Our kitchen is still one big work-in-progress, but we have had fun personalizing it, little by little, over the past few years. It started out pretty builder basic…

…but with a little bit of shoestring-style dough, and whole lotta elbow grease, we’re slowly but surely making it feel more “ours”…

We change up the “art” on the chalkboard wall whenever we’re feeling artsy-fartsy, but the phrase on the wall in the photo above is part of this quote. Here are some more links to some of the things we’ve worked on/brought into the room…

Project links:

Bead board backsplash (We painted it with plain old, right-off-the-shelf, semi-gloss while paint from Home Depot and it’s held up wonderfully over the past four years.)
Mirrors on the inside-backs of the upper cabinets
– We created taller cabinets by adding extra molding on top of upper cabinets
– Corbels underneath the upper cabinets
Salvaged cabinets on the right side of the room
Butcherblock countertop
Stainless steel shelves
Chalkboard paint
– Cabinet paint: Mourning Dove (Martha Stewart by Sherwin Williams) and Alabaster (Sherwin Williams)
Ceramic tile removal
Ceramic tile removal (part 2)
Hardwood floor installation and staining
– Wall color: November Rain, by Benjamin Moore

Decor links:

– Baskets in open cabinets: Ikea
– Herb crates on wall:
-Metal picnic basket: Etsy
-Wicker basket on floor:
-Butcherblock countertop: Ikea
– Rug: Pottery Barn outlet

Here are a couple of links to the posts we wrote about our appliances:


We’ve still got drawer and door hardware to add, tongue-and-groove ceiling boards to put up, crown molding to put up, recessed lighting to install, a wall of windows to put in, upper cabinets to move (to the chalkboard wall), cabinetry to build around our refrigerator, a farmhouse sink to drop in, a more colorful rug to purchase, and we’d eventually like to top our counters with something carrera marbel-esque, too- but we do things one thing at a time around here, so who knows when the room will actually be done- ha!


Spring Door Decor
Spring Craft

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  1. Jennifer says

    This kitchen is beautiful !! I cant wait to start re doing ours . I love your blog !!

  2. Christie says

    What are the dimensions of your kitchen? I’m trying to plan a new kitchen, just 11 x 12 … so am curious especially about the width of your room. Thanks!

  3. sandra says

    beautiful! but I had a question about what looks like a cake stand that has a wood/wicker looking basket lid…can I ask what it is? thank you!

  4. says

    catching up on your blog. wow. time gets away doesnt’ it?
    the kitchen is beautiful = i’m loving the new wall!!! what a great idea. it’s really so pretty now – you’ve done a great job! (as usual)

  5. Michele S says

    Layla, I absolutely love your style…your home is beautiful and so inspiring! I would like to know more about the butcher block countertop…how you sealed it and how it holds up. I’m thinking about getting it for my island. The link doesn’t work…it actually took me to the chalkboard wall. Thank you!

  6. says

    Love the open airy-ness of your kitchen,,!
    i could perhaps “love” to cook more if mine were anywhere like this..
    have been a follower from way back..
    have enjoyed watching the evolution of your home..
    the projects on the road..
    was sad your decorating program was not picked up..
    wanted to see you while you guys were here in Denver..
    oh well..another time perhaps..
    am in the middle of moving back to Florida.. Pensacola..
    so plan a getaway with a destination address..!
    warmest hugs..

  7. Katie says

    Oh my gosh! What a gorgeous kitchen…I absolutely love all of your tutorials! Just curious, but what paint & colors did you use for the top and bottom cabinets?

  8. Monique Dyke says

    Can you please tell me where you purchased your aluminum dining chairs? Thank you. Kitchen is so much more inviting and friendly!

  9. Jaime Russell says

    I was wondering if you could tell me the color and brand where you got the green paint for the bottom cabinets? I just love it! :0)

  10. Dot says

    Dear Layla and Kev,

    I just have to say you have a beautiful home!
    I live in Holland, and we are about to move from an appartment to a ‘real’ house, with garden and 4 bedrooms. We bought a beautiful house!
    We are going to white wash our table as well, the way you explained on your blog.
    I love what you’re doing here on this website.
    You have done a great job on the kitchen and bedroom as well!
    We are going to do the things around the house by ourself and are very excited about it!
    Keep up the original and beautiful renovations!

    Greetings from the Netherlands,



  11. says

    Love your kitchen! Its gorgeous! Just wondering if your chalkboard wall is textured? I have an heavy orange peel texture on my walls, so I’m thinking it may not look right?

  12. says

    First of all, I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN…it’s what dreams are made of. Hopefully we can start working on ours come fall (when the hubby has more time).
    I was looking at your older pictures and noticed your kitchen was black at one point. Was it hard to paint white over it? I’m thinking of having my new base cabinets painted navy, but I know I won’t love it forever and will want to paint it someday again. How did you find painting it?

  13. Alexis Davis says

    Is that chalkboard wall high maintenance? How regularly do you have to wipe it down?

  14. Carrie-Anne says

    Hello, I found your website by googling ‘how to add character to a new house’ and boy I’m glad I did. What an inspiration you two are … you are so funny as well :-)
    Could you please tell me the colour of the Formica countertop? Do you have to plans to change this down the track? if yes, what material would you use? I live in Australia & everything is so much more expensive down under and my budget is Formica; I think the colour you have really suits the look I hope to achieve … which is very similar to you. Stunwar!! Your hard work and patience has certainly paid off. Thanks so much for sharing all this with me.

  15. stephanie says

    i love your entire kitchen & dining room! could you please tell me where you got the window treatments in the dining room? i love the curtain!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Stephanie! I got them on Ebay, but they’re made by Pottery Barn. It’s their Medici pattern, in bran. :-)

  16. Kelly Gray says

    I just found your Blogspot and I must say “I LOVE Your Kichen”. I am about to start a kitchen remodel and I am on a very strict budget. I have looked at cabinets at Lowes and Home Depot, but I have 40 feet of counter space. I have not thought about using unfished stock cabinets and painting them. I look great in the pictures, but can you see the wood grain thru the paint. What are the colors of the cabinets….lower and upper.
    also, what color is the countertops. Everything looks great!!!!
    I look forward to ready ing more of your blog.

  17. niki o says

    Layla–The kitchen is so pretty and i really want to read about your experience staining the butcher block, because I have some in my basement waiting for me! But when I click on the link above, it takes me to your blog on chalkboard paint. Ah! Where do i find it? Thanks!


  18. Shirley says

    Love your home and the numbers you found for the house. Praying for God’s blessing on you and the new little one to be joining your family.

  19. Lucy says

    I have the same cabinets in my kitchen and have been wanting to paint them. Can you give me a brief “how to”.
    Thanks so much,

  20. Kasey says

    In the post picture of the kitchen, are the hinges the same color as the knobs and handles? They look darker but I wasn’t sure. I have dark cabinets and the hinges are not recessed. I feel that nickel hinges and knobs will be too much. Thanks!

  21. says

    We just had Silestone “Lyra” installed on our island and it is beautiful and so durable. Check it out, it looks like carrera marble. You are so creative. Looking forward to more.

  22. Linda says

    We are buying a older home and I wanted to change my decor from country to the cottage style. I didn’t know the style and how to active the look that I have been seeing in magazines and other websites. When I cam upon your website, I LOVED YOUR taste! You have inspired me to make changing in decorating. I can’t wait to get started! Thank you for all your great ideas. You have a God given talent and I think you for sharing!


    PS… I am mommy of a adopt little boy! Its wonderful, your gonna love it!!!

  23. Kim Enger says

    Layla, I’m curious to know what your cabinets are made of. I noticed in a post about the kitchen you mentioned that you sanded the doors and cabinet fronts, but not the sides. Was that because the sides were laminate over particle board and should not be sanded? We have cherry cabinets (not original) in our old cottage and I would like to paint them. The doors and fronts are wood, but the sides are laminate over particle board and I’m afraid if I sand them it will take the laminate right off. What do you think? Thanks.

    • Layla says

      Hi Kim! The doors were solid wood, but the sides were laminate over particle board. I think you should be good to go if you use a highly-adhesive primer! :-)

  24. says

    Anne of DesignDreams mentioned you in a post and I had to come by and visit! I’m so glad she did and even happier that I did!

  25. says

    I know you don’t live in this house anymore… But any chance you remember what hooks you used to hang your crates? I bought those and am ready to hang but don’t just want to use a nail… Thanks so much! Enjoy reading your blog!

  26. Kimberly says

    I LOVE November Rain by BM! I have used it in several areas in my home and it seems to transform dependent on the lighting. You are doing a great job!

  27. says

    Hello, Today was my first time looking at your blog. I love it.

    My kitchen looks like your old one,in a small house, could not figure out what too do Thank you .Is there another wayto get down loads of the magazines or in printed form.I am not able to get them on my nook. Do you give advise on other areas in peoples homes? This site made my day so much brighter.

  28. says

    Love this kitchen! Your blog was one of the first ones I ever stumbled across. Your beautiful home and inspirational blog was what planted the seed for my own blog!
    My husband and I recently bought our own home and a chalkboard wall in the kitchen was a must-have. Thanks to you, I’ve blogged about the challenges of re-doing our kitchen and the perks of a chalkboard wall, and linked it up to you! Love following you and your husband’s journey. Thanks so much for sharing!