kitchen before and after

I can't believe we are nearing a year in our new kitchen. We love it as much as ever, of course. Last time I posted about it we still had a pretty large list of projects to check off: trim work and painting, installing the open shelves, buying and installing a pantry cabinet, buying and installing a light over the island, and more. Slowly through the year we checked most of those things off the the list and I've been waiting... waiting... to call the whole thing "done" so I could post final photos. There are actually still a few little items to complete which I will point out to you, but I finally decided—good enough!

So off we go.

Maybe I shouldn't even point it out, but one of things on our list to finish is the tile above the left window. We ran out of mastic adhesive the first time around, and it seems like a great effort to get it all out to do such a small section. We might get around to it when we tackle another tile job in a bathroom or laundry room. For now it almost passes as intentional.

The shelves and light are new since I last showed you!

The pantry cabinet is also new. It beats the metal shelf that I lived with for awhile. Actually, this cabinet was mostly paid for with a credit from the cabinet company. Their color samples misrepresented the color and our cabinets turned out lighter than expected. They offered to refinish the doors, but the ends and frames wouldn't have matched so we opted for a credit instead.

You also get a sneak peak of some stenciling I did beyond it. Just a teaser!

We finished off the crown above the cabinets (a bit tricky since the space was pretty small) and painted all the window trim. I also bought new inexpensive bar stools.

The sideboard and china cupboard in the dining room were original, but I refinished them. I would love to remove the kick base and add feet to it someday. I sewed the curtains myself, and I don't think I've shown them to you yet either! I layered them with some woven panels I already owned.

I removed the doors from the firebox (my dad originally made them for my Grandma, but they just didn't work with my scheme (sorry Dad). I am planning to paint the inside a dark gray color, but actually the white doesn't bother me so much either. We have a little more fireplace to do also—namely fixing the propane valve so we can actually use it (!) and patching some mortar.

Here is an up-close look at the open shelves. I. love. them. Not only was it a good solution to a difficult space (there is a support beam above them that would have made an upper cabinet almost impossible), it keeps the kitchen very open and gives us really easy access to our every-day dishes. Right across from the dishwasher, no less. The supports are long steel bars that go through the shelves and into the studs in the wall. We predrilled holes for them before we tiled. (By "we" I mean my dad.) We used oak planks seamed together to make a solid wood shelf. I then stained and finished them as close as possible to the cabinet color. We added some hooks to the bottom to hang mugs.

Here is one last view:

I'll be back soon with more photos and a source list. Until then, if you want to learn more about our kitchen journey, you can follow the posts below:

What's wrong with my kitchen, anyway?
kitchen layout plans

ordering cabinets
kitchen finishes
more demolition
kitchen lighting options
lighting options :: round 2
getting rid of the gunk
best laid plans
progress report—tile, cabinets, and stress
progress report—cabinets installed
we're cookin' now!
dining room hutch—before and after
kitchen backsplash and hood
kitchen organization