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How to completely mess up your kitchen remodel: a step-by-step tutorial

Once upon a time, a cute boy and a decor-obsessed girl bought a fixer-upper, and gutted the kitchen, giving the girl the chance to create her dream kitchen.

Finally, those years of living in tiny rentals and gazing longingly at home photos and magazines would pay off! There was no reason for the new kitchen to turn out any way other than exactly what the girl wanted.

But something went terribly wrong and the girl learned lots of lessons and to this day, has a kitchen for which she is incredibly grateful, but which looks nothing like what she originally intended to create and kinda bums her out from time to time, when she forgets to be thankful for the newness and freshness of it. Let’s learn from her, shall we?

Our kitchen
We have cream colored solid maple Thomasville cabinets we bought from Home Depot, oil-rubbed bronze faucet and cabinet hardware, solid brown/kinda crystally quartz counters and a slate backsplash.

It is not offensive. It is very, very functional. But it’s just nothing like what I set out to create. And I think that’s why I’m so mad at myself.

Where it all went wrong
I designed the kitchen in the dinosaur ages pre-pinterest, but I had spent many, many blissful hours thumbing the pages of home design magazines and knew exactly what I wanted: white cabinets. Dark floors. Everything smothered in carrera marble.


When we went cabinet shopping, we shopped all over: big box stores, tiny cabinet makers in boutique shops, weird warehouses in the ghetto, you name it. At one place, there was a “designer” wandering the showroom to help customers choose their finishes. I told her that I had dark wood floors and wanted white cabinets. To which she replied: “Oh, you don’t want white cabinets. That’ll be too stark a contrast with your floors. You need cream.”

And because she was A Designer – A Professional – I thought she knew better than me what I wanted. From then on, I stayed away from white cabinets and only shopped for cream. But you know what? I DID want white. I put way too much value in what some other person (“a designer!”) said I would like, and ignored what I already knew I loved. I must be wrong if A Designer! says so.

Huge Mistake #1: Trusting someone else’s advice instead of truly knowing my own style and trusting what I loved.

Huge Mistake #2 came when we finally picked out the cream cabinets we planned to install. We ended up finding them at Home Depot. You know how they have all the little cabinet doors on display and you can choose the color, finish and style you like best? We chose the “pearl” finish based on how it looked there, on display, under Home Depot’s fluorescent lights.

NO!!! Take the sample door home, look at it in the light at your house, and be suuuuure that it’s the right color you’re intending to buy. Because 6-8 agonizing weeks later, when our cabinets finally arrived, I almost cried* at the sight of them. They were a weird muddy brown color with greenish undertones. Not fresh white. Not even cream. I was SO BUMMED.

*I did actually cry. Whatever. I had something in my eye.

Huge Mistake #2: Not making color choices in my kitchen, in the light where they would be installed. It really matters!

In the photo above, Andy had installed the new upper cabinets but the old white lower cabinets remained. The kitchen stayed like that for a while, and the stark difference between the muddy new cabinets and the fresh white old ones wrenched my little decor-lovin’ heart every time I looked at it.

Here’s the thing: cream cabinets are NOT ugly or bad. But if you look at all the trim and wall color choices I’d made so far, I had chosen all fresh, clean colors. The cream just did not work with the rest of my house.

I called Home Depot. Called Thomasville. Asked if we could trade them in… could we paint them? Anything? I tried to find a professional to paint the cabinets because we didn’t trust ourselves to get the perfect finish, and it was waaay out of budget. I decided I’d forego the countertops and backsplash I originally wanted and try to choose counters that would make the cream cabinets seem a little brighter… and maybe I could save this whole mess… at least a little bit?

Huge Mistake #3: Making more expensive mistakes to save earlier expensive mistakes.

We shopped for all different kinds of counters, knowing that we wanted something solid-surface. At one point, I found this huge slab of granite with tons of gorgeous movement. It had blues, white, cream, every color that might pull my kitchen together and it was so unlike anything I’d ever seen. But I was so beaten-down and mad at myself over the Cabinet Drama that I thought it’d be smarter to choose something a little safer. So we went with the solid brown silestone. I didn’t love it, but maybe it would fix the cream problem? I just couldn’t stomach the idea of taking on anything risky, decor-wise. I’d been burned.

Um, here’s a memo: Silestone (quartz) counters ain’t cheap, yo. They were more expensive than granite. Are you screaming in slow motion (“nooooooo!!!”) at Past Kelly to not plunk down large sums of money on the counters she doesn’t LOVE to accommodate for the cabinets she also doesn’t LOVE? Are you sensing a speedy downward spiral? Yep.

(Side note: This whole experience might be part of why I’m passionate about DIY and saving money on decor. Because I like to reserve the right to change my mind, and spending lots of cash on something precludes that right. At least in this house, if it’s a splurge, I’m stuck with it. If it was inexpensive, it’d be easier to stomach the change.)

So now with the cabinet and counter decisions made, I was left with the hardware and backsplash to try to pull this whole mess together. I found the slate tile which had the blue of my walls, cream and brown, and went for it. Here’s a closer-up photo of the counters, with the blue walls in the background, and a sheet of the slate tile.

I do like the backsplash, a lot. Like I mentioned in the last post, I don’t care if slate is trendy or not. I just personally dig it. It just wasn’t exactly what I’d set out for when I started this process.

Finally, the hardware decision. I had fallen in love with the idea of crystal knobs in the kitchen, and I promise, this was before everyone else was doing it, so it seemed a little weird. Andy felt “meh” about it, the way he does about anything trendy that he hasn’t had a chance to adapt to yet. He thought they were bathroom knobs and it might be weird to have them in the kitchen. In my gut, I thought they’d be beautiful, but I hadn’t learned to trust it yet.
slate tile backsplash at view along the way
Once again, I was nervous about what other people thought, and I chose the oil-rubbed bronze “safe” choice.

Last huge mistake: Like I mentioned before, I was afraid to speak up to the subcontractors when they made a mistake. In the kitchen, we had someone install our counters. We told them we needed three holes drilled for the faucet, and they drilled them SO CLOSE TOGETHER that, when the faucet knob is on the right side of the faucet, where it should go, you can’t even turn it. We had to twist the faucet so the knob is on the left side, which feels so awkward and wrong. I watched the guy drill the hole, screaming “NOOOO!” in my head, and said not a word. That is just dumb. There’s no good excuse for that.
Oil-rubbed bronze faucet and slate backsplash

What do you get when you make a bunch of safe choices, combined with decisions based on what other people say you must want? A room you don’t love. Every time.

Five years into making lots and lots of decisions – and many mistakes! – on our home, I’m finally starting to learn the lessons:

…to trust and choose what I love.
…To lean away from “safe” if the riskier option is something I know I love.
…To take the time to define and understand my own style.

This is why it’s so important to define your style and follow these decorating rules: it can save you money because the decisions you make will last.

Functionally: what works well in our kitchen
Looks aside, here are some places we think our money was well-spent:

1. Hot water dispenser
That little faucet to the right of the main faucet dispenses near-boiling water. It’s BRILLIANT. I think it was about $200 and we use it every single day. I never would’ve thought to install one, but we lived in a rental once that had a hot water dispenser, and we used it alllll the time. Love that thing.
Oil-rubbed bronze faucet and slate backsplash
2. Undermount sink
If it’s at all within budget, I hiiiiighly recommend an undermount sink. It’s so easy to sweep crumbs from the counter right into the sink, without that annoying little sink ledge that collects dirt and grime.

3. Scratch-and-dent appliances
There’s a scratch-and-dent appliance store near us which sells appliances for SO much cheaper than new, and in most cases, the scratches and dents are behind them, in places you’d never see. We bought most of our appliances there. Our microwave is super fancy, with a touch screen, but we didn’t pay much for it.

HOWEVER, we bought it so early in the construction process, that in the midst of our kitchen remodel, we accidentally dinged it up, visibly. DOH! (Maybe the “scratch-and-dent” idea was a self-fulfilling prophecy?)

4. Cabinet upgrades
With five years’ hindsight, the money we spent on some of the cabinet upgrades was SO well-spent. JUST LOOK at this gigantic drawer! I could just crawl in there and splash around amongst the spatulas. SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES! (Movie quote… anyone?)
Gigantic utensil drawer - and lots of lessons learned on how to do a kitchen remodel right!
And check out this sweet, deep pot drawer that has a little lid drawer on top of it. Lifesaver!
Double-decker drawer for pots and lids, plus lessons learned on how to do a kitchen remodel well!
And we have this tall skinny cabinet, which we actually had to include to make our kitchen work. It was a weird situation where we needed something between the fridge and the wall so you could open the freezer door all the way, but if we did a full-width cabinet there, it would take away precious counter space.

And now we have a place dedicated to wine glasses, champagne flutes, and… um, juice.
Tall, thin cabinet for alcohol storage, and lessons learned from a kitchen remodel
(Don’t panic! That ultrasound photo is still on our fridge from when I had Mila. Ain’t no buns in this oven, y’all.)

Future Kitchen Plans
I’d be lying if I didn’t say there have been days where I’ve been tempted to just throw caution to the wind and paint the cabinets! Like, maybe one day when Andy is at the grocery store, he’ll come home and I will have painted one cabinet, and there’ll be no turning back.

The countertops and backsplash are here to stay though, so that’s why I haven’t taken the plunge yet. But someday…

All in all…
I am infinitely thankful for the function and newness in our kitchen! I still don’t take any of it for granted, even years later. I just hope that sharing how I would’ve changed the process will help someone else with their kitchen remodel, or maybe be a good reminder to us (especially me!) to do your homework to find your style, and create rooms you love regardless of what anyone else thinks. (Unless you’re married to them.)

Lessons learned from a kitchen remodel: how to make the right decisions so you don't end up with a room you hate

What do you love about your kitchen? Would you change anything? Have you ever redecorated a room and been less than thrilled with the results?

P.S.: If you liked this post, you’ll love the Decorating 101 Series:

…And make sure you check these out too!

Let's connect


  1. Julia @cuckoo4design says:

    Oh no, when you describe it like that, then I really feel for you because I totally get what you mean. Regardless, your kitchen is still beautiful! Maybe one day down the road you can just tackle the cabinets yourself and paint them 🙂
    I’m a huge fan of white cabinets and white(ish) countertops, so I feel ya.

    • Yes, speaking up is a learned art for most of us!!! I’m impressed with how great the results are despite it not being your “dream”!!! I’m guessing Andy will make your kitchen dreams come true one of these days!! It’ll be a “business” expense! 🙂 XO, Aimee

      • Not only is it important for you to speak up but, if you do use a contractor, make sure that he/she speaks up when things go awry. I had one that didn’t and the subs didn’t show up on a regular basis so the project took longer than it should have, costing us more. He also didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so when things were installed incorrectly or the wrong things installed (if you notice that all of the bathroom fixtures are the same except for one, doesn’t that tell you something is wrong?) he never said anything. The problem was, some of those items can’t be returned once they’ve been installed so you’re either stuck with them or fighting with your contractor to take the $ off your bill. No fun. I had a number of conversations with him and he just hemmed and hawed about how he couldn’t do anything about it. I should have fired him and hired someone new but we were so deep in, I didn’t feel like I could. Lesson learned: Just because you hire someone, whether a contractor, a designer, etc, doesn’t mean you can’t fire them mid-job, if they aren’t capable of doing the job you hired them for.

        • THANK YOU for this comment! We struggled with our contractor for a while and in the end he left things undone and still charged us way over budget. Looking back (only a month ago), I wish I had spoken up more but I was so scared THAT would cost more! Why are renovations so hard in all aspects!?!?

          Love your blog and your ability to tell stories 🙂

      • Looks awesome! I bet you are glad that’s done. I love the mix of materials. That rug really adds to an eclectic feel.

        • Great Dude!!

          You have sort all the mess very efficiently and your kitchen looks fab after remodeling. I think hiring a professional home remodeling contractor is the smart idea as you can stay away from all mess while re do the kitchen. My sister hired a contractor and she is pretty much satisfied with him.

          But still I want to mention the new cabinets you used, I like the most 🙂 You did a great job.

          @aplus, you are right rug adds to an eclectic feel.


    • katherineisabel says:

      OOOMMMMGGGG….I just bumped into this sight when I typed in the google bar, I do not like how my kitchen turned out, help!”, …ouch…I feel every step of this pain as well as every inch of your gratefulness. We spent so much money and time picking things out…I am scared to try anything kitchen turned out way too modern..oh, who’s fault?? That would be me. My lifelong dream of owning Viking appliances came to fruition, only to have our model discontinued once installed…the warmness I so wanted is not there, again all the time being careful to remember how fortunate I am to even be able to do such things…I wish I had you help me, I love this blog/website/whatever it is…can’t wait to read more..Thank you so much for your inspiration and brutal, love, love it!

    • I came across this cite while looking for images of quartz countertops. I had a somewhat analogous experience when I did my kitchen remodel in 2005. I am now about to embark on a kitchen remodel to fix the mistakes I made the first time. All of my mistakes can be traced to a desire to “cut corners’ and save money. I wanted granite countertops, marble floor tiles, beautiful cherry wood cabinets (remember this was 10 years ago), warm limestone backsplashes and stainless steel appliances for my small kitchen. I will say that my appliances were good choices and I’m not replacing them (KitchenAid cabinet depth stainless steel refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, Dacor 30 inch gas cooktop, Bosch 30” electric oven). The pillowed Jerusalem 4×4 limestone backsplashes are still beautiful. But the marble floor tiles cracked in my 1925 settling house because the tile wasn’t floated properly on concrete. I shopped for months for the perfect granite slabs for the countertop and then went with a recommendation for an installer that was clearly not experienced. Saved some money only to discovery that he installed the granite incorrectly: it has cracked all around the sink. Finally, the cabinets: I purchased pre-fab cherry “wood” cabinets from the Kitchen Store in Los Angeles. They were manufactured by Diamond. They have not held up at all. I just had a custom kitchen cabinet maker come out and he told me everything that was wrong with them: pretty much everything. This time, I’m going to splurge for custom cabinets that will fit perfectly in my space without wasted areas. I’m going with painted white cabinetry which is uber popular right now — I hate “trendy” but I love them anyway and they will brighten up the room. No more marble on the floors – I’m going to install oak hardwoods to match the rest of the house. I’m still fretting about countertops: will I forever regret quartz/Cambria or Caesarstone versus granite? I was burned with the granite the first time and am drawn to the care-free, practically undestructable quartz but I don’t want to be disappointed with the appearance. Anyway, I so enjoyed reading your story and definitely felt empathy what what you went through.

      • Would love to see your kitchen remodeling. I’m also going with painted cabinets from Shenandoah cabinetry. Cream colored with hazelnut glaze. Ceramic floors a nuetral stone cream color. My indecision is on countertops!! I’ve always dreamed of dark like the popular uba tuba. But after looking at all the pinterest pics etc…so many cream kitchens are done in earthtone or cream counters…so I’m doubting my choice now!! Ugh so scary …I cried reading your blog. I love the painted stained cabinets and thought it would all be easy when I could buy what I liked. But I’m worried none of it will go together! Cream floors, cabinets..undecided countertops..and just left the granite dealer! I have one month left to choose. I am doing my island in a wood counter like a dark maple.

    • Jan Dickinson says:

      I just want you to know that in some weird way I feel you are me. LOL Anyway, your kitchen
      is absolutely beautiful. I mean that. It may not be what you set out for, but then again you may
      not have even liked what you envisioned once done.

      Please trust me, it is beautiful


  2. Oh my goodness, I love this post! Well, I’m so sorry you aren’t happy with your kitchen, but thanks for sharing because I feel like this would totally happen to me. I hate speaking up. 🙂

    PS- Painting cabinets is way easier than you think! Just go for it! Once we did, it was like, “why did we wait so long?!”

  3. Thank you for this! We are getting ready to redo our master bath and I needed to hear these reminders!

  4. I could see pieces of myself in what you described, especially when you explained that the subcontractors drilled your kitchen holes too close together and you responded in your head. We’ve been remodeling our kitchen for the longest time. It has been the one spot of our apartment that has held up at least a dozen other plans I’ve had. The fault lies in who we hired to build our cabinets. Granted, the price tag was 1/3 cheaper than the Thomasville ones I had my heart set on, but 1 year has passed and they are still(!) not done. I have box frames, no doors, no drawers. It’s a mess. Since I am dealing with a friend of a friend, who is seasoned in years and has some health issue (so he claims each week), and who took on a huge commercial contracting job for a bakery chain in our area in the middle of our kitchen cabinet build, I’ve remained peaceful and friendly when I speak with him (even during our 20+ rescheduling phone calls because he didn’t show up for xyz reason), but after I am left staring at my kitchen and seeing photos of complete kitchens online, I get perturbed and verbose…like now.

    Anyway, I’ve come to a point where I’ve learned how to build some furniture and use some woodworking tools. If he doesn’t show up as promised this Saturday, I’m building the doors and drawers myself. Reading your article/post has reminded me that I need to trust myself, but it also is that if I want to save a buck, I ought to bite the bullet and do it myself. I’m certain I would have had a complete kitchen by now if I did.

    Thank you for posting those words, “Speak Your Mind” above this box. Although, I fear that I spoke too much of it.

  5. Ah Kelly, this just made my heart sink reading this, because I have so completely been there (although fortunately not with a kitchen remodel). I am still learning to completely trust my gut over what other people say, but I am definitely getting there. And it is hard when you feel sad about a space because your decorating heart doesn’t love it but you know that you should feel grateful for having such a nice space. I totally understand where you are coming from.

    p.s. loved the Step Brothers quote 😉

  6. Ah ha! Step Brothers — I see what you did there.
    That slate back splash and your way of arranging the tiles really does wonders for this kitchen. Simply gorgeous! I see what you mean about the cream-colored cabinets though. Why did the contractors say you couldn’t just paint them white?

  7. Brittany @ Creating Space for Five says:

    That was one painful story…..but glad you learned from it. I cringed at the cabinets because we had oak in our cheap-o kitchen and we bought a kit to paint it….I painted the cabinets white and liked them so much and wanted to leave them that way….but the kit came with an optional ‘glaze’ and my husband and the cheap side of my brain convinced me that since we had technically paid for the glaze we had to use it or I was wasting my money. Oh and I had been painting cabinets for weeks, and so I was in a hurry by the time glaze step came a round. Its not pretty. And I cant tell me husband yet that I want to repaint them all…..again…..he might pass out.

  8. Hi from here in the UK – I can sympathise with you – we had problems with our kitchen installation but 7 years on I still love my kitchen and the choices we made. There are some thing I wish we had been able to have and some things like the granite where next time I will choose Corian or Caesarstone (my husband says there will not be a next time!) As regards your cabinets being painted I do know that in the UK some car spray paint specialists will also spray paint kitchen doors/cabinets. Not sure this is something available in the US but just a suggestion. Best wishes.

  9. Love that movie!
    The hard lessons are the best lessons, right? They’re also the most expensive. Ugh. Thanks for sharing your story-somehow it helps knowing I’m not the only one kicking myself for things! I do love your cabinet space, btw. That deep pot drawer is fantastic! I have wrestling matches with mine daily. But I always win!

  10. You took a risk. You made decisions. That’s more than I can say …. I’m so afraid of making a mistake that I’ve been living with an ugly, outdated kitchen for years. I would love a kitchen as pretty as yours, but I understand your frustration with the process. (If you still really want those crystal knobs, I would go for it! That would not be an expensive change, and maybe it would make you feel better.)

    • I’m right there with you, Emily. My kitchen functions, so we leave it like it is.
      Well, I am putting aside money to remodel and kept thinking I would reface my 1970 cabinets (it’s already been done once) Nope, saving those funds so I can replace them. This was good to read,because I tend to go strictly by price rather than what I want. Great blog post.

  11. What a great post! I think your kitchen looks great, but you have to be the one to love it since you’re the one that uses/sees it everyday. Shoot, if you saw my kitchen you’d never think of not liking your kitchen ever again!! Let me tell you – our appliances are 100 years old, the cabinets are ugly and some of the doors don’t even sit straight anymore. The walls are BRIGHT red (I do like red, just not in my kitchen) and the top 1/4 of the walls aren’t even painted. There was an UGLY wall paper border up when we moved in and we took it down. Of course the previous homeowners didn’t paint the wall first, so they put up the border AND THEN painted the walls WHICH MEANS there’s an edge where the paint met the border and kind of pooled up in the crease… WHO DOES THAT?! So we will literally have to sand the wall before we get around to painting. The floors are bad too. The faucet leaks, the disposal is ALL WRONG and the counters are the cheap-o laminate stuff. We bought the house with the intent to redo it, but life got in the way and it’s still in the same state as when we moved in almost three years ago. OH, AND I only have two drawers in the whole kitchen. Sigh*

  12. I wish we were neighbors…and had coffee in the mornings. I’d be yelling: Go Kelly! Go Kelly!….Just do it…you are spending wayyyy too much time hating your kitchen and living with the fear that you might mess it up instead of 2 weeks of DIY to fix it and get what YOU NEED. Painting the cabinets is so easy, use a sponge roller and just know that you’re going to have to do about 3 coats, maybe 4. Easy Peasy! Take those crappy countertops (Yeah I hate them, they show every crumb don’t they? I had black ones) and re-use them elsewhere….bathroom? for a laundry room, built ins for a bedroom, that way your not wasting money….and get what you want! Your kitchen is where you do the most work.

    Go Kelly! Go Kelly! I know you can do it, I believe in you 🙂

    • I agree, so many people have painted their cabinets. Pinterest and Google are full of links to tutorials to do it. That Home Site has a paint forum with all kinds of advice about what kind of durable paints to use. You should go for it and paint the cabinets white if you think it will help you like your kitchen a little more! If not love it!

      • We just painted our kitchen cabinets, and I LOVE them! We got a cabinet paint by Valspar from Lowe’s, and you can even pick your favorite “shade” of white! It’s about $50 a gallon, but one was enough and we were painting over dark wood. Valspar also has a bonding primer (about $25 a gallon) that worked awesome… not sure if you need it if your painting white over cream. JUST DO IT! At least then you’ll love your kitchen a little better, and it will give you that fresh look you’re wanting!

  13. I say go for it and paint them. I’ve seen some crazy finishes take on paint, so I bet you could. The professionals just want you to come back and buy more cabinets rather than tell you that you can paint over them. In the pics, it looks like your lowers are white and the uppers are cream. Just the way the pictures came out?

  14. For what it’s worth, I think your kitchen is beautiful. But I definitely can relate to your end result not being your gut desire. We did our kitchen from a total demo. I really wanted the most beautiful browny, wavy granite counters, but having already done soooo much work on my own to save money (for a whole year, driving 50 miles each way, while husband worked at his job), I didn’t have any fight left in me when my husband suggested black granite tiles because it was cheaper. Never mind that I was going to have to lay them myself since my husband thought I could totally do it since I had already layed floor tile in 2 huge bathrooms and the slightly huge kitchen. BTW I hate laying tile!!!!!!!!! He guess he figured I must have rounded that learning curve 2 bathrooms ago. Let’s just say we won’t be sliding any glasses down that kitchen counter. It turned out better than I thought it would when I was about half way through (after my son said “ya know, a good carpenter, etc learns how to hide/disguise any mistakes they may make :D”)
    I still dream about my solid, brown granite counters though. (Did not know that black granite requires polishing every time it’s wiped or it’ll show streaks uggh) And still have hopes it will happen some day.

  15. Get some Annie Sloan Chalk paint or Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and paint those cabinets the white you always wanted. If I can do it so can you!!

  16. Thanks for this great post! I rarely see something so truthful in the blog world, and as I start to think about my own kitchen remodel I’ll take your words to heart.

    I’ve really appreciated your whole home anniversary week. Thanks for being one of my favorite blogs on the web!

  17. I can so relate. I tend to listen to everyone else’s opinion when it comes to big changes instead of going with my gut. I’m also cheap and sometimes pick a more inexpensive solution that I don’t like as much b/c I feel guilty about spending more money. Great post and some valuable lessons. More and more I’m starting to just do what I want regardless of trend and it makes me much happier.

  18. Oh man, I’ll bet this was a tough post to write. It is tough to admit when you make a remodel mistake, especially when the world is watching! I often end up on the other end of the spectrum spending way too much time thinking out things and testing them before taking the plunge. I hate to ask others’ opinions in case I am swayed. When we re-did our guest bathroom, I took forever thinking about it and didn’t really ask for any opinions and now love that it is such a clean and modern space with walls full of penny tile and painted white floors. The only one outside my house I asked about it along the way was my mom and she thought I was crazy, but I am so glad I didn’t listen to her because I love it! But in other spaces where I’ve asked for opinions, I always end up regretting it – I just can’t get others’ thoughts out of my mind. Luckily, I think your kitchen looks great. And if you don’t love it, save up and re-do – heck, it’s only decorating. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs Kelly!

  19. We still have Abe’s ultrasound pics on our refrigerator, too 🙂

    I know what you mean….I have a perfectly lovely kitchen with highish end finishes that I feel like a brat whining about, but it’s just totally not what I would have picked. In our case, it was here when we moved in, but had we needed to redo the kitchen right away, I can definitely see myself making a lot of the same mistakes. And I love slate, too.

  20. I absolutely love this post! So helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  21. Well if you don’t learn from your mistakes then you will be bound to repeat them! Thanks for sharing… being a designer I would never tell someone not to do something they loved, but if I really felt strongly against what {my client not a random person I happen to meet} I would tell them and give my points why. But in the end if they have a vision that is when I was hired to carry out! Your kitchen is still lovely!

  22. When we built our house last year I had wanted light creamy white cabinets with dark granite but when I went to pick it out they took one look at my three boys running around and told me they highly recommended me not getting white cabinets-that one incident with a sharpie would be all it takes to ruin them. I thought I was going to throw up-I had spent so much time on my “plan.” We ended up opting for very dark cabinets, middle tone granite and white subway tile backsplash and I do love it, but it looks dark to me. But like you said, it’s there now!

  23. This is such a relatable post. I remember having a relative that spent every minute with her custom cabinet makers actually showing them what she wanted done, and then teaching them how to do it!! I wish I had her bravery! I agree with several others–Paint, Girl, Paint! And if you get itchy to try something else on your counter tops, check out this site that offers a peel-n-stick type thingy. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

  24. I love love love white cabinets, and I cant tell you how many people and “designers” tell me not to do it. I tell my future hubby that one day he might just come home and see some painted white and like you said there is no going back. I love your cabinets and all the cool features and great use of space. So much more room for activities! Awkward moment – when you say that quote to your mom about the larger shower in her new house 😉

  25. For what it’s worth, I love your kitchen. Truly, I do. Also, I’m going to sneak in your house when you aren’t looking and paint your cabinets for you. ‘Cause I’m cool like that. But really, coming from someone who has painted every cabinet in every bathroom and kitchen in this house….you can do it. And it will look great. Also, I will trade my 1970’s pretty white cabinets that don’t function well at all with your cream very functional cabinets anyday. Name the time and place and we’ll swap. Lurve ya, gurl.

  26. Thank-you so much! I was about to have fancy crown molding installed this Tuesday around my new tin ceiling and I had wanted to paint it BM’s poolside blue (like all the walls in my eat-in kitchen). However one of the contractors told me that “If the crown is turquoise it won’t ‘feature’ the new tin ceiling like a white crown would.” I didn’t like it but decided to listen to him anyways. And now I’m going home to paint 100+ft of crown molding with BM’s poolside blue after work today. Even though it’s already had two coats of Behr’s Bleached Linen. The tin ceiling is a feature whether or not the trim is white. In fact I think if it were white it would take away from the tin! THANK-YOU!!!!

    My inspiration for turquoise crown molding:

    • NEVER listen to a contractor when you have your mind made up!!! They don’t care about what your vision is, they only care about getting it done the same way they do ALL of their jobs! It is easier for them!! Believe me I fought with the counter top company about NOT having a seam in the corner of my counter top! I WON!

  27. Oh man!!!! I totally feel for you there! It’s so important to know exactly what you like. I feel like I’ve made mistakes and compromises, especially when it come to furniture to keep the Mr happy!

    I painted my kitchen cabinets last summer a greige color and have since gone back and forth thinking “maybe I chose the wrong color”. Then, I remind myself what the end result would be with the dreamy white quartz countertops I long for and I feel better. (Now I have ugly cream tile and laminate). It’s always a work in progress!!!


  28. Oh, I am currently living this!! Between being a bad decision maker and being concerned about everybody else’s opinion, the changes I’ve made aren’t always what I love. I’ve been choosing each thing (cabinet color, paint, counters, floors) as I go along, just one thing at a time, instead of having a solid design in mind and sticking to the plan. I’ve been on a rollercoaster with each installation….one thing I love, the next thing not so much. I was at a point where I really liked everything so far and then had laminate floors installed. Hardwood wasn’t an option because of a couple of issues — which was fine — but I didn’t really get the look I was going for. I have such a hard time picturing it beforehand. But, I am going to make the best of it (and order some nice rugs?) and chalk this up as a lesson learned. I really thought I’d enjoy the process of picking out everything from scratch (and maybe on an unlimited budget that would have been the case), but it has been very stressful!! I’m much better at tweaking the old stuff to make it more my taste than starting from scratch. First world problems 🙂 And your kitchen is beautiful, by the way! But I totally get what you mean!!

  29. This is why I don’t ask people’s opinions anymore. Such good points Kelly 🙂 You have to design for you and your tastes. You are the one that has to look at it everyday! xo Kristin

  30. I totally understand where you’re coming from! I made a lot of decisions based on what I thought would look good when we did our upstairs bedrooms instead of waiting until I had a great idea of what I wanted to do. I’m reminded of it every time I go in my dining room (the one room I love) that I should have done what I wanted all over the house in the first place.

  31. Yup, splurging=stuck with it in our house, too, which is why I hate spending money on anything. 😛 It’s sort of paralyzing. We’re in the process of redoing some things in our master bedroom (first big project we tackled) that produced less than stellar results because we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. I’d like to think that all of the mistakes could be avoided by reading posts like yours and listening to the people who say “wait to do anything major for at least a year” BUT it’s all part of the learning process to figure out what works for you and what you like…and who actually wants to wait a year, anyway? 😉

  32. Thank you for sharing all your lessons learned and I am sorry you are living with a kitchen you’re not in love with. I’ve been there with letting a designed push me in a direction I knew in my gut I didn’t want to go – but it was with my wedding band. I ended up with one I hated from the moment I got it – which was after my wedding! Luckily, my husband, for our 5th anniversary had the one I truly wanted specially made for me. I smile every time I look down on it now – so I say bite the bullet and attempt to paint those cabinets white – I’m sure if any one can do it, you can.

  33. I have a kitchen design question— do you ever just feel like painting the underneath of your upper cabinets? i think about painting mine white sometimes but i don’t know if that’s a super weird thing to do, especially since we’re only planning to be in the house another 3-4 years.

    • Constance Bevitt says:

      Stephanie: Depending upon how old your cabinets are, some manufactures make undercabinet fittings to match whatever color your existing cabs are. Another thing to consider is whether or not you have under cabinet lighting (a strong re commendation to have such). If you do, then make sure that when you paint the under sides of your cabinets that you make such the color doesn’t make the lighting stand out more. This is one reason many kitchen designers put railings on the front of cabinets – to reduce the line-of -sight for the under cab lights. (this is also something you can easily do after installation…and it also minimizes the view of the surfaces under your upper cabinets.

  34. Such a great post Kelly. I love how open, honest, and humorous you are about a situation you aren’t completely happy with. The one word I always try o avoid in my design process is Safe. That’s probably why it takes if forever to make decisions and put things into action. I try to avoid giving in to the easy choice to do what’s “expected” when I know in the end I really what to go with the “unexpected”. Thanks again for sharing your story. We live and we learn and you know better for next time, right!?

  35. even if you didn’t plan for it to turn out how it did, i absolutely love your kitchen. and you should absolutely paint your cabinets… its going to drive you nuts if you don’t, you think about it ever day, and its probably still burning your hide! thank you for your advice- you are absolutely right about everything you said.

  36. Oh Kelly! That was so hard to read because this is exactly what happened to me when we were designing our downstairs guest bathroom pre blogging days. I knew exactly what I wanted but changed EVERYTHING up because a designer made a few comments and suggested something else. Way to bring up past memories that I’d rather forget! 😉 Here is to us speaking up and sticking to our gut! High five, girl! We can do it! I SO wish I would have been able to read your post when we were remodeling that bath…would have been a lifesaver! 😉

  37. Trust your gut. Know your style. Take risks.

    I think I gots it, baby! I’m in like there’s no tomorrow…

    {You’ve just save several people loads of heartache and cash, I am sure… you go, girl!}

  38. Paint the cabinets. Just do it. Why, after all you’ve said, are you still afraid?

    Just do it.

  39. Such great advice, Kelly — I love that you’ve analyzed exactly what went awry! Sometimes we’re not happy with something and we just can’t put our finger on it. You’ve nailed this one!
    xo Heidi
    PS — your kitchen is still a “looker”. 🙂

  40. I LOVED this post. But not as much as I love your juice cabinet. WOW.

  41. Great post, I think many people will read this and it will help them immensly. We painted our cabinets last year, and although it was a lot of work, it was sooooo worth it. I know what it feels like to hate my kitchen and now love it. So I highly encourage you to take the plunge and paint those cabinets the color you really want!
    Good luck!

  42. Great tips, Kelly! It stinks that you don’t have the kitchen of your dreams but at least the remodeling experience taught you some valuable life lessons 🙂

    I love everything about our kitchen BUT I spent a ridiculous amount of money on builder’s costs upgrading everything to get it the way I wanted. All of that money was rolled into our mortgage so I’m going to be paying for it for a long time but I try not to think about that 😉

  43. Hey Kelly, try not to feel too bad. I know… it’s hard. It’s one of those humongous life lessons: learn to trust yourself more than you trust others and it takes time (and sometimes mistakes) to get there. But you get there and the next time you don’t do the same because you are a smart cookie 🙂 And your next kitchen will be fabulous. Because there will be a next kitchen.

    Then try not to fall in the trap that the prev. homeowners did in our house: Wanting a specific design for so long that by the time they got around to realizing that kitchen dream, it was horribly dated. I give you exhibit A in our house where a kitchen put up in 2006 looked like a time warp from the 1990.

    Now go find a paint brush so you can get those white cabinets. Or get a spray gun. I just got one and they are so much fun. If you considered a different back splash – even though, I know you love this one – then those glass knobs would be great too and I bet you would even love the brown counters, because they are pretty timeless. How much is a back splash in the grand scheme of things. Not that much…

    M-kay 🙂

  44. Great post, and I could follow along and understand how the whole kitchen remodel went down in your mind. What a lesson learned but I’m so glad you can share that and some very good advice on following our own gut. The kitchen of your dreams sounds amazing and very much like you – you’ll get there some day. We remodeled our kitchen about 4 years ago and we have the same faucet you do! But with the handle on the right. If I was at your house, I’d be all confused. 😉 Love the hot water faucet, I had thought about that when we remodeled and I wish we had done it. I was waiting to hear this story and so glad you told it!

  45. At least the kitchen is still beautiful, even if not to your taste.

    I gotta say, your house reminds me a lot of my parents’ house in Ivey Grove in Kennesaw. Looks like almost the exact same plan except in reverse!

  46. Stepbrothers! That’s my favourite scene! I think those countertops will look gorge when the cabinets are paint white! 🙂

  47. This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. Funny, real, educational. Love it. I think we can all relate to getting something that isn’t really what we wanted and having to make the best of it.

  48. As usual, you make me giggle whilst reading your posts! Your kitchen is lovely, AWESOME!, new!, but I totally get your point and appreciate you writing about this topic. While your kitchen is awesome and new and you are hugely grateful for it, it isn’t exactly your vision of your dream kitchen. OY. I think a few years post-renovating, everyone has things they might have done differently, and it’s not fun when they are big-ticket items. The big lesson here is go with your heart – not what the cabinet makers, the countertop people, the House Beautiful designers recommend. It was so interesting to read about your experience as we figure out our future kitchen design.

  49. Thanks for your insight and advice. I had my whole kitchen chosen, and then I went home and literally could hardly sleep for two nights. My husband, bless his heart, told me to go back to our designer at Home Depot and go through the whole process again. I did and I’m so glad I finally listened to myself and got what I really wanted. Here’s hoping I still feel that way when the remodel is done!

  50. We went to buy a car once telling each other any color but tan, I didn’t want tan. How, I will never know, but the salesman talked the Past Bliss and Brawn into a tan car! We joke about that still, but I did take down the last ones ultrasound from the fridge.

  51. A little binding primer, a brush, a roller, and the white paint of your dreams! While you’re add it, some crystal knobs. It will all just bring you so much happiness in an already beautiful kitchen!

  52. How well I can relate! I really empathize, especially when the choices were so much $$$. I want to give you a hug of sympathy! Kitchens are used sooo much that it sort of rubs in the disappointment the way another room–*any* room–would not.
    When a sinking foundation and rotting cupboards proved the catalyst for a -surprise!- almost total kitchen redo (how to choose lights and floor and lights and fans and lights and…in two weeks, or thereabouts–horrors!), I was surprised to find how difficult some choices were. And some things I just had to sort of go with the flow with and shrug my shoulders–whatever.
    Since we had major help with the financing, and because I plan on living here till they carry me out feet first in, say, 50 years or so (I’m 53 now, so I will be o-l-d!), my choices leaned toward the durable, permanent, I-will-never-do-this-again-if-I-can-help-it variety. The experiences of others has reinforced that decision. (Choosing the cheaper option isn’t cheaper if it needs replaced in 15 years and you have to pay someone *again* to do the same thing–my husband is not a DIY.)
    LOVE your pot drawer!! Wish I had one! My two, no three, true pleasures among many in my kitchen are: a pantry with the microwave in it so it is flush with the wall (no microwave/hood combination); a two-tiered silverware drawer which fits almost all that I need in it; and a 3-inch-wide spice pullout between the sink and drawers, right at the counter where I do most of the food prep. I thought I wanted a spice cupboard (top) and that didn’t work. Good thing, because this is waaaay better!
    Thanks for sharing. By the way, your kitchen is very attractive, and it looks like it serves you well. And the people who use it are the best deal of all. 🙂

  53. This is likely the best post I’ve ever read. It should be required reading for anyone even considering a kitchen or bath remodel.
    I’m still living with my 1950s kitchen that we had plans to renovate more than 5 years ago, and just can’t afford yet. We’ve changed out the countertops from mauve (yes, you read that right) to gray steel (we made them ourselves), and I ripped out the backsplash (gold sparkly laminate!) and installed inexpensive white subway tile. But I’m ready for real cabinets that are functional, doors that close, and lots of drawers. I cannot wait.

  54. Oh hun!! This was heartbreaking to read! Covering an expensive mistake with another expensive mistake – arghhh. Yes, I was screaming ‘NOOOOOOO!!’ at Past Kelly. Bless her, though, it’s all a learning process this DIY thing, no? We’re learning loads at the moment with the bathroom remodel and have spent far too much trying to make some bath taps that I wasn’t even that mad about work that simply don’t. So we’ve lost time AND money. Meh. Funny too, because I actually designed an entire bathroom around a tile I only kinda liked because it was cheap and asked myself at the end of it, ‘Is this my dream bathroom?’ and realised (thank god) that it really wasn’t so I had to start all over again. Gotta trust your instincts in this decorating game! You should probably sue that decorator that told you to get cream and then you can afford to get a new kitchen! 😉 Oh and also, you do actually have a LOVELY kitchen and I know you know this but yeah, it’s not the same as a dream kitchen, is it? :-/ One last thing in my rambling response, you can totally paint those cabinets if you still wanted to. Check out the car sprayers in your area – it won’t be super cheap but it’ll be worth the professional result xxx

  55. This is the first entry I’ve read on your site and I just wanted to let you know I love your writing style. Thanks for making me laugh this morning! (good advice, too!)

  56. I love your post because its so real, we have all been there, made a big bad decision. I so get that. I know your inspirational photo showed all white, and you don’t have that now so go all the way with it. Paint them!!!!!! What can you be afraid of, you already don’t like them, so you can only make them better, right. Paint the lower cabinets navy and leave the upper ones alone. I would definitely paint the lower ones, yes, yes i would! Just a thought

  57. This is such a great and helpful post! I have yet to tackle my kitchen remodel, so it’s good to have someone who’s been there done that to preach to me about the pitfalls of not going with your gut. I too want white cabinets, and a few other ideas, but I need to nail it down before I start, I think.

    And your movie quote is from Step Brothers – one of my husband’s favorite movies. Ha!

  58. Bad decisions – we’ve all made them. I do want to tell you that I think your Silestone was your best decision! I much, much, much (almost screaming) prefer it over any other countertop I’ve had. I wish I had your dark color, I have a lighter “blech” color and your dark just shouts. Love it.
    As far as painting the cream cabinets, go for it. You may have to repaint the bottom ones to match, but hey, it’s YOUR kitchen – go for it! The wine storage on the side of the fridge – brilliant!

  59. I can literally feel your frustrations on this one. When we first started decorating our townhome, I totally played it safe and went with that I thought everyone else liked — dark cherry wood furniture and leather? Great!!.. For some people, totally not for me!

    In our new place, I totally plan to kick my reservations to the curb and to decorate my house however makes me happiest!! 🙂

  60. I will call you Dragon, you have to call me Night Hawk.
    Girrrrrl, I am notorious for listening to other’s opinions and following bad advice. It started in 1998 with a TACKY prom dress. I still harbor ill feelings to that lady who said ‘that looks fabulous on you!’ (It didn’t.) Since then, I have purchased two vehicles that somebody else wanted. Our house: the only one we looked at. THE ONLY HOUSE WE LOOKED AT!! Because I felt sorry for the lady that owned it. Yikes.
    ‘I remember when I had my first beer.’

  61. I don’t like spending money on big things. It’s hard to always picture what something is going to look like. We moved into a new-to-us house last year that didn’t have a kitchen on the main floor. I thought choosing countertops was hard. We did laminate and you have these tiny little samples and you’re supposed to picture how it’s going to look. I am impaired in the picturing-how-something-will look area. BUT, I LOVE my kitchen. I’m quite happy with it. My husband was great help in choosing.

    Definitely go with your gut instinct. I am not a designer~not even close~but I’ve learned over the years that if I LOVE something, I will continue to love it for a long time. If I’m on the fence about it, I’m going to get tired of it MUCH quicker. I have decor items that I’ve had for years. I loved them 15 years ago and I still do. I also have had lots of stuff pass on to the second hand shop.

    This is an inspiring post, but I am sorry you don’t love your kitchen even though you appreciate it. And I think you need to find some crystal knobs!!!

  62. Thank you for sharing this post! I can totally see myself living out this story and being afraid to speak up and go with my gut. I’m sorry your kitchen didn’t turn out like your dream but it was helpful to hear your experience. Here’s hoping that someday you can do it the way you want!

  63. This is such a great post with honesty! New follower! come by and say hi if you have time! marcy

  64. So many good points, Kelly! I’ve been working on trusting myself over the years, too. I’m so glad you didn’t give up & have started following your heart! Look where it’s taken you!!

  65. Maurita Weaver-Miller says:

    OMG!!! You are hysterical! I just happened upon this blog a few minutes ago by way of “Southern Hospitality.” I absolutely adore Rhoda’s blog, and am so glad the she featured you today! I have a feeling if you lived in Ohio, we would have to get acquainted. I love your style of convo! This is the first post I’ve read on your blog, I’ve laughed so loudly that my 15 year old, asked “if I was ok.” I can’t wait to read every single entry!

    P.S. not every designer tries to shove their opinion down someone else’s throat… I listen to what the customer wants and needs before I even infuse my opinion into the mix. I am careful in what I say because I don’t want to put such a great doubt in their mind as to prevent them from getting what they love.

  66. Okay – so I totally agree on the love your own style piece. We’re doing a bit by bit overhaul with my hubbie MAKING the cabinets. What that means for us is that we spend a lot of time doing things that people think are weird (like a tall skinny cabinet next to the stove (think upper only but like your wineglass storage), which is perfect for spices and pulls out. I see the pluses in yours in mine (although my pot drawers don’t have lid storage drawers – but now that I’ve seen it, I’m on it. Brilliant!)

    Sometime in the future you’ll be re-doing the kitchen (they don’t last forever) and now you’ll be wiser and will come out with something that screams out about you 🙂

  67. Ugh, Kelly I feel like I’ve been gut punched reading this, because I have SO been there. Well, not that deeply invested, but I did paint my entire living room, balcony and staircase in Benjamin Moore Sailcloth and HATED it so much I called the painters back out to redo the whole thing in RH Silver Sage, which was perfection. Paint is a lot different than counters and cabinets, though. OH, how I understand the second guessing of decisions to be “safer” though. Time and time again I find myself doing this. It’s one of the major reasons I could never be a residential home designer. I am much better off in the commercial field where I am working with men in industrial plants who don’t give two turds about what color their offices are.

  68. I enjoyed this read a lot. I always have trouble choosing colors. Not because I don’t know what I like, but because little swatches are hard for me to visualize life size. And you are right. You need to bring those color samples to your home, to see how your lighting affects it. I did want to add one thought. I love white, stark white. So it is never an issue which color of cabinets or wood trim to go with. But I discovered something when I moved into out current home. The previous owner combined white AND cream everywhere. So though there was some wall paper, it had cream background, not white, but the woodwork was white. I will always use both colors in a room. It affects towels, sheets, bedding, curtains, all of those linen choices and makes them work. I guess my colors are white and cream and everything else turns into the accent color. Anyway, I like your kitchen. Thanks for sharing your lessons.

  69. I have to admit, my stomach kept turning as I read this post. And I always thought your cabinets were white until you showed the photo of the previous white lower cabinets with your current upper cabinets. I’m pretty sure I let out an “ohhhh”. But if you hadn’t shown me that photo I would have lived the rest of my life thinking your cabinets were white. I will say that I love your undermount sink. Our house is a “starter home” isn’t really a granite/silestone undermount sink kind of house so hopefully in our next house I can have that luxury. I had never heard of a hot water dispenser. I would have assumed that was a filtered water dispenser. We’re currently in the process of planning our kitchen makeover so this post came at a great time. Don’t be surprised if you get random emails from me asking your opinion on things.

  70. All great lessons overall! I totally agree on the undermount sink. Luckily, the previous owners of our house thought that was a great idea too so we lucked out!
    P.S. Loved the “Step Brothers” quote, haha!

  71. I’ve really been enjoying reading this series, Kelly. And like many others, I too, was shouting, “No, no!” as you were relaying your selection process. Your kitchen is beautiful! Unfortunately, it’s not what you had originally envisioned. Such a great lesson for us to learn to trust our own design instincts.

    13 years ago, when we were building our home, nobody had white cabinets in Texas. They just weren’t popular. (Even now, you’ll usually see oak or cherry.) The designers, my husband, and the selection team all tried to discourage me from the white cabinets. (Someone actually used the word, “Strange.”) I had them in our South Carolina house and knew that I wanted them again. (My shy, mousy self stood her ground and I ended up with the white cabinets.) My tastes have evolved since then and I would like to redo all those original design selections–but I’m still loving my cabinets!

  72. I love your kitchen. At first I thought you were being tongue in cheek and a bit spoiled ( something I can relate to- I’m not being critical). Let me explain- you and I have the same floor plan. We bought / built this house 10 years ago and it was the smallest floor plan being offered by our builder. All of the others had keeping rooms with fire places, double ovens, etc. Our kitchen is small, functional. I cried ( in private) after we moved in and I realized how little cabinet space I have. Now after 10 years, we have raised our children here, re painted and refreshed a little. It’s really a home. I love it. By the way, I chose cream distressed cabinets and love them. I went with my gut and refused to listen to anyone. Everyone adores my house. Even me now! Your house is beautiful and you are so blessed. Don’t ever worry about what others think.

    • I was a little terrified of writing this post mostly because I don’t want to seem spoiled. 🙂 It is SUCH a first world problem, and we are blessed more than I could ever imagined. Your home sounds beautiful! I think we (you and I!) have a great amount of cabinet space. I feel like it makes me be selective in what appliances I own and buy – we don’t really NEED a quesadilla maker, you know? – but there’s space for all the must-haves.

  73. I was nodding the entire time I was reading this post….and then I *sigh* as I look at my cabinets! WHY!!!!!! I should have trusted my instincts, too! I think there was just such sticker shock!

    Thanks for the lessons learned….but your kitchen really does look amazing!

    Happy day!

  74. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    I don’t know what took me so long to come check you out. I’ve seen you featured all over the place, but your post on how to cut a mirror popped out at me on Pinterest and I’ve been here ever since…like over an hour! Your witty writing style cracks me up and makes me want to read more…and I love everything you’ve done to improve your house so far. As for the kitchen, I feel like I settle because I know what I want, but what we can actually afford or what we actually find isn’t the same as my vision. Also, this was my husband’s house first and some design choices he has made have me a bit stuck…like adding texture to the walls?!?! Hmmm now I have popcorn walls too…delicious! I’m working on it, though. I’m subscribing…I could use a dose if you in my life. 🙂

  75. Everyone is saying how sad they feel for you, but I’m looking at you in a whole new light, and to me, you’re even more amazing. Even though you’re not 100% satisfied (not that we ever are for too long) with your kitchen, you still stay(ed) up beat, you had a right to cry, but most of all you remembered how blessed you are!! The Kitchen although not what you wanted is still very pretty, and gives me a peaceful feeling just looking at it. I can picture you sitting at the counter staring at it at times thinking about all you would change, sighing and then picking yourself back up and moving on! You Kelly, make the rest of us feel great! And all because you show us that you’re not perfect like so many other D.I.Yselfers <– yep it's a real word, Lol.
    Now I must thank you for letting me know to just trust myself and not care what others say. You'd think we'd know that since it's us who will be living with it for years! So Thank you very much!! Would you mind if I share your "big drawer" with you? It's absolutely dreamy, but the pot drawers are my all time favorite!! I don't think any bottom cabinet should have just doors and shelves! I'm afraid one day I'll be bending down (practically laying on the floor) to get my pots and lids and won't be able to get back up again…. and I'll have to lay there until the boys get really really hungry! 😀

  76. This was a really great read for me since we will be tackling this so soon. Your kitchen looks great even if it isn’t the way you wanted. Just think you will eventually have another kitchen to redo in the era of pinterest, so that makes up for the whole thing!

  77. I have four words for you: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I lived with plain-Jane builder cabinets for five years, and finally decided to take the plunge. And I’m soooooo glad I did. No sanding, no priming, no fuss, no muss. Seriously. My husband calls it “voodoo paint.” It seems a little expensive — but trust me, this stuff goes on like a dream — and you will be amazed how far a gallon goes. Give it a try! Look it up on Pinterest. That’s where I found it (and where I found you). Thanks for the awesome post.

  78. We just got finished with a whole house remodel. I learned some very valuable lessons….many you repeated here. Stay your ground when you know you are right. And do not settle for what someone else thinks looks good or right! It is a long, hard process but worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing. It made me feel better about some of my wrong choices:)

  79. Loved this post, found via Pinterest and thought I’d better read that! The best one for me was mistake number one, I think this is something I could definitely be guilty of.

  80. We just renovated our kitchen and I had the same experience with the desire for white cabinets but being convinced that cream is better. Nope. It’s not. It’s definitely not better. It matches very little unless you like brown and shades of brown. If I could re-do anything it would be the colour of the cabinets and the colour of our flooring (we went with the dark wood floor- a total waste of cash since they look terrible after the kids and pets do anything- like walk across it or heaven forbid, shed a hair on it). I agree with you on the upgrade in cabinet hardware- worth every penny- love that the drawers open fully and that they are soft closing so there are no slamming of the doors! Yah!

  81. I think this is a great post for people renovating their kitchen. However, I think the first mistake was not selecting all finishes at one time, having ALL samples of paint, tile, wood, metals, trim and cabinets etc. at your house first Then being able to review in the specific room especially within the rooms lighting. Once you have looked at everything for a couple days then go search for the money deals but maintaining your design concept. As a designer myself selecting finishes as a whole is key to making it all work and remembering all the little details. Your design concept is main priority and I have to fight all the time to keep contractors from trying to cut corners and budgets so its easier for them. Always speak up especially since your paying the bills.

    • Good point! We knew what we wanted in terms of finishes, but once the cabinets came and they weren’t what we were expecting, we had to change the entire concept to “fit” that new finish. Sure wish I could have this to do all over again!

  82. Oh my, I had to pin this just to remind myself of lessons learned. YOu see I’m old enough that not only have I done a lot of these mistakes too, I’m now (quite a few years later) fixing them. One other thing I’ve learned is that no remodel/redecorating project comes out perfect (watch Sarah R and see how she sometimes “eats” a big expense due to not being the right thing–I can’t afford that!). THere is always something I would do differently or “never do that again” type of thing. In my kitchen it was having the stove and the sink so far apart. But overall, that’s something I can live with (and curse everytime I walk dripping stuff from the sink to the stove!) Great post!

  83. The most helpful kitchen remodel post I have ever read bar none. Thanks for posting with courage and honesty!

  84. When we bought our house it had light maple cabinets – so I had them toned dark espresso for $1500 vs the more Tuscan look that would have cost $3000. They’re fine but not what I wanted. However, I did replace the bronze knobs with crystal and I am in LOVE. Mine were from and 40 ish knobs were like $150 (actuAlly acrylic but totally fab). I did buy a few wxtra in case my 2 year old breaks one off 😛 Worth every penny and highly recommended. Now to find a backsplash…

  85. I think your kitchen is lovely but I totally get what you’re saying and have experienced the frustration of listening to others. I wrote something similar about trusting your gut after our kitchen renovation. Granted, I love our kitchen, but there are a couple small things that I should have gone with my gut on and instead trusted the “professionals.” Luckily I stood my ground where it really mattered. Live and learn I suppose. Great advice for others contemplating renovations!

  86. Do it. Start painting one day while Andy is out so you don’t have to talk to him about it and then he will have to help you finish! Bahahaha! That is totally the cowardly kind of manipulation I get tempted to do, too. Drop some hints about a project I want to undertake, ignore the lack of enthusiasm because hey, he didn’t downright FORBID me, did he? and then when he gets home I will be halfway into it! Not recommended 😉 but really glad to know I’m not the only one whose mind works in devious ways.

  87. From the looks of it, I don’t think there is ever any huge mistake in the kitchen. I know this sounds wrong but there are just no perfect things or places in the world. It will always have flaws. So I think your kitchen is fabulous but let it work its flaws sometimes.

  88. Been months since I have read a long blog post all the way through. This is brilliant, thank you! I, too, compromised on so many things in my own kitchen remodel. Luckily, it was done on a super-cheap budget, so someday I will be able to re do it probably. But the work involved is what stops me! My boo-boos: 1. I WANTED slate-blue gray glass tile, but got scared at the last minute and went with beigey tones to be “safe”. 2. I was unhappy with my wood counter install, and didn’t speak up whilst they were being installed… and now I hate that spot they did wrong…. 3. To be cheap I got an overmount stainless sink instead of the porcelain farmhouse sink I originally wanted 🙁 4. Went with dark espresso cabinets when I originally wanted off-white. I have learned to like the look, but I’ll never love it. Luckily, I fought to have my kitchen island in the off-white, and surprise, that island is my favorite part of the entire kitchen! And, boy did the cabinet contractor try to push me not to choose the contrasting color… so glad I stuck to my guns.
    p.s. I think your kitchen looks great anyhow 🙂

  89. Thanks for sharing this blog. I really learned a lot from it as well as enjoyed reading it. Now, I know a little bit about kitchen remodelling and I’ve realized that it is so much fun especially that I am starting to find joy in cooking.

  90. My biggest regret is painting the cabinets dark not light. Now that’s on my ‘to do’ list … but there is so much more to be done before I “wrap around” back to the kitchen. Oh, and don’t tell my husband. He has no idea … 🙂


  91. I can sum it up in one mistake. You chose the wrong source for your kitchen. I am a kitchen designer that would not have left the mistakes happened. Sorry your project didn’t turn out the way you wanted. We CERTIFIED designers have the letters behind our name for a reason.

    • Dear Mr. Steve Certified Designer:
      Are you off your medications? Because if you approach customers with THAT attitude, you won’t have any business, certified or not.

  92. I really like the use of tiles on the walls. It gives the kitchen a great look. Yours really stand out with the blue walls. I think it looks great! Thanks for the post!

  93. There are many people who would love your kitchen. However, YOU have to love your kitchen. I totally get what you mean. Our last house was perfectly fine. It was new when we bought it, so there was no reason to sink money into changing the kitchen or bathrooms or flooring. BUT none of the choices felt like us. Even the standard doors and trimwork around the house drove us crazy because we prefer classic, beefier moldings you would see in homes from the ’20s. When we needed to move into a different school district, we simply couldn’t find any houses that fit our aesthetic. So what did we do? We built ourselves our own 1920s-style Craftsman bungalow.

    Unfortunately we still cheaped out on a few things that now I regret, and they don’t feel like me. But, again, they’re only five years old now, so it doesn’t seem right to spend money to change them. We’ll see ….

  94. As if I didn’t write enough already, I also wanted to add that I too fell for the advice of a well-meaning interior designer who just didn’t get me and the look I was going for. I wanted a linen-look sofa and we ended up with black leather. Go figure. I wanted a coastal vibe, and he presented me with leafy botanical fabrics. Go figure. Luckily I only invested in the sofa, which is fine but I still feel like I’m fighting it every day!

  95. I like everything except for the color of the cabinets. I agree, those need to be repainted. Hopefully, you can repaint those to the snow white color that you need. Thanks for all the advice on everything. I will keep that in mind if and when I ever redo my kitchen. I once babysat in house with the hot water spout. It is indeed awesome.

  96. Cassie Zupke says:

    I once decided to go bold in my kitchen and bought this lovely sage green paint that looked great in the store and not so great on my kitchen cabinets. What looked like sage turned out to be minty green. Blah! Three days (and several coats of primer and paint later) I had beautiful white cabinets that I love. Bite the bullet and repaint!

  97. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE repaint your cupboards and post a tutorial on it because I’m aching to refinish my hideous golden oak cupboards. I want to strip them and paint them white/cream. Yes, I am sure that I don’t want a glossy shiny white. Well, maybe white but not superbright white. Maybe a bright cream. Actually at this point your cream would be a vast improvement to my oak. And I have beautiful glass doored cupboard doors where I keep my dishes and nice pitchers and glasses and I love them…..they just need to be cream/white. I’ve looked at various websites on how to do them but I think I’d trust you the most. So PLEASE do it!!!! Thank you 🙂

  98. First of all, your kitchen looks great! At least you haven’t done your bit by bit, and after 9 years, still aren’t done because you’re afraid to MAKE a decision! I will tell you though, we found a great couple who redoes countertops, cabinets, etc. They did a fabulous job on mine, and it only cost 800 dollars!!! Lots of time and trouble though, so I would definitely hire it out. I related to your post, because I want what I want, and I know I’ll be talked out of it! I want glass tiles on the backsplash – husband wants stone, etc. He’ll win. ha. Thanks for your post. It made me laugh and also have empathy for your situation!

  99. Christina Nelson says:

    When I started working from home in 2007, I designed myself a home office of built ins with a u shaped desk and was sure it was what I wanted. And I decided to save money by leaving in the old carpet. And the builders did a crap job. Every day I sat at that desk, facing the corner (might as well have had a 5’x5’office) with my arm on an uneven counter joint and felt depressed. After 5 years, I finally had enough. I had it all ripped out, replaced the floor, and had a new T-configuration put in (this time I actually asked a designer – I usually don’t trust ANYONE else’s opinion). Now the window is at my back…I face out toward the door of this 12 x 20 foot space, and I am renewed. It was a very expensive project that I did twice. But in the last 6 months, I feel like I have been reborn.
    If your issue can be made 50% better by a week and a few coats of paint, do it. You will walk into that kitchen every day hearing the words “I’m so glad I did this.” And you will take 20 pounds off your chest.

  100. Lisa Roetker says:

    Your story about the “professional” reminds me of an experience I had when planning my wedding. I found a pic of a yellow cake decorated with daisies that I loved and ordered it from a bakery. Then I met with the florist and we came up with my bouquet. When I told her I needed a daisy cake topper she told me I couldn’t have daisies on the cake when I didn’t have daisies anywhere else. I was so worn down from people telling me what I had to do or couldn’t do I relented and said ok to a blue hydrangea topper. The pics of my yellow daisy covered cake with blue hydrangeas bugs me to this day. Lesson learned!

  101. Thanks for sharing your kitchen experience. It’s just me and to date, I’ve never been able to afford a total kitchen remodel. This year, I knew I was going to finally be in a position to do new flooring throughout most of my house, so I decided to spruce up a few rooms. I too love white cabinets, so I ended up painting mine. Used Countertop Transformations on the the counters

  102. Girl, I LOVE THIS POST! What a great way to share what you’ve learned, and I also love that you’ve learned it! Most people in their 60s still haven’t embraced their style and learned to feel comfortable choosing the stark white cabinets even though the designer says ‘no.’ Coming from a “designer”… sometimes we need to learn to be quiet. I hope the most integral part of my job is to help my client figure out what they want, not what I think they want. What valuable lessons you share, not only with homeowners but also with us designers out here who think we know better. Much thanks!

  103. I share your pain. I remodeled my kitchen 3 years ago, like you say, pre-Pinterest and really before all the amazing home design blogs..or before I found them, anyway. The kitchen design mags and books had limited space and thus limited ideas….one would be colors I liked but not the style, another sort of the right style but wrong colors…all the kitchens were such a specific look, most not my cup of tea at all. Then, as you say, going out to talk to “professionals” further confused me. Every time I was on the right track, someone would discourage me, every time I was on the wrong track, someone would encourage me. And so many decisions…overwhelming. Then, when you make a bad decision, it snowballs into multiple bad decisions.

    I seriously dislike about 75% of what I did. Wince evrytime I walk in the kitchen. Spent a ton of money. I am overly sensitive about visual things. It is so nightmarish for me that, here, three years later, most nights, I still wake up and immediately get a sick feeling in my stomach and start thinking about it. It is so bad for me that I think we are going to redo the granite countertops with something cleaner looking. It is horribly expensive but we can swing it and honestly, this is bad for my mental health. I may eventually paint the cabinets as well. White people’s problems for sure…but when you spend that much money and end up with something so not beautiful, it feels like you’ve been robbed to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

  104. I also want to add…don’t know if you have taken any action on your kitchen yet..but, have you considered panelling the backside of your lower counters, the part your counter stools sit in front of? To my eye, if your cabinets are white, that part wants to be white too. Or if the cabinets stay cream, that wants to be cream too. Rather than blue. Perhaps beadboard panelling?

    • Yes to this! I actually love your kitchen, it’s different to the usual white kitchen that everyone else seems to have. How about changing the wall to a nice earthy colour, maybe a light brown, tan (anything but magnolia) or even greenish colour. This would tie everything in together so much more, the blue seems very stark or cold against everything else… if you’re not happy with that, it’s easier to correct a wall paint than a kitchen cabinet paint!

  105. Came across your blog, grateful for your sharing yourself and can so relate to you like so many others here! I have not begun my kitchen remodel yet because I am so stressed out at the thought of it all that I cannot even begin! Frozen with fear, I think if this was going to be my forever home it would be much easier, however, we will be moving in a couple years, and need to update to sell. Which really isn’t any easier, cuz I still have to find a contractor I can trust when I don’t even know where to begin with that. Then I have to think about cabinets, do I go super cheap route, IKEA, or midgrade, have no idea about cabs, there’s so many out there, its just all too overwhelming!!! Serioulsy, where are all these designers that you see on TV that can take 15 thousand dollars and give someone their dream kitchen??? It’s so frustrating! HELP!!!!

  106. Oh goodness, I love this so much! Thanks for sharing! I found you from The Nester’s blog and I’m so happy I did. Home decorating blogs that aren’t afraid to show the not-perfect are some of my favorites.

  107. You know what? You did save that kitchen- and it is beautiful. The backsplash is the jewelry of it. Your kitchen is warm and rustic- it is beautiful. Don’t paint this one. If anything, put some of your crystal knobs on it. I love a white kitchen too, but lately have been craving something with the stone…Enjoy it!

    • You speak to my heart about trusting you gut. And making mistakes. It’s nice that good always comes out of bad. Like the lessons you’ve learned for next time and all of us who will trust ourselves a bit more too! Thank you

  108. Thank you from a non-decorator who is about to move into a new place in a new state and is thinking of hiring a decorator to help me put things together. Maybe I ought to just gather ideas and trust myself and use the decorator money on a new piece of furniture to fit in the new place!?
    What a great story. Made me laugh! And think…
    Gotta say though, your kitchen is sure pretty.

  109. When we started our kitchen facelift almost 3 years ago, I hired a designer because I didn’t trust myself to pick the colors even though I knew exactly what I wanted. I let her talk me into a horrific cabinet color. Thankfully the painters tinted the cabinet primer so I had a chance to preview the color choice…it looked like bleach wood from the 80’s!! Bad Bad Bad!!! I went to our local Ace Hardware, checked out a BM paint deck and my Mom & I picked out colors for the kitchen & I got EXACTLY what I want. Wonderful article!!!

  110. Ugh…that is all so frustrating! It’s still a beautiful kitchen but I see what you mean…it’s just nothing like your inspiration pic.
    Those damn “designers” kill me! My mom just built a beach house with an all white kitchen and bathrooms and some “designer” told her to get cream cabinets too. Now the bright white sink and the white subway tiles make the cabinets look dingy. And the white and blue marble in the bathrooms doesn’t match the cream cabinets in there, either.
    And don’t even get me started on the advice she got from the “designers” at Ethan Allen!

    Regardless, you have a beautiful kitchen. Enjoy it!

  111. This post makes me feel so sad … such a typical story I bet though. I have painted many many kitchen cabinets , it is doable and you can get a beautiful result. Those cabinets you have are really beautiful. I wanted only white marble for current kitchen even though everyone tried to sway me away from it , turns out I love it , it was right…you are so right do what you want and don’t listen to professionals who don’t know you …good lesson. if you feel like going the painting route here is how I have found a successful result
    Chris Kauffman

  112. This post was so well written that I could feel your anxiety, and disappointment! We have all second guessed our instincts. Thank you for affirming us to trust those “Gut’ instincts, they are never wrong!!

  113. For what it’s worth, I think your kitchen is lovely. I actually like the cream cabinets! I think they provide warmth, where white ones would be chilly; particularly with the blue walls. Great job. I appreciate that you have shared your experience in order to help others, but you have a very functional and funky kitchen. You should be proud of yourselves for taking on such a project! 🙂

  114. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    Oh, I feel your pain. I have been here before. And I don’t always learn: I bought and installed curtains for my living room this past weekend even though I KNOW my tiny living room does not support curtains as a design element, they’re too fluffy and visually predominant. It requires a window treatment flush with the trimwork. I did it because curtains were cheaper, and now I haaaate them. Duh!
    (‘So much room for activities’ is a favorite line at my house.)

  115. I’ve been ’round and ’round with my kitchen, too, and I know exactly how you feel. I’ve worked with what I have, and although I’d love to gut it and start over, I just can’t right now. I know how you can make one little design decision that leads to a series of substandard ones, and how frustrating that is … and then you have to live with all of them! I’m trying to learn from past mistakes, just like you have! I loved this post. 🙂

  116. Hi, Kelly. I love your post! It is so brutally honest. I’m sorry that you got bad advice from a designer…and that you had to learn these lessons the hard way! Your advice is invaluable, however. As a designer myself, I would NEVER have offered that kind of “assistance” without getting to know you and your space. It is so important for us (designers) NOT to dole out arbitrary advice – look what happens?!?!

    I’m definitely sharing your post.

    And, your kitchen doesn’t look bad…but I’m sorry it didn’t turn out how you expected. Just a little food for thought – if you had hired a designer who “got” you, I think your end result could have been much different.

    Again – thank you for sharing your story.

  117. Awesome post!! Love everything you had to say. I wrote a post like this about why I am remodeling the kitchen I already remodeled. I really feel your pain. On the after I love that wineglass juice combo cabinet. Good idea. Biggest advice is not compromising the dream. For some stupid reason even though I wanted granite cabinets, at the last minute I “downgraded” to Corian. I hated them literally the day they were installed. So I really know that sad feeling. It has been over ten years and I can’t take it anymore. Pulling the trigger on a remodel and talking to contractor and architect. Enough is enough.

  118. Great post. When I was younger I would just let things slide even though they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I’m older, wiser and more experienced now. We’re in the midst of a major renovation and I have a weekly chat with the contractor about how things are going and not going. My money, my project, my way. Ooooh I sound old and crotchety. It is what it is. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  119. Well first off, your kitchen is quite lovely. However I TOTALLY understand that “didn’t get quite what you wanted” feeling 🙁 I’m an interior designer who does a lot of redesign/restyling so I work a lot with ‘what ya got’. Sometimes it’s very very difficult to try to give them the room of their dreams when somebody else (yes another professional!) along the way talked the client into something they really didn’t want. I’ve had to try to ‘fix’ a lot of others mistakes and sometimes we just can’t do it without spending more money than they really have. So we make the best of the situation. (There’s usually something we can do to try to make the room look at least a little better.)

    Because I don’t work for any store or any product line, I NEVER try to sell something specific to anyone if they’ve really got their heart set on a particular thing. However, I will explain how their choices might be difficult to work with sometimes. In the end, they hired me to help, not make their home around my likes or dislikes. 🙂 (Like in your case you REALLY wanted white cabinets but the store-paid designer told you to use cream.)

    So now you have a beautiful kitchen….just not the one of your dreams. Go get that white paint and paint those cabinets! Whooo hooo! We did at our former home and I never looked back 🙂 Time consuming but certainly if you’ve painted before and if you read tutorials, you can DIY very well. Just know there might be a few things in your kitchen that might take on a new personality(like the backsplash) against pure white as opposed to cream. Who cares anyway! You want white:paint them white. You’ll love it and be forever happy 🙂

    All your points were excellent! They are what I tell my clients time and time again (eg. do not pick items in the store without first seeing them in your own environment…cabinets, countertops and especially paint colors).

    So the bottom line of your story is “If you have a dream go for it!” I’m forever telling my clients “Don’t decorate for your friends, relatives or neighbors. They don’t live here—You do!” 🙂

  120. Carole Stevenson says:

    Hi Kelly, I just finished your article on lessons learned from your kitchen remodel. We have just started ours (using a contractor) demolition is pretty much done and the redo phase will begin soon.

    I can’t thank you enough for your advice. I have been torn between what others will think (husband, contractor etc) and what I really, really have in mind, esp for the kitchen. You have just given me a “confidence booster shot!” I will stand my ground where I still can and make it come out all right in the end. Thanks so much!! Carole in Austin, TX

  121. GREAT article. Reposted & linked back to you. Subscribed & liked on Facebook. Love your writing style, photos & insight. Keep up the great work!!

  122. Awww, I feel ya! I’ve been in those shoes too. When we bought our house I very much wanted a colorful cottage feel, but somehow that ended up with me having bright royal blue carpets. (What?!) Its very easy to be intimidated by the trades. But honestly, you don’t have a bad kitchen and I love that you have many things in it that you do enjoy. Life’s too short to spend time on regret!

  123. Kelly, thank you for being vulnerable in this post. Decorating is scary to me. I’m afraid of finding out I have no taste. Thanks for encouraging the frail among us by revealing that even someone as talented as yourself can be led astray by a momentary lack of confidence. That helps me be braver.

  124. JoyfulImperfection says:

    Oh I’ve totally painted the cabinet door and “tested” to see if I could pry off a hideous backsplash tile (which led to a big gaping hole.) See?

    But then I FINALLY convinced my husband to let me paint a door black because I knew it would be gorgeous even though we both love white and the results are one of my favorite parts of our house!

    Thanks for your post, so many rooms I’ve waited and waited on because I want to know what I want before I do it, know what I mean?

  125. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who has done this. For years I wanted built in bookshelves on either side of our French doors in our family room. Well the built ins were going to be more expensive than I had anticipated. So I let the designer talk me into free standing bookcases because they would be less expensive. Mind you these were being custom built. I haven’t even had them a year and everyday I look at them I feel so disappointed! Lot of money spent to be so disappointed. I feel your pain!

  126. Kelly even if you are standing right there watching, things go wrong. As you were watching the man drill holes the first cut had already been made. I have made mistakes myself – oh why did I do that? I should have measured and stood back and taken my time! Once, I told my contractor to make sure everything was lined up. When I got back later in the day a light over the sink was off about a quarter of an inch. I didn’t have the heart to point out his mistake partly because that’s all I would have been doing, showing him how wrong he was. I did not make him do it over because I’m not that kind of person (and I don’t want to be).

    Anyway, nicely written.

  127. Yes, I just have to agree with others here, start by getting yourself some crystal knobs asap!! Then after you’ve warmed up to making changes, paint those cabinets a nice bright white. Later who knows…. but those small changes will move that kitchen waaaay closer to what you wanted. Good luck.

  128. Wow this kitchen is outstanding and has a Unique style. Remodeling is done perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

  129. I absolutely love your kitchen! I have been looking for a blue to paint my kitchen and I love the blue you chose. What is color?

  130. I wish I’d read this article this time last year. Upon buying a fixer upper, I too, had the opportunity to have my dream kitchen but second guessed myself because I was outvoted by my husband, mother, and Home Depot salesman. Why did he even get a vote??? I’m still mad at myself. The kitchen looks very nice but it started this downward spiral because it dictated the blending of the rooms attached which ultimately changed my plans for the entire house. The worst thing is that it cost a small fortune and the look I wanted would’ve only been around $2000. It’s too late for me but save yourself!! HEED THE ADVICE IN THIS ARTICLE!!!

  131. What a great post (even though it made me sad for you). I can totally relate, albeit on a smaller scale with our fireplace remodel. We started in one direction, and I ended up not liking it. But we had put in SO much work, the idea of starting over again made me want to cry! But, we did start over, and I’m so glad we did, because I got the look that I wanted. It’s taken more than a year(!) to get there, but it will be worth it in the long run!

    P.S., I paint cabinets (I did my own, too). I would paint yours at a discount if you were nearby. ;-). It still is a lovely kitchen, but I totally get where you’re coming from on it not being what you had envisioned.

  132. I’d love to hear your opinion – now – about how you feel about the undercounter sink mount. It just seems like there would be a lot of “crud build-up” between the sink & counter, and that would ultimately also be difficult to clean/make sanitary? (It’s too bad they can’t mold sinks into granite or whatever, LOL.)

    • I actually just wrote that post a few months ago. I think there’s significantly less crud/build-up with an undermount sink than with the alternative. That’s actually one of the reasons I wanted undermount – SO much cleaner and more sanitary. 🙂

  133. We are just about to embark on a complete kitchen remodel…and I have decided to choose everything without the help of a designer, for that reason. I actually said to a Designer, “If I’m going to live with mistakes, then I want them to be my own, not someone else’s vision of what they thought I should have!”. Not to mention that for a designer to come measure your space, do up two plans to choose from, and input it into Auto-Cad and make notes for the cabinet makers, is about $2,000 if it’s not included in the cost of the cabinets. Anyway, it’s good you appreciate your kitchen regardless. If I were you, I’d ditch the oil-rubbed bronze and add some sparkle with different knobs and faucet/hot water spout/soap combo — maybe satin nickel. You can then have a faucet with the handle on top, instead of on the wrong side, lol. You can also replace just your cabinet doors — maybe doors with glass inserts to bounce light around? Just ideas to contemplate. cheers

  134. As a designer, it’s unfortunate to see how many commenter (including yourself) do not trust ‘designers’ due to a bad experience with basically a stores sales person who probably has minimal, if no design credibility. Many of these issues could have been managed, as designers provide more than one option of color and finishes that you really are in control of, we just help to suggest based on knowledge and experience. Also, we act as a buffer between you and the contractor or subcontractor – they really must listen to our specifications given – such as the spread of your faucet, which you/they obviously had no guidelines on where it was being placed or knowledge of where they should be placed. Next time you want to try a remodel, perhaps consult a designer, maybe multiple to find one that suits your taste and I guarantee results will be better. A ‘decorator’ doesnt necessarily have the credentials or education of how to properly deal with any of these situations, nor does a Home Depot sales person.

    • AMEN!

      • I have to agree here. I just finished an entire kitchen remodel and the process of making detailed decisions and choices made me nuts, but I am very lucky to have a cousin who is an interior designer, only an email away. I consulted with him constantly and he helped me see that some things go together and some don’t (like I was considering vinyl plank floor because of pets but wanted a quartz counter and he encouraged me to go with hardwood floor instead… and I love it and it’s no problem with the cats). He reminded me to bring home samples of things and look at them in my own light and think about them. This remodel started out with my idea to paint the cabinets white and turned into an entire kitchen remodel including a new window. We ended up with **dark** cabinets because they better matched the quartz counter we both fell in love with. All stainless appliances but a biscuit cast iron sink. My designer/ cousin encouraged me to choose what I wanted and what worked for us.

  135. When we redid our kitchen the contractor asked where I wanted the light switch and which lights did I want connected to each switch. I told him. He told me I was wrong. Told me I should do it a different way. He was fired and we finished the kitchen the way we wanted it. It was not fun firing the guy, a really nice guy, sorry! And the kitchen took waaaay longer than if he had finished, but we did it, and did it the way we wanted. So happy now!

  136. Hi again.
    I’ve read this post before, but I wanted to write and thank you for all your words of wisdom (and the other funny ones you throw in for free, lol)
    My husband and I are in the middle of a massive renovation on a house. And for the first time in all our 14yrs of marriage, my husband has thrown caution to the wind, and unless it’s something he REALLY can’t stand, has told me to style the ENTIRE HOUSE. My way. My preferences. My eclectic, very around-the-world-theme decorating style.
    While thrilled with the freedom, the responsibility of choosing our home’s personality has made me, at times, almost puke with the thought of making all those decisions (I was doing more deep breathing exercises during the choosing and shopping of features in our house than during the combined labor of our two children).
    And I think it was the whisper of your voice, from my earlier reading of this post, that helped me make some of my decisions. For instance: we bought plain Jane basic cupboards and everyone, including my husband, excitedly suggested (or insisted) on a deep wood stain, with the cheapest, most boring, plain silver or gold handle hardware. BUT I DIDN’T LOVE IT. I wanted crisp white (painted) cupboards and bead board door inserts, with knobs, cup pulls, and all other metal accents in oil-rubbed bronze. I almost let it go to the point of no return because I was so scared of saying what I REALLY wanted, what I REALLY loved. But I really think your post was back there in my mind, muttering about not loving your kitchen but trying to stay happy with it.
    So, I researched every single thing or item I wanted. I found the easiest and thriftiest way of making over the cupboards with bead board paneling. I found round oil-rubbed bronze knobs at such a great price that with the money saved from those, we could buy the oil-rubbed bronze cup pulls I found too.
    Then I took a deep breath (thought about stopping there) and talked to my husband. He was disappointed with not going a dark wood stain on the cupboards. He was unsure about adding in bead board. He wasn’t really sure about the whole oil-rubbed bronze thing. But he agreed… to all of it.
    Our house isn’t finished yet (we’ve had to go on hiatus due to his seasonal work), but I love it. And not just my kitchen, the whole thing. He bought me the front door I was drooling over, though I was fully expecting to get a less expensive, marked down, door. He bought the faux stone finish for the outside that I love. He even agreed to helping me paint some of the kitchen cupboards black when I realized that I loved the combined black and white look.
    Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t gotten every single thing I’ve picked out. We’ve compromised on lots of details here and there. But on the things I REALLY wanted/loved, we did it my way (song quote anyone? lol).
    So thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write about your diy world of renovating, decorating, and recycling. And thank you for taking the time to write about, not just your decorating triumphs, but the things you’ve learned the hard way. I doubt I’m the only one who has learned a thing or two from your posts, but I wanted to take a minute (okay okay, a lot more than a minute) to let you know what it has meant to me.
    Aaaanyways, now that you have this giant ‘comment’ to read, I’m gonna go. But thanks, again.

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  138. This is the reason why DIY projects can help you get better results. You call every decision! Kitchen cabinets can come in so many colors and styles, and if you already know which one you want, you shouldnt ask for any advice because it will only confuse you!

  139. The kitchen is beautiful but I understand exactly what you’re saying! We painted our cabinets and I agonized over every paint choice and step of the process. The funny thing is that I was going for what you ended up with! We were painting navy blue cabinets and ended up with great results. I thought I’d share our photos in case you decide to paint them! Prep, prep prep, I believe it made all the difference. good luck!

  140. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. Everything you did is exactly something I would do. EXACTLY. Watching the guy drill the holes- that would be me: too afraid to say something because I would always assume I’m wrong and they’re right. But I also want to say that your rules apply to dealing with EVERYONE. Not just the lady at Home Depot or the contractor; your husband too. If your husband is like mine and doesn’t really care about knobs at all, then just go with what you want. He might say “I don’t really like those” but trying the ol’ “just wait and see, you will love it” usually works (and is true). Obviously, if my husband REALLY hates something I won’t go with it. Same goes for actual wall colors because it is really the only thing my hubby will notice. So I have to get his input on that.

    Anyway- you have a beautiful kitchen- someday it will be everything you want. Thank you for the great post.

  141. It’s 5:05am. Can’t sleep. I found you on Pinterest. Higher power has once again intervened and confirmed to me to not second guess myself by way of your post. You just saved me. I realize now how important a design board can be. That way I can’t be swayed by someone’s else opinion. I wanted green cabinets. I love the Annie Sloan paint because of the no priming and you can just slop the paint on. Using a recipe to get the exact color every time was not for me. I don’t get along well with recipes. My dog wouldn’t even eat my food. Using a recipe to get the color I wanted would be a disaster. I listen to to someone’s advice and choose a color that would match on my swatch. I ended up with a muddy color. After a little research I found that I could paint over the chalk paint if I didn’t wax it. The hesitation to go ahead and repaint was the the time I invested in that muddy looking mess. I decided that I just couldn’t live with it. I’m in the process of buying samples of latex green that I wanted in the first place. Yes, SAMPLES. When I get the color I’m looking for then I’ll buy the paint. Try the Annie Sloan paint on your cabinets. It seems expensive. It goes a very long way and you can water it down. You hang in there, Girlie! One project at a time and you’ll have your kitchen the way you want it. Thanks again for your article. If you would like to follow my progress with the redecorating, I’m on The board is titled All Mine. Love ya!

  142. I love your kitchen and I would actually change only 1 thing. I would paint over the blue and make it a lighter cream then your kitchen cabinets. I would take off a door and take it to Home Depot to match a lighter shade. Love the flooring, counters, and back-splash.

  143. I like the first kitchen, it is just as small as my own and looks really spacious. I haven’t come across remodeled kitchens as small as my own but am glad this one gave me some ideas on how to revamp my kitchen.

  144. Your first mistake was assuming the sales person was a designer. Unless she went to a 5 year program that was FIDER accredited and she was registered by the state and/or a professional member of an accredited organization (ASID) my guess is that she was a decorator. Anyone can proclaim themselves a decorator. A “real” interior designer would create a space that reflected your personality and not their’s or one based on trends.

  145. I also have a re-done kitchen that I don’t love. I also did not listen to myself with what I wanted and I got some bad advice from the Home Depot lady designer. Also listened to my MIL and did not open the kitchen like I wanted to.

    I actually really like your cabinets and agree that the cream is better with the dark floors. Since they are new cabinets, instead of painting them YET, I would start by painting the very nautical looking light blue that is all over. I think this is a cheap place to start and will probably really change your view of the cabinets. Its an easier fix that painting the cabinets. The existing blue is calling out for white cabinets. Time to let the blue go.

    Just an idea. I have not read all the other posts. Good luck.

    • I would like to add my 2 cents for you to consider, because this is so fixable. I have two thoughts…

      1). Change the tone of your existing blue walls to a softer blue with warmer, greyed down undertones and paint a warmer white or cream on the trim (to match cabinets or a shade or two lighter). This will make the cabinets read more as the ‘white’ you are craving while still maintaining the colour scheme you love. Basically you would be going from what is a mixed cool and warm scheme that is fighting each other to an all warm scheme. I realize you were going for a cool scheme, but there are now too many warm fixed elements (countertop, splash, cabinets, hardware) that shouldn’t be ignored. I fear that painting your new cabinets white will make your backsplash, knobs and countertops pop visually (perhaps a too harsh contrast) and since these were not your favorite elements you may be disappointed when they are accentuated. Plus, the factory applied cream paint on your cabinets will be a better finish than a DIY paint redo…..unless you remove them and send them all to be professionally lacquered.


      2). Pull a taupe, grey or cream colour from your backsplash tile and repaint the walls. The trim would then be the cream to match your cabinets or a lighter version. This could be a more sophisticated tone on tone scheme with softer contrasts….not unlike your dream kitchen photo, but only with warmer tones. You can add blue accents with your accessories if you miss the blue…and if the blue is elsewhere in your home, provide continuity.
      Keep your warm tones clean and fresh….not muddy.

  146. Hey this surely is a good read; the pictures have made it all the more interesting and attractive. Kitchen remodeling is one thing that needs a lot of prudence and skills as well, therefore one should go in for kitchen remodel contractors as they are now available at fairly less prices.

  147. Hi- I love your blog! Can you fill me in on your floors? Are they d.i.y.? Are they refinished plank or layer and then finished? I love a contrasting floor with light cabinet and darker countertops. Thanks!

  148. Thank you for this article. I’m married to a Kitchen and Bath Contractor and he always listens to what the customer wants first and for most. Remodeling can be overwhelming for some and that can become problematic and overwhelming for the homeowner. From observing, my husband will give the customer a door sample, that way, they can take it home with them for a couple of days. This will give them some time to determine whether or not it’s the right choice for their color, design, etc. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. Remodeling is just like anything else and that means you have to do your research and like you said”Listen to what you want”.
    Good Luck on future projects! Angie

  149. My I say I see this all to often. The kitchen is a hugely complicated project. Can it be a DYI for the average homeowner. Yes. But here is my one big piece of advise. Go to a higher end Kitchen Cabinet company, not the box stores. Talk to 3-4 different designers(Who do not work at home depo. What designer with any talent works at the box store!!!! ) Once you find one you are comfortable with(yes you can find one). Ask them how much it would be if they could come to your house for a consult only job. when they come have your questions and ideas written down. Go down the list and have samples if you have ideas of what you want to do. For a total of maybe $300.00 for a 2-3 consult you will get input, advise and in the long run it will save you all the mistakes that happened here on this blog. Then you can go and buy and install everything you want at your inexpensive prices. This is the biggest investment you will make in your house. That $300.00 over the next 30 years to love your kitchen is so worth it. I understand trying to save money but this is just to big of a investment to gamble with. Plus once you have a plan with that Kitchen Designer you will have the confidence to tell that contractor that is not the way you wanted it done. From a Kitchen Designer who has been in the industry for over 28 years of Kitchen Remodel jobs you have to watch those contractors like a hawk and watch them on the details. Some are not as detailed oriented and you end up with a faucet installation like she did. So sorry your kitchen of your dreams did not happen. It is good you are sharing you story to help others I hope my addition helps them even more so they do not go thru what you did.

  150. I definitely love your kitchens, I envy the way you emerged your kitchen. After reading your blogs I am now looking for kitchen remodeling in Fort Worth TX so I can start my kitchen project ASAP.

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  152. Sharon Rubens says:

    The movie quote you are referring to is Step Brothers! It’s one of my favorite movies ever! I love all the rooms you are renovating/remodeling! It gets me inspired for my very own renovating projects. My husband and I moved from a 610 sq. ft. condo into a 3150 sq. ft. house in the suburbs. The house was a bankruptcy and short sale house, so we definitely got a great deal! However, the house was built in 1993, and was never updated or taken care of. We initially had to spend our money doing things that no one would ever see, like get our crawl space cleaned, our gutters cleaned, an exterminator for our shed in the backyard, etc. We are in the process of getting a new roof, but after that, we can concentrate on updating the inside, along with gradually getting more furniture to fill up our very empty house! One question I have is, how did you get rid of the gold on your fireplace in your living room? Did you paint it black, or did you put on some kind of a chemical to take off the gold? Unfortunately, our house is filled with gold, so little by little, we have to replace every single door knob, door hinge, faucets, etc.! Again, keep the pics coming! You are a great inspiration!

  153. Nice post.Really helpful to remodel.

  154. I was wondering… did you discover any plumbing problems when gutting your kitchen?

  155. Take off the hardware and paint those cabinets woman! Clean them with TSP, buy a GOOD quality paint and go to town. I’ve done it, and it ‘s not that hard… and buy your glass knobs 🙂 Life’s too short.

    • You could also look at stripping them down (lots of work) then painting. If they’re solid wood, that would be an option. Or “pickling” if you ant to see the wood grain. I have painted many an ugly cabinet with crisp, white paint and new hardware. A total transformation 🙂

  156. Constance Bevitt says:

    A great article. Bravo for being so frank about your choices and decision making. I am suggesting additional “lessons” to add to your article. (and I am so glad you directed people to look at the materials in the lighting of the actual space you are remodeling – it is so key).

    1. Lighting is essential in kitchens. Ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Think of it as the jewelry of your room.
    2. Paint is the cheapest change you can make to any space. When selecting finishes and colors consider the design in terms of its own integrity (not in terms of how well it matches your current paint color). You can always change the paint color (and people often do). Besides, there are a HUGE number of choices for paint.
    3. Countertops: you may love the look of Carrera Marble, but most Americans are not willing to manage them to keep them looking pristine. They are very porous and subject to much staining. If you have a cleaning service you must specific what they use to clean the marble because it will damage it over time (Better, pick an engineered stone that looks like a marble but needs no maintenance (Cambria has some great choices.)
    And, lastly.
    4. Manage your contractor do not let him/her manage you. This starts with a clear contract where as much is specified as possible. Additionally, be firm that any mistakes will be corrected at the cost of the contractor (not your cost). Never pay up front, but have specified milestones for payment. And report unresponsive and/or shoddy work to the BBBureau, to your city or county consumer protection department.

    If you do decide that you really are not happy with the counter you installed, you can have it carefully removed and donate it to a local Habitat Restore or similar charity. You can take the full value tax deduction, subsidize your new counter and make some other DIYer very very happy.

    Again, GREAT INSIGHTS in your article. (and you can still change the hardware to crystals.. even if you can only find chrome and crystal, they are easy to spray paint to match your oil rubbed bronze look.)



  157. THIS is exactly why I have needed to remodel my master bath for well over 2 years and have NOT done it. I have met with 4 different contractors that all told me I didn’t want what I said I wanted when I really did want what I said I wanted ….. I was all the way to chosing the finishes with one contractor when he informed me of all the things I was wrong about. When people come into my home, they always tell me how lovely it is, that I have a good eye, that I have an aptitude for decorating. So why would so many contractors presume to thing they know more about my taste than I do? I am to the point of DYI and it is a HUGE job but I can do a lot of it and I can hire the rest and I am pretty sure I will love it so much more than hiring it out!

    Thanks for your transparency. It helps to not feel like I am the only one that second guesses my decisions based on a little comment from a ‘pro’ or my well-meaning husband’s indecision.

  158. I totally understand this. My husband talked me into staining our cabinets “red oak” during our remodel when I wanted to paint them a soft gray. I have dark granite with slate backsplash and hate how the cabinets just swallow up the color of them, same with the teal glass knobs I bought. We’re planning to paint them this year as he finally agrees with me. (BTW don’t wait to switch out those knobs! I bought my gorgeous glass ones when Hobby Lobby had them 50% off-$20 well spent! They’ll even order more in for you if they’re out of a particular style)

  159. Thank YOU for all this great advice!
    I LOVE your backsplash and counter. And one day, you’ll paint those cabinets white, girl. 🙂

  160. Stacy Bree says:

    Ooh girl, I geel your pain. I’m on my second one now. Sorry for your disappointment though, such a bummer!

    The biggest thing that I learned from my kitchen remodel was to NEVER buy the first appliance/cabinet/lighting fixture you see. I fell in love with crazy expensive lighting, convinced myself I HAD to have it, and then a few weeks later, came across several websites that had pretty much exactly what I had ordered…for half the price. There’s nothing worse than knowing you overpaid. I’m doing things much differently this time around!

  161. I think the kitchen of your dreams is an easy fix. One idea I will throw your way is most non big box paint stores have designers now working for them (Benjamin Moore Stores etc.). Most of these designers have had years of experience and just do it because it’s their passion. They charge around $50 per hour but most time all they need is 1-2 hours to give you detailed paint(exact colors etc) and design ideas on paper for whatever rooms in your home you want. I think for $100.00 bucks its a steal ! Granted you do the painting and layouts but they help you by coming to your home and looking at your taste and go off that, that way they can visually your style. I know that’s what the great designers always do… like Candice Olson. I did this to my current home and well lets just say I got way above and beyond what I expected. I don’t think many know about these designers so they never utilize them.

    Good Luck you will get there!

  162. I really like the darker sink fixtures and backsplash. I absolutely agree that you need to go with what feels best. It’s definitely okay to ask for “advice” but you need to choose your own style.

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  164. I can TOTALLY see how one little compromise has a domino effect on the rest of a renovation. I’m in the midst of redoing my kitchen. You and I have the same EXACT inspiration photo. I too envision white cabinets, white/grey counters and dark wood floors. I have had trouble staying in budget and getting exactly what I want, so I did find myself starting to settle in my mind, toward a granite that had flecks of browns and creams, then the backsplash I envision would need changing, etc, etc… and I started fast forwarding in my mind to a kitchen that is “fine” but not at all what I originally wanted. I’ve gotten opinions from “experts” too, but aside from functionality, it all just comes down to personal taste. Thank you for confirming that I should keep going strong with what I want. I feel for you, because I felt myself going in the same direction and imagined my daily annoyance 🙁

  165. I know the feeling, same thing happened to me. I finally put Annie Sloan chalk paint over the backsplash I had a tan tumbled marble with bronze rope running through it> I also changed the knobs and fixture. I am just not an oiled bronze type of chick

  166. I so get this! We redid our kitchen (not out of choice, but due to a water leak) and I would have done so many things differently if I was not worried about keeping it neutral to be able to sell. Five years later, and still in the same house, there are aspects of the kitchen that I hate! Oh well. Live and learn, I guess!

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  168. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been going through the renovation process as well and have had our fair share of disappointments already – for example, who knew the city inspectors could completely ruin your drawings. I’d always encourage you to speak up and remember that if you don’t, no one else will. Yes you have a beautiful kitchen, though in my mind – you shouldn’t have to “settle” for things when you have put a giant amount of your personal money into such a project. You held up on your end of the bargain – you PAID THEM YOUR MONEY, they need to hold up to their end .

  169. Elizabeth says:

    Hi – Do you mind sharing the name/maker of those amazing backsplash tiles?
    I am now coveting that brilliant use of space to the left of your fridge and wish I saw this just a month ago~ Thanks 🙂

    • I don’t know the maker of that one specifically, but there’s lots of slate tile online or even in your Home Depot. The color of our tile is called “Autumn Desert,” so if you google something like “Autumn Desert Slate Tile,” you’ll find a ton of different options. I think ours did come from Home Depot, but it’s been a while so I can’t remember exactly.

  170. You have mentioned every step very clearly to complete your kitchen renovation in an easy way. These tips will help people to save their time and money. Thanks for sharing.

  171. Thanks for the tips. I’ve made some shout-outs to you along the way, but here is our final product:

  172. I think you did a great job with everything. I would paint the cabinets white, and get white handles, and it’s not expensive if you do it yourself, just do the research and ask a lot of people. I hate cream. As for the backsplash, it’s great I think, it holds the kitchen together and gives it this authentic look. You did over dramatize the disappointment, I thought I’m going to be seeing tilted countertops, or fridges that dont open all the way or something. You have a beautiful kitchen, and this creamy color can go. Just do it starting with a cabinet or drawer that’s under where the sink is, just in case there’s a disaster and you have to live with it. That way it’s not exposed directly. Good luck!

  173. What would be awesome is to maybe do some stenciling or pattern on a few of your cabinets n white or even a color that matched your scheme to Make them pop and feel more like who you are!

  174. Such wise words- thanks for sharing this real experience and not just the pretty things. Been browsing around your site for an hour now. Will be reading more. 🙂

  175. lol, i’m pretty sure you’re living my life. this sounds like me planning my wedding, remodeling a house with my mother, etc, etc. i glad to be at the age with the experience to say “stfu, i know what i want and i know what i’m doing.” ah, to go back in time with that confidence…… no more of that! i can’t wait fr our next house so i can remodel it the way i want! crazy choices and all!

  176. What color are your walls? Love it!!!

  177. people think it is easy to remodel you kitchen but in actual fact there is a lot more to it that’s why i believe get a professional to help. And feel your stress lift as thy figure the mess out.

  178. Christina says:

    Hi Kelly. I just wanted to say thanks for your blog on your kitchen remodel. I’m planning one in the near future and am struggling with my own color choices and budget friendly options. Thank you for sharing your experience while cabinet shopping because I too can be easily swayed by other people’s opinions. I had a similar incident when choosing the brick color for our flower beds…needless to say I still cringe when I see the tan colored bricks when I LOVED the light grey ones. But, I love your kitchen and will take your advice to heart as I prepare to give my kitchen an over haul.

  179. Kim Wilson says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the problems you had doing this kitchen! I know renovating can be stressful. Our kitchen took four times as long as it was supposed to because the contractor left halfway through, in the winter, with the wall wide open, and didn’t come back for a month. I still can’t even talk about it. But it did turn out ok in the end, with my favorite part being one of the smallest details – the wallpaper borders! I guess it’s another lesson, get pleasure from the little things!

  180. Hi there! I love your backsplash! Do you remember the name of the backsplash? I would love to try to find one exactly like it!

  181. I randomly came across this page and I just wanted to thank you for posting. As someone who hopes to one day build a home, it was really helpful advice. Your “mistakes” could truly happen to anyone, especially someone who is so conflict averse like myself (and seemingly you:)). I could really see myself getting gently nudged by a designer and questioning myself, and silently grimmacing as a contractor misunderstood directions. If it helps, I think your kitchen turned out beautifully but I can certainly understand the bummage that comes with feeling like it isn’t exactly what you wanted.

  182. Very good lessons learned. I suggest to people that when they find a color (walls or cabinets) they think they’ll like in their home, to get a color matched quart (or gallon) of paint in that color and try it on at home. Who cares if you ruin your current cabinets with a less than perfect paint job. You’re tearing them out soon anyway. Live with the color in your kitchen for a week or two and see if it works for you, or if you need to try another.

  183. Wow, this article spoke to me quite a bit. I feel your frustration all to well! For me it was a mess that started with ‘saving money’. I was upgrading our dining room and installed a brick veneer wall. I wanted old style red brick…the stores in our area for god knows what reason didn’t carry this. Instead of looking elsewhere – other nearby cities, I instead picked ‘beige’ toned bricks that were on clearance. It went downhill from there, as like you, my initial plan for a lot of white on adjacent walls, no longer would work with this dominant beige everywhere – a colour I never really liked lol.

    The trick is to stop second guessing yourself or rushing, as you want to get it started asap. I also did this with selecting paint colours. I went into the store thinking, I’ll get a warm white that contrasts with the the beige bricks..3 cans later, I ended up defeated, using a mid tone taupe colour that is too close in value to the bricks. My husband was angry with how much I was spending so I left it as is, trying to convince myself I like it. I’m miserable.

    I also bought a persian run online that I could afford – very dark in colour. This room desperately needed light colours on the rug but nope! I got the rug that was affordable (the light ones are $$$). As a result, my dark cherry wood furniture has been swallowed into the dark rug, next to the mid tone walls…originally, this room was going to be contrasts between white and ‘wood shades’…unbelievable. What a depressing mess.

  184. I know you posted this quite a while ago but I just found your story through Maria Killam’s blog. I feel like it’s fate to have run across this right now. I am about to buy a house which will need some renovation! I fell into a similar trap in our last house and am glad for the reminder to go with what I love instead of what someone else says. I am going to have a narrow space next to the fridge. Now I know what to do with it.
    Our current kitchen has the big pot drawers. Best decision I have ever made for the kitchen! New kitchen is all cabinet, I will miss those drawers so much.
    I hope you have painted the cabinets by now. I worked up the nerve to do it years ago and it really wasn’t too hard. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  185. Hello! I saw this via Maria Killam’s blog and just wondered if anyone had commented on the wall colour? Looks like you changed it to a crisp light blue (clean, as Maria would say) from the more creamy green. If you squint just right, can you imagine if you had left all the walls green or a similarly ‘muddy’ colour? Those cabinets would not look half as dull…
    Or have you already painted them white?
    My kitchen cabinets are cream and my ceiling, trim and appliances are white. All it took was looking at your post to know why instead of hating my white appliances I should paint my cabinets white…!
    Thanks for sharing your photos and writing, and thank you to Maria for reviving your post.
    :)Mary (…find me on Pinterest at Feng Shui Staging)

  186. yes i think a lot of people can relate to this i have learned from mistakes. All i can say is save up and try again.

  187. LOL…LOL…We did some of the same things…this is part of the reason why we now now a cabinetry business……I wish I could make this required reading for my clients………
    Good Job on the post

  188. Hello Kelly. Great insight on to what can be learned from someone else’s mistakes. Also gives everyone the confidence to undertake a project like this even when things don’t go according to plan. Your detailed explanations of how you feel things went wrong and how you feel you could have gone about it differently will prove helpful to many. On that note, what are you opinions on and did you ever consider glass tile back splashes and a glass countertop? Keep up the great post and thanks for the knowledge!

  189. Designer Cabinets Granite and Tile says:

    Valuable lessons anyone who is planning a remodel should take to heart. Designers should assist you in figuring out what you want, not tell you want you want or don’t want.

  190. I totally get your mistakes. I have been there in various situations where I have told myself that the “professional” knows better and then lived to HATE the bad decisions. I have window treatments in my kitchen that have been there over 10 years because they are custom and the “professional” told me this style would work best. Well now that so many years have gone by that my husband has (hopefully) forgotten how much we paid for them, those babies are disappearing when we redo our kitchen! From now on I decide and I am not being pushed into something that I “should” do! (Well, I at least hope this doesn’t happen!) Anyway, thanks for the advice and the great reminder to go with your gut.

  191. Sad Reno says:

    Oh my gosh I related to what you wrote! Thank you for telling your story and know that it made me feel much better. I, too, am mad at myself because I knew better when people were telling me what wouldn’t work and what I needed to do. I know have a $20,000 ensuite that I don’t even like. It’s not quite finished so like you I’m on to Mistake #2 – how can I save this? I’m so sad!
    Unfortunately, we’re doing a major reno all at once – also a big mistake if you’re a perfectionist. There’s just not enough energy in one person to keep up with all the decisions. But I was talked into doing it that way by my contractor. I really like my contractor but we’re so different when it comes to decision making. He’d just go out to the local hardware store and buy whatever. I fuss over every decision. I knew that about myself before starting and yet STILL allowed myself to be talked into starting before I was ready AND into doing it all at once.
    I guess we can get something out of all of this – ‘speak up for yourself and don’t be afraid of being judged for doing so. It’s your life, therefore, you’re right.’

  192. I, too, have gone through gut-wrenching decisions with our home remodels, which is now going on and off for two years. But one thing struck me about your kitchen. It’s beautiful! Perhaps part of the reason you don’t like it is because it doesn’t seem to blend with the neighboring cold colors. One way to blend everything in, and still keep your fresh, white painted crown and trim would be to paint your walls either white – which is very popular now – or tan, like SW softer tan. Granted, you would be going to a more neutral palette, but you could introduce your blue color in other ways – draperies, rugs, accessories. If you look on pinterest and houzz you will see exactly what I mean. Here is an example: Good luck!

  193. What a wonderful & insightful post. Thank you for your honesty! All things considered, I still really like your kitchen.

    Warmly, Michelle

  194. Ssongbird says:

    Thank you for sharing your honest story and valuable lessons learned. I think your kitchen looks great regardless and all of the readers feedback and input can only enhance it further if you’re open to it. I’m on a journey start for having to remodel my formerly remodeled kitchen, due to upstairs shower drainage leaks behind the downstairs kitchen cabinets and backsplash. Nightmare! Much of it has to be gutted and renewed. Your lessons learned and all of the readers responses has been a great place to start for persons like me. Thank you!

  195. Lisa Diehl says:

    I feel for you! wondering if that “designer” actually had a degree? I have had 99 % positive experiences working with designers, my best experience with a free-lance designer that wasn’t tied in with a company trying to sell it’s wares. I don’t have a million bucks but I’ve found designers that were affordable. my initial choices would not have been as wonderful as what they guided me toward, but that being said, there were many times when my gut told me”no” and I voiced that. when something isn’t right for me, I get a physical reaction to it, kind of a pressure or tension. a good designer respects that and makes changes based on the client, not herself. Since I love white cabs, and whites with neutrals, I know white with a neutral is drastically different than cream,which just looks muddy,dirty and bleah! the white looks fresh and crisp, the cream old and dirty. and one of the things they also taught me early on was the importance of seeing the paint chip or material in my own house and lighting so I always do it that way. Thanks for posting this, I am planning to REMODEL my kitchen in the next few months and now know I am getting ready to go into battle! It’s my hard-earned money, it better get done right, dammit! I now know it’s up to me to make sure that happens!

  196. It is difficult to use off white in a room that doesn’t have a good amount of natural light. I learned this the hard way also. It ends up looking ashy or dirty. I am repainting my cabinets in pure white.
    I feel your pain.
    Just paint them and get on with it. What is the point in cringing every time you look at it! :/

  197. Regarding the three holes that are too close together, you should drill one more hole on the right and move your instant hot over there. Then, use its hole for a garbage disposal air switch.

  198. This is very great article. I really enjoye it your post. thanks for sharing this post.

  199. The remodel looks great, congrats on having what you want! I recently finished a huge remodel and I chose all the contractors from, i read reviews, looked at pictures and looked to make sure they were all insured. I had no problems and every contractor I used did a great job, I also went with white cabinets on my kitchen remodel. Glad we both did!

  200. A good designer should help you achieve the look you want. Which is hopefully what happens if you hire a designer who would actually see the space your remodeling and have a good idea of your goals and vision. Its sad that you had such a bad experience and didn’t get the kitchen you wanted.

  201. krista marcheschi says:

    I needed to read your post tonight. It may even give me a good night’s sleep. My kitchen has been done for over a year and I’m still up late at night surfing blogs, houzz, etc. , looking at what could have been. My kitchen experience was very similar to yours, and although I have a very nice kitchen, it is not my dream kitchen, and I’m still grieving. I also listened to “the guy” at the cabinet place and made some decisions that altered the course of what was to be my bright white kitchen. In a moment of insanity I signed off on a glaze over a pure white cabinet. I That single horrible decision set me down a very very dark path of despair. I hooked up with a designer who helped me make some granite and backsplash choices to help”hide” my error. You make me laugh when you say that you will paint the cabs someday. I will too! Someday I will have the white kitchen with the white subway tiles as I had planned. Someday! Like you I am loving my cabinet upgrades and all of the storage. It’s time for me to move on and get a life. So glad I found your post tonight!

  202. Thanks for sharing your experience! We are embarking on a custom build and have run up against a lot of opinions (mostly our builder’s). It seems that at every turn our taste is an “upgrade” but I do not want to throw away money by paying less for something I don’t like only to outlay more cash later to get what I should have insisted on in the first place. Your post has been so helpful, thanks so much!

  203. I think you did an amazing job. I am in somewhat the same situation and now I am down to tearing it back down to almost scratch and then hiring someone to come in and fix my mistakes. I have found that one mistake often can be fixed by covering it up when it comes to anything other than renovation. I am very creative minded and usually can come up with solutions in which I can manage and usually salvage things I have messed up. However, the lessons you have learned I too am learning…..I just wished I would have thrown the white flag earlier and realized that I don’t have to be able to do it all….I am my biggest obstacle. But at least now I know.

  204. I actually really like your slate backslash. Where did you get the slate subway tiles?

  205. We just went through this same exact scenario. I didn’t want to risk ruining the finish on our new cabinets so I decided to upgrade and paint to match all of the trim, doors, baseboards and crown moulding to the color of the cabinets. It looks awesome and transformer our entire house.

  206. You are soooo speaking my language. BUT I really do stink at decorating and DIY, so I have that fear on top of hearing others say, “No, that won’t look good.”
    I just painted my kitchen and I hate it. I want a gray.
    Long story…
    but anyway, thanks for this post.

  207. Have you heard of the Anne Sloan Chalk Paint, they say it can paint over anything, I haven’t tried it but I have 2 friends that have used it, and they swear it’s great. Now that we have Pinterest, check it out. That might just be your answer to the cabinets. Good luck.

  208. oh the sink ledge, how i miss you! in our last house, we had the sink ledge. the kitchen was TINY. like, can’t open the dishwasher while standing in front of the sink tiny. and oh- how many items could be balanced on the sink divider and that ledge (our cutting board fit PEFECTLY IN THE SINK = bonus counter top). our new house has no ledge. flush mount (or whatever it’s called) and let me tell you, cleaning it is horrible. i can’t see the grime that builds up under there until i’m scrubbing it and bits of black moldy stuff is falling out. gross (ok, ok, i clean it every week, but it’s always a surprise…) at least with the ledge, i would see it and clean it every couple days. it’s my two cents, but i just wanted to put it out there. to each his own 🙂

  209. Thanks for such a beautifuk guide. From this post anyone who is a newbie can easily remodel his/her kitchen. This step by step guide can change the map of an ordinary kitchen to a modern one… Thanks again…

  210. I think that your kitchen looks really nice!

  211. Beautiful ideas! I intend to remodel my house. can not miss it !!

  212. Oh, I feel your pain. I can’t tell anyone though as they think the remodel is great. Plus, I’ve spent too much money to complain. Only someone in your situation can understand so I’ll vent here.

    My contractor is a twit and I didn’t speak up enough when I knew what I want, told him what I wanted and trusted him to follow though. Now we are near the end and I just want him out of my house and my life forever so I can fix all the fixable problems and learn to live with the unfixable.

    If I could rename his company I would seriously call it “Good Enough.” He seems to never give me what even when I tell them specifically what I want and HOW TO DO IT — even though I am not the professional. Thankfully I got the counters and backsplash I want and the color of the cabinets is fine, but the details on the cabinets are meh. The thin drawers aren’t deep enough (didn’t realize that until I started using the kitchen), the cabinets aren’t deep enough (I can’t fit some serving plates in them that fit in my old cabinets), they seem flimsy when you close the drawers, the crown molding on top takes up too much space (I got rid of my soffit for a reason to get more cabinet space), they didn’t trim the kick plates because “I didn’t ask for it???”, softclose drawers didn’t make it on the order form (but, yeah, he can retrofit them…joy!), they didn’t install the hardware in the right spot and some are UNEVEN, and more and more. It’s just a lot of little stuff, but it just makes me sad because they are supposed to be professionals.

    In addition, their drywaller sucks, their trim guy is lazy, their painters are THE WORST. I said it. I’m grateful for new stuff, but the little things and lack of attention to detail seriously make me cry.

  213. I am going to give my house a new look. This blog gives me a lot of useful idea. I surely will have a more beautiful house after reading it.

  214. Thanks for the blog! So much to learn from this. I had plans of renovating my kitchen next week. These tips have been very much useful. I read a similar blog in where it states that certain DIY’s which can turn out to be a disaster at the time of renovation. I never knew that one must take so much care while renovating house. I thought once you give the contract you needn’t worry about anything! The blog is an eye opener.Thanks once again.

  215. Just found your blog from Pinterest. Loved this post! We redid our kitchen last year, and we were adamant about going with what we wanted, even if it seemed too trendy or boring. We LOVE it! White cabinets, black quartz counter, medium-toned wood floor, chrome fixtures and knobs. It is seriously just how we always wanted it (and it was so bad before! builder-grade honey oak cabinets, forest green counter, awful laminate floor). And now…we are moving. 1.5yrs we’ve gotten to enjoy this kitchen that is finally how we always wanted it. Our new kitchen is practically the opposite, dark cabinets, light granite counter, dark wood floor. It looks great, but it’s just not our style and I’m sure somewhere down the line we’ll change it. This post is a good reminder that it’s ok to make changes instead of staying with the “safe” option, if it’s not what you love. 🙂

  216. Wonderful kitchen! I love it! This spring I am going to renovate my own kitchen and I am searching for ideas in the internet. Thanks you a lot for this article!

  217. I am going to change my kitchen design. This blog is really useful for me now. There are some tips which I did not know before.

  218. As a professional, the best advice I can give you is to create a material board before you buy anything. Include wall colors, cabinet/ trim samples, flooring samples etc. Take the board & look at it in several differenly lit areas, as in the design phase, you frequently won’t have installed you new light fixtures yet. I like to set up this board to pick the paint color or other accents. And carry it around to adjoining rooms to be sure that it flows well with the rest of the house.
    The only downside to this is that it can lead to overthinking (and anxiety/stress associated with that), but I guarantee the final product will be cohesive & something you will love.

  219. I LOVE you kitchen post. I am sorry you learned these lessons the “hard” way, but I am so glad you shared them. My husband just said sure, let’s update the kitchen. But…can we keep the cabinets we have? I am nervous that we will have new counter tops (he wants quartz) and a cool backsplash and cabinets that look…like they have been painted. Maybe I am better off saying lets wait a year or so until we can afford to do the cabinets, too? Oh the indecision! Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  220. I absolutely LOVE white cabinet against dark floors. But 5 years ago, I would have listened to the designer, as well, and kicked myself for it. (Now I’m older and much meaner. 😛 ) Though I honestly love that slate! Everyone I see using it has it in warm colors and it’s kind of meh, but I love the cooler colors you went with. Very nice!

  221. Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

  222. Johnette Beaver says:

    I am sorry that designer gave you bad advice. I am a Custom Decorator and always give the pros and cons of any choice and also give as many alternatives as possible to my clients. I also am about to embark on a complete remodel of my kitchen and want want want the white cabinets and Carrera marble with alllllll my being. HOWEVER I also know that white or light cabinets (I now have cream YUK!!) get very dirty very quickly and that they are high high maintenance as well as the Carrera marble is also very high maintenance or it stains. It must be resealed to maintain its beauty. I am torn!!! I am 58 and no longer wanting to spend my time cleaning constantly to maintain that pristine beauty. As far as painting those cabinets, paint the carcasses yourself with a small foam roller, using a bright white oil base paint that has had 2 DROPS!!! Of black oil base paint added to it. This will keep the white oil based paint from yellowing and is an old trick many old timers know about. Your Sherwin Williams store will know about this and use the very best paint to do this. Purchas enough to take to a local painter, auto or otherwise and have the doors sprayed!!! TRUST me on this one!! Now that you have been armed with the facts about a white kitchen, make your own decision as to paint or not to paint!

    • Johnette Beaver says:

      Also the oil based paint must must must cure!!! It does take at least 2 weeks to a month to fully cure so it does not peel or chip BUT it is worth it as it is then a lifetime finish whereas latex will never be as tough and will scratch with repeated cleaning which cabinets in a kitchen environment will require. Also if you will notice almost all pictures of Carrera counters are shown with minimal items on the counters? There is a reason for that other than that is how almost all photo shoots of kitchens are done! It is because they are a pain to keep beautiful. Oh yes I am in a love/hate relationship.

  223. Great post! We are redoing out kitchen right now, so this helped out a lot. Thanks for sharing!

  224. I am in the midst of having our basement remodeled in Vancouver, and we are putting in a kitchen (more of a suite). You raised some great concerns, especially in regards to bringing your kitchen cabinets sample home, in order to see how they looked in your home’s lighting. These are things that I never would of thought of for our basement remodel. But one thing that I didn’t account for with this remodel was price per square foot. We remodeled our entire home in phoenix (3500 sqf) for less than the basment remodel is going to cost here in Vancouver, since the square foot prices are so high. Budget had to be recalculated, as it’s costing close to three times what we originally thought. It looks like you managed your kitchen remodel, and I commend you on that! I travel too much with work so I ended up hiring a very reputable general contractor and designer from Thank’s for documenting you experiences with your kitchen remodel, along with the tips. I will keep these in mind with my remodel!

  225. Hi Kelly, I know this is so much later than your post, but thank you for your honesty. I am in the process of remodeling my space (well, starting that is) and looking at what I want and my heart is set of white/light cream cabinets. The space is so small that the lightness will open it up. Your blog has inspired me to believe in myself even if I hem and haw a little or a lot. There are so many challenges in this small space which requires removing baseboards, changing windows and repositioning a sink, but I see potential in my tiny box. I will follow my gut and speak my mind because I’m the one living in it. Hope your cabinets are what you want now and you’re happy. Life is very short so do what makes you happy.
    Thank you so much.

  226. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations. Don’t beat yourself up and as my mother say SH#& happens.
    I can say that after building three homes and several home projects…there is always a mess up.
    We recently upgraded our kitchen. Bought a beautiful faucet. When the plumber came over to install it and our new dishwasher, found out the handle hit the backsplash…not enough clearance. Oddly enough the faucet sat in the box for over a month, perhaps we should have checked but didn’t. Sent the guy away until our new faucet came in.
    I’m just about to start drawing up plans for a bathroom upgrade. As hard as I try, there will be a snafu. That’s life.
    Best of luck in your home DIY endeavors.
    Again, thanks for sharing. Keep learning…keep doing.

  227. i can not tell you how many times i have changed my new kitchen plans in the past 10 years.i planned on redoing the kitchen long ago. My back went out and after 2 operations and lying in bed looking at magazines and pinterest, my entire color scheme has changed! I love white cabinets but have decided on a light gray on top ones and darker gray on bottom ones….marble counters.I hope I love it when it is done.Looking at your colors…I think that maybe if you change the wall color from an icey blue to a bit darker gray blue (pick a light color from your tile),it might bring the whole thing together.Just a thought………and a less expensive easier option than painting cupboards. Im getting those pan drawers and im putting in a vertical shelf somewhere to hold back my cookie,pizza pans. thanks for the ideas!

  228. Pavlos Lombardi says:

    Thanks for the great advice. I’ve been planning on remodeling my kitchen in the next couple of days. I just feel like the current set up that I’ve got is really old and outdated. I just want to get something new to freshen up the house a bit. How much did it cost you guys to finish your remodel?

  229. Thanks for sharing kitchen remodeling images and advices.

  230. I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel. We had multiple contractors over and not one single one came back with anything close to what I’d described to them.
    We decided to do it all ourselves and are using Ikea cabinets so each step of the way I’m doing the work(with my hubby). I’m so glad I stuck to my guns….especially after reading your post.
    Still can’t make a decision on countertops got the life of me!

  231. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.will be referring a lot of friends about this.Keep blogging.

  232. Thank you so much for this post! I feel like reading it will maybe help me avoid some of those mistakes….although I have all the same tendencies. I think it’s bc I recognized myself in so many things you were thinking, from not speaking up to trying to fix mistakes with more mistakes, that I feel like am an excellent candidate for this type of situation. I will remind myself of this post 🙂 By the way, I totally get you. The kind of kitchen that inspires you is exactly what inspires me and although your current kitchen is beautiful and I’d also be grateful for it, knpwing that I had the possibilty of having exactly (or closer) to what I wanted would also make me dissapointed. However, one also has to think, maybe if you made the kitchen you wanted, other issues would come up and it just seems perfect cause you don’t have it.

  233. my mother-in-law has a short narrow cabinet with nifty shelves for her spices! So awesome! She also has the huge drawers for her pots and pans. We just bought out first house and I miss those huge drawers!

  234. On a bright note … I love your backsplash! I am struggling to find a slate backsplash that does not have too much rust undertones but enough tan/cream. Where did you get yous /what is it called?

  235. Kristina Anderson says:


    I owe this girl some serious THANK YOUS! I am in the last stage of buying my house and have come down to the same area! ( I have a complete list of what I want to do already!) and I haven’t brought anything to the house to see what it actually looks like IN MY HOUSE. and honestly never would have thought to do it… you have just saved my kitchen (probably)…

    I love everything you post and share, share, share it!!! I am the DIY girl of the group, everything from all aspects of softball, from bows to dug out boxes, to My daughters bow holder. PLEASE keep posting!! 🙂

    Very grateful reader,


  236. Awesome idea…!!!

  237. You should totally paint your cabinets! I know how bad it hurts when you spend time and money on a reno, and then not be in the love with it in the end. I say do whatever you can to start loving those cabinets! Good luck

  238. Sarabeth says:

    Oh man, I was slow-mo hyperventilating while you went through your sequence of mistakes. The first is the one that REALLY got me. SO SO SO SO often, I don’t trust myself. I think, “She has more experience, she must know what she’s doing.”
    During my renovation it has been SO HARD to take a deep breath and ask MYSELF, “What do I want?” Thank you for your cautionary tale, it gives me even more incentive to quieten the doubting voices and allow my inner one to speak out.

  239. This was a fabulous story. Good luck to all of you who are taking on your own remodels!

  240. Charlotte Haddock says:

    I reeeeeally wish I would have found this post 2 months ago. I’m on the tail end of a disappointing remodel experience, and it’s really irking my husband that I’m not in love with our completely new, upgraded kitchen. It boils down to me not speaking up for myself when the people I was paying to do the work for me were telling me what I should want. It’s a lovely kitchen, but I will always be annoyed because it’s not exactly what I wanted. Thanks for not letting me feel so alone!

  241. So I usually never stop and read these things but I am getting ready to move into a 1997 house with burgundy kitchen walls, honey colored cabinets and laminate back splash. I want to paint the cabinets white, modern drawer pulls in brushed nickel and have marble looking countertops. And of course removing the popcorn freaking ceilings and paint that nasty burgundy color. This post was extremely helpful! Thank you. Oh and…the movie is Step brothers. ☺️

  242. That was really informative for me thanks for sharing such a nice pictures.

  243. Just saw this on Pinterest, and I remember reading this post before. Thank you for all of the warnings to trust our gut instincts! I have also done the silent “NOOOOOOO” in my head and didn’t say anything. Still kicking myself nine years later. It was when our master bathroom re-do contractor held his drill up and said “about here?” And started drilling the instant he said “about here” instead of waiting for an answer. But if I had stopped him immediately, he wouldn’t have drilled much … and our showerhead wouldn’t be positioned on the wall for people 5’4″ tall and under!!!!!!! I swear if you are 5’8″ or 5’10” even, water will fall from the showerhead only about 2″ before hitting your head. That’s just wrong. I’m 5’0″ and our contractor was my height. He reached up as far as his arm would go. Ever hear of a ladder??? So … if anyone taller than 5’4″ buys our house some day, which is likely, they sure will get a surprise the first time they try to take a shower, and if they were savvy house-hunters, they would notice that and know it’s expensive to fix, and they wouldn’t buy our house in the first place. Ugh … the rest of the bathroom is beautiful and exactly what I wanted. But the shower was a major mess-up.

  244. A very awing web log post. We have a tendency to be very grateful for your web log post. you’ll notice plenty of approaches when visiting your post. i used to be specifically looking for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.General Incubator

  245. “Huge Mistake #1: Trusting someone else’s advice instead of truly knowing my own style and trusting what I loved.”

    Thank you a million times for this!! I asked on Houzz and was told to repaint my walls because the color was too beachy. I chose Sherwin Williams Cay and I just love it. We are renovating our kitchen and just wanted to know what sort of cabinet color.
    I know we painted first, and that’s ok. My husband wanted to do it that way because it was easier with everything out of the kitchen. So now the new floor is in and the walls are freshly painted and I love them in spite of what others may think. Now to order the cabinets and counters! Making myself and my husband happy is what counts most anyhow. Our opinion. So thanks again, you made me so happy I cried 🙂

    PS I love your kitchen and made do a backsplash like yours !

  246. Adore the tiles and the two patterns but i think my favourite from this room is the wine pull out cupboard next to the fridge.

  247. Nice story. Honestly, I like that kitchen a lot. There is only one photo (where the two different color cabinets are both installed) that the color is alarming. To my eyes, the cabinets look white. Specifically, one of the last photos where you see the paper towel roll on the counter and the roll and the cabinets look like the same color.

  248. im so sorry you didn’t get what you wanted. I’ve decorated before and at the end it just didn’t come together right. I honestly don’t think it’s the cream countertops that through off your kitchen. It’s the slate backsplash. Really easy fix – white, cheap subway tile. Paint your walls white, switch out for crystal handles and try to find some cheap crystal chandeliers. I think it would be what your looking for. Just my very humble opinion. I have terrible vision but I had a pic of a kitchen I loved and I used same color scheme, even though some scoffed I was making a mistake. I love loved it. Crystal chandelier brought it all together. Good luck!!

  249. You can paint your cabinet fronts. Mine were custom sprayed by my cabinet maker and were a thing of beauty. Then we got a bigger house and kept that one as a rental. One of my renters took it upon herself to repaint them with a brush. I was near tears.
    So what I am saying to you is when you are ready to repaint them use a spray gun and spray them. Perhaps get some cheep doors from restore to practice on.

  250. We’re very nice full for your diary post. You’ll realize plenty of approaches once visitingMulti-Stack Shaking Incubator

  251. Very helpful infographic! When remodeling a kitchen, it is often hard to keep up with all the details involved. Thanks for sharing!
    see More at –

  252. Oh my goodness what a story…

  253. We’re in the middle of renovating a duplex (read: two kitchens = $$$). It’s a joke between my husband and I how many times our contractor says, “I would recommend…” and, “Oil-brushed bronze.” We smile and nod and say, “We like chrome. Thanks!”

    p.s. Have you thought about painting your walls gray? It would help bridge the gap between white and cream, plus looks great with slate. 🙂

  254. Thanks for sharing your experience about your kitchen. I joke about our first builder for our home. I called him a con-tractor…. but when it came time to do our kitchen remodel in our log home there was some challenges. There are some unique ways that cabinets can be fastened to the walls to allow the logs to settle. We also had to raise the base cabinets because my wife and I are tall and we wanted the countertop to be a comfortable height for us. When we refinished the floor and replaced our cabinets we had some challenges getting everything to line up. My advise is to make sure that your main carpenter or contractor has experience with at least the concept of how kitchen cabinets are hung in a log home. Out project turned out great but only because we had some great carpenters. I guess my advice is take your time and get help if you need it.

  255. Great post:)
    Your kitchen is looking great after going through lots of changes. The mistakes which you have listed are usually done by many of us. I just want to thank you for sharing the information.

  256. Sometimes learning the hard way is good. But when it comes to your home, your escape from the bustle of the world, learning the hard way is expensive, frustrating, and definitely a burst in the bubble. DEFINITELY always take color samples home with you. Hang them to your existing cabinets if you can. Observe them during the morning, the afternoon, and at dark. Light variants will change. Make sure you chose something you like in all three settings. And don’t be afraid to trust your gut. A “Designer” who’s never seen the inside of your dwelling doesn’t know your home like you do. While your home still looks beautiful, if it isn’t what you envisioned, you’re selling yourself short.

    • What a great posting! I can identify with so much of what people are saying. I originally envisioned an all white kitchen, much like the one at the top of the page. I couldn’t afford custom-made cabinets, so my contractor showed me pre-fab ones. Great quality, except I thought the white ones (which were shaker) were just meh. (Granted, I didn’t imagine them on the walls with the backsplash, counter, etc.) So then I went to my second choice, espresso. The shaker espresso cabinets didn’t have a grain; looked like cabinets spray-painted dark brown. So I went with an espresso birch slab. So it has a grain, but I preferred shaker over slab. But it’s more of a dark warm brown than espresso.

      Then for the counter. I liked the look of an “oreo” kitchen—white or cream counters with dark cabinets. I was talked out of Quartz, the person at the design center saying it would be more expensive than granite and that because of the length of my counters, I’d get a seam somewhere. I went to the granite yard where the contractor had a discount, and all the white(ish) granites didn’t slay me, so I wound up getting this beautiful bordeaux granite with lots of movement in shades of cream, beige, etc., with lots of mica.

      As for the backsplash, I went with tumbled botticino marble squares, because white white didn’t work, and glass fought the granite.

      SO…kitchen is very pretty. But not…one…element…is..what…I…originally…wanted. (Although I painted the walls a creamy white.) Every time I see an all-white kitchen on TV or in a movie, or even one with dark espresso shaker cabinets with white or cream quartz counters, my husband immediately says, “I don’t want to hear it.”

  257. I just happened upon your story. First of all, let me say that I am so sorry you didn’t get what you wanted. I just want to say, though, that when undertaking a project of this size – a kitchen in particular – it often makes sense to work with a designer (not just someone roaming the halls). Yes, it is a separate expense, but it doesn’t have to be a huge one. I am a space planner/designer specializing in kitchens, and I regularly work with people who just want to run their choices by me. A good, seasoned designer doesn’t tell you what you want; they help you achieve YOUR vision. That is not to say that I don’t sometimes suggest a different material or finish, but even when I do, I explain why I am making the suggestion but leave it up to the homeowner. My experience is what they are paying me for, after all. It sounds like your layout was a given, and your finishes were what gave you trouble. For probably less than a couple of hundred dollars – depending upon where you live – you could have hired someone to review your choices and help you to coordinate everything and get the look you wanted (obviously, full scale design services would cost a lot more, but if you are gutting and changing your layout, it becomes even more important). I would have told you that your glass knobs would look fantastic! This is what we do, day in and day out, so we are familiar with products and sources and trends (if you care; I don’t), and we WANT every kitchen to look unique. For instance, recently I worked on a very expensive new house project where the owners were originally convinced they wanted to use 2 different finishes, one a white glazed maple because, although they really wanted white, they were convinced that painted cabinets wouldn’t wear well. The maple cabinets looked extremely pink – something they didn’t see until I laid a white door next to it – and looked like the old pickled cabinets from the ’80s. I was also able to allay their fears that a painted cabinet wouldn’t wear well – they’ve come a long way from 20 years ago. In this large kitchen, we ultimately mixed cabinet finishes, backsplash tile and even hardware, and they are thrilled with the outcome. I really prefer working on remodels, however, and making an old or “builder’s special” kitchen into a custom looking, well-functioning kitchen full of storage, while using all the tricks I know to keep the price down. A kitchen remodeling is a lot to coordinate, and you are spending a substantial amount of money, no matter what the budget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with DIY, but sometimes it pays to get a little professional advice. A good designer can show you where you can cut costs, where to splurge and how to pull the whole thing together to achieve your dream.

  258. Hi! I haven’t started my kitchen renovation yet, but thank you for such an informative post. I’m sorry if you’ve answered this already but I was wondering how your hot water dispenser is holding up? I feel like I need one in my life lol, but I’ve heard mixed reviews. Any brand you recommend? Thanks for taking your time to read this!

  259. I first wanted to say that even though your kitchen is not what you wanted it’s still very pretty. Second is I feel for you! I’m a kitchen designer at Lowe’s and have delt with all different types of customers but when people know what they want you do not argue with them! I feel awful that that designer told you to not do white because, frankly, it’s not her kitchen. I hope you are sticking to your guns now but also to anyone else out there, if you have your heart set on something don’t be talked out of it! Your designer is not moving in and although they can have good insight, don’t let them make every decision for you. Your house is beautiful however and best of luck on your future remodels!

  260. Thank you for this post! I know it’s old, but I just found it today and it’s super appropriate for me. I was bullied out of the choices that I loved by our home builder’s REALTOR. She billed herself as a design expert and I felt like I knew nothing. She would even call things ugly before I could open my mouth and tell her what I liked, so then I would think that my choices must not be classy enough. There are things (major things) that we will have to shell out a lot of money to change in the next five years or so 🙁

  261. Rather than painting those beautiful cabinets, why don’t you just paint all your trim a creamy white? I think that bright white is throwing things off. And here is a crazy thought… Paint the doors black. Look for samples on Pinterest. I painted mine and love them. Bonus? No more kiddie prints!

  262. Glad I got to read this post before our kitchen remodel (16 years in the making but that’s another story). I have tons of pages from magazines and lots more on pintrest. Right now my main struggle is to find a kitchen I love that will flow with the living room. Those two rooms are completely open to each other.

  263. I have that same faucet and I put the handle in the center, over the sink, so when I turn it on and off my hands drip IN the sink. Just a small detail but it helps 🙂

  264. I wanted to thank you for posting this article. I ran across it while pinning my dream kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times I heard your voice while making final decisions! I bought my slab of granite from a photo on the Internet without even seeing it. I knew I loved it and my husband loved it but I was very nervous. I even made the lady that answers the phone FaceTime me in front of the slab. I put it with a copper sink and she kept telling me there were no copper flecks in the slab and it would not look good. I knew I wanted a contrasting cool pallet slab with the warm copper, so because of you I didn’t back down. I consulted friends about the whole design and one friend who “designs” many kitchens for her builder/husband told me my slab was way too busy for my small kitchen. I told her I didn’t care. Many nights were spent thinking about the whole ensemble and if it would work- and I’m even an artist! I was still nervous. (I was so close to having a stainless sink overnighted to the house the day before the granite install.) Like you said granite is expensive! Needless to say, the project is nearly complete and I’m in love. I couldn’t be happier with it. I had one friend curl up on a counter and said she never wanted to leave. Another told me she keeps pulling up photos of my kitchen to make her happy. Thank you for your advise and for reminding me I do know what I’m doing even though thousands of dollars are on the line.

    • Wow! What an awesome story! You are a superhero for sticking with your plan in the face of all that opposition. It sounds like an incredible kitchen. Congratulations!!

  265. Troy Geiszler says:

    Your kitchen looks pretty good to me, but I would totally paint those cream cabinets (with your husband’s approval and most importantly, help) if I were you. I wouldn’t hand paint them, though. Too time consuming and brushes and rollers always leave textures. Remove the handles, tape off EVERYTHING you don’t want paint on and buy a mask with filters. I find the sales associates at Sherwin-Williams are much more willing and able to give assistance than those at Home Depot. They would be able to tell you which paint to use, if you need to thin it to get a textureless finish and how to set up and use a sprayer.

  266. This is so real and so relevant. Thank you so much for sharing your triumphs and pain of kitchen rehab! I just moved into a fantastic new place with an awful kitchen, and I found this at the perfect time. You’re so right. Thrifty choices do afford you the possibility of changing your mind, and I am now especially inspired to re-use the odd kitchen cabinets in my 50’s house!

  267. I know this is an older post but maybe someone can help me. We have drawers in our kitchen, too, including a deep one for pots and pans. Love them! But the drawer slides broke! He replaced one twice and they broke again! The other one is going now and I want to replace them again but I don’t know what I’m looking for. Are yours on heavy duty or some special kind of slides so they don’t bend or snap or pull away from the rest of the cabinet?

  268. Thank you so much for this post…we had a house fire in October and the kitchen is last to be fixed…I have made many changes to my changes, lost many hours of sleep when Im not happy lol..Hubby has been great and just says, “ok”…I want all drawers cabinets…Im told im crazy, I say, Yep, but I still want all drawers…deep drawers, slotted drawers, lid drawers and regular drawers…Hubby gets his gran it tops…its a win win…!! Love the hot tap idea too…hummmm..hubby wants an ice maker…guess we could do both??

  269. I think getting rid of those blue walls and painting a more complimentary color will go a long way towards pulling it all together, muddy cabinets and all 🙂

  270. Hi Kelly,
    I can certainly relate to your post! I actually think your kitchen is really nice and honestly, I think it’s just the paint color that you might want to consider changing. I know you’re probably thinking “I have to change ANOTHER thing to cover my mistake?”. But honestly, your creamy cupboards are warm, your backsplash is warm (and beautiful), and your rubbed bronze is warm. The blue is very cool and I think it’s clashing somewhat. What if you went with soft neutral like Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan or a warm gray like Revere Pewter. Just a thought but I think it could give you a whole new perspective!

  271. I feel for you. This is a great post. It is hard not to trust the professionals. I think your kitchen is darling and it might have a bit more longevity, design wise rather than the all white kitchen. I like the slat too.

  272. Great post! I think people get starry-eyed when they set out to redecorate and they lose sight of realistic goals. It took things ending up differently than you’d hoped, but for your next remodel, maybe in another home, you’ll be that much better equipped to realistically remodel. On the plus side, I really like your cabinets and the color scheme. Hope you’re not TOO disappointed.

  273. Linda St James says:

    The back splash is gorgeous.

    Is there any reason that you can’t swap locations for the faucet and hot water? I bet you use the right sink more than the left.

  274. Choosing colors is so hard. Getting it to all pull together is what I have the hardest time with and I keep changing my mind lol. If I had any money I know I would have made the same mistakes as you on my kitchen. But so far I have only painted my old cabinets antique white and Im putting up with the peeling countertops and floor… eventually I will get it done lol.

    You must be INFP personality type btw. 🙂 I am also, I relate to your blog so much its funny. Keep them coming 🙂

  275. It’s always best to trust your instincts and it’s very disappointing when professionals who should offer proper advice impose their own opinions on their clients. Too bad you had to go through this experience.

  276. Love the kitchen still! And love the blue color, could you tell me what color it is? Thamks!!!????

  277. You have really been through it all! Completely agree DIY home remodeling is the way to go. Save’s money and it’s a cute little project you can do with your significant other. I also totally agree with you to speak up if you work with a “design” professional! Sure, they are a designer by title, but a lot of their design tips and tricks come from what they perceive to be true in their head and what they have learned from schooling. As the only person in the process who is going to have to live in the kitchen or living space or whatever it is you’re designing, you absolutely should have final say! Lastly, best tip in the whole article, ALWAYS get samples to bring home to see for yourself 🙂

  278. Just find a tutorial on painting cabinets. Then buy a kit at Home Depot. Paint your cabinets. I am sure you will do a wonderful job and feel much better.
    I love those pull out drawers for the pots and pans. That is exactly what I have planned.
    When I bought some furniture and told the sales lady my living room walls were sky blue she totally freaked out and told me I needed to paint them cream immediately or I would regret it. She knew because she was a ‘designer’. My blue living room looks great and I love it. I can’t stand this hotel room look everyone goes for these days. As a world traveler staying in hotels for business I can tell you even upscale hotels are dirty and impersonal spaces. There is no way I want to recreate that in my own home

    • Wait…this advice is obviously coming from someone who has never done it, or, if they have is not in a position to be giving advice on cabinet painting. It is certainly doable and watching tutorials is not bad advice but please, don’t just buy a kit at Home Depot.

      We did ours with Benjamin Moore Advance paint and it is beautiful. Dilute the paint slightly, maybe 10% and put an extender in it to extend the drying time so that it gets a chance to level before it drys (we only used 1/2 of what was recommended and it worked well). Use a foam roller to apply the paint as much as you can. Roll with increasingly lighter pressure until the bubbles disappear when using a foam roller. Yours are already painted so prep work will be minimal. I advise a primer coat first to make sure there are no paint compatibility issues. Prep work is key. A good scrub with TSP to degrease, a light sanding, primer, more light sanding and then 2 coats of paint with a light sanding in between. Wipe well after sanding followed by a tack rag. A tack rag is slightly waxed to pick up remaining dust and if you cant find them at the paint store they are available at automotive paint stores for sure. Your kitchen is small so this will not be a huge job but plan on it taking at least a week and be prepared to put up with a bit of a mess in the house ie. don’t do it the week before the big family reunion or Christmas.

      Personally I liked your kitchen just the way it is but I don’t have to live with it, you do and if white cabinets were what you really wanted then I say…make it happen.

  279. I feel your pain. I did a kitchen remodeling. For the most part it was beautiful and mostly what I wanted–got a large “country kitchen” with a island/bar area. The layout was perfect and I actually did some clever things–I put the oven in the island and the burners opposite, against the wall, with deep drawers for the pots and pans right under the burners. The oven never got dirty from spills and I could see what was in it by just turning around. However, I had to settle for a countertop and tiles that I didn’t want just to get it finished. I also made the mistake of listening to the contractor and not putting in enough lights because HE thought it would be too expensive for me. This was despite the advice of the electrician. I also spent too much money on top-of-the-line appliances when I could have settled for less. Anyway, we learn. The house sold easily, at least.

  280. I like white color kitchen and its design.I have white and black color kitchen. I want to improve it. I want to know that how many time it get to remodel. Thanks for sharing this site with me.

  281. Tracey Alba says:

    I have learnt a lot of lessons from your mistake. first time when i also want to remodel my kitchen, all things gone in the wrong way. but from your experience i learn a lot about kitchen remodeling. Not to trust on others is a must to make a good kitchen. the color of the kitchen should be good. The kitchen countertops should be easy to use. Thanks for your suggestion

  282. Even though you didn’t get your ideal kitchen during your kitchen remodeling project, I have to say it ended up turning out pretty nicely. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  283. I should have considered using my first husband’s toothbrush for this before we split up. That would give me nice memories.

  284. I did the same thing and made similar mistakes. My friend came over and said to repaint the kitchen to match (in my case) the granite countertop more closely. She also reccommended to change the knobs & pulls. That made a HUGE difference. I like it a lot more now. Much easier to paint the kitchen and change out the pulls, than paint the cabinets which can be dicey.

  285. Wait an enjoyable article. I do like your kitchen. My kitchen is nearly identical in footprint, so reading your article was even more interesting. I completed a mid-range upgrade.

    Despite so much disagreement from the designer, my own parents, and every workman that passed through, I did not make any of the listed mistakes. But I was so so worried they were right. But now, a few years later, I have only constant joy from my kitchen. Every color, drawer, and light fixture makes me smile.

    Thanks for writing your experience! It brought me peace!!

    • Ingrid M says:

      Oh I feel your pain. I had an image of my master bathroom decked out in carrera marble, slate blue walls and lots of gloss white wood trims. I ended up with a monstrosity of earth tones travertine, small earthy tiles on the shower floor and very expensive tile half way up the walls. It was NOT what I planned but through a series of events similar to yours I was brainwashed by the contractor, and the tile I picked out at the show room was nothing like what arrived. I was too passive to send it all back. I spent a fortune and hate that bathroom. Never again!

  286. Johanne Champagne says:

    I laughed out loud when you said you had something in your eye… but I felt for you. We waited 19 years with a horrible kitchen and I loathed it every day so when we started our reno I had some pent up rage within me. That helped. Every time someone suggested that, for instance, stainless steel appliances were on their way out I dug in my heels, having waited almost 20 years to have them and there was no way I was going to let anybody convince me to get white ones. I chose exactly what I wanted, ignoring and poo-pooing every designer and contractor suggestion (except one really super idea). Anyway, your kitchen is lovely and don’t forget, you’re young and this may not be your last kitchen or your last kitchen reno. The lessons will serve you on your next one for sure.

  287. Beautiful inspiration! beautifully done! I found it so interesting and really enjoyed reading it…

  288. Great kitchen and I love the pictures too. I can’t wait to see your next project.

  289. Really interesting ideas as i love DIY, myself at my spare time i love the post looking forward to check more. Thank you!

  290. thanks for your sharing.

  291. I love the storage of the kitchen cabinet.

  292. So I just came across this as I searched desperately for cream counters and cream cabinet photos. Long story short- water destroyed my newly redone house. So instance is paying for new floors and new kitchen cabinets but NOT counters. My counters are cream and I am getting gray plank tile. So wood options look horrible and white cabinets don’t go with cream countertops. But j have three white doors in my kitchen and white baseboards so I fear my kitchen is going to look all horrible. Too much white and cream. Although. The counters never bothered me with the white doors and baseboards. I have all the samples in my house but one cabinet door does not really tell me what I need to know. Probably overthinking it. And your story made me rethink it again 🙂

    • Thanks for the good tips. I say you should always go with what you like, but there are some exceptions.

      I looked at a home which had warm pink granite countertops. They spent a fortune on their kitchen and island and no one will ever want to buy such a horrible color. You should always consider colors and designs based upon possible resale, unless you want to drop your price to sell your home. If you choose something too outrageous you will have to drop your price to sell it. Sellers are very fussy. However, you shouldn’t base all your choices on resale.

      This is why I am hiring a good friend who is a general contractor. 20% of the cost of your project but it’s worth every penny to get good advice and have someone watching every detail of the install.

      Also, if you have any friends who have had remodels seek their advice as well.

  293. white cabinets. Dark floors. That’s what I really like about your kitchen. I must say that you did it very well 🙂

  294. lessons learned to end up with a room you love

  295. Hi Kelly,
    I am glad to read your blog about kitchen re modelling, I must say you have so creatively described about hoe to beautify our kitchen and use the kitchen space to re model it creatively in your tutorial.
    Your pics gallery is awesome in the blog giving a clear picture and idea.
    Thanks for sharing this innovative blog.

  296. Hi, I know this is an old post and I confess I haven’t read all 400 comments, but I really felt I had to say something that is burning away at me. Please don’t be offended if you don’t agree!

    In my opinion, there is just one glaring thing that leaps out of those images at me and screams ‘wrong wrong wrong’ – and it’s not the kitchen, it’s the blue wall color. I know you hate them, but the benchtop and the cabinets actually work extremely well with the floor, the slate backsplash and the earthy tone of the chairs. In fact they are actually quite stunning together. The thing that offends any sense of balance and coherence for me is the cool, modern, baby blue walls that just crash into it all from a different dimension and make the earthy tones seem disjointed and dirty.

    PLEASE consider repainting those walls in a pale, slightly warm tone, half way between the cream of the cabinets and the crisp white of the trim. I know it still won’t be the kitchen you originally had in mind, but IMHO it will tie everything together beautifully and you might fall in love with your ‘accidental’ kitchen instead!

  297. nice post!!! i will use it in my kitchen also sp that is looks clean and tidy

  298. When considering re-designing your kitchen there are a number of factors to be taken into consideration before you can even think about the color scheme or any extras. Kitchens are a very personal thing and what you want to integrate into your design will depend on certain issues, how much time you spend in there, if it is to be used socially as well as for cooking and how many people live in the house. Whether you have a large enough budget to splash out on a brand new kitchen or simply opt for a more economic alternative by choosing kitchen cabinet remodeling the results are sure to be a dramatic improvement. Thanks for sharing!

  299. Yes girl – throw that caution to the wind and paint those cabinets!!

    If they are wood, you can’t go wrong with chalk paint especially made for wood. Check out Annie Sloan’s paints, which are beautiful and super good quality. I’ve renovated several wooden pieces in my home, including my piano, and have never regretted it. I’ve tried different brands of chalk paint, and Annie Sloan is definitely the best. I feel like you have nothing to lose and you will be glad you did it. You can even start with your wine glass cabinet, and if you don’t like it… paint it back!

    Good luck – I’m excited for you!

  300. Thanks for this great post! I will definitely use some of these ideas for my kitchen renovation. Thanks for sharing.

  301. this is a very good tutorial i like the way you described everything in your tutorial , the cabinet designs are looking good . thanks for sharing

  302. So if you don’t like your mom’s choices….move. You’ll then be able to do it exactly as you want to. Otherwise, suck it up buttercup.

  303. Beautiful kitchen, i like your backsplash, the color are perfect!, Fabulous job!!!

  304. Kelly, I love this story! As a former commercial designer, I have to say that I would NEVER dictate to someone what they should or should not do! How awful of the person you dealt with. My philosophy as a designer is to offer options and to allow the client to see what he or she is drawn to. I’m glad you ended up with the kitchen of your dreams, and hopefully your story will encourage others to stick to their gut instinct when tackling a remodeling project. Thank you for sharing you vision and experience.

  305. Bring your Dream kitchen to life victimization our virtual Kitchen Designer-
    Desired for kitchen remodeling, We do all types of useful things to form shopping for a kitchen easier and our kitchen planner is one amongst them. It’s fun and easy to use and it’s very helpful, it’ll provide you with a decent plan of however your kitchen will look. you’ll collect all of your kitchen Design pictures in one place.
    Start from scratch employing a utterly empty area, or select a pre-designed area from our set of templates or saved styles. Once you’ve got your house, begin to fill it along with your favorite kitchen cupboards, worktops and accessories. you’ll even go to this point on add lighting, chairs and cabinets to your kitchen to form it as real as potential. the sole factor you won’t be ready to do is cook in it. Kitchen Right having experienced Professional for your kitchen Remodeling or new kitchen designs, hire them and feel free with us.

  306. Thanks for sharing your kitchen experience. It’s just me and to date, I’ve never been able to afford a total kitchen remodel. This year, I knew I was going to finally be in a position to do new flooring throughout most of my house, so I decided to spruce up a few rooms. I too love white cabinets, so I ended up painting mine. Used Countertop Transformations on the the counters

  307. Just found your site and I love it! 

  308. Thanks for sharing the useful information. It was really amazing and very informative. Keep sharing

  309. Its really great post you have shared, which is informative and knowledgeable. thanks for sharing.


  1. […] blog post from View Along the Way about her kitchen remodel disappointment.  She makes some great points about what to do and not do […]

  2. […] I think this post is one of my all time favorite posts I’ve read on the internet about decorat…Disappointments, listening to professionals who have never been in our home and whose work we’ve never seen, second guessing ourselves–I have done it all and then some. Kelly, thank you for daring to even make a decision, see the good in it and teaching us! I predict your next kitchen, one day, will be the most spectacular thing we’ve ever seen! […]

  3. […] 3. Lessons from a Disappointing Kitchen Remodel […]

  4. […] How to completely ruin your kitchen remodel: I was amazed to hear so many of you could relate and have made the same mistakes in your […]

  5. […] really liked this article about a disappointing kitchen remodel. The author didn’t listen to her gut and ended […]

  6. […] This blog has been a journey away from that perspective and toward freedom. I still have my own decorating rules (and you can read them here) but it all comes down to decorating with what you love. Because it’s your house, and what does anyone else know? (This would have saved me infinite grief in the harrowing tale of my kitchen remodel.) […]

  7. […] accent colors or, better yet, the backsplash tied different parts of the kitchen together like Kelly’s slate.  My choices of white cabinets and black countertops made any creams or earthtones pretty much a […]

  8. […]  Lessons learned from a disappointing kitchen remodel […]

  9. […] we both have concluded that the ultimate test of whether or not something is going to be permitted to bust our budget is love. Do we love it? Does it make us smile? Does it make us happy? Do we think about it, even after we […]

  10. […] How to completely mess up your kitchen remodel: a step-by … – OOOMMMMGGGG….I just bumped into this sight when I typed in the google bar, I do not like how my kitchen turned out, help!”, …ouch…I feel every step of this …… […]

  11. […] from the mistakes of others or you might end up ripping out newly-installed countertops or cabinets or trying to paint over a […]

  12. […] Lessons learned from a disappointing kitchen remodel – How NOT to completely ruin your kitchen remodel: lessons learned to end up with a room you love! […]

  13. […] Lessons learned from a disappointing kitchen remodel – How NOT to completely ruin your kitchen remodel: lessons learned to end up with a room you love! […]

  14. […] Lessons learned from a disappointing kitchen remodel – How NOT to completely ruin your kitchen remodel: lessons learned to end up with a room you love! […]

  15. […] Lessons learned from a disappointing kitchen remodel – How NOT to completely ruin your kitchen remodel: lessons learned to end up with a room you love! […]

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