I can’t believe the day is here! The day when my kitchen isn’t a construction zone! The day when my adorable husband Jim can find the can opener! The day when all my kitchen cabinets have doors again! It seems like it took forever (maybe just because of all that sanding…blech!) but a mere 6 weeks after I started the Kitchen Project, it has come to a dramatic conclusion.

And what is a dramatic conclusion without before and after photos? So without further ado…

Here is what the kitchen looked like on January 1st, 2012:

And here it is today:


…and after:


and…well you get the idea:

I just love how much cleaner, brighter and bigger the kitchen looks now. The before pictures feel quite cave-like by comparison…

The mint green cabinets are a perfect backdrop for all the pops of red throughout the kitchen…

…and this was the worst door! You wouldn’t even believe it was all chipped and yucky before!

Hey Leo, can you believe the Kitchen Project is done?

Yes, finally!

Way to be a party pooper Leo!

But he is right. Well, sort of. I didn’t forget to grout the backsplash, I had to wait 24 hours after I installed the tile until I could grout. By the time the grouting was done, I would have lost my good morning light. So, I took pictures of everything in the morning and these last few when the grout was done

I really like how the coppery glass tiles turned out with the white grout!

Oh Leo, you are always demanding something, aren’t you…

So there you have it guys! The Kitchen Project is complete! I have to say I am thrilled with how it turned out…and also thrilled that I don’t have to sand, prime or paint anything for a while…can you blame me?

Thanks for cheering me on until the very end! And now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to take a well-deserved rest.

Stay tuned!



  1. Wow! It looks great! I’m usually a big fan of wood cabinets, but your kitchen does look bright, airy, and in keeping with its roots. I also like the way your red pops out now with all that coolness around it. And I LOVE your tile–seems like a nice way to keep a touch of the warmth from the original wood.

    I think after you rest up you should come stay at my house for a while and help us get that bathroom project done πŸ™‚

  2. WOW!!!!!!! The new kitchen is absolutely, positively, knock-down GORGEOUS!!!! What a big improvement … and the other one wasn’t all that bad considering. πŸ™‚ That was a big, big job from your to-do list and you did a masterful job. I’m so proud of you Kate! The red accents really pop now compared to before and the copper glass tiles were the perfect choice! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT !!! Now you should rest and just post some pics of the kitchen redo from your first house … that was pretty amazing too. You are amazing! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy …. and take a well deserved rest. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Mid Century Mom!

      It was a big job, but it was well worth it…Jim and I love the new kitchen! Hmmm, not a bad idea about showing pictures from my last house’s kitchen remodel project. I’ve been meaning to do a “house tour” of the house with the pink door…

  3. It looks fabulous! I really like how the backsplash turned out. I was scrolling down the photos thinking how great it looked, but the last few pictures, with the tile grouted, are even better.

    I like how the oversize spoon and fork look in the dining area. What about a little contrast on the soffits over the cabinets? Maybe some red plates?

  4. That is an amazing amount of work and such a great end result! Although I must say it makes me a little jealous that you had so many cabinet doors to prime and paint because I have all of 6 doors and 3 drawers in my little kitchen. I also love Leo’s “contribution” to all your hard work. Cheers – CT

    • Only 6 doors and 3 drawers CT??? Oh man! Where do you put all your cool cooking stuff/dishware? Even with my extended amount of kitchen space, I always seem to be busting at the seams with kitchen stuff. Must be my love of colorful plates/cups/bowls. I have a TON of Fiesta ware!

  5. Looks fantastic Kate! As everyone has said, the light aqua really makes the red accents pop. The quality of your work looks top notch, too. And the tile back splash really looks great (especially with the grout). It adds the right amount of glitz. And…do the jello molds!! πŸ˜‰

    I’d love to see the kitchen remodel in your last house!

    • Thanks Jeanne!

      I am thinking the Jello Molds would be awesome in the kitchen. Now I just have to get mom to send them to me!

      All this talk of my last house is getting me nostalgic. I think I will have to put “tour of Kate’s old house” on the list of posts to do in the near future!

  6. Looks good, I agree with Kristal, maybe a retro red kitchen clock above the range? I like the backsplash – were you going to do something on the other walls above the counters?

    • Thanks Nicole!

      I don’t know if I would put another red clock in the kitchen (there is one over the cork board) but that’s a good idea…I hadn’t planned on doing something on the other walls above the counters….but I wouldn’t totally rule it out for the future. πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, it looks awesome! I know how much work you put into this (and I’ve painted cabinets before, it isn’t any picnic!) and it looks great. What a difference! Are you telling yourself never again for cabinet painting? That is what I said after the first time!

    • Thanks Heather! You are right, painting kitchen cabinets is no picnic. I would however, do it again versus a gut remodel (down to the studs) like I did at my first house. Now THAT was terrible! πŸ™‚

  8. This is the only post I’ve read on your blog, not sure how I got here but..Would I be right in guessing you were going for a 50’s style ‘retro’ kitchen? If so, you succeeded~! Grease, ‘the fonz’ and Biff Tannen immediately popped into my head when I saw the after pics.

    • Thanks Maxwell! I was definitely going for a “retro” kitchen. Funny that “the Fonz” comes to mind. I work in a building downtown Milwaukee where I can see the “bronze Fonz” from my window! πŸ™‚

  9. It looks great, Kate. One question, though. What did you do with the cabinet interiors? I too have 1950’s cabinets in my house (knotty pine) that I’ve refaced, but the interiors look like cr@p. I don’t know whether to paint them, get inexpensive sheet vinyl to cover just the shelves, or what. Any tips?

    • Thanks! For the inside of the cabinets, I cleaned them really well (with something to cut the grease, I think I used 409), let them dry and then put “stainless steel” contact paper down on the shelves and in the drawers. On the adjustable shelves inside the cabinet, I cleaned them and flipped them over where I could, so it was almost like a new shelf surface!

  10. Pingback: Retro Project: Kitchen Remodel for $771! | Retromania

  11. Hi I hope you don’t mind I linked to your site and linked to your photos on my site – very inspirational to see what you’ve done with so little money (although I think it would cost a bit more over here in NZ).

    I love the colours – I’m thinking of something a bit similar for my retro caravan.

    • Hi Sarah,

      I am always welcome to people linking to my blog! I usually prefer when people ask first if they are going to post photos from my blog on their blog, but I see that you gave me proper credit and linked back to the original post, so it is fine by me…which reminds me, I should make a FAQ page on my blog that addresses some of these questions! Thanks for reading!

  12. Hi Kate, I think you did a great job and I envy your energy and creative talent and vision…so forgive me, because I have none of the aforementioned qualities…but I think you need some copper molds above your cabinets…you know the kitchy old jello mold in the shape of a seahorse or something. I love the backsplash behind the stove – so a little copper above the cabinets might just sing…what do you think?

  13. I discovered your site through Pinterest – your victory garden post had been pinned – and I’ve been meandering my way through your 2011-2012 blogs about Casa Retro Ranch ever since. These kitchen renovation posts have been riveting. It’s all been such grumsomely hard work: kudos to you for your determination, but it’s been your unerring eye for colour that has amazed me. I’ve held my breath on occasion, waiting to see how your colour choices would turn out; not being colour savy myself I’ve not been able to ‘see’ your final vision, so I’ve had to wait for the final results. And? Wow! It’s incredible. Worth every minute of the obviously back breakingly hard work you’ve put into the whole project. It looks absolutely beautiful. I think it must be such a pleasure for you to wake up every morning to this lovely kitchen that’s all down to your creativity, talent and hard work.

    • Awww thanks Monique! Glad you’ve been enjoying my blog! The kitchen was a lot of hard work, but I absolutely love how it turned out. It is a lovely kitchen to sit and have a cup of coffee in each morning!

      Thanks for reading!

  14. Pingback: RETRO RANCH REVAMP RESOLUTIONS 2013 « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  15. Pingback: HOW THE CABINETS ARE HOLDING UP — ONE YEAR LATER « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  16. Pingback: HOW THE CABINETS ARE HOLDING UP — ONE YEAR LATER « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s