The back mudroom was one of the larger changes we made to the garden apartment, as it drastically changed the footprint of the kitchen. Although the kitchen got smaller (and cuter, we think!), we knew that if we were going to renovate, we had to add this mudroom; until this point, access to the utility space (which contained…
  • Bernadette - August 4, 2017 - 8:38 AM

    This apartment is turning out to be quite cute! Are you going to add any sort of privacy screen to the kitchen window that looks out into your backyard?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 4, 2017 - 9:20 AM

      We went back and forth on this for a while. Originally, we were going to put a window film, but in the end, we decided on a sleek solar shade instead! We’ll be installing those very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - August 4, 2017 - 8:45 AM

    I totally need to do this to the windows in our master bathroom!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Alli - August 4, 2017 - 9:13 AM

    Hi! Could you share links to the exterior doors? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 4, 2017 - 9:17 AM

      The 6-lite door is this one from Home Depot, and the half-lite door was a special order (also from HD), only because they didn’t stock this option in the store. We just told them what they were looking for, and it came to about the same price as the 6-lite door!ReplyCancel

      • Alli - August 12, 2017 - 9:40 AM

        Thank you! Ordered the 6-lite for our front door!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - August 4, 2017 - 9:52 AM

    Hi! Could you also share where your door hardware plates/locks are from? Assume Home Depot as well?ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - August 4, 2017 - 10:07 AM

    We totally wanted to do this to our bathroom window, but I was a big chicken! We splurged for privacy glass instead and I think I like the look of this better after seeing your post (another awesome DIY). Do you think it would hold up to humidity and heat in a shower setting? It looks way more modern! Sigh.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 4, 2017 - 2:26 PM

      We’ve had feedback on Instagram that this film has held us GREAT to heat/humidity!ReplyCancel

  • Phoua - August 4, 2017 - 12:44 PM

    This apartment is looking so cute! I can’t wait to see the finished project!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - August 7, 2017 - 9:51 AM

    We have an enormous picture window next to the front door that housed some super ugly blinds when we moved in and we ended up using the same type of window frosting for this window as well as in two bathrooms that have large windows that don’t open. I love how the light filters in but we get to keep a lot of privacy.ReplyCancel

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IKEA cabinets | brass pulls | brass finger pulls | faucet | tile | butcher block | sconce Over the weekend, we celebrated the end of our 20-plus-hour working weekends, because our part of the garden renovation is, mostly, complete! I say mostly, because we still have a few hours of loose ends – light fixtures, outlet…
  • Carol - August 1, 2017 - 8:05 AM

    I love everything about this kitchen!! Can’t wait for the big reveal!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - August 1, 2017 - 8:57 AM

    This is awesome! My husband made something similar when we changed up the hardware in out home this winter!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 1, 2017 - 10:04 AM

      Sometimes it can be far easier than hunting down an elaborate system to work with for oddly sized hardware! :)ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - August 1, 2017 - 10:05 AM

    That’s some seriously beautiful hardware!ReplyCancel

  • brandiandboys - August 2, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    How do you decide which length pulls to put where? I love you used different sizes and am getting ready to buy new hardware for my new kitchen, and am trying to figure out the process of which cabinet/drawer gets 8″ or 6″ or even the finger pulls.

    Thanks for your help!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 2, 2017 - 11:46 AM

      We knew we wanted something a little wider than standard, so figured 6″ was the way to go. But on the oven side of the kitchen, those drawers are 36″ wide! So we upped it to 8″ on that side so that we could mount them in the middle, which would give the tenant better control with those wide, heavy drawers. On the other side, we used 6″, and we couldn’t resist those fingers pulls on all the doors. :) It really is personal preference, but consider the widths of drawers! Something else you could do is put two fingers pulls or two smaller handles on a wide drawer.ReplyCancel

  • Katy - August 2, 2017 - 4:18 PM

    I love the warmth of the brass with the wood of the countertops! I can’t wait to see the full reveal. You guys are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Neelam - August 2, 2017 - 10:20 PM

    Gorgeous! I love grey and brass, such an elegant combination. Love your step by step as well, will have to save it for when I tackle my kitchen :-)
    xx
    NeelamReplyCancel

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As we’ve been chugging along on the garden’s kitchen remodel, we’ve been receiving questions on that little half wall – what’s going to go there? And it’s not just you; as our friends pop down to see the progress, they ask the same thing! It could be simply painted the same color as the walls, sure, but…
  • Alex - July 28, 2017 - 8:15 AM

    Oh, I love it! I’m a sucker for marble anyway, but I think it looks perfect right there!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - July 28, 2017 - 8:37 AM

    This is awesome! Years ago, I bought a marble topped cabinet from a hotel resaler. It’s an awesome piece that I reconfigured to use an island (added wheels and a backer board (it used to house a fridge). But the marble could use help. It has some discoloration and a baaaaaad circle from a glass. I bet we could fix it up with this diamond kit!

    I have a question – how much money are you putting into the garden apartment and how long do you think it will take to recoup the investment through increased rent?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2017 - 11:40 AM

      You can totally save that marble top with this method!

      Our budget for the garden apartment was always ‘as inexpensive and smart as possible, but done right.’ It’s sort of how we go about all of our renovations, but I’d say we’ve personally spent about $15k-ish. We’ve splurged on a few pieces and budgeted on a few others, just like most things in our home! You’ve seen that we’ve had some tremendous help and support from amazing sponsors, which have allowed us to go above and beyond the original scope we were planning on.

      We weren’t charging nearly enough for rent for our former tenants, partially because they were friends and partially because the current state of the unit. Because of that, we feel pretty good that we’ll recoup the costs in the first year, year-and-a-half of rent, after which, it will be all profit. We’re just so happy that this unit has as much love poured into it as our home! After all, it’s ALL a part of our house!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - July 28, 2017 - 8:57 AM

    So awesome! You have the luckiest tenants. I hope Scott was wearing mouth/eye/ear protection while sawing and sanding!ReplyCancel

  • Mariana - July 28, 2017 - 9:31 AM

    This is coming along so beautifully. I love the care and attention you’re putting into your future tenants’ home (and wish I’d found something like it when I lived in Chicago!)ReplyCancel

  • Tia - July 28, 2017 - 11:31 AM

    I know this post is about the marble but I *really* love the butcher block counter tops!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2017 - 11:35 AM

      Thank you! I think the butcher block can really shine, now that the backsplash is tiled and the marble is in.ReplyCancel

  • kara - July 28, 2017 - 12:01 PM

    I love everything about this – i have tackled a bunch of diy but it would never have occurred to me that i could cut and polish granite! thank you for taking one more thing off the “i couldn’t do that!” list, and for inspiring us to reuse and renew stuff that might otherwise get thrown away.ReplyCancel

  • Eva - July 28, 2017 - 12:45 PM

    Hi Kim,

    I’ve been following your post and website for a long long time. Glad to see the kitchen is coming together! I saw the subway back splash was done already. Will you have a post to talk about that? I’m doing the same project right now, just can’t wait to see the blog?

    Thanks,
    YiqingReplyCancel

  • Staci - July 28, 2017 - 12:58 PM

    What a beautiful and practical touch. It always make me laugh when people say marble doesn’t hold up, when I’ve walked on marble steps hundreds of years old in historic locations.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2017 - 1:35 PM

      SO TRUE. Further proof it only looks better after hundreds (and hundreds!) of years – ha!ReplyCancel

  • Sammy - July 28, 2017 - 1:11 PM

    OOOMMMGGGG it looks so good!! I wish I lived in Chicago so I could rent this place! hahaReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - July 28, 2017 - 1:36 PM

    That is such a smart little project and design choice! And you can’t beat a FREE slab of marble?!ReplyCancel

  • Marti - July 30, 2017 - 10:13 AM

    What a beautiful detail! I’d want to run my hand across the top every time I came through the backdoor.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - July 31, 2017 - 8:44 AM

    This is just beautiful! I’m curious why the half wall extends a few inches beyond the cabinet and back splash. Did you consider lining up the edge of the wall with those elements?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 31, 2017 - 8:52 AM

      We debated this for a while, and after looking at a few inspiration, we liked the look of a 2-3″ return so that we could contrast the cabinet with the wall color. 100% personal preference on that choice. :)ReplyCancel

      • Amy - August 3, 2017 - 12:04 PM

        I always think it’s nice too, to have a little return like that at the end of cabinets if someone wants to tuck a step stool or something along the side somewhere. (We have our mail sorter hanging on the end of a return like that, and it works perfectly).ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - July 31, 2017 - 9:23 PM

    That is really lovely Scott and Kim and it’s is so nice to be able to reuse something (anything) in a remodel.ReplyCancel

  • kate - August 14, 2017 - 3:03 PM

    Beautiful! I have been eyeing your backsplash tutorial and just need to pull the trigger on ordering tile. I see that you guys created a little trim on the free edge of the wall. I have 4 (!!!) spots in my kitchen where the backsplash is going to end in the middle of a wall (rather than at a corner), and I’ve been trying to find bullnose trim tile so I don’t have to make a border…but it’s impossible! I need several different kinds (bullnose on top and left side, bullnose on top and right side, bullnose on right side only, etc.). I know these tiles exist, but it feels like no one carries them! Home Depot has some on their website, but they are always sold out. I thought you guys might have some tips as to where to find? Or, confirm for me that they’re pretty tough to get and I should just suck it up and create a trim, even though I really was hoping to avoid it? THANKS!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 14, 2017 - 3:32 PM

      I hate to tell you, Kate, but it really would almost be easiest to create your own trim! We just used the bullnose tile to create our edging, and we had to get creative where it met up with the marble half wall. Once everything is grouted, I promise it’ll all look good!ReplyCancel

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This post is in partnership with Homes.com. As if on autopilot, a typical day might look like this: wake up, brush teeth, feed pets, work on the garden apartment. (And try to remember to eat!) Repeat. We won’t lie; it’s been an intense amount of DIY, hard work, and a test of our patience, but…
  • Emily - July 25, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    Oh it looks so great! I’d take that laundry room, even if small, any day! I love your choice of moving to a stacked unit. Heading over to Homes.com now…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 25, 2017 - 10:18 AM

      Right? A laundry room is a laundry room, no matter how small!ReplyCancel

      • Kim B. - July 25, 2017 - 11:36 PM

        Absolutely! Such a luxury as a renter!! And a cute one made with care, to boot!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - July 25, 2017 - 8:27 AM

    Your room is so cute! I love it!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - July 25, 2017 - 9:34 AM

    I love how it turned out. And the article at homes.com is fabulous. Just had one question… what did you decide to do about the door to the laundry room? Did you keep it as is, change it out, or remove it entirely? Just curious!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 25, 2017 - 10:20 AM

      We gave it a fresh coat of paint and just re-installed it a couple days ago! We debated leaving it off, but in the end, we decided that since you can see the room from the kitchen, some people might prefer to tune out the daily laundry reminder. :)ReplyCancel

      • Uncle Brain - July 25, 2017 - 11:09 PM

        They were also contractually obligated to keep it.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 9:08 AM

          Haha, so true! There was no way we could get rid of the door after all the time you put into shaving into the perfect size. Thanks, Uncle Brain!ReplyCancel

  • Haley Hepburn - July 25, 2017 - 11:25 AM

    So cute and functional! Question, does Scott still have his suit and tie job or has he transitioned to blog things full time? Just asking because of the autopilot day comment.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 25, 2017 - 11:28 AM

      Good question! He does still have his suit and tie job, but that’s my weekly autopilot, and our joint evening and weekend autopilot. Our eyes are blurry with all the days blending together… are we almost done yet? Ha!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - July 25, 2017 - 12:39 PM

    I love this! It’s so fresh, clean and functional.ReplyCancel

  • ten - July 25, 2017 - 1:11 PM

    Is that the same duck foot mirror that is in your bathroom? I always liked that mirror! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Wilson - July 25, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    My laundry room (aka closet) is about this size. I was contemplating doing a stackable washer and dryer too. I’m craving a folding station! I love, love how yours turned out! That butcher block is just beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Violet - July 25, 2017 - 4:00 PM

    I think yiur laundry room looks great.
    I just have to ask, It’s obvious why you had the washer and dryer on the right side of the room (water/electric etc) but would you have preferred it on the left side so you could get more light into the room? Oh and your future tenants are so going to use your butcher block as an ironing board.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 25, 2017 - 4:27 PM

      Yes, I think if the room could have been a mirror image, that would have been ideal! OR if we could have moved the window to the left. But the water wall is on the right, and the window is on a concrete wall, making either of those changes incredibly pricey. This was a work-with-what-you’ve-got mentality, and we’re pretty happy with it!

      You might be right about the ironing board, but the first time their shirt gets ruined with gooey Waterlox, I bet they don’t make the same mistake twice. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda McNutt - July 25, 2017 - 4:13 PM

    I love how this laundry room turned out! All of the finishing touches are just lovely. And the breadboard? Man oh man, how I love me some good beadboard. I’m curious how you came to the decision for a double stacked washer/dryer vs. Front loading w&d, with a counter top on top and a small cupboard on the far right. Now that I’m typing this I imagine it was a bit of cost (for the w&d – I know front loaders are a bit more) and the want for more storage than a small cupboard? I was just thinking it would be more counter space for folding and shelving & the window would be in view. Regardless, you did a fantastic job (as always!!) with it, I was just curious on the thought process. TIAReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 25, 2017 - 4:25 PM

      There was a side by side originally, and it made for an incredibly TIGHT squeeze in the room! It just wasn’t efficient for the width of the room, and it felt really claustrophobic.ReplyCancel

  • martina - July 25, 2017 - 10:53 PM

    Can I give a tiny bit of reader feedback? Firstly, obviously, I love your blog and read it regularly. But…. I find it really difficult to read when you insert animated gifs in between areas of text. I find myself trying to block it from view by scrolling up or down until I’m ready to look at it. The before and after effect is cool, but maybe it could be turned into a rollover or an arrow?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 9:20 AM

      Thank you for the feedback, Martina! It’s funny, because for a while, some of our readers were unable to view the gifs, and we spent quite a bit of time on the back end correcting the issue so everyone could see and enjoy them! We realize they might not be for everyone, but that’s why I use them sparingly, and mostly for effect on before and afters (with a slow roll time of about 2 seconds per image).

      A rollover is an interesting idea, and I’ll definitely look into it, thank you! My fear is that many people wouldn’t scroll, but let me noodle on that for a bit. There are probably other options as well.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - July 26, 2017 - 12:13 AM

    Australians are blocked from the http://www.homes.com/blog/ address giving a weird 90s formatted thing when you click on the link. :( and all the pictures are completely blocked.ReplyCancel

    • Katie - July 26, 2017 - 6:31 AM

      The same for me in Croatia (Europe *hiiii!*). Tried everything, no way I could see the pics :(ReplyCancel

      • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 9:10 AM

        Oh, I had no idea! Let me reach out to my contact at Homes.com and see what they say. Thanks for letting me know!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 1:11 PM

          Good news! Homes.com has resolved the issue, and now everyone – no matter where you are – can view the post!ReplyCancel

          • Katie - July 29, 2017 - 7:08 PM

            I can see the words but not the pictures here in Ndw Zealand ☹️

          • Kim - July 29, 2017 - 8:30 PM

            Thanks for letting me know! I’ve sent your update to Homes.com, in hopes they’re able to address the issue. Will keep you posted!

          • Aimee - July 31, 2017 - 8:33 AM

            No pictures here in the Philippines too. :(

  • Ashley @ The Gold Hive - July 26, 2017 - 12:34 PM

    Your morning routine is so normal. I recently watched a video from Martha Stewart about caring for cut flowers and she said that every day she wakes up, feeds her dogs, then tends to all of her flower arrangements – changing water, cutting the stems, and misting them. What a life! #goalsReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 1:10 PM

      Oh my goodness, and here we are trying to find 5 minutes to snip some flowers from our garden to put in a vase! Oh, to be Martha.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - July 26, 2017 - 2:15 PM

    This looks amazing! I love the whole space and how you’ve transformed it. But I do have one question- are you able to switch the orientation on the way the dryer door swings open? That seems like it might get a little annoying. But otherwise, I would almost enjoy doing laundry in here (and I hate laundry!).ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2017 - 2:20 PM

      Jamie! I wish! We looked into it, and sadly, there’s no way to change the hinges from one side to the other. The GOOD news is that the door does swing ALL the way open. So you can still open it all the way and have plenty of access to swap loads, have access to the counter, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Chris - August 14, 2017 - 8:51 PM

    I really like what you did in your laundry room. I like how you really dressed up your laundry room with those home accents like the mirror and jars, etc… We have some smaller home decor items that would fit nicely in a laundry room at http://hometrendydecor.com

    Thanks for the cool ideas!ReplyCancel

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An exciting thing happened the day we went to buy our butcher block countertops – they were on sale! Marked down to $109 from $159, we hauled away two slabs (one for each side of our little galley kitchen) before they could tell us it was a mistake. And that – that price! – is one of the…
  • Eric - July 20, 2017 - 6:49 AM

    Love the butcher block countertops. This is going to look amazing. Your tenants are going to have a more stylish place than me!ReplyCancel

    • Kathy - July 21, 2017 - 7:56 AM

      IKR? I want to live there. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Katy DeBardelaben - July 20, 2017 - 7:16 AM

    Butcherblock is awesome and a great choice for a rental. I would never hesitate to use it. We installed it in our last kitchen and loved it. It’s so cheap, holds up well if you seal it properly and like you said, can be sanded down over and over and over again for decades if necessary. Which it probably won’t. But seriously it will be the countertop that won’t die. And for so cheap!ReplyCancel

  • Toni - July 20, 2017 - 8:48 AM

    Hi there! I absolutely love how the counter tops turned out.
    Would you please share your process? Which product did you apply first, and how many coats?

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 20, 2017 - 8:57 AM

      There’s a bullet point list in the post of exactly my process, but it’s wood conditioner, stain, and 5 coats of Waterlox.ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - July 20, 2017 - 11:20 AM

    These are GORGEOUS!

    This a little off the topic of the counters, but you mentioned that they might be seen as a risk in a rental… were there any of the same concerns with your wood tile floor? I had suggested wood look tile to a friend who is renovating a rental property and her contractor (who is a “tile guy”) was really discouraging of doing it throughout the living space. I did a fair amount of research and read mixed pros and cons. Thanks for any input!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 20, 2017 - 11:51 AM

      Thanks, Gretchen!

      I have NO idea why her contractor would discourage the use of tile, unless it’s simply because it’s a lot more work (because it is). Porcelain tile is going to be extremely durable, and we weighed a lot of pros and cons ourselves. We dive into it a lot more in this post: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/ReplyCancel

  • ~B - July 20, 2017 - 12:02 PM

    “Finally, it was time to condition, stain and steal!” I think you meant to say “seal”, although at that price, it was quite the steal :)

    Love your work and I’m really enjoying watching the rental apartment come together!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 20, 2017 - 12:09 PM

      Haha, you’re right on both counts! Updated.ReplyCancel

  • Pat - July 20, 2017 - 1:32 PM

    I have butcherblock counters, that I seal on occasion with mineral oil. Love them. Love how these look too. Did you seal the underside where the dishwasher is? Steam pouring into unsealed wood sounds like a problem waiting to happen.ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy - July 21, 2017 - 12:08 PM

    Finish underside of counter-top under the dishwasher. It may get humid with the dishwasher runningReplyCancel

  • Jess - July 21, 2017 - 2:20 PM

    I love the look of butcher block but don’t care for joints with L-shaped countertops or longer lengths. Do you have any tips for dealing with joints?ReplyCancel

  • Katie Crowther - July 22, 2017 - 1:24 AM

    What is the name of the ikea butcher block you used? The website has several options but none that appear to be solid wood and stainable. We used the Karlby in a project at out house and it is just a particle board with a thin wood veneer.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - July 22, 2017 - 1:26 AM

    Ok now I’m realizing it never says they are from Ikea🤦🏼‍♀️. In that case where did you get yours from;)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 22, 2017 - 8:43 AM

      Ha, that’s ok! In the first paragraph, we say we got them from Menard’s. :)ReplyCancel

  • Elaine - July 22, 2017 - 9:53 AM

    Those counters look great! I’m jealous of the future tenants :)ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - July 22, 2017 - 3:28 PM

    Three cheers for butcher block + Waterlox! Beautiful, sustainable, durable, affordable (look at all my rhyming words!).

    I’ll be really interested to see how this holds up in a rental: will you come back in a year and give us an update? I’m curious because we have this combo in our kitchen and adore it, but we’re there to take care of it, wipe up standing water at the end of the day, etc.: not a huge amount of love, but some. We want to do the same thing in our boys’ bathroom but are not sure how it will do with zero love. Keep us posted?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 24, 2017 - 9:48 AM

      We would love to keep you posted! Once our tenant(s) moves in, we do like to give them privacy (so no more photoshoots down here!), but assuming they move out after a year, we agree that it would be a great idea to discuss how things are holding up!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - July 24, 2017 - 3:08 PM

    First of all, the garden apartment is looking great!

    You may want to specifically ask that your tenants not cut directly on the countertops (i.e. use cutting boards) and take care to clean up spills immediately, particularly around the sink—give them pointers rather than just hoping they’ll treat the counters with respect. Some people are pretty clueless unfortunately.

    I lived briefly in an apartment that had butcher block counters. When my now-husband and I moved in they were disgusting: stained, scratched. The area around the sink in particular was really, really bad. We sanded and sanded, then oiled, and with a lot of work most of the counters looked good again, except the area around the sink—the water damage was really deep there and we never could get out the black staining. I don’t know how long they were bad before we moved in (three young guys lived there before us and my only memory of touring the place was all the dried ketchup on the counters)…blah blah anyway…a few words of prevention might help you to avoid some work between tenants. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 24, 2017 - 8:13 PM

      You’re so right! We’ll definitely say something and hope that they take our advice to heart. We do realize it’s a bit of a gamble.ReplyCancel

  • Slate - August 4, 2017 - 8:41 PM

    Looking good! The butcher block countertops are beautiful!ReplyCancel

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