My BIG fall project.
Plus a lesson in the business of blogging.

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.


Window Wall


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.


End Of Kitchen

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.




  1. Jamie says:

    VERY! Very cool! I can’t wait to see it all unfold. And I LOVE the cabinetry!

  2. Amy Watson says:

    I Love Love Love kitchen porn, even better than bathroom porn!!!!! Hmmmm. That didn’t sound right 🙂

  3. sharktooth says:

    ~~~ and that is how it is done ! congratulations 🙂 well done – thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Laura says:

    I love the light fixture over your table! It kills me that I tossed one of those back in the terrible 1980’s.

    • Karen says:

      Understandable. You probably had to make room for your shoulder pads. ~ karen!

      • Lynne says:

        LOL – I divested myself of the copper version when I was renovating my house and kitchen. I’m still regretting it – ‘cos even though I wouldn’t hang it in my kitchen I’m thinking I could have got big bucks for it from someone who would.

        Instead I took it to the local recycling depot – which was better than tossing it, I suppose. Someone is enjoying it.

  5. Mondo says:

    wow, the business of blogs, man! free kitchen furniture? that’s the way to do it! can’t wait to heat all about your blog consulting gigs. perhaps, I could get you to advise me on my new blog?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mondo! A blog is a business that’s for damn sure. At least it can be. And yes I’ll be doing (eventually) consulting via Skype and in person. ~ karen!

  6. kerry says:

    Um. Is it bad that I want the story on the 80-plus year old in bedazzled flip flop? Ugly if I misspelled,stupid phones!

    • Karen says:

      OMG! LOL, not 80-plus. NEARLY 80. A few years away from 80, LOL. If my mother ever tracks you down you’ll be in troubleeeee. ~ karen!

      • Kerry says:

        That’s what I get for reading your blog at way too early in the am on a teeny tiny phone! Apologize to Mom for me! But I still want the story – primarily so I can convince my nearly 70 year old mother to help me do demo!

  7. Tracy says:

    Nicely done, Karen. I can’t wait to see the pictures:-)

  8. Seadee says:

    I look forward to learning yet ANOTHER couple things from ya (blog biz and kitchen redo), both of which I have great interest in. Added to my list of other things I have interest in (I have interest ADD). Can’t wait to read all about it.

  9. Jenna says:

    Congrats Karen! That’s pretty awesome! And your mom rocks. Just saying- the bedazzled flip flops and sledge hammering are pretty impressive.

  10. Stephanie Hobson says:

    I’m nearly 80 (well, a year away from 70… same thing, right?) and I wouldn’t even attempt to swing a sledgehammer, regardless of weight. Kudos to your mom!

  11. Terri says:

    Can’t wait to see your almost new kitchen! Gonna ask my grandkids for some bedazzled flip flops for my birthday. Oh, and a sledgehammer.

  12. Lori says:

    Congrats!! Can’t wait to see / read what you will do to your kitchen! Now I have to go check out Home Depot, to see what Martha has to offer! Hahaha

  13. Pam'a says:

    Well played! I’m not the least bit surprised.

    As you tackle yet another huge project, I hope you won’t forget to squinch in a little “me time” –I mean Karen time.

    You, like the rest of us mortals, need a little of that to stay healthy and sane. 🙂

  14. Lisa says:

    Kitchen Porn. Now I have a phrase for it – and looking forward to this version!

  15. Therese Bourne says:

    Well done you!

  16. Marion says:

    Can’t wait!! Since I have been waiting to redo my own kitchen for several years now, due to lack of time, money and ideas! Hopefully you inspire me to do it!

  17. Barbie says:

    I Can’t WAIT to see your new kitchen!!! SO excited for you! ……..AND I am very interested in getting some help with my blog.

  18. Kathy says:

    Three cheers for you, dear Karen! Whenever I pop into your blog you put a smile on my face. You are just adorable…and your Mom is too. As for your blog consulting…How do you teach charm, adorableness, humor and humility?

  19. Danica says:

    I attended your session at Blogpodium, specifically sat in the front row the dark hair girl beside Lynne you provided so many great tips! One of them was to comment, comment, comment! And try to be the 3 or 4th person comment….now I wouldn’t just comment on every post for the sake of commenting but when I saw you talking about kitchen reno’s I knew I wanted to comment…but SHIT….You posted this last night, I wake up EARLY (4:20am)for work and already 20 comments!!!! HA clearly you have a great listeners!

    Anyways….I love kitchen reno’s and I can’t wait to see how this turns out! I also love Home Depot and am so happy to see how they partnering with you, we spend too much time there.

    I also hope you incorporate that vintage TV in your new kitchen 😉

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Thanks Danica. That television is so covered in grease because I don’t have a range hood that I can’t even touch it. It’s GROSS. ~ karen!

      • Danica says:

        Ummmmmmmmm you are talking to the girl who drive her daily car on veggie oil! HA! So therefore I still think you need to keep the TV, TIP – Orange Cleaner from Canadian Tire in the car section will clean that right up 😉

  20. Alexandra says:

    I am so excited for you! And I can’t wait to see pictures, because who doesn’t love good kitchen porn and a makeover and before and after pics?!! 😀

  21. JennyW says:

    Well played Karen, well played!!
    I too have been “Modernizing” our little 60 year old brick cottage thanks to YOU and your Inspiring Blog :), and I can not wait to see how you deal with your kitchen. I will be taking notes – and showing the Hubby, cause he thinks granite and wraparound cupboards are the way to go too.

    • Karen says:

      They’re a great choice for a lot of people. Most people in fact, because it’s an easy decision and ends up looking professional and sparkly and good. But it just isn’t for me. Apparently I like amateur, dull and bad, LOL. ~ karen!

  22. Lush says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the process!! I am sure a load of people wonder how those deals are done but have no idea.
    Incredibly generous of you & I am sure you will be well rewarded.
    Worthing, UK

  23. Jennifer says:

    Love this post so much. Not only talented, but one smart cookie. Absolutely love that Martha Stewart cabinet!

  24. Bonnie G. says:

    Karen, you are quite the entrepreneur! Cannot wait for the before, after, and, in between!

  25. Amie Mason says:

    I can’t wait to see it!

  26. Ruth says:

    Looking forward to it. 🙂

  27. Alex says:

    Consulting? Sold. And what you did for your kitchen was very smart and very inspiring. As was your presentation on Sat which had us all in tears – laughing that is. It was great to meet you! I can finally cross that off my bucket list. I’m kidding. (Not really).

  28. Louise says:

    Brilliant! My motto is “It can’t hurt to ask!” and I’ve worked a few deals like that, but NOTHING AS BIG as what you did! Puff out your chest and strut around a bit, because you are one smart cookie! Congratulations!

  29. Tigersmom says:

    Good for you! And congratulations!

    Your ability to see something that is a challenge (whether it is something boring or homely by itself at the dollar store or a kitchen in need of an update)and turn it into, not only something fantastic, but a financial gain as well, is truly remarkable.

    You need to add capable and savvy to that one-word description. Yes, I’m aware that it would then no longer be a one-word description, but one word just can’t cover all the fabulousness that is Karen.

    So, I guess I have to wait to find out if the free labor involved in this project is provided by Sven, or Indira (or whatever is name is) or if you just dumped all the heavy lifting on your not-quite-pushing 80-year-old mother and her fancy footwear. I hope you at least got her some steel toe boots to wear. Sheesh.

  30. calliek says:

    I love your present kitchen too and we all know what a great example you set so I have a request- when you are tearing out the current cabinets can you try to save them and give them to the Habitat REstore? Every time I watch a home reno show I feel so angry watching perfectly functional kitchens get smashed to bits because they no longer suit the owner’s taste. By donating them you keep a huge pile of wood out of landfill and you give someone an opportunity to do something creative with them!

  31. RosieW says:

    This is HUGE! I am so excited for you. Hope it will include tons of full extension drawers in place of base cabinets. What I hope most is that it’s the kitchen of your dreams.

    When is this starting?

    BTW, I live where HD headquarters is. And have shopped their stores since the second one EVER was opened on Buford Hwy. in Doraville, GA.

  32. Debbie J says:

    Now I must go to Home Depot to check out those cabinets! Can’t wait to read more about your kitchen.

  33. Marti says:

    Yee-HAA! I love kitchen porn! And kitchy porn! (You often seem to do both!) This is great… and maybe I will learn something useful at some point.

    Let me just point out, it’s because you have such ENGAGED readers. I’m pretty sure I’m on that list somewhere. I feel so validated! YIPPEE!!!

    And now, back to my regularly scheduled work. It is so much more fun to read this right after you post it, you know? This business of getting up early sucks BIG TIME.

  34. Heidi Lee says:


    Been a lurk reader for at least 6 months. i enjoy your blog thoroughly and i am envious of your potato harvest. Put mine to shame. Anyway, my advice…..get a hotplate, or develop a close relationship with the nearest subshop because you will be supremely hungry doing all this work and supremely irritated when you can’t make a hot meal for your self. I know from experience.

  35. Lynn says:

    So looking forward to following this, Karen! Yay for you!

  36. says:

    So happy for you karen! Is that the sound of another window opening 🙂
    I’ll be glued to my laptop waiting for first installment of kitchen porn.

  37. Ann says:

    Awe-Some!! I am proud of you and totally in awe of your DIY-ness. We have a much newer kitchen but it still needs some serious upgrading and I wish I had the skill, initiative and health to do it myself. We still haven’t even finished off our sunporch that was built almost a year ago.

    I will be waiting and watching you step thru this project. My oh my, what will next year bring?

  38. michaele anderson says:

    Love the Martha Stewart cabinetry and I had no idea Home Depot carried it. Hence, your blog’s mention has already proven their investment in your project worthwhile. I’m sure they will find you as much a treasure as your readership does!

  39. Susan Dulley says:

    Karen, I was thinking, since you will be working on your kitchen during the coldest months of the year, you most likely will not be able to do a lot of cooking. What if you contacted, lets say, one of your favorite local or chain restaurants, let them know of your dilemma, (starvation due to not being able to prepare meals), agree to mention them and have their (bag w/logo) on the counter or dining table, which is where you will most likely be taking most of your meals, mention once or twice how grateful you were to them for feeding you healthy, nutritious food during your project and then with any luck at all they will supply your meals, at least once a day, for free. I am not certain this is allowed but I think it might be worth a try…that is if you haven’t already thought of it. Grilling in the snow can be fun, but, not every night!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! That’s actually an excellent idea Susan. The only problem is I don’t really like restaurant food. 🙁 Once in a while I do, in fact once in a while I LOVE McDonalds or whatever, but I couldn’t eat chain food every night. I always have a ton of stuff in the freezer, like pesto, lasagna, chili etc… so hopefully that’ll be enough to get me through. 🙂 Like I said, really good idea though! ~ karen

  40. Ann-Marie says:

    I so love that you Love your old kitchen and have thought of ways that you can give it new life! In this economy I find it difficult to see the huge make overs in magazines and think that the average home owner requires more affordable options. Your methods of DIY are feasible and give hope to those of us that live within our means.Thanks Karen, you are the best!!

  41. Ev says:

    Have you considered switching out the sink and the dish washer? Not being as “handy”, I don’t know if it is doable or not, but it would be nice, I think. But good for you getting $ help with all of this! And paid to write the article too! Yea!

  42. Mariella says:

    Hi Karen,

    I would be interested on your blog consultant time. Let me know how much you charge please.


  43. annie says:

    You are rockin’ it, Karen. I’m proud, and a little in awe! Looking forward to the series (my standard-issue trailer kitchen needs a re-do ASAP).

  44. Pati Waggoner-Gulat says:

    Can’t wait to see the progress ! Btw, Karen, I work for Home Depot…so i know the cabinetry whereof you speak. 😉 As a matter of fact, I need to get up from here and head that way right about NOW !

  45. Hahahaha Such a show off! But getting free kitchen cabinets is totally awesome. Now I wish my kitchen wasn’t already done… oh wait! my blog isn’t nearly as popular as yours. haha But I got great tips from some TV personality-turned-blogger at this weekend’s BlogPodium… 😉

  46. Maggie V says:

    You go girl!!! Looking forward to seeing end result.

  47. Deb Miller says:

    This. is. gonna. be. GREAT! Can’t wait to follow along!

  48. Melissa Leach says:

    I’m puttin’ on my hard hat and I’m ready for the ride. Congrats on your awesome accomplishments, toot that horn, YOU DESERVE IT. Can’t wait for photos.

  49. theresa says:

    I’m sure everything you do to your kitchen will be brilliant, but please, please, please put your new sink underneath that window. We have always lived in homes that have open floor plans and I have always wanted to look out the window while using the sink instead of looking up and seeing the TV in the den. Call me crazy but I would rather look at reality than Reality TV 🙂

  50. Corinna says:

    I think you should install a little cubby or nook so you can get a goat and have a place for it to sleep. Just sayin’..

    • Denise Leavens says:

      Yes! A goat!

      Actually, I’ve been leaning that way myself. Due to my stupid digestive issues I find I can only handle goat milk products. I went to the fair this year and visited the goats and found I love the little stinkers! There are almost as cute and silly as kittens.

      Okay. That is stretching it a bit. (Hangs head in shame.)

  51. dana says:

    What is a range hood for? I dont have one. “My” fridge & stove are next to each other. I say my because we bought them but live in a rental. Its supposedly not good for the fridge being next to a hot oven but others say the fridge is insulated to prevent it from getting warm. Karen, you are one resourceful girl.

  52. You go girl! I am so happy for all the great things you are making happen in your life. I just might need some of that consulting myself.

  53. Way to go Karen!!! You’re not just another pretty face. Looking forward to your new look and that cabinet is gorgeous.

  54. Susan Dulley says:

    Thanks for commenting…I do not like restaurant food either. I probably eat out, at the most, fifteen times a year. And maybe not even that much. However, I became hooked on Chipotle, which sadly, is located within walking distance of my house. Usually, I reserve this for a treat, after just having finished cleaning the entire house, not wanting to dirty any dishes and not having enough energy left to cook. I am not certain what they put in their sauce, or maybe it is just that all of the ingredients are actually healthy, I just have to have it! You know how Julie, from the movie, Julie & Julia, received all those goodies in the mail from her blog supporters, well, perhaps you should start looking for specially packaged foods in your mail. You know, now that I think of it, how did they get her home address??? I don’t think you can email food, however, as Scarlet once said, “Tomorrow is another day”. Technology can do amazing things……

  55. Kim says:

    One word… EXCITED!!!

  56. Dana R says:

    You are the awesomest– I am looking forward to the series.

  57. Sally A says:

    That is super awesome! I have an old kitchen with bad configuration too. 1920’s and it is almost a perfect square with only 1 1/2 (tiny) walls of usable space. I love my cabinets which were built so well I don’t think I could rip them out if I tried, but like you, I would like a new countertop and sink.

    I have been toying with the idea of a blog as I am slowly renovating, but I just don’t know if I have anything different to contribute that people haven’t seen before?

    Anyway, you work so hard, and have been through so much, you totally deserve it and I am super happy for you! I can’t wait to see the progress.

  58. Sarah A. says:

    How exciting! And what a great way to combine your need for a new kitchen with your blogging business. I am taking notes!!

  59. Hope says:

    Excited for you and for us as we get to follow this! Please assure all grand poohbahs (spelling?) that you indeed do have engaged readers!

  60. Marion says:

    Wow congrats!!! I’m excited to see the renovations, I can’t even imagine how incredible it’s going to look!

  61. Karen I have been waiting for this moment, like f o r e v e r! Your ugly kitchen being ripped out, and most importantly THE BLOG CONSULTING! I knew there was a god….. BLOG GOD!

  62. Shawna G says:

    I am so excited for you Karen! I can’t wait to see the results. You are one fabulous lady who can do it all!

  63. Lynn says:

    Wow, what a great job working the system! I love working on kitchens. (Bathrooms are just to small for more than one person to work in.) If I lived in your home town I would love to provide free labor but I am many, many miles away. I have worked on 6 kitchens now and have learned so much about design, destruction and install. It is the best internship ever. Have you thought about asking for volunteers?

  64. JF says:

    congrats, Karen, this is FAB news. . .I look forward to lots of renovating pics and especially to shots of your mom swinging a sledgehammer!

    (may I suggest Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer as background music for the video? too obvious?)

  65. toekneetoni says:

    Good for you! Looking fwd to the results. And thanks for being so gracious and sharing your tips on how you’re getting your kitchen done. Smart & kind of you!

  66. magali says:

    thanks for all your honest posts! I started my blog a few months ago and I did it with the help of your posts on blogging (and pretty much followed step by step what Waylay Design suggested in their guest post). It’s a small blog for now, but I know that if I ever want to try and make it bigger I can depend on your advice.

    I like how you’re honest about all the hard work that goes into making a blog go big. Most of the other big blogs I read just say that they never thought anyone other than their family would read it and then suddenly they had a bunch of followers. Although I know that does happen, it’s not true for everyone. So thank you for your help and for being funny while you do it!

  67. andrea meyers says:

    Kitchen and DIY porn! excited!!!

  68. Nancy Blue Moon says: are like the smartest cookie in the jar aren’t you..This is going to be fun..for me that is..I just get to sit back with a cup of coffee and watch you work..which is something I like to do!

  69. Carol says:

    Well done you!

    I cant wait to see your updates … I too would be coveting that kitchen, if I was in the market …..

  70. Geez! I wanted to be one of the first 3 people to comment but your readers are so engaged that I’m No. 92! Yes, I was at your talk on Saturday at BlogPodium. It was one of the highlights of the day and I was laughing the whole time. Great info too! Congrats on your new kitchen – can’t wait to see it unfold. I love the Home Depot and have partnered with them a few times on projects.

  71. Jacqui says:

    Brilliant Karen, well played. Looking forward to the adventure

  72. Kitten Caboodle says:

    Please tell me that you’re moving the sink in front of that huge window? The thought of you standing at the present sink location with your nose pressed against the cupboard going cross-eyed with nothing to gaze upon while you daydream is just so very sad.

    And kudos to you for your marketing acumen and self-sustainability!

  73. malinda says:

    I’m wishing I had another house to put the Martha Stewart Shaker cabinet in…it’s Gigorgeous!

  74. caryl says:

    Wow! What cojones!!! How about some assertiveness training classes, too? You are AMAZING.. Looking forward to all the excitement.

  75. olequiltbat says: are just so totally cool.!!!
    Look forward to all the wonderful photo’s to come
    And be sure to let us know when the magazine spread will be out.


  76. Jasmine says:

    YES!! and YES!! Can’t wait…

  77. Rebecca says:

    This is very awesome, Karen! Congratulations and I’m really looking forward to the kitchen porn!

  78. Rondina says:

    Mission accomplished. I had no idea that Martha Stewart had a kitchen cabinet collection. I’m not sure just how far you are going, but why on earth is that sink not in front of the window so you can look out?

    This is going to be fun.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Everyone seems to be very concerned with my sink. I don’t think I do nearly as many dishes as everyone else. I spent WAY more time chopping, mixing and cooking on the counter than I do washing dishes. 🙂 ~ karen!

  79. giggles says:

    Hi karen, I work cheap, and am 80+ grandmother and would LOVE to swing that sledgehammer!!!!

  80. Katie C says:

    And now, Karen, we (happily) add GENIUS to your list of talents! Not that we didn’t kinda already know that.

    And one more thing–the sledgehammer I can see. It’s the bedazzled flip flops that terrify me! 🙂

  81. Gretchen says:

    Karen girl, you rock! (And I love your taste!)

  82. taria says:

    excellant. looking forward to seeing your kitchen. So many cool products available these days. bring on the kitchen!

  83. Love your blog! Your DIY ideas and tips are certainly very useful.. congratulations on the great recognition of your blog. Your humour, I like.
    All the best Sandra

  84. Gerri says:

    Greetings from a de-lurker…Karen, was your BlogPodium presentation recorded? I would love to see it!
    I admire your work very much!

    Gerri from Pennsylvania

  85. Mindy says:

    We are literally smack dab in the middle of a full-on kitchen gut and remodel. Every single thing has been, and will be DIYed. Plumbing, elecrical, framing, sheetrocking, flooring, cabinet assembly, etc, etc.

    Because of a waste line water leak that went undetected in an exterior wall for God only knows how long, we took our original 1940’s kitchen down to studs and subfloor. We started in July and are just now starting to install cabinets.

    I contacted Home Depot and they politely declined. I didn’t have a magazine spread offer in the wings, and I’m still a little guy in the blog world.

    That being said, we’re doing it on a SUPER budget, ’cause our homeowner’s insurance gave us the finger and we’re poor.

    Anywho, short story long, we’re doing it mainly on the weekends and I’m documenting every step along the way. I just posted the latest today. Here’s that post:

    You can see everything from the beginning until now here:

    It’s been a looooong road – living without a kitchen with three kids is not something I would recommend – but when it’s done, the satisfaction will be PRICELESS.

    I’m really looking forward to watching yours transform!

  86. JennC says:

    Bring on the porn!!!

  87. Kristin says:

    Ooh, I know what you mean about keeping your kitchen looking old. We bought a 1902 Craftsman house a couple of years ago, and unfortunately the woman who flipped it (and did a very good job, all things considered) put in modern fixings. They just don’t go. All stainless appliances, granite counters, inoffensive but bland putty colored floor and wall tiles. It’s all so new I couldn’t possibly rip it out, but I secretly hate it. The cabinets are very nice–custom built and handsome, but modern-looking. I was starting to feel like the only woman in America who doesn’t gush over granite countertops. At least I have a sympathizer in Canada.

  88. Kathe says:

    I’ve been afraid to go out there and ask for a sink and faucet for our new home and you go and ask for a whole new kitchen? I need to pull up my big girl pants and get after it! I cannot wait to see the process of your new kitchen!!

  89. marilyn says:

    i for one am not surprised about betty wanting to demolish your wall whilst wearing bedazzled flip flops it had to come someone right?i could have said while but wanted to say that word. and way to rock the new kitchen!! i love it!

  90. Shauna says:

    Blog consulting – good for you! Now let the money roll in:)

  91. Congrats, that is brilliant!
    brilliant for you and brilliant for us too!
    Can’t wait for the sledgehammer episode!

  92. Melissa says:

    Good for you! I love reading about people finding success through authenticity. You are a great role model! Can’t wait to see the after.

  93. Laura Bee` says:

    Can’t wait! This is going to be good. I am so happy for you. Although, your kitchen is already one I dream of. Our house was probably done in the 90’s with those melamine cupboards with the wood trim/pull at the bottom. Like every apartment I ever had…

    I really want to comment on the kitchen porn but don’t want the nice people at Home Depot & Canadian Living to be shocked & offended.

  94. Valerie says:

    Well done.

    Your choice of cabinets is perfect. I redid my kitchen and learned a few things along the way.

    If you are right handed it is convenient to have your cupboard for dishes to the right of the dishwasher – to the left if you are left handed. A stove top is very handy when it is next to the sink on one side and the refrigerator on the other side. Under cabinet lighting is very useful to shine down on the counter top. High end formica in brilliant white is preferable to granite at the end of the day. It can be bleached if necessary and would go perfectly with your lovely new flooring.

  95. Missnicoleo says:

    way to go!!!! win win for all parties!!! Here’s to getting into Martha Stewarts magazine. Since you threw it out there the other day!

  96. Leslie Best says:

    Love it Karen! I can hear you roaring all the way in Brampton..

    I know a great handyman if you need a hand!

  97. Congratulations on a great partnership, Karen. I was excited to hear about it on Saturday and now I’m excited to see the project and the results too. Thanks for a great presentation at BlogPodium. Your tips and advice were very practical and helpful. I think you’ll be a great blog consultant.

  98. Joanna says:

    Soooo exciting!!! Bravo!!!
    I love Martha too!

  99. Amber says:

    LOVE kitchen porn! LOVE sledgehammer! Been there, done that, was so much more satisfying than my breakup even though I was not bedazzling in flip-flops.
    Next breakup I will bedazzle. With sledgehammer.

  100. 1. I’m super excited about your kitchen reno/reveal. I love a good kitchen porn “spread” (pun fully intentional).

    2. I’m MORE excited about your consulting. BlogPodium (specifically, your segment) has lit a fire in me to stop shilly-shallying around and make a real go of my blog; to get serious about something I’m serious about. I’d love to talk, when you’re ready to begin offering services.

    Congrats on the fantastic deal struck with Canadian Living and Home Depot!

    • Karen says:

      Hi April! Glad to have inspired. Sometimes we all just need a kick in the ass. Or in my case, I got sick of eating no name cheese. I wanted the good stuff. Email me at I’m starting a file of people who are interested in a consultation. When I have time to properly address them all and start, I’ll send you an email questionnaire. 🙂 ~ karen!

  101. Jenny says:

    You had me at “no granite”. I have an older house too that badly needs a kitchen upgrade. Like you, I don’t want it to scream Brand New. Looking forward to the kitchen porn!

  102. Blog consulting! I cannot wait to here more! That, and all the changes being made in your house, is so exciting.

  103. SuzyM says:

    Bravo, Karen. So now I can live vicariously through your kitchen remodel and add that to the list of vicariously living through you on the chicken, veggie garden and diy front as well.

  104. Theresa says:

    Awesome idea, Karen. Looking forward to seeing and reading your progress!

  105. Congrats on the new project! For all the hard work ahead, it will be worth it to see the final results.

    Thanks for an awesome talk at BlogPodium this weekend. It was so refreshing to hear an honest (and hilarious) presentation about how you’ve been able to grow it into a successful career.

    Also, I’m now officially addicted to your blog. Thanks for helping me waste away an entire Sunday afternoon in your archives.

  106. Kim says:

    Looking forward to the big reveal. This spring I bit the bullet and put in new kitchen cupboards, counter, sink and appliances all courtesy of HD. I do not blog, therefore I had to save and buy them, but HD was very wonderful to work with and I had a great experience. My house is from the 40’s and like you, I did not want something ultra modern installed so I opted for white cabinets with a bead board detail. Perfect for my little cape cod in the city. I can’t wait to see your project unfold – I have no doubt it will be fantastic. I give you a standing ovation at your resourcefulness too – bravo!!

  107. I LOVE kitchen porn…can’t wait to see what you are revealing.

  108. Amy says:

    The best part of all this? You deserve every bit.


  109. Jody says:

    I LOVE the behind the scenes posts you make about the business of blogging and the fact that you will start consulting is super exciting! I can’t wait to find out the details.

  110. Jcrn says:

    I’m interested in the blog consulting.

  111. Jcrn says:

    Done, thanks!

  112. Leslie says:

    Yay! Congratulations on the artful way you are getting your work to work for you!

  113. Elise says:

    LOVE this!!! I can’t wait to see the project!

    p.s. thank you for the central vac post – how I found your blog and how I plan to unclog my boyfriend’s central vac system if I ever need to!!!

  114. theresa says:

    am forwarding your blog to my mom (67 but a great hand at dyi) because she so wanted to do MS @HD cabinets with quartz countertops in a 1910 house they had hope to buy and re-hab. I know she’ll enjoy watching!

    PS also a fan of HOW you run your blog so looking forward to hearing more on that side of things too.

  115. julie s says:

    This is so amazing, Karen! Since your kitchen will be featured in Canadian Living does this mean that you’ll have to wait until it appears in print before you can share the pictures of your reno here?

    • Karen says:

      You’re very clever Julie. I will not be able to show my entire kitchen until after the issue comes out, but I will be able to show the demolition, the different choices I have to make regarding cabinetry, sinks etc. I can also show bits and pieces. I think. I’ll have to check with them on that! ~ karen

  116. julie s says:

    Well I can’t wait to see whatever you will be able to show us!

  117. AnnW in the US says:

    I hope you negotiated for some appliances also. I’ll need to buy a new refrigerator, stove, (Oxford comma!) and microwave in the next year or so. I would like to read your reviews on new appliances. When I renovated my reproduction Colonial house I wanted to use antique store fixtures and counters in the kitchen. It was not to be however, because I kept my original cabinets. So I can live vicariously through you. I really wanted soapstone counters but ended up with Absolute Black granite. Oh well.
    I’m glad you are blog consulting. I’ll email. Ann

  118. kjerstiye says:

    I hope that the Home Depot is counting clicks off your site since those are the EXACT hutch and cabinets that I have been hunting for my dream kitchen! Can’t wait to see your adventure unfold!

  119. Awesomesauce on the consulting! Let me know when you’re ready and I’ll happily plug it for you on AKA Design!

  120. Ashley says:

    Could you please tell me the color of your current kitchen cabinets? We are starting construction on a new house and plan to have a retro kitchen with green cabinets. My husband and I are getting overwhelmed with all the green paint options. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ashley – My cupboards are Benjamin Moore paint colour #473. I’m Canadian though, and I don’t know if our paint colours #s are the same as the American #s. I still love the colour after 15 years! ~ karen

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