Kitchen renovation: 1998 called & wants your kitchen back

1998 called and it wants your kitchen back 

Feb 25

Kitchen renovation series with tons of great kitchen ideas via @lynneknowlton


I’m waist deep in renovating my kitchen.  Lawwwwwd, HALP ME survive popcorn for dinner every night.

Guess what?!  Wait for it, waiiiiiiiiiiit for it…. I’m sharing all my insider designer secrets//the whole shebang with you along the way in a new kitchen series.


Does the thought of gutting your kitchen make you want to plunge your entire head into a sink of cold grimy water?  I’m a massive sissy, so that would send me running for the hills.


But kitchen reno.   I love this shit.  Who knew?   W.e.i.r.d.o.


I want to show you how to NOT stick your head in an oven while renovating your kitchen.

PS. This is actually the old kitchen.  I know, right?  It actually will get better.    Holy batman.  Yay!


Get great kitchen design ideas via @lynneknowlton


Plug your ears and cover your eye holes.  You will absolutely freak your face.  This series is going to get wild and super fugly at times.  It’s worth it. With this series, you’ll have an arsenal of ideas to help ease your kitchen into d’bomb diggity ville of awesomeness.


Hot dawg!!!    It’s good stuff.   Are you ready for it??

Let’s get this hot mess kitchen renovation started.


Planning your kitchen

How to plan your kitchen renovation 

Of course, I saved about 43158457690572 photos on a kitchen inspiration board on Pinterest <– a place where kitchens are viewed through rose coloured glasses.

Not gunna lie, sometimes Pinterest makes me freak out.  I full frontal smooch it and hate it, all at once.  Inspired?  Overwhelmed?  Yeah, I hear ya sista.  Beware.



Dream kitchens do not come riding in on unicorns.  If they did, the unicorn should carry a martini flask in its saddle bag. Just sayin’


What have I learned about planning a kitchen renovation?  Whatever you do, get your life and ever loving soul into the whole idea of renovation and just go balls to the walls.



Fabulous kitchen renovation ideas. Tips and tricks


Just do.  Some things can be done in baby steps, and some things…. well.. need to go back to the studs.  I like how I just talked about studs in my kitchen.  This could be going somewhere.  Hmphfff.  Back to the kitchen.



When do you start??

I waited and waited and waited for the time to be just right.  A time when the moon and stars above would be aligned. Possibly even a full lunar eclipse and a shooting star for good measure.

That perfect time never happened.

What the what what?

What?! via @lynneknowlton


Truth is, I took a whole lotta baby steps over the years before I decided to take my kitchen back to the studs.  For the record, I just wanted to say stud again.

One of my biggest changes over the years was transitioning to white.  I painted white, all the live long day.  If it didn’t move, it was getting painted white.


Just. White.Everything.



If you can believe it, the kitchen was wayyyyyy ugly, way back when. You can see the original kitchen here.  Prepare to hide your eyes.   It’ll hurt your eyeballs.

Sit down and just gather yourself together for this part.  Perhaps pour a stiff drink.  Definitely.  Pour a stiff drink.



Before. After. Messy Middle.

My baby steps, in hindsight, don’t even look like baby steps over the 14 year kitchen journey but they freaking were.   A little here. A little there.  Gah.  You’ll see why in a sec.

The kitchen last week :

Painting your kitchen white via @benjaminmoore simply white and @lynneknowlton


The kitchen about 10 years ago.  Sorry if this photo makes you want to barf.


BEFORE eeeeek photo of the kitchen via DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE


Did I just scare you? Yeah.  Me too.   It was funky town in there. Need a barf bucket?



What did I learn in the process of kitchen renovations over the years?


Note to self:  

Money does not, in fact, grow on trees.

 What a rip.


Improved a bit, right?  haha.   Hellooooooo white paint.  I love you.  My entire house is actually painted head to toe with Benjamin Moore paint.    So therefore, the new kitchen… will be …you guessed it…


Simply White by @benjaminMoore colour of the year 2016 !


Simply white just makes me want to back flip across my kitchen floor.  Well, in my head, anyway.  Does that count?

The kitchen became a pretty place over the last many years with the help of white paint.

Here is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago:


Kitchen Renovation series! Faucets : @DeltaFaucetCan Chairs: @LeonsFurniture

Ikea slipcovered sofas /  Leon’s Laurel chairs /  Shell Lighting  / Pendant Lighting / Faucets

Back to scary mode.  Now, the kitchen looks like this….


Part One of kitchen renovation series


Uhm. Yeah.  It actually looks worse than that.  I was just easing you into the disaster.


 Meal Planning:

The messy middle of a kitchen renovation series


I’m in full swing kitchen renovation mode, and there’s no stopping me, people.  The only thing I stop for are sawdust sandwiches and sugar paralysis on a plate donuts.


This was the overall layout :


Looking to renovate your kitchen? Follow along via @lynneknowlton for the whitewashed farmhouse style kitchen series !


Then someone (who did that?!!) came along with a sledge hammer and did this to my kitchen *HALP*


Kitchen renovation ideas, tips & tricks via @lynneknowlton

I know, right?

Popcorn for dinner! Oh I’m just kidding. Popcorn and sawdust for dinner!  Seriously kidding, you guys.  Popcorn and sawdust and martinis for dinner!



Let’s do this again.  For a sec.


Kitchen design tips Lighting @westelm Faucet @deltafaucetcan Sofas @ikeacanada


Then wham.  Gone.


How to renovate a kitchen via @lynneknowlton #ElmiraStoveWorks


And you wonder why I eat popcorn for dinner.  Popcorn for the win.


Bun in the oven  

The wood burning  stove.  It has kept us warm through winter storms, and it somehow magically bakes bread in an ever-loving-save-my-soul-with-deliciousness-kind-of-way.  I’ve never claimed to be domestic, but dammit I have my moments.  ?


Kitchen Renovation Part One: Sink @IkeaCanada Wood stove #ElmiraStoveWorks

Farmhouse style kitchen via @lynneknowlton

Elmira Wood Stove kitchen renovation series


Get floored:

As pretty as the floors look in the photo below, we did install them 14 years ago and they are now, super freaking difficult to remove.  They are like a rubik’s cube, or a super intense puzzle.  I can’t handle it.   Also, the floors just don’t match the rest of the reclaimed flooring in the rest of the house.

We are going to go right over top of the flooring with new, BUT OLD flooring.  What?  Yes.

Don’t throw virtual darts at me.   I pinky swear promise you’ll love the end result and I’m not even crossing my fingers behind my back this time.

Can we stop talking about the floors now?







The barn board flooring is even in the treehouse.  I’m smitten with it.  Can you tell?  Seriously.  Sofa king, good.


The gathering hub 

Our kitchen is (was?) the gathering hub of our home. Our four kids, our friends, their friends, friends of friends, strangers… kidding.  Not kidding.  We all gather here.

After all that gathering, we ( ME!!)  discovered our kitchen flaws along the way too.


White farmhouse style kitchen renovation via Design The Life You Want to Live

Kitchen renovation series via Lynne Knowlton. Great ideas for your kitchen !


Beautiful tips for decorating/designing your kitchen via Lynne Knowlton of Design The Life You Want To Live



Let’s talk about my flaws.

Seriously by @lynneknowlton Design The Life you Want to live

Kitchen flaws.

Yo, I’m perfect, peeps. <– perfectly imperfect in all non perfectionist ways.  Totally flawed.

But still.

Where were we?

Kitchen.  Flaws.  Gotcha.


I made a big mistake when I decided to put the refrigerator beside the stove.  Dumb. Dumb. Stoopid.


Kitchen renovation series with great tips for your kitchen. DIY style!


It was like playing twister with your fridge and stove.  A human booby-trap.  We could never open the oven and refrigerator at the same time without having to have some sort of explosion.  The explosion was me screaming…. don’t effffffffing scratch the fridge door with the stove door!!!!!!!%$##@##@!@!

Needless to say, I lost the battle.  My refrigerator looks like the barn cats have danced on it since 1982.

Never doing that again.

I lived.  I learned.

Well.  Maybe not.



I made more mistakes.

Like agreeing to do dishes all the time.  Big mistake.  Until we bought a Miele dishwasher.  Helloooooooo.  Hark, can you hear the angels singing? I freaking love that dishwasher.

I want to put a ring on it.



I have a sinking feeling 

Guess what?  More mistakes.  Can I start blaming them on someone else now?   We (me and the mouse in my pocket) wanted a larger, farmhouse style sink.  Blah. Blah. Blah.

The new sink ended up hugging the dishwasher a leeeeeetle too close.  Only I am allowed to hug the dishwasher.

Whatup wit dat?  The ding dong bell was just rung.


Farmhouse style kitchen renovation series


I feel like this is a pretty woman moment.  “Mistake. Big mistake”… as I toddle outta my kitchen, clicking my fingers in a Z formation.


Mistake quote by @lynneKnowlton


Do you have kitchen flaws that make you want to reach into your desk drawer and guzzle that flask of vodka?  What? You don’t have a desk?  Oh don’t look at me like that.  Uhm. Vodka for the win.  Vodka = awesome water


That’s what I’m having for dinner tonight.  Kidding.  I’m having vodka and popcorn.

I’m exhausted from talking about my mistakes.  See you on the other side, batman.

Up next… Part Two: The New Kitchen Plan.  Stay tuned.  It’ll rock your world.


Talk to me.  What’s your kitchen look like? What do you want to improve?  Want to do small improvements or meet your studs?  Hmmm.

Are you still thinking about studs?  My fault.  Your problem.  haha.



SHOP my kitchen faves :



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  1. Elen G

    March 4th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Lynne – Did you go right over the original tile flooring with wood? Did I see that? Or was that a mirage? Because we put ceramic tile down in the kitchen, hall, and powder room and WE HATES IT. Our precious ceramic tile floors. LOTR hates it. Damn cold. Unforgiving. But I’m not emotional about it or anything. Just sayin’.

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    March 26th, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Elen!
    Erhmergeerd, tile floors can be sweet for certain applications, but not many. I agree… they freeze the tootsies with our weather.

    When we moved into our place the gawd awful green tile was already there. It is actually cement tile. Totally fun to remove. NOT.

    You do see a bit of it in the photo, because we actually ran out of wood flooring, so we had to skimp and not put it under the kitchen cabinets. A girl has to do what a girl has to do.

    Sadly, the only way to truly do the floor again is to rip up the tile. It’s a good stress relief to pound it out. 🙂


  3. Annie Kip

    March 12th, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Love your attitude about this, girl! Get what you WANT!!! I did my kitchen over a bunch of years ago – just me and a friend/contractor bashing down walls. And building them back…eventually. I am immensely proud of my project- hard won bragging rights. It’s good to do stuff, isn’t it!?!

  4. Lynne Knowlton

    March 26th, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hiya Annie!!

    How are you?! xoxox

    Not gonna lie, the wall bashing is pretty fun in my books. haha.

    Truth is, if ever there is a chance to remove a wall, I do it. It makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? Older styles of homes seem to add a bunch of walls like a hamster cage.

    Boom. Out they go. Yay!! Congrats for going for it !!

    Lynne xx

  5. Kat

    March 19th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Lynne, I freaking love everything about your house. Everything. If I were there, I would probably take an hour to admire every room of that “white-walled-wonder” you call a home! LOL Love it!

  6. Lynne Knowlton

    March 26th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Ha Kat! Thanks girly!

    This is where I confess that my house used to be super colourful. I look back at old photos and want to barf.

    I think you have created a fantastic phrase… WHITE WALLED WONDER. I think everyone should do it. LOL…

    big love,
    lynne xx

  7. How To Knit A Chunky Wool Blanket { Free Downloadable Pattern } | Design The Life You Want To Live

    March 25th, 2016 at 8:33 am

    […] Think of me, while I’m roasting a weenie over my wood stove.  I’m in the thick of kitchen renovations.  It’s a total shit show.  I’m in the ….Drywall dust (see it on […]

  8. DIY: These homemade bath bombs are d'bomb diggity! | Design The Life You Want To Live

    April 8th, 2016 at 12:00 am

    […] totally out of order.  Don’t judge me, I’m still a good person.  I’m in the throws of a kitchen reno right now and don’t have a real sink.  Or kitchen.  Or […]

  9. Carole Jackson

    April 8th, 2016 at 9:35 am

    We, too, are in the throws of kitchen reno — but we have done it the hard way. We purchased a beautiful kitchen from the Habit for Humanity Restore and are now re-working cabinets et al to fit the former footprint. The old kitchen was original, 35 years+ — so anything will be an improvement — we have someone coming to recut the granite, electric has been repositioned and (after many long heated conversations) MY most favourite backsplash (I may redo the fireplace with it) is awaiting installation. I posted a photo on my FB page of the absolute BEST way to survive kitchen renos — a bottle of Jack!

  10. Lynne Knowlton

    April 10th, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Hahaha Carole!

    You crack me up! I may need to invest in some Jack!

    My friend Kerry bought our kitchen and reworked it into her kitchen… and it turned out beautifully. Hopefully that is great inspiration for you?! haha.

    I’m still laughing about the heated convos. Totally get that. xo

  11. Kerry

    June 29th, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    “Balls to the walls” ….. Still laughing ?

    I ❤️ my new kitchen ….and you… And this font! I could type all night just to see it …

  12. lynneknowlton

    August 11th, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    PART ONE kitchen renovation: 1998 called and it wants your kitchen back.

  13. shawna sick (yes i took that name willingly when i married)

    September 24th, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    After seeing it online,I wondered what that beautiful capzi chandelier would look like in a real live house…now i know that i must order it….it is glam!

  14. Hannah

    January 12th, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I cannot believe I’ve only just found your blog, I absolutely love it! Stylish, humorous, entertaining, what more can a girl ask for?

  15. Lynne Knowlton

    January 15th, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Thank you Hannah!! That’s so very sweet of you to say.

    Big love and many more laughs along the way!
    Lynne xx

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