If You Give A DIYer A Light Fixture

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

(I’ve had several people tell me during my kitchen remodel that they felt like they were reading the DIYers version of the child’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.  So I couldn’t resist.) 🙂

If you give a DIYer a light fixture…

…she’ll want to hang it in her kitchen.  But first, she’ll probably need to make repairs to her ceiling.

When the repairs are finished, she might decide to rearrange the plumbing in the kitchen…

And then she’ll probably want to make the ugly wall more presentable…

…by skim coating it with drywall mud.

Then she’ll have to decide what to do with the wall to the left.  Should she close it up temporarily and do a quick and inexpensive kitchen makeover?  Or should she take the wall down according to her long term plan?

She’ll probably get carried away, and decide to take the wall down herself, with the help of her brother.

And next, she might want to remove all of the old kitchen cabinets, as well as the old drywall behind the cabinets.

Then she’ll probably want to upgrade all of the old electrical wiring in the room, so her brother-in-law will suggest taking down all of the old drywall.

And once all of the wiring is finished, she’ll need to install all new drywall.

Since the room will be completely empty at that point, she might decide to remove all of the old floor boards…

…and install all new oak flooring…

And next, she’ll probably want to paint her new floor.

Then she might want to install new kitchen cabinets.

…and then customize them with lots of trim and fancy feet.

Once the cabinets are installed, she’ll probably want to pour some concrete countertops.

And then she might want to paint all of the cabinets green…

…and add gold leaf to all of the doors.

Next she’ll probably want to add tile to all of the kitchen walls.

And then she might add trim around the doorways.

At this point, she’ll probably realized that her striped floors aren’t the best look for her kitchen, so she’ll want to sand them and refinish them.

Next, she’ll make a dreadful mistake and leave her freshly painted cabinet doors and drawer fronts out in the rain.  They’ll be ruined.

So while she orders replacements, she’ll probably want to install cabinet hardware and corbels.

And when the replacement doors and drawer fronts arrive, she might want to finish the cabinets as soon as possible.

And with her kitchen remodel almost finished, she’ll be so excited about what she’s accomplished that she’ll start devising a plan for the adjoining breakfast room.

And chances are…

If she devises a decorating plan for her breakfast room, she’ll ask for a new light fixture.




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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 9:52 am

    This post was great!! Thank you for the laugh, I love that children’s book!! And wow when you put it all into one post it highlights how much you’ve accomplished!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

    LOL. That is how it goes too. I once redecorated my kitchen to match some awesome kitchen towels I found. By the time the kitchen was finished the towels had faded from washing. I had to shop for more kitchen towels. It never ends.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:02 am

    You left out a massive project – taking all the ductwork out of the ceiling while it was open (at your brother’s suggestion). We are already seeing ideas for the breakfast room changing, fine tuning, pinpointing what is perfect for you home and I so enjoy going on this DIY journey with you. love it!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Oh my goodness…that was great! And that’s the exact book title my husband has given me when we work on our house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

    LOVE IT!!!! This is my favorite sentence when remodeling a room…..”Well, as long as we’re doing that we may as well do this”….and so it goes.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      October 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      My ex and I called it the “might as well” syndrome when we were renovating/building my house. As soon as you do one thing the dominoes start to fall and you might as well tackle – insert whatever here – while you’re at it.

      I ran into that by the simple fact that I put new paint on the walls/ceiling of my bedroom. I realized that the lovely almond plastic switches/outlets and covers had over the last several years morphed into a perfectly disgusting dirty looking mustard yellow. That was not going to do on black and creamy white walls.

      So, off to the local hardware store for a whole new set of switches/outlets and covers for the room. Oh, and I need a new overhead light fixture too – which I haven’t yet decided on.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

    As the saying goes, “You’ve come a looooonnnnggg way, baby!” What an amazing story – it should win a prize, and YOU should win a prize for all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into this remodel. Thanks for allowing me to follow along – I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for The Big Kitchen Reveal! The suspense builds!!!

    Onward and Upward!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This is great to see all of the steps and how one thing has led to another! It’s been so long since I’ve seen the early stages – taking out the baseboards, doing your own drywall etc. How far you’ve come! I hadn’t realized that you did the drywall yourself in the kitchen – was it a nightmare? If not, then it might be worth it to DIY the breakfast room if you keep getting $2600 quotes.

    I’ve been reading blogs for years; yours is one of the few I still love. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This was great! I have loved watching it from start to finish(?). 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Hi Kristi.
    I keep telling my husband how awesome you are, and now I have one post to show him everything that you did in your kitchen!!! I also have a toddler, and have read ‘moose a muffin’–as well as ‘mouse a cookie’ over, and over, and over again:)
    I am so impressed with your tenacity, crazy skills, and design savy!!!!! I really look forward to reading your post each day. Blessings to you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    October 8, 2014 at 10:17 am

    LOL, love this post! Oh my, looking back, can you believe how much VERY HARD WORK you’ve done and mostly by yourself?!! So impressive and inspirational. Can’t wait to see the final reveal. 😀

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Susan M.
      October 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

      I ditto that! Impressive reading/watching day-by-day but wow, so inspiring when reading and seeing the journey.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim in Houston
    October 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

    One of my favorite posts ever! Although, I have to say as I was reading, I started getting excited at the thought of seeing the completed kitchen photos. Tomorrow, perhaps?!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    October 8, 2014 at 10:24 am

    This is the best blog post I have ever read. LOVE IT! So appropriate too. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    October 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Loved that! You are such a great writer! You should get this under some publisher’s nose, I’d buy the coffee table book!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

    This was so awesome!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Love this post 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Clever girl!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

    So precious. You are just as good a writer as a home improver.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amy M.
    October 8, 2014 at 10:50 am

    LOVE IT!!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I’m far to lazy to read all the comments on your blog so maybe this has been said before….but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for showing us the real process of DIY. Like you, I often start with an idea and it evolves MANY times before the final product. It takes a lot longer that way but it just works for me and I’ve learned to enjoy the roller coaster ride as I discover just what I want. In the end, I think the projects look all the better for it – and less like everyone else’s. It’s encouraging to see someone make an end product that is as beautiful and well thought out as you do and know that the end product was a PROCESS not a formula. Thank you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    shelby burns
    October 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    That was such a great walk down Memory Lane. I discovered your site right about the time when the ceiling drywall was going up. This is such a great reminder to take pictures of the process. I love getting to the end of a project, but having comparison shots and also reminders of the problem-solving that happened along the way would really remind us of how capable we are. Thanks (again and again) for the wonderful peek inside your world!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    This was great! But what I want to know, looking at that last photo of your peninsula and thinking of just how beautiful it is all pulled together: are you loving your kitchen now that you can use it again???? I know you have a few items to finish up, but do you find yourself standing in it and sighing with joy and admiration of the beauty you have created? 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      October 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Oh, I’m definitely loving it!!! I’ve actually been cooking two meals a day for the last two weeks. And actually enjoying it! 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Awesome Post, You Inspire me……. You do so many things that I wish I had the guts to attempt! Keep up the great work……..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann in Cali
    October 8, 2014 at 11:03 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

    *snicker* Two thumbs up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I love your story!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

    LOL! Love it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
    October 8, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Great Post!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Loved this post! I loved watching your “kitchen adventure”! You are truly inspiring. I love how you can find ways to bring beauty to homes while on a budget. That is amazing on it’s own, but the visions you have and results you achieve are spectacular. I only read your blog everyday, no other blog has kept me involved and inspired like yours. You go, girl!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    That is SO cute!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

    You are adorable! (And talented, creative and beautiful too.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Love, love, love!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Hope Williams
    October 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

    And thus, the wonderful story continues!
    I can’t hold my breath, but I impatiently await this next chapter!
    Blessings to all, Hope

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Very clever!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    That was AWESOME Kristi! Love it and all the work you do! I love getting my emails and reading them to see all the progress you’ve made. I love the honesty in all your posts as well. Keep up the great work and I’ll continue to read, get inspired and complete the projects around my home also! THANKS! ☺

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    That is the best blog post I’ve ever read – Love it!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    It’s just beautiful. Great job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Looking at the photos from beginning to almost completion it really is an amazing transformation. I think it looks absolutely fabulous Kristi and I have really enjoyed following your journey!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I love this story so much that I read and translated it to my husband right now – and we both are in awe at what you did and did and did to make that room so perfect and lovely! Cannot wait to follow the process in the breakfast room – thanks for sharing!
    Btw: Are you going to insert work on the condo before going on working on your house to make it go on the market as planned? because I can perfectly well imagine that it’ll be sold really quick without any more additional work (it’s already so lovely!) – don’t be too perfectionist but just let it go 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    And when she’s done,her readers will probably oooh and ahhh over her beautifully finished kitchen. I know I am 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Artistic, mad DIY skills, and an excellent writer to boot! The kitchen is beautiful. Cooking in there should be fun!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W
    October 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Hah! This was great. Because I only discovered your blog at the kitchen cabinet stage,* I didn’t know where it all began. I love your choice of lighting for your breakfast room – I’m so glad you found it in your price range, because it’s perfect.

    * I stumbled across your blog when looking for images of the GE Artistry appliances, which I’d love to have in my kitchen. Got hooked, and was quite amused to discover that New York would be on tenterhooks wondering how the cement in Texas was drying. The beauty of the internet. 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Ellen W.
      October 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Just wanted to say that I got home and was able to look at your pictures on my computer, rather than on my phone. My god, what a job you did. I had no idea what an enormous undertaking it was! It’s an astounding accomplishment, and you should feel very, very proud of yourself. Amazing, truly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    loved that!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh the Places You’ll Go…….
    That was GREAT!!! Thank you for a big smile!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    October 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    You are such an entertainer. And I have loved every step. I’m going back to look at it all again. Love seeing the peninsula finished. It’s so beautiful, just like the rest of your kitchen. I’m excited about watching your breakfast room now. I think Matt would be smart to buy you a new light fixture for every room. LOL.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Loved it! Each day your posts (and accomplishments) are great but put it all together and WOW! Synergistic! Thanks for all of your hard work! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    C.B. McDuff
    October 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    What a fantastic post! The ONE item that stood out the most for me was “she’ll” ,,,do this,,,and “she’ll,,, do that! Looking at those first photos, and realizing that YOU did this for the most part on your own is nothing short of astounding! AND furthermore, you added your own touches, to customize as you went along,,,AND,,,in the grand scheme of things,,,,you probably didn’t spend too much more time in there than a group of contractors would have spent in there and charges you a small fortune to do it!
    I am so proud to say that I follow this blog because it IS REAL! It follows a lady that knows how to get things done, and prove that you can do things like this on your own even if it means having help with a hubby or partner, a beautiful space CAN be created with hard work and an imagination! It doesn’t take an open wallet to make things change in such a drastic form!
    This is such an outstanding accomplishment AND you are even cooking in there! HOW COOL IS THAT!!! Cooking at home saves even more money for decorating! LOL

    You really are the best at this – if I only had one blog to choose from, it would forever be THIS one! Keep up the great work! I’m forever hooked on your adorable little self, and your adorable blog!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    That’s hilarious! And why I love those books so much. You really have done an amazing job on your kitchen…failures and new design choices are what keeps it real. Take the time to create some side by side before & after shots for Pinterest….that’s how I found your blog… was that spray painted shower stall…and I was hooked. (And why yes, I did spray paint mine too shortly after!) You’re awesome!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Ain’t it the truth…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rose L
    October 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Haha! Too awesome for words!! I know how this works…I once bought some wallpaper for $3 per roll that resulted in new wood floors for the kitchen, appliances, new carpet and furniture for the LR and DR and new window treatments for all three rooms. Love it when that happens! It’s been so great to watch every little detail come to reality and you just couldn’t get a better or more beautiful kitchen if you tried any harder. Congratulations on a job very well done, Kristi! You ROCK!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie in Southern California
    October 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    When do you find time to blog?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Tee hee hee!!! I knew this post would be really good, so after reading the opening line I ran to my daughter’s room to share the rest of it with her (I’ve been keeping her abreast of your progress). Even a 17 year old had to smile at this one! I wondered how you were going to make it come full circle–completely forgot that you just ordered a light fixture for the breakfast room! Thank you so much for helping me realize I’m not a crazy person as I begin project after project and interrupt projects with other projects. I know, like you, that I will get it all done some day!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    That was an awesome way to recap your kitchen makeover! Creative, yet informative. Great job, Kristi! Can’t wait to follow along with your next project!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    OMG…That was awesome Kristi….were you a Little tired again after remember all you did? LOL
    This has been a awesome journey with you….Can’t wait to see more!


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Yes! The perfect analogy!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Ha Ha!!! Bravo! Well Done!
    It looks fantastic Kristie! Congratulations!!!
    Can’t wait for everything you’ll do in the Breakfast Room.

    BTW, I think ? (the person that found the stencil, and light for the Breakfast Room) is an enabler, not that that’s bad! LOL!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Oh my! Can’t stop laughing! i really enjoy journeys with you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    (sigh) I’ve had days like that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Perfect … next up, if you give a Cat a Cupcake 🙂

    mmmm – breakfast (room) cupcakes!

    P.S. Can’t wait for the big reveal!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 8:51 pm


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I love how you told this story! Your kitchen is AMAZING, and next will be your breakfast room. Can’t wait for the official kitchen reveal!! Hurry please!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy Fair
    October 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    You are so talented. I look forward to your post each day to see what you have done next. You amaze me at all that you do without any help. Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it. You are making a beautiful home for your family.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. PoP
    October 9, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for months now, but had to comment on this one. That was one of my favorite books as a kid, to the point where we call certain problems “cookie problems” because of the domino-like sequence of events they’ll kick off in trying to address them the right way.

    Actually, what brought me to your blog in the first place is that we’re getting ready to address our biggest cookie problem yet, our own kitchen renovation! Where replacing the tile means getting new cabinets, and new doors, and (as it’s turned into) why don’t we also move that wall and while we’re at it, vault the ceiling! It’s going to be a ride, but great in the end. (We hope!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Ha! Love it! I swear we are related. I totally relate to the way you do things and I have to say that I feel a bit more sane knowing I am not alone 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rachel H.
    October 9, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This post was so clever that it got me out of my shy mode to comment how amazing I think you and your blog are. There is simply no one out there doing what you are doing. You are the best!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon B.
    October 9, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Great (and cutely told) summary of all the work done in your gorgeous kitchen! So amazing all the work you have done yourself in here.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Hahah! I love that you didn’t show the actual light fixture on your ceiling, not even once! LOL!


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie at Being Home
    October 9, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Ha! I What a great read! Thank you so much for the laugh, inspiration, and the real world of a DIYer. Yep, reading that book to my little guy, will now remind me of this post. lol 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jan Harraway
    October 13, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Great post. I’ve only recently discovered this blog, so it was fun to read where the kitchen reno actually started. When I start doing something at home my comment is always “how hard can it be?”. My boys groan when I say that as, from experience they know it will be a lot harder than I anticipated.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    That was a fun post. And so it begins again…lol

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I was eyeing this copper chandelier – I liked the price!