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

12 Materials
10 Weeks

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!

The final completion of my kitchen started with my divorce 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 HECK 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!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.

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 cabinetsI 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.

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.The last domino fell: my corner hutch suddenly had a home.And my island did too.

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.

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!

Resources for this project:
16 Inch Large Size Metal Kitchen Wall Clock Fork Spoon Kitchen Wall Cl
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  • Nancy Foote Nancy Foote on Aug 23, 2019

    I had a grandmother by the name of Charlotte also.She was widowed at 50. She ha a tiny cottage, in Washington DC. The kitchen had a small breakfast nook. It was painted yellow also. This was around 1945. The decorations were made of plaster and every decoration was a Mexican theme. Really bright colors. I remember a man with his head down taking a siesta, and a donkey. My grandmother always kept up with the latest trends. She worked for the FBI, fingerprint division until she was 80. Isn't it amazing how hard our ancestors worked? God bless you in your house. You are doing an amazing job.

  • Leota Vermilyea Leota Vermilyea on Sep 04, 2019

    Simply beautiful! Not only have you created a kitchen that is "you" but also future generations of your family can enjoy your relative's pieces. One question: Where did you get your dining room chairs? Love! Love!

  • Cherie Cherie on Sep 13, 2019

    OMG! You are my new superhero! I love that you did EVERYTHING here yourself. I am always doing things by myself and it takes forever but it always turns out awesome! However, I have never taken on quite this big of a project. You did a wonderful job. I just have one question. I have been looking at options to cover my popcorn ceiling and have thought about using bead board. Is that what you put on the ceiling? (i'm sorry I didn't see anywhere where you talked about the ceiling)

    It looks fantastic. I have a rather large area, living and dining and hall are all using the same ceiling with no seams. I was thinking bead board with faux wood beams. can you tell me what is on the ceiling please?

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  • Pat pickens Pat pickens on Sep 03, 2020


    I have repurposed and refinished like crazy. I used to wish I had money for a kitchen like in magazines. Now I think my unfitted kitchen cabinets, antique sideboard are better than any of that.

    You are a wonder woman!

    • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 08, 2020

      Oh thank you so much Pat! And I absolutely agree our own "custom" kitchens are better than any magazine kitchen because they are truly custom to us!

  • Lisa Fauerbach Lisa Fauerbach on Sep 07, 2020

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Absolutely stunning! You should be so proud!!