls. We stained the picnic table a shade darker to match the church pew as well.

I think that’s pretty much all of it! Thanks for joining me on this room tour. It was a long process, and we’re just thankful to be done! Onto the next room!

Emory

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sprig west peg board

I purchased this rectangle peg board from a Canadian website that I use to buy the majority of Remy’s shoes. Although primarily a site for children’s moccasins, it features quality-made products for your home as well. I saw and fell in love with this interesting wall shelf by Sprig West.

Made of Baltic Birch, it can be mounted either horizontally or vertically. It comes with four pegs and a shelf, and can hold up to 80 lbs!

This shelf is unlike anything that I have seen before. Given that it is also made in Canada, I could not pass up purchasing it. I’m so glad that I did.

Emory

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main hallway: before and after

I’m so excited to show you the before and after pictures of our main floor hallway renovation! The first photo is what it looked like before we got our eager little hands on it, and the second is early into our project.

It all began with the replacement of the light fixture. I also wanted to continue the look of the black and white walls seen in the upstairs hallway.

We had to remove the wallpaper in the stairwell and on the main floor. That was a process in itself. Once it was all gone, we set to tearing out the carpet on the staircase and continuing down into the hallway. I cannot express enough how disgusting that was. There was literally between 1-2 inches of sand and dirt covering every square inch of the floor. The staples were also covered in rust. It was just a smelly, dirty project. Our hands were definitely so sore after removing everything. However, once the carpet was out, we had begun to see an improvement.

Sanding the floors this time was not an easy feat. Unfortunately, Geoffrey’s sander (that we used for the upstairs hallway) died early into the sanding process. After he purchased a new one, it worked very well for the most part. It just took rather a long time. I would say that we sanded for over 15 hours. Next time we will certainly rent a large floor sander!

Geoffrey also had to add 3/4 round moulding along the walls. I was not in the best mood, and so I told him that he had to start and finish it all in one day. Mean, I know, but it worked! He got it all done in about 10 hours.

After cleaning up the sawdust that seemed to hang in the air and around the house over the next while, we spent the following weeks painting. We did the upper walls white and lower section black. I wanted something a little different for the ceiling. After much thought, I decided to go with black. The ceiling is high enough that I felt like it wouldn’t feel too closed-in. It turned out looking really great. What I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that we were also staining the stairs black. I perhaps overused the colour. Next time, I would go with either a black staircase and white ceiling, or white staircase and black ceiling. It is striking, though!

Finally, the stairs nearly drove us mental. As I said, we had to remove the carpet and staples. After doing so, we spent many hours stripping the layers upon layers of paint that were on the stairs. The smell of the chemicals mixed with the old wood was atrocious. It didn’t matter how many times I washed them after that, it would just not go away.

Geoffrey spent an entire day sanding the staircase. I felt really bad for putting him through more sanding, so I promised him that I would finish the project. I ended up applying three coats of black stain. It took me a few weeks, but in the end, I was able to complete it during Remy’s nap time. Phew.

Overall, this renovation took months to get it to the state that it’s in today. While we still need to stain the floors, I think that it looks much better than when we bought it. Do you agree?

P.S. Don’t forget to see how I made the hallway console and clay planter.

<3

Emory

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simple porch makeover

Disclaimer: This really isn’t a total porch makeover so much as it is more of a temporary fix.

The front porch of our century old home slopes. When we bought our house, the room was drafty, dirty, and had a linoleum floor. I think. I can’t tell the difference between lino and vinyl. It was in one big piece, and rather than being glued down, it was merely placed on the sub floor. The entire perimeter of the flooring was curling upwards. It was so unattractive. One day I got fed up with it, so I picked it up and threw it out the back door. What I was left with was a sub floor covered in old glue, pictured below.

The issue with installing any new flooring in our porch was that the space between the floor and the bottom of the front door was approximately 1 cm. That ruled out hardwood or tile. Rather than buying new linoleum, I asked Geoffrey to try to get rid of the glue so that I could stain the sub floor. It was still in pretty good condition, considering its age.

When he used an electric sander on the floor, the glue heated up and began to spread. It became a sticky mess and was quite apparent that sanding and staining the floor was no longer an option. So I went onto Plan B. We ended up removing the remaining carpet and I painted the sub floor white. It really brightened up the small space!

I purchased a hanging light fixture from Home Depot and Geoffrey switched it with the motion sensor spotlight.

I also hung a few things and stacked two crates so that I could display my Kinfolk magazines and a few other items. I finished the room off with my Baba’s rug that I adore.

That’s it! This room only cost $20, which was the price of the new light. It’ll have to do until we can really get in there and make more drastic changes.

By the way, keeping your home this neat and tidy is no easy feat with a toddler! Sometimes, a little extra help is needed. If anyone is looking for amazing home cleaners, be sure to this NYC maid service!

<3

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (one on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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