Before & Afters Home Improvement

Bye Bye Boat…Hello New Kitchen!

18 November, 2013

Soooo…yeah…I mentioned in previous posts that we are working our tails off to get the house ready for the baaayyybeeeee!!!  Yayyy!  Slowly, we are checking off the to-dos that have haunted us since we have lived in our home.  We completed our kitchen a couple of months ago…like…the day before we threw our gender reveal party.  Oops…sorry for the stress meester contractor…who always happens to be my bro-in-law…

The most exciting part of this mini reno is that my BIL (brother in law) did the work which saved us some mulah.  Holla!  (How cool am I for saying “holla”…I know…super cool.)  Okay…guess how we paid for the work?  I’ll give you a hint…the answer is within this post title.  If you guessed with a boat…then you are WRONG!!!

Just kidding.

You are so right.  We were in the market to get rid of our little ski boat…because really…can’t say we will be  taking the baby skiing any time soon.  My BIL and I were in the midst of negotiating the estimated cost of work…our texts went something like this…

Me:  How much for the kitchen?

BIL:  $$$$  How much you want your boat?

Me:  $$$$

BIL:  Let’s do a trade.  Your boat for my work.

Me:  Ohhhkkaaaayyy!!!

How easy and perfect was that?  He and my sister have 2 young sons…so the boat is perfect for their little family <3

Bye bye boat!


We only had to pay for the appliances and a few other minor things.  We had already replaced the fridge and dishwasher.  Our appliances were all dying a slow death one by one.  I’m pretty sure the microwave was the next to go.

kitchen before

See that handle hanging on for dear life.  Yeah…it was long gone by the time we had it replaced and the door didn’t even close half the time.  You can see in the above pic another issue we had with that darn micro.  See how close it is to the stovetop?  Makes no sense what-so-ever.

Here is a pic of our entire kitchen:

kitchen before

It’s not tooooo bad…except of course the dying appliances…and the leaky sink…and the blinding white.  I know that white kitchens are a must these days, but not THAT white!  Take a close look.  White cabinets, white countertops, white sink, white backsplash, white appliances.  Sheesh.  The first thing that I did when we moved in was paint the WHITE walls just to add a little color to our lives.  The layout satisfies my needs and the cabinets are in great shape.  Those two things stayed to same.

I found many inspirational pictures and pinned them to my Kitchen Love Pinterest board.  If you happen to look at any of them you will find that our new kitchen looks nothing like I envisioned.  I’ll explain along the way.

First things first…this wall…has to go…


On the other side of that wall is the living area.  You can see it is open to the left and there is a doorway to the right.  That wall blocked just enough view of the living area to annoy me.  We couldn’t get rid of the whole thing because, of course, it is load bearing.

living room

View of annoying wall from living area.

We had two choices.  Knock most of the wall out and leave 2 load bearing posts or put a hole in the wall.  We went with the cheaper option.


Welcome to our hole in the wall!  Not only does it brighten up the entire space, but now I don’t feel all sad and lonely while I am in the kitchen cooking.  How exciting is that?  We also like it because we can now catch Jenkins in the act when he tries to sneak and eat Bella’s food.


Shared on Instagram @luchandler

Don’t let that sweet face fool you.  We have already been scolded by our vet because this one thinks every meal is a help yourself buffet!

I cannot leave out the fact that the hole will also come in handy when the time comes that our little one is here.  Our little love will always be within our sight :-)

Whew…this has been a long post.  My apologies.  Let’s get on to the after pictures already!

Say hello to our new kitchen…

kitchen makeover

Kitchen says “hi” back.

That hole makes me happy!  (That sounded weird.)

Although I absolutely love our new kitchen…would you believe that I could not find anything that I was looking for?  I couldn’t find counters that I liked.  I couldn’t find backsplash that I liked.  It was all a frustrating process, but just like everything else in life it all worked out.

kitchen makeover

I love the way my BIL framed out the hole with the backsplash.

We added about 6 inches of counter space.


We replaced our scratched up sink and leaky faucet.  I am loving the one basin vs two basin sink and that chrome faucet is easier to keep clean than I thought it would be.  In love with that gooseneck faucet!sink

We love our new stovetop and you can see the sad sick microwave is gone!  Super happy with the increase in space.


New convection oven that I am still trying to figure out how to use.  Don’t hold your breath.

kitchen remodel

Our new not-sick microwave found it’s home hidden above the oven.  It is just low enough for me to reach and still high enough to prevent the mini Craig from trying to warm up any of our pets.

new microwave

kitchen reno

It is amazing what a difference new knobs can make.  We had a couple of people ask if we got new cabinets because they look so different.

cabinet knobs

Well…we softened up the paint on the walls and that is it!  The kitchen is ready and marked off the to-do list.  Woohoo!!  Nothing fancy, but definitely better than what we started with.  I do believe a functional kitchen is way better than a boat don’t you think?  Don’t answer that if you are a guy!

Here is a roundup of where I got the shiny new things:

Knobs: Lowe’s

Countertops: Granite in Niagra Gold

Backsplash:  Botticino Marble Tile  from Floor & Decor

Appliances: Brandsmart

Sink:  Kraus from FaucetDirect

Faucet:  Moen from FaucetDirect

Hood:  Broan from Amazon  (FYI-not happy with this product.  It is pretty but very noisy and not very powerful.)

Paint:  Cottage Cream Sherwin Williams

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!  Next up will probably be our old guest bathroom mini reno.  Fun times at the Chandlers!

Hope you all have a fantastic day and an even better weekend! :-)

And just so Bella doesn’t feel left out…


Shared on Instagram @luchandler



I often share with these amazing peeps…

Creative Homeacre Blog Hop @ A Cultivated Nest
DIY Project Parade @DIY Showoff
Overflowing With Creativity @It’s Overflowing
Think Pink Sunday @Flamingo Toes
Nifty Thrifty Sunday @Nifty Thrifty Things
Funday Monday @ Still Being Molly
Give Me the Goods @ Better With Age
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple Crafts
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
Tutorial and Tips @ Home Stories A to Z
Make The Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill
The Scoop @ Confessions of a Plate Addict
Project Inspired @ Yesterday on Tuesday
Tuesdays Treasures @ Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House
From Dream to Reality @ The DIY Dreamer
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
A Little Birdie Told Me Link Party @ The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Down Home Bloghop @ Tilly’s Nest
Work it Wednesday @ The Happy Housie
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Whimsy Wednesday
Swing into Spring Wednesday @ DIY by Design
Work It Wednesday @ Place of My Taste
The 36th Avenue Party Time @ 36th Avenue
Inspiration Gallery @ Craftberry Bush
Inspire Me Please @  Liz Marie Blog 
Grace at Home @ Imparting Grace
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now Blog
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Fabulously Creative Friday @ Jennifer Rizzo
Feathered Nest Friday @ The French Country Cottage
Weekend Wrap Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Lovely Crafty Weekend @ Lovely Crafty Home
Fertilizer Friday @ Tootsie Time
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act


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  • Reply Abby 20 November, 2013 at 3:34 am

    What a great change! That whole in the wall really opens that space up. I love white, but I agree that too much is too much. Love how you warmed up the space with a little bit of color!

    • Reply Luisa 20 November, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Hey thanks! I went to you blog and just realized that I haven’t been receiving your post updates :-( I wonder why?

  • Reply Alana 21 November, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Your remodel looks amazing!

    • Reply Luisa 22 November, 2013 at 6:39 am

      Glad you like it Alana :-)

  • Reply Jesse 22 November, 2013 at 5:16 am

    So gorgeous! I love your faucet and I am totally jealous that your microwave is tucked away where you can’t see it. I wish mine was hidden. Microwaves are a necessary evil.

    • Reply Luisa 22 November, 2013 at 6:41 am

      Thanks! I was nervous about losing more cabinet space, but I think it worked out quiet nicely!

  • Reply Liz 24 November, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Oh it looks wonderful!! And it made such a difference to open that wall up. I too wish our microwave was hidden away behind doors. I hate how it seems to close off our stove area.

    And…where did you get your rugs? I love the pattern and color!

    • Reply Luisa 25 November, 2013 at 3:55 am

      Hey there! The rugs came from Homegoods a while back. You know how that place is…there one day…gone the next! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! :-)

  • Reply Kim (TheKimSixFix) 24 November, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I looks so good. I think it was well worth the boat!

    • Reply Luisa 25 November, 2013 at 3:56 am

      Haha…thanks for agreeing!

  • Reply Laura @ The Turquoise Home 25 November, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    What an amazing transformation … and I think the new hole makes all the difference. What a great design choice! Thanks for linking up at Work it Wednesday!!

    • Reply Luisa 26 November, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Thank you! And thank you so much for hosting!

  • Reply Jake's a Girl 25 November, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    You might not have found anything you were looking for or wanted … But… What you found is beautiful! I love the pass through framed out with the backsplash.

    Jake’s a Girl

    • Reply Luisa 26 November, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like it too! The framed backsplash wasn’t my idea either, but everything turned out great!

  • Reply cynsbeachhouse 25 November, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    AWESOME! Tell your BIL I have an heirloom 380 SL convertible with only 40K miles. Wanna trade including room and board for my kitchen? 😉

    • Reply Luisa 26 November, 2013 at 7:22 am

      Haha…I’ll run it by him!

  • Reply Jennifer Dawn 27 November, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Fantastic job! It looks great! We are wanting to remodel our kitchen soon. I know what you mean about having a hard time finding the cabinets, tile, and such that you want… That is my struggle right now too. Your choices all work nicely together.

    • Reply Luisa 27 December, 2013 at 8:42 am

      Thank you Jennifer! It’s like…I see a picture of something beautiful and then I can’t physically find that inspiration anywhere. Ugh…oh well…we are really enjoying what we have though. Good luck with your remodel! I’ll be looking forward to seeing it! :-)

  • Reply Sherry 27 November, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Looks great!

    • Reply Luisa 27 December, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Thank you Sherry! :-)

  • Reply pam 27 December, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Luisa, you (and your brother in law :) ) did a fantastic job. I love all the changes. Despite them not being your first choices, the materials are all beautiful, especially (imo) the countertop. So pretty! And yes, I totally understand what you mean about feeling lonely when you can’t see someone, even when you’re just a few feet away, lol. That hole makes a whole lot of difference. (See what I did there? ) I’m glad you’re happy with your new kitchen. I like white too, but agree that was a bit much. Like you said, even the new knobs bring at least a little color and warmth and break up the monotony. I wonder about the builder who chose all white, lol. Maybe he was color blind. Even white counters though?!! Anyway, now it looks the way it should. Beautiful. Just like you and your little family. :)

    • Reply Luisa 27 December, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Awww…Pam! Thank you for your sweet comment! We really are happy with how everything turned out. When we first walked through this home, it was like walking through a sterile hospital…EVERYTHING was white. The only good thing about it was that we had a nice clean slate to work with. We are just blessed to have a roof over our heads!

  • Reply 2013 Home Improvement Goals Revisited 27 December, 2013 at 10:30 am

    […] by having our brother-in-law complete it AND we traded our old boat for his labor.  See full reno here…or click “after” pic […]

  • Reply Platinum Cleanser 9 September, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Platinum Cleanser

    Bye Bye Boat…Hello New Kitchen!

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