March 14, 2010

Ottawa interior decorator: The real & official kitchen makeover post

tulips RS2 If you’ve been following DesignTies for a while, you might remember my Weeehooo!!!! Time for a new kitchen!!! post from last May. Yes, last May — almost 10 months ago. And you might have noticed that there hasn’t been a “Here’s my new kitchen!!!” post since then. Well kids, the time has finally arrived… after ripping out tiles & drywall, drilling holes in the ceiling, big-time countertop aggravation, a fresh coat of paint on all the trim, two coats of paint on the cabinet boxes, four coats of paint on the walls, and transporting 50 cabinet doors and drawers to and from the painter in a smart car, our kitchen is done. Well, 99% done. But who knows how long that last 1% will take, so here it is… our kitchen makeover!!

This is what we started off with:


There was nothing really wrong with the kitchen structurally. The cabinets are solid wood, the layout is functional, the appliances are all relatively new and work fine… it was all the stinky pink that I couldn’t stand. Not to mention the laminate countertops had bubbled up along the seams in a crock pot incident.

counter & basksplash before

It took eight years to convince hubby to get rid of all the pink. But once we finally got started, there was no turning back!!

First we selected the granite for the countertop — Brown Cabernet.

CabernetBrown 3

We selected our slabs in May, but we weren’t ready for the templating till August, which is when the sink arrived. And we had to so some demo — no major demo, but hubby decided the best way to remove the backsplash tiles was to take down the upper cabinets and actually cut out the drywall along with the tiles. Even the walls behind the cabinets were pink!! Seriously. Here’s proof:

pink wall

We also had to remove all the window trim. At this point, I decided I liked our kitchen better without the upper cabinets. But hubby was like, uh, yeah, right — NOT HAPPENING!! But, I did manage to convince him to replace the window sill with casing. A small detail, but that extra inch or two of room behind the sink makes a big difference.

So now we have freshly drywalled walls and a granite composite sink from Kindred in Havana (the colour, not the city in Cuba!!).

sink close

We decided to install pendant lights above the peninsula. I wanted pendants with copper shades that cost $150 each. Hubby found pendants with swirly red glass shades at Home Depot for $30 each. Guess who won this stand-off…

pendants 3

But actually, these pendants add great colour to the kitchen. Plus hubby’s the one who had to go up into the attic to drill the holes and install the junction box, so I had to humour him ;-)

Hubby wanted to widen the peninsula and create an eating area on the counter, so he built a bank of cabinets along the eating area side:

new cabinets

Now we’re ready for the countertop. Oh, the countertop. The %$#^#$!% countertop!! We waited for the granite. And waited. And waited. And… you get the point. Almost two months after the templating was done, the countertops finally went in. Beautiful stone, but shitty workmanship on the install. Unpolished edges, uneven seams, and the faucet wasn’t centered. Not to mention the granite wasn’t sealed. Trust me when I say DO NOT DEAL WITH CLASSIC TILE & MARBLE IN OTTAWA. Unless you like delays, inferior workmanship, and general all-around BS. But that’s a post for another day — this is a positive and happy “Yay, my kitchen is finished!!” post :-)

Upper cabinets back in place and countertop, sink, and faucet installation done:

peninsula faucet

Next came the uber-fantabulous mother-of-pearl backsplash tiles from Mirage Glass Tiles that the uber-fantabulous Paul at Kitchen and Residential Design recommended. LOVE THEM. They are absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Paul is a genius!!!

So that’s what we did on my birthday — the big backsplash install :-) Happy Birthday to me!! At some point, I painted all the trim in BM Cloud White. And then I painted the walls Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige — another great suggestion from Paul :-)

I had painted the switch plate covers in the kitchen copper years ago. They didn’t quite work with the brown tiles, so I pulled out a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint, and voila, brand new (looking) switch plate covers :-)

switchplace cover

Now we had to agree on a paint colour for the cabinets. I wanted dark, he wanted white. We sort of met in the middle, although I think he got a colour closer to what he wanted. That being said, I do love the colour we decided on — Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey.


So the week before Christmas, we took down all the doors and I brought them to RLD Industries to be painted. Unfortunately, they had a big job to do for the military and then they were closed over the holidays. They said they’d try to have the doors ready by the end of the first or second week of January. So this is what our kitchen looked like for three weeks:

no doors

As you can see, the cabinet bodies are no loner pink. YAY!! I painted them over the Christmas holidays. I also painted the big coffin light fixture on the ceiling Cloud White to make it disappear as much as possible.

Unlike our crappy granite experience, our RLD experience was awesome — the doors and drawers were ready at the end of the first week of January. Yahoo!! And the quality is fantastic. No way could we have painted them as well ourselves.

doors close up

We kept the brushed copper door hardware, which saved us a couple of hundred dollars. I’d already convinced hubby to replace the original cabinet hardware with these copper handles about 8 years ago, and he wasn’t going for replacing them again!!

Once all the doors were hung, I realized there wasn’t enough contrast between the cabinet colour and the wall colour. UGH!!! I ended up repainting the walls a darker version of Balanced Beige — somewhere between Tony Taupe and Virtual Taupe.

tony taupe virtual taupe

So now that I’ve teased you with all these “in progress” shots, here it is… our finished kitchen (minus the artwork and the stools that hubby is making). Just to remind you what it looked like before…


…and during…

no doors

Here it is, the after!!

from eating area 1 RS

Here’s a tour around the room, starting with the window wall…

window RS

glass cabinets RS

Moving along to the peninsula…

from beside fridge RS

Looking from the peninsula towards the patio doors. The curtains are custom-made — I love the look of the horizontal stripes :-)

curtains RS

And to the wall opposite the window wall…

from eating area angle 3 RS

Here’s a close-up of the niche:

niche RS

And a few more random shots…

looking down from FR 1 RS

looking up 2 RS looking up RS looking down from FR 3 RS   looking down from eating area RS

Whew!! I know it’s a long post, but just think — it took a lot less time to read about the makeover than it took to DO the makeover!! ;-)

Thanks again to Paul, and also to Susan at Moving Designz for re-affirming our Edgecomb Grey selection. And thanks to all our readers who commented on my previous kitchen posts with their thoughts and suggestions :-)

And finally, no makeover is complete until it’s part of Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch!! If I haven’t tired you out with my kitchen makeover, head over to BNOTP to check out what other makeovers people have been up to lately (or over the past year!!) The Met Monday blog party starts at about 8:00 tonight…

sig new


micah said...

GORGEOUS!!! Sorry about your countertop issues, but it all worked out in the end and it looks AWESOME!! I bet it feels so good to have it all done :)

Paul Anater said...

Thanks for the shout and and it does look terrific Kelly, you guys did a superb job. Just think of all the learning you did during that 10 months...

The House That A-M Built said...

Oh it's just gorgeous! Your colour choices are perfect! What a transformation.... well worth the wait. I too had a horrific stone benchtop installation experience to the point that even though they were subcontractors, to my kitchen people, I don't think I could recommend my actual kitchen people due to their subcontractors!! ...mine broke one of my bathroom sinks and just left it there on the floor, hoping no-one would notice! Wow, great lessons though, Paul above is so right about the learning! Well done, enjoy your beautiful kitchen. A-M xx

Kat said...

Kelly, this is just gorgeous! All of your choices are dead on - and that backsplash is amazing. I love those pendant lights, great pop of color and they work so well with the window treatment. Sorry to hear about your frustrating countertop installation, but I adore the granite that you chose. I assume they made it right? Because it looks beautiful. Enjoy! Kathy

Low Tide High Style said...

Wow, what a beautiful transformation! The room looks twice as big now with your gorgeous "new" painted cabinets! And I'm sorry you had so many hassles with your granite fabricator, but those counters are gorgeous! And what a wonderful birthday present to have that stunning glass mosaic backsplash installed! Everything looks wonderful and I'm sure you smile every time you walk in your beautiful new kitchen!

Kat :)

Susan said...

Hi Kelly,

Good bye and good riddance PINK cabs!!!

Well hello... classic kitchen.

It's fantastic!!! Painting the cabinets has made your kitchen look huge... ahhh kinda jealous of all your cabinet space right now :) especially all that pantry space.

I think your backsplash choice is so absolutely perfect with the countertops. It complements them so nicely, and adds that je ne sais quoi ... "sparkle"?

Thank you for the mention on the cabinet colour. I'm glad it worked out for you. Edgecomb Grey is an amazing colour and looks awesome on your cabinets. Loving the faucet, the sink, the pendants and your choice of painting the french door black.

Is is just me or does your layout resemble Sylvia's kitchen? Especially the corner work area?

You and "hubby" have done an amazing job! Kuddos to both of you for your patience and determination. As for your experience with the countertops, unfortunately it happens and you just cross them off the list for future projects.

I only wish I could drop over for a coffee or a glass of wine to get to know you better. And see your kitchen in person. Then again I think you might be coming to PEI this summer? I can share my kitchen reno with you... which still isn't complete BTW.

cheers friend

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic said...

Wow it's gorgeous! I love how everything looks together! I still am so in love with those tiles - they really make the kitchen!

Mrs B said...

Hi kelly

I never doubted for one minute that your kitchen transformation wouldnt be anything less than WOW! I love those shiny mosiac tiles, absolutely stunning as a splashback. As for the granite installers...lesson learnt and dont we really appreciate the tradies who do take pride in their work! Anybody who has renovated or built before have at least one bad experience with shoddy work. With us it was our endless search to find somebody to even design our draftsman didnt even turn up for the appointment and with no apology.
At least now kelly, you will have a list of people who you would use again for future builds.
A big standing ovation for you Kelly...I think designing a kitchen is the hardest room in the house.

mrs B xx

Andrea @ The Dawley Fam said...

This looks great! I love your granite!

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

Kelly, your kitchen looks great!!! I always tell clients that remodeling your kitchen is really difficult,but it is all worth it when you see the finished product. I love the wall color & the red accents. Congratulations!

Atticmag said...

Looks fab and your backsplash is really a hit. I remember seeing those pink toned cabs when I was redoing my MBR bath.

I can't believe I never thought to send my kitchen cabs OUT to be painted. Thanks for the tip. Will keep in mind for my own redo.
Jane T.

Kammy said...

Very nice and so much fresher looking !

Gayle said...

Kelly, it's beautiful! I love everything about it!

(Your site loaded a little slowly, but it did load this time.)

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Your kitchen is gorgeous...I especially like the pendant light fixtures!

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

Yay! no more "stinky pink" - haha - love that term. You did a phenomonal job - down to every little detail -well worth the wait!! I ADORE your mother-of pearl back splash. May you enjoy many happy and yummy meals in there!!

Lori said...

When I saw the before I thought it looked great, but now seeing the after WOW! It looks great. We redid our kitchen down to the studs, so I know the pain you went through, but it's well worth it. I love it.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comments.

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Love that kitchen! I would agree with ditching the upper cabinets, but would really miss the storage! Oh, we have tony taupe on the exterior of our house, along with white trim and black shutters and door....imagine your kitchen with the white and the black dishwasher! Linda

From the Old InkWell said...

Beautiful kitchen! Love that bronze color. Love everything from the counter tops to the backsplash!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Kelly, this is Stunning. I am getting to where I just love white painted cabinets. Your redo is wonderful. Everything is just perfect. Sounds like a little trying at times, but oh so worth it. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

Kelly, Congratulations on your beautiful kitchen. Now enjoy!

Be Colorful Coastal said...

This is stunning. I love your pendant lamps. A kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking but well worth the effort and yours is beautiful. Congrats.

Sewconsult said...

Beautiful, wonderful, fabtastic. I love it all, but my favorite is the tile work.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Maggie said...

We are just about to tackle our kitchen and I absolutely love what you've done!!!

I'm going save this in my idea file!

Lisa said...

It's gorgeous! Wow you guys must be so pleased, the backsplash just pops the whole kitchen and I love the painted cabinets - great colour. I too have had a horrible granite countertop experience and it ended with a BBB complaint, but that's another story.

P.S. Thanks for all your lovely comments on my blog...I enjoy reading them.

Karena said...

Love the pendant lights and the warmth & glow of the kitchen!

Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! I love it! I don't think I've ever seen a prettier backsplash! Stunning! The pendants are just perfect too! Cabinets, colors, countertops! Oh, it's beautiful!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Danica said...

This looks amazing! Love the tiles and your toaster looks super cool. I know, not part of the reno, but I noticed it so I thought I'd say something. It may have taken a long time, but it was well worth it. Great job!

Vanessa@decor happy said...

Beautiful kitchen Kelly! I'm sure it's well worth the wait and frustration.

BubBLeS said...

That looks absolutely uber-fantastic!! :D Congratulations on a job well done! I've never doubted that it'd look anything less super, but seeing the before and after pics always make me *gasp*!! I'm sure you'll go on and bake some cakes and cookies.. or even a roast in that wonderful kitchen? Maybe you should blog about that next... the creations of the perfect kitchen! :)

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Absolutely spectacular! I know how much work this was, having just finished mine. Every day I stand in my new kitchen and go "wow". I bet you'll be spending lots of time in yours, uttering that word too!

Unknown said...

i love how the back splash just sparkles when light hits it.. very pretty kitchen. And the hanging lights color just pops.

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful transformation! I love pendants and the star chandelier! The color combinations is beautiful and the backsplash is stunning! Definitely worth the work, time, and inconvenience!


Wanda Lee said...



qerat said...

Great transformation Kelly. anything looks better than Pink !!
It looks so fresh now.

Designwali said...

congratulations! It looks fabulous and well worth the exhaustive effort!

Karen said...

Absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on finishing it & on a great job!

Greet Lefèvre said...

The kitchen is fabulous! You can hardly believe it is the same place! I love the colours you used and the doorhandles and the curtains! A wonderful wonderful job!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow, Kelly! That's quite a transformation. Congratulations! It must feel so good to have it done. :-)

Treasia Stepp said...

It's simply stunning now. I love, love, love the backsplash and the pendant lights. It's gorgeous.

Sonia said...


So many lovely changes you made! EVerythiing is awesome...looks like a completely gutted kitchen and redo...had to believe you just painted cabinets...they are beautiful and the granite is backsplash is perfect. Congrats -one of the best kitchen re-dos I've seen! TFS

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design said...

Awesome transformation! Everything you have selected looks amazing! Right down to the curtain and valance that! Kudos!

Donna Rafferty said...

What a great kitchen makeover! I know it seemed to take forever, but it was well worth the wait - gorgeous!

Happy Met Monday!

Laura Trevey said...

Wow!!! It looks amazing... and I LOVE the Mother of Pearl tiles.... very chic!

xoxo Laura

Nancy's Daily Dish said...

What a change and all for the better. That is the most gorgeous backsplash! I LOVE it!!!! I also love the three pendant lights hanging over the bar area. So nice! I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

I just found your blog from BNOTP and I love it. I am your newest follower!

DesignTies said...

Wow!! I'm floored by all of your great comments!!! Judging by your reactions, hubby did a good job selecting the pendant lights :-) Although I have to say the backsplash is my very favourite part of the makeover :-)

I've been by to visit all of your blogs -- I enjoyed seeing all the different Met Monday posts and discovering some blogs I hadn't seen before :-)

Thanks again!!


mrsben said...

Whoo hoo, its completed. I hope you cracked open a bottle of champagne and celebrated. It looks fantastic Kelly!!!!!! MARVELOUS JOB! -Brenda-

P.S: I was going to ask you where your very chic toaster was, but I spotted it afterwards on the counter.

Lana said...

WONDERFUL kitchen re-do! I am SOOO sorry for the counter top trevails! Good service is a rare thing any more! but the color is absolutely fabulous!
Hugs, Lana
PS I love the backsplash!!!

Unknown said...

Turned out great. love that back splash

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

What a transformation. It is beautiful!


Carolyn said...

It looks amazing,you must be so happy with it!!!


Fifi Flowers said...

Trés FAB!!! J'adore the pendant lights and the backsplash the most!!!! EVERYTHING looks GREAT!!!
BTW... Kelly... I don't drink tea either... BUT I do adore tea cups... is ok to drink cafe creme in teacups? If not, I'll just admire them!

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

Looks great! Love the backsplash.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Kelly! Amazing! I love it...especially all of the touches of red...gorgeous! Happy week1...hugs...Debbie

Brillante Interiors said...

Great job Kelly and "Hubby", worth the delays and troubles.
Alessi bowl looks good even if difficult to see it...

unique unique design said...

You all did a fantastic job!! I love the choices you made...the granite (sorry about the difficulties), the stunning backsplash tiles, your colors, and the pop of color in the lighting. Great job, well done. And, now you get to cook!

Kelly@ColorSizzle said...

Beautiful, Kelly! I LOVE your new sink and the backsplash, too. Terrific job! And it only took you eight years to convince hubby it was time for a change? Amazing! :)


Nancy@marcusdesign said...

I had to laugh while reading as I really understand the 'trying to convince hubby' aspect!! I think I have almost worked my way to changing our backsplash!!!:)

Sharon said...

I think hubby and you make a great team, his choices are not bad, not bad at all;)
Great job!

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

Congrats on a fantastic kitchen makeover! You know what word came to my mind when seeing the after pics? "refined". Now that's a great adjective, right?

The pearl mosaic tiles are to die for, and I thing your hubby did good with the red lamps, the color adds such a kick to the room!

BTW thanks for commenting on my blog, I can't comprehend how your delicious blog has flown under my radar for so long??

Linda @ theLENNOXX (your new fan =)

Maria Killam said...

Beautiful! I love it! and such a lovely styling job for the shoot as well! Enjoy your new kitchen!

Barbara Matson said...

I am jealous. I LOVE white kitchens. If only my landlord could have the same vision and let me paint over their "gasp" oak cabinets, I would be a happy woman.

kelly, Arte Styling said...

What a beautiful makeover! Looks really, really great. I especially like that pop or red (sometimes HD does the job!) And you were very successful in disguising the "coffin" (love it) light fixture. Kudos to you for keeping your old cabinets and making them work instead of ripping them out and buying new. Great way to be eco-responsible!!!

Erika Ward said...

How many ways can I say awesome!! This kitchen is absolutely FAB and so worth the wait!!! You all were so smart and sounds like you saved a ton of money. I bet you can't stop looking at it!

Christy said...

KELLY! Your kitchen is absolutely STUNNING! I love it! And I love all the different angles you showed it to us from! That backsplash is to die for - and I have a very similar pendant lamp in mine - great taste, girlfriend! It was a long wait, but I'm sure you think it was worth it! I wish I lived near so I could pop over for a cup of tea and bask in it's glory!!! What a job well done!!!

Janis@White Alder[Home} said...

WOWEE!!! That's a stunner!!! You did an amazing job, I bet you love spending time in there....and I bet all your guests hang out there too!!

Thanks for the heads up about "classic tile" I'll make sure to stay clear of those guys.

marie @ MOOT said...

Great job Kelly! I can't get over that awesome backsplash :)

Diane Schuller said...

absolutely spectacular makeover! My favourite is definitely the mother-of-pearl backsplash! Bar none. Love those pendant lights too. The entire look is divine :)

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Wow, wow, wow! Thanks for taking us on a tour of the kitchen through all the phases, although I'm sure there were several phases we didn't see :)!

All of your choices are perfect - the paint colours, the countertop (although painful), the backsplash, the pendants, the window treatments - all of it!

You must both sport huge grins everytime you walk into the kitchen - I know I would!

Great Job - both of you!

the cape on the corner said...

looks great. my cabinets are like yours, with the arch and the turned up edges, and i would love to make a few with glass inserts. thanks for letting me see what it would look like! great inspiration.

cansy said...

got some creative furnitures here, love them, it's just talented

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Gorgeous remodel!
I LOVE the tile splash. Sorry to hear about your crappy granite experience. Guys like that give us all a bad name!
It turned out beautifully though. :)

angelo said...

Excellent job! It must feel like huge relief to be done. Congrats and enjoy---BTW, I didn't see any fresh baked cookies, cakes or pies. Hmmmm, the ONLY thing that was missing.

Holly said...

BRAVO!!! Well done girl!!
So the paint went on well?...I was wondering as I am thinking about my oak cupboards as well so I will keep the guys who you use in the mind :)

kinga at blueloom said...

Hi Kelly

Your kitchen is beautiful. I love the red/orange accents in your window treatments and lamps. We renovated our 70s kitchen ourselves (on a budget) and painted all cabinets as well, so we know how long it can take to renovate a kitchen. I'm sure you love your new kitchen! It's very elegant, warm and inviting.
We also lived without cabinet doors for more than a year and some friends were joking that we will never finish the kitchen reno.

Your kitchen wasn't actually so bad before (our kitchen was ugly).
Your new kitchen is very elegant, warm and inviting. Great design!

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