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The journey begins...

A little while ago I hinted that I had a big project I was working on. Well, I thought it was about time to let you all in on it. Several months ago Jo and I were contacted by Mike at Greentea Design who was interested in an ad on the blog. I was stoked about this because I had seen their timber, Asian-style kitchen cabinets before and thought they were fantastic. I thought about how horrible my existing kitchen was and a lightbulb went off – why not see if they’d sponsor a kitchen reno project?!?! And what do you know – they went for it!!! They agreed to supply me with the cabinets I needed, and in return I would blog about my kitchen renovation (most of which will be included on a new blog) from planning down to the finished product. A pretty decent tradeoff considering this is what I was working with:

(I had to use an old photo here because I know some of you will be sad to see the kitchen - as it is now - go in the dumpster).

I have never done a kitchen renovation before so this is all new to me and I am SO EXCITED about it. The guys over at Greentea have been so amazing to work with and are so unbelievably helpful to me. It’s been a bit tough with them based in Toronto and me being in Ottawa – so we have only had a couple phone conversations, MANY emails and unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to see their products in person. Despite this we’ve made really good progress since the beginning.

Along the way I’m hoping to get some advice from our readers on decisions I have made or need to make, and hopefully they will help me with this and future kitchen renovations, and our other readers as well. Also, the folks at Greentea are hoping to get some feedback on their products and some of the features they have to offer on their website to assist potential kitchen renovators in making their choices. So I’m hoping you’ll leave tons of comments.

As I mentionned, I will be blogging my way through the entire renovation. You’ll see the plans we came up with, choices of appliances, countertop, backsplash and lighting. You’ll witness the demolition of the lovely existing cabinets, the flooring installation, the plumbing and electrical involved, cabinet arrival and installation, and decorating. I will be taking many photos along the way.

I thought to begin this process, I’d start off with some photos of my kitchen as it exists today, pre-renovation. Actually, I’ll even start with a couple photos of what the kitchen looked like before I moved in (the first 2) and when I took possession of the house in December.

As you can see, it was pretty awful, and soooo boring. It was difficult to spend any length of time in it. So one day, I went to my local Benjamin Moore store and decided, since I would eventually be getting a new kitchen, that I would go a little crazy with the cabinets and paint them pink. The backsplash was a terrible sort of terracotta brown colour so I found some semi-gloss white paint I had and painted the backsplash. Amazingly, it’s held up really well.

Next time I will show you some of the ideas I had with some not-so-good drawings I made up to send to Greentea, and some of the reasons why I was so desperate to get rid of this kitchen in place of something utterly fabulous.


Ooh so exciting! My friend who lives in Toronto is actually planning to give her own kitchen an overhaul, I'll let her know about this blog asap!! Good luck Kim!
How exciting for you. I am just finishing up my own kitchen reno and can attest to how difficult but rewarding the process can be. I live in Toronto and have always admired Greentea's designs. Your kitchen is going to look fabulous!
This is really exciting. I can't wait to see how this works out.
Thanks guys - I'm so freaking stoked for this reno. And now that I'm starting to blog about it, it makes it seem much more real. :)
THIS IS SO EXCITING KIM! I can't wait to see the progress, what a fabulous idea, I'm jumping up and down over here! Congratulations on beginning such a great joint project with Greentea Designs, woohoo! px
Thanks Pia!!!
Oh, Kim, how exciting!!! I feel so happy for you!
i like the pink. what can i say? Can't wait to see the remodel!
Thanks Amanda! maegan, I like the pink too, but this kitchen is the most useless, poorly laid out kitchen I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with.
I can't believe this is finally happening. The blog will be a great help and so will all the reader suggestions. Thanks to Greentea too!
wow - what a trade off!

This is really exciting - can't wait to see the renos.

kim, this is a fantastic opportunity to work with a great, creative business to create a kitchen that truly works for you :) i'm so excited to be journeying this with you... all the way from Melbourne, Australia! :)
sooo exciting and congratulations on your kitchen cabinet score from Greentea. I'm looking forward to reading about and watching the reno.
Thanks everyone, you're making me even more excited than I already was...and THANK YOU GREENTEA!!!
I too kinda liked the pink - but can definitely understand the appeal of a custom kitchen from Greentea. I will be following closely, and be thinking of you and the cats through chaos!

Good luck!
Thanks kite! Ya...the cats. Should be interesting. I didn't take summer holidays because I knew I'd have to be in the house during renos to make sure the cats don't escape and keep out of trouble.
Another vote for the pink but I understand it has to go. So jealous that you are getting an asian inspired kitchen.

Good luck with the redux!
I'm looking forward to watching your new kitchen unfold. I'm dreaming some things up for my own kitchen and love to see what others are up to. How nice to get the cabinets for blogging about it!!
I'm so excited about our front-row seat for your kitchen reno!
- I've been dealing with moving and venting my range hood recently, and my 2 bits of advice are, buy the damn thing before you move/route the ducts through the attic or walls. It doesn't matter if it will go back in the box for 2 months, buy the hood now, so you or your contractor can put a real tape measure to it, and account for your backsplash tile depth too (tile plus thinset). I thought I framed out a space for a 'universal' undercabinet hood,... and of course I picked one that was 'unique' by a couple inches. I had only myself to blame as I crawled through the attic insulation, with my little miners headlight on...
-Good luck! Me, a man, and 3 cats are watching :)
Thanks Kitty and Eileen, and thanks for the advice Brandy!

I'm super excited for you. Imagine: kitchen cabinets for FREE! Especially from Green Tea, they're such an interesting company! I'll be following the renovation with a LOT of interest!
how exciting! you did an amazing job of making the "meantime" kitchen fabulous. . .but new is also very nice. looking forward to watching the progress!
That is absolutely gorgeous. I love how you used the pink accent color in moderation and it is really striking in the kitchen. Honestly, this is lovely.
Thanks danie - but my new kitchen will actually be FUNCTIONAL and even more gorgeous!
I would knock down that wall between the "office" and the kitchen. You can move the furnice duct work.

Then I would bring the kitchen cabs into that room and add a kitchen desk integrated into the cabinetry.

You could use the extra space for an eating area in the center of the room.

I would also knock down the wall around the basement stairs and add a railing to open the space up.

The cabs are dark and I think you need something less contemporary for the stove fan.

I like grass green/light beige/black accents with an asian look.
Anon, my contractor is going to move the duct that is behind the current stove into the wall, but I can't take that wall down. Right behind it is the powder room that I can't lose. I also am very leary of knocking wall down around the bsmt stairs because the basement is leaky and musty and gross. This house is 90 or so years old and the basement shows it's age. The hood fan I want is not like the one in the sketch. It's a bit more industrial looking. I agree with your accent colours. I haven't given accents that much thought yet but I'll for sure keep that in mind. Thanks for your thoughts!!!
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