When Your Kitchen Starts To Renovate Itself…..You Pay Attention! (Part 1)

Okay I guess it didn’t really start to renovate itself, but almost.

Wanna hear the story? Good because I’m dying to tell you 😀

This was my kitchen before I arrived on the scene. Are you jealous? Anyone want design tips from the builder?

It wasn’t long before I changed the entire look of the kitchen by refinishing the cabinets in a dark stain, which is explained in detail HERE.

It made a big difference and so did removing the microwave, since I never used it anyways, replacing the fridge, plastering over the awful orange peel texture on the walls….

And painting a much nicer color. The walls here are Sherwin Williams Sea Salt.

Obviously I did all I could to add decor and style the kitchen so as to draw attention away from the things I still hated. That would be that awful floor and those countertops.

I dreamed of a lovely backsplash as well but first thing first.

So I was going along minding my business planning someday to win the lottery and finish all the things in my kitchen….and I added some tulips and spring decor while I waited and bought lottery tickets. (Totally kidding)

Wonderful Neighbors…

Have I ever told you about my neighbors? Well I have these neighbors on one side of me whose house was built the same time mine was and they have the same exact floorplan. There are some differences between the two such as random door placement and ceiling height etc but overall they are exact duplicates. All the other houses around me on either side have different layouts.

So about these neighbors, besides being wonderful people in general, we watch each others dogs and our kids play together.

At this point you are wondering why I am talking about my neighbors when we started with my kitchen renovating itself, am I right?

I’m getting there….

See my neighbors liked how light and bright my house looked in contrast to theirs which had a very dark wall color and the original honey oak cabinets. They had added some things over the years such as granite countertops and dark wood floors so overall the space was very dark. Their ceilings are regular height as well whereas mine are tall.

So they decided to do a major renovation on their entire main floor. I mean MAJOR!

They gutted bathrooms, repainted everything in a light color, tore out all their kitchen cabinets and put in new cabinets, new countertop, new backsplash etc. It’s a night and day difference. So light and bright now.

Well as I said, they tore out their granite countertops and while they decided what to do with them, since they were perfectly good countertops, they left them sitting on their front porch, facing my house.

Taunting me.

Then my kitchen started in on me.

Late at night.

Telling me how much better it would feel with those shiny granite countertops and how I really should at least take a closer look and see what they looked like and if they would work in my house.

Did I mention our floorplans are the same? Identical kitchens?

Are you doing the math?

Almost before I knew it I found myself looking at this lovely bit of reality.

And this…

And finally this.

And all at the beginning of a week of spring break.

No school for any of my 5 kids.

Is my kitchen crazy? Why did it have to pick now to do this?

I think it’s trying to kill me……

Although honestly it’s looking better already with that horrible scratched up sink and those awful laminate countertops gone.

I supposed it’s going to start hollering for new flooring next!

And so I found myself this past Monday, installing granite countertops for the first time in my life.

You see, hiring someone to do it was going to cost more than what my neighbors asked for the granite itself and that just didn’t make any sense to me.

Besides how do you learn a new skill unless you just try it? 😀

Fast forward a few hours, lots of grunting, scraped up walls, some bruises….

By the end of the day Monday I was looking at this….

No running water since the granite was needing to be weighted down to adhere.

It was also my first time installing an undermount sink. Fun times!

You’re thinking this is the end of this happy little tale, right?

Not quite!

You see, the sink that the granite was cut for, happened to be exactly the opposite of my old sink. Meaning the drain pipes were in the opposite position of where they needed to be for the regular side of the sink and the garbage disposal!


I started working on hooking everything up but before I was anywhere near done The MR left for work and therefore so did my mode of transportation.

Of course that’s when I finally figured out what parts I needed to fix the drain situation.

At long last…

Thankfully after 3 days with my kitchen torn apart, no running water down here, trying to feed 7 people, I got my sink up and running today!

I’ve rarely been so proud of anything as those drain pipes and I happily sat in front of my open cabinet watching water flowing down through them for quite some time!

Now I’m not trying to lead you to any conclusions here but you can clearly see this post is called Part 1.

I knew even before I put in the first piece of granite that this was far from over.

In fact in many ways it was just the beginning of a rather major renovation.

Can you guess what the 2 other MAJOR things are that the kitchen is now insisting on?

And no it isn’t a stainless steel stove. I already put in my request for one of those and I don’t consider that major at all!

Now that it’s all done and I have running water again, I’m really glad we did it. What a difference it has already made to the look of this poor old builder basic kitchen. Just don’t tell my kitchen I said that!

I can’t wait to see what a difference the next phase of this renovation makes to the overall look of this space.

Until then…..

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    • stilettosandshiplap

      I’ve got to try everything at least once 😀 If it doesn’t work the first time I usually try it again too! haha Thanks so much for your kind words. I can’t wait to get at the rest of the renovation as well. Perhaps on a less busy week though.

    • stilettosandshiplap

      Thanks so much, Jerri! I really appreciate that. It was a lot of hard work but definitely worth it and just the beginning of the changes to the kitchen.

  • Emily

    Tara, this looks amazing!! Your skills always impress me!! I can’t wait to see how it all looks when your cabinets are painted!

    • stilettosandshiplap

      I can’t wait either. Still looking for the type of paint that applies itself and then I’ll do that part of the reno ???

    • stilettosandshiplap

      Well there were 5 guys actually carrying the granite slab. I wasn’t all alone. 😀 Thanks Jodi

  • Susan Young

    Wow… Doing your own countertops? You are insane but I love it! Good for you! Can’t wait to see part two. I need to go and read the stain piece of your blog now.

    • stilettosandshiplap

      Yes, this isn’t the first time I have been called that and WON’T be the last! I can’t wait to see part 2 either. I’m thinking of going away while part 2 is being done. If only! haha

    • stilettosandshiplap

      I am proud of the job we did! You bet! I’m anxious to start on more of the kitchen makeover but I’ve promised to finish some unfinished projects first!

  • Julie

    So happy that you are in the progress of getting the kitchen you will love. My biggest wish for my kitchen is that I could paint the cupboards white. Not sure my landlord will go for it, when I finally get the courage to ask her! 😉 Thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering, Tara!

    • stilettosandshiplap

      Honestly I’ve gotten permission from landlords before to paint cabinets and such. It helps when they can see some of your work and know you are going to make it better than it was. There is some major painting in my kitchen’s future as well…..along with other surprises. Can’t wait to get back at it but I have to finish some other projects first!

  • Barbara

    Tara! What a score!!! You just saved yourself $4000 on granite, wow! Your kitchen looks great and didn’t you just share painting it from red to its new soft grey? Maybe that was somebody else… I get mixed up reading everyone’s fun blogposts. 😉 Anyway, happy to feature your post this week at Share Your Style #203 and I was literally cracking up… My house talks to me, too. 😉

    Happy spring and can’t wait to see your next renovation photos,
    Barb 🙂

    • stilettosandshiplap

      Hahahahaha thanks so much, Barb! It really does get its opinion across! Lol. You might have been thinking of me….I did paint the walls Sherwin Williams Sea Salt from a dark brown. My cabinets I also refinished a few years ago from honey oak to a dark reddish brown. Now I’m thinking they need to go light to look better with the dark granite. Hmmmm…..the kitchen is getting chatty again! Haha ?

    • stilettosandshiplap

      KariAnne – I’m basically speechless! I know that is saying a lot for a blogger 😀 As my favorite blogger, your compliments have made not only my day but my whole week. Maybe my whole month…. Thank you!

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