Remember back in the spring when I told you about my Big Spring project of ripping out my kitchen floors and installing Warmly Yours radiant heating and new tile?
Well as you know, I got that done in the spring. The second part of my Big Spring Project was to repaint and do a general updating of my kitchen and mudroom. I did NOT get that done.
But here’s why.
As soon as I finished doing my floor this spring I took a look around and assessed my kitchen. I love my kitchen. It’s genuinely old and comfortable and perfect for my old, creaky house. I’ve never wanted a new kitchen.
But I definitely needed a new countertop. And hopefully, maybe a new sink. As it turns out, because my cupboards were probably thrown together by whoever built them in the 1940’s they aren’t exactly what you would call standard size. So the sink I was looking at wouldn’t fit on them. And neither would the counter.
I’ve never had a vent for my stove so I needed one of those. My kitchen table was clumsy and the light over it needed to be hardwired. All in all I was realizing that my much loved kitchen could be better.
My fridge has always been right beside my stove which is without a doubt the worst place for it to be, but there was nowhere else to put it with the current kitchen configuration.
My biggest fear with redoing my kitchen was cost and authenticity. If, and this was a BIG if, I was going to redo my kitchen I wanted it to look like it had always been there. I didn’t want granite countertops and a matching wraparound cupboards.
I wanted a working kitchen that looked loved, worn in and comfortable. And I wanted it for free.
And I got it.
And this is how I did it.
The Art of Doing Stuff has now become a large enough blog that it is a commodity. It has value. And I’ve established myself as a DIYer who can not only DIY but do it in such a way that it’s magazine worthy. I know this because my home has been featured in 4 or 5 different magazines this year alone. It makes me feel like a bit of a show off saying that, but if it weren’t true, the following story wouldn’t have played out the way it did.
Back in May, I emailed a friend of mine who works at as an editor at Canada’s 3rd most popular Canadian magazine, “Canadian Living“. I told him I was thinking of redoing my kitchen, by myself, and asked him if he would be interested in featuring the before and after in the magazine.
He said yes. I was given a 4-5 page feature in the magazine, for some time next year.
Armed with that information, I contacted the people at Home Depot, because THEY CARRY THE MARTHA STEWART KITCHEN CABINET LINE. Which, clearly I was very excited about.
She makes a beautiful, authentic looking shaker style cabinets that I love. I found out the name of the head of their public relations department and told them I’d like to form a partnership with them. If they would provide me with the kitchen cabinets for free, I could guarantee they’d be featured in a 4-5 page spread in Canadian Living magazine ( as well as be featured on my blog ).
Home Depot gets huge exposure and I get cabinets. They agreed.
The reason they agreed is because of the ROI I could provide them. Return on Investment. If I ran a smaller blog, with less engaged readers and no guarantee of a magazine spread I’m sure they would have politely declined. But because I did my homework first and presented them with a guarantee of a great return on their investment they said yes.
They aren’t paying me, but I am definitely getting a monetary value out of it. Plus, I’ve been asked to write the feature on redoing my kitchen for Canadian Living, so I am in fact in the end actually making cash money.
The work has barely begun in my kitchen, but I’ve already started ripping out cabinets and getting ready. If all goes well I’ll have a new kitchen installed by the end of the fall.
As things progress I’ll be posting updates here on the site. Like about the time my nearly 80 year old mother took a sledgehammer to my wall for instance. In bedazzled flip flops.
So for those of you who love kitchen porn, I’ve got a lot coming up for you. For those of you who have a blog and wanted a little lesson in business I hope you’ve learned something.
I’ve learned 2 things. The elderly should not be trusted with anything above a 5 pound sledgehammer, and I am now ready to go public with something I’ve been doing on the side for a while now. Blog consulting. More on that once the dust settles. Literally.