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We had a heavy plate this summer. One Tail. The garage. The kitchen! We’ve been on the go-go-go, and we were unkind to ourselves when it came to relaxation. It wasn’t until last week that we remembered, oh yeah, our vacation is around the corner!, a vacation we began planning in February. Our long time blog friends and readers know that we have an annual anniversary tradition to explore a new place every year, but this year – this year! – we’re doing something we’ve always wanted to do: Take a road trip down historic Route 66!

We first admitted that this was on our wish list in this Reader Q+A of yore, and the time has come. It’s here! Route 66 is a 2,500 mile drive, starting in downtown Chicago and ending at the Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles. We’ll pass through St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque and Flagstaff (to name only a few), but we’ll also cheat (just a little!) and detour off the famous route to visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. We are 100% open to suggestions on where to eat, where to sleep, where to shop and what’s a must see, so comments are welcomed and encouraged!

We’ll be taking a short blog break while we travel, but we’d love for you to get your kicks alongside us on Instagram (@yellowbrickhome)! We’re feeling curious and adventurous, we’re ready to recharge and we’re looking forward to conversation that’s not related to All Things Home. We want to shake things up, stop roadside on a whim or stay up and drive all night (why not?). Inspiration, we’ll take that, too! We’ll be back here in a few weeks with stories to tell, photos to share and how in the world we made it work for us. xo.

PS: Photo from the first time I visited Palm Springs. I can’t wait to go again, this time with the coolest guy I know.

  • Rachel - September 4, 2015 - 7:27 AM

    OMG awesome!!! You MUST visit the Blue Whale of Catoosa (directly on Route 66, right outside Tulsa). It’s so ridiculous and basically our favorite thing ever. I’m gonna try to think of some other good Tulsa and OKC suggestions and I can’t wait to see pictures of your trip… it’s gonna be great!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:02 AM

      I have a feeling there will be a lot of ridiculous-ness, ha!ReplyCancel

  • MJ - September 4, 2015 - 7:41 AM

    When you arrive in Santa Monica at the Pier, Blue Plate Oysterette is a great little spot right on Ocean Ave. (across from the Pier). Also, there is a small Route 66 display at the end of the Pier of signs that you might want to take a picture next to. Have a great trip!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 4, 2015 - 8:03 AM

    The City Museum in St. Louis. It is a DO NOT MISS! It’s a gigantic playground in an old factory building but it’s not just for kids. They serve beer and cocktails, it’s open until midnight on the weekends, and it really is amazing.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:03 AM

      Yeah! This was already on our list!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 4, 2015 - 8:35 AM

    The Big Texan & Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo!ReplyCancel

  • Betsy - September 4, 2015 - 8:46 AM

    The Petrified Forest National Park is a little detour off Route 66, not far from the Grand Canyon. It’s built so that you can either drive through without significantly detouring (from I-40, I believe) or stop and hike/camp/picnic as much or as little as you want. We just drove through on a similar road trip years ago, but it was pretty cool.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - September 4, 2015 - 8:46 AM

    You NEED to stay here:
    Cute kind of tudor cottages, a true old fashioned roadway motel. It’s nearish to St. Louis.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - September 4, 2015 - 8:56 AM

    You must eat at Joe and Aggie’s cafe in Holbrook, AZ. Historic Mexican food restaurant on Route 66 that my step-mom’s family owns. Delicious!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:03 AM

      Aw, great! Sounds yummy.ReplyCancel

  • Alexandra @ Vandy Vagabonds - September 4, 2015 - 9:01 AM

    This is so exciting! I’m a long-time reader but first-time commenter coming out of the shadows to say that I’m looking forward to following along on your journey! My husband and I are kicking off our own in a few weeks – living full time in an RV with our two dogs (both rescues – a 60 lb Chow mix, Rosey, and a 30 lb mostly-Boston Terrier, Ramble) while we travel the country. We are planning on heading southwest in January, so I’ll selfishly be keeping your recommendations for our own trip to come! Have fun – and safe travels! – AlexandraReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:04 AM

      Thanks for chiming in, Alexandra! That sounds like SO much fun. The ultimate would have been a similar journey with an RV and pups in tow, but we couldn’t swing it. I’m sure hilarity will ensue!ReplyCancel

  • Shauna - September 4, 2015 - 9:47 AM

    Agreed with the above! Also halfway cafe in Texas, the inspiration for Flo’s V8 in the movie Cars. I believe we used this guide:

    Have so much fun! Cant wait for pictures!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:06 AM

      We picked up a similar guide, but we’ll see how helpful it is or how much we’ll actually follow it – the spontaneity is half the fun, right? Right?!ReplyCancel

  • Christie - September 4, 2015 - 9:52 AM

    Route 66! How fun! Can’t wait to see the photos and read the stories for the trip. Have a wonderful time!ReplyCancel

  • amelia - September 4, 2015 - 10:32 AM

    if you’re in Albuquerque for breakfast go to Cecilia’s. Get red & green chile on breakfast burritos or enchiladas with an egg on top. Delicious and authentic. Its the best New Mexican food.

  • Charla - September 4, 2015 - 10:40 AM

    So much fun!

    In while you are in Santa Monica, take a trip to the Getty Villa! It is so lovely. Admission is free, you just need to request tickets online in advance. Also, while in Flagstaff you MUST stop at Pizzicletta for pizza. It is amazing. Seriously.

    Have a great trip!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 10:59 AM

      Yes! We’ll be in Flagstaff for a day and a half, and we have no clue what to do. Looks like we’ll be eating pizza for sure!ReplyCancel

      • Charla - September 4, 2015 - 11:20 AM

        It is so good – we’ve considered going back just for that pizza!ReplyCancel

      • Jon - September 4, 2015 - 2:33 PM

        If you’ll be in Flag for a day and a half, you should take a short trek down (~30 miles) to Sedona to see the amazing Red Rocks. Perhaps you could go on the Pink Jeep Tour while you’re there (

  • Amy - September 4, 2015 - 10:52 AM

    So glad you’ll be stopping in STL! Do you want to stay with us? I’m serious. Is that weird? We are near South Grand which is a restaurant/commercial strip south of Tower Grove Park. Anyway, I understand if you don’t want to stay with a stranger (but the offer is real), so here are my recommendations: Tower Grove Park Saturday Farmer’s market, Clementine’s (ice cream), Meskerem (Ethiopian), The Future Antiques (mid century furniture), the Loop, Fortune Teller Bar, Forest Park (rent paddleboats at sunset! the Art Museum of course, and the “A Walk in 1875 St Louis” at the MO History Museum) and here are a few more suggestions (some of these restaurants are now closed so double check first before going).
    If you have any STL questions let me know!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 11:00 AM

      Hi Amy, you’re so nice to offer us a place! No, it’s not weird. We’ve done stranger things, for sure!

      St. Louis and OKC are actually the two places where we know people and will be staying with them (we’re winging most of the rest!), but I’m going to dive into all of your suggestions. THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

      • Amy - September 4, 2015 - 11:11 AM

        Awesome, have a great time!ReplyCancel

        • Kristin - September 4, 2015 - 12:22 PM

          Amy has great suggestions, and also the City Museum mentioned earlier is a good one too. And one of the quintessential stops is Ted Drewes for custard – it’s actually ON route 66. We live just off of it in the city, right across from Blues City Deli – you can’t beat the live blues on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons if that aligns with your visit here. We often have friends over to our front yard to listen and people watch. You’ll love the neighborhood too – such great housing in STL. Clementine’s is in Lafayette Square, so you can go there for dessert and do some more house ogling. And breakfast is a must at The Mud House – fuel up before browsing Cherokee Street.

          Have a great trip – sounds wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • Piper - September 4, 2015 - 11:11 AM

    How fun! My husband and I want to do this some day, but it would be a little weird to do start-to-finish since we live in Tulsa! Speaking of Tulsa, if you have time, stray off of Rt 66 and poke around a bit- parts of it have been part of a Main Street improvement effort but others are still struggling. Be sure to check out Downtown- we have the third most significant collection of Art Deco architecture outside of New York and Miami! Boston Avenue United Methodist Church is particularly stunning. The Mayo is an historic hotel that has been refurbished in the last decade, and would be a very lovely place to stay, and would be perfect if you want to do an architectural tour of downtown. You also can’t miss the Philbrook Museum of Art, which is a bit further south. The collection is nice but the real beauty is in the historic villa in which it’s housed and the surrounding formal gardens. The Gilcrease Museum has my favorite collection in the area- it’s the foremost collection of western art in the world! There are plenty of nice places in town if you do some exploring- Tulsa is in the midst of a rejuvenation effort that is beautifying our city little by little.
    Other than Tulsa, my other suggestion in Oklahoma is a place called Pops in Arcadia. You can’t miss it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 11:29 AM

      Thank you, Piper! We’ll definitely look into The Mayo, because I’m pretty sure we’ll be in Tulsa for an overnight. All awesome suggestions. Thank you, thank!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - September 4, 2015 - 11:22 AM

    Have fun guys! It is clearly a much deserved vacay!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan | The Blooming Thread - September 4, 2015 - 11:42 AM

    My boyfriend and I are planning the same trip! We live about an hour north of Santa Barbara (CA) so we’re playing on flying out to Chicago and driving back. I’m so excited for you! I’ll be following along for sure, and taking notes to see where you stop along with checking out some of your readers suggestions too. A HUGE congratulations, and enjoy your much needed break.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - September 4, 2015 - 11:51 AM

    What a fun trip! I loved in Albuquerque for three years so I wanted to pass along some recommendations.

    – The Grove Cafe and Market is a great stop for lunch. (good vibe, good food, and scenes from Breaking Bad shot here :) Downtown and right on your route – 600 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

    – There’s a section on Central Avenue (which is part of historic Route 66) called Nob Hill. Lots of fun places to eat and shop.

    – If you want a fancier meal, a few miles off of Route 66, one of our favorites was Savoy Wine Bar & Grill.

    – If you want to go a bit farther through town and hit a local dive with the absolute best New Mexican food I ever found (including Santa Fe), hit up Sophia’s Place. And try their tomatillo sauce on enchiladas, shrimp and black bean quesadillas, pinion/blue corn pancakes, etc. etc.

    Have a great trip!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 1:39 PM

      UGHHHH you are so awesome! We’re wide open in the southwest, so excited to read these recs! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - September 4, 2015 - 12:18 PM

    66 goes through Downtown Tulsa, over the past years they have been doing some incredible revitalization and building up small businesses. Eat pretty much anywhere in the Brady District or Blume Dome District. I’m a tex mex addict, so I usually make a trip to El Guapo and sit on the roof top when I visit home. And you can check out the Woody Guthrie Museum in the Brady District.

    Also we typically try to catch a meal or at least an Ice Cream break at Bailey’s Range in Downtown St. Louis when we make the drive from Chicago to our family in Tulsa.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 1:41 PM

      Blue Dome is on our list! Loving these suggestions, everyone!ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - September 4, 2015 - 1:02 PM

    How fun! My husband and I have been trying to plan a similar trip, but we can’t get it to fit our vacation schedules. I’ll be living the trip vicariously through your Instagram in the meantime :) As for food recommendations, in St. Louis, check out Bogart’s for amazing BBQ. It’s a spinoff of the very famous Pappy’s and even better. If you’re around for dessert too, check out Bailey’s Chocolate Bar as well as a butter cake from the little bakery and coffee shop down the street from Bailey’s. Yummm. Now I’m hungry and want to go to St. Louis. Enjoy!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 1:40 PM

      It was tough to make it work, and we’ll definitely share how we did it when we get back! And now, I’m starving for dessert. YUM.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca G. - September 4, 2015 - 3:00 PM

    Restaurant recommendation in Albuquerque – Flying Star Cafe!
    If you would like to do something a bit touristy take a tram to the top of Sandia Peak.

    • Heidi - September 4, 2015 - 4:56 PM

      Flying Star is great too. If you eat there, I recommend the Southwest Benny. And the coconut cream pie. Man I’m missing the food writing this!ReplyCancel

  • Rae - September 4, 2015 - 3:13 PM

    If you have time in Tulsa definitely check out McNellie’s in the Blue Dome district! They have an amazing beer selection with over 60 different beers on tap and 300 different bottled ones on their menu. The Max in Blue Dome is also a lot of fun, it’s a retropub – a bar and 80’s themed video game arcade in one. Philbrook Museum is also a can’t miss, the gardens are beautiful this time of year!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - September 4, 2015 - 3:25 PM

    I’m gonna chime in with some Vegas love, China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan is delicious! And of course the age old advice to see a show :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 3:32 PM

      We’d love to see a show! Any favorites?ReplyCancel

      • Haley - September 8, 2015 - 11:16 AM

        I love The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage, definitely very highly recommend it!ReplyCancel

      • M - September 10, 2015 - 11:18 PM

        Cirque de Soleil “O” is my favorite.ReplyCancel

  • Trude - September 4, 2015 - 4:37 PM

    While you’re in Vegas, just off the strip is Frankie’s Tiki Room. It’s perfect for a kitsch fix and the drinks are great. Also the Neon Graveyard is a photog’s dream, but I think you have to make a reservation for a tour ahead of time. And once you hit the ocean, have a drink at the bar at Shutters, it’s a fancy shmancy hotel right on the beach (and a drink is about all I can ever afford there). ;) Looking forward to seeing your photos, and I’m glad you finally get a break!ReplyCancel

  • Mitch - September 4, 2015 - 8:41 PM

    Have always wanted to do a road trip on the iconic Route 66 too. I know you will have an enjoyable ride. Take care.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - September 4, 2015 - 9:39 PM

    Make sure you hit up Santa Fe! It’s not far from Albuquerque and it’s a must-visit!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 4, 2015 - 11:43 PM

      What should we do there?! We’re up for anything. Favorite food? Favorite shopping? Best thrifting?ReplyCancel

      • Heidi - September 9, 2015 - 5:34 PM

        Santa Fe – The plaza right in the center of town is fun. Tia Sophias is a great restaurant but has wonky hours so check ahead. There is also a great crepe restaurant right on the main plaza if you want to branch out of NM food. Jackalopes is a fun place to hit for shopping. Everyone talks about the flea market – I never got a chance to do it but it’s popular.

        Also – there’s a little town between ABQ and Santa Fe on the turquoise trail called Madrid. It’s a great stop. Awesome jewelry, art galleries – kinda hippy vibe. I’d recommend it if you have time.

        If you go there, the Great Madrid Gift Emporium is my favorite place for amazing jewelry. The owner is Hugh and I’ve bought a lot of wonderful pieces from him. He can recommend the best spot for lunch – I can’t remember the name. Just down the street from him shop. :) You should buy some Cerrillos turquoise while you’re there.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 10, 2015 - 9:20 AM

          Thank you so much, Heidi!!ReplyCancel

  • Misie - September 5, 2015 - 1:43 PM

    FUN! Enjoy and be safe! Maybe one year take the northern route…Northern Idaho is a pretty spectacular place to be…just sayin. :-)ReplyCancel

  • martina - September 5, 2015 - 5:48 PM

    You should stop at the Donut Man on 66 in Azusa CA, they stuff the donuts with fresh fruit, amazing! Also, Bill’s Pizza in Palm Springs is the business. Have fun!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2015 - 7:47 PM

      You rock. Thanks, Martina!ReplyCancel

  • Micah - September 6, 2015 - 8:19 PM

    When you are in Vegas, try the chicken and waffles at any of the plethera of locations of Hash House A Go Go. You won’t want to leave!

    In another note, I’ve always wanted to use the word “plethera” in real life!ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - September 8, 2015 - 11:03 AM

    AH SO JEALOUS! Hope you guys have a blast, and I’ll be tagging along on social and planning out how to do it myself next year.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Lacie - September 11, 2015 - 7:18 PM

    In Flagstaff you guys should visit The Peaks. The view from the snow bowl is amazing. The Lumberyard has some really good beer and we always make sure to get some coffee from Wicked AZ. On the way to the Grand Canyon you guys won’t regret if you make a pit stop in Cameron for a Navajo Taco.ReplyCancel

  • Phoebe - September 17, 2015 - 7:14 AM

    Sump is the best coffee spot in St. Louis and worth a visit. Also, the Botanical Gardens are amazing! Enjoy the adventure!!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - September 19, 2015 - 1:41 PM

    If you haven’t made your way through Vegas yet, we have a “suite” *har har* little casita for rent on airbnb. We’d love to have you and the pups if it’s available!

    • Kim - September 19, 2015 - 4:50 PM

      What a great place!! We passed through Vegas early last week, but we so appreciate the offer and link!ReplyCancel



Monday night, Scott and I shared a bottle of wine that we’d been saving for 8 months. It was a gift from our friends (thanks, Joe and Kara!), given to us last December as we embarked on our kitchen journey. They told us it was one of their favorites (La Crema Pinot Noir, if you’re curious), and they asked us to enjoy it when we had a reason to celebrate. We promised, and we said we’d save it for the completion of our kitchen – which we estimated to be around March. March!

Oh, how silly and naive we were.

Well, after the door debacle that held us up for almost half a year, we opened that bottle, toasted, celebrated and, as you do when you’re celebrating, polished it off in the same evening. We cooked a big meal to go with our full glasses, and we did it in the comfort of our kitchen that we couldn’t be more excited about! We talked about the tile we installed, the endless Ebay searching for the rug, and we agreed that hanging art makes all the difference. Remember when there used to be a window there?, we said. It felt so long ago; now we really have All the Light! It feels good.


Our kitchen is right off of the dining and living rooms, with a load bearing wall separating it from that larger great room. At almost 130-years-old, our house is a stubborn little lady, stuck in her own way, and we knew from the beginning that it didn’t feel right blowing down walls and drastically changing the floor plan. We like that the kitchen is in the back of the home, but you can easily see into the dining room and even hold a conversation with anyone sitting on the couch. At the same time, we still had our obstacles – I’m looking at you, furnace! – but with a hefty price tag to get it moved and without a good option of where it could go, we worked around it and made peace with our decision.

Do you remember where we started? It’s funny, because aside from our floating appliances, it doesn’t feel like much of a kitchen at all! There’s a large amount of space being under utilized, but there were also oddly placed low windows, making it impossible to install a proper a countertop. The upside? The space was generous, but we often joked it would be better suited for a dance party than prepping a meal. Before + after:

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Here’s a similar view facing slightly to the left, standing in the doorway from the dining room. I’m laughing as I look at our half-hearted attempts at spackle and paint swatches – we turned a blind eye to those, um, improvements for at least a year!

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Rotating to the left completely, you can see where the only other window in the room is. Again, it’s much too low to allow for a counter, so we ultimately nixed it altogether, adding a new gas line to accommodate our stove. A wall of cabinetry was installed, including a refrigerator surround, pull out pantry and spice rack. The base cabinets in our kitchen were built with sliders to prevent items from getting hidden in the back, a perk we’ve been loving as we grab for pots, pans and lids! Before + after:

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To the left of the stove and turning towards the living and dining rooms is our furnace (behind the louvered doors), which stayed put (boo). But! By shifting the stove to the now defunct window wall and replacing it with a small, slim vintage hutch, the kitchen feels less like a hallway upon entering. Our DIY island is accompanied by glossy blue stools, acting as the kitchen command center while storing everything from food containers, puppy medicine, dish towels and foil. I picture a lot of great conversation, veggie chopping and catalog flipping happening around this hub! Before + after:

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The wet wall was upgraded with a longer working surface by moving the existing door (which leads to the workshop) closer to the back wall and swapping in a pocket door to save space – plus, pocket doors are cute! To save money, we refaced the cabinets we could salvage, needing to add only one additional upper. The base cabinets were a different story, as they began to fall apart as soon as we wriggled them free from the wall! We took that as an opportunity to reconfigure the drawers, add pull out waste and recycling and include a tip out tray for the sink. Before + after:

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Below, we found this solid brass sign at a yard sale for a buck, and we snagged it knowing it’d eventually make an appearance in the kitchen! Scott cleaned it with a dab of Brasso, and it shined right up.


When we made the decision to opt for a 6′ wide sliding patio door, it meant that we’d have to rethink the dog food area, which, big deal, right? If we had stuck with our initial intention to go with a 5′ door, we would have had enough space to stash their station, and I have a pretty marble shelf that was waiting – so patiently, mind you! – to float in that bare wall space, too. Being the crazy dog mom that I am, I stayed awake at night reconfiguring how our two meatballs would dine in style, and finally (finally!), we landed on a sweet little corner station that took us a few hours to complete. See it? (Sadly, the marble shelf will continue waiting for her perfect spot. The bathroom remodel, perhaps?)

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Over the course of 8 months (8! Although to be fair, there were a few months of waiting), we’ve had a good amount of time to break the space in, learn our kitchen habits and re-work the guts of the cabinets to create optimal work flow. We have our lighting scenario down to a science (under cabinet lights in the evening, with a low dim overhead), and Jack and CC have already learned that the low hum of our patio door blinds equates to breakfast or dinner. We made choices in this room with the idea that large purchases would feel classic, timeless – and so, I’d like to share some of the decisions that we consider our favorites.

THE COUNTERS. Remember when we couldn’t be more on the fence between black or white? The white macaubas quartzite counters were our biggest splurge in an area where we thought we might be able save, but they really do make us smile every time we enter the room. Worth it.


TOUCHLESS FAUCET + ALL WHITE EVERYTHING. We paired our Kohler Sensate touchless faucet with a large white enamel sink, and we couldn’t love it more. The hands-free model keeps the chrome spot (and hassle!) free, and because it runs on electricity, there are no batteries to fuss with. Wanting to keep a completely seamless feel throughout the kitchen, we opted for all-white appliances, and we haven’t regretted that decision for a second. White appliances have come a long way!


OUR DOORS. Between the cute-y pocket and the mammoth slider, we are in door heaven! I painted the patio door and transom last weekend, and although it was the most difficult door I’ve ever had to paint, she is a stunner. Scott suggested we use the same black paint as the island (Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine by Clark+Kensington in an exterior satin finish), and although it matches, it doesn’t feel overtly matchy-matchy. We are already itching for next summer so we can tackle that back deck now!

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THE MIX & MATCH HARDWARE. Between the shiny brass pulls on the island, the burnished brass on the hutch and the oil rubbed bronze on the cabinets, we’ve got it covered! Toss in our chrome faucet, and we’re repping all (well, most of!) the metals.


THE FINAL TOUCH. We waited until the very, very end to hang a single thing on the wall; we treat it like a reward, the final touch. From the small (personalized photo booth magnets!) to the not-no-small (that rug!), it was all this that turned our grayscale blank slate into a place that feels so much like Kim and Scott.

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Below, you’ll find all the past posts that have documented our kitchen journey (just click on any thumbnail to take you there). We’re happy to answer any questions we may have missed, and in the meantime, we’ll be in the kitchen. With a glass of wine (me) and gin (him), of course! Hip, hip HOORAY!

KITCHEN SOURCES: Wall color: Intense White by Benjamin Moore // Cabinet color: Distant Gray by Benjamin Moore // Baseboard + Door Trim color: Ultra Pure White by Behr // Counters: White Macaubas Quartzite  // Backsplash: Rittenhouse Square matte Arctic White, Whisper Grey grout // Appliances: Samsung // Patio Sliding Door: Pella Windows & Doors, painted Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine by Clark+Kensington // Pocket Door: vintage from Rebuilding Exchange, painted Swept Away by Ben Moore // Island: DIY // Counter height stools: Aurora industrial stool, Rejuvenation // Hutch: thrifted, Mission pulls with backplate, Rejuvenation // Rug: Vintage, Ebay // Faucet: Sensate by Kohler // Sink: Cape Dory by Kohler // Cabinet hardware: Mission pulls, Rejuvenation // Overhead light: Eastmoreland pendant (6″), Rejuvenation // Sink light: Hannah small semi-flush mount, Rejuvenation // Corner dog food station: DIY // Dog paintings: The Pet Shop (by yours truly!) // Fridge Magnets: DIY // Decanters (all glass!): Ebay // Decanter tags: DIY // Purple carafe: Kulture Bomb // Terrarium: DIY using Heritage Hill Jar // Chicken planter: West Elm // Utensil holder: CB2 // Chicago hot dog art print: Frangomint // Mirror frame (family photo): West Elm // Donut art print: The Donut Shop // Skull on pink art print: Laura Berger, framed by Framebridge // Cake Part art print: Baba Souk

  • Ilse - September 2, 2015 - 6:45 AM

    It took a lot of work and time (been rooting for you guys all along the way) but the result is just absolutely stunning. Great job!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 7:56 AM

      Your encouragement is soooo appreciated! I bet you could tell we were getting pretty flustered at the halfway point…ReplyCancel

  • Kimm at Reinvented - September 2, 2015 - 6:47 AM

    Yay, I get to be the first commentor to congratulate you on your GORGEOUS kitchen! I love all of the light, the doors, the hardware, and the puppies, of course! (while I watch my two labs wrestle their way around the kitchen ;))ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 7:56 AM

      Nothing like two pups under foot to make a good sized kitchen feel cramped! Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Beks - September 2, 2015 - 7:16 AM

    It looks so great! You made some great function decisions with the stove and the window. And all that white just sucks the light into the room, which is awesome! Love the hutch best. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Anni - September 2, 2015 - 7:21 AM

    This is beautiful, awesome, everything! I love all the details. You guys did a great job. I also wanted to thank you for the great backsplash posts you wrote a while ago. I was studying them a couple of days ago, as we are getting ready to do ours, and they were super helpful. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:54 AM

      You can do it, Anni! It was a weekend job for two people, but it makes all the difference, for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Phillips - September 2, 2015 - 7:27 AM

    Before I got and pin ALL OF THE PICTURES to my kitchen inspiration board (next summer, woot!), I have to ask how the La Crema was? I’m hosting a blind tasting later this month and the hostess has to have a less common wine choice, no?

    I absolutely love your kitchen. It truly is timeless! I am excited to show it to my husband and convince him of so many elements (the BRIGHTNESS and the white and those counters!). Congratulations on a beautiful space.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 7:58 AM

      SO GOOD. So smooth. Dangerously so. A go to for sure! It didn’t take long to polish off!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - September 2, 2015 - 8:08 AM

    This is functional and bright without feeling cold and sterile. I rent but, I think I would make similar decisions in a house.ReplyCancel

  • katy - September 2, 2015 - 8:42 AM

    That is so ridiculously good. A feast for my eyes!!!! What a dream kitchen. Those doors are to die for, that SUNLIGHT!!! So good.ReplyCancel

  • Loryn - September 2, 2015 - 8:46 AM

    I’ll admit I was skeptical about getting rid of the second window. But it totally paid off. The kitchen is so full of light! It looks like a beautiful place to cook.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 8:51 AM

      Thank you! There’s way more light with the door than there ever was two windows, so the move paid off. (Not to mention, the other window faced our neighbor’s house, and in Chicago, houses are like 2′ apart!)ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - September 2, 2015 - 8:50 AM

    Round of applause from this Mommy of 2 in Michigan! Your kitchen looks wonderful. The furnace corner is my favorite. I also love your food bowl shelf, so cute! I think everyone needs a donut pic in their kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - September 2, 2015 - 8:51 AM

    My jaw has officially dropped! Job well done Kim & Scott!! The kitchen looks amazing! Having just completed our own DIY kitchen renovation, I understand all the struggles; but isn’t so 100% worth it!? I still walk in to ours and just smile ear to ear! and our furries love it too! Enjoy it!


    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:27 AM

      The struggles feel like a million years ago! It was all worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 2, 2015 - 8:54 AM

    OMG, it looks absolutely incredible!!! Worth the wait for sure! The before and afters are just magical. And I love the pup portraits over their bowls… ahh! :)ReplyCancel

  • Elissa - September 2, 2015 - 8:55 AM

    The kitchen is gorgeous! I particularly appreciate your choices for where to hang the artwork – I’m struggling with that myself currently, and it’s neat to see some non-traditional choices for inspiration. The whole space is just so good.

    Also – I remember when I picked up my Milo chair last winter that you’d mentioned painting the pups in a new style, and I’ve been wondering what you were going to come up with. I *love* the new paintings – they’re hysterical!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:34 AM

      Haha, oh man, that feels like ages ago! I think I’ve had these paintings done since February, because we thought we’d be done with the kitchen by March. It’s been killing me to keep them tucked away!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - September 2, 2015 - 8:57 AM

    This exceeded all my expectations and my expectations were high for you two. Every detail feels so intentional and so you, yet it’s a kitchen I wouldn’t mind spending my own life in! It’s perfect. While our kitchen is turning out to be exactly how you described it, the moody older sister to yours, I’m so glad you finished first. Because as always, you remind me that great design is personal and has some quirk. (note: must add quirk!) I love it. I love it. And I couldn’t be happier for you guys to be on the other end, enjoying a glass, errr celebratory bottle of wine in your fabulous finished kitchen.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:27 AM

      Thank you, woman! You are a constant inspiration to me (and Scott!), and I am loving – LOVING – watching the moody sister unfold. XOXOReplyCancel

  • Jessica Anderson - September 2, 2015 - 9:04 AM

    I love everything about this kitchen! Worth the wait! We are currently deciding on tile for our kitchen, and I am wondering your opinion on the matte tile. I love the look but wondering how it is to clean vs glossy tile. Thanks for any info!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:33 AM

      It’s no more difficult to keep clean! It’s not completely matte… more of like an eggshell. So while not glossy, it’s still super wipeable. We love it so so much.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - September 2, 2015 - 9:05 AM

    I think this may just be my favorite kitchen reno, yet! While I do like it when walls are blown out and you get this completely new space, I’m a huge sucker for leaving an old home with it’s more original floor plan. Great job!

    Also, did you paint those portraits over their food station? The flowers add the most hilarious touch, and I really really want some of Lou and Spanky now! :)ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - September 2, 2015 - 9:21 AM

    HOLY MOLY! This looks so incredible and has me rethinking my own kitchen (with 96-inch windows that go nearly to the floor, I get the counter space issue). I’m so impressed with this, you guys. Well worth the wait.ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - September 2, 2015 - 9:52 AM

    What a fabulous transformation! The dog station is genius.ReplyCancel

  • Brynne@TheGatheredHome - September 2, 2015 - 9:53 AM

    Bravo!!! What a payoff! I’m sure those months of waiting don’t seem so bad now that you have such a gorgeous finished space! I LOVE the choices you made and the way it all came together!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - September 2, 2015 - 10:09 AM

    Two VERY important questions:

    1. Does your wooden spoon have a smiley face on it?

    2. Does the storage jar keep your coffee fresh? I need a better (read: prettier) solution to the bags coffee is sold in!

    Kitchen looks amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:31 AM

      Yes, very important indeed!

      1. It does! For the life of me, I can’t remember the website/vendor where we got it, but we picked it up locally at the Randolph Flea Market where they had a booth set up. Does anyone local know?!

      2. It does not have a rubber gasket around the lid, so I think that if you’re a sow coffee drinker, it has the potential to go stale. We love the jar though (Heritage Hill jar from Crate & Barrel), and we drink coffee very fast. Apparently we love our vices. (wine, anyone?) We’ve had it for a few months now, and even when we grind up a whole bag of nice beans and pour it in, it’s good to the last drop!ReplyCancel

      • Kate - September 2, 2015 - 5:14 PM

        One more question: which La Crema Pinot Noir was it? I looked on their site and there are a lot!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 5:28 PM

          Ah, just checked – it was the Monterey 2012!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - September 2, 2015 - 10:34 AM

    OK – the kitchen is absolutely gorgeous (love the colors and the flow!) but I literally laughed out loud with glee when I got to the food station for the puppies. Those paintings are absolutely fantastic and just MAKE that corner. :)


  • Katrina @ hurricane sandwich and the casita - September 2, 2015 - 10:37 AM

    This is absolutely incredible, Kim and Scott!! Those 8 months were worth it for this payoff! It gives me such encouragement as we are starting our kitchen remodel!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - September 2, 2015 - 10:41 AM

    The kitchen looks amazing! Quick question for you on CC’s stylish collar – where did you guys find it?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 10:52 AM

      Dublin Dog! Jack used to have one in blue/green, and it held up for YEARS before it was munched on at doggy day care by another pup. You can find it here:

      They’re on sale! Highly recommend.ReplyCancel

      • Gretchen - September 2, 2015 - 11:01 AM

        Thanks so much!!! Ours (Penny) has one but it’s changed colors from light pink to brown – she needs something more girly. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jesse Doogan - September 2, 2015 - 10:46 AM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. So pretty and clean and bright. I am so glad white appliances are back. I’m getting pretty bored with stainless everything.

    Okay, I know you’re done, but wouldn’t stained glass in that transom look amazing? Just bring some color and warmth to that wall, and the sun would shine it right on to your island? I can’t stop picturing it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 11:48 AM

      White appliances #ftw, right?!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Chism - September 2, 2015 - 10:54 AM

    Looks beautiful. Where are those leather liquor decanter labels from? So cute!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 2, 2015 - 10:54 AM

    Beautiful! Where did you get those awesome booze bottles with the cute little pink labels?ReplyCancel

  • Karly - September 2, 2015 - 11:27 AM

    What a beautiful space!ReplyCancel

  • misie - September 2, 2015 - 11:34 AM

    you guys are amazing! It looks absolutely fantastic! I covet your natural light and all the artwork. Excellent job friends – you deserved that bottle of wine…and probably what used to be a full bottle of bourbon…it’s looking a little low :-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 11:39 AM

      Hmm, the booze in our home seems to disappear quickly! Must be the elves.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Heart Tree Home - September 2, 2015 - 11:59 AM

    SOOOOOO good! Are you planning to do a budget breakdown? :-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 12:17 PM

      Oh, Amanda! Our budget philosophy is always, ‘what can we save by DIY, and how can we do this as little as possible without sacrificing quality?’ It has been so long, but I can absolutely let you know a few of the larger priced items:

      Appliances = $2,500
      Cabinets (refacing and new) = $5,000
      Quartzite counters (slab + install) = $4,000
      Moving electric, gas, patching drywall, pocket door install = $3,000
      Sliding door + transom = $5-6,000 (provided by Pella)
      Sliding door install = $3,000

      All said and done and over the course of almost a year (going back to when we slowly started buying appliances), I can realistically say that this huge overhaul cost us around $18,000. That said, we also collaborated with some amazing, wonderful companies that allowed us to stretch our dollars a bit more. We do not take that position lightly, and we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude towards everyone who reads up on our adventures!

      I sincerely hope this helps a bit. :)ReplyCancel

  • susan - September 2, 2015 - 1:00 PM

    i think the stove/refrigerator wall is such a huge improvement over the ‘before’. the cabinetry and appliances fills out that nook and really helps hide your furnace closet. that and your gorgeous little hutch make the need to work around your furnace a non issue! of course all the rest is lovely too, but that before/after shot of that view was a standout to me. great job on everything including the waiting!

    p.s. i like the island turned around with blue! stools towards the wet wall…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 1:27 PM

      Thank you! All those things you mentioned were the hope and goal. And yes to the island! Those blue stools were a game changer. So vibrant when the sun streams in.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - September 2, 2015 - 2:51 PM

    Just beautiful!! I LOVE the rug and all the hits of color scattered around. Y’all have been so helpful in our own DIY adventures. Seriously, we have used your guidance for a ton of things in our own home. Great job!!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany R - September 2, 2015 - 4:37 PM

    I love it! Where did you hide this room’s construction picture?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 5:16 PM

      You have a great memory!! There isn’t one – yet. I should tuck one of the pocket door demolition by the door, perhaps?!ReplyCancel

  • Alana in Canada - September 2, 2015 - 4:45 PM

    Hooray! Gorgeous. The pictures are a bit deceiving, though–it is hard to believe you had that much room over by the fridge–not only for the stove, but also for a pull out pantry!

    I’d love to see a tutorial for the dog bowl station. I love how it is up off the floor. We should do something like that for our fur baby.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2015 - 5:15 PM

      It’s true, there really is a ton of room along that side of the kitchen! We even have empty cabinets, which is a really glorious feeling.

      I did take photos of the process, and we’ll share the tutorial for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - September 2, 2015 - 5:22 PM

    Congratulations to you both, you’ve created something beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile - September 2, 2015 - 5:52 PM

    Everything is STUNNING!!! I love, love, love how much artwork you have hanging in the space! And those rugs! And that door! And those pups! Everything is so perfect :)ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - September 2, 2015 - 6:05 PM

    Guys!!! It looks so amazing! Of course I love everything. The slider is perfect in black and all the gorgeous art adds the perfect personal touch. Congrats.ReplyCancel

  • Candice - September 2, 2015 - 6:49 PM

    Wow what a gorgeous space! May I ask where you sourced your countertops? We are about to switch out our counters, and white quartzite is top of my wish list!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 8:52 AM

      We picked our slab at MGSI:

      They had a lot to choose from, and they were very patient with us as we looked at many of them and tagged our favorite!ReplyCancel

  • maria laura - September 2, 2015 - 6:51 PM

    All I can say is WOW!!! I LOVE your kitchen! I think it reveals your personality about each choises you done… I love how you have bring your room together. Great job!


  • Emily - September 2, 2015 - 7:24 PM

    I cannot stop looking at the photos of your GORGEOUS kitchen. (Seriously, have looked at this post 3 times already). AMAZING job, you should be so proud of your hard work. I love the combo of the colours and accent pieces, it is utter perfection!!

    Can I ask what the width of your kitchen is between the cabs, and the dimensions of the island?

    Again, amazing job (now I am going to look at your pics again!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 8:54 AM

      Thank you so much, Emily! To answer your question: we have about 3′ on two sides of the island (between the island and stove, island and sink area), about 4′ by the hutch and a good 4-5′ to the sliding door. The island itself is 4.5’x2′(ish).ReplyCancel

      • Emily - September 3, 2015 - 2:20 PM

        Thanks so much for the information! We too, have an old house (1924) and the kitchen is not the modern-day open layout and we’re trying to work within it. I would love a little island space and your feedback is incredibly useful.

        I’ll be back about 50 more times to drool over your photots :)


  • Alexis - September 2, 2015 - 10:54 PM

    Amazing! Like everything you do, it’s immaculate and stunning, but this kitchen really is a show stopper.
    Where is the demo/before/construction photo going like you’ve had in the other rooms?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 8:55 AM

      Ha! Bethany commented on this too! You guys are good. We hadn’t included one – yet! I’m thinking maybe the pocket door construction to hang by the door? It’s tough, because the kitchen construction wasn’t as insane as the other parts of the house, and I’m not sure if I have a good shot. I’ll need to dig through my photos for sure! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - September 3, 2015 - 6:17 AM

    Please consider a post on the cabinet pull out shelves and what you did to improve the access/organization for use of the cabinets. I always learn something new from reading about your home rehab projects thanks so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Rebs - September 3, 2015 - 8:50 AM

      I second this request! Would love to see your organization in the cabs.

      Love the kitchen too. I love how it’s modern but not like every other kitchen out there. So much personality!!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 8:58 AM

        Thanks, guys! Our cabinet organization isn’t that special, I promise! We do have a lot of extra cabinet space, because we purged, purged, purged at a yard sale this summer. (For example, we have a set of 12 glasses, about 6 wine glasses and 6 cocktail glasses. We purged anything else we didn’t use all the time, and we haven’t missed a thing!)

        We also use cubbies/baskets to organize deeper drawers and you may have seen our under sink pull out organizer. GAME CHANGER!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - September 3, 2015 - 7:55 AM

    Love the whole kitchen, and that you stayed true to the original space, but I had a real moment of nostalgia over the ice bucket, my mom had one just like it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 9:00 AM

      Scott’s mom has one too! We love it. So sweet.ReplyCancel

  • katie - September 3, 2015 - 8:32 AM

    I love how bright it is, with the added door and light and the bright white finishes. Love the counters of course, makes me miss our quartzite from our first house. Great job! All of the personal touches really add a final layer to the space :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily I. - September 3, 2015 - 11:07 AM

    I love it! The all white with pops of color from the door and the island. The art is very cool, the donut piece is my favorite. And, the corner feeder for the dogs is so clever! The kitchen just looks amazing. And, the wine was a very good choice, my husband loves that one.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 4:43 PM

      It’s definitely a new favorite for us now too!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - September 3, 2015 - 3:15 PM

    What a treat it is seeing it all come together – you guys must be over the moon! I especially love the pops of color and personality, and it’s great to hear how things have been performing for you. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - September 3, 2015 - 3:17 PM

    You guys! It’s absolutely stunning! Congrats on finally crossing the finish line on this renovation :)ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - September 3, 2015 - 4:20 PM

    ZOMG YOU GUYS!!!! It looks amaaaaaazzzziiiing!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 4:44 PM

      Haha, thank you for always being our cheerleader, Jodi!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - September 3, 2015 - 4:47 PM

    Congrats guys! This was a long, hard road but you both ended up at a beautiful destination. Kitchen looks amazing and all the finishing touches you added make me envious. So happy you have such an awesome space to enjoy now! Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Kara - September 3, 2015 - 7:28 PM

    Congrats! It looks awesome and was well worth the wait – ooh, that natural light! I love the mix of eclectic items with the clean sleek modern, and hooray for white appliances. We’re working on finishing our kitchen remodel and went all white for our appliances. They are so shiny, bright, and reflect the light so nicely. I too am looking forward to hanging art – thanks for such an inspirational post that encourages us to tackle the remaining items on our to do list and get to that art!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 3, 2015 - 9:53 PM

      The art will be soooo satisfying!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - September 4, 2015 - 7:12 AM

    Wow! This is absolutely beautiful! Every detail!! The black door, the artwork, stools, hardware, touches of wood, light… All of it! Congrats.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - September 5, 2015 - 12:23 PM

    This is such a beautiful kitchen! Congrats! Do you have any advice for finding rugs like that on eBay?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2015 - 7:47 PM

      Hmm, so what I do is: put Persian rug in the search, narrow the category by antiques and size, then I sort from low to high. I’ve found some great sellers that way!ReplyCancel

  • Brandi - September 5, 2015 - 5:24 PM

    You’re kitchen is absolutely stunning! I am amazed at your attention to details. As a dog owner, I’m so in love with the feeding station. Seriously, the best thing I’ve seen on the internet, dare I say ever!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2015 - 7:46 PM

      So sweet! Thank you, Brandi!ReplyCancel

  • Links to Love | Element of Chic - September 14, 2015 - 5:32 PM

    […] Have been following this renovation since the beginning, so happy to see the final reveal. […]ReplyCancel

  • Randy - September 18, 2015 - 1:16 AM

    Your kitchen looks seriously good. What a great job you both did. Would love to have something like that!ReplyCancel

  • Ariel - September 21, 2015 - 3:52 PM

    Looks amazing!!ReplyCancel



Our plans for the garage were a bit of a roller coaster. Initially, we thought we’d hang some hooks, get our bicycles off the floor and call it a day. But then we remembered, ha, this is us!, and considering we seemingly love to add an element of extra work to most things (busted), we thought, but how can we make it a space we really, really enjoy?

From there, our plans escalated – a new concrete pad! painting all the plywood! brighter lights and an automatic door! – but after realizing our roof needed repair, we had to reel it back in. All said and done (the concrete pad became a ‘someday’ wish), we think we hit a happy balance for these two DIYers. It’s so, so much better, and I’m pretty sure I even called it cute! when we called it complete. I don’t have the heart to show the true before photos in this post (they were just too terrible), but this’ll do to show you how things stood with a good cleaning before really diving in. Here’s where we sort-of started:


After addressing that leaky roof, we added a pegboard wall and painted everything a clean grayish white, Zen Pebble by Valspar. There were a handful of smaller to-dos from there – installing a side door, painting exterior trim and cabinets, waterproofing with caulk and hanging curtains(!) – and then we took to Ace Hardware to knock out our punch list. A fun Friday night for the Vargos is a trip to the hardware store (you think I’m kidding?), and wanting to finish the garage once and for all, we spent a good hour loading up on all the things we’d need to complete the job!


We loaded our cart with everything from heavy duty hangers to paper towel holders to storage bins. Every last item we needed was checked off our shopping list, that is, minus a handful of pegboard hooks and cubbies that were passed down to us by a friendly reader (Margot, you’re awesome!).

garage-47 garage-48

Our DIY island, above, has been living in the garage as extra work space since we began our kitchen renovation, and we added a 2×12 board to stash our miter saw and any future tools. Below, I could not resist this little dinosaur spotted in the checkout line at Ace! I’m guessing that no one is really surprised by that? Dinos 4-ever.

garage-50 garage-52 garage-49

When we bought our home two summers ago, a friend of Scott’s gave us a few knick knacks from his father’s garage. One of those items is this nifty blue odds-n-ends organizer, which came in surprisingly handy on a few occasions already! Most of the bins are labeled with masking tape and thick marker, although some of the empties hold a surprise or two.


To the right of the main workbench, we had tidied up our bikes, remaining bins and lawn tools, but it was still a constant fight to pull out anything we needed:


Now, look at all that glorious floor space! There’s a hook for everything, and for the first time in ever, our bikes are being stored on actual racks! After settling on all the placement, we joked that it felt like our own tiny storefront. I’d like that weed whacker, please and thank you.

garage-55 garage-56 garage-57

We took a day earlier this summer to create wood storage, seen below to the left of the workbench. Game changer! This was before we painted, but after a big clean-up:


Ooh, cleanliness. Those two bins beneath the wood piles are full of smaller scraps, and just as we did in our indoor workshop, we stashed our extra long ladder high out of the way:

garage-58 garage-59

A bonus to having exposed framework in the garage? You can stash odds and ends between the studs! We used bungee cords and eye hooks in a few places to tuck things away and keep things nice and neat.

garage-60 garage-61 garage-62

Our Garage To-Do List is all crossed off except for garage door repair/replacement (and sadly, the garage floor will have to wait). But we are working on it, having already collected a couple of quotes. Soon enough, we should be able to open and close that door with the touch of a button, and, you know, park a car in here!

Just as Ace Hardware helped us whip this outdoor room into shape, they want to do the same for one of you, and so together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader!  The giveaway runs through Thursday, September 3rd at 5pm CST; simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced within this post by Thursday evening. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel. Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own.

  • Lisa Brown - August 31, 2015 - 6:50 AM

    All kinds of things on my mind today; hope your day, and week, is fantastic :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus - August 31, 2015 - 7:09 AM

    Wow, totally inspiring. I really love the bungee cord ideas and that little organizer with screws. You have me putting our garage on the to-do list.

    On my mind today: Another cup of coffee. It’s early!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - August 31, 2015 - 7:59 AM

    What a beautiful garage. I am working slowing to organize and create a small shed that will hopefully hold all my lovely tools and supplies!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - August 31, 2015 - 8:01 AM

    Why are before and afters so satisfying?! I love seeing the grey/white garage – it looks beautiful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - August 31, 2015 - 8:05 AM

    it looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Aucoin - August 31, 2015 - 8:11 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway!!ReplyCancel

  • Nate - August 31, 2015 - 8:21 AM

    In to win! Love all the work yall have done!ReplyCancel

  • Justynn @ Creative Life Antics - August 31, 2015 - 8:30 AM

    I’m weirdly excited over all these garage storage ideas you guys are posting. We close on our first house with a full garage in less than two weeks and I’m so EXCITED about all the organizing and storage and workshop builds coming up!

    Thanks for the ideas again!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 8:51 AM

      Oh, awesome! Congrats to you! So exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Harper - August 31, 2015 - 8:31 AM

    Is the concrete pad in worse shape than it looks? Seems okay in pictures but I know they can be deceiving!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 8:50 AM

      It’s pretty rough in some areas, and not so bad in others. The worst parts of the pad are mostly at the garage entrance (where the car enters), although there are some crumbling chunks along the edges… it will likely need to be repaired/replaced at some point, but it’s not an emergency, thank goodness!ReplyCancel

  • Jenn C - August 31, 2015 - 8:41 AM

    I love the pegboard and the use of bungee cords!ReplyCancel

  • Amy c - August 31, 2015 - 8:50 AM

    Looks great. We need to something similar to our garage workshop, especially the pegboard.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Ck - August 31, 2015 - 8:54 AM

    This looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - August 31, 2015 - 8:56 AM

    Anything on my mind? The only thing on my mind today is how I wish I would go into labor! I have 2 weeks until my due date but I wish the baby would come now!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Kristina - August 31, 2015 - 8:56 AM

    This looks amazing! I absolutely love your color choices (pinned it as soon as you first posted the paint job), and it is fun to see it all finished!!ReplyCancel

  • karen - August 31, 2015 - 8:58 AM

    I would love to have an organized garage/work bench. Would love to try the “Magic Art of Tidying” trick with my tools. I am sure I have so many screwdrivers stashed in the garage, basement, drawers, etc.!ReplyCancel

  • cassie @ primitive & proper - August 31, 2015 - 8:59 AM

    WOW! this is nothing short of AMAZING. the colors, the white with the blue cabinets and wood tops…. LOVE! so organized and so fresh!ReplyCancel

  • Elissa - August 31, 2015 - 9:06 AM

    I love how the sawhorses fit so neatly into the studs of the garage – makes my heart happy! We are constantly battling a need for storage of tools and this makes everything looks so neat and tidy. Do you guys feel it’s pretty easy for you to keep everything this organized, or will it all disintegrate into chaos over time?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 9:54 AM

      Our hope is that it stays this way! As we hung and stashed everything, we did so with the intention that it would be EASIER to keep it clean. A place for everything and everything in its place.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - August 31, 2015 - 9:11 AM

    Seeing fabulous garage before and afters is always so motivating! Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get our bums in gear and whip our garage into shape next weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Christy G. - August 31, 2015 - 9:15 AM

    I love the white. So clean and fresh!!ReplyCancel

  • christine - August 31, 2015 - 9:28 AM

    I’m afraid to step foot in our shed, so this is seriously impressive!ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda G - August 31, 2015 - 9:34 AM

    This looks sooo great! My garage is such a mess. I am ashamed of it.ReplyCancel

  • Esha - August 31, 2015 - 9:45 AM

    it looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine - August 31, 2015 - 9:48 AM

    All of your organization and painting add to the excitement of closing in a few short weeks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 9:54 AM

      Hooray! Congrats to you!!ReplyCancel

  • Kari - August 31, 2015 - 9:52 AM

    Everything you do inspires me – but the garage stuff? Above and beyond! I am completely in awe of your garage organization magic.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 9:55 AM

      Let’s just say we were REALLY motivated. After 2 winters of complete chaos and shivering at the thought of working in the garage, we knew it had to change!ReplyCancel

  • Patti - August 31, 2015 - 9:53 AM

    Your garage looks great! Congrats on the hard work paying off.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - August 31, 2015 - 9:57 AM

    omg, i would just sit and stare at the beauty of your hard work!!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca G. - August 31, 2015 - 9:58 AM

    Building a new house means constant trips to the hardware store for us!ReplyCancel

  • Trilby C. - August 31, 2015 - 10:00 AM

    Right now, I’m a bit jealous of your exposed studs in the garage. We did a HUGE garage cleaning job yesterday here, and I struggle with places to hang (hide?) things in our completely drywalled garage. Though I do have a few ideas of how to get the yard tools (weed whacker, hedge trimmer, etc) off the floor now, thanks to your pictures!!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - August 31, 2015 - 10:02 AM

    Our garage is definitely a work in progress! We hung some of our stuff (our bikes have been hanging since the apartment days) and now we just need to organize the rest of it. Slow and steady seems to be our renovation pace.ReplyCancel

  • Haley W - August 31, 2015 - 10:05 AM

    Inspired by this!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - August 31, 2015 - 10:05 AM

    Motivated to conquer our detached garage! Thank you for all of the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Molly W - August 31, 2015 - 10:10 AM

    Looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Karen - August 31, 2015 - 10:16 AM

    I love how the garage has come along. It is so bright. Great job.ReplyCancel

  • Missy G. - August 31, 2015 - 10:25 AM

    Looks so clean and organized! I thinking I should send this post to the hubby to light a fire under his tush to do the same!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Lee - August 31, 2015 - 10:38 AM

    Looks soo neat and organized! I need to do the same for my garage!ReplyCancel

  • Nathan - August 31, 2015 - 10:55 AM

    Organizing our garage as been on the list for some time, but haven’t wanted to spend the money or time doing it, since few people see it. Now, I think we need to get on it!ReplyCancel

  • Carley M - August 31, 2015 - 10:55 AM

    That is one nifty garage! Love it :)ReplyCancel

  • Staci - August 31, 2015 - 10:56 AM

    OMG, serious garage envy over here!! Might have to do some work on our tiny carport storage space… Don’t you miss condo life? ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Bridget P. - August 31, 2015 - 11:05 AM

    Nice job on the garage!ReplyCancel

  • Missy - August 31, 2015 - 11:07 AM

    Just looking at the few pictures, I can see where your floor has settled in certain spots. Have you gotten a quote for mud jacking the floor? It’s typically a lot cheaper than tearing out and re pouring the whole floor. The garage looks 1000% better than the before! Makes me want to spend the weekend getting my garage cleaned out and organized myself! LOVE the curtain idea.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 31, 2015 - 11:15 AM

      Thanks for the tip, Missy! We hadn’t looked into that yet.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - August 31, 2015 - 11:09 AM

    The garage looks awesome!!ReplyCancel

  • Breanna Veth - August 31, 2015 - 11:18 AM

    Love the garage it looks fantastic! I was looking for the tutorial on the supplies you used to frame your 100 year-old nails and couldn’t find it.. Do you know where I could find that link?ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Flasche - August 31, 2015 - 11:21 AM

    Our garage is scary! Hope to use some of your organizing tips, Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer S - August 31, 2015 - 11:48 AM

    Beautiful garage! What a great inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Wellman - August 31, 2015 - 11:51 AM

    You guys did such a fantastic job, you should be so proud! Perfect you added a little dinosaur touch too :)ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - August 31, 2015 - 11:58 AM

    This is seriously motivating!ReplyCancel

  • Jordan Troublefield - August 31, 2015 - 12:47 PM

    I’m full of garage envy- that ceiling is too cool!!! Love love loveReplyCancel

  • Andrea - August 31, 2015 - 12:56 PM

    I have a seriously tiny storage closet where I’m trying to organize my power tools, lawn tools, seasonal decor, and bike. I think some peg board and a real bike rack would definitely help!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Lynn - August 31, 2015 - 1:06 PM

    I reckon your garage is brighter and more organized than our household, haha. Looks great guys! :)ReplyCancel

  • Anna - August 31, 2015 - 1:07 PM

    Our garage needs some serious organization. Yours looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - August 31, 2015 - 2:00 PM

    That garage is filling up quite nicely! Especially that peg board wall.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Rosie - August 31, 2015 - 2:05 PM

    Ace Hardware is the only hardware store I love going to. The ppl who work there are knowledgeable and helpful and the merchandise is wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - August 31, 2015 - 2:23 PM

    We’ve spent quite a few Friday Date Nights wandering the aisles of our local Lowe’s, so I don’t doubt you there!

    The garage looks great :)ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - August 31, 2015 - 2:24 PM

    One of the very first things we did when we moved into our place was to add motors to the garage doors, it makes such a difference!

    Lots of inspiration here for my workshop that I am slowly trying to organise and make functional. I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to scratch through a drawer of assorted crap just to find a screwdriver!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 1, 2015 - 1:36 PM

      We felt the same way. Can’t believe that day is here! At least the organizing is sort of fun, right?!ReplyCancel

  • kathyg - August 31, 2015 - 2:31 PM

    Love the bungee cord idea!ReplyCancel

  • Ursula Ellis - August 31, 2015 - 2:31 PM

    If mine could have just a quarter of the organization you’ve managed here, I’d be ecstatic. What a great job. And thanks for the chance to enter the give-away.ReplyCancel

  • alex - August 31, 2015 - 2:52 PM

    having serious garage envy!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - August 31, 2015 - 3:01 PM

    I would love to win this gift card…I think I would use it to buy a paint sprayer. We have bunches of painting projects lined up and it would make life so much easier :)ReplyCancel

  • Kari - August 31, 2015 - 3:21 PM

    Well…I’m super excited because my wonderful and giving mother just bought us some new dining room furniture. I’m 46 years old and this will be the first time in my adult life that I’ve actually had dining room furiture. SQUEEEE!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - August 31, 2015 - 3:39 PM

    It looks so great and makes me not want to open the door to our overstuffed and unorganized garage.ReplyCancel

  • Corey @ TinySidekick - August 31, 2015 - 4:14 PM

    This looks so amazing. I love the idea of putting leftover wood up and horizontal to get it out of the way. That is one of the things I’ve been wanting to figure out and this is a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Hall - August 31, 2015 - 4:54 PM

    Wow, that looks awesome! Great job. It must be so nice to have a neatly organized garage…I can dream…ReplyCancel

  • Trude - August 31, 2015 - 5:20 PM

    It all came together so perfectly! It must make working out there so much less of a chore. :)ReplyCancel

  • shaunie - August 31, 2015 - 6:06 PM

    So many things to do. Would love to repaint and redecorate the the living room.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - August 31, 2015 - 7:11 PM

    Wow — your garage is looking seriously good! This make me want to tackle the storage area in our basement.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley C - August 31, 2015 - 8:11 PM

    We started planning our patio for next year so this would help us get a jump start on it!


  • Susan Christy - August 31, 2015 - 8:33 PM

    Looking at the paint colors makes me want to grab a brush and redo every room in my house!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - August 31, 2015 - 8:50 PM

    Swooning over the organization! Can’t wait to copy your wood storage method!ReplyCancel

  • Moxie - August 31, 2015 - 9:44 PM

    Ah! I wish we had a garage. It’s really come together. I’m waiting for it to not be ridic hot so I can get to work on our shed.ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie - August 31, 2015 - 10:32 PM

    Do you actually park in your garage now?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 1, 2015 - 8:11 AM

      We just started doing it this week! Magical!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel T. - August 31, 2015 - 11:27 PM

    Everything has a place — so neat!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - August 31, 2015 - 11:43 PM

    I’ve never seen a prettier, more organized garage! I need to get one of those bike racks.ReplyCancel

  • Anna V - September 1, 2015 - 1:45 AM

    Great tips! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - September 1, 2015 - 6:32 AM

    I’m pretty sure all garages need peg board walls and pretty wood storage! Your garage looks so good and I love the pop of blue.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - September 1, 2015 - 6:55 AM

    On my mind today, I hope the weeds I started killing on Sunday are actually dying otherwise I won’t be able to bring in the ??cyd of loam to reseed the front lawn this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 1, 2015 - 7:46 AM

    I just moved into my first home on Sunday and I could not be more excited to have a garage since I never had one growing up but it needs soooooo much work. New siding and facia and a new garage door opener as well but most importantly ORGANIZATION. Loving this post!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 1, 2015 - 8:14 AM

      We feel you! Good luck, and remember to have fun with it!ReplyCancel

  • susan - September 1, 2015 - 7:55 AM

    bungee cords + eye hooks = fabulous!!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - September 1, 2015 - 8:27 AM

    Come do my garage! Yours looks great! I love all of the peg boards.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - September 1, 2015 - 9:06 AM

    Love all the organization! Looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Elle - September 1, 2015 - 9:36 AM

    I was just at Ace Hardware last week and would love to win!ReplyCancel

  • Tanja - September 1, 2015 - 10:55 AM

    Thank you for inspiring me to get my garage in better shape. I need to get on this.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah B - September 1, 2015 - 11:00 AM

    Love the blue cabinets! Adds a nice touch to the garage.ReplyCancel

  • Beth G. - September 1, 2015 - 1:05 PM

    I need to paint my kitchen. I hope I win!ReplyCancel

  • Anna J - September 1, 2015 - 3:55 PM

    I love your love for organization! Makes my heart happy!ReplyCancel

  • KathleenC - September 1, 2015 - 6:47 PM

    Great giveaway! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • DJ - September 1, 2015 - 8:20 PM

    This is so well organized! I wish our garage looked like this!ReplyCancel

  • spiffikins - September 1, 2015 - 9:59 PM

    I need one of those doodad holders! Garage looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - September 2, 2015 - 5:41 AM

    I’m so super jealous. If people would see my garage, I think they would stop reading my blog.ReplyCancel

  • Kayley - September 2, 2015 - 12:47 PM

    What’s on my mind today is that it’s almost lunch time and I’m wondering what I should eat. Oh, and work stuff, I suppose. :PReplyCancel

  • Charlene - September 2, 2015 - 12:59 PM

    I would love to get my garage organized! Unfortunately I just have piles of cardboard boxes everywhere.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - September 2, 2015 - 1:26 PM

    Fantastic! Very inspiring!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly D - September 2, 2015 - 4:39 PM

    I would love to do a project like this in our garage.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - September 3, 2015 - 9:20 AM

    Love the idea of the curtains to hide away any mess!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette C. - September 3, 2015 - 12:00 PM

    Would love to win to buy products to complete some unfinished projects in my house!ReplyCancel

  • Kat - September 3, 2015 - 12:03 PM

    I like a white painted garage for a lighter, brighter workspace, however it highlights every single spider web in my garage! EEEK!ReplyCancel

  • Kala - September 3, 2015 - 2:31 PM

    i love the feeling of an organized space!ReplyCancel

  • Bridgette - September 3, 2015 - 2:44 PM

    Good motivation! My garage is in need of some LOVE :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily I - September 3, 2015 - 3:11 PM

    love all the great storage options!ReplyCancel