DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal! A Bigger Closet and a Bigger Kitchen!

Aug 11 2019
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DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling space! In this kitchen I will always think of my amazing Grandma Charlotte who lived in this home for over fifty years before me. I was thrilled that this old farmhouse could become mine and ecstatic at the notion of creating my very own farmhouse kitchen. This space was a VERY long time coming for me. I had no idea it would take me from early spring of 2014 until right now, to finally create and finish the kitchen of my dreams. But, ya know what? It was worth it!

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!I was able to abandon my chimney and put my pellet stove beside my kitchen sink and it made it possible to add more feet of wall space to my kitchen closetI was able to abandon my chimney and put my pellet stove beside my kitchen sink and it made it possible to add more feet of wall space to my kitchen closetI was able to abandon my chimney and put my pellet stove beside my kitchen sink and it made it possible to add more feet of wall space to my kitchen closet

The final completion of my kitchen started with my throwing my ex husband out in mid December of 2017 and then I spent that winter alone here in northern Minnesota heating my entire home with an ancient, radiant wood stove (that was never my idea). I hauled wood 300 feet to my house almost daily and my living room still never got much above 45 degrees.

I am known for being stubborn, for not letting anything “beat” me. But, at some point, even I can concede that that kind of attitude can take us humans into a range of pure ridiculousness.

I looked around one day and realized I had nothing to prove to anyone. TO HELL WITH THIS! Besides the work it was so incredibly dangerous and inefficient.

So, began the domino effect that turned into such a wonderful cascade of events for my kitchen! Goodbye hideous wood stove that was never my idea and hello me buying myself the prettiest coolest gift ever.

My Pellet Stove!

(Read all about my awesome new pellet stove here.)

My pellet stove didn’t need to be connected to my chimney so it didn’t need to be in the middle of my kitchen. In fact it cost me LESS to put it on an outside wall than to have it use my old chimney!

(Funny tid bit: I actually left that three foot wide area, under my window (beside my kitchen sink) empty because I had hoped my exterior door could swing in, all the way, against the wall, in the summer. Trim made that an impossibility. So that empty space literally felt like I created it, all those years ago, just for my future pellet stove.)

It was then that my brain started turning and I just got so ridiculously excited I could hardly sit still. First thing I did was make my closet under my stairs bigger and move the door for it to where my wood stove USED to be.

This meant I ended up with FIVE FEET of wall space beside my stove for more kitchen storage!

OMG SO COOL!!!!

(You know you’re an adult when the most exciting thing to happen to you all winter is getting more storage space in your kitchen… I am beyond THRILLED.)

My eyes turned to my grandparents’ hutch and I knew exactly where it was meant to go.

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!

With the plan to tackle the kitchen in my lap I took the opportunity to take out every. single. thing. in my cabinets and go through it ALL and thoroughly clean EVERYTHING.

I basically redesigned all of the storage in my kitchen starting with my lower cabinets. I tackled my upper cabinets as well as put in some better shelves above my kitchen sink.

From there it was finally time to truly eliminate the wood stove from this part of my home by painting EVERYTHING. (See my post here going into more detail about painting away smoke damage.)

I also patched my floors and gave them some TLC too just like I did in my entryway. And I also stained and refinished my kitchen sink base along the way.

This was one exhausting room to paint! Very little of it could be rolled (besides the ceiling) so first coat took my Mom and I nearly four hours. After that I spent another four hours at least doing up to seven coats in some areas. Our poor hands ended up with hard core brush cramping!

The next day my Mom was just as excited as I was to come and help me move the hutch!

Weeks of work and time and the result was even better than I had ever hoped for. That five feet of wall space beside my kitchen stove made the perfect spot! And the ability to use an heirloom as an actual, functioning, piece of furniture in my life is kind of what I live for!

We slid it into place and had to take a moment, it was just perfect, it felt SO right.

(I even skipped floor trim here and literally built everything in this spot just for that hutch so it would sit flush to the corner trim and flush against the wall.)

The hutch my grandparents’ made over thirty years ago became my first ever “beverage station” – I have a lot more plans for it, but, for now, it holds my bar, all of my mugs, cups and glasses and I even had room for all of my dinner plates, saucers and bowls as well.

There was one teeny tiny thing that was not “great” about all of this however…

With the new location of my pellet stove my island now felt awkward in the middle of the room – it was truly the only thing in all of this that I felt was a downfall to the new room arrangement.

Of course there was NO WAY my island was going anywhere, I LOVE my island, I made it out of my great grandpa’s radio stand! But it no longer felt right in the middle of my kitchen.

With the moving of my hutch though the weirdest area of my home was suddenly empty. But then I remembered my grandparents’ corner hutch. It was in my living room and I hated it there. Because my grandparents’ built it for a corner of their kitchen/dining room it just felt wrong anywhere else. (Check out the before and after pics at the end of this post – the hutch is in one of them lol)

The last domino fell: my corner hutch suddenly had a home.

And my island did too.

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!

First though I took my island into my workshop and did something I’ve needed to do for several years. I rebuilt the base by removing it from the bottom, cutting the feet off by two inches and then putting the new base INSIDE of the legs complete with hidden casters. It literally dropped my island down by nearly six inches and it is now comfortable to sit at!

With my island parked at an angle in front of the corner hutch, and the stools with it, my weird area suddenly made way more sense. Its a breakfast nook now!

I did have to pause before truly embracing the new spot my island is parked though. I didn’t want to put it there on a floor that needed work or in front of a wall that needed to be painted. I had planned to tackle this area with my living room (because its technically a part of my living room) but it made more sense to at least get this done so it was finished for my kitchen reveal.

Glad I made the effort! Now I won’t have to move my island for when I refinish the floors and repaint my living room this fall!

Initially I was planning on painting this area and my living room in a light gray but the more I thought about it, and the more I compared it to my white kitchen and my dramatic entryway, it just felt drab.

Besides that any color I paint this space here is going to be throughout my living room PLUS up my stairwell to my master bedroom. I already have a VERY narrow stairwell with NO windows, so a gray would only make it feel darker and tighter. Not good!

I am NOT a yellow person lol!

This is what I told my Mom when she was helping me choose this color, “I don’t want people to look into my living room and be like: OMG you painted it yellow!? And I also didn’t want them to look in and be like: OMG you painted it beige!? And I also didn’t want to look into my living room and be like: OMG that looks like a nursery color!”

So (with all that in mind!) I settled on this color which is called Rise and Shine by Clark and Kensington. It is, honestly, a TOUCH too yellow for me, I wish it had just a hint more warmth in it and not be quite so lemon meringue pie.

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!

When my Mom saw it for the first time she said, “That’s the color of a 1940s kitchen!” OMG, she’s right! That made me much happier with my color choice!

My farmhouse kitchen feels like it was meant to be for real now. Like all the pieces finally fell into place. My heart is totally glad whenever I come in here, I just can’t believe the change in the space.

Or the real amazing thing: I actually took square footage away from my kitchen by making the closet bigger and yet, my kitchen now feels ENORMOUS!

One more little perk: maybe not something anyone else would care for… My dance floor. My lovely open area in the middle of the heart of my home where I will not deny twirling til my heart’s content!

(Yep, I know its just screaming for a big round rug, I am totally on the look out for one!)

The 16 month renovation I went through from 2014-2015 feels like a long long LONG time ago but I’ll never forget those endless nights here alone tackling this space and all of the others. And, of course, I will never forget my Grandma’s kitchen built just for her by my Grandpa in 1958.

I took out that old kitchen and it did break my heart to do it (I saved most of the cabinets) but I feel now like I have done right by my Grandma and she would approve of my new kitchen.

The biggest change I decided to make was to remove the bathroom that was behind the kitchen. Taking that out and putting it in another space in the home made this kitchen so much bigger! And it also gave it the opportunity to become a true galley kitchen as well.

I built all of the cabinets (the glass cabinet doors are the windows from my grandparents’ old wood shed), I made my own counter tops and built my own kitchen sink base too. And I built my kitchen island out of my great grandpa’s old radio stand.

I also made the choice to install two glass exterior doors to go out to my deck which, in the summer time, literally expands my kitchen living space by another 700 square feet.

Up until this moment, truly, I loved this space but it had not yet felt “finished”. Everyone has asked me a million times, “Are you done with the house yet?”

With the smoke damage the wood stove caused and a million little jobs to do maybe not even I felt like I would ever really get here.

Officially I am “finished” with my kitchen! For sure I do have plans to put in new counter tops some day but, honestly, I am content for the very first time in this space 🙂 It is so totally ME and yet it still feels like my Grandma’s kitchen too!

PS. I gave my Grandma’s old cosco step stool a makeover and keep it right here in the kitchen where it belongs! I busted out laughing at all the before pictures because almost every single one of them include that stool! She made it through the renovation beside me every step of the way.

(Check out below for all of the great accessories I purchased on Amazon for this space. I love my produce hanger I put in beside my stove and my two new clocks are just SO adorable! I ended up taking a part the rolling pantry I built years ago for this space and recycling it in my new laundry room. It was just so heavy it really beat up my floors! The new light one I received as a gift for Xmas I just love.)






DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal, somehow I took space AWAY from my kitchen and yet I ended up with MORE storage and a bigger feeling kitchen! A small remodel!

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32 Comments

  1. August 11, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Your kitchen looks gorgeous Tarah! Your Grandma would be so proud.

  2. Amanda
    August 11, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I love your kitchen. The breakfast nook in the corner is so cute. The island made from the old radio looks great. I remember those old big radios. They were so pretty. Wish i had one to make an island with now.

    • August 12, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Thank you so much Amanda! Its is totally my FAV!

  3. Toni (in Niagara)
    August 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Good afternoon! Holy cow lady! You really do have some good stuff going on, and Karma is all over you! Just like you worked your butt off to relocate the horses and get barn-related work done asap (not knowing the barn would suffer such a blow in the winter) you somehow “unwittingly?” made space and place for the beautiful family-made buffet and corner cabinet! I love the way you made it all come together! Inspirational!
    Rock-on girl!
    Best wishes always!
    Toni

    • August 12, 2019 at 9:40 am

      Toni, I do wonder how much our unconscious minds work to make things line up whether we realize it or not! I just ADORE having my hutch in the kitchen now, where it was it was such a heavy dark weight that made the area actually feel smaller. Of course I didn’t realize any of this until it happened lol! Thanks so much for coming by as always!

  4. August 11, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I really love your new kitchen and very impressed with all the work you did. Your skills are waay beyond my own. I especially love the wood floors…great job

    • August 12, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Thank you so much Dee, it was a ton of work but so totally worth it!

  5. Pat M.
    August 11, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Amazing transformation on the kitchen. My favorite room is your dining room with that beautiful dark paint with white ceiling and trim. I’m not crazy about ANY yellow, even a tinge, but if you like it in your living room, that’s what’s important.

    You have nothing to worry about – your grandmother would be so proud.

    • August 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Thank you Pat and I totally agree with you, my dining room is kind of a stunner and it is totally my favorite place in the house currently!

  6. Stephany Michel
    August 11, 2019 at 11:29 am

    It’s absolutely beautiful! I’ve been so impressed by the many projects you’ve done on your grandma’s house, all the work they’ve taken and how pretty they turn out, as I’ve followed along. Seeing the pictures of the whole kitchen together like this from start to finish though I’m just blown away! I’m sure your grandma looking down from heaven must be so proud! Thank you for sharing it with us and giving us so many great ideas and super instructions for projects for our own homes!

    • August 12, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Oh thank you SO much Stephany! It was a ton of work but OMG it so incredibly worth it!

  7. Nicki
    August 11, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I love the kitchen – looks comfortable and I like the pops of red. My question is: Do you not find it uncomfortable to work at your sink when the towel bar is in front of it? Do you have another sink elsewhere?

    • August 12, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Hi Nicki, the towel bar has never bothered me. I don’t hand wash dishes often though so I don’t do a ton of standing in front of my sink. Thank you so much for coming by!

  8. August 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Wow. It is absolutely beautiful, and you are an amazing woman. I love all the changes, and hard work you put into that space. Just a thought…frame the b/w picture you have of your Grandma’s kitchen. Hang it in the kitchen or on the cute white shelf.

    • August 12, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Oh Jill now that is such a super sweet idea! I absolutely must do that now!

  9. August 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Tarah! What fun I’ve had going through the new kitchen makeover with a fine tooth comb and I am SO PLEASED for you! The hutch (we call them dressers over here) will be so handy and it was lovely that it fitted the space (it must have been made for it….. I guess it was nudging you even though you didn’t think so when you started by taking the wood stove out!). And I was so glad to see that you kept the little island. I loved that from the moment you first posted it’s pic and I am always pleased to spot it! In fact, I love a spot of red and I am about to paint a little set of kitchen foldup steps for a friend in a lovely red. What about when I have done I send you the link so you can see them?!! Enjoy the kitchen my dear (and did you get the paper towels up there?). xx

    • August 12, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Thank you so much Susan! I am thrilled with how everything turned out – it really ended up far better than I had hoped for! So I often I feel like I’m just jumping off on a wing and prayer and hoping things look nice when I’m done lol Yes totally send them to me when you’re done, I would love to see them!

  10. August 11, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    hi tarah, this looks amazing. I am blown away by your talent and drive. Somehow I missed the ex-husband post ;0)! Way to go! Amazing! Those floors, cabinets, everything! laura in CO

  11. Barbaa
    August 12, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Looks sooooo good! I love following your progress. You are one strong woman!

  12. August 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Looks fantastic, feels good when you do it all yourself.

  13. August 15, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic job!!!! Love the red accents, you [email protected]

  14. August 18, 2019 at 3:52 am

    Me again Tarah! here is the link I promised about my own kitchen ….. this is the first of two posts, so will link you to the other one when I post it. Please laugh at the mess and how much “stuff” is on show :o) xx
    http://mac-adventureswithbooks.blogspot.com/2019/08/kitchen-makeover-in-small-house-we-love.html

    • August 20, 2019 at 9:34 am

      OMG Susan, you’re new kitchen is literally jaw dropping. What an incredible transformation you guys made in your home!!! I bet it feels like you can really actually finally breathe in the space now! That’s how I felt when I finally got that old wood stove out of my kitchen and moved some things around. It is amazing how it changed how I felt about my whole home.

  15. September 1, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Hi there! I love what you have done with the kitchen. I actually love the whole house! Just keep up the good work! Regina xo

    • September 3, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Thank you so much Regina, its been a ton of work but totally worth it!

  16. Karen
    November 24, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Summer went whizzing by with so much to do in the yard and garden in addition to caring for our 2 granddaughters under the age of 2, I missed reading your posts! I am catching up now, before the flurry of the holidays begins.

    I love what you have done for your kitchen, the heart of the home! The touches of red really pop and I just love that! You have a great eye for details! I had to laugh at your comments on the yellow corner area. It is lovely! My Mama always loved a soft yellow kitchen. Maybe because my grandmother had yellow in her 40’s kitchen!

    I also love that you kept your Grandma’s kitchen stool in use! I have a heavy wooden step stool (heavy, I mean HEAVY) 24”square from my Mama’s great-aunt that I use in my garage laundry area. That and an old wooden chair from my grandmother’s kitchen desk that I will never ever get rid of!

    You may (or may not) have wondered why I address your Grandma with a capital G and refer to my grandmother with a lowercase g. Everyone, friends and family, called my grandmother Mumum (like mum-mum said together like one word). As the eldest grandchild I suppose I was the one who gave her that name. Maybe because I already had a Grandma Clark (her beloved mother in-law) and a Nana (her own mother) and Mama was already taken! Funny note here. My great grandmothers lived together in a small cottage behind the home my Mama grew up in. Being contemporaries and house-mates, you might think they would have called each other by their first names, but they addressed each other as Mother Clark and Mother Fowles! They spent all their time together by the time I came along, so they must have been friends! People were so much more formal back then.

    • November 25, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Hi Karen, its so good to hear from you! I swear every year summers go by just a little bit faster. Bummer for us here in MN we had a really crappy spring and short fall so that made summer even shorter. I’m taking the lovely yellow right into my living room and up the staircase! I’m a little nervous about it but I think it will grow on me and brighten the whole space up!

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