Hi Guys- Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit- Henry and I hit a speedbump (a painful one called mastitis) and it really rocked my world in a bad way. I have not been able to do anything but try to feel better and take care of him so posts may be spotty. Thankfully I have this awesome one from Lindsey, my longtime right-hand and project manager about the kitchen renovation she’s doing in the house she and her husband bought! Follow along! I miss you. -Erin
Hi EOS readers! I’m super excited to share some of my renovation with you while Erin’s out on maternity leave. My husband Eric and I spent about 9 months searching, which means we looked at a lot of houses. We knew the general area we wanted to be in and that it had to be cute (my requirement) and have as much outdoor space as possible. And from the start we were looking for a project – something we could attack with our DIY skills and transform over time. Finally we decided on this 3 bed, 1.5 bath cape in a town north of Boston close to where we both grew up. Don’t let her pretty exterior fool you! She needs a ton of work (including significant structural repairs thanks to old termite damage, which had been ignored for many years).
Our original plan was to replace the compromised sill, paint, refinish the hardwoods, open up a wall between the dining room and kitchen, give the kitchen a minor face lift (new countertops, backsplash and flooring) and make some cosmetic changes to the first floor bathroom. A 1 month renovation, tops. Fast forward to 3 months later and we’ve almost completely gutted the entire 1st floor and are planning to move in this weekend without a kitchen (are you ready to take on a renovation yet?). Granted we’re doing it all on our own (with the help of family and a contractor friend – THANK YOU!) while working full time so our timeline is much different than most. It’s been challenging but will be totally worth it in the end. Here is the kitchen when we first bought the house.
The size and layout were fine, but the cabinets (which we had planned to save and repaint) were not in as great of shape as we had thought. Several areas were in disrepair and when we had to remove them to rebuild the subfloor and sill they basically fell apart. So, we scrapped them. We bought the house on a Thursday and I think by the following weekend the kitchen looked like this.
As you can tell Eric LOVES demo. He filled 2 of these dumpsters by himself.
Next up – removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen. Here’s the dining room at the start of the project and the wall in question is the one on the right.
Here’s a view from the opposite corner as we started to remove the wall. It was load bearing so we knew from the beginning that we would have to install a new structural beam.
And here it is all opened up with the new beam installed. Huge difference! It couldn’t be suspended in the ceiling so the plan is to dress it up with reclaimed boards eventually.
At this point I was equally terrified and excited to design a new kitchen! Luckily I have some very talented ladies working beside me everyday to bounce ideas off of. The original layout still worked so I asked Allison to drop it into CAD. The open space to the left in the drawing below the previous owner had used for a breakfast table, but we’re hoping to have it function as more of an entryway (more on that another day). With the wall opened up we now have space for a small island (potentially with an overhang depending on how things feel during the install).
Once we had a rough plan together we started thinking about materials and costs. I knew I wanted a very classic look so the overall aesthetics were easy, but since we hadn’t planned on starting from scratch we knew that we would have to be conservative with the budget (under 20k). We considered Ikea cabinetry at first, which has some pretty affordable options especially in gray, but at Erin’s suggestion ended up contacting one of our longtime sponsors here at EOS, Cabinets.com, to see if they could help us out. I was put in touch with Jessica, one of their designers, to start the process. After sending her my floor plan and some inspiration we were off and running.
Within 24 hours Jessica emailed me this rendering using their Deerfield Colonial II bright white cabinetry (as well as a few others with different cabinet colors and placement). Eric and I liked the overall design, but wanted to tweak a few things (increase the window size, add an island, etc.) All of the drawings/revisions are done free of charge and she was super helpful and responsive, which was great. We weren’t completely sold on white so while we hashed out the details with Jessica we ordered samples in white and gray to make sure we liked the colors and quality in person.
Here’s an image of the samples we pulled together. The lighter gray cabinet is Colonial II Willow Gray, the darker is Shaker II Maple Creek Stone, and the white is as shown above. They have a bunch of options and the colors all come in several styles. The flooring we chose is Armstrong Prime Harvest hardwood in Dovetail – prefinished to save time and expense on the install (which Eric and his dad ended up doing themselves and it came out awesome). Side note – we weren’t able to salvage the original hardwoods on the first floor due to the extent of structural repairs that had to be done, which was a huge bummer! But as with every renovation you have to roll with the punches and I love how the new floors have turned out.
After seeing the samples we toyed with the idea of doing white surrounds and a darker gray island but in the end Eric felt strongly about the lighter (Willow) gray and I agreed that it was perfect for us. Here’s our final rendering after a few revisions. The retail cost for this configuration ended up around $8,000 (including all of the detail work and trim).
Overall we’re really excited about the design and can’t wait to see everything installed! After being built in Florida the cabinets ship fully assembled and are expected to arrive within the next few weeks. In the meantime we’re vetting options for a sink, faucet, hardware, lighting, countertops and all the other pretty details that go along with a new kitchen. I’ll be back to share more as our renovation progresses. Thanks for letting me take over EOS for a day! – Lindsey
Mastitis is no joke. I hope that you get better soon. These drops/tincture are a life saver for mastitis and clogged ducts in general. Good luck and you’re doing amazing!
Such a great post! I hope you have a lovely day.
Enjoy reading your blog.
Can’t wait for ur new posts.
This might be a tad stalkerish of a comment but I’m in the midst of house-hunting and obsessed with towns (and homes) north of Boston … Only issue is my husband and I both work in Newton/Chestnut Hill area so we’re worried about the commute. I know Erin’s office is in the Newton area – do you commute daily to her and if so, how bad is it (and if you don’t mind me asking – what town did you buy in?). This house is adorable and perfect and your guys’ wants are exactly what’s on our list – plus the area is really the best! Congrats on the purchase – you’re home! – and good luck with all the work!
We’re in North Andover and the commute to Newton is definitely challenging (up to an hour each way depending on the time of day). The earlier I leave the better! My husband works in Andover and our family is there so it’s worth the sacrifice to be where we want to be and still get to work with Erin 4 days a week :)
And it’s so beautiful up there! I’m completely spoiled by my easy commute at the moment so I’m just mentally preparing myself for the future. But it definitely seems like the sacrifices are worth it. Thanks so much for the reply!
Nine months, that’s a lot in searching for a home. It looks nice from outside, indeed, nice choice, your neighbors envy you, I guess. Renovation? Huh, hard work, long time, not an easy task.
And Lindsey, the kitchen is awesome – you did a great job! Love the light grey color of the cabinets!
Girl, I have been there with you in the trenches. With my second son, I had to supplement with formula, which I was not happy about. He was a good sleeper thank goodness – he was unlike my first son who would nap for about 15 minutes and never wanted to go to bed until after 11pm when he was a newborn!
The word is, though, this will pass. It’s tough, but you will get through it. No one is expecting miracles from you – that you will post perfect pictures of your life every day. Your life is now changing diapers, doing laundry, feeding baby, and if you are lucky, you will get a shower!
Enjoy your time with your precious boy. Sniff his little neck and hold him close. If you don’t post every day it’s ok – it’s more important for you to focus on your family! Best wishes!
Lindsey, you’re about to build my dream kitchen! My fiancé and I are still house hunting in MA so I’ll live vicariously through you. The house is so cute. Best of luck! Can’t wait to see the end result.
LOVE the kitchen, Lindsey!
To Erin – my baby turned 26 yesterday and I STILL remember the pain of mastitis. Thank goodness for warm compresses and antibiotics. Hang in there!
To Lindsay – your new home and kitchen are just lovely. Enjoy the ride!
Lindsey – Glad you are filling in for Erin and sharing this project with us! Erin, hope you are feeling better.
Do you happen to have sources for your inspiration pics? I have a similar kitchen layout and would love to see the rest of those kitchens and how they relate to other rooms. Thanks!
Erin, we miss you, get better soon, but fantastic post, can’t wait to see more, love projects like this and love our house
The early days and months of motherhood rocked my world too, but may I share that I’m so glad it did? My little guy is fifteen months old and I really like the woman I have become and am becoming through this crazy highest high, lowest low adventure of becoming a mom. I found I turned a corner at 3 months, then 6 and then 9 and celebrated fully the bittersweet and incredible accomplishment of making it this first year at 12 months. I was told, ‘You will heal along with your little one’ and I think I would add, ‘You will also grow along with your little one.’ I really believe that mothers are born alongside of their babes…and I think we are newborns together, growing, learning, surrendering, enlarging our intuition and learning to trust the quiet, wise voice within us. Give yourself grace, take deep breathes and trust you are not the first mom to feel all you are feeling, the sweetest good and the ugliest hardest of hard. I found great support in reading memoirs from other women; reading and crying over a nursing babe, these books truly saved me in the beginning. Be kind to your new self,dear Erin, sending hugs your way.
Operating Instructions : A Journal of My Son’s First Year – Anne Lamott (Hilarious and so honest).
Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother – Beth Ann Fennelly (kind and supportive).
Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family – Catherine Newman (About welcoming baby no. 2 but I still felt it wise and encouraging).
Then to read when Henry is around 6 months and you are feeling better but still need a good laugh and reminder you are not alone. :)
Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom – Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (so funny and empathetic).
Take good care and don’t rush back. You have all the time in the world.
just a quick shoutout to Erin-Mastitis sucks! I had with first child, had to give up pumping and switched to formula, much to dismay of midwives in my OB’s office, but I couldn’t take it anymore. Anyway, said child is 12.5 years old now, gifted and thriving. Whatever you are doing now, I hope you are feeling better and at peace. Hang in there!
Fantastic renovation and love the kitchen inspiration. Removing the wall and adding the beam really does open the space tremendously.
First, you are amazing and congratulations on the birth of your beautiful child, have yet to experience much else that is close to that feeling and I am now fifty and mom of six.
Have been reading your blog regularly, simply don’t subscribe and just search you out regularly, can’t handle one more daily email.
Your posting discipline is awe inspiring, and it’s reassuring to know that when you increase your love circle sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
Erin, thank you for inspiring us and thank you for also showing us the imperfect yet perfect. :)
Love that you are feeling motherhood in all it’s fullness.
ps. wrote a blog post about you a year or so ago knowing your love for leopard entitled ‘erin, we found your coat’.
Enjoy that handsome hunk of baby, there is nothing out there better than a child. xoxo
SO GLAD you chose the gray…just that “wee bit” of color will warm the entire spot. Let’s hear (and see more!!) franki
Lindsey your house is darling and I love everything you are doing. Looking forward to seeing more!
Feel better Erin!
Great job on the reno! Is that an original light fixture in the dining room, pre-reno? If so, I hope you’re keeping it–it’s hard to tell in the picture but looks age appropriate.
Erin, take all the time you need; yes, you are missed, but your health and baby’s health are most important. Feel better soon!
Love the inspiration for this kitchen, I know it will be fabulous and can’t wait to see it! Take good care and feel better soon!
Erin, There is nothing harder in life than taking care of a newborn, except maybe taking care of a newborn and older siblings, but nobody tells you that beforehand, it’s like a big secret that is kept tight. Taking care of your precious baby and yourself comes first, that’s why there is such a thing as maternity leave. It’s ok. Feel good and enjoy the sweet moments!
Love where this is headed – can’t wait to see part 2!
Lyndey- I would be sold on the curb appeal of your home alone! Charming ! Kitchen is shaping up well and you seem to be the tenacious type so it will be a winner! Wonderful to see a young couple working together on a kitchen reno. Hats off to your demo man (husband) – you two saved money on the demo and every little bit adds up.
Erin- Happens to the best of us –this soon will pass (Mom) :)
Lindsey, thanks for taking us on this adventure with you! I am excited to read more about this process and I can’t wait to see the transformation of your space. I have never heard of Cabinets.com, so thanks for sharing that with us, as well. What a great concept! I love the finish that you chose and it’s going to be beautiful.
Erin, I hope you feel better! My sister-in-law went through that not long ago and it was awful but she is better now and you will be, too! Hang in there. We miss you, too!
Erin — hope you’re on the mend and feeling better! Please take all the time you need to look after yourself (and Henry). Your readers will always be waiting for you.
And Lindsey, can’t wait to see the final kitchen reveal — looks like everything is coming along nicely so far. :)
Mastitis- ouch- been there- first baby not a problem- second baby- had it 5 times….and eventually worked things out- the exhaustion can be intense- I remember literally putting one foot in front of another was a challenge- I’ve had friends hospitalised for it- so be careful and don’t beat yourself up if you have to make choices ….I had other motivations- a baby with a heart condition that I was told couldn’t be allowed to cry before he was old enough to have surgery and didn’t take bottles ….so the world was his oyster and mastitis was our destiny! It’s early days and most likely all will settle down for you and Henry- it’s worth it ….hang in there…. but in the end- we do what works for our families….best wishes and as others have posted- don’t worry about us …and PS I don’t know about you- but I was a milk machine in the early days…..pump and store it now ( in your spare time!) ….supply dwindles from my experience and Lindsey- I love a kitchen renovation- ( deep in the middle of one myself – we ‘re doing a modern farmhouse style- with BM hale navy cabinets and limestone counters and limed oak floors….thanks for sharing
Erin – so sorry to hear of your mastitis. I had it 3 times in the first 6 weeks of my son’s life. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. Continue resting, hydrating, and nursing. I tried all kinds of crazy natural & homeopathic remedies, but in the end…good ole antibiotics did the trick. And I went on to nurse him for 14 months. You’re a great mama and doing an amazing job!!
Hey Lindsey- I just completed my kitchen in a light gray shaker and I LOVE it! Good luck with your renovation- can’t wait to see it completed.
Lindsey – Great post, I’m definitely pinning this one. We are in a Cape with a very similar layout and we’ve been talking about doing the same things you and your husband are doing (I just wish he was as handy as yours). Looking forward to the updates!
Erin – I hope you feel better soon!
OMG Lindsay, I fell in love with your home before I even read the full post! It’s so sweet and charming but I know homes with charm and character often need a lot of love. I currently live in a 1940’s bungalow and it needs a lot work. It’s great that you and your husband at handy with a hammer ect. Looking forward to the final kitchen reveal.
Loved this post!
Yay, Tort!! Even tho the timeline isn’t what you wanted it to be, the end result will be amazing. I’m sure of it! Love seeing the progress & vision! Erin, hang in there! Sending well wishes!!
I’m always a sucker for a real life fixer upper story! Can’t wait to see the finished product! And thank you for sharing the info re the cabinets!
Feel better Erin!!! We will be here when you’re ready to come back. You deserve at least a little maternity leave! ❤️
I’m a big fan of the final kitchen aesthetics. Very classy! Well done and give Eric a pat on the back for me.. Such a hard worker!
It is going to be beautiful and all worth it in the end!
I hope you feel better that is a nasty thing to deal with but it will also all be worth it in the end!
Nothing better than a real-deal house reno story that is very relatable. Darling house, Lindsey – looking forward to seeing more.
Erin, I hope you’re able to take this time to log off, unplug, and bond with your precious baby boy. As awesome as all your success is, it means nothing if you don’t have your health and can’t be present during such a special (albeit tough) time in your life. Wishing the best for you and your family.
please don’t worry about us! We’ll still be here! We all want to see you happy and healthy so focus on rest and Henry!!! (Its ok to let the house get messy and let your family and friends help you – I know its SUPER hard to do but you will get used to it :) ).
Anything less than 36″ for the fridge opening is a mistake in my opinion, particularly if you plan to go counter-depth (which i recommend) and are on a budget (few choice for counter-depth in 33″ and they’d probably all be special order rather than a 36 which you may pick up on sale or as a display/clearance…), especially when you have the space to the left free…
Best of luck and nice work so far
Thanks for your input! You’re absolutely right that going with the smaller option (33″ counter depth) makes things trickier. We debated over it quite a bit but the original kitchen had a 36″ which felt very crowded/massive next to the doorway and in the end I felt 33″ would be better proportionally (for us). It’s not the best choice for everyone. I will certainly be touching on this a bit more in a future post! :)
Erin – best of luck for a speedy recovery and take whatever time you need, without guilt!
Lindsey – has anyone ever mentioned that your house resembles the Sears Crescent kit house?? I am not an expert but am familiar with that style as I have been trying to figure out if our cottage in Wisconsin is one. It has some similarities…apparently that was a popular style and inspired a lot of knock off kit houses…more info here: http://sears-house-seeker.blogspot.com/2015/01/my-first-sears-crescent.html
good luck with renos it looks lovely!
Lindsey-love the post–look forward to following your renovation!
Erin-I’m sure like most readers, I think about you every day! Hang in there and don’t worry about work. We will be here when you are ready and that is the most important thing. XO
I just pinned your “kitchen inspiration” because it’s EXACTLY what I want to do with my kitchen. I can’t wait to see everything.
Feel better Erin! My friend’s mom just moved in with her when she had mastitis. It sounds terrible. I hope you recover quickly!
Wonderful post, Lindsey! Can’t wait to read part two!
Erin, please rest as much as is possible with a newborn . I know you are an amazing lady, but sometimes you have to let things go, so all will be okay in the end. It will work out. And accept all the help that is offered- I know that is sometimes hard to do.
When should Morgan and I come over for dinner?! Looks beautiful, Linds, you are so talented. Can’t say I’m surprised!
Great post – as others have said, love the thought process and some insights into working on a budget.
Erin, I got mastitis 3 times – my mom and others told me it’s your body telling you to take it easy and rest some more (obviously, I had a hard time accepting that). The first weeks are really rough – everything gets so much easier. In the meantime, I strongly recommend starting a new TV show to binge on while you’re nursing!
Lindsay: I am so excited to hear about your recent home renovation and your kitchen plan. You are so talented and your kitchen plan is dreamy. I love it. Thank you for sharing!
Erin: I hope you feel better soon!
Love this post! Hope you feel better Erin!
Lindsey, so been there done that and still (twentynine years later), love the results. You’ve put a lot of thought into the process and that makes all the difference on how well the kitchen functions for you. I mulled over a drawing board and graph paper (pre-computer) for months. In the end I made all our base cabinets roll out drawers and that is still my favorite feature.
This will look amazing when done. Erin, my best wishes for a speedy recovery from your recent problems.
Erin – Sorry you have to be dealing with this, but I’m so glad you are resting and taking care of yourself and baby. In the meantime, Lindsey, this post was such fun – thank you for sharing. It’s great to see how to work with a smaller budget and still get amazing results. Can’t wait for your updates – and congratulations on home ownership — not an easy thing for a young couple to do around these parts!
The kitchen looks great! Removing the wall to open up the dining room was a no-brainer. You definitely have to post once more on this renovation. I’m a fan. and Erin, you shouldn’t apologize for not being able to post (although, I will admit that I check the blog twice a day just too see if anything new is up :) ) Feel better soon!
Love the makeover. I’m going to use this for inspiration to help a neighbor who is remodeling due to a flood.
So sorry for the bout of mastitis…you might want to try these. http://earthmamaangelbaby.com/products/booby-tubes
Lindsey I loved reading this and hope you will let us continue the journey with you!
Erin please don’t be hard on yourself. We love you and want you well. Kisses to Henry!
Look at those fabulous wide-plank hardwood floors! What a nice surprise greeting you when you pulled up the linoleum ;-)
Linds – can’t wait to see the outcome. You’re one of my most talented friends and I know it will be beautiful. Feel better Erin!
Love your post Lindsey! Knocking down that wall made a world of a difference. Its fun to see your thought process as you designed your dream kitchen :)
Great post, Lindsey! Erin – mastitis is the absolute worst…feeling like you got hit by a truck is bad enough without also having to take care of a newborn. We will be waiting for you whenever you start feeling better!
Lindsey, I loved this post!! Your house is adorable and following a home renovation is so fun to read. I hope you post or more or start your own blog, I’d love to see more about the house, how you’re changing the floor plan, etc!
YAY BELLE!!!!!!! Keep the pics and posts coming!!!!! xoxox – Mer
Thank you for sharing your project with us Lindsey! I pinned your inspiration looks to my own decor board. If you are looking for great deals on appliances Hunter, a family owned store in Littleton Mass, has been great for my family and a lot of friends too. I hope you feel better soon Erin- just think, you can hold this over Henry’s head when he’s being an irascible teenager :)
Great post, Lindsay! And I’m sending good mama vibes to my favorite blogger. IT GETS BETTER.
Great post, Lindsey! Your kitchen is going to be beautiful. Feel better, Erin! You will get through this rough patch.
” I have not been able to do anything but try to feel better and take care of him” This is what you’re supposed to be doing! Please dont feel bad about not posting and there’s definitely no need to apologize. We love you and we would still be here even if you didn’t post for months. Work can wait. xxoo