Is your kitchen fugly? Want to make it fabulous?

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

  Is your kitchen fugly?

 Dream BIG.

 There is hope for you.

Pursue big dreams instead of small realities.

If I can work with the worlds fugliest kitchen … then anyone can do it.   My kitchen had a face that only a mother could love.  You don’t have to be as dramatic as I was.

After you see the photos in this blog post and realize how my kitchen was a little shop of horrors, it will make your kitchen seem like a walk in a beautiful park full of unicorns and sparkly fairies.

Don’t believe me?  Get ready to be mortified.  You may actually want to cover your eyes and go stand in the corner and suck your thumb.

Before :

BEFORE pix.  Eeeek.  Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

AFTER :

 

 

Do you need some fabulous ideas for your kitchen?  Have some fun & get some FAB tips on Design The Life You Want to Live http://lynneknowlton.com

The original kitchen was a dark hole of grossness.  It was a place where happiness went to die.

The only hope for the kitchen was to paint anything that didn’t move … White 

Once you go white,  you never go back.  What?!  Never mind.

Before you naysay and pooh-pooh a white kitchen, you should know that we are

A family of:

  • 4 kids
  • one hubby
  • 3 square meals a day (sort of),
  • many visiting friends,
  • a lot of visiting family members
  • oodles of events and going ons
  • many bottles of red wine
  • one very big dog
  • 3 cats who think they are people
  • the occasional mouse and
  • some bastardly squirrels

 

Not all of them are allowed in the house but that is not the point.  

We live in a white kitchen and it works like a charm.

Nuff said.

 

Do you need some fabulous ideas for your kitchen?  Have some fun & get some FAB tips on Design The Life You Want to Live http://lynneknowlton.com

Learn  about  the  twig  curtain  rods  here.

All of the chair pads and slipcovers throughout the kitchen are white and washable.   White is easier to clean than you think.

I use my homemade {delish} laundry soap and I use fantastic spray bleach for stains.  I discovered that stuff one time when I missed my sink and hit the chair. Bam.

Pow !

 

Clean sink AND clean slipcovered chair.  Who can ask for more than that?  It is a stain removal miracle.  Spray fantastic with bleach on stained white things.  Wash in washing machine.  Stain is gone.gone.gone.

You will have officially witnessed a stain removal miracle. You’re welcome.

Do you need some fabulous ideas for your kitchen?  Have some fun & get some FAB tips on Design The Life You Want to Live http://lynneknowlton.com

Want to know more about why white is a slice of awesomeness in a kitchen?

 

In the event of a chair catastrophe you can even replace the stool slip covers at Ikea for $10 each.  I bought a second set for red wine emergencies.  Not that it happens.  It totally happens. Most importantly, that flippin’ Ikea bar stool is also the worlds most comfortable stool.

You can curl up in it and fall into a food coma.

It’s $79 at Ikea.  Hello, sahhhweet price.

Uhhm, and Ikea didn’t pay me to say that.  I wish.

Dear Ikea, You really should get to know me.  We could be friends.  Just sayin’.

 

Our original kitchen was enough to make a grown woman cry.   Oh wait.  I did.  It was enough to put any sane soul over the edge.  Oh wait.  I did that too.  I contemplated Thelma and Louise-ing it over a cliff several times.

The kitchen was actually four rooms of stupidness.  They made no sense. We removed every wall possible.  Luckily, nothing fell on our heads.

 I did hire a professional, and I crossed my fingers behind my back.  I might have crossed everything I had.

If you have an option to tear out a wall, do it.  Just do it.  Let ‘er rip.  Blow it outta there.  When in doubt, tear it out.

Part of the problem of some kitchen designs is that the work spaces face into black walls of darkness.  Ewww.  If you are going to wash dishes, you sure as hell don’t want to stare at a wall when you are doing them.

Torture.

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Make your space FEEL good.

  • We live in a 100 year old farmhouse.
  • We bought it 10 years ago.
  • We live on 100 acres.
  • I feel like I’m 100 years old.
  • I went through 1,000 tylenol pills.

 

Our place was a dive had potential when we moved in. What is worse than terrible?  It was that.   It was enough to make you shit a kitten. That bad.  Worse.  Definitely worse. Don’t believe me?  Cover your eyes if you have a weak stomach for ugly.

G.R.o.S.s.

 

Before pix. eeek.  Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

The kids and GrandMa were the best part.

The house had not been a victim of any sort of fabulousness for a very long time.  It was a diamond in the rough.  Maybe a cubic zarconia.  Actually, probably just a pebble that needed some shining with spit and a serious polish. It had the potential to sparkle. We had to dig deep to find it. We finally did.

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

HOME

To give you a sense of our initial dire situation, my brother-in-law drove up our driveway on the first week that we moved in and said to me :

Jim :  Have you lost your mind?

Me :  I’ll whip this place into shape.  It’ll be rad.  You’ll see me on the news.

My inside voice : Is that my heart beating so loud ?  Is this what a heart attack feels like?  Should I  have considered crop dusting the fields with happy drugs?  I wonder if they grow dope around here?  Was I bat shit crazy?

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

But {deep down} I had one home design goal.

Pure, effortless, classic, REAL & quite simply simple.

It was my home design goal then, and is still my goal to this day.   Do you have a home design goal ?   Now that the kids are back in school,  you might be having a blast missing them dearly and you might even start to contemplate some ways to funk up your kitchen.

This is how you prepare :

Step one:  Jump up and down on the beds after the kids get on the school bus.

Step two: Have pillow fights.  With the wall.   You are now officially warmed up to start your projects.

The kitchen is always a good place to start.

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Your kitchen does not need to be a place where happiness goes to die. Make it a happy place.

Need some inspiration?

Check out Pinterest. Note : There is one wee humungous problem with Pinterest.

Pinterest = impossibly delicious.  Errrmahhgerd.

Pinterest :

You will be so inspired by the kitchens that you see! Part of you will jump for freaking joy, and the other part will want to high-five Pinterest in the head.  With a chair.

  Remember to use those kitchen inspiration boards for bits and bobs of inspiration. The overall kitchen in pinterest isn’t real.  It is like a supermodel figure.  They aren’t real either.  Fake kitchens can just suck it.   So can fake supermodel photoshopped pics, but don’t get me started.

Grab snippets of ideas from each kitchen.   Before you know it, you will have an inspiring plan.  Or a really pretty kitchen Pinterest board.   Same same but different.

Need more inspiration?  I’ve written a ton of DIY blog posts full of great ideas for your home.

 You can find them here :  There is no place like home.

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Make your home feel warm

Go easy on yourself with your plans.  Don’t beat yourself up about your kitchen.  There is always hope.  One step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  Get ready,  I have a bunch of blog posts lined up for you with cool ideas for your kitchen.

Keep it simple.  Keep it real.

You know you have a real kitchen when …

   

1.   There is a science experiment growing in the fridge.

2.    There is an unidentifiable sticky something stuck to the floor

3.   Dirty strangers bring filthy dishes into the kitchen in the middle of the night and leave them everywhere.  The gruby little turds leave a disheveled mess.  Dirty bastards.

4.   It’s a place where you can play with cooking utensils, wire, beads and food – but not all at the same time. That would be gross.

It can take you ages and stages to grow your kitchen and that’s okay.  It is better to live in a space and get a feel for what you love.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you follow this kitchen series, you will have a ton of ideas coming your way.   Follow the blog for the latest updates to be delivered directly into your email inbox.

 Before and After Crazies :

Are you ready for the before and after shots of the kitchen?  I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours. Ewwwh. Never mind. I am over caffeinated when I write and it makes me a bit zealous. Slaps forehead. Get ready to gasp.

BEFORE :

Before pic. Yikes. Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

  AFTER :

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

On the way to improvement

PS. I’ve changed the backsplash since this photo was taken.  You can read about the smashing story  the original mosaic backsplash here if you would like to make your own backsplash too.  More on that later. A great kitchen takes time.  An evolution.   It takes time to make it into something special.  Something that feels good.  Like skinny jeans evolved from bell bottoms.  How’d that happen?   It took some time.

 BEFORE :

Before Pix. Yikes. Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

AFTER :

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Yes, I believe all kitchens should have a sofa in them { where possible }.  Can’t do it?  Take out a wall.  Problem solved.  Tahh-dahhh.

BEFORE :

Before Pix. Oh my. Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Help !

AFTER :

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Whew …

  Over the years, you can make baby step changes in the kitchen.  Sometimes giant leaps.   Tread with caution.  I did.   My husband purse strings will notice if a new sink suddenly appears in the kitchen.  I tread lightly.  Softly.  Then bam.  Kitchen sink.

PS. Sneak peak of new backsplash in the photo below :)

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

Those big ass gorgy gorgeous farmhouse sinks are hard to hide from men.  Believe me, I tried.  They are a great price at Ikea, by the way.  We bought a double sink and a single sink.  Having two sinks in a kitchen is d’bomb dot com.  Try it.   You’ll like it.  Mikey did.

  I took one for the team by shopping for sinks at the Swedish Labryinth {also known as Ikea.}

PS. Ikea = Swedish for divorce.

I love that place.  I hate that place.

On my last trip, I left with two farmhouse sinks, one zillion kitchen drawer handles, 59 candles, 2 slip covered dining chairs and one {hot dog} !  I’m surely going to die now.   Do you think an Ikea hot dog is in a food group somewhere?  Maybe a food group for idiots.  I might be the poster child.  There is nothing good for you in a hot dog. (but the mojo in eating one is marvellous) If you are going to spend some moola in your home, spend it in your kitchen.  And on the occasional hot dog.   And let’s not forget your  …

Faucets :

I have fallen head over heels in love with Delta Faucets.  I should apply to be the president of their fan club.  I wonder if I have to do a breathalyzer for that job?  Hmmm.  I might need to rethink it. At a time like this, when the economy is tighter than bark on a tree, you want to spend your money wisely.  And you want some great customer service to come with it.  Right? Right !  I like you already.  Great minds think alike.

Why LOVE Delta and Brizo faucets ?

 

Are they gorgy gorgeous ?    Check √

Are they functional with solid construction ?    Check √

Do they have great customer service ?    Check  √

Can you turn their touch faucets on and off by kissing the faucet  ?   Check  √ 

Do they respond to you on twitter* ?    Check  √ 

Sold !  

That’s a pretty sweet slice of awesomeness.  Fab company ! *  Any company that responds quickly via social media is a rock star in my books.  Go ahead and try.  Tweet @DeltaCanada ~ tell them that their fan club president says hello.  Hiccup.

I bet they will tweet you back.  Ask them anything about their faucets.  Try and trick them with crazy faucet questions.  It won’t work.  They are smart faucet folks.  Just sayin’.  I tried. We went with touch faucets in the kitchen.  That’s right. Touch activated faucets.  <– I screamed that.

They are super - dope - rad

Touch activated faucets are sort of like men.  Actually, identical.  With a European design.  They even turn on when you kiss them.  And you think I lie.  I took the idea for a test run.  I have kissed men and faucets.  They both turn on when you kiss them.  The proof was in the pudding.

Touch faucets are all that and a bag of chips.

The faucets will feel like the yin to your yang.

The ping to your pong.

The normal to your crazy.

A little piece of faucet Heaven.

Heaven with a lot of water, but Heaven nonetheless.

We decided on this faucet from Delta for a kajillion reasons ~  one of which, it makes me want to do the happy dance in my kitchen.

Why invest in your kitchen ? :

Why spend the big bananas in one room of your house?  Because that is where you spend all.your.time.   If not,  you are not a real person.   Skit.  Skat.  Skedaddle. Kitchens are almost always the best investment in your home.  Spending renovation moola in the grand central station of your home is usually a very wise choice.   Unless you renovate it and make it uglier.  Don’t do that.  I will slap you. AND I can help you with some coolio kitchen ideas to inspire some funkiness in your life. Because I love you like that.

Design the life you love, love the life you live.

Subscribe to the blog to get free & fabulous ideas in the new kitchen series on www.lynneknowlton.com Design The Life You Want to Live #Blog.

One big problemooooo :

 I have so many ideas and I can’t jam them all into one blog post.  I’m not that smart.   We have do this in a kitchen series.  Can you handle that?  Should I pour you a drink, or are you going to be okay? Need something to get you by until the kitchen series is out?  Click here for some epic ideas for your home.  Do you have a good kitchen story? Tell it in the comment section below!! Story telling is easy. I know.  I know.

You are easy.

I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.

Hussy.

Hmmm… like this one …. when the fire department came to put out a chimney fire in our kitchen.  For the fourth time.  We are now on a first name basis with the chief.

BEFORE :

Come see the kitchen series of before and after photos on Design The Life You Want to Live BLOG

I love the look on my daughter Tristan’s face :

Let me just casually lean up against the counter and pretend that the fire department is not in my kitchen.

Or My other daughter Mackenzie :

Is that a birds nest hairdo on the back of her head?!! I am an unfit mother.

 

AFTER :

Come see the kitchen series of before and after photos on Design The Life You Want to Live BLOG

Turning pendant large drum lighting from West Elm

I promise, I still have four kids, they are just hiding around the corner.  All hell broke loose after this photo.  #GoodTimes.

Be weird.  Normal is the new boring.

PS. The fire department visits happened 10 years ago.  I might still be blushing. On a better note (and one that doesn’t cause a hot flash)… I can’t wait to share with you what this space looks like now. Oh. la. la. <- I meant that about the fireman AND the outdoor space.

Come see the kitchen series of before and after photos on Design The Life You Want to Live BLOG

Since the whole kitchen chimney fire fiasco, some of the firefighters have become our pals.  They even park their truck here on occasion.  What?!   Wait until they found out that we took it for spin. Nudge nudge.  Wink wink. Joking. Not really.

Dear Durham Fire Department, You might want to check under your seats for some bubble gum wrappers,  bottle caps, and fire crackers. Love, You, Me and Dupree.

 

Come see the kitchen series of before and after photos on Design The Life You Want to Live BLOG

Vroom Vroom

PS. Did you like this blog post?  Say yes ! Say yes !!!…. and enter your email to receive free/once a week epic ideas in your box. { Your email inbox that is }  There is no spam.  I respect your box.

 Enter your email here and we can happy dance together. Lynne

Sources:   Farmhouse sink: Ikea,  Touch faucet: c/o Delta Faucets, Wood countertops: reclaimed vintage floor boards, Kitchen Stools: Ikea,  Large overhead lighting in dining & sofa area: West Elm,  Slipcovered sofas:  Ikea,   Backsplash tile: Home Depot (discontinued)

SHOP THE POST :

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126 Responses

  1. Lynn says:

    Oh my, my kitchen is “fugly” – dark and damp and just the pits. I found your blog and from today – I am a loyal subscriber. Where did you get the plate racks? My kitchen needs some serious love. I used to bake, but I am too depressed to even enter the pit of despair that is my kitchen. Thanks for giving me hope.

  2. Amy in StL says:

    It’s adorable that you think your kitchen is fugly. My kitchen makes yours look like the prom queen! It had lavender walls, butter yellow tile, white beadboard, fake slate flooring, a ceiling fan. .. need I go on? So far I’ve painted the walls. I don’t know what to do about the tile or bead board, oh did I mention laminate counters that “look like” butcher block?

    • LOL, not gonna lie Amy, the butter yellow tile and white bead board sound kinda pretty :) The other stuff, okay… I’m with ya girly. haha. I feel your pain sista, I feel your pain. I can only say IT’S WORTH IT in the end :)

      Lynne xx

  3. Tina says:

    You are freaken hilarious!! Everything I’ve read has just cracked me up! You have an awesome sense of humour, & it’s very refreshing compared to the stepford bloggers, hehe.
    Loved you home tour as I also am a home tour creeper! You have a beautiful place. Great job on ALL your renos.
    We bought a home on 18 acres 7 yrs. ago & never in our wildest dreams could imagine all the work that’s involved in the upkeep of the property never mind the renos! Ours is still a work in progress but wouldn’t trade it for anything! Keep up the great work as I’ll be creeping again soon…you rock girl! <3

  4. Mary Margaret says:

    Totally want to see the rest of the series! Our kitchen is sort-of ripped out and waiting (patiently) to be re-assembled into something that looks nothing like the cramped 80s beauty it once was. It is moving so fast, yet somehow so slow… We don’t live there yet, or else it would seem even slower…

  5. Lesli says:

    Yes.and.DOUBLE.YES !

    xoxo
    Lesli :)

  6. Dee Hetrick says:

    HAAAA! That was AWESOME!!! I have laughed, and read, and laughed–like I was on the humor section of freakin pinterest!! I am also in an old,old farmhouse. Much smaller than yours, I think. To the best we can tell, built in about 1885? I CANT believe they raised 5 kids in this tiny place. My daughter’s BR might be actually smaller than your boy’s room! I KNOW about making the best of small spaces. Actually, I think the whole lower level of our farmhouse might fit into your BEAUTIFUL kitchen!! I’m new to your site, but looking forward to reading more!

    • Thanks Dee !!!

      That’s so funky cool that you live in an oldie too. It gives you a whole new appreciation for ‘vintage’ AKA ‘crooked everything’, doesn’t it? LOL

      Our house had an addition on it when we bought it…otherwise it would be the size of a match box.

      Here’s the cool thing about your diggs….old houses have epic character. I hope you rock it out and then invite me over :)

      Lynne xx

  7. judy says:

    I discovered you through Victoria Elizabeth Barnes Web Site and I have a whole new impression of the human species-I am old and I swear I was convinced that humans were pretty much boring, and everything that accompanies the word Boring. To find two live wires like you and the VEB site @this late date in my existence has made living interesting again. I go forth to seek more of your ilk. Thank You

    • Oh my goodness Judy !

      Isn’t Victoria hilarious?!! I love that gal.

      This is going to sound corny, but some blogs/bloggers just make my days AWESOME.

      I’m an old fart, and I am still discovering new ones all the time too. It really is a hoot !!

      Have you read Karen from The Art of Doing Stuff ? Here is the link to her site http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com

      I loves her !!!

      Have a FUN read and a great Christmas,
      Lynne xx

  8. Myriam says:

    YOU NEED YOUR OWN SITCOM! Can I be a guest on it?? I can totally relate to your style of writing and if there’s something I love, it’s laughing and boy do you know how to write da funny stuff!

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  10. NikiDee says:

    Love your blog…was sent over by Karen @ The Art of Doing Stuff. Hubby & I happen to be renting an 1850’s farmhouse…also untouched by the fabulosity fairy. Our (unwitting) landlord said & I QUOTE…”Do what you want, just no black paint”..Bwahahahaha! Poor guy. Soooooo while I can’t tear out walls, I CAN paint the kitchen white (& I’ll be refinishing the cabinets with chalkpaint to age them – in a nice way – not the fugly way they are now). Can you please share the white paint that you used? It just looks so perfect & my walls are marked up with so many paints right now it looks like a Jackson Pollock painting – not in the good or expensive way. Please help! Oh….I also will be painting the hideous fake brick backsplash we are stuck with.. It will go white too….the light bulb went off after I saw your white brick! XOXO for all the inspiration…& hopefully the name of that paint. Your new stalker…errr…follower….ND

    • Hey NikiDee !!

      Nice to meet you ! Isn’t Karen a hoot ?!! LOVE her.

      You made me laugh out loud with the… “untouched by the fabulosity fairy”.

      Painting the brick (fake or otherwise) is a brillssss idea. I have done it in a few places of our house and it looks damn sexy. Good choice !

      I used a Home Depot paint (Behr) in a colour called COTTON FLUFF – semi gloss, for the trim and POLISHED PEARL matte finish for the walls (including the brick wall). It is not a stark white. It is a warm creamy white. It is so creamy you might want to lick the walls.

      Kisses,
      Lynne

      • NikiDee says:

        Fugly update: Have purchased samples of white paints… EPICNESS is happening! I used the Polished Pearl sample (almost gave me two coats on that HIDEOUS brick). Hubs came home (i didn’t tell him i was “sampling”) & couldn’t believe the difference. Imagine: a man. noticing paint….WOW! I’m going to try to finish painting the kitchen this weekend. I’ll email you photos once I figure out the color for the accent wall. Come to think of it, maybe you should just come over & tell me what color to use LOL!
        XO!! WOO HOO!!!

  11. sandra mattina says:

    Hi there Lynne ! I clicked on your link from The Art Of Doing Stuff Blog….had seen your link before, but didn’t click on it, cuz I thought you were a Life Coach haha! Then, I thought , yeah, maybe I need a life coach, so I clicked on your add, only to be pleasantly surprised , not disappointed that you were not a life coach haha!!! Plus you are in Canada yay!, me too…in Grimsby.We just moved to Grimsby this summer, and knocked out a wall btwn the 12 x 12 kitchen and living room, it IS the best decision we made ! We went with IKEA Butcher Block (OAK) Countertops, and I see you have B.B. too. It is not practical to leave them unfinished, and I have been looking online , to see what the best product would be to seal them, not oil them, with a water-resistant finish, with a little gloss to it. QUESTION ; What did you use on your counters? And are you satisfied with the results, in terms of durability ? Great job on your kitchen, love the Elmira stove , its yummy and so perfect for a farmnouse !!!! Thank you, and good to meet you ! ~Sandra Mattina

    • Grimsby Sandra ?! We are practically neighbours by Canadian standards. Ha ! That’s so cool that you took out a wall.

      I saw the butcher block counter tops at Ikea, they look so puuuurty.

      Our counter tops are old plank flooring. We used an oil based eurathane to seal them. I just sanded and did it again … but really… they have been super durable for YEARS. I love the ‘softness’ of the counter and its durability.

      Oh la la… I’m so happy that you clicked on my link… mostly because I am still laughing about the life coach part ! Hhahahaha !

      Sorry for the late reply… I just saw your message today when Karen featured my kitchen blog post.

      Big fat hugs,
      Lynne xx

  12. Jennifer Savage says:

    In:):):):):)So, I will try to keep my story short & sweet. Old copper pipes=flooded house=huge hole in kitchen floor. Now EX hubby decided it was more important to halt the progress to cook for his brother & a friend in our poolhouse, even though the water was still off in the main house & it was homecoming week & my daughter was on student council & a cheerleader=lots of work & teens in our house=not the best time to not worry about not getting the water back on…hence the EX before hubby. My dad got some guys to fillthe hole in but beyond that, things have been put on hold due to the priority of paying the lawyer bill from my divorce. So, if you know of any hot handy guys who would think it’s adorable that I too can eat popcorn for dinner & more than occasionally get up in the middle of the night for those wild hairs to start a project, send him on down to Louisiana for me, would ya?;)~

    • Louisiana Jennifer ?!

      I’ll come down :) Oh wait. I’m not a man, nor do I wear a uniform. ha ! … but we could eat popcorn for dinner together !

      PS
      sorry for the late reply on your comment… I just saw it today !

      I hope your hole gets filled. Wait again. That sounded wrong :) LOLLLL

      kisses,
      Lynne

  13. North Coast says:

    Love your writing!

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  15. cynthia says:

    Two summers ago the daughter and I set off our smoke alarm in our apartment in Paris as we cooked a steak we had first tried in Aix en Provence, on our 2-burner electric range (http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/steak-terroir/). I can’t believe I’ve actually said this, but it’s true: French firemen (pompiers) are every last little bit as totally and completely HOT as their American brethren. With a serious side of cool.

    • Ha !!! That’s good to know Cynthia !

      When we lived in France, I only met the paramedics. Not gonna lie, they were HAWT too.

      So happy to hear that a man in uniform, is quite simply, hawt :) ~ as a universal language :)

      Lynne xx

  16. IMen says:

    FAB kitchen. And you are SO HILARIOUS!!!!!!!! IKEA = Swedish for divorce. Love it. Love + Light, Imen x

    • Hi there gorgeous Imen from Ireland, :))))))

      How are you? Thanks for the kitchen love. Now, if you could just hop on a plane and fly over yonder to my digs here in Canada and take some magical photos of my kitchen…. well, that would be lovely.

      I could take you for a road trip to Ikea and we could be total bad asses while eating naughty-for-you hot dogs.

      Kisses,
      Lynne

  17. jojo says:

    What happened to the stairs?
    but even more important, what happened to your beautiful homemade backsplash?

    • Hello there Jojo :)

      Well… the stairs were put to epic use in the barn. Now, we can walk up stairs to the second floor without having to crawl up through a hay door in the floor. I’m too much of an old fart to manoeuvre my way through that :) The stairs are saaahweet in the barn.

      Mosaic ~ well. I punched it in the head. I couldn’t take another moment of it. It lived a good life and it was ready to move on to mosaic heaven. :)

      The white backsplash feels divine. ahhhhh.

      Kisses,
      Lynne

  18. Lindsey says:

    Lynne, your posts always make me smile. Oh and your kitchen looks fabulous. Like, super-awesome. And LOVE the tip about the fantasic w bleach! Because lord knowsI’m a spiller. One of my knicknames as a kid was “Spill Lindsey”. No jokes.

  19. lisa thomson says:

    Laughing! I just love you, Lynne. My apartment kitchen is pretty fugly. But a girl can dream and I do just that on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/lisalisathom/for-the-home/ I look forward to your kitchen posts! I just love the couch in the kitchen :)

  20. laura says:

    Lynn, gotta ask. Where did your stairs go? Did you put in a fireman’s pole…did they suggest that when they were there? Just asking because we’ve renovated 9 (gulp) houses (and lived in them all) and we looked a one for sale yesterday that had a staircase in the middle…love to have opened it all up but still would be stuck with the staircase in the middle. We were stumped.
    Love you and your posts…you’re inspirational on so many levels.

    • Hi Laura,
      We took the staircase out, and used the old stairs in our barn. Then, we left the hole in the ceiling, so the warm air from the wood stove would float up to the second floor.

      Our house is partly 100 years old, and partly 20 years old. The addition had a staircase already, so we luckily had that one to use. We didn’t need TWO :).

      9 houses ?! wowsers !!! Good for you !! Is there another place that you can allocate the stairs to? It has been brilliant to have the space opened up for us. Of course, we had to put in a support beam and additional overhead support without the stairs, but it was worth it. You can see the support beam and overhead beams in the photos.

      If you can go for it, go for it. You will be amazed at the beauty of the open space !

      Hugs,
      Lynne xx
      PS. thanks for the epic blog love. Much appreciated !!

  21. Linda says:

    Lynne, I can not believe I read the whole Thing/Post! One of your ramblyist rambles. But without swear words. You do love a great white kitchen!

    Both daughters are precious. Too bad we don’t know and enjoy it every second at that time in their lives. (firemen – not bad! my 2nd choice are cowboys)

    New backsplash very F Ancy. Cheers!

    • Do you believe it Linda ?!! Not one f-bomb?

      Maybe it was because the kids were in the room/on the blog post? Nahhhh. I must have been side tracked by the fire dept hawties.

      I have been watching back to back episodes of Chicago Fire. That is dangerously fun. So fun, in fact, I forgot to swear. LOL.

      Lynne xx

  22. Linda says:

    Love it all…thanks for sharing !!! My hubs is a contractor and my kitchen doesn’t look that good? Oh well when Siri reveals hers you’ll know what he can do… It’s beautiful and white too !!!

    • Your hubs is a contractor Linda ??!! Share with sugar bear :)

      Is that like the plumber with the leaky faucet?

      I hear ya sista. It is waaaaay more difficult to get things done at home when you don’t get paid for it.

      My contractor has a deal with his wife. He is not allowed to get it done at our place, until he gets it done at his place.

      How funny is that? How SMART is my contractors wife? hahaha! Love it !

  23. Janet says:

    I adore your kitchen. And I love seeing your before photos! except that my house looks more like your “befores” than your “afters”. So next time you’re here, I’m hiring you to walk around my house with me and tell me everything you would change. Or maybe we’ll just move. I can’t have chickens here anyway ;)

    • Nice try french fry. I have been to your gorgeous house. :)

      PS. Annie Sloan paints is doing a paint demonstration at the Toronto Home Show. Tempting ?

      Let’s go, and I can learn how to paint my kitchen cabinets with the 50 layer of paint now. The room is getting smaller by each paint layer :)

      • laura says:

        Where do you get Annie Sloan paint in your area Lynne? I’d love to get my hands on it and they won’t ship it across the border.

        • Hey Laura, Annie Sloan paints used to be so difficult to buy in Canada compared to the US. I know. I hear ya sista. My pal Janet from http://housefour.blogspot.ca took a course with the Annie Sloan paints last year at Kathie Jordan Design in New Hamburg. She loved it ! They supply the paint too, of course. It’s also in Hamilton, Bracebridge, and St. George.

  24. WHAT!? Your kitchen is amazing. The white makes me so happy. Can you come over later and help me with mine? :)

  25. Tami says:

    I don’t have a funny kitchen story, just that my kitchen looks funny. Help. Please. In need of a reno. (and Home Show tickets). Love this post, and will be following along with your Kitchen series.

    • Tami,

      You are a hoot. Sure thing. I am happy to give you tickets. How many do you need? I just had a hot flash worried that I insulted the house.

      Dear world,
      Tami’s Mom grew up in our home. Their family are LOVELY awesome souls, and they certainly didn’t make the kitchen look like it did when we moved in. (It was previous owners).

      Still. I die. I die. I can give you tickets for the rest of your life, LOL. And beer. And treehouse sleepovers. And my first born child. I’ll even kiss Scott for you. :) Too bad he’s not a firefighter. LOL. But he does wear a uniform….

      xx

  26. Ok you know I already think you live in my dream home, treehouse aside as this is one of our dreams – to live in the country where my neighbour isn’t an arm’s width away from our living room wall. But now I am going to be nagging my husband even more b/c the kitchen reno, is the next big reno to happen in our home. And the fire dept would come b/c of my cooking, never mind if we had a chimney. I dream of butcher block countertops and a wrap around porch. I have this feeling that we won’t last in our home for as long as we think we will. Especially when I constantly say Hey want to see what Lynne has in her home? for 10000th time.

    • It is a good thing that I don’t have neighbours that are an arms length away from me Alex. I would throw stink bombs at them. Or squirrels.

      I truly believe that we all live in homes that we like, and discover what we LOVE by living in our current home. It is usually the driving force to help you find your dream home when the time is right.

      I had to have a neighbour from hell, before I forced myself to search for our current home. Without that shitty neighbour, I would never have found this house. I am grateful for that a$$hole, { and I still secretly wish I could do a drive by sting bomb toss at his house some day. Evil. I know. }. I’m grateful because I would never have moved to what I LOVE without living beside that jerk face first.

      You may have read about that neighbour here :

      http://www.lynneknowlton.com/diy-green-moss-graffiti/

      I hope it inspires you :)

      PS. Not gonna lie, I love the sound of the butcher block countertops ( Ikea has decent prices on those, which I know you must know… you Ikea hussy). Wrap around porch sounds divine !!!!

      Kisses,
      Lynne

  27. Carol says:

    Lynne, hello darling, (the name I give to people who make me smile and take me out of my troubles for a few moments.)
    Oh my I love your Reno. Befor photos are fantastic gems aren’t they. They are like handy ego boost for our creativity, when every one is taking for granted the peacful home there sitting in. Us home lovers work so hard behind the Sean’s. I sacrificed bench space to move my kitchen towards at least welcoming. (Have no money to spare, so I can only take out, not much comes in.) But the more stops I have the wilder the creative brain ticks, and it’s my favourite escape.
    The ACT of Australia does not have an Ikea. And oh my you are so right, it is Swedish for divorce. I thuoght i was the only one haveing an affair with the magazine, there are always tears involved. Every year we fly to Western Australia for Xmas, for family,( which cost the same amount as flying to America.) and my reward, a visit to Ikea. Even the kids have a ball so many cubby houses to play in, forget the playroom for kids my mini designers are right there with me ticking off there wish list in thier heads.
    I’m right there with you with white. It’s funny though, my teenagers saw it as proof I was going loopy when everything was painted white. The house is beautiful and the the teenagers are finally scared of me, who would have thought. Thanks again darling, what an enjoyable cup of tea and a few moments of escape I’ve had. carol

    • Hello lovely Carol,
      Not going to lie, you lost me at Australia. You know, I LOVE your notes in the comment section. Love them. This time, I read AUSTRALIA and my mind took a train to Australia. Oh. La. La. Dreamy. Dreamy. Dreamy.

      If there was any other place in the world that I think is d’bomb dot com to live in… it’s Australia. I forget if I have mentioned it before, but have you ever read the blog called A BEACH COTTAGE from Australia? It is lovely ! Here is the link : http://www.abeachcottage.com

      From my tea cup to yours,
      Lynne xx

      • Carol says:

        Why thank you Lynne, I subscribed to this one after one visit, just lovely. Although this sight does not conjure up a cup of tea, this is more of a beer and pretzels site I think (Beer for the depression and pretzel to catch the tears.) NOooooo beach in the ACT either. Shit I’m starting to think why am I living here. Right then. Cheers Darling, I’m off to the pub.

  28. gema kochovski says:

    Another cool site to check out on Pinterest http://www.savvyhomeblog.com. Beautiful stuff also!

    • Thank you Gema !

      I am following the Savvy Home Blog now. Her writing is very cool and I LOVE the photos. I even started following her on instagram. YUM photos. Thanks for the hot tip. I owe you one.

      Have a fab weekend !
      Lynne

  29. Thanks for your great post today.
    I baahaha’d louder than I have in much too long! Love your “new” kitchen. and looking forward to all the kitchen posts, because yes, we do live in our kitchens. Especially here in the South.
    Sincerely,
    Pembroke, Georgia

  30. Laura says:

    Totally love this post!!! SOOOOO inspiring! Such great ideas from start to finish!!! LOVE IT! We are slowly working through our house (new homeowners AND newly married…). We don’t have any before and afters, but I do have these bathroom ones!
    http://oomphlove.blogspot.ca/search/label/Renovations

    We are always on the hunt for new ideas
    http://www.oomphlove.blogspot.ca

  31. Kerry says:

    funneeeeeee stuff Lynne!! Love it!! and Tristan casually leaning on the countertop like the fire dept’s not there! ha!

    I’m sitting out in my whitewashed “cottage” (our garage turned into a cottage…a gottage?) whitewashed thanks to you being so damn inspiring!! curled up next to the woodstove (cuz it’s fricken freezing out) and now dreading going in to my yukky old fugly kitchen. Oh well… I’ll just have to pour more wine and ‘drink er pretty’!

    love ya!
    Kerry

  32. Jeannie says:

    Lynne,

    Did you paint the West Elm light fixtures white?

    • Hi Jeannie,

      Nope. At the time when I bought them, they were available in white and natural wood. I noticed that the photo on line just showed them as natural wood.

      I would contact Neil Gazmen @ngazmen on twitter or @WestElmToronto on twitter and ask them. They are über helpful, and I’m sure they can give you some direction on what colours are available.

      PS. The lights are super pretty in ‘real life.’

      Cheers!
      Lynne

  33. Todd Dulmage says:

    Kitchens, kitchens, kitchens… stories… okay, here goes, I got two in my house, used to have three, but the one in the basement was like coakroach grody so we tore it out. Why do people spare the main floor kitchen and cook in the basement I will never know… anyway, the one on the main floor, which we are tearing out has a massive porcelain sink – white, Lynne – which, hells yes, gets all scuffed and whatnot – but hey, it’s cool, it’s retro, it’s an antique -it’s BEING TORN OUT. Anyway, the tenants who ARE LEAVING complained about the water pressure – had a plumber in – who does some crazy voodoo stuff and now we got the pressure back. ANYONE CURIOUS? Yep, he took off the thinger at the end of the faucet. Glacier Bay piece o doo-doo by the way. Oh, and, and, and, the reason we got to working on the sink, by the way, was that we had a leak in the basement – and here I was thinking that it was just water coming down the stack and leaking all the way down. NOPE. My original plumber, not my VOODOO plumber, he put in a fixed elbow thing behind the tap on the hot supply to the sink, and low and behold, for the past gazillion years, okay, decade, has had a slow leak which turned into a wet-the-carpet-make-it-stinky-leak in my tenants basement bedroom. Which they won’t sleep in anymore. Did I mention they are LEAVING? It doesn’t stink don’t there anyway. Anymore. NOW THAT I FIXED THE LEAK. Why didn’t I fix it before? Because it leaks intermittently, which made me think okay, rain, from outside, because it isn’t supposed to move and I suppose that when my tenants REEFED on the tap from time to time, it shook it loose… and presto! Leak o rama!
    Anyway, my kitchen rant. You are welcome. We are tearing out the whole darn ceramic tiles back splash and counter circa 1940s? thing and replacing it with a solid oak kitchen we got on Kijiji for $1350. Mucho fun. What should we do to brighten it up and make it great before we really do it up – hint: we are keeping the ceramic floor until we blow out the back wall and build an addition. Thank you, thank you – for reading. I love my big sister Lynne, she is fab.
    Porcelain Sink, anyone?

    • Todd,

      I will trade you Toronto Home Show tickets for a porcelain sink. Deal? :)

      I love the old porcelain sinks, but hey… we are related so you might know that about me.

      PS. I want your voodoo plumber. He sounds like a cool dude. I bet you didn’t need to call the Fire Dept after he left.

      Hugs,
      Your designahhh sis

  34. mrsugarbears says:

    I love your kitchen make-over. We bought our current house 5 years ago with the same “diamond in the rough” thoughts. So far we have removed two walls, renovated our kitchen, added on a screened-in porch, replaced the carpet with hardwood (worst job ever), painted almost everything and a lot of landscaping. The bathrooms are next on the list. Icky terribleness.

    • Oh la la. Nice choices Shannon !

      Two walls. Gone. Woot woot !

      Screened in porch sounds divine.

      Braved a hardwood floor install. Wowsers.

      Bathrooms. The second best $ investment in your home, right after kitchens.

      Good plan !

      xx

  35. Caren says:

    Lynne,

    Great post! I also love white, love what you did with your kitchen too. Your posts are a stitch! I don’t follow anybody, but I follow you!

    Have a great weekend,

    Caren

    • Whaaaa Caren ?! You don’t follow anybody, but you follow me ?! I am so über flattered, I am sending out a big wet kiss to you.

      Look out…. *smooch*

      I hope you ducked. Are you concerned that I am switching teams now?

      Thanks for the blog love.

      Lynne xx

  36. the before pics prove to me you’re very brave, lynne. those squirrels don’t stand a chance.

  37. Rachel says:

    Love this blog! My kitchen is a work in progress. When we moved in, it was of first importance to change it from the complete ugliness/disco era it was stuck in including: mirror back splash, bright orange walls, massive fluorescent ‘California’ lighting ( not sure how many people in California had that lighting). We did small amount of change including back splash, lighting, counter and painting cabinets but we did main reno in other areas. 2014 is the year of the kitchen for us! Tickets to home show appreciated ;)

    • Rachel,
      I can’t lie. Your description of your kitchen kinda sounded fun. A great place for a disco ball and funky party. The only thing missing would be a shag rug.

      Good choice on getting rid of the florescent lighting. That lighting is the devil. It automatically makes you have high school flashbacks and ugly skin. NOTHING looks good with florescent. Ewwwwh. Bravo for ditching it !

      Tickets : They are yours sista ! How many do you need? Send me your mailing addy to lynne@lynneknowlton.com and I will hook you up. PS. say hello to the Property Brothers for me. They are at the show. I’m going to attempt to kiss them.

      If I miss, you go for it.

  38. Karyn Lisk says:

    I love that kitchen…oddly enough you have about 5 things I already have and at least 5 that I have on my wish list!
    Keep em coming…
    I just wrote my FIRST blog post yesterday! haha I may or may not have know it still show’s sample page. baby steps, yes baby steps!
    Your blog is dabomb!
    Karyn

    • Dude ! < - I can’t believe I just typed that.

      Okay, okay, KARYN
      You have 5 things already ? We could have TWIN kitchens :) separated at birth.

      And… drum roll… you wrote your first blog post yesterday ?!! I am happy dancing all over my kitchen for you right now. Can you feel it? Can you feel it ?

      xx

  39. Danica says:

    This post makes me believe ALL of my dreams about my Forever Home will come true – Thank you Lynne – You have a beautiful home.

    • Dan-eeezz-a

      I think you should come back here with a bottle of wine and bring that cool recycled vintage door (that you just bought) with you when you come. Just sayin’.

      I could steal the door from you when you aren’t looking and install it on my kitchen pantry. It is white after all :)

  40. Chanda says:

    Best post ever!!! I love the in-your-face reality of knowing you made your home versus you inherited millions to just get this. Do you recommend showing the hubby this immediately or simply grabbing the credit card and gratifying him after the Ikea damage is done? Thank you for taking the time for a post like this. You have become my new girl crush. Lucky for you, I live entirely too far away to stalk.

  41. Love all the great stuff in your kitchen, Love White!
    I’m not just sayin that to get any ones telephone numbers or anything like that… (promise)
    On another note…. Can I have the firemans number?

    Great post Lynne as always xoxo

    • hahaha Dionne !

      Have you watched CHICAGO FIRE ?!! I’ve watched back to back episodes of it on NetFlix. So addictive !!

      It is hawt, hawt, hawt. Just sayin’. Nothing like a man in a uniform.

      Did someone turn the heat up in here, or did I just have a hot flash?

      Kisses
      Lynne xx

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