old country house blog


long counter


1. I designed the kitchen makeover MYSELF INSTEAD of hiring an outside professional to guide me through all of the decision making.

2. I replaced the Cabinet Doors and drawer fronts INSTEAD of REPLACING the whole cabinets

3. I used Formica Marble INSTEAD of Real Marble

4. I installed the American Olean Stock Subway tile Myself INSTEAD of having someone else install more expensive Tile.

5. I am putting in the Hexagon tile floor..MYSELF INSTEAD OF hiring a floor guy. 

6. I used coupons and took advantage of discounts etc on my appliances, faucet and sink INSTEAD of paying top $.

7. I painted the room and ceiling myself INSTEAD of hiring a painter.

8. I made a DIY kitchen island out of my sons vintage oak classroom desk and bought the hardware on sale INSTEAD of buying an island in a store or online

9. Our electrician, who has come here for 8 years…worked for us on the side as opposed to through his company, which saved us 2/3 of what we usually pay.

and 10. I did the renovation in stages, INSTEAD of ALL at once which enabled me to scope out deals and save up for all the things I wanted.


1. I got my DREAM ROHL FAUCET..however, I got it from VINTAGETUB.COM and saved myself anywhere from 5% to 30% depending on where you shop.

2. I could have gotten a less expensive tile for the floor although I think $500 is pretty good, there are cheaper tiles out there, but I really wanted to match the look of the whole house and not to use something that would feel out-of-place.

3. I bought rather expensive hardware for the cabinets from Restoration Hardware. My rationale was that the nice hardware could be transferred to another kitchen in the future and that it would class up the whole space!

 IMG_0666LESSONS LEARNED-the hard way

1. IN RETROSPECT I wish I had hired or bartered for help installing the kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts. It took me a whole summer and was way outside of my skill set, the learning curve was huge…and in the end it simply is a job done better with two sets of hands.

2. I did not inspect my appliances upon their arrival. See, I ordered most of the appliances at Christmas time and actually gave them (in little photos) to my husband FOR Christmas. Our work schedule was a bit slower than I had projected and with the delay in the counter tops we did not INSTALL the kitchen until last week.$ months later than I thought we would. There ended up being a small cosmetic defect in the range hood and EVEN though it sat in the unopened box for 4 months…neither KITCHENAID nor LOWES will allow me to return the item for exchange,….because I am outside of their return policy time frame.DANG!


Always open up your appliances and faucets and materials when you get them and inspect them so IF there an unfortunate issue you can return the item for a new one or have a broken part replaced.

3. Wear knee pads when tiling the floor

4. Wear gloves  when possible, (I bought a few pair of gardening one that I can wash out.) it will protect you hands.

5. Wear a face mask anytime you are working with dusty things and adhesive etc. I wore a face mask almost the whole time in the tiny powder room makeover as the room has NO ventilation.

6.  Read tutorials over and over BEFORE you start!!!!


In the end, the experience was so worth any lessons learned and I am so grateful for my Kitchen… which once looked like this:before kitchen

THEN like this:


and finally now looks like this:


please email me your lessons learned the hard way….we can make a manual!!!

Come back tomorrow to see who our pet portrait winner is!!!


  1. Beautiful kitchen remodel! Can you tell me where you got the 2 matching lights in your kitchen above the island? Thanks!

  2. Beautiful! You are making me think again about cream vs white subway and cabinets. My cream cabinets are only 3 years old but I adore your white. Thank you for all of the advice! I love love your countertop. We don’t want real marble, it stains! Next time you run into a problem like you did with your hood buy a new one and take the dented one back. Slightly devious but really, they should have exchanged for you.

    1. Hello. What color are your kichen walls? I was thinking doing Symply white cabs and trim and mntn peak walls in my kitchen. Will those two go together or should I us Chantilly for cabinets and trim? Or use all mountain peak. I love Mountain Peak color it is so inviting. Thank you Lisa

  3. LOVE your remodel! Very inspiring— do you mind sharing your source for cabinet doors and drawer fronts?

    1. I got the doors made from a guy I found online…let me see if I can fine his information…if you email me directly I can send it to you…also if yous croll back through my blog posts to the ones where I installed the doors I have his name there…

  4. Looks amazing! What paint colors did you use on the cabinets and island? Where did you get the counters from? Im thinking of using these and dont see anything standard except the square edge..


    1. Thanks! the cabinets are Benjamin Moore “Mountain Peak White” and the Island is BM Gossamer Blue.
      The counter tops I got through Home Depot.

      For more color information, I have ALL of my colors listed in Yesterdays blog post!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Thanks! To get the edge did you special order or is that carried stock? And is it an extra charge over the standard square edge?

        1. It cost maybe $50 more..if that. You have to really be clear about what you want from Home Depot. They are now supposed to be able to do the ‘Ideal Edge” which means you can get this edge on all 4 sides. But beyond that I don’t know, I think it varies, Home Depot to Home Depot depending on their fabricators. But our countertops, for about 57 sq feet were $800. Good deal.

  5. Your kitchen looks great! I want to do something similar in my kitchen. I also have Fiestaware (love it!!) and want to show it off just like yours!

  6. LOVE, LOVE your kitchen We are in the process of getting our counters re-done. We are doing the same as yours. But quick question, did you guys install your own countertops? I know you mentioned the difference per sq ft with and without installation. If so…was it something do-able? Thanks so much for your breakdown on stuff and for all your insight.

    1. We did it both ways. having done so, I would go with the professionals. OR pay pros to do it…more on that on next Mondays blog post reveling our new NEW counter tops!!!

  7. I’m considering the same countertop. Does yours have the “etching” finish? If so, do you like it? Does it look any more/less “real” than smooth? Your kitchen looks lovely.

  8. Hi Lesli,
    Your kitchen redo is fantastic!!! I too, am re-doing my kitchen in stages. New stainless steel appliances, new flooring plus I just finished painting the walls a nice grey with bright white wainscoting & trim. I want to paint my cabinets white also using the Annie Sloan chalk paint mention. I also finished an old dresser in her Emperor’s Silk red that turned out great & looks really nice in the kitchen.(have you used any of her products?) I need to do the backsplash & really wanted new countertops too but I thought it would be soooo expensive until I saw your countertops in the Formica Ideal Edge. They look beautiful & it’s EXACTLY what I want. Do you still love them & are they holding up OK?

    1. Thank you and yes, I still love the formica counter tops. I would steer you toward edge profiles that wrap around. The only issue we have had is swelling underneath the sink overhang where water sometimes collects. This is avoided with profiles like amore that wrap around…though there may be many that do that now.

      Have fun!

  9. Hello! I just saw your blog and I am going to do the counters you have and have a few questions. Did you get the island and the other counters special ordered? I wish I could use prefab because they are SO much cheaper than even the special order Formica but they have the back splash that I don’t like. I thought about just cutting the back splash off and calking it since you calk it anyways!

  10. I love all of this! Great advice too. I followed your blog and finally putting the final touches on my kitchen update. I used the same Formica ( had to do a different edge) and that amazing sink and LOVE them both. Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. Would you say your cabinets are ivory or white? I was trying to decide of the ivory cabinets would go well with the calcutta marble counters you have.

  12. It seems to have been awhile since you installed your counter tops and was wondering if you still love them?

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