240 Comments

  1. Gina Keesling
    March 30, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

    I just discovered your blog and am LOVING the candid way you share your projects. I am a major newbie blogger and mostly started my own blog for psychological reasons – to keep my husband and I inspired AND to also inspire the builder that we are paying about a million dollars to, to do a good job for us and not flake out.

    It’s still early on in the project, but you can see it here https://ginakeesling.wordpress.com/
    Since you’ve been through this, you may be able sense the angst behind my story telling.

    But… while I am at it, I want to use the blog to promote my own business, and my long-suffering husband’s as well. Maybe I missed it, but I couldn’t see anywhere on your blog where you talk about what you and Paul do to pay the renovation bills. Is that crossing a line into a private zone?

    I was just curious. Like you mention in your kitchen manifesto, I am continually chapped at all the extravagance – I have looked at bare studs with insulation and plastic for so long – well I would be happy just to have normal wall covering and actual trim around my windows…

    Onward…
    Keep up the good work – i love what you are doing
    Gina

    Reply

  2. Parsimonious Décor Darling
    April 21, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

    Such wit! I found you via Between Naps On The Porch, and I am so glad I did. Fabulous post!

    Reply

  3. Sue
    May 17, 2015 @ 12:00 pm

    You’re so right about how not having a white kitchen with gray walls gray and tile is the only acceptable kitchen in the land lately. Here’s to wood cabinets!

    Reply

  4. Chrissy
    May 19, 2015 @ 5:18 pm

    I have a white kitchen with carrara counters and I super duper LOVE and ADORE my kitchen! I also tend to spend 80% of my waking hours in there so I’m happy it’s a beautiful space for me and my family. As for the white being a fad – I’m really not so sure about that! I grew up with a beautiful white kitchen (wood counter on the island, not sure what was on the surrounding cabinets but my parents had carrara in other areas of the house!). My parents house when they lost all their money? Also a white kitchen. The kitchen we redid 10 years ago in another house? Guess what I picked! WHITE! It might be a “fad” that some people will change but for me – it’s what I’ll choose if I ever have a choice! I avoided glass tile on my backsplash b/c I feel like that IS a trend. Instead I chose the same beveled subway tile that I chose 10 years ago on that other remodel! It’s a classic to me!

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  5. Becky
    July 23, 2015 @ 8:58 am

    What I can’t stand is all these bloggers painting everything over in white. Every kitchen makeover on every site is white, white, white and somehow involves subway tile. Even decent/fair modern oak cabinetry they do over. As you can tell I’m a fan of oak. The previous owners of our house had recently done a lot of new trim around the house in oak and had 10 year old oak cabinets that still looked great to us. We had plenty of other places to pour our money into when moving in. Someone saw the pictures of our house and said, “when are you going to find the time to paint all that trim!” Arggh! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

    Reply

  6. Carolyn S
    August 14, 2015 @ 3:37 pm

    My house is only 13 years old but when I bought it it was a “fixer upper” because the poor woman who was trying to fix it up before I moved in (after her divorce) apparently couldn’t reach any higher on her chair and so the paint ended about 2 inches before the top of the wall – Everywhere. The kitchen had been painted white over oak cabinets, but in order for it to look good it needs to be touched up frequently, because I don’t think she primed those cabinets, so the paint just keeps coming off. I did replace the countertops. The ceramic tile was chipped, the grout was dirty and it was impossible to make it look like any version of clean. We tried. Its not designer but its livable and we didn’t have to go in debt to make it happen. I sleep better at night knowing I’m out of debt and I’ve never once lost sleep worrying about my imperfect kitchen.

    Reply

  7. Cherie
    September 15, 2015 @ 8:40 pm

    I love you, love you, love you! Thank you for this, as I really needed your humor right now! BIG HUGS!!!!

    Reply

  8. Lena Campbell
    October 12, 2015 @ 1:18 am

    You are my new favorite person. Honesty: a rare commodity! I am the proud owner of a white kitchen with stainless steel appliances. I’d gladly throw the whole lot out the door. While I’m cleaning, I dream of cabinets that don’t show the powder from the Crystal Light and Kool-Aid packets. Yes, Kool-Aid. You don’t seem the type to judge so I freely admit I give it to my kids. Back to this kitchen: Did I mention these stainless steel appliances that need the fingerprints wiped from them endlessly? Well, I hate them too.

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  9. KX
    October 24, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

    Thank you!!! A thousand times, thank you.

    Reply

  10. lena
    November 12, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

    Call me crazy, but I read the above post and loved you. If you are ever in the phoenix valley can we please go to lunch! I’m pretty certain we should be friends.

    PS–I almost put a halt on my kitchen remodel…the one where I am doing white cabinetry…

    Reply

  11. kg
    December 13, 2015 @ 10:19 pm

    I get pretty down about my early ’90s blue, white, oak and formica kitchen occasionally, but sometimes all it takes for me to be happier is to just have a clean and decluttered kitchen. Some fresh hand towels. Pretty and meaningful art on the walls. I’m a lucky ducky to have a roof over my head and a place to make food for my fam.

    I have heard white appliances are making a comeback. It’s called “White Ice”, ha. I can dig it. Even if I had a “nice” kitchen, stainless would not be first choice.

    I think some of my favorite kitchens are the cozier, quirkier, more colorful ones featured in Apartment Therapy. Ones where people are renting and aren’t allowed to do major renovations and just make the best of what they have.

    Reply

  12. heather
    December 30, 2015 @ 9:27 am

    O to the M to the G. That may have been the most brilliant, hilarious post I’ve read in a while. THANK YOU!

    Reply

  13. Kymberly
    January 19, 2016 @ 8:57 am

    I brought Formica back. WHITE Formica. Even the pimpled teen stockboy at the Home Depot tried to talk me out of it.

    Now my granite and marble friends are protecting and sealing and guarding their solid surfaces like they are made of butterfly wings and fairy dust.

    My Formica, for a fraction of the cost, can handle hot pans, sharp(ish) knives, and when it gets a stain I slap some bleach on it and it cleans up like new.

    Reply

  14. Faith
    February 28, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

    “white, white, white, white, splash of soapstone”…Bring it on. And add a splash of color with a bouquet of flowers straight out of a Mrs Dalloway novel.

    But on a more serious note, I totally loved your post. Hilarious. True. And some of these kitchens would be mine, IF I could afford to change my kitchen, as often as I change my mind about what I like, and don’t like. Your next post needs to be one on how to make a decision and own it.

    So glad I found your blog. Keep up the amazing writing.

    Reply

  15. C Hipke
    March 9, 2016 @ 6:06 pm

    I know i’m super late to the party, but oh thank goodness for your posts. My kitchen remodel is trying to grind my soul and wallet under it’s expensive and certainly impossible to walk on high heeled shoe heel. Not that I doubted that i was alone in this trend, which makes me wail for humanity, but like, quietly, so i don’t have to continue wailing in some padded room, but reading your posts really drive the point home. plus, you know, you’re super funny, much humor, and possible insanity, that doesn’t hurt at all.

    Reply

  16. Kim W
    March 17, 2016 @ 3:57 am

    I bought my house from a builder’s sketch in 1983. They were unable to build model homes as the entire subdivision was sold out before they even finished grading the land.

    In the sketch my kitchen was a hexagon. At the time I just the thought of a hexagon kitchen, made me dreamy. No one has a hexagon kitchen. That’s right they do not, and there is a reason for that. The kitchen is all corners, nothing fits into those corners. So while it looks like a lot of cupboard space, it is empty space.

    It was supposed to be light oak cabinets, but they installed dark cabinets instead. I also have butcher block grained Formica. It is so easy to care for.

    Then they laid the vinyl flooring so that all the seams were in the walk way. I am sure that you can guess what happened to those seams.

    It may not be the prettiest, but the kitchen works, and I am used to it

    Reply

  17. Joy
    March 20, 2016 @ 12:14 am

    I’m buying my first house and am excited when i see granite with a backsplash, but I certainly have not expected such on my measly budget. I am happy when I see people on House hunters with my humble expectations. Many of them want to gut what I think are quite nice kitchens; it hurts my heart. In my house it looks as if I will end up with granite looking formica and no backsplash. At least formica is easy to clean as I assume granite has some sort of required maintenance. Eventually, I would like to add a backsplash and maybe put in shiny fake granite but for now, working appliances and counter space (I like to bake) are enough for me. I’m happy with the warm-toned kitchen now, but I can be equally happy in a brighter one. I would have to figure out how to paint cabinets if I ever wanted to change.
    the kitchen in my parent’s house has not changed decor since they moved in (they renovated in the early 70s just before they moved in). The cabinets are some sort of wood with plenty of grease build up over the years. The counters are faded yellow formica, and the walls are dark avocado green paneling. The sink is the same green (except for where in has worn down to black). The stove, fridge, and dishwasher used to be the same green, but over time, each one has been replaced. The stove is cream, the fridge is white, and the dishwasher (which may or may not work at the moment) is black. I am afraid of reaching back into the corner cabinets as they do not have the lazy susan setup; you just keep reaching into the dark recesses as far as you dare to find what you need.
    Oh yeah, the floors have I don’t know how many layers of linoleum on them. There is no enlarging the kitchen, but I have always wanted to see what a professional could do with our house. It does have charm, but my mother always reminded me, “A house is to live in, not to put on the cover of magazines.”

    Reply

  18. Marie Marie
    March 21, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

    My triangle-shaped 3’x3′ wide kitchen with just the refrigerator working seemed to trigger bouts of sadness, disgust and anxiety everytime I was in it. Frugality and living life ignoring trends and Joneses brought me tremendous financial freedom and joy. Mortgage-free 6 years after purchasing my home and $50K I considered play money, I had to choose between replacing my 20+ year old vehicle or my dark oak vinyled kitchen & 2 bathrooms. I did the latter without regrets! For 5 years, my new kitchen and bathrooms bring me peace, contentment, relief, a huge smile and joy… yes, JOY; there isn’t a day goes by when I am not feeling excited to be in my kitchen It gives me this sense of being in love. Can I just say this? I am in love with my kitchen! In the end, what I really want to say is that, work hard & pursue what you want for a new kitchen. Life is too short not to invest on happiness, even if it is short-lived. If you have the means to do it without putting yourself and family in a bind or hardship, I say go for it. Demo that old kitchen away and replace it. Don’t worry if it takes time. Research & study in the 1st year, demo in the 2nd year, design well & finalize in the 3rd year, purchase the materials in the 5th year, install in the 6th. Meaning, do whatever works for you. Do it in your own time. Ignore the Joneses.

    Reply

  19. Jess Townes
    March 23, 2016 @ 8:22 am

    This piece reminded me of one of my very favorite posts from Glennon Melton that I think you’ll like too- http://momastery.com/blog/2014/08/11/give-liberty-give-debt/

    All of our kitchens are luxury kitchens if you think about it! Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply

  20. Bonnie
    April 4, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

    This brings back all the angst of a total kitchen redo we had done about 15 years ago in a house built in the 1920s. It had the original kitchen cabinets that were falling off the walls. At some point they’d replaced the countertops with white Formica with gold starbursts, and put down some fake stone shiny vinyl flooring. My angst, my quest was my faucets and knobs. I wanted, no I NEEDED polished nickel. No chrome would do, and certainly not brass. Yes, I spent a small to moderate fortune on two faucets and about 50 knobs and pulls. We’ve since moved on to another house, but I still get pleasure from the thought of stroking my hard but soft, warm but cool polished nickel. I hope you get that faucet.

    Reply

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