Kitchen reveal: Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Jan 19

I have humongous reveal for you.   Wait.  That sounded a bit dirty.  Ha ha!  I can’t spill all the deets but it rhymes with kitchen schmenovation.  Holy batman! Brace yo’ self for awesomeness.  Shimmery gold ahhhhhmazingness….

 

Remember when I mentioned the kitchen renovation all casual like, as if it wasn’t a big deal?  And it wasn’t. Until it was.

Have you ever felt such overwhelm during a renovation that you think…

 

"OH JUST KNOCK THE WHOLE DAMN HOUSE DOWN AND START OVER?!"

 

It happened.  I ended up at the corner of overwhelm and erhhhmergerd.  It was a tough five months annnnnnnd I may or may not have been watching too much Dexter.

 

 

It was a shitastrophy shit storm.

 

Want to know what happens when your contractor abandons you when you are waist deep in a kitchen renovation?   I lived with a vodka filled hip flask and a constant stream of popcorn for dinner.  Kidding.  Not kidding. The struggle was real.

 

gulp

You may remember this blog post when we started planning our kitchen reno.  I wrote it way back when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (what exactly does that mean??! ) Right after that, the kitchen went to hell in a hand basket.

It’ll take 48783057435345436534 posts to share the entire renovation.  The good, the bad and the messy middle.  PS. the middle was super-duper-fragilistic messy.

 

Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

The new kitchen is WHITE. Obvs.  Hello, have you met me?  I know I’ve mentioned about four thousand trillion billion times before, but I’m super into white .

 

I love white and the staggering simplicity it brings to a space.

 

Let’s be clear on this right now: If you invite me into your home and try to convince me that brown is where it’s at, I’m not falling for it.  You can drug me, and I still won’t have it.

The new kitchen has a walk-in-pantry.  We even hid the refrigerator behind panels in the pantry. Didja see how I slipped that in there?  Yup.  Hid. The. Refrigerator.

 

Boom chick-a-wow-wa… it’s hiding around the corner in this photo…

Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

 

Here’s the pantry before//after.  Need a barf bucket?  Technically, the refrigerator is also hidden in these photos, but I promise it’s in there. Why did I just confuse you like that?  Sip.

 

Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/   Before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

 

Wanna see that again?  Before & aftaaaa…

 

Get great ideas for a kitchen renovation with these before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

Get great ideas for a kitchen renovation with these before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

You can see a pinch of the refrigerator, up there ^^^ on the right.  The pantry isn’t complete yet. It should be completed by 2096, right after I see pigs fly.

 

Dang, things got crap-tastic.

 

I have to tell you something.  All the photos are a sparkling rendition of what really happened.

 

The kitchen was the worst renovation experience in the history of ever.

 

Normally, home renovation is one of my very favourite things on earth. I thrive on it.  T.H.R.I.V.E.  Weirdo, right? Not this time.  This time, I had to find joy in the little things because the big things weren’t happening.

 

I worked for a YEAR towards the ahhhhmazing opportunity to have our kitchen featured in Chatelaine Magazine.  That was the hardest work and the best work, all at once. A year of planning and then ….

 

Our contractor put it all together with bubblegum & hot glue.

 

On the day of a photo shoot, the kitchen LOOKED somewhat photo worthy, but we didn’t have running water, parts were hot glued in place, things were unfinished & mismatched, countertops weren’t sealed, cabinet doors were falling off, drawer handles were missing and the dishwasher panel literally fell off.  Nothing truly functioned, compliments of our super unreliable contractor.

 

Cue stress.

 

This is what our kitchen looked like, the day before the shoot…

The day before.  <— I screamed that. 

 

Get great ideas for a kitchen renovation with these before and after photos of an ahhhmazing kitchen renovation via @lynneknowlton | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE. Enter the contest for a chance to win a champagne bronze faucet from @DeltaFaucetCan https://lynneknowlton.com/giveaways/faucet/

 

Are you making a face that slightly resembles this—> ?!?!?!?!!!!!.  Yeah, me too.  Sip.  

During the same time, my hubby Michael was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Quite honestly, I didn’t think life could get worse.  We had been living with a sink in the basement and eating meals off our laps for 5 months.  I’m sure my family was prepping a straight jacket for me and a nice little rubber room (hopefully with white walls)

Depressing much?  Plans this weekend?  Besides deleting me from your blog reader?

 

Getting swung by the tail

Pretty much everything that involved our contractor was chaos.  I’d rather move to another country and change my phone number than have a really scary, honest conversation with somebody that wasn’t doing their job.  I want everybody to be friends and I want everybody to be kind.

For 5 months, he basically went AWOL.   He went everywhere and anywhere, except our kitchen.  When he was occasionally present, his presence and workmanship sucked all of the fun out of the room.

 

Not cool. Not cool. Not cool. Not cool.

 

We lived with a demolished, non-existent kitchen for what felt like f.o.r.e.v.e.r.    It was an eternity, in kitchen years.  The whole nightmarish experience would best be described as a Stephen King novel.  A horror show.  It took a long while to feng shui that evil out.

And you peeps wonder why I drink.  Haha.

 

Beautifully whitewashed kitchen renovation ideas via DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE || Lynne Knowlton

 

Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

 

The five month experience was so bad, I cried.  A lot. Annnnnnnnd I’m a professional.  Go figure.

 

It burned me out to a crispy crisp.  Charred.  Frayed at the edges.  Gonzo.

 

The kitchen was quite possibly the most trashed up thing you’d see this side of the border, but somehow it managed to get from here….to here….

 

BEFORE photos (and great AFTER PICS too) on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE || Lynne Knowlton

Beautifully whitewashed kitchen renovation ideas via DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE || Lynne Knowlton

 

Well that’s it. That’s all.  Nope.  I have soooooo many great kitchen DIY’s and ideas to share with you, but I’m trying to control myself and not blurt it out all at once.   Okay.  One more sneak peek …

 

SHOP THE POST

 

 

SOURCES

 

Shop the entire kitchen here … it’s full of Wayfair goodness and a kitchen Q & A too! |  Champagne gold Faucet, towel barvanity tray c/o Delta Faucet Canada  |  Reclaimed barn board flooring:  Antique Wood Flooring  |  Pillows & roman blinds c/o Tonic Living  |   Linen Curtains  Not Perfect Linen (AMAZING!!) |  Concrete counter top DIY with Buddy Rhodes Concrete !

If you want to back up the bus and see where it all started, you can see the original kitchen in this blog post here. You can also see the progress here on Instagram {where I not-so-secretly stalk a bunch of people that I want to be my friends.}

 

This is your moment of glory. Tell me your kitchen story.   What are your biggest kitchen challenges? (besides drinking vodka from a hip flask?)  I would never evah everrrr do that.  I would totally do that.

CLICK HERE to receive my Friday newsletters to your email inbox.   The super-cool-not-boring newsletters happen 2-4 times per month.  They are bright lights of sunshine giving you fantastic home ideas. I can promise you, I’ll never talk about throat punching contractors.  Never.  Also, I’m completely lying.

PS. I love you. That is all.

Lynne

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  1. Janice Cournoyer

    January 24th, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    My kitchen challenge is basically getting started. A 70’s island kitchen with light oak cupboards. It will be a huge undertaking, so all these ideas here are inspiring.

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    January 28th, 2017 at 10:59 am

    So happy to inspire Janice!

    Lynne xx

  3. Crystal

    January 25th, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Well, the last kitchen reno I did involved exposing an old brick chimney, but unknowingly also exposing an entrance for approximately a bazillion ants to enter my kitchen every spring. Oh, and my husband/contractor/amazing guy also found panties in the wall. Like, behind the drywall. That was interesting! Now I’ve got my eye on my current 80’s golden oak kitchen. Should be fun!

  4. Lynne Knowlton

    January 28th, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Oh man, Crystal… the ants came marching in?!! I would have moved. LOL.

    I once had a problem with mint taking over my garden/backyard/life… and the advice that my friend gave me to get rid of the mint… MOVE. HAHA.

    The wee undies story is hilare!

    Lynne xx

  5. Cheryl

    January 25th, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I absolutely love your floor!!

  6. Lynne Knowlton

    January 28th, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Thank you Cheryl !

    It’s amazing what a barn board can do 🙂

    Lynne xx

  7. Kristi Olio

    January 26th, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    SOOOO….I love what you did with your kitchen. Seeing success stories like yours is seriously the fuel we rookie-what did we get ourselves into-home renovators need to keep us going. AND WINE. LOTS OF WINE. Now for my sob story, we purchased this fun, mid century, XL house for our growing family (while I was pregnant) and got to work right away, painting and painting and painting. Carnival blue walls and purple baseboards (gasp) were transformed into a heaven of BM Simply White. OC-117, yes, I now know the color code by heart. Things were fine until I was sitting on the sofa eating pizza and pickles, because don’t forget I was really pregnant at that point, and couldn’t ask (yell) at my husband loud enough in the kitchen to bring me another slice. So, what happened next? I decided the wall between the kitchen and living room MUST be taken down. WHY!? Anyways, that quick wall removal turned into a royal nightmare since it ended up being a load-bearing wall and then everything spiraled out of control. Now we’re totally redoing a kitchen and house that was A-OK to begin with, but knowing that it could turn out as beautiful as yours is light at the end of the tunnel, sister! Thanks for the inspirations and dare I say, hope!

  8. Kristi Olio

    January 26th, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    BTW, how did you get the countertops so white?!? Did you use Z Counterforms or Quikcrete? Or some other mythical gravel???

  9. Lynne Knowlton

    January 28th, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Hi Kristi!

    We may be twinning. I always say… if a wall can come out… knock that sucker out (but technically not a load bearing one LOL!) xx

    Countertops: I can’t wait to write a blog post about it, because I used Buddy Rhodes Concrete countertop for ours… and they are one of my fave things about the reno. They are STUNNING in real life, and their customer service is d’bomb diggity.

    I hope that helps!
    Lynne xx
    Lynne xx

  10. Vickie

    January 29th, 2017 at 1:10 am

    OH goodness I can relate to the shitstorm and the hop flask of vodka or tequila!
    We are just starting our whole home gut..of my folks smallish 60s split ranch.
    I could write a novel..everything needs done..people say we should knock it down..but, I have to many memories of my family home to dominant.
    Both of my folks got cancer and the house took a back seat..naturally..so things were happening..bad things.
    Two weeks f the worst were leaks behind the wall between the kitchen and bathroom,
    Falling tiles..fallen floors, cabinets..rot..that went undetected for a couple years due to a leak.
    The worst of all was the leak ran under the stove..I was over fixing their supper and noticed the stove was slightly in level..sure enough..the floor was rotten underneath and about to fall through..stove and all..talk about scary..especially using an electric stove!
    On and on it goes.
    I hope ours turns out as gorgeous as yours as I’m going white too.

  11. Kathy

    January 29th, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    You don’t know this, but you’re my new best friend! I hope that makes you as happy as it makes me! Okay, that’s sounds like I’m a stalker, I promise I’m not, but I am following you! I came across your site after seeing your beautiful knitted throw and after reading some of your blog, I was hooked! Love your site, blog, and your stories. I could tell you about my kitchen remodel, but I don’t have a barf bag in range.
    I’m so sorry that the B%$@#h (Cancer) is affecting your family and I send my prayers to all of you. I was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer almost 3 years ago. After chemo, surgery, and intense radiation, they were finally able to remove it. But I am still in the middle of reconstruction and still dealing with all of the hell cancer has left me with and everything it has taken from me – physically, mentally, emotionally, even relationships. As you know, cancer puts a huge strain on everything and everyone it comes near and unfortunately the relationship I had been in for 6 years, did not survive. I haven’t been able to read everything or even watch your video concerning “Cancervive” because I’ve met my emotional breakdown quota for the week, but I promise I will in the future. Again, my heart goes out to you and your family and I pray for strength for y’all to kick cancers ass!

  12. Michelle C

    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Hey! There’s nothing like using the toaster oven in the dining room and washing dishes in the powder room sink. Or calling local appliance stores asking for a 36″ induction cooktop that can be picked up today, because that’s all the notice given by the contractor.
    Been there. Several times. Vodka is your friend.

  13. Lynne Knowlton

    April 4th, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I knew I liked you Michelle. haha. Oh my….. I feel your pain sista. It’s nuts isn’t it? Hello vodka in the desk drawer. LOL!

    Big love,
    Lynne xx

  14. Cheryl Lindsay

    February 3rd, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Holy crap it’s Feb 3 and I’m just seeing this blog post and contest TODAY!! So, I’m entering anyway, because I love, love love the white, the photos and the blog! Sip (coffee now, sip sip wine later.
    Can’t wait to read more about photography-thx for breaking it down!
    Cheers!

  15. Kathleen

    February 3rd, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Dear Lynne,
    I love the results of your kitchen renovation. I’d like to know what the countertops are made of? They’re just beautiful.
    Just said a prayer for your husband too.

    Thank-you.
    Kathleen

  16. Lynne Knowlton

    April 4th, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Hi Kathleen,

    Sooooo sorry for my late reply… but yes…. the countertops are concrete. It is a DIY that we did and it happened to be one of my fave things in the kitchen. The concrete is from a company called Buddy Rhodes. It is most excellent !!!!! LOVE.

    Cheers!
    Lynne xx

  17. John

    March 17th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Excellent Blog

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