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April Progress & May Goals

It’s May, y’all! Can you believe it? April flew by for me!

I got quite a bit done in April. I didn’t quite make it through my whole list of goals that I had for the month, but I managed to get quite a bit accomplished. The main accomplishment is obviously my kitchen cabinets. At the beginning of the month, I already had the doors painted and ready to go, but I still needed to paint all of the cabinets and drawer fronts.

March goals - partially accomplished - painting kitchen cabinets

So getting my kitchen cabinets finished was my main priority for the month. They’re as finished as they can possibly be at this point.

teal kitchen cabinets - wall of cabinets

Another goal was to get my range hood cover built, and I got as far as I could on that as well. (You can click here to read about that project.)

teal kitchen cabinets - range and refrigerator wall

But after all of that work, my kitchen still feels unfinished because I’m still missing five cabinet doors — four for the lower middle part of the wall of cabinets, and the door to cover the middle of the range hood cover. I called Friday to check on my order, which I placed on April 5th, and it’s still “pending,” which means it hasn’t even gone into production yet. That’s frustrating. When I placed my order, I called to see what their current production time was, and she said three to four weeks. Well, we’re two days shy of four weeks, and they haven’t even started on my order. *Sigh* And this is why I DIY everything I possibly can. I hate waiting on other people to do their part.

Anyway, since those pictures above were taken (which was the morning after I finished painting my cabinets), I also got the ceiling painted and new LED recessed lights installed. And my brother has helped me with a very tedious job — painting the grout on my backsplashes/tiled walls. The original grout color was a taupe color to blend with the original concrete countertop. But now that I have new brighter white countertops, I really wanted to grout to be bright white. So with my brother’s help, and a bottle of Grout Renew, the grout is slowly but surely being transformed to bright white.

I didn’t bother to take new kitchen pictures yet, and probably won’t until I get my new doors and get them painted and installed.

In the breakfast room, I finally did something with my Ritva curtains from IKEA. They originally looked like this…

And now they look like this…

breakfast room with finished curtains and peninsula - 4

You can click here to see how I customized my Ritva curtains.

I also got the buffet in the room, which was quite a feat in itself. It was buried under a mound of furniture that my brother and I had taken out into the garage and neatly stacked against the wall before I refinished my floors. So I dug it out of the pile and dragged it through the garage, up the steps, and into the breakfast room by myself. Without scratching my floors. 😀 And then I painted it purple. You can click here to see more of that project.

breakfast room buffet painted Behr Voodoo - 2

I had hoped to get the breakfast room completely decorated, but that didn’t happen. I did manage to get the new rug down under the table and chairs, and this weekend I finally did something with my big concrete bowl that I got at the Magnolia warehouse sale in January. I planted a succulent garden. See the pretty purples I incorporated?

breakfast room succulent garden centerpiece

And the best thing? My cat won’t eat this garden, and I won’t be able to kill it, because it’s totally fake. Those big, beautiful succulents came from Hobby Lobby. They weren’t cheap ($4.99 each, but the purple ones were perfect, and real ones would have cost just as much if not more), and most of the small filler ones came from Joann Fabric. They came in packages of five, and the sale price was $4. The hurricane in the middle is from Michael’s. I got it for about $10 with their 60% off coupon that was available this past Saturday.

I also got my tv hung on the wall yesterday, but this area still looks like a complete mess…

tv installed on breakfast room wall

The outlets for the tv are directly behind the tv, so I just need wrangle the cords and tuck them behind the tv to hide them. But I can’t do that just yet. Right now, the tv power cord is plugged directly into the outlet, which means that it sticks out from the outlet about 2 inches. I also bought a Fire TV Stick (this is the one I got, and so far, I love it!), and it has a USB cord that plugs into a USB adapter that plugs into the outlet. But it happens to be the biggest USB adapter I’ve ever seen, and with it all plugged in, it sticks out from the wall about 2.5-3 inches. So I had to install the tv using the spacers that came with the wall mount to leave room for those things sticking out of the outlet.

I decided that I wasn’t happy with that, so I ordered a low profile 1-foot extension cord (this is the one I got), plus a low profile USB power adapter (this one). Those only stick out from the outlet a half inch, so the tv can sit closer to the wall. So once those things arrive, I can remove the spacers, plug the tv and Fire TV Stick into the low profile adapters, and wrangle my cords. Until then, it’ll look just like this. 🙂 Fortunately Amazon has really fast delivery.

So those are my accomplishments for the month of April. I really did get quite a bit done. The kitchen cabinets by themselves were a huge project, and I’m so glad it’s done, with the exception of the five missing doors, of course.

So what’s in store for May?

Well, surely…surely…my cabinet doors will be here at some point this month, and I can get those painted and installed. I also need to finish the trim in the kitchen, and get the rest of the grout painted.

But the main project will be my pantry!! I’m finally going to start on the pantry and hopefully make a really big dent in this huge project!

This is a picture from a while back when I was working on the pantry doors. And while the pantry doors and door trim are now finished, the pantry hasn’t changed any. The trim on the window has been installed, caulked and painted. The lights are installed. And the floor has been stained and sealed with all of the rest of the hardwood floors. Other than that, it’s an empty box. A blank slate.

breakfast room update - pantry doors primed

I still haven’t figured out exactly how I want it configured. To be honest, I’m very nervous about this project. I’m so afraid I’m going to make a mistake, or get it finished and then think, “Ugh, why didn’t I remember such-and-such? Or leave room for this? Or configure this differently? Or get this kind of freezer instead of that kind of freezer?” But if I wait for those nervous feelings to go away before starting, it’ll never get done. I just need to come up with a plan, commit to it, jump in with both feet, and get it done.

And since this is going to be such a big job, I’m sure I’ll need to take some breaks from the building projects to enjoy some fun, creative projects. So that’s when I’ll work on more decorating projects in the breakfast room. I still want to do something really colorful for the walls on either side of the pantry doors. I also want to do something around the tv on the buffet wall so that the tv doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. And then I have a few other decorative projects that I want to do before I’ll call the breakfast room finished.

I have no idea how far I’ll get on the pantry. Obviously, I’d love to think I can get it finished this month, but I think that’s putting way too much pressure on myself. Especially considering that I’ll still be doing some work in the breakfast room and kitchen, and I also need to get my garage cleaned out so that my studio project can get underway.

I don’t know how far I’ll get done, but I do know it’s going to be a very busy month! 🙂


I’ve actually decided that this month should be about finishing my kitchen and breakfast room, and then getting all of my plans in order for my pantry, but not actually starting on my pantry until next month.

The reason? Well, I tend to suffer from Wonder Woman Syndrome at times, thinking I can take on way more than is humanly possible. And this month, my #1 priority really does need to be getting my garage and storage room completely cleaned out so that work can begin on my studio next month. I can’t procrastinate on the garage any longer. Adding the pantry into the mix this month just seems completely unreasonable and stressful. So I’ll get my plans all in order for the pantry this month so that I’ll be ready to go with that project (and hopefully completely finished with the breakfast room and kitchen) by June 1st.

If, by some miracle, I get the garage, breakfast room, and kitchen finished this month and still have time left over, I might tackle a few easy decorative projects in the entryway/living room. I’d love for those areas to see some kind of progress, even if only very minor, before July.

So this month:

  • finish breakfast room
  • finish kitchen
  • clean out garage and storage room
  • get plans in order for the pantry
  • if time allows, do small projects for entryway and living room

Next month:

  • build the pantry


My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…

Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…

Butler's pantry remodel with dark teal lower cabinets, floating corner shelves, and whitewashed wood countertop

You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…

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  1. I love your concrete planter filled with succulents! The fake ones are such a good idea and one I’m leaning towards for some little baskets I haven’t known how best to use. It is all looking so good – and I love the curtains, too. You hit just the right note with the trim. Good luck with your May projects – maybe post a sign for yourself where you will see it everyday – “PACE MYSELF!” – so you don’t overdo.

  2. Love the succulent bowl, it ties the whole room together! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for this month:)

  3. You have accomplished so much in April, a month that flew by and I have no idea where it went! LOL

    I do love the succulent bowl on your table as the colors tie everything together. Maybe you should plant a ‘real’ succulent garden in front of the window in your breakfast room? I love them as they are easy care once they are established.

    I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the pantry. If you’re not sure, make a list of the items/appliances you know you will need to have stored in there. Maybe that will help give you an idea of how you want it configured.

    Happy May Day!

  4. Looks great! What size is your table? And what size it your rug? I am struggling with what rug to put under my round table. THanks!

    1. The table is 48″ diameter, and the rug is an 8-foot square rug. I like for my rugs to be four feet wider than the table on all sides so that chairs have a minimum of two feet to slide in and out. I hate it when the chair has to slide off of and back onto a rug when people sit down and get up. Round rugs work well under round tables also as long as they’re large enough.

  5. It’s coming together beautifully!! Loving the purple too. I recently got the Fire stick also. I am loving it! Still learning, but enjoying it. I agree with the earlier comment to pace yourself. You are such an inspiration! 🙂

  6. Hey Kristi!

    Why don’t you have a professional closet company come out and do a plan for your pantry? You get the plan for free and you don’t have to use them. They do pantrys all the time and might put something in that you hadn’t thought of … just an idea.

    1. I second this if it’s possible. I even just took some measurements to the container store once and they showed me an entire plan with dimensions and everything. And it saved to my account so I can pull it up and look at it when I want. I did end up going with their plans one time and the other time I took their layout and figured out how to DIY it since I wanted something very permanent that I could customize. You might even just play around with their web tool and get some ideas that way. It’s how I ended up finding a way to incorporate all my spices and bottles and snacks and dog food storage into my tiny pantry.

    2. It is unethical to take the time and resources of a company when you know you have no or little intention of buying their product, especially when it would take so much time and effort on their part, including a home visit. If you need this kind of help, hire someone and pay them fairly for their services, whether for a full-scale design, a two-hour consultation, or an e-design.

      1. I am so glad you pointed that out and totally agree! Home decor is fun but ultimately frivolous compared to someone’s living wages. If there is money enough to spend on decorating, we should consider ourselves fortunate and pass that gift on, beginning by paying fairly for any services rendered.

    3. Is asking your contractor his thoughts on a layout of the pantey on option? Or sharing your thoughts with him? I know you’re doung all the work but maybe getting his input could be helpful.
      Everything is lovely.

  7. Super exciting! I love the succulent bowl! I didn’t post last week when you unveiled the buffet because I was a little uncertain about the color. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together. But, then when people were commenting about succulents I thought to myself “Yes! Those will tie the room together!” And, they do! Love it! I also think that the purple color elevates the teal of the cabinetry and enhances the rich color of your floors. Whatever you get done in the month of May will be more than I could accomplish during that same time period, so don’t stress! The studio renovation is going to be so cool! I’m excited to see that get started.

  8. Kristi, what you are your thoughts on the wall behind your tv and buffet? I bet grass cloth on that wall would look great and I know how much you love it!

    1. I’m actually wanting to do something kind of special on the wall with the pantry doors, so the TV wall probably won’t get a whole lot of special attention as far as wallpaper or wall treatments. I’m just going to do a big arrangement of artwork around the tv to see if I can minimize the appearance of the big black rectangle. 🙂

      1. You can get “screensavers” for your TV that turn it into a piece artwork when not in use. It means leaving the TV on, kinda like the old digital frames, but the newer TVs don’t use that much power. Might be fun.

  9. Kristi, I’m wondering if you can tell me how you clean the paint off around the window panes on your doors. I have recently painted the trim around the glass on an old china cabinet. Initially I planned to just use a razor blade to scrape off the paint but now I find the paint jamming itself between the glass and wood trim. Do you have a better suggestion? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance..btw – the amount (and quality) of work you do leaves me in the dust:)

    1. Those panes were actually covered with plastic. The door came that way from the store. So when I finished painting, I just cut scored the plastic along the edges of the wood, and then peeled it off of the glass. Now as far as your china cabinet goes, are you scoring the paint before you scrape it off with the blade? I find that I get much cleaner results if I use a brand new razor blade, and score the paint right along the edges of the wood on the door first. Then when I go back and scrape, it comes off much cleaner.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I gave it a try and had better luck scoring before scraping. Thanks for the advise!

  10. Things are looking awesome and it’s nice to see you making good solid process that makes you happy!

    I know the plan is to cover the TV, but now that I see it up there with its small bezels, I keep thinking it’d be really fun to just frame it with a wooden frame so that it looks like a portrait. Then, you could use the Fire Stick to play one of those ambiance channels whenever you want it to look pretty. Or, you could use a slow-timed photo slideshow of artwork or photos.

    On the other hand, that wouldn’t be very cost-effective to run all the time, so you’d end-up with just a big black hole, but wouldn’t it be fun if you could?

    I’m curious…functionally, if you’re going to use this thing every day, are you really going to remember to shut the doors every morning when you’re done? Or is it going to end-up being open most of the time? I know I’d forget to shut the doors…but that’s me.

    1. I actually decided not to cover the tv. I think I mentioned it in passing in my March Progress & April Goals post. You’re right…I’d end up leaving it open all the time and its purpose would be lost. I do love the idea of framing it, though. I came across this amazing frame while searching Pinterest the other day. I love how it looks, and it would certainly be easy to make. http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2011/11/custom-tv-frame-by-aspen-mills.html

      1. I don’t know if this applies to this or is actually even true, but I was told that boxing in the sides of a television tight like that will shorten the life of the television. The television in question was one that would be stationary on the wall, not one that would swivel out, but I don’t know if that would make a difference or not.

        1. If it’s an LED (as most new ones are) and you are careful to keep air-flow behind the unit and around the vents on the back and sides of it, it should be fine. LED’s run much less hot than older Plasma or LCD models.

          The frame shown in the photo seems to go all the way to the wall, which probably doesn’t have enough airflow unless the wall is somehow open to air behind it. I think if I were to build it, I’d find a way to adhere the frame to the TV (double-stick foam tape? Velcro?), not to the wall, so there’s still the same space to allow airflow behind. That’s provided you’re not blocking any vented openings (or the speakers or IR receiver for the remote).

          Incidentally, if you do need to block the IR receiver, they make external IR adaptors, typically connecting with something like a headphone jack. You can mount that above or below the frame or snake it through the wall and stick it to the side of the buffet or something.

          1. Thanks, Justin! When I went back and read the comments about the frame Kristi linked to, someone observed that the frame seems to just sit around the tv and does not actually box it in. I guess that solves the problem. I suppose, if making one’s own frame, you could make it just a tad larger than the television on all sides and paint the wall behind it black so it isn’t that noticeable.

  11. Soooo pretty!!!

    Kristi, have you seen the outlets that are recessed into the wall specifically for tv’s hung on the wall? That way they’ll hang flush.

    Can’t wait to see your May projects!😊

    1. Oh my goodness, no I haven’t seen them. But it makes sense that there would be something like that out there! Ugh! Oh well. I think I’ve got this one worked out, but I’ll definitely use those outlets for future rooms where we’ll be putting a tv. My studio will probably be the next room getting a tv, so I’ll remember this.

  12. You are beyond amazing with everything that you do – you accomplish more in one month than I have in a lifetime of DYI….

    Blessings to you dear lady!

  13. It is amazing how much you produce. It’s all looking so nice and coming together beautifully. Congrats to you for all your effort and accomplishments. Maybe you should just decorate your breakfast room and clean out your garage and let your pantry ruminate a little in your mind before you tackle it. It will still be there, it’s not going anywhere, jump feet first into planning it and wait till June to tackle the doing it. (or even July when you will have a workshop to work in)

  14. When I suggested succulents for your planter last week I had no idea you would go one step farther and make an artificial arrangement that looks fully mature immediately. You did me one better, and I’m hoping I don’t kill my new succulent assortment. They look perfect and the hurricane rocks. Perfection! Fire tv is a good choice too. I have had a Roku for a few years and it’s fine, but with the Alexa integration, a Fire Tv is such a better choice. Hope this works out well for Matt, too. Great looking results, as always, Kristi. You rock!

  15. Bringing the purple in to the room with succulents is BRILLIANT!!! I never would have thought of that!

  16. I’d make a tiny goal list so I could go beyond it. Finish cabinets, finish kitchen trim, paint grout, hang TV, then shop for a freezer and install. I have a feeling you work under pressure and thrive with it. As long as a feeling of failure does not come with it. You are a total success in everything you do and deserve a pat on the back with each blog.

  17. The purple buffet reads as a neutral and I love it! The succulent bowl is perfect! A lovely room for you and Matt!

    1. It’s not yet. That’s on my list of things to do. I keep forgetting to purchase that felt backing, though. I try to be very careful with it in the meantime.

  18. A lot of TVs have USB ports now a days. See if you can plug in there for the USB on your fire stick!

    1. I considered that, but I read somewhere that if your Fire TV Stick starts acting glitchy, the first thing you need to try is plugging the USB into a regular outlet. So I thought I’d just avoid any potential future hassle. 🙂

  19. I loved this post for many reason but first, if you have not already heard about them, there are kits you can buy to hide the cables from your TV etc. Some I read about just installed one and for you it would be an easy install. I think it would solve your problem with the larger USB plug, too. I best I can tell, you cut a hole in the wall behind the TV and install a channel inside the wall. Then thread your cords down the channel where (of course) the other end of the channel ends and the cords come out so they can be plugged in. I have a beautiful wall mounted flat screen TV cabinet for my bedroom and no way do I intend to have cords hanging down from it to the dresser. So, I will be using one of these kits. I will, naturally, research them a little more so I have more knowledge before buying instead of the “just enough to be dangerous” amount I have currently.
    Oh, thanks for using purple with your other colors. We just repainted the interior of our house and the color of the great room (I’m not ready for white yet) is green, a Behr color called Breathe. I want to recover the sofa in a pretty Amethyst and then use a pattern which has purple, green, aqua, and whatever ever for the chairs (not yet purchased). I have beautiful aqua/turquoise colors in other parts of the house. Oh, and my dining room color made the pages of HGTV magazines latest issue. It is Drizzle by Sherwin-Williams in the Cashmere paint. The magazine photo didn’t do it justice as it is cannot show the depth and the changes the light directions cause which make it like I use three different colors since I used the same color on parts of the tray ceiling.
    Good luck with your faux succulents. Our first kitty, Winston J. (RIP) ate plants regularly so I had to make certain nothing came in to the house that was poisonous to cats. Too bad my favorite flowers happen to be Lilies which are highly toxic, even the pollen. Well, I kept a planter of curly bamboo for him and I had a faux greenery arrangement on the same dining room console. Even with his bamboo right beside it, my greenery gradually accumulated kitty teeth marks and holes. So, be prepared to rearrange your succulents occasionally to hide teeth marks!lol

  20. I thought you were going to clean out your garage so work could start on turning it into your studio; has that plan changed?

  21. Kristi, I just love this room and what you’ve accomplished here! It really looks like a lovely, usable room that you and your husband are going to enjoy. Great job! I am in awe of what you’ve done. And… I have to echo the other comments- the succulent bowl with hurricane candle is awesome!

  22. Love what you have done and I think your curtains are super cute. Thank you for all of your sharing I really enjoy reading your blog. You really motivate me to take on my own projects.

  23. Kristi, I wait for your post to arrive because I always learn something. I knew nothing about wall mounting TVs until today’s post. I’ve taken notes so that I don’t sound like a complete imbecile when I go TV shopping. By the way, if you hear strange noises in the night, it’s just me stealing your breakfast room. Every time you showcase it, my room envy grows. I know that my next dining room table is going to be round! Upholstered chairs? Yes. Mixed woods? Of course. Wow!