Our kitchen remodel

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Months ago I posted a photo on Instagram of our torn-apart kitchen, and I realized I never followed up to say that our kitchen remodel is finished! When we bought this house, the one room that shouted out for an update was the kitchen. Last November, we decided to take the plunge and fix it up. The actual renovation started in mid-March, during my second trimester, and lasted through early June or so, with an added surprise bathroom renovation thrown in (more about that later). At 41 1/2 weeks pregnant now, I don't have the same mental capacity to write an eloquent post about kitchens, so we'll just dive in bullet-point style, ok?

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1. We got rid of the old ironing board cabinet in favor of gaining more counterspace. Yes yes, it was a cute quirky detail but our house has plenty of other cute quirky details to make up for this one. We kept the built-in cabinet on the right to use for our spices. A fresh coat of paint (a barely there minty green) did wonders for brightening up the space.

2. Chris spruced up the windows that look out to our mudroom/entryway, refinishing the wood sashes with tung oil and cleaning up the hardware. I love this detail and the extra light it lets in the kitchen.

3. All new cabinets, counters, sink and backsplash! In an effort to maintain the character of the house and not go too ultra-modern, we opted for oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware and a more traditional Shaker-style cabinet front. We were also able to squeeze in a dishwasher! It's hidden behind the cabinet door to the left of the sink.

4. Added wall cabinets, backsplash and an over-the-range microwave to this side of the room.

5. Finally were able to center the stove on this wall and add cabinets. We also had a few electrical outlets added in for extra functionality.

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6. We kept this built-in hutch and had it spruced up a bit with a new coat of paint and new hardware. I think keeping it helped preserve the room's charm.

7. The hutch got a new butcher block countertop and matching backsplash tiles.

8. Chris also cleaned up our air vent cover from a caked-on, crusty white mess to a sharp-looking bronze.

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9. New floor! We went with a pre-finished hickory hardwood, in honor of the oak hardwood that runs through most of the house but with a slight twist for the kitchen. I love the crazy variations in grain and color and the wider plank makes my swollen, pregnant feet not look so huge by comparison.

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One quirk of our kitchen is that the refrigerator is sort of... not quite in it. It's in a little nook in the hallway right outside of the kitchen. Matching wall cabinets and a fancy, slightly-bigger-but-still-not-normal-size fridge tie it all in.

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This isn't technically our kitchen, but we've annexed other parts of our house for storage because that's what you do when you have a 1930s closed kitchen! Our basement door is right off of the fridge nook hallway, so we repainted the walls and stairs and Chris built a pantry shelf for us.

Some restoration detail shots:

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So many layers of paint, everywhere. Why, people?! Why are you painting over everything, and why so sloppily?!

And that's our new kitchen! We are so happy with the outcome and so amazingly grateful we were able to update one of our most-used rooms in time for the baby to arrive. It felt a little bit crazy at the time to have so much of our home in chaos during my second and third trimesters, but it was chaos of our choosing :) Our makeshift kitchen/dining room got us through the renovation along with lots of takeout and bowls of cereal for dinner. Next up, I'll tell you the story of our accidental, surprise bathroom renovation we tacked onto this project. Gulp.

All toile everything, or a bathroom update

Our home is a 1930s brick English tudor with a bright red door and oodles of charm, if I may be so bold as to say so. Among the steeply-pitched roof, archway and original hardwood floors and trim, there is the toile.

Toile de jouy

. There was toile in the upstairs washroom and in most of our closets. I tried to make peace with it. As ugly as it was to me, I did sort of love it. Look at the country folk dancing! Watch them sing and play! Wave hello to the man playing the flute as you shampoo your hair! But, no, it could not last in our home.

So when we had a few days off around the holidays, we tore it down. Then Chris patched up and repaired the wall in many, many spots and we painted it a light gray that we though went well with the oversized original tiled wall.

We figured we might as well replace the mirror on the built-in original medicine cabinet, and in a stroke of genius and keen observation, Chris realized we had a wooden-framed mirror that would fit perfectly. Et voila, he took the old one off and put the new one up and now our bathroom feels like a whole new space for just the cost of some spackle, a can of paint and a few screws. And a new shower curtain. I love it.

We hung up a bundle of fresh eucalyptus in the shower because Pinterest told me the steam would make our washroom smell like a swanky European spa. Sold! In our old place, we were used to showering and getting ready in a windowless basement bathroom, so basically I feel like a queen every morning in this 1930s bright and airy space. Next step is re-tiling that floor.

Let it be known that I found curtains with the exact toile scene as the wallpaper that was in our bathroom. I haven't bought them... yet. What say ye? All toile, e'rything?