my kitchen intervention (details)

TGIF!  I’m back from Vegas.  KBIS was great, I’ll post on that next week.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your very kind comments on my kitchen!!!

There were a few questions I’ll answer before I start in with the details…


Someone asked: if you had another $1,000 to spend what would you spend it on?

What a great question, I have thought about this all week… and of course I can’t narrow it down.

A) I would buy a new dishwasher (I saw a Bosch on clearance at Lowe’s last week and was so tempted).

B) I would buy a new range.  A dual-fuel downdraft one. This one, which I actually already own (it’s in my office), so maybe I’d spend the money on a propane tank (we don’t have natural gas here at our house) and pay movers to move the range from my office to my house.

C) I’d buy a casement window and replace that squirrelly door that swings into the kitchen counter


1x6 v-groove pine

Why did you choose tongue & groove wall paneling over a tile backsplash?

Mostly because I prefer the look for my house.  And… it was less expensive.  I may have said the boards were 1x4s in the first post, but they are actually 1x6s.  The white trim color was already in my house, I just had the painters match it.  The 1×6 pine paneling can be purchased from any hardware store or lumberyard.

How do you secure the shelves to the wall?

After taking the old wall cabinets down we took the sheetrock off that wall and ran the wires for the under-cabinet (undershelf) lighting.  (There are new puck lights in the bottom shelf that illuminate the countertop.)  We then sheathed the wall in 1/2″ plywood, which acted as blocking – a secure material that would help support the shelves.  It also helped the the shelves dead end into a wall on the right, the shelves are actually hollow and straddle a strip that was applied to the two walls (back and side) and the farthest left bracket is secured into a stud. The brackets aren’t just decorative… I didn’t want the shelf to ever sag and so they support some of the weight as well.

tracery brackets

NOTES shelf bracket

The brackets and shelves?

I actually found the brackets when I saw this publication in Food & Wine featuring my friends at Tracery Interiors.  As you may notice, I turned the brackets so the longer side was beneath the shelf instead of against the wall.  I did this because I felt like it would give me more clearance/space on the shelves… and I preferred the look of the bracket when turned on its side.  When I saw the publication I emailed Doug (@ Tracery) and inquired about the brackets.  He gave me his cabinet shop contact info, but I first contacted my local cabinet shop.  My cabinet shop identified the brackets right away, they can be purchased from a cabinet supply source (I wish I knew what it was, but I don’t).  I let her know how many I wanted and they painted them to match the shelves, which they also made.

Is dust a problem on the open shelves?

The dishes and glasses on those shelves are mostly used everyday.  Of course when I climb up on a barstool to get one of those cake plates off the top shelf I usually take a swiffer cloth with me and dust a little… but because we use the dishes so often dust doesn’t have time to settle.


Where is your microwave?

In the pantry!  That open cabinet to the right of my kitchen sink (where I keep my cookbooks) was actually supposed to house the microwave… but I don’t like seeing it, so I moved it to the pantry.  Which works great for us, and keeps it out of sight.

lenox butlers pantry

What are your white dishes?

I registered for those when Chance and I married, they are Lenox Butler’s Pantry.


More details are noted on the photographs below….

NOTES wide angle pantry doors open

NOTESbase cabinets

NOTES shelf details

NOTESshelf detail skewers and julep cup

NOTESat the sink

NOTES shelf detail glasses

NOTES shelf detail dog creamer

NOTES shelf detail birds eye

NOTES shelf detail cake plates copy

NOTES calendar corner

NOTES overstock barstools

NOTES locker etc

NOTES nancy thomas plates

NOTES cooler bottle opener and sloaney height

NOTESfridge wall

NOTES antique soap dish

NOTES roman shade fabric


The roman shade fabric was a splurge… I loved it.  It is a to the trade only fabric, but if you are interested you can contact us for pricing. (allison(at)urbangrace(dot)com)

Thoughts on painting cabinets…

As I mentioned in a previous post I removed the doors and drawer fronts and had my local cabinet shop (the same cabinet shop that made the shelves) spray lacquer them.  I then had my favorite painters (Bryan and Bobby) paint the cabinet boxes with an oil-based satin finish paint.  Now, if I had gone with white cabinets I probably wouldn’t have used an oil-based paint.  White oil-based paint tends to yellow over time.  I would suggest a very high quality water-based (latex) paint.  My sister used Coronado’s Rust Scat paint when she painted her kitchen cabinets white.  It claims to be an “acrylic enamel” paint.  I’ve used it before and the quality is great.



  1. AMAZING! You are so talented. I adore the fabric on your roman shades. Thanks so much for sharing all of your amazing secrets!

  2. Thanks for sharing the details. I think you covered everything!

  3. I love all of your vintage finds. I cannot get over that cake cover. I need one just like it. Love the paint color on the cabinets too! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks so much for these details!!! Not sure if you’re still taking questions…forgot to ask in the last one your white paint color and beige-ish color above the cabinets? thanks!

  5. Great Kitchen, I have the set of three vintage glass cake stands-love I use them all the time. How do you like using two separate hot/cold handles in the kitchen I know they look better, but hubby wants function over beauty and designers keep putting bridge faucets in but…is it handy for cooks?

  6. Fab!x

  7. Erika, you are a superstar! You answered questions I hadn’t even realised I wanted the answers for! I adore the fact that your kitchen has so much personality! Just so you know, I covet EVERYTHING in it!

  8. I can’t imagine you left a product unspecified in your space! It’s so lovely and I wish I had a pantry to tuck my microwave into. I hate it on our countertop.

  9. Christina says:

    It looks fab! Who made your roman shades?

  10. wow. this is a great post. thanks

  11. What an inspiration you are! Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedule to post all the details. About the brackets I had recently found similar if not the same style on Ebay ( item #360190762237 ) maybe that would help some of your readers :)

  12. Bless your heart for including all of those details! I am so inspired by all of your special little finds- like the vintage match holder and half-sponge holder. And we are kindred soap souls, because I have the same exact dish soap and hand soap combo going on in my kitchen right now!

  13. Lizziefitz says:

    FYI , we use to keep our microwave on same kind of wire shelving. It started to short out after awhile. We bought a new microwave and after awhile it did itcagain. We finally figured out that it was the shelving , not the microwave? Just slide a piece of plywood under the microwave on the shelf:)))

  14. Wonderful job, you are so very talented!

  15. You have such great taste and such a way of putting things together. Thank you for all of the information including the white dishes that I will be putting on my wish list. Thanks again

  16. so thorough! thanks erika! i love, love, love, love, love my bosch dishwasher. i must start searching for cake stands. it’s the one kitchen item that i have none of and they’re so pretty stacked. great job on the kitchen.

    have a great weekend. pam

  17. Love all of the details! Thanks for sharing!

    PS-Etsy has fruit wall pockets under “vintage”.

  18. Wow! You really told “all” in this post:) Lots of details. I don’t remember where half of the stuff in my kitchen came from. Great makeover and I am sure you are glad to have your kitchen back in one piece. Happy weekend!

    Amy R.

  19. And where did that retired toothbrush come from? ;) I love it all! This post will totally help me see past size when my husband and I start looking for our next house. I know we will sacrifice space in our next kitchen; we’re spoiled in our current house but it lacks character for sure. Thanks!

  20. It is such a terrific space, Erika. I love it when you get out your marker and let us know where everything came from. My favorite thing (aside from the V Hagan fabric!) is the info on the door frame showing Sloane’s height. We did that in my family! :)
    Have a happy weekend!

  21. Love all the mazing details in your kitchen — your design style is so amazing!!

  22. I love your kitchen and you are a genius! I now must find a vintage bottle opener and match stick holder, although the kids love finding bottle caps all over the kitchen.

    I also must convince my husband to paint our kitchen cabinet.

  23. The real life-ness of it all is wonderful. It is so warm and comfortable. Your narration is the best. I actually noticed the toaster and thought, she didn’t ever get around ro replacing it! Have a beautiful weekend!

  24. You are so kind for sharing all the details of your beautiful kitchen, it’s so nice to see the sources!

  25. most importantly, where did you find that DIET COKE cooler?! LOVE

  26. What a great job! Thank you for sharing! I hope you will be willing to share one more detail – what is the source of your “island”/table? Thanks!

  27. With all those arrows I am starting think you might have taken a few lessons from your Dad, ha. His calendar was priceless. I use to do the same thing (prior to having two kids).

  28. Another Wal-Mart fan!! WOOHOO!!!

  29. Tim Grant says:


    In regards to a toaster get a Dualit. I got ours on Ebay.They are nice design

  30. For the record, I know that post took an insane amount of time. And, I just wanted you to know that I appreciated it. One of the most heart-wrenching things about leaving the old house was tracing over the “growth cart” on the kitchen door jamb and painting it over. Still stings a little.

  31. Thanks for sharing, you are truly an amazing designer.

  32. Love this post. Love all the green arrows. Makes me want to chart up my house just like this. I would have more than my fare share of Homegoods tags. The green locker is my favorite.

  33. Erika – I have those same little vases on my kitchen window – the itsy bitsy glass ones … little thing makes me happy on long days. Funny how little things can do that:)

  34. No detail is too small, and you covered them all! That must have taken forever-and a much better memory than I have at 42! A big thank you! I have read in magazines that people remove door frames(correct description?) with their children’s heights and take them with when moving. Love it. You are truly a sweetheart for sharing all this with us!

  35. Erika, I love your kitchen re-do! So thoughtful and creative. Having a small kitchen to work with (and in) can be difficult (I’ve got a galley kitchen and am in the process of picking out some crazy china seas wallpaper), but you’ve managed to not only create space but also show your adorable kitchen goodies (I covet the vintage ‘cake’ cover)! Thanks for the inspiration too!

  36. I’m cracking up at all the detail you provided, anticipating your inquisitive readers, so I’ll ask one question you didn’t cover: What’s the name of the font you use on your descriptions?

  37. Nice to see a normal size kitchen look so beautiful. Thanks for the suggestion on the paints. I painted our kitchen cabinets in BM Satin Impervo, and while I really like the oil finish, it is yellowing. They also have a latex Satin Impervo that I had considered trying if I ever repaint, but I’ll have to file away the Coronado as an idea.

  38. gorgeous! found these and thought i’d share:

  39. I love and appreciate you sharing all of the details–it also helped to highlight all the sentimental things I didn’t notice first time around–like Sloane’s height chart for one.

  40. I could look at all this every day! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  41. It’s beautiful! Where did you get your glass tumblers? I like the shape and weight, and I’ve been looking for new ones.

  42. stephanie says:

    This is when you know you may be a stalker:)…I had remembered seeing that vintage measuring spoon holder on your sisters blog. I remembered because I thought it was really unique. So when I saw it in your kitchen i thought she had given it to you. Anyway, i looked back at hers and see that it is a little different and that you both have them:) THANKS so much for posting the afters of your kitchen. LOVE everything!!!

  43. I have been stalking, oops – I mean following – your blog since last year to see what your kitchen would look after after your remodel. It didn’t disappoint! You have the most amazing style and I love that your kitchen is both beautiful and real. Thank you so much for sharing!

  44. You are a gem for posting all those details. What program do you use to incorporate the pictures, CAD drawings, and little notes? Really great!

  45. Your detailed approach is AMAZING- and so is your kitchen! I wish I could afford to fly you all to Connecticut to redesign my kitchen/dining room!!! Some day….

  46. Melanie says:

    I love everything about your kitchen for several reasons… You have stuff, that you use, that you did not hide and it still lokks neat and clean. Its not all white and gray, which looks awesome too. Also you added a lot of character for a reasonable amount of $$. Great job!

  47. Telise says:

    Love your kitchen. Love all the details in this post. Just thought I would let you know that I have seen the fruit wall pockets on etsy. Search under vintage- fruit wall pockets. Your blog is such a treat!

  48. Great kitchen and so fun to see all the details! I’m wondering if you’d share one more — what font did you use in your notes? I love it!

  49. Beautiful job Erika. Thanks for taking the time to give all the details. The color choices for your kitchen surprised me as it seems so many kitchens are “classic” white but as always- anything you design turns out gorgeous. I was wondering if you are happy with the Ottava lights from Ikea. I could not see the top of the lights in the pictures to show the exposed wire. Are they the type of light that an extender bar could be used to cover the wire? I have the pottery barn gothic lantern in oil rubbed bronze over my dining table-I wish these came in oil rubbed bronze as the price is great! Love your blog!

  50. Fittsy says:

    I can’t imagine thisinfo isn’t here, though I can’t seem to find it. What’s the wall color?

    Lovely work, as always!

    ~Rebekah Fitts

  51. Dina Lescourret says:

    Beautiful, fresh, and clean feeling! It’s so interesting to see how you decorate your own home after seeing your client’s projects on your new site :-) One question (and I hope I am not missing this on your posts)-what color did you paint your trim and also your walls? Thank you!

  52. kathlene says:

    I love the mix of color, old and new. I have a friend who has been collecting wall pockets for years; I will ask her if she has a source.

  53. Erika I love that your kitchen is so real but yet still beautiful. It makes me feel better about my countertops that are lined with necessary stuff! Do you have any rugs in there? I’m having the hardest time finding a good looking but still kitchen friendly rug for mine. My floor space needs at least an 5×8. I’ve done natural fibers in the past but while they look nice they always end up with a nasty spill mark somewhere! Do you have any budget friendly recommendations?

  54. I love your fruit wall hangings…I purchased some candle holders at Bath & Body yesterday that I think you would love…
    They have a strawberry, too! So cute! :)

  55. I just wanted to say that I think it’s so nice of you to tell where everything came from. Some people with great style try to hide where their finds came from so no one will copy them. I think it says a lot about your character that you’re willing to share and it makes me like you. :-D

  56. Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the details! I too have a Kohler cast iron sink (although mine isn’t white) and am wondering how you keep your looking like brand new?

  57. Your kitchen is amazing! I love how easy your style is, and how you work everything together so beautifully. You are definately one of my favorite designers and such an inspiration. :)

  58. Just now catching up on my reading and had to tell you how much I ADORE your kitchen renovation. Every detail is pure inspiration! Such talent!

  59. Megan Whitfield says:

    So I’m a bit behind…but what color are your actual walls in your kitchen? In the pictures they almost look like a very faint yellow… would you mind sharing this color?
    Beautiful job… really wish I had talent like you!! Thanks!!

  60. Must have missed this post somewhere along the way! LOVE that vintage cake carrier.

  61. You have done an incredible job on your kitchen…loving it! Could you tell me what the cream/beige wall paint color is? Thank you again for sharing!

  62. I would also like to know your wall color. I’ve been through this post a million times for fun. Love the kitchen. Thanks.

  63. Thanks for sharing your kitchen! We are on the fence about making any major changes to our current kitchen but I have always loved the look of cabinet-less kitchens. Also, my search for “fruit wall pockets” turned out some great vintage ceramic pieces similar to yours. I would love to collect some like yours, but my Hubby has put a limit on any new “collections” :)

  64. this was such a fun post! I loved reading it! thank you!

  65. I loved your kitchen pics in BHG. I just re-did my kitchen on the super cheap, not the same colors (I went with white), but similar taste in antique-y style. My question is about your roman shades. I saw the fabric online. Did you make the shades yourself? I am having trouble finding pre-made ones I like, but am hesitant to take the plunge to sew them myself.

  66. Are your roman shades functioning or did you use the same pattern on your sisters blog? Thanks!

  67. erin dupont says:

    would love to see more of your lovely ideas!

  68. Your kitchen is beautiful!! (I linked over from Lettered Cottage.). I read where you mention your shelves being hollow- did you construct them yourself? We’re almost done with our kitchen Reno and plan to hang open shelves once our backsplash is done. I’m still debating what materials to use and how to hang. My open shelves will be on a wall of counter-to-ceiling subway tile. How have yours held up? I might be over thinking it but Im just worried about the shelves collapsing under the weight of all our dishes! Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous kitchen!

  69. Katie T. says:

    Hi! I just ran across your blog and this kitchen is so smart and cute!!! I want to know where you got your tall clear glasses to the left of the “bug glasses” and the short clear glasses to the right of the bug glasses? Also, where did you get the plain white mugs? I have the Lenox butler’s pantry dishes and I think those would go great with the dishes! Thanks!

  70. Danielle Fleury says:

    Great kitchen! if you have any more info as to where I could find shelf brackets like the ones you used I would be greatful, I am scouring the web looking for a pair like that to place under the marble 12″ ledge of my island and as of yet, NO LUCK. I am in Toronto , Canada and we have lots but I have yet to find the ” brackets of my dreams”. Thanks in advance

  71. I just love this place! What is the beautiful white on your kitchen walls?

  72. Hi, I just came over from My Sweet Savanah, and she was right, your kitchen is to die for. Sooooo homey and lovely. Your window treatments are divine ;-)

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