Sincerely Carolina

recipes. lifestyle. fitness. fun.


kitchen remodel, part one + giveaway winner!

by caroline

You asked for it, so here it is! Part one of our kitchen remodel.

Here are the details: When we bought this house a year and a half ago, we were like any hopeful first-time home buyers. Everything that seemed like a setback or hurdle was met with, “We’ll fix it!” Of course, we really have done a lot of “fixing” over the course of owning this home, however, there is so much naiveté that is looped into that statement. And thank goodness for that! Sure, we purchased the home with the intention of it being a fixer-upper, but, man, we never could have imagined JUST how much work it would be. (Hopeful young kiddos that we are.)

Our big project last year was refinishing the upstairs floors. Dan did that one on his own and the end result was pretty fab. This year — it was the kitchen. And, boy, has it been a DOOZY.

I will spare you the rant and say this: I have no idea how two very kitchen-oriented people thought this tiny space was ever going to work for our lifestyle. We weren’t asking for anything magnificently huge, but what we were seeking was a space where we could open the stove and the refrigerator at the same time! We needed useful countertop space and storage options. We needed EFFICIENCY.

It’s not done yet, but we started with this:

Before: Cave Kitchen

Before: Cave Kitchen

And here’s where we are today:

After (almost): Open, bright and efficient!

After (almost): Open, bright and efficient!

We approached this project in a joint manner with a hired contractor. In order to save money and stay within our budget, Dan took care of all demolition and cleanup. The contractor is responsible for installing the drywall, cabinetry, countertop, appliances, lighting, hardware, faucet and cabinetry moldings. In addition to demolition, we are taking care of painting the walls, and hanging a backsplash and crown molding (around the perimeter of the kitchen and dining room).

Want to see how the whole thing went down? Click through this gallery …

Photo highlights:

1. Before: Cave kitchen!

2. Before: No two appliances could be opened at once.

3. Before: Inefficient corner countertop spaces.

4.-14. Time to start the demo!

15. There were four different types of linoleum covering the wood floors!

16. The kitties were not so eager to help …

17. … but my younger brothers and brother-in-law really came to the rescue!

18. The wall separating the dining room and kitchen is going …

19. … going …

20. … gone!

21.-23. Driveway pileup!

24.-26. Bare bones.

27. After the demo: Dinner for two on TV tables in the living room!

28. Insulation and framework goes in.

29.-31. Drywall!

32.-33. Time for cabinets.

34. New refrigerator!

35.-36. Loving this new space!

37.-39. Time for the granite countertop.

40. Dan, sanding and painting the walls, and hanging new crown molding. New color is not shown, but it’s a gorgeous blue/gray paint.

41.-45. Next phase of the project: Repairing and staining the wood floors.


The finishing touches are still taking place, and I will be sure to share that soon. The next phase of the project is also in the works, and that’s repairing the hardwood floors, especially in the area where the wall  between the kitchen and dining room was removed (see photos in gallery above). We decided to keep the original floors and have them refinished to give them an updated look. We know they won’t be perfect, but we’re OK with that! Since we are having someone come in to repair the kitchen floors, we decided to extend the refinishing throughout the downstairs area to include the dining and living room areas.

Whew — that was a lot! So, what do you think?!


In other exciting news, I have randomly selected a winner for the “Fermented” book giveaway and it is …

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Raine, send your mailing address to and I will send you your book! CONGRATULATIONS!