My Kitchen. The Reveal.

On April 14th, 2013 I announced I was redoing my kitchen floor.  It was my big spring project.  At times when I was feeling particularly dreamy I toyed with the idea of a new kitchen light.

I treated myself and got that new kitchen light.  Along with new cabinets, a fridge, stove, island, partial nervous breakdown, curtains, dishwasher, plumbing, wiring, countertop, sink, shelving and full nervous breakdown.

I’m still not entirely sure how it happened but I think it involved a combination of decorating magazines and bottom shelf hallucinogenic drugs.  One day I was redoing my floor, the next day there was a tornado of activity that lasted for the next year.

Anyone who has ever done a kitchen knows it’s like opening a door into a variety of new and exciting places.  The poor house, the nut house, the funny farm.  You’ll have visited them all once your kitchen renovation is complete.

Oh yeah, it’s gonna be worth it but no one can convince you of that at the time.

You’ll cry, you’ll stomp, you’ll ask yourself what makes you think you’re so uppity that you need a kitchen where you can use the toaster and the microwave at the same time?  Your grandmother didn’t even HAVE a toaster!  She had bread and a fire and a lot of burned fingers. And she was happy she had that because HER grandmother didn’t even have fire.  If she wanted toast she’d paint a piece of stale, crispy bread with cow dung.

I got so fed up with so many things that I started keeping a list of everything that went wrong with my renovation.  I have no idea where that list has gone. It’s not in any of my notebooks.  I was probably worked up into such a froth I wrote it on the back of the couch or something.  I spent a lot of time just balled up behind the couch during the kitchen renovation.  It was nice there.

I also have no idea what got me so worked up.  I can remember a few things like the corner cupboard not fitting in through the kitchen door and having to haul it over my 7 foot backyard fence but there were lists and LISTS of things that went wrong.  I don’t know if I’ve completely forgotten them just because time has passed or because I’ve developed some sort of very purposeful selective renovation amnesia.  I’m pretty sure that’s a real thing.

Regardless, I’m happy I can’t remember most of the horrors because that leaves me with only loving feelings towards my new kitchen.  I almost burst with love when I microwave and make toast at the same time.

After a year and a half of incredible patience on your part, please enjoy the full reveal of my new kitchen.  (courtesy of Donna Griffith Photography and Canadian Living Magazine) And yes Donna is the photographer who gave me my private lesson a while back.



There’s that light I got treated myself to.  Oy.  As you can see, I’m holding a chicken.  That chicken is Cuddles. The magazine was due to come out at the very same time Cuddles got deathly ill. I was terrified my little chicken was going to die at the very same time she was making her magazine debut.  She made it through the illness and is now entertaining a variety of modelling offers put forth at my discretion.




Somehow adding more large pieces to my kitchen made it feel and look MUCH larger.  I added all kinds of additional counter space, more shelving, cupboards and a huge antique candy store counter in the centre of the room.



I had the flue cover over the range hood custom made at a local metal shop for $60.  Proof that having stuff custom done doesn’t always mean it’s going  to be expensive.

I had absolutely NO qualms about mixing metals.  I have stainless appliances, gold hardware and copper pots.   It’s the kind of thing that might make someone else crazy.

The back wall of my kitchen use to be empty.  It now has a long expanse of butcher block counter and open shelving for my pots and cookbooks underneath for each access.  Want some soup?  BOOM!!!  A pot.  Need to know how to make pudding?  BOOM!!!  A cookbook.  That whole corner of the kitchen actually is my easy access corner.




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This is the famed counter top hole.  A stainless pot is underneath it, letting me chop, crumble and prepare all of my food and just wipe the scraps into the hole.





Betty made the linen roman blinds with no lining so light comes through them in the day and they keep their nice drapey feel.  The fabric is from Rough Line, which long time friend Tricia, agreed to let me have as a favour.  I was originally going to make cafe curtains out of them for the kitchen, but finally decided I wanted something that covered the entire window.



My Martha Stewart cabinets transformed into the pantry of my dreams.  Below is storage for big things like my wok and stink machine (deep fryer).  The middle drawers are filled with shallow things like spice tins, pie plates and tea towels.  And the upper cupboards are filled with food stuff.  I also bumped the bottom cabinets out a bit had a piece of Carrara marble cut to place on top of them so now I have a small shelf for putting things down on while searching through the cupboards.  That little bit of marble helps to tie in the antique Carrara marble on the candy counter as well.  I considered doing all of my windowsills in marble as well, but I really just wanted a little bit of marble and didn’t want overkill.  Plus those two little sills would have added a lot of price to my kitchen, so I stuck with plain painted wood and I like it just fine.



One of the first things I did when I started renovating my kitchen was pull out an old pantry and drywall to reveal a big brick wall behind it.  It was ugly.  I painted it.  It isn’t ugly anymore.


It took a longggggg time to decide what to put on that wall.  I had an antique deer head up there for a long time which I loved and looked great but I ended up moving that to my mudroom.  Then I had visions of a Smart TV on the wall, but it was going to be too difficult to see from my main work area in the kitchen so I scrapped that idea, even though I still think about it every so often.  Then  I came up with the idea of hanging all of my rolling pins.  Each one of them has some sort of story behind it, as do the brackets.  My friend Michelle (the fella’s father’s wife) gave them to me years and years ago.  She had them when she lived in France, but couldn’t find a place for them in one of her Toronto apartments.  They were perfect for the wall, adding a bit of fancy along with the rustic of the rolling pins.  And yes.  The long, tapered, beautiful rolling pin is indeed from the very talented woodworker Brenda from  Cattails.


The pigs head.  I love that pigs head.  I got it at a local store called The Kitchen Witch that carries some of the greatest stuff I’ve ever seen.  I don’t think this store has a single thing in it that I don’t like.  It’s a dangerous, dangerous place.



The Blue Star stove I’ve been wanting for years.  I never could have bought it if I’d bought it from Blue Star, but Costco carries a pared down version of it that’s perfect for an enthusiastic home cook.  This is not a stove for people with little kids though.  Everything on it is made of metal.  Even the knobs.  And there’s no insulation so when the oven heats up so does the door, the knobs and the edges.  If you’re an adult that’s fine.  If you’re 2 it is not.

What I love about this stove I REALLY love.  One of the burner grates come out so you can nestle a wok in the spot and it won’t move or slide around.

It has a pull out tray that all the drips and boil overs go to that can just be wiped out.  This also means since spills drip down to the tray, you never have baked on crud on your burners.

It has a simmer burner that actually keeps things at a perfect simmer and never changes.  You could have a pot of chili on the stove simmering for hours and it wouldn’t burn on the bottom or boil over.  I don’t know how they do it but it’s genius.

And finally, I noticed right away that not only does water boil faster than on my old stove, but it comes back to the boil incredibly quick.  You know how if you have water boiling and you throw spaghetti into it it takes forever for the water to come back to the boil?  Not so with this stove.  Or any commercial type stove I would imagine.




And the fridge.  (insert angels singing and gophers break dancing here).

Finally after all your waiting, the kitchen reveal is complete.  Of course now that the whole ordeal is over I feel like it was all worth it.  When I was in the middle of throwing the corner cabinet over my back fence because it wouldn’t fit in the front door, of course I would have argued otherwise.  See?  That’s still the only ordeal I can remember.  Probably for the best.

Speaking of the best, I’m not sure the lights in my bathroom are the best.  I should probably treat myself and replace them.
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  1. Susan says:

    World Premiere! Looks fantastic!
    As do you…and Cuddles.

  2. danni says:

    Oh my heavens! It is glorious! Congratulations! And again, I am happy your chicken lived.

  3. Denise says:

    Bathroom reno next? But I enjoyed the exploding poop stories though LOL

  4. Cyndi Ferrell says:

    Hi Karen,

    I started my kitchen remodel in June , 2014. It went into a den, living room and dining room remodel also. All the emotions you mentioned were right on-so many decisions, indecisions, wavering, “why am I doing this!”, “I love it”, “I hate it!”. Just now putting my life back in order. Your kitchen looks awesome. Yes, I know , we will both say it was worth it when we are celebrating the Holidays in our NEW KITCHENS!!

  5. Kat says:

    I am in total lust for this kitchen. All of it! Just beautiful and worth waiting to see. The two things that really have me drooling are your copper pots and that antique counter. Will you adopt me, please so I can play in your kitchen? I love to bake and cook and I don’t even mind cleaning up! 😉

  6. Amie Mason says:

    Love Love love it!

  7. Debbie says:

    Beautiful and functional! I truly enjoyed the reveal.

    A question, did you really mean, “You could have a pot of chili on the stove simmering for hours and it would burn on the bottom or boil over. I don’t know how they do it but it’s genius.”? Did you by any chance mean that is would not burn on the bottom or boil over? Or, should I have gone to sleep an hour ago and read this in the morning? 🙂

    As to, “Regardless, I’m happy I can’t remember most of the horrors because that leaves me with only loving feelings towards my new kitchen.” This is the same trick that is played on women after giving birth. Pixie dust is somehow sprinkled on us and we forget the indescribable pain of childbirth and oftentimes do it again (or in my case, and again after that). The full-blown memory only comes back when it is too late.

    I have a feeling you are almost there and will soon be replacing the bathroom light…and floor…and mirror…and fixtures…and we will be holding our collective breath for the bathroom reveal. Stainless steel potty?

    • Karen says:

      Debbie! Thanks for pointing out the mistake/type, lol. I’ll go fix it now. (that burner really is a thing of genius) ~ karen!

    • Pam'a says:

      Yup. What Debbie said. I immediately thought, “Childbirth.”

      Man oh man, Karen. That’s almost too much gorgeous for one kitchen. 🙂 Well done!

  8. Grammy says:

    Thank you. I bought the online issue of Canadian Living back when it came out, and it was great to see the whole kitchen and all the information in the magazine. But your commentary here adds to the magazine article. Besides, it’s fun looking at your kitchen again. And again.

    As for forgetting the things that went wrong during the remodel — yes, that’s a thing. I equate it to the way women can decide to have another child after having gone through the excruciating pains of giving birth — the bad parts move to the back of your memory bank because the final product makes you so happy. Same thing with your kitchen.

    So tell us, have you already finished the bathroom remodel, like you did with the pizza oven? You can fool some of the people some of the time…

    • Karen says:

      Ha! No. No, my bathroom is still a mess. 🙂 I mean the lights. The lights in the bathroom are still a mess. 😉 ~ karen!

  9. Lin says:

    Kinda sounded like giving birth…your ‘kitchen kid’ turned out beautiful! Ya, get the light for the bathroom.

  10. Mindy says:

    Love. And I still want/need that stove.

  11. Amber says:

    Everything is lovely! I would love a tutorial by Betty on how to make roman blinds.

  12. Sherry says:

    Love the image of gophers break dancing! And your new kitchen is killer great. I especially love the candy store island. I assume it fit through the door since you don’t mention tossing it over the fence…… 🙂

  13. Cred says:

    Stunning! You did a beautiful job!

  14. Dee says:

    So gorgeous! I want to cook in your kitchen. I has it all: sleek and clean, wonderful design. Very happy for you.

  15. Linda S. in NE says:

    Beautiful finished product, Karen. If I’m not careful, I might find myself with an urge to cook. Damn smoke detectors,…they’re everywhere in my house!!

  16. Dagmar says:

    Thank you for putting up the whole article Karen. As I kept looking for you on the cover of Canadian Living, because apparently I don’t follow directions very well ( huge difference between you and a turkey on the cover. Lol). So now I get to read the article after all. Hooray. And btw, I will never forget a few images out of my head from this restoration.#1 Karen in a puffy red jacket standing in the snow behind her bushes waiting for the corner cabinet #2 Betty and the wall # 3 every new kitchen blog people noticing something that they weren’t supposed to see and spoil the surprises for the upcoming blogs to come. Glad we were able to come along for the ride.

  17. chris aka monkey says:

    After a year and a half of incredible patience on your paert,
    please enjoy the full open shelving for my pots and cookbooks underneath for each i hope you are the type who would rather fix it then have it hanging out there even though you wouldn’t tell me xx

    • chris aka monkey says:

      oh and i am jealous as shit too xx

      • Karen says:

        Excellent. That’s what I was going for. (fixed the paert) thx. ~ karen!

        • chris aka monkey says:

          The back wall of my kitchen use to be empty. It now has a long expanse of butcher block counter and open shelving for my pots and cookbooks underneath for each access. Want some soup? BOOM!!! A pot. Need to know how to make pudding? BOOM!!! A cookbook. That whole corner of the kitchen actually is my easy access corner.

          i think you meant easy access..and i’m still jealous as shit i love your kitchen…i had to put wilbur in the outside refrigerator today read if he didn’t come out after a week or so he then had to be put there to simulate winter and he will be 7 months or so got to let him out in the spring crap i’m old i might be dead by then xx

  18. Kent Major says:

    What a great kitchen, well worth it. I, on the other hand , STILL can’t microwave and toast at the same time and it drives me nuts!
    Congratulations, beautifully done.

  19. peg says:

    love it all!!! but especially the pig,french hooks and rolling pins. thank you for sharing 🙂

  20. Auntiepatch says:

    I love it! And Cuddles!

  21. Barbie says:

    AHHHHH! YES! SO Excited when I saw my inbox and looked inside to see that if was finally the great kitchen reveal! hooooraaay! It’s beautiful Karen! So happy for you! Looks completely functional and gorgeous all at the same time. Makes me want to cook something yummy!
    Question…..I was trying to place exactly “where” your fridge is in your kitchen?……the black door is on one end by the open bottom shelving where the cookbooks and pots are, and the natural wood door is on the other end. When I looked several times at the photos it looks as if perhaps the fridge in enclosed behind that black door? because in the first picture I see the black door next to the open bottom shelf and then the next it’s your fridge….Or what? Cannot figure it out.

    • Pam says:

      Barbie- Your comment about the black door/fridge placement made me go back and study the photos and I think the door is open in the first photo and is blocking the view of the fridge. It took me a minute to figure that out!

      Karen- Your kitchen is really beautiful and looks like it fits so well within the rest of your house. A bit modern, a bit rustic, with some timeless elements to really ground the design. I am in love with your awesome candy counter island! I bet you can make some amazing ‘true’ pie crusts on that marble top!

      • Barbie says:

        Funny your comment came back under “Pam’s” comment! LOL
        Anywho….that completely explains what is going on there! Yep, the door is open! I was trying to understand the full layout of your kitchen. Guess I will just have to drive up to Canada to see if in person! I am so interested in it! Want more pictures! I just LOVE the “Antique Candy store Counter” where did you get that? Is it actually an antique or did you have it custom built? I just LOVE that!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Barbie! It’s a genuine antique candy counter. 🙂 And there will be many photos taken in my kitchen now since I’m allowed to publish it. I wasn’t allowed to show my kitchen at all until the story came out in the magazine so Canadian Living would have the first reveal. Now, I’m allowed to show it all the time like I used to in the olden days when I had a cruddyish kitchen. ~ karen!

  22. Anne C says:

    From the hell of a renovation that visual poem of a kitchen was born. A pure beauty, but/and made to actually work and create and enjoy and share, at that. A metaphore of yourself, dear Karen ^_^. Bravo. Bravo!! A.

  23. Diane says:

    let me know when you’re ready for me to move in. seriously, that’s my dream kitchen. gorgeous. great job!!!! p.s. I think Betty would really like me.

  24. caroline logan says:

    Really enjoyed reading your story on your beautiful kitchen renovation so funny .Images of throwing units over garden wall and gophers priceless.Love your kitchen and thanks for making me laugh first thing in the morning.Started renovation on my own kitchen need to fine a spot at “the back of the couch”.

  25. Nicole says:

    Great new Kitchen! Beautiful and functional.

  26. Deb says:

    It really, really is fabulous. To me, what makes it even more special is the amount of physical labor you put into making it happen. As for the fridge, I did hear the angels singing in that crystal clear harmonic single syllable. Wonder if you could somehow set it up so you could hear it every time you open the fridge door. I would never want to leave the kitchen. The antique cabinet is to-die-for.

  27. Judith says:

    It. Looks. FANTASTIC! I love it all, but the pig’s head/roller pin wall actually made me gasp with delight. We just finished a four-year kitchen renovation so I can give you a big amen on the various levels of nervous breakdowns. But how about that feeling of walking in your kitchen at any point in time and knowing it’s going to do exactly what you want it to do? That’s a pretty nice feeling.

  28. Debbie Bashford says:

    You my dear are my wonder woman. Your kitchen and you are gorgeous!! You are truly beaming in that photo and you should be.

  29. LazySusan says:

    What a wonderful kitchen you made yourself! I imagine that every time you walk into it, you just about burst with well-deserved pride!

  30. Tigersmom says:

    Wow! It’s amazing!!!!! I ordered an actual print issue of the mag which never arrived so this is a true reveal for me.

    Karen, this is wonderful. You did such an amazing job. The rolling pins hung on the brick wall with the sentimental brackets and a piggy sentry is so beautiful. (You know how I feel about pigs.)

    Your antique candy counter island is such a perfect fit, both size and style-wise. Just gorgeous.

    And I’m not normally a fan of open shelving, but your easy access corner makes complete sense and looks fabulous, too. How much do you love being able to do all your chopping in front of a huge window with all of that light?

    And I’m so glad you chose to nix the café curtains. The sheer Roman blinds are just the right aesthetic. They allow the kitchen to maintain a modern edge even with all of the rustic elements. You have captured my favorite style of design here with your marriage of traditional architecture and a wonderful juxtaposition of antique and modern furnishings. I love antique things (like your island, Margaret and that chandelier table lamp of yours) but a house full of them tends to go grandma. Selective mixing of them, however, is beautifully harmonious. Three thumbs up! (I’m so enthusiastically in love with your kitchen, I’m including the thumb from that extra arm I wish I had.)

  31. Kim C. says:

    You know what I like about your knew kitchen? It’s a truly functional workspace while also being quite easy on the eyes! It’s not some model home showpiece with an overly priced espresso machine tucked away in the corner of the counter. I can tell this kitchen is well used and well loved, as it should be. It gives off a casual, welcoming vibe. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for many years.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the bathroom, just don’t misplace those bottom shelf drugs in the process! You can always check behind the couch. 😉

  32. magali says:

    I am in love with the rolling pin wall!!

    • Langela says:

      Me, too! The pig’s head is perfect there and the rolling pins are pure art. But what are the small, horizontal, brown things? Or is it my computer or the photo?

      • Karen says:

        Thanks Langela! Where ya been? The bits of brown things are original pieces of wood that were in the brick wall. I painted all of the wall white but left the original wood pieces unpainted. 🙂 ~ karen!

        • Langela says:

          Summertime busy and also doing a building project in our house. Do you remember when we actually used to get a summer “vacation”? It seems to have disappeared around graduation time. Anyway, I’m gonna need you to send that candy counter to my house. I’m sure you didn’t realize it belonged to me, but now that you do, you’re gonna need to get it shipped.

  33. Love your kitchen! Everything is so thought-out and such a smart design.

  34. Su says:

    love it… kitchen envy… sigh… like one of the previous posters said, renovation is kinda like child birth, at the time you are enduring it you think WHY did I start this, but when it’s done you forget the agony and love the result…. thanks so much sharing with us…..

  35. Robin says:

    WOW! Just WOW!

  36. Gina says:

    It’s gorgeou!

  37. Jane says:

    Gorgeous and practical, but I don’t see a microwave. Is it hidden?

  38. Mary Kay says:

    Karen – Your Kitchen is amazing!! My most favorite thing: the counter top hole for veggie scraps – AWESOME! And I love the hanging of your rolling pins!!!

  39. Kat says:

    Oh My Goodness it is the kind of kitchen I could live in. My favorite is the brick wall, the curtain tie backs are genius. I use some in my bedroom attached to an old window that hangs in there to hang jewelry off of but they are not as beautiful as your antique ones. You have so many great ideas that I borrow from all the time. You did a superior job Karen!!!

  40. marilyn says:

    its beautiful karen and im sure..well worth the wait

  41. Linda Martin says:

    Hi Karen, love it. I have the same floor in my kitchen. What did you put on your floor to get such a pretty shine. Mine looks dull, I need to do whatever you did. Thanks

  42. A fantastic kitchen reno. And just like childbirth, I think I smell another reno on the horizon…….how soon we forget! Cheers.

  43. Deb J says:

    Love your kitchen. So many great ideas and now I know that I want my spices in a drawer. Where did you find the containers?

  44. jainegayer says:

    Absolutely beautiful and worth the wait for the big reveal.
    Nice modern touches but still looks like a cozy place for a cup of tea.
    Well done, Karen.

  45. Rebecca says:

    Wow Karen! You did such a great job. I absolutely love it! I would love to spend some time cooking in your kitchen.

  46. Gretchen Sexton says:

    I think I will read this post at least 3 times. SO lovely! SO inspirational! Thanks for hanging in there to completion. You were right: it was worth it!

  47. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Ha ha ha…I feel a bathroom reno coming on! You have so many great ideas packed in your kitchen. One thing I didn’t realize is that there would be a measureable loss of space with a farmhouse sink. That stinks!

  48. West Coast Nan says:

    Lovely, just lovely.

  49. Deb J says:

    Love your kitchen. So many great ideas and now I know that I want my spices in a drawer. Where did you find the containers? Nevermind. Decided to search your site, knowing I had seen it previously. Of course, it was the post about becoming an expert kmitter! Many thanks for all you share with us.

  50. Ev Wilcox says:

    It was worth the wait! Beautiful, functional, and you did it yourself! Happy for you. Now, the bathroom. Well, the light anyway…. Oh, and where IS the microwave?

  51. maggie van sickle says:

    Great job Karen. Looks great and I especially love the island.

  52. Renee Beach says:

    My mother and I had the honor of having the most wonderful Thankgiving dinner in this awesome kitchen! We joined Karen and her lovely family, Karen cooked for 12-14, the kitchen had great ambiance, and looked like a photo shoot the whole time, even through Thanksgiving madness. Karen is a brilliant cook, and she’s a great inspiration!

  53. Robin says:

    That was worth the wait! I remember when you started and you talked about using a kitchen designer; I am 100% sold on that idea, because this looks *totally professional and yet you did so much work yourself. Oh, and I did that same flooring in a bathroom I re-did 15 years ago (I did almost all of the remodel myself, which I feel entitles me to nod knowingly when I read your blog. I EVEN DID THE ROUGH PLUMBING but I did have it checked by a real plumber before I LAID MY OWN SUBFLOOR and …. you get the drift 😉
    *you do have excellent taste and I’m giving points for that.
    U R welcome.

  54. Brenda says:

    beautiful and all you, not some fancy dancy designer’s idea of you.

  55. Vicky says:

    We are in the process of finishing our kitchen renovation!!! Just about 5 more things to do and its complete!
    We demoed in February, got into a motorcycle accident at the end of June which caused hubby to have to have shoulder surgery and out of commission for 3 months. My sons have stepped up now and following hubby’s direction, are putting the kitchen back together again!! I now have a working dishwasher again, a stove that works and lots more counter space. Your kitchen is beautiful and I am very happy Cuddles is better. What more can you ask for: a new kitchen and a healthy Cuddles!

  56. Donna says:

    Lucky you to have two windows in the kitchen , mine is so dark, love everything you have done–kudos to Betty for the window coverings, she is pretty smart too–enjoy

  57. Sandy says:

    I love that your kitchen is in keeping with the era of the house. And I totally agree, The Kitchen Witch is a great store!

  58. Nikki says:

    I have major stove envy now!!

  59. Jake says:

    I have to say it’s great, as a person who breaks out in hives just thinking about cooking, I like your reno very much. Thanks too for the Kitchen Witch link, love the bit about the hours (10.00 ish) I see lots of thing in there I like, I see a road trip and new stuff for my kitchen (which I don’t use if I can help it) but it will look so pretty.

  60. Jebber jay says:

    BEEEAUTIFUL and functional. Well done Karen! I may thieve an idea or two for my upcoming reno.

  61. Carol says:

    You have to admit the year and a half flew by pretty quick didn’t it. ; ) Knowing the amount of joy you get from both seeing and using your kitchen truly makes it a success. Thrilled to finally see the photo tour of the entire kitchen, I love how Donna can capture a space and make one feel like you’re standing there in person. I love every real inch it!! ~ Carol

  62. Deb says:

    Karen – that is the absolute most covet-worthy kitchen I have EVER had the pleasure of coveting!!! everything is perfection! Oh, and I am STILL coveting that smashing dress you’re wearing! You were so kind to reply to my first mention of my love for it when you posted the sneak-peek a while back. To this day, I am still searching for a dress that can even approach the awesomeness of that frock!!!

  63. Jasmine says:

    Congratulations Karen, your kitchen is truly gorgeous! About what I expected really. So far you haven’t shown us too many reveals that were ugly. Except for maybe that gross egg. Ew. However, I can’t seem to find the moose??? Looking forward to the bathroom….haha! Can’t wait!

  64. Thank god I am a renter or I would be tearing something out right now. It’s just beautiful!

  65. toekneetoni says:

    it’s gorgeous and functional, how fabulous!!! very impressive. and I LOVE the pig’s head!

  66. Patti says:

    OOh I love this so much, it’s beautiful and practical! And I was waiting to see what you would come up with for the brick wall… it’s perfect!

  67. Erica Filpi says:

    A lot of women, me included, can not recall the exact level of discomfort during pregnancy and pain during labor. It’s what enables us to crazily have more. Your huge projects are your pregnancy and delivery. If you remembered each horrific detail you’d never have a new huge project.

    Can’t wait to see the bathroom.

  68. Carol says:

    You should get a kick-back from Bluestar because last week we ordered the same model after reading your post about your oven a few months ago. It will be delivered on Wednesday. (Though I was able to find it at more than one appliance store in Toronto for the same price as Costco.) I can’t wait to get it but I only wish the rest of our kitchen was a gorgeous as yours.

  69. Rondina says:

    I love the antique French hooks and rolling pins on the brick.

    Go ahead and replace the bathroom light. : )

  70. Finally! It was worth the wait. The part I was most excited to see….I cannot believe it but was the WALL! And I love it. I love that you don’t just follow the crowd, Karen. All the bloggy kitchens these days look alike but yours is original and gorgeous and useful too. LOVE it!

  71. Heather-Mae says:

    I have always wanted the counter top hole… Beautiful job. Happy cooking!

  72. Caroline says:

    Karen, your kitchen is stunning! I’m so envious. My kitchen is still not finished after many years but I AM ready to install ikea butcher block countertops. What kind of finish did you use? Do you just sand and oil?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caroline – Butcher block counters need to be oiled with Mineral Oil once every few days when you first get it, then once every week for a few months, then if you’re lucky once a month. (no sanding! Although you can sand out stains if you want) But that’s for a genuine, maple, butcher block counter. I’m not sure what the Ikea counters are made out of. ~ karen!

  73. Chavella says:

    Awesome, as I knew it would be. Can’t say I’m a hater, because you are really hard to hate. love everything you do. Keep it coming.

  74. Andrea says:

    Oh Karen, it’s so many layers of wonderful! The antique candy counter is a thing of beauty. Love the warmth that it and the rolling pins add to the room. Betty did a great job on the window treatments. I’m a big fan of kitchen windows, especially over the sink. Enjoy the view while cleaning up. Great job, Karen.

  75. Spence says:

    Stumbled across your blog and am totally addicted… especially to your chicken posts. So happy Cuddles made it through. Love the kitchen. Love the cooper pots. Love the pigs head.

  76. Bobbi says:

    Hey, Karen, the kitchen is just terrific. I am surprised you got no tv feedback. I like where you put it. Happy cooking.

  77. Marion says:

    Beautiful! It turned out perfect, and I still cannot get over that picture of you and Cuddles. Let us know how those bathroom lights turn out 😉

  78. Bols says:

    what do you use to shine up the floor tiles? It is the two different products (sorry, can’t recall what they are called) – one is the initial coat and the other product “Once It’s Done”? – not sure) to maintain it; or the big bottle of an industrial polish?

  79. Mariella says:


    your dream kitchen is my dream kitchen! I know you worked hard for it. Congrats. You deserve it!


  80. Kay says:


    Congratulations, your kitchen is a stunner! Practical and beautiful, especially love the unique rolling pin installation on the brick wall. My own kitchen update is a work in progress, my big dilemma is marble vs a quartz look alike counter top. Like you I cook and entertain a lot so I am worried about how the marble holds up in a hard working kitchen??

  81. Elen G says:

    “I should probably treat myself and replace them.” Don’t do it, Karen. Don’t do it! Not until the palpitations over the kitchen reno stop. You’re welcome.

  82. Ella says:

    AMAZING! I’ve been waiting for this, and love it. Well done. Nervous breakdowns are just part of the journey to a finished creative project. Spoken from someone who has finished several creative projects and thus… nervous breakdowns. 😉

  83. maria-TO says:

    Congratulations Karen! You did a smashing job on your dream kitchen — it’s wonderful to have a kitchen function the way you want it. Rushed out to grab the October issue of Canadian Living so I can thumb thru all your great tips at my leisure. Look forward to your next project (do you ever sleep!) along with all the changes coming to your site.
    P.S. A great pic of you and Cuddles — how’s the little scrapper doing?

  84. Dea says:

    All I can say is WOW! If you’re someone who loves to work in a kitchen, this is the kitchen you’d want to work in! (I am NOT a cook. Hate cooking; hate cleaning up; love it that the hubs is the cook in the family.) I fully understand the horrors of remodeling a kitchen. In our old house, we started with just re-finishing the cupboards, and it took something like four months! Washing dishes in the bathtub for four months! Cooking microwave dinners in the bedroom for four months! Ugh! It was finally worth it, but I sure wouldn’t do it again. I have to admit, though, that your beautiful new kitchen is a glory and a masterpiece. Congratulations on a job very well done!

  85. Deb says:

    Truly glorious – the pig head is my fave. I’m scared to say it, but I was in Lowe’s today staring at the light fixtures. But I still have no tub or toilet in my upstairs bathroom, so I escaped the danger. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  86. Tracey says:

    It’s beautiful Karen!
    Although there are obviously many modern and very practical conveniences it’s still somehow totally suits your 175 Year old house. Now that’s something to really be proud of!

  87. Gwen H. says:

    Beautiful kitchen. It looks like it was worth all the tribulations.

  88. Your kitchen is epic! I wish I had that style so I too could do somethng like that. I had a leak under my floor four years ago, my Punkin turned off the cold water, we went through insurance arbitration, got $40K, got incredibly ill, spent all the money on medical bills and four years later, still need a new kitchen and no cold water and sent all the money to crappy doctors! Really???…yup! But I have a great sense of humor and love yours and your fab style. I look forward to lots of pictures, at least three days a week in your kitchen and a few glamour shots of cuddles too. You two look spectacular dahling!

  89. This is really really lovely, Karen! I love your commentary and ideas too. I was about to send this to my client who just finished a kitchen remodel so it would make her feel better about the time it took, but she might ask why we went with custom cabinets, an expensive hood, etc. In the end hers, and yours, are awesome. I am so happy to hear that Cuddles is ok too 🙂

  90. Olga says:

    Beautiful. Envy. Proud!

  91. Kim says:

    The front cover took me back to a different time…my first words! First word ever was chicken, but my definition was off, though. I thought it was the room where you cook things…
    Ironically, as an adult, I’m a vegetarian.

  92. Stephbo says:

    GORGEOUS!!!!! I think my favorite part is the brick wall. I just love that country French vibe. Great job!

  93. Linda G says:

    Karen, it’s gorgeous! Thank you for the warning that your stove and oven are not insulated. Not only do I have young children, but I am also likely to burn myself on such a thing. Off the list for now!
    Do you know the life expectancy in years for your adorable fridge units? They are nestled into such a lovely little home in a corner, I hope they will last a long long time so you will never have to find just the right thing to fit back in that nook.
    I also love the candy counter, pig’s head, rolling pin wall, etc. Did you screw an eye hook into each rolling pin so you could hang it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda G – Well I’ve been told time and time again the refrigerator will last a lifetime because it has so many components of a commercial unit. (although it isn’t because it’s quieter and nicer looking). For what it cost I had better last a lifetime! ~ karen

  94. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Sorry to be late with done good girl..A+..I want to be you in my next life..nah..that would be weird..I want to be as smart as you in my next life..hugs..

  95. Shauna says:

    Amazingly great job as usual. Worth the wait.

  96. tracy says:

    Karen- you’ve done it again! LOVE the wall with your antique rolling pins. So refreshing to see something interesting and different while having a great aesthetic! Well done….all your hardwork appears to have paid off. I know I’m inspired!

  97. Edith says:

    Hi Karen!

    Your kitchen turned out great!!!! Love the rolling pen wall too – so original. I laughed out loud at the pig’s head because I ordered one a couple of weeks ago and can’t wait to put it up in my kitchen.

  98. TucsonPatty says:

    Just plain flipping awesome! I think my favorite is the hole in the counter…do you have a compost pile or bin? Have you made one and are you going to give us a tutorial?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patty! Thanks! I’m really glad I did the hole. I almost chickened out. I have both a bin and a compost pile. If you search ” compost ” in my little search bar (under the photo of me holding the fish) you’ll find a couple of posts of mine on the subject. How to Hot Compost is a good one! ~ karen

  99. Cathy says:

    Karen, what did you use for your spices? And where did you get them?

  100. Toronto Boy says:

    The mount of work you put into your kitchen was so worth it! The wood countertops goes quite well with the white cabinetry. I couldn’t help noticing the hood range cover. I zoomed in on the picture and noticed that you got it custom made and the cost was nominal. If you don’t mind me asking, is that cover made of stainless steel and which metal shop designed it for you? Did you have to give them the design and measurements? It looks great!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Toronto Boy! I actually can’t remember the name of the company I’m afraid! It was in Burlington. Burlington sheet metal maybe? I found it while driving around looking for another company, lol. All I did was walk in and give them the measurements of the area I needed to fill. I took careful measurements and knew I needed a tiny bit of wiggle room to slide the flue into place. Worked out great, especially for $60! It’s really only a sheet of bent stainless steel but well worth it. ~ karen!

  101. Kate S. says:

    This is a fascinating mix of styles and finishes. It came together far better than I would have thought if you had just described what you were doing–kudos to you for possessing vision!

  102. Heather (mtl) says:

    You’ve done such a gorgeous job that you can now call yourself a gen-u-ine dee-signer!
    I’ve read all the comments and haven’t seen anyone asking about that beautiful grate cover in front of the pantry. I notice things like that cos I love it. Really, I do. Also love the little shelf in front of the sink idea.
    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tidbits about your reno. I know I’m not the only one inspired!

  103. Bev in Oregon says:

    “And there’s no insulation so when the oven heats up so does the door, the knobs and the edges. If you’re an adult that’s fine.”

    Not this adult….I have a scar on my hand from burning myself on the inside of an oven. Twice in the same spot. On both my hand and the oven. My husband is now in charge of cooking.

  104. Leslie says:

    It looks amazing. So light and bright. Just gorgeous!

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  106. Ray Smith says:

    One of the best kitchen design I have ever seen. My kitchen is not as beautiful as yours but I have done some remodeling last month and it looks better than before. 🙂

  107. dana says:

    Ok, Karen, I have to say I was not sure about that black & white floor but I DO LOVE IT. I do. You have a lot of black accents and what nots in there. That countertop hole is fantastic. That pig head is adorable! Have you noticed that the ceiling light looks like a big eyeball? Its really neat how you mix modern with old such as the island. Love the mix of woods, the hanging rolling pins, and the fridge. OMG that fridge! Have you turned on your orange frige light? “Turn on your Autumn Light” (a fall take on Neil Diamonds Turn on Your Heart Light from the ET movie!) yet for fall? 🙂

  108. Dominic says:

    I foresee a counter top hole in my wife’s future. Having the chickens (we have 24), everything we chop up goes to them, that would be handy as hell!
    As for the Armstrong flooring, I used it 2 houses ago, in Michigan, did a cream & mossy green, LOVED that floor. Easy to install, indestructible, easy on the feet, held a shine.
    Beautiful kitchen. Makes me miss the last two I remodeled.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dominic. You caught me *just* before going to bed. Thanks very much for the kitchen compliment. I absolutely love my kitchen. Every tear and fit was worth it. Your wife absolutely needs a counter top hole. It sounds stupid but one of the greatest things is being able to just brush toast crumbs into it, lol. Makes me happy every time I do it. And I am so happy with the flooring. Even if I had thousands more to spend on the floor I wouldn’t. It’s so much more comfortable to stand on than ceramic. Hope your chickens are doing well through this moulty time of year. ~ karen!

  109. Shawn says:

    Hi Karen,

    I am looking into appliances for the impending kitchen remodel in my home and have been looking into the Blue Star Rangetop and Blue star double oven. I have been finding very mixed reviews, while doing my research I came across your site. Now that your a few months in, I was wondering if you’re still enamored with the Blue Star that you installed in your new beautiful kitchen?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Shawn. I do still love my Blue Star. A lot, lol. BUT I can tell you it’s probably not great for a home with kids because it gets so hot. Everything on it is metal, including the knobs. Which means when the oven heats up everything on it heats up including the door, door frame, knobs etc. This isn’t normally a problem but if the oven and stove have been on a while or are at a high temp., you can really feel it through the knobs and side of the oven door. Not enough to burn you but definitely enough to terrify a kid or even you if you aren’t prepared for it. I love everything else about the range so much I don’t care much about the lack of insulation. The drip pan is brilliant, the simmer burner is great, the heat is so even it’s unbelievable and the oven broiler is the best I’ve ever encountered. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  110. Elisa says:

    Karen I’m sure you’re sick of questions about your glorious kitchen.

    Now that you’ve lived in this kitchen can you do a review?
    How is the butcher block holding up? Is it splitting cracking staining?
    How about the Island counter top? Does it stain or do anything else unpleasant?
    Single bowl sink, was that a decision you are happy with?
    Open shelving, is it a cleaning nightmare? They always look nice in magazines but I keep thinking it would ending up being covered in grease like my stove hood.
    Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.. or was that Old Ben?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisa! O.K. here we go … The butcher block is fine. There is no splitting or cracking but there is a bit of staining. However that’s because I don’t care if there’s staining so I’m not careful with it in the slightest. I actually want it to get worn and used looking. Ditto for the island. It’s antique so the marble is very old and pitted. I like the worn look because it looks like it’s been used for 100 years and has a warmth to it. Plus there’s the added bonus that I don’t have to worry about it. The small piece of marble I have on my pantry ledge is perfect still. LOVE having a single sink. Double wasn’t big enough for me to fit anything in. Now I can fit cookie sheets, big pots, etc. LOVE it. The open shelving hasn’t been an issue at all. I just wipe it down every once in a while. The exhaust is good though so that probably helps. ~ karen!

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  112. Mary says:

    Hey Karen,
    Would you share your source for the steel framed factory window?

  113. Hi Karen,

    Congratulations for this brilliant Kitchen. It looks beautiful. I really love your Kitchen pic, It looks awesome & I also got some best idea to decorate my kitchen 😉

  114. Lovely new Kitchen! Looks awesome, LOVE IT! Beautiful and functional.

    Thanks for share.

  115. Paula Beattie says:

    Hi Karen,
    Are the cabinets that you used for the pantry, ‘bottoms’ and approx 27″ deep (protrude 27″ from the wall) or are they tops being maybe 16″ deep? Our addition is coming along and the existing kitchen will soon be turned into a laundry room/powder room/mudroom and on one 9′ wall I want floor to ceiling cabinets and I will have…storage! A century home with storage, so exciting.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paula, I’d have to check on the actual measurements, but they’re equal depth. They top one is just pushed back a bit and the bottom one pulled out a bit to create a ledge. You could do it with an upper of less depth as well, but I wanted as much storage as possible! ~ karen

  116. Rosie says:

    Looks beautiful!!! I was just curious because I am redoing my kitchen and I love the black and white floor tile look. It’s hard to find any laminates in black and white. What tiles did you use and how were they installed? Are these the bigger sized tiles? Thanks very much.

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