Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Kitchen Re-do Part One!

My name is Lori and I work at 
Robyn Story Designs - a job that I adore.
I think Confucius once said
"Find a job that you love and you'll never work a day in your life"
Enough said......
There are far more pro's to my job then con's.  
On a regular basis I meet the most amazing people
Loyal customers come by each day and I'm happy to be able to say they have become friends
I work with a group of people that I simply adore. 
I am paid to be creative...seriously, that in itself is a HUGE bonus
and of course, Robyn.  She's qwerky and crazy and one of the smartest women I know.
One of the best aspects of my job is helping people create a home.  Robyn Story Designs has the most beautiful home decor items.  We are fortunate to be asked regularly to please help someone with their house.  So we load up Robyn's van with all sorts of wonderful goodies and head over to our clients home to re-accessorize, reorganize and redesign their spaces.
an example of what we do!

a picture of one of our client's homes
This is for sure an amazing thing, however, I then have to come home to my house.  I love my home but after you've spent a day at one of our client's homes, mine feels a bit 'inadequate'.

 Here lies the 'con' of my job.
Robyn and I say regularly that we wish someone would come in and do for us what we do for others,
there just isn't enough time in a day to concentrate on your own stuff when you're busy running a successful boutique and design service.
one of my favorite vignettes, filled with lovely beauties

So, not feeling content with our home we started the search for perfection
or at least something that was a change from what we have

We spent our winter house-hunting
condo searching...
Thinking we could downsize to a place on the water.
If you are lucky enough to live in Florida
why not surround yourself with all that Florida has to offer

 Palm Trees


Well, we learned after 6 intensive months of research and house hunting
Why we needed to stay put.
Apparently, I have expensive taste (this surprised no one!) and a very light wallet
Living on the intracoastal or the beach is BIG bucks
So, we came home after the last exhaustive day and decided to redo things in our own home.
After all, we live on the water...
Okay, a lake...but we have an amazing back yard so why not stay and spend a little in our home to make it even better. 

And that's where it all began.

The kitchen is the heart of our home.  I love to cook and it always seems our family congregates in the kitchen.  Moving South from Pennsylvania was a big decision and one that I was totally onboard with, but the one thing I struggled with most was leaving my beautiful kitchen.
 It was just a dream kitchen.

Down here, things are different, homes are built with different priorities.  It wasn't until months of searching that I finally asked a builder why the kitchens are just 'eh' unless we spend a lot more money than I wanted to spend.  The reason was simple - does a builder invest $40,000 into a great kitchen or do they spend $40,000 into a gorgeous pool/lanai area?

Pools in Florida are as necessary as fireplaces in Montana.

That being said, we decided to start in our 'eh' kitchen.

 Don't judge me on this kitchen.  Yes, it is mine before our transformation.  But you have to work with what you have....right?
Let me point out what I DO like, I like staggered cabinets.  It gives a little more interest to a kitchen.
 But the problem with them is what do you do above them?  There's a large expanse of wall above them just screaming for something.  So I filled it up with stuff to visually fill the space

  I LOVE crown molding above cabinets
But if it's insignificantly sized, it looks like it's missing something.

The below picture will tell you what really started our disdain.  The cabinet doors are all natural solid wood with a natural maple stain.
However the box that held the doors is all laminate.

What happens over a period of time is that the wood will age, naturally, and the laminate will stay the same...........FOREVER.  Ugh, how I hated to see this and it is very obvious when you enter our kitchen.  Look at the pictures above, between the doors you'll see the lighter color.  Hated it.

So more research had begun. We went to Home Depot and Lowe's (my home away from home) and had them redesign our kitchen.
We went to Kraftmaid Kitchen Center and had them redesign our kitchen
We checked out several local Kitchen and Bath centers for their ideas.

We discovered that a new kitchen (just cabinets, not granite, not new appliances and no real bells and whistles) was going to cost us roughtly $30-40 thousand dollars.


Not in this home and not in this time of our economy.  But you know what the kicker was?
Nothing excited us.  How can we spend that kind of money and not be excited about what we were getting?!

Seemed ridiculous.

Stay tuned for our progress, the decisions we made and our finished project!
This is the beginning of a journey.  Feel free to offer advice or share your stories.
We all learn from eachother!


  1. As always, it is a treat to see the decorating jobs you guys do!! FAbulous and gorgeous!

  2. I love this post and want to read all about what you did to change your kitchen. I wish I could visit your store, I've heard such great things about you and Robyn and your classes. Looking forward to your next posts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Lori, Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see your next blog. Hope I don't hate my new kitchen when I see the fabulous things you have done!

  4. Can't wait for the rest of the story...I know it will be beautiful.

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  5. FABULOUS BLOG POST! I can't wait bc I started half my kitchen with ASCP and now I am doing a re-do, the whole kitchen. Love your post Lori, you make it exciting!! Cant wait to see the next post!;) Anne (Gypsyfleur Vintage)

  6. that looks like quite the undertaking! It will definatly be a kitchen for the ages. We have been looking to do a few small changes ourselves after finding some single wall ovens that we think fit our space just perfectly