Monday, November 16, 2015

The Kitchen That Sarah Built


Well the time has finally come! After nearly 11 months and tons of blood, sweat and tears, I am DONE with the kitchen renovation. This post felt a little trivial to me after the events around the world this weekend -- but then I realized it's a welcome respite. Home means so much. Not what's in it, but who you share it with and how you feel when you're there. I pray you feel comforted, loved and safe in your home.

I have never loved a room redo more than this one. The before and afters are CRAZY good and I cannot express to you how proud I am of the work I've done on this space! There are still some drywall fixes to make and a friend is making a window seat cushion for me, but I'm calling it DONE. I won't say much and I'll let the photos do the talking…mainly because I'm exhausted. Ha!! I had to take most of these this morning so the light is a little harsh, sorry for the brightness in some of them. We were at basketball games most of daylight hours over the weekend. ;) I forget it gets dark at 5 p.m. now!

HERE WE GO. Here's how the kitchen looked a year ago: 
I've said it before -- I don't knock our home or style through the years (OK, mostly -- that island was covered with glue, it's not an art project) because our home has always been beautiful to us. But styles change.
And so do rooms:
dark gray lowers white uppers kitchen

two toned kitchen
The difference is staggering and pretty awesome. :) I think this room is STUNNING. I am so proud.

I'll take you on a tour around the space, comparing some earlier pics (some from a year ago, some from years and years back) so you can see the difference. The area that used to be the family room is where our kitchen table sits now. Here's that space a year ago:
And here it is now: 
wood and metal shelves
The bay window area before: 
And a little later: 
And now, with my dream window seat!:
window seat in kitchen

white table wood chairs
And a massive island! :)
DIY extended kitchen island

bay window seat

dark gray island
The pantry before (you can see the plain wood door we had on it way back above):
Here's that space now: 
metal and wood shelves in kitchen
 One of the biggest transformations is this space near the stove. This before is going WAY back:

Here's what it looked like next:

And here it is now: 

wood vent hood DIY

black pantry door
More cabinets were taken down in the back corner: 
Taking those down was one of the best decisions I've made in this house. The room feels twice as big and bright: 
dark gray island white cabinets

large island with microwave
Here's another before from a year ago:
And that view now:
taking down cabinets in kitchen
I have to show this shot again because it's my favorite before and after in the space: 

I LOVE this view!! I sit on the window seat and stare at it often, no lie. 
gray lowers white uppers kitchen

chalkboard wall in kitchen

white upper cabinets

white kitchen table

two tone kitchen reno
OK, I need to stop with the photos at some point! I'm so thrilled to finally share this completed space with you. I love it, but it means even more that my whole family loves it. For the past week every one of us walks in here and smiles and talks about how much we love this space. It was a labor of love -- I have a my dream kitchen and I couldn't be happier.

I will share more detailed shots and all the sources and links to past projects later this week. I have a few more projects to share in the coming weeks as well. If you have questions about anything please let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to follow up in that post! 

Thanks for coming along for this very long ride with me -- it took me forever but that was good for my sanity and our budget. Stretching it out helps me make good decisions and as always we paid for everything with cash along the way. Hope you enjoy our completed kitchen!

I'm off to sleep for a week!! 

I compiled a list of all of the links and resources for this transformation here
You can also see how I added cabinet lighting in this post

155 comments:

  1. Beautiful! It looks like a stunning magazine layout!

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  2. It's absolutely stunning! Well done Sarah!!!

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  3. Great job Sarah! Your new kitchen looks fabulous, and now you can spend the holidays enjoying your beautiful space!!

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  4. Amazing!
    Can you come do my 100+ yr old kitchen????
    Enjoy!

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  5. Gorgeous! So bright and airy! My favorite part is the vent hood and the cabinets that you built, such a great use of wasted space!

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  6. Sarah, Your kitchen is a SHOWSTOPPER!!!! Well done, you have truly made it magazine worthy, absolutely beautiful. You have given me so much inspiration with all of your projects. Enjoy every moment in that gorgeous space. Give yourself a huge pat on the back :)

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  7. Can you tell me the paint colors?

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  8. It is beautiful!! Thank you for inspiring me with your hard work and lovely end product!

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  9. It turned out so so so beautiful! Wonderful job, Sarah!!!

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  10. Really, really awesome! So impressive how much you tackled and how well you were able to bring your vision to reality. Congrats!

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  11. Where did you get the stools for the island?

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  12. Hands down the best kitchen reno I've seen, that didn't involve new cabinets!

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  13. You should be proud, it is STUNNING!

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  14. OH MY GOSH SARAH! It looks so beautiful. I have been procrastinating on painting our oak cabinets but after seeing your reveal, it has inspired me to get on it!!! Can not wait to see it decorated for the holidays!

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  15. Applause! It looks so great with your family room, too! You are awesome-talented.

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  16. Where did you get the jute rug? I have been looking for something similar.

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  17. You are so talented. That remodel looks like it must of cost a gazillion dollars, but knowing your thrifty ways... I know you didn't! Such a beautiful transformation, way to go!

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  18. It looks absolutely beautiful! You are so talented to take your vision from your head to reality. A real stunner!!

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  19. Seriously it rocks, heck you rock! You should be super proud! Enjoy that gorgeous space!!

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  20. YEAH!!!!! I have been waiting for the reveal. It is AMAZING!!! You are beyond talented (i wish you were my neighbor). Your house is such an inspiration.

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  21. really incredible... love everything, down to the black pops. I really think the new chandelier works well with the other black elements!! Colors are fantastic. love the natural elements from the butcher block, to the jute rug, to the baskets... really well designed! Most importantly, to me, is that it looks COMFY and LIVABLE!!! not stuffy and museum like! Really great choices!! You have really outdone yourself on this one! Enjoy the holidays in your new space!!!

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  22. AMAZING!!!! I got to your first "after" shot and my jaw dropped and i just stared at my screen....and stared some more...wow incredible! Congrats on a job well done!!

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  23. Holy cow, that's gorgeous! I bet you pinch yourself every time you walk into the room. I'd say all your hard work was worth it! :)

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  24. So, so, so, so, so, so beautiful! I knew it would be!!! You are so freaking talented! Your kitchen blows my mind!!!!

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  25. Congrats on a beautiful space! You did it!

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  27. This is absolutely gorgeous!!!!!! I've been following your blog for some time and you are my inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

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  28. It turned out lovely! I'll bet you are exhausted!

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  29. I don't even know where to being, it's STUNNING! I love the contrast of white and dark gray and all the custom work you DIY'd. You have some serious talent and you should be super proud of yourself! I would totally just hang out in your kitchen and never leave :)

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  30. Beautiful! What's next? (Ha ha!)
    Jenn

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  31. Amazing changes and the final result? Spectacular and magazine worthy

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  32. Congratulations, your kitchen is gorgeous! Truly a labor of love. I can't wait to see it's Christmas accessories;)

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  33. What a beautiful transformation!! As I contemplate a complete overhaul for our kitchen, this is the feeling I'm after. Love it!! I'm saving this for future reference.

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  34. What a transformation! I love the eclectic feel but still cohesive to the rest of your home. With an upcoming kitchen redo on my horizon, I have two practical questions :)
    1. Can you open your corner cabinet door all the way with the shelf there? Any issues or suggestions on that?
    2. Do you have a rug pad under your runner? Worried about water making its way to below the rug? I feel like it is a constant worry of mine!
    Congratulations on finishing this beauty! & happy holidays!!
    XO, Amanda @ life on linton

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  35. This looks unbelievable! You did a spectacular job! What an inspiration!

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  36. Sarah you did a beautiful job! I can see why this would be your favorite spot in the house. Now sit and enjoy it for a minute before you start decorating and baking for Christmas! As always, love to follow your work. You are an inspiration to all homeowners out there!

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  37. that range hood MAKES that kitchen,and it was needed,as well.really nice.

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  38. Love, love, love! Worth the wait. :-)

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  39. Love, love, love this! However, I have one question...it doesn't look like you have a back splash behind the stove...just paint. Are you worried about cleaning the wall from grease splatter? I know the wall behind my stove is always a mess and I would worry about cleaning paint. I'm sure you have a great answer - and I'd love to hear it!

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  40. Spectacular! You've done a truly amazing transformation and it's easy to see why it makes you so happy.

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  41. It is sooo pretty. I want to eat, cook, LIVE in your kitchen! I think it fits in so well with the rest of your house (especially the family room you redid last year) and elevates everything.

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  42. BRAVO!!! I am always so impressed with your work--both taking on so much yourself and the outcome. I can just feel how overjoyed you are along with your family! I know how I would feel, so it's easy to imagine. :) Cheers to many, many years of enjoyment. Oh, and I would sit and stare and smile all day long as well. I get giddy just throwing a fabric for a new curtain up on the rod or placing a plant in the right spot.

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  43. Wow. I am in love!!!! Gorgeous space. Its obvious you put a lot of hard work and love into it!

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  44. this has been exciting seeing all the changes. but seeing the before and afters -- you made really smart choices!

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  45. Your new kitchen is truly stunning, Sarah! What a beautiful labor of love! I adore every change that you made. Thanks for inspiring us!
    Blessings,
    Nici

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  46. So beautiful!!!! One question, how tall are your ceilings?

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  47. It's really beautiful. The thing that strikes me most about it is that even thought it looks completely different, I still recognize it as your space. I think that's pretty exceptional!

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  48. Absolutely amazing, and oh-so gorgeous Sarah!!!!!!

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  49. BRAVO!!! this looks so amazing, Sarah!! Well done! I think my favorite part is the extended cabinets. Makes the whole thing look so elegant and homey at the same time. That's why I love your blog: elegant yet lived-in style. Thanks for blogging your inspiring journey! I really appreciate the inspiration and information I get from your blog.

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  50. You hit it out of the park! It's gorgeous! Love the range hood but I really just love it all!

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  51. Oh it's beautiful! It is BHG worthy! You did an amazing job. Congrats!

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  52. Your kitchen is stunning Sarah! I am seriously obsessed. LOVE that you took out those cabinets and love the upper whites and lower grays. I am going to be sending the link to my husband - look honey, we should paint all our cabinets! :D

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  53. It is gorgeous!! Would love a play by play on estimate time/cost and what you thought was the biggest bang for your buck!

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  54. Beautifully done, Sarah! I would aptly name this post...."If you give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If You Give a Moose a Muffin".....I remember when that broken refrigerator flooded your floors and the new kitchen got started with a new hardwood floor.....then BAM!!.....Here we are today with this beautiful kitchen!! Kudos! You. are. amazeballs.

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  55. WOW, your kitchen is amazing!!! I love everything about it. I know you are glad to have it completed before the holidays.

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  56. Gorgeous! I love it. Well worth the wait I'm sure. And the achievement of doing most of it yourself, you must be trilled. The white uppers have worked really well with the grey bottom cabinets and I love the open shelving. The whole open plan space that you've created must seem huge now. X

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  57. Gorgeous !!! You should be so thrilled with your kitchen.Absolutely stunning.

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  58. It looks soooooo great! You made some really great choices in terms of the design... that window seat, the cabinets (or lack thereof where appropriate). I'm loving it, girl. And the best part is we can tell you love it, too! Great job!

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  59. so wonderful!!

    Mary

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  60. So gorgeous my friend! I'm proud of you. This was all you and it shows! Bravo!

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  61. This looks amazing and is so inspirational! I would love to know the color of the cabinets.

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  62. Looks great. the only thing that caught my eye is the chalkboard overpowers room. paint it white.

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    1. Thank you, but we love it! It's staying black. :)

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  63. Stunning! It's so light and bright! I wish you could come do mine.

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  64. Absolutely stunning Sarah!! I love it. Looks so inviting and blends seamlessly into the rest of the house. Great job!

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  65. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate that you take the time to comment!

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  66. Wow, wow, WOW! Totally transformed! Love every single bit of it! Great job!

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  67. Absolutely gorgeous! What an awesome job. You should be very proud of yourself. I love it! Kathy

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  68. I have been following your blog for quite some time now, and remember many of the before pictures. AMAZING JOB Sarah!!! And, to be able to take credit for it is awesome. Kudos!!

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  69. beautiful! You have done a fantastic job Sarah. Love it! Sally

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  70. It is SO beautiful Sarah! That is the exact type of range hood I am wanting. The entire space is stunning!

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  71. The transformation is quite amazing! Thank you for sharing that it is a process. It has turned out absolutely stunning!

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  72. Thanks for sharing, it turned out beautiful, I love everything about it! I was anxiously awaiting the reveal!

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  73. I just keep coming back to your blog to look at this kitchen!😍

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  74. Oh, Sarah, I am so happy for you! Your kitchen looks SMASHING. And the fact that you achieved this while paying cash along the way? Well, that's the icing on the kitchen cake! I am proud of you and so glad for you. It's been fun to see your style evolve over the years, and I really appreciate that you don't knock your style choices from years back. All styles change eventually, which is another good reason to pay cash as you go. Can you imagine if you'd financed this work to be paid off over the next five to ten years?

    You are awesome, and I am so glad that you share your thrifty decor adventures with all of us!

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  75. THAT is one AMAZING kitchen!! GREAT JOB Sarah!!

    GS

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  76. Your kitchen looks amazing. It even looks happy with its transformation. Where the range hood is it looks like a happy face with the lamps and the bar hanging underneath. I feel so inspired to do something with my kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

    J


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  77. Can you share where you got your shelves from. They are exactly what I had envisioned for my kitchen.

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  78. Sarah, you should be so proud of yourself. From the vision to the execution, you rocked this thing out. Your kitchen looks so huge now, and totally gorgeous. Congrats!

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  79. sarah- congrats on a wonderful outcome to your project. it's a stunner and you should just sit there and stare. it's gorgeous.

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  80. Sarah, this is absolutely beautiful. I can't believe all these projects we have been following turned into this! I'm typing this with a gaping mouth.

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  81. Sarah, I couldn't be more excited for you!!! Your hard work paid off BIG time, it's truly beautiful!! Enjoy decorating for Christmas!! :)

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  82. Sarah,please take some photos at night so we can see the lights The ones at the window seat too.

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  83. Friggin awesome. And then some.

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  84. Awesome job Sarah! just amazing! So happy for you and your family.

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  85. Awesome job Sarah! Just amazing!! I am so happy for you and your family.

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  86. I'm planning to post a link to your fabulous kitchen on my blog. I particularly love the baskets in the open space up top! Do you mind if I also use one of your photos as a teaser?

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  87. All the transformations, even from the beginning are awesome! So cool to see how the space has changed over the years. Beautiful update!

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  88. You are very talented, it is very beautiful ! Your blog is my inspiration for my future house ahah even though i'm just 20 years old :)

    Catherine, Canada

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  89. It is so lovely. Well done!

    Is there any chance you're going to share any additional details about the construction of the cubbies and soffit? I'm basically mimicking this whole thing to make stock cabinetry look amazing in my friend's new-build kitchen, but I'm a little confused about using trim to make the transition between the cabinet box and cubby, especially with regard to the face frame sticking out past the cabinet sides. I only have one open side to worry about - above the fridge, but it's making my brain hurt! Thank you!

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  90. It IS stunning, and beautiful. It looks straight out of a magazine, which normally means that a team of 50 people made it over and primped and styled it, but you did it all yourself. You're such an inspiration!

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  91. The new kitchen looks great!! I love that you really took the time and made the kitchen work for you, your family and your budget, instead of just going with whatever the current kitchen trend was.

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  92. This looks absolutely amazing! I love the 2 tone cabinets. You most definitely should be proud.

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  93. It looks so fresh & custom!!! I love the shelves, white & the hood range!!!! Does it feel like you've lost lots of cabinet space though? Just curious? Really great makeover!!!

    Paige.Rose
    from
    www.TheQuaintSanctuary.blogspot.com

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  94. Love, love, LOVE it! You've made an amazing job. That before and after pic is my favorite too!

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  95. visit the store for handmade items
    https://www.etsy.com/in-en/shop/printyoursprint?ref=hdr_shop_menu
    http://dormitoriodecor.com/

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  96. Amazing!!! Love everything to the last detail! Sarah, I have a maybe strange question - what do you keep in the little baskets that are in the newly created space on top of the wall cabinets? I have baskets, I love the look, just can't come with a practical idea to use them in the kitchen.

    Congratulations and admirations for you hard work - the result is stunning!

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  97. Sarah I have been a reset for 6 years (your sons room drew me in all those years ago) and I'm totally impressed! This room (and your entire home) is beautiful!! Like something right out of a magazine or catalog! Just gorgeous. Gorgeous.

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  98. Sarah it's stunning!! I love every detail!

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  99. Congratulations your kitchen is beautiful! Great job Sarah! Now can you come to my house?

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  100. It's just so beautiful! I love everything about it! You've done an amazing job - congratulations!!!

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  101. I LOVE IT!! What a beautiful space you've created! You're making me want to paint my cabinets. I have one question...can I ask where you got your island lights? I am looking for new lights to hang and those (or something similar) would be perfect! Thanks for sharing....your home is lovely...enjoy!

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  102. It is beautiful!! You are very talented and you've created a beautiful kitchen to be proud of!! If I were you I'd just sit and stare at it all day long!!

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  103. You did an amazing job! Where did you get the clock? I have to have it!

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  104. Wow!! So beautiful!! The transformation is pretty incredible. What I like most is that it really looks like your style...maybe because I've been a long-time reader, but this just looks like a room that "belongs" in your house. Well done!!
    Sofia F.

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  105. Wow! Awesome! Amazing! Inspiring!
    I've been away from my real kitchen for almost three years. Every time I visit it, I think "Ugh! Dated." I go home for good in December and this room is fabulously inspiring, giving me some wonderful ideas for what can be done to update without getting that $50k loan to completely redo.

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  106. beautiful space!! thank you for sharing and for the inspiration.

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  107. STUNNING!!! I loved following you along.
    Couple of questions (because you asked :)
    a) the signs/titles on your chalk wall Merry Christmas and Eat. What are those? and where did you get them?
    b) (repeat question i think) Runner - where did you get it and what do you have under it so it doesn't shift
    c) where did you get your wreath on the pantry door? is it real?

    Thank you so much! it really is beautiful!

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  108. Wow, wow, wow. You have done an amazing job, Sarah. I,too, would sit in there and just stare at the glory. :)

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  109. Way to go! I would love my kitchen to look like that. And your favorite shot is my favorite too. If it were mine, I would use that for my ipad wallpaper!

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  110. Oh my goodness! Stunning. I have followed you for over a year, drooled over every transformation, and channeled my own thrifty decor chick, inspired by your creativity, color, and DIY courage. But this - this kitchen - it's too much, I have to make a comment! This is so gorgeous! Every detail, every color, every facet is perfection. So thankful you have shared!

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  111. As always, you manage to take a space which is already impressive and make it gorgeous beyond my imagination! Fantastic job.

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  112. Absolutely beautiful. You did a great job. :)

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  113. All your hard work paid off! Great job, it is beautiful. The only thing I would want to add would be a cushion on the window seat, with the pillows on top of it! Softer seating.

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  114. I can appreciate all your hard work, but if it were my kitchen, it would be too cold and colorless. I liked the warm wood cabinets, and splashes of color here and there. Something about gray and white that looks very cold. But you are happy with it, and that's what counts.

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  115. I have a question....how on earth do you ever leave the house? I would never, ever want to leave this beautiful room!!!! What a wonderful job you did - it's simply gorgeous. Congrats on yet another job well done - kudos to you!!!

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  116. You are as amazing as your kitchen is beautiful. Wow! I am so impressed. Beautiful work. And, patience is truly a virtue that you behold! Thanks for sharing.

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  117. I love *everything* you did!! It looks amazing!!

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  118. Congratulations on a wonderful space, I can't believe how much bigger it looks now the dark wood has gone. I joined your blog mid year and have followed the work since then so I loved to see the before, before pictures. Thank you for sharing you deserve to sleep for a week (but I know you won't!!)

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  119. What a gorgeous space - in LOVE with the two tone cabinets! What did you use as a backsplash? It's hard to tell in the photos.

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  120. It looks amazing! I'm so happy for you and it will be fun to decorate during the holidays. There's nothing like a new kitchen to get you cooking again too, lol. At least that's been my case since moving in the new house. I'm sure it won't last!

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  121. Your kitchen looks amazing! I love the new window seat!
    What brand of fridge do you have? I like the french door idea with bottom freezer (shopping around for new fridge)!

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  122. Sarah, you are my hero (I refuse to any longer use the "feminine" designations) of DIY home design and execution. I love what you've accomplished in your home, and your amazing kitchen, in particular. I'm forwarding this post to my husband so he might be able to understand why and how I want to "little-by-little" redesign our kitchen, including its dark cabinets...and get rid of the ugly "popcorn" ceilings not only in our kitchen, but throughout our home. I'll be following your exploits via your blog "til the cows come home," whatever that actually means. All the best to you and yours.

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  123. HaPpY for You & Your Family! You saved a Ton of Money and didn't have to settle for less than FAB U LOUS! I just finished a kitchen redo (being done and Done is a high in itself) and I know I love walking into my European Cafe every morning for Coffee, and seriously enjoy making meals and eating at home more because it feels like a wonderful restaurant I would go to...at home! Enjoy all your new features, views, and satisfaction of a job well done!

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  124. Your kitchen is stunning! I love everything about it!! It seriously doesn't look like the same space. Great job!!

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  125. So beautiful! Excellent balance of nuetrals and color, too. I keep coming back to look again;-) Great job and thank you for sharing the process and results with us- I've so enjoyed it all!

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  126. I would have to agree with you, I think it's stunning too, and has left me thinking about removing a cabinet to the right of my sink.

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  127. Congratulations Sarah, everything looks gorgeous!

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  128. Stunning! It's beautiful! Are the hardware on the cabinet drawers new? I've been looking for some for ours, and I love the ones on yours!

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  129. Congrats on the new space! It's beautiful.

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  130. This has got to be one of my favorite makeovers!!! Love all of your choices!!!

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  131. Darn you, I just drooled all over my keyboard!

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  132. This is incredible - Your kitchen was beautiful before and it's lovely now! I love every single detail - your vision truly came through. (And you've also totally solidified my "need" for a slide in range. Do you like the KitchenAid range? I love the aesthetics of it.)

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  133. Absolutely amazing. The bar stools, the table and chairs, the colors, the cabinets (love the 2 different colors!), the cat... ;-) Everything is awesome!! Congrats on having it completed and being happy with it!

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  134. Wow! I love all of the wonderful choices you made! The fact that you took us on the way is amazing. Thank you. I know how hard it is to be in the middle of a reno for seemingly forever! It is inspiring to have seen you do it in steps. You have given me inspiration to do the same in our new kitchen reno since we downsized recently. -Maria B.

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  135. Fantastic job. I'm inspired by the beautiful results, and that you did it yourself!

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  136. I must admit, I was a little worried about how the grey bottom cabinets on the perimeter of the room were going to look as I thought they might look better white but, I WAS WRONG! (my husband would pay for that line - lol) OH MY GOODNESS, it looks stunning and gives me so many ideas. Not only that but it gives me encouragement that it is something I might be able to tackle myself. You really knocked this one out of the park!

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  137. WOW!!!! You should be so proud Sarah. Fantastic job, beautiful space. Love the grey cabinets at the bottom and love the black chalkboard (definitely should NOT be white!!). You deserve a break now. Well done!

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  138. Wow, you should be absolutely proud! What. a. transformation. #stunner, over the years it has grown and can I say that the final product is a show stopper. I would stare at it all the time and all the hard work you and your family put in paid off! Congrats on finishing!! Now go and enjoy :)

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Décor
    xx

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!