Reflections after a year in our new kitchen

19 June 2017

A year ago today, our kitchen renovation was complete and I finished unpacking our stuff into the new kitchen. A month or two later, I wrote a blog series about the renovation. I just re-read the series and relived the joy of that project. Honestly, it was a bit of a pain while we were going through it, but the results were absolutely worth the hassle and the money.

A year later, we’re still loving the kitchen. My favorite storage features are still favorites. I hadn’t mentioned how much I like the trash/recycling pull-out cabinet in the island. It’s so much better than having two trash cans on the floor, which is what we had before. The other thing I love is how easy it is for me to empty the dishwasher each morning because almost everything is stored right near the dishwasher (a huge departure from our old kitchen). I love that we have ample space to store everything. It’s amazing what a difference in quality of life it make when you create a highly functioning kitchen.

Unlike our old kitchen, the countertops in the new kitchen stay quite uncluttered. I think that’s because there’s a place for everything and it’s easy to put stuff away. And when countertops stay clear, they don’t attract random stuff. The exception to that is the counter that runs along the wall from the kitchen to the radiator. (We call that the bar area.) It has started to attract some clutter—things that didn’t really have a home, like a single copy of a Sunday New York Times purchased for its puzzles, the recipe cards that came with our trials of Hello Fresh and Blue Apron and the full-color book/program you get when you go to Opera Theater St. Louis. But it took me less than ten minutes this morning to clear off a six-month accumulation. So that’s not bad!

One improvement we added was a bar for our dishtowels, which we put on the far end of the island. We used an appliance pull that matches our cabinet and drawer pulls. That’s worked out great. Here’s a photo taken after I decluttered the bar counter (with special guest appearance by Bix):

There are only a few things I think we’d do differently if we had it to do all over again.

  • We might have selected a different countertop because the solid-surface LG-Hi-MACS scratches easily and is heat-sensitive. I’m not sure what we should have chosen instead; we haven’t discussed that.
  • I’m not crazy about the Allure vinyl plank flooring we chose. I think it looks fake. If I had it to do over again, I might have chosen vinyl tile or vinyl wood plank that doesn’t look distressed. I don’t mind that it’s vinyl; I’m just not crazy about how the one we chose looks. But I really do love that it’s waterproof.
  • I kind of wish we’d designed a place for Bix’s food and water bowls because that water bowl has been kicked more than once. But I haven’t spent much time trying to figure out what we might have done. We’ve ended up placing them at the near end of the island, where we store his food. That’s working out pretty well.

Because everyone likes to look at before-and-after photos, I’ll run again the pix from the first post in the series last year. We don’t miss the red countertops. And we certainly like having upper cabinets!

From the entrance to the kitchen from the living space:

From the sink:

From the back door:

View of the built-in cabinet:

This last “after” shot shows that we sacrificed our pantry so that we could get the refrigerator out of the way. That was a stroke of genius on the part of the designer.

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I love to read these kinds of updates! We’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation ourselves, and so it’s reassuring to hear that people still like what they did, haha! I love that towel rack on the island, that’s genius! Also, your cabinets look like the ones we’re about the install (we got ours here:, and I love the way they look in your kitchen! Hopefully ours will turn out just as well!

Emma 06/19/2017 03:01 PM

Thanks, Emma! Good luck with your renovation. I hope it goes smoothly and that you love yours as much as I love mine!

Janine Adams 06/19/2017 07:02 PM

great looking revamp and functional too Wow enjoy!

peggy sharp 07/15/2017 03:50 PM

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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