Kitchen Remodel - The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management

Kitchen Remodel

When we purchased our house we knew the kitchen needed to be remodeled. The formica counters were coming apart at the seams (literally),  the linoleum was peeling up and so dirty you couldn’t get it clean, and the cabinets were coming apart and smelled like old smoke.

Not only was it in bad condition the flow of the kitchen did not work.

If you opened the refrigerator door it hit the island. When the fridge was open you could not enter the kitchen through the garage. If the oven door was open you could only stand next to it not in front of it because there wasn’t enough room between the door and the island.

We had a laundry room next to the kitchen that was also very small. It was so narrow that you had to stand next to the water and dryer to get clothes out because with the door open you couldn’t stand in front of it.

It took us almost six months to figure out exactly what we wanted to do in the kitchen and laundry room and another six weeks to complete the job.

Since we decided to move walls, gas, and water lines we hired a contractor to do the work. Neither my husband or myself have much experience with remodeling and while we are always trying new projects and learning we felt this was something we were unable to tackle without significant help.


This was the refrigerator that came with the house. You couldn’t open the doors all the way because of the island. It was also tiny.


Kitchen before: Blue/green laminate counters, white laminate cabinets, gray linoleum floors. This is the view from the sunroom. We thought getting a French door fridge would help with the space issue, and it did, but unfortunately we bought a fridge that was too big for the space and ended up taking off the molding to make it fit.


The small closet pantry was between the garage door and the fridge making for a very narrow entry into the kitchen. We come in to our house through the garage so this was not optimal.


Kitchen sink side of the kitchen.


Doors to the sunroom. The opened into the kitchen.


Sunroom/ breakfast room. This room had indoor outdoor carpeting and leads to our deck and pool

view from door

View from the garage entry into the kitchen.

sink before

View from fridge across the kitchen.


We also had a desk in our kitchen. This really limited our cabinet space and quickly became a resting place for all our junk.


Laundry room right off the kitchen. It was too small to have a large washer and dryer, so the stacked unit came with the house.

We decided to move our laundry room to the basement. I know many people prefer having laundry on the main level, but we really wanted a large pantry and turning the laundry room into a pantry was the easiest way to do that. We also wanted more space for the laundry and moving it to the basement gave us a large laundry area.

We wanted to connect our kitchen and sunroom so we needed flooring that could hold up to wet kids coming in and out of the pool all summer. We chose a porcelain tile that looks like wood. It has some texture so it isn’t as slippery when wet as wood or tile.

I also wanted something that could handle seven kids, their friends, and the numerous visitors we have in our house all year. I needed something that didn’t show dirt and was easy to clean. I found this WOW tile from Colli and fell in love. It is very different, and definitely not for everyone, but the second I saw it at the showroom I knew it was exactly what I wanted. I also knew it was BOLD so I spent a few weeks agonizing over it but finally decided to go for it!


There are several versions of this tile if you like the look but aren’t looking for such statement flooring in your house. This tile comes in 6 x 36 planks and is porcelain.

We tore out the pantry and moved the fridge creating a wall of cabinets.



I opted for drawers because I think they are so versatile in a kitchen. We use our drawers for pots and pans, cookie sheets, tupperware, and plastic dishes. Many people asked us why we ripped out white cabinets and replaced them with white cabinets. If I could have kept our cabinets I would of, but the smell was so bad I didn’t think we could.

We purchased Sequoia thermofoil maple cabinets. I did a ton of research before deciding on the thermofoil. I really wanted white cabinets and everything I read said the thermofoil would hold up better than painted white cabinets.


I decided on a glass backsplash. This was probably the easiest decision I made in the whole process. I saw this pattern (it comes in 12in square sheets) and we ordered it.


As I mentioned earlier we moved our laundry room downstairs and turned it into a pantry. I LOVE my walk in pantry. I also debated about this for two months and it actually held up our remodeling job. I’m so glad I did it though.


We went with black granite countertops. It is absolute black and is inexpensive for granite and is available almost everywhere. I knew with my bold floors the counters needed to be plain.


I switched from a double sink to a deep single sink. I did this in my last house too and I love the big sinks! We ordered the Kohler K-780-VS Cruette Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet in stainless steel.


We purchased a Jenn-Air microwave, dishwasher, and gas range. The dishwasher and microwave are pretty standard, but I did opt for an upgraded range and I love it.

We purchased a Whirlpool refrigerator that was cabinet depth. My contractor was pretty insistent that we have a cabinet for the fridge and I didn’t really understand why, until the kitchen was done. I do like the fridge much better in the cabinet.


Now that the pantry closet it gone there is plenty of room to get in the kitchen from the garage. Also we opted to not put in an island. I thought it would clog up the kitchen so we decided to go without it. I figured I could always add one later, but it is much harder to take one out.

So far we LOVE not having one.


We decided to remove the doors permanently to the sunroom. We wanted the rooms to feel connected and thought removing the doors and keeping the flooring the same was the best option. We have a table in this room now (that needs to be painted) and we eat in this room all the time. Now I just need to get something up in front of the ugly pool pump.


View from the sunroom to the kitchen.

My living areas are painted Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams, so we went with Misty in the kitchen and sunroom. It is a very light grey that looks blue depending on the light.

The changes are pretty drastic but I when I created these side-by-side before and after photos I realized how much really did change with our remodel.


Kitchen sink close-up view.


Laundry room turned into pantry.


Sunroom before and after. Floors Colli Wow Winter.


Fridge and pantry view before relocation and wall of cabinets after.


Kitchen sink view

We’ve been living with our new kitchen for about six months and I love it! The only thing I would do different is get the dishwasher that could have a cabinet panel on it because the stainless steel dishwasher is ALWAYS dirty on the front panel.

I’m happy to answer any questions about the remodel in the comments. We’ve done several other rooms in our house DIY style and I’ll be sharing those with you soon.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. This takes me back to our kitchen remodel where we took down a wall and expanded. (still loving it six years later….but I would change our flooring decision) We also have our fridge in a cabinet. Love the way yours came together and it definitely makes sense to have that large pantry with your crew! 🙂

  2. So what did you do with the other new fridge that you bought?
    It looks absolutely beautiful!! I really love it.

    • Toni Anderson says:

      We sold it to a friend. I almost kept it in the basement, but I already had another fridge down there. I think you can still buy that fridge at Lowes or Home Depot. It is a Samsung.

  3. Michelle says:

    It looks great! I’m curious about how you like the white cabinets in the kitchen. We are going to be building a house soon and I love the look of white cabinets but I am a little hesitant. I’ve done some research and the overall impression I get is that people do like them and they keep them cleaner than they might a darker wood since you actually see the dirt and tend to wipe it up right away. I’ve also read where the natural “cracks” from change in temperature are also more noticeable on the white. Any thoughts?

    • Toni Anderson says:

      You do see dirty finger prints on the cabinets but they wipe off easily with a damp cloth. I wipe around the handles a few times a week (takes me 5 minutes). I personally love the white. I haven’t had them long enough to notice any cracks, but since they are thermofoil maybe that won’t happen. Not sure?

  4. Susan J says:

    This looks fantastic! We are looking to remodel our 1990’s kitchen soon. Countertops, cabinets, and a couple appliances, but not the flooring. I was wondering, what your total cost was, or, would have been – if some of it was sponsored. We are thinking DIY, but in all likelihood will have to have someone come in and do it. Thanks!

  5. It looks amazing!! I love the white cabinets. It makes things look so fresh and open. And you know what, you could DIY one yourself, even ones that movable so it’s not in the way when you want more space. Great job! And those counters are great, too!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    • Toni Anderson says:

      Yes, was thinking about a movable island. We haven’t missed it at all so I haven’t done it. Been working on painting all the bedrooms and stairs. 🙂

  6. Love the back splash, where did you find it? Was it online? We are in the mist of our kitchen remodel and it has taken longer than 6wks ;-( but we are doing most of the remodel ourselves. So, time is money and money is time. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  7. Serenity says:

    I love your remodel!!!!! A few months ago we replaced our kitchen floor and before we chose flooring I actually showed our contractor a picture of your kitchen floor (from the Dyson review). I had no idea it was tile, I thought it was several different types of wood. Pure gorgeous!!!!! I also love your drawers. I have drawers as well and love them 🙂 Much easier than trying to peer into the back of cabinets:) Beautiful kitchen!!!! May I ask how large your kitchen is (for perspective)?

  8. WOW! We redid our kitchen just before Christmas 2013 (doesn’t everyone tear their kitchen apart in December? Wait, they don’t?) We didn’t move anything– no plumbing, no appliances– but we refinished our golden oak cabinets with paint and glaze and added hardware pulls and handles, and a gorgeous granite counter top. We also opted for new flooring and went with a very nice rich vinyl plank flooring that looks like mahogany. It holds up to kids and dogs and looks nice all the time. Money well spent and time worthwhile. Isn’t it amazing how just redesigning your main living area changes your house?! I love ours. Yours turned out beautiful!

  9. Lisa B says:

    Where did you get the tile for the backsplash and does it have other color options? I would love to use something like this for my own kitchen remodel!

  10. Serenity says:

    I was going to mention your problem with fingerprints on the dishwasher. We just got a new dishwasher and it is the “slate” finish . It is similar to stainless steel but it does not get finger prints 🙂 It also has a garbage disposal inside of it so you don’t need to rinse dishes at all. Just a thought:) The dishwasher has changed my life!

  11. Did you install the tile yourself ? How hard is to install ?

  12. It looks like you replaced at least one window, what brand did you go with? Curious because we are getting ready to start researching windows.

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