Oh my. The title of this post sounds so dramatic (the. kitchen. reveal) that I really feel like I should start off with something stupendous right out of the gates. Like smoke…yeah, and strobe lights.

Sorry, folks.

All I’ve got is pictures. But I’ve got boatloads of those. So, hopefully they’ll suffice.

Because we built our house from the ground up—we even drew up our own blueprints—I got the fantastically amazing privilege of designing my kitchen. It was hands-down the room I was most excited about in the entire house. And while I am sure there are things that I could change to optimize its user-friendliness or aesthetic appeal (I already have some thoughts about this), I am pretty darn happy with the results.

I had five things I knew I wanted for my kitchen from the beginning. I even had examples of them all saved in my “ideabooks” on Houzz (this was well before Pinterest).

1) Space

2) Lots of cabinetry (custom, if possible)

3) An island

4) A checkerboard tile floor

5) Lots of color

As you’ll see, I got every single one of them. For a price-tag of approximately…wait for it…$6,000.

Do you know how much just the custom cabinetry for an approximately 15’X20’ kitchen usually costs?

About $6,000 (on the low end).

So how did we do it?

(I actually pretty much just answered my question by asking it. The answer: we did it!)

Why don’t we just start with the cabinets, which is one of the few things we didn’t do ourselves, since we’re talking about them?


My husband could have made our cabinets and talked about that possibility, but since were kind of in the middle of building an entire house from scratch, we thought it was best to at least scope out our options.

After some shopping around with disappointing results, we met with a local cabinetmaker who was: a) very talented, b) nice and honest, and c) websiteless.

Yay for me…I have a brilliant programmer husband, who just so happens to be a whiz at website design/creation. So we bartered a deal. Shaun supplied the website, for which nice, honest cabinet-guy paid us, and NHCG supplied the woodworking, for which we paid him.

And I ended up with my dream cabinets for 1/2 off an already incredibly reasonable price to start with (we “happened”—I believe it was the Lord being gracious to us—to catch him during a slow spell, which made him extra-willing to negotiate on the price).

The color on the cabinets is Benjamin Moore (I haven’t found the can with the color name yet, and I’m drawing a complete blank; I’ll update when I find it) which, in case you can’t properly tell, is a deep, rich teal. Kind of a funky cabinet choice, I realize. But I love it.


That high-chair’s there on purpose, by the way. I’m hiding my in-progress breakfast nook. ; )

The island was included in the price of the cabinets, and Mr. Nice Cabinet Guy also made our walnut butcher-block top. I big fat love it. So much so, that I have one drawer in the island designated for cutting boards because I can almost never bring myself to cut on the actual butcher-block. I do all of my meal-prep here, and we almost always eat here, unless we have company, in which case we all pile into the breakfast nook/dining room (which I will show you soon). The best part of the butcher-block is that if it ever gets too banged up, we can just flip it over and start again.



I bought my stools from JcPenney on some sort of ridiculously good sale like $75 for all three. The seats were a particularly unappealing shade of blah, so I recovered them in Avery by Premier Prints (my go-to brand for cute, inexpensive decorator fabric) and then finished that off with a layer of thick plastic (from the fabric section at Walmart) to make the inevitable daily (hourly) spills no big thang.


I got my pot-rack from a garage sale for $5 and bought the matching (and I do mean matching; the color is identical) S-hooks on Ebay. The copper-bottom pot/pan set was a Christmas present from my father-in-law (yes! my father-in-law; he’s a sweetheart!), and they are so bee-ootiful that I still haven’t had the heart to cook anything in them yet (15 months later). Clarification: I cook all the time. Just not with these pans.


The floral dishes are stoneware from Target. I bought them three years ago before my kitchen was even painted because I loved the pattern and because they had the exact shade of dark teal I wanted for the cabinets. It was meant to be. They carried this style for quite a while, but I just did a search and didn’t come up with anything, so they must have finally retired them. Boo. Let’s hope I don’t break one (yeah, right).




The artwork above the sink (Kohler) is from Ross, as is this beauty:


I do love me some Ross when I can actually make myself go there, step over all the rubble in the aisles, sift through the piles of junk, and then wait in the forever-long line once I’ve found my treasures.

Update: instead of the random aqua stools, here’s what the “large artwork corner” looks like now:

I got the rectangular storage table (it was probably meant to be an entryway table, but I’m not always the best at using things for what they were “meant” for), which is the perfect size for the space, for 30% off at Hobby Lobby, and I’m a huge fan of the way it grounds all of the color with its neutral tones.

Love those vintage canisters that I scored for $10 for all three. Don’t they look like they were made to go with the painting?

Funny little side-note? If you had asked me what my opinion of the color orange was on a scale of 1-10 before I started decorating my house, I might have said, “Eh, a 4?” But now, it’s all over the place (remember THE RUG? Yeah, I still get about 2 emails a week about that rug. No lie). And I really like it (the orange and the rug…check, check).

Okay, let’s talk appliances. See that full-fridge/full-freezer combo? Fancy, huh?


Well, check this out.

Did you ever use Bing cash-back? We looooooooved Bing cash-back. We are saaaaaad that they stopped doing Bing cash-back. Because, I tell ya, we used Bing cash-back to its fullest potential.

We got all of our matching Frigidaire appliances (that’s the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, stove, and microwave) for $1,300 (this includes an additional discount from the forklift dent we discovered in the back of our fridge when they delivered it—a dent that in no way affects its function nor can it be seen once installed, I might add).

The fridge/freezer combo usually costs over $2,000 all by its little (okay, big) ol’ self, and it does not go on sale…unless, of course, you buy it in combo with a kitchen suite on Ebay Buy It Now, and you get 30% (holla!) Bing cash-back.

No, I did not get my slick, ginormous Wolf super-range with the drool-worthy red knobs that I pined for, but I didn’t actually have room for that monster anyway, and—let’s get real—there was no way I was going to pay that much money for one appliance in the first place (it costs at least 3X as much as my entire kitchen suite).

What else?

I bought the red Pottery Barn stools for $40 from a local lady who always finds great deals for resale.


We bought the tile for the floor at Home Depot for less than a $1/sq. ft., and my incredible husband painstakingly laid out the diagonal pattern for me just because I wanted it.

Had he ever tiled on the diagonal before?


Did he do it perfectly anyway?


Because he’s awesome like that.

We also chose to tile our countertops, which, I realize, is not the trendiest choice in the world. But it did save us beaucoups of money. Plus, I’m not a super-huge fan of granite, and all of the other stone options I looked at were a bit too shiny/fancy or, on the flipside, too rustic for my tastes. We sealed the grout with a product that went straight into the grout mix, and so far, there’s been minimal staining.

Pictured here is the other love of my life (God first, husband and children second, Kitchenaid mixer third). Meet Penelope (and yes, I did just make that up). She’s yet another Bing cash-back purchase from Ebay, and I won’t even tell you what I (or rather my super-sweet/savvy husband who bought her for me for a few Christmases back) paid for her brand-spankin’ new gorgeous red self because it would only make you weep with jealousy. : )


I made the window awning (you can click for a tutorial), and I found the votive holder on major sale at JcPenney. A sweet friend made me that little plaque with our family’s initial and a Bible verse.



And I think that about covers it.

Feel free to ask about anything that I didn’t/forgot to address.

Oh, yeah. And have yourself a fantastic weekend, okay?

 Linking up:



  1. “Wow!” – is what I instantly uttered after seeing your kitchen! The overall look seems so bright and dandy! From your countertop, to the cabinets and other kitchen accessories –they’re all awesome! My favorite, by the way, is the pat-rack. It’s so eye-catching! Hehe.

  2. i wonder how much time you spend cleaning it, since you don’t have cooker hood, and microwave just above stove…

  3. I love, love, love your kitchen… wait, I love, love, love your whole home! I’ve spent the last 2 hours looking at all the great house pictures over and over again. Teal/aqua/tiffany blue/anything in that realm and bold red are my favorite colors. I have a red kitchen and a teal living room and I try to pull bits of the colors from the other rooms. I’ve been considering painting my island teal (my cabinets are oak/red walls). Anyways, how did you hang the plates over the fridge? I have a long plate that was made for me as a wedding gift, I’ve always wanted to hang it but never have figured out a safe way to hang it. I’d love to know how you did it.

  4. It’s nice to see someone who doesn’t fear color! Your mix is delicious! Thank you for sharing your project at Potpourri Friday!

  5. Oh, my goodness! I love your kitchen. The colors look wonderful and I love how you’ve decorated it too. It’s so big – I love that! 😉
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  6. HI Abbie,
    Wow – your kitchen is amazing – love the bold color choices.

    Five other blog buddies and I are having an “Imagine the Impossibilities” challenge and link party where we have each challenged ourselves to complete one thing by January 31st that seems “Impossible”. We are inviting our readers to join the challenge as well.

    I’d love for you to check out my introductory post explaining what we are doing and have you link up your kitchen transformation!

    Mark your calendar for the Tuesday, Jan 31 link party!

    The following week, each of our 6 blogs will be featuring 5 favorites! Hope to see you there.

    Here’s the link to the challenge post:

  7. Absolutely amazing kitchen!! I don’t know if I could be so brave on colors but teal is my FAVORITE. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post the paint name of the cabinets I would like to use it on my front door. Thanks!!

    PS I just found your blog from Whipperberry…can’t wait to look at your older posts!

  8. What a lovely kitchen – so pretty with the teal and red and so personal with the art. I would love to decorate my own kitchen – maybe one day!

  9. any chance you found that paint can? do you have a post about the painting/finishing of the cabinets? i adore teal cabinets in pictures, but i am a total scaredy cat for putting it in my kitchen! but, i tought it could be a really nice accent color for something like an island (love your island, too!)?

  10. I am in love with that fridge! I will never have room in my kitchen for something that magnificent, but I am wondering if I could make my regular fridge have that “built in” look you’ve got? any suggestions?

  11. Omigosh this is YOUR kitchen? I thought for sure it was from Pinterest or a magazine or something. You totally rocked it! I’m not sure how I’ve been missing out on your blog all this time, but I’m so happy to be following you now. Pop on over for a visit sometime!

  12. This is my first visit to your lovely blog, visiting from Susan’s Beween Naps on the Porch. I love your kitchen very much. We have simulair kitchen, I have a green kitchen door and and yellow and red center island. The plans are to restain or paint out kitchen cabinets and add crown molding. We have been working in out kitchen and just finished off another project I will be sharing soon.
    I have become your newest follower. Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  13. Oh my goodness…I am drooling over your kitchen! The colors are amazing and your thriftyness is amazing. Great job!!!

  14. I LOVE color and I love when other people are so brave with color. Do you know the name of the Ebay store where you got that cool full size freezer/fridge combo? I am obsessed. Fantastic kitchen.

  15. What an amazing kitchen! I love the cabinet colors and how the whole room came about. You guys did a fantastic job. Great blog, and I’m a new follower 🙂

  16. Oh Abbie, it’s AMAZING!! We’re redoing our kitchen this summer, so I appreciate all the details in this post! I saw this at Thrifty Thursday and was immediately drawn to it. I was surprised and happy when I saw who it belonged to :).

    Please link it up (and whatever else you want to share!) at my 2nd party?! It could use some help this week 😉


    Emily @ 52mantels.com


  18. Thanks, Roeshel! Your comments always make me smile. : ) See? There I go. Thanks so much for hosting Roomspiration. It was such a great idea, and I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s fun spaces. Some seriously talented folks out there!

  19. Abbie! Your kitchen is so fun and the budget is unbelievable. What a beautiful cheerful space! I love how it came together! You’re so talented! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing in the Roomspiration kitchen party!

  20. Your new kitchen is fabulous I love the color and function. Congratulations! I would like to make a sugestion to you as a God-centered woman: Please re-consider shopping at Wal-Mart. They treat their employees abominably. Many of us refuse to shop there because of their disregard for employee rights. You may want to use Google to check out what others are saying. Thanks and congratulations again. Your hard work really paid off.

  21. “THAT” was amazing! We, too, did the blueprints, cleared the land, built a log cabin and I have yet to “tackle” the kitchen. My husband is one of a kind (maybe with yours it’s two of a kind) and your kitchen is pure inspiration. THANX franki

  22. Thanks, Kori (can I just say I love long, detailed comments from my readers? It makes it feel like a conversation).
    And WOW on your mixer price. Mine wasn’t that low, but it’s the 6 quart professional series (yours may be too), and the prices for those go up FAST. And major flashback when you mentioned Mervyn’s. Haven’t heard that name in years!
    P.S. Whenever I get sick of all the teal, color, I’m going to repaint everything and probably go light with the cabinets. So..yeah, I think you’re right. I’m pretty sure it would transition well. But it’s sure not happening any time soon!

  23. Abbie, it is just gorgeous, I love the color combinations!! What I appreciate even more is all of the effort that this took, collecting everything over time and then finding another way to fulfill your dream!! It is just stunning!! Congrats. I am sure it’s inspiring to be in there too cooking for the family! Hugs, Michelle

  24. I LOVE your kitchen. I love all the color. My cabinets are a lovely maple or I else I would definitely paint them a pretty color. In our first house I painted my kitchen cabinets cobalt blue and loved them. The paint guy at Sherwin Williams did look at me like I was crazy when I came in with a cobalt blue tile to match the paint to and said I was painting the cabinets that color. 🙂

  25. Seriously, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? Or that you don’t already know? Your kitchen RAWKS! If I ever get to do a kitchen makeover I am totally calling you! Luckily, my husband was a cabinet maker in his past life (during the PhD years) so I’ve got a feeling I can barter with him! 😉

    Kudos. Truly.

  26. Love your kitchen! It looks so unique and personalized! And I cannot believe the price-gollee, that is the price of one dentist appointment now-a-days! 😉 Great job!

    I also got my kitchenaid mixer for realllly cheap- my husband’s grandfather just GAVE it to me because he didn’t even know what it was! haha! I was happy to take it off his hands.

  27. Let me just say that your kitchen is possibly my favorite. It shows your personality and style. It makes my heart happy to see someone who can come up with something unique and lovely on relatively small budget.

    P.S. Possibly you could post a link to your cabinet maker’s website. I love the idea of being able to barter for the things you need!

  28. Um. AMAZING!! Everything in your kitchen is soooo gorgeous; the colors, the floor, the counters, the island, all of it!! And don’t even get me started on the appliances! Lucky. I admit I had to laugh to myself as I read because I feel the same as you about:

    A. Ross (for all the employees they seem to have trolling the sales floor, you’d think part of their jobs would be picking stuff up/putting it on display in a way that makes sense.)
    B. Granite and other stone counters (I fear it’ll be the 70s equivalent of avocado green one of these days.)
    C. Using things for their intended purpose; i.e. your butcher block and pots/pans (keep it pretty darn it!!)

    The cabinets are the most awesome color…I love me some white cabinets, but man oh man, your teal ones? LOVE.
    I could go on, but won’t because it’s getting late, but one more thing I have to say is that I love how although there’s color going on, and a definite style, it seems like the decor could easily change and you wouldn’t miss a beat….great job!!

    P.S. I have that same exact mixer in the same lovely red and got it for $99 at Mervyns the day after Christmas about 7 years ago. I don’t know what your hubby paid, but I know that I cringe when I see what they *actually* go for!!!!!!!!!! Craziness.

I love hearing from you guys!