My Kitchen – Nine Things I Would Do Differently

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

I love how my kitchen turned out (you can see the before and after here if you missed it), but you know what they say…hindsight is 20/20.  And there are certainly a few things I’d do differently if I were just starting today, but had the knowledge I had right now.  And since I know that many of you are in the midst of your own kitchen remodels, I thought I’d pass these along to you just in case you might need to think through some of these things as well.

So here are the nine things I would do differently on my kitchen remodel.

1.  Different paint

Y’all remember the fiasco I had with the paint, right?  I just couldn’t get the finish right because everything I tried ended up way too shiny.  I wanted a very satin finish, and I finally got exactly what I wanted by topcoating everything with Rust-Oleum Polyurethane in a matte finish.

nine things - cabinet paint

The finish is exactly what I wanted.  So what’s the problem?  Well, before discovering the matte polyurethane, I had tried Benjamin Moore Advance paint in a satin finish, which turned out semi-gloss on my cabinets.  (Not sure why, but perhaps it’s because of the deep color.)  So I polyurethaned right over that Advance paint.  Once I got the look I wanted, I repeated that process on the rest of the cabinets.  I ran out of paint, and had to get more.

The issue is that BM Advance paint is expensive, especially compared to my usual go-to paint, Behr from Home Depot.  And since I topcoated with polyurethane, there wasn’t really any advantage in me purchasing the more expensive Advance paint.  In hingsight, I wish I would have just used Behr paint, and then topcoated with the polyurethane.  In the end, that would have saved me about $60.  That’s not a whole lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but those $60 savings here and there can add up quickly.

2.  A dark spot

When it came to my lighting, I thought, and planned, and contemplated, and planned some more.  And one of my absolute favorite things about my kitchen is the layering of light that I have.  I have a main ceiling light, two areas of recessed lighting controlled by two different switches, undercabinet lighting, in cabinet lighting, and sconces.  As a side note, I really thought I’d never use the sconces, and that they’d mostly just be decorative.  Boy, was I wrong!  I use them all the time, and especially at night.  I leave those on, and turn off everything else, just to have a little glow of light in the kitchen.  They’re my favorite.

But back to the point.  As much as I planned, thought, contemplated, and planned, I still overlooked an area.  I have this dark corner in the kitchen right by the fridge.

nine things - recessed light above fridge

I have no idea why it didn’t dawn on me to put a recessed light right there also, but it never occurred to me that it would be needed.  Sure, I can always go back and add one, but it sure would have been easier to add it when all of the others were going in!  So I’ll probably just end up living without it.  That’s fine, but it sure would have been nice to have a recessed light to light up that corner by the fridge.

When I was adding the undercabinet lighting on that section, I did try adding a strip of LED tape light to the bookshelf above the fridge to see if that would help.  It didn’t.  I hated how it looked, so I removed the lighting.  Oh well.

3.  Wrong lights, wrong placement

And speaking of lights, I also wish that I had done my in-cabinet lighting a bit differently.  I used the little puck lights, and was completely unsure of where I should place them.  So I ended up placing them about 2.5 inches from the front of the cabinet.  They’re not in the middle, and they’re definitely closer to the front of the cabinet, but they’re still plainly visible when they’re on.

nine things - in cabinet lighting

I wish I would have installed them as close to the front of the cabinets as possible.  Actually, if I had to do it all over again, I’d forget the puck lights and go with the LED tape lights.  That’s what I used for my undercabinet lighting, and those things are awesome!

4.  Forget the stainless steel

I never even contemplated stainless steel appliances.  I don’t like how cold and institutional stainless steel looks.  Plus, most of it is a nightmare to keep clean.  But I do have some stainless steel in my kitchen because of the handles and knobs on my appliances, so I decided to get a stainless steel range hood to match.

nine things - stainless steel range hood

I love mixed metals in a room, so the look of the stainless steel with all of the gold and brass really appeals to me.  What doesn’t appeal to me is the fact that I cleaned, buffed, and polished that range hood until I couldn’t clean, buff, or polish any more, and it still had streaks on it!  A small appliance in stainless steel that just sits on a countertop and rarely gets used might be fine.  But I cook in my kitchen twice a day, and I can already tell you that this stainless steel range hood is going to drive me crazy.

Fortunately, when I was selecting a range hood, I specifically bought one that had the controls on the bottom rather than on the front, so that if I decided to build a range hood cover (is that what it’s called?) to match my cabinets, I would still have easy access to the controls.  At least I did think ahead on that.  So I can already tell you that at some point in the future, I’ll be building a cover around this stainless steel fingerprint and streak magnet of a range hood.  It’s not high on my priority list right now, but it’s on the list.

5.  Let the pros tape and mud

As much as I hate paying people to do things for me, I do wish I had at least payed someone to do the taping and mudding on my ceiling.  I have two ridges that I just couldn’t get rid of, and they taunt me every time I walk into my kitchen.  You can see one of them here, about two feet from the back tiled wall.

nine things - tape and mud ceiling

It’s one of those things that probably nobody else would notice or even pay much attention to if they did notice it.  But it definitely bothers me.

6.  Level the ceiling

And speaking of ceilings, I wish that I had taken the time to level the ceiling before installing the drywall.  Honestly, I didn’t even realize that leveling a ceiling was a thing until I read about Daniel at Manhattan Nest paying the pros to drywall his ceiling, and they leveled it.  Until reading that, it never dawned on me that that was even a thing.  And really, by the time Daniel wrote about his experience, it was way too late for my kitchen.

But my ceiling was as issue.  It’s about an inch higher on the wall of cabinets side than it is on the wall of tile side.  It probably wouldn’t have been so much of an issue if I hadn’t gone and tiled all of my walls.  Painted drywall would have camouflaged the unlevel nature of my ceiling.  But the tile kind of accentuated it since, you know, there are lines.

I did my best to camouflage it when I attached the trim along the ceiling.  I kind of split the difference with the trim, and then ended up with a large gap between the trim and the ceiling that I filled with a ton of caulk and then painted the ceiling color.

nine things - ceiling level

It didn’t turn out so bad considering that I had a whole inch of space that I had to camouflage.  But if I had just leveled the ceiling to begin with, it would have saved the headache, and it would have prevented the eye twitching thing that happens to me every time I look at this area with the tiny bit of tile peeking out from underneath the trim that disappears as you move to the right towards the wall of tile.  Ugh.  Oh well.  It’s waaaaay too late to do anything about that now.  But at least I know for the future — ceilings can be leveled!

7.  Tile liner

When I tiled my walls, I know many of you were disappointed to see that I didn’t do the herringbone on the entire walls.  Instead, I did the herringbone about 2/3 of the way up, and then did a running bond on the top part.  I personally love that design, and I’m very happy with how the walls look in my finished kitchen.

What I’m less thrilled about is the fact that instead of using an actual tile liner to separate the two sections (because Home Depot doesn’t carry them in stock, and they cost about double), I used a quarter round tile.  The problem is that that quarter round tile curves towards the wall on the top and bottom, so it doesn’t completely cover the cut edges of the tiles above and below.

nine things - tile liner on walls

If you really study the tile up close (and really, who does that?) you can see that the cut edges are not exactly smooth.  Again, it’s one of those things that probably no one else would notice, but I notice it.  And I decorate my home for me, not for other people.  In hindsight, I wish I would have just ordered the liners and paid the increased cost.  It’s not like I needed that many anyway!  But sometimes I get in too much of a hurry and don’t want to wait to order things online.  This is one time where ordering the correct product, waiting the additional time, and paying the additional cost would have definitely been worth it.

8.  Measure once, measure twice, measure ten times

I honestly don’t know if this could have been avoided, because I really did measure about ten times to figure the placement of everything on the fridge/range wall.  I think perhaps my design plan changed as I went along.  But for some reason, even with all of my measuring, my outlets on this wall didn’t end up where they were supposed to be.

nine things - measure for plugs

They were supposed to both be the exact same distance from the range.  Instead. the one on the left is about four inches away, while the one on the right is about two inches away.  In fact, the one on the right is so close that I even had to cut a corner of the outlet cover so that it would fit around the corbel.  I hate that, but I didn’t know what else to do.  I wasn’t going to leave the corbels off just because of one stupid outlet cover!

So I ended up having to make a special trip to Home Depot specifically for wood outlet covers, just so that I could cut the corner off of the one on the right.  That’s a huge annoyance for me, not only because I’m a perfectionist in general, but because I measured so many times to be sure I had those right.  To end up with them that off the mark was quite a disappointment.

And finally…

9.  Appliance-specific outlets

When it came to appliance-specific outlets, of course I thought of things like dishwasher, range, range hood, and refrigerator.  I got those covered.  What I didn’t think of were the small things that would sit out all the time, like our coffee maker.  We use this every day, so I don’t ever put it away.  I originally thought I’d put it on the peninsula in the corner by the dishwasher/wall of tile.  But that area has become my main prep countertop, so I don’t want things in the way there.

So an out-of-the-way place on the wall of cabinets was the perfect place for it.  It’s easily accessible, while not getting in the way in the main prep areas.  But I didn’t plan for an appliance-specific plug for the coffee maker, so the cord is always out, and always visible.

nine things - appliance specific outlets

It’s a small thing, but it’s one that could have been avoided had I thought things through a bit better.

So those are the things I’d change if I had to do the whole thing all over again.  They’re all things I can live with, but they might help those of you who are in the midst of your own kitchen remodel to avoid some of the mistakes I made.

I’m still figuring costs, and I’ll have a final cost breakdown, as well as a list of sources, sometime soon.



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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda K
    October 15, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I think it looks great and thanks for the heads up about areas you would do differently. It makes me think of things through different eyes.
    About the dark spot in front of the fridge- maybe some very small accent/track type lighting to highlight your Mom’s gorgeous painting and to reflect off the white tile wall would also brighten that area?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      October 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

      This is what I was going to suggest — a light over the painting would draw the eye and brighten that corner a little.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        October 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        I thought of the same thing too. And you might be able to install the track to hide the bump in the ceiling.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

    We will be starting our kitchen next year, want to wait until after the holidays, just can not deal with both the holidays and a mess at the same time, I would be put in a padded room, clutter drives. me. nuts! I am going to save this page to my favorites folder for future use. Thank you Kristy! We also have a ridge in our new ceiling that we put in our kitchen and it drives me crazy everytime I go in there. We had a drop ceiling which made our 9 x 10 kitchen seem even smaller, it had to go. I will fix the ceiling once our reno begins, I am going with all black appliances, wanna talk about smudges! But I love my black appliances 🙂 Maybe I can ask for more advice when we start,lol! I will use a lot of built ins to keep stuff off the counters (built in paper towel holder, spice racks, etc) I don’t like “stuff” on the counter, clear, clean work surface as I don’t have a lot to work with.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      October 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Colleen, do you have a blog or website you will post pictures to? I love before and after photos. I am like you, I do not like stuff on my counters. I’m always looking for great ideas. I feel like you are on to some great ideas. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Well I just love it so I think it came out perfect!!! I would never notice the ceiling in someone else’s house but we have ceiling issues in our kitchen and it drives me NUTS. It dosent ever get less annoying! So that is the only thing I can relate with on your kitchen because I am still blown away with how you made me love great cabinets!! Never thought that would happen, but it looks so amazing and elegant.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim in Houston
    October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Totally agree with stainless steel appliance situation. I have 3 girls and trying to keep little fingers from making my appliances look dirty is a waste of time and energy. As far as lighting, what about adding a light above the tile wall with your mom’s artwork on it? It would bring lighting and attention to that beautiful piece of art.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      October 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      For our stainless appliances, I use a vinegar spritz ( half water, half vinegar)for cleaning or a little baking soda if it feels greasy/sticky. Then wipe on a light food grade oil and shine it up. I have two kiddos and finger prints are an issue here. But this really helps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy (from Pa.)
    October 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Kristi you just completed this wonderful project, no need to tear it apart or point these things out…!! I know you said your doing it for others who are in the midst of decorating but really it’s for you… we all do that I believe… I guess we can’t except compliments that we have to point out our “mistakes”…. It looks absolutely beautiful.. and for the coffee pot cord just unplug it all the time… I do…!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Your kitchen is so gorgeous. And everything you post is extremely helpful. Until I read your blog I never realized just how many details there are and how important they are to home improvement. You have inspired me to do these things myself, since my husband just won’t. He always insists on using his saws and other tools himself, but 11 years in this house and I am still waiting for the promised work. I just have to wait until my littlest is in school because naughty toddlers and home improvement just don’t mix!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rose L
      October 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      You go girl!! Have the same problem with my farmer husband….house projects just aren’t as important as other projects in his eyes. I’m on room three in my house and have been at it for over two years (I also did the entire exterior myself). I don’t have toddlers but I have lots of pets and they can be just as much of a nuisance at times. The satisfaction of DIY is a wonderful boost to the ego! I can be honest that it thrills me when people mention the house on the corner that is looking SO GOOD 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jo Kornelsen
    October 15, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Beautiful Everything is beautiful. Coffee pot cord. Angle pot slightly on counter. That is what I do I too hate seeing cords

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

    To continue on the track lighting comment. If placed correctly you can eliminate the “seem” issue you are worried about also. Place the light track either just beside (farther away from the wall) or on top of the seem and you will eliminate it entirely.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue Stein
    October 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Wow! Thanks for this awesome article. I really love the new kitchen, but I think I learned more from this article than all the others combined because it’s things I will be looking out for specifically. You have inspired me to try an entire bathroom re-do, with tiled walls (I’m loving your herringbone lower, horizontal bond upper idea so much I think it’s what I’ll be doing), etc. The outlet part of this article really points out to me how important planning for their locations is also. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

    We built our house 3 years ago and I already see things I would change. I think we learn from our experiences but unfortunately, remodels and new construction is not something that we can just go back and do again. I’m still thinking of ways to make minor modifications to help with cluttered areas but that’s about as good as it will get for several years.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Try rubbing baby oil into your range hood. It eliminates smears (smells lovely) too. (Can’t believe I’m advising YOU about something)….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    susan haynes
    October 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I absolutely LOVE your kitchen!It stands out,is beautiful and matches your personality!You Go Girl You Rock!!I cant wait to see whats next..<3

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Yes, sure, a few things you could have gotten “perfect” but, hey, look where you started and where you are now. But the dark corner and the two seams it the ceiling seem like a financially feasible fix, no?

    One question: is the fridge counter-depth? I did try to search older entries–I’m new to your blog–but couldn’t find an answer. The reason I ask is because it looks like it’s recessed… or it’s counter-depth. Anyway, I like how it looks and love the display space on top. And LOVE this kitchen!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    kathy robinson
    October 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Hello! I was thinking of a small accent lamp on the bookcase above the fridge. It would light upthe dark space on the shelf and give you some light on the fridge too. 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Shelby Burns
      October 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      That’s what I was thinking. A little tiny cute accent lamp. You can get a remote control to turn on lamps – you wouldn’t have to reach up to turn it on. I love the remote! Home Depot has everything!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Leave it to you to come up with fixes that are really helpful but I never would have thought of ..I thought everything looked perfect. I just LOVE your last picture with the coffee pot ,, to look through that room and see the sliding doors is so fantastic… Good Job Kristi

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Your kitchen looks beautiful and you should be very proud. Regarding the coffee maker cord…I have spray painted cords white so they wouldn’t be as noticeable. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne in Austin
    October 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Wonderfully informative article, Kristi. You are so right about the “20/20 vision” thing. A job, no matter what kind, will never be perfect; you can just try your best to make it that way.

    I do have some suggestions for possible solutions:
    • dark-spot lighting- battery-operated puck lights
    • stainless steel- there is a mitt that’s made for cleaning ss (easier to use than wiping, wiping, and wiping). Or paste wax or Rain-X might coat it to make it easier to clean.
    • puck lights in glass cabinet-place a narrow piece of (painted) molding in front of the lights to hide them
    • coffeepot- cut off the plug, shorten the cord, add plug. Or there are cable and wire organizers, like the Turtle

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Shut the front door!!! You are pointing out things that no one else would even notice. My ceilings have been done by professional and I think at certain times of the day I can see ridges. I would never disagree with you, because as you say you did it for you. I can make two suggestions about the fridge lighting, because I have made similar mistakes even though I spent hours walking through the under construction house with the electrician. I forgot two lights in areas that are now like dark holes. I would suggest #1 a brass cordless picture light mounted on the frame of your Mom’s picture, and #2 in the bookcase above the fridge, you might consider a small lamp. I have found that appropriate styled lamps lend an interesting air to kitchens. I love how it looks, mistakes and all! Blessings

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I absolutely love how your kitchen turned out, but I also understand the hindsight wish list! Been there, done that a time or fifty… Anywhoo, I had a couple of thoughts for some of your dilemmas.

    The dark corner could be solved with a small track light aimed more at highlighting your mom’s painting. Compliment the ceiling light and sconces, maybe with something like this:
    Aim one of the lights toward the cubby above the fridge and there ya go, darkness be banished! Could you extend wiring from the ceiling light so they would be on the same switch?

    You might be able to hide the various ceiling issues with a tin tile. It would fit your mixed metals, without the fingerprints, and you might be able to level it as you install. Or you could use a dimensional paper painted in the ceiling color.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I have all stainless steel everything in my kitchen and have tried every brand of stainless cleaner known to man and finally found one that WILL NOT LEAVE STREAKS!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Shelby Burns
      October 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      I knew a guy who managed a restaurant with stainless everywhere. They clean with some spray on astringent and then polished with lemon oil. That inspired me to try Lemon Pledge. And surprise! It works for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I have all stainless steel appliances in my kitchen and have tried every cleaner known to mankind but all left streaks….except the one I tried last year. it WILL NOT LEAVE STREAKS and makes the metal gleam! It’s called Sheila Shine and it comes in a spray can. I got mine at Smart and Final and I love it. I just googled it and it is also available at Home Depot.
    I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN! You did an awesome job and I am so impressed with you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Your kitchen looks amazing, and the fact that you did 90% yourself is also amazing. I feel your pain when it comes to cleaning stainless steel!! You might want to try Weiman stainless steel wipes. I find that they are the only thing that works for me on my stainless appliances. Wipe down and buff with a micro fiber cloth. I buy the product at my grocery store, or any hardware store. Good luck hope they work for you too. Linda

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Thank goodness, most of the items you’d do differently are relatively small ones. As for the ceiling, I’d just chalk it up to “old houses are never square”. Every home has its own little quirks and idiosyncrasies that add their own particular charm. (Just like everyone’s body!) One thing that might work for your stainless steel range hood – have you considered painting it to match the cabinets?

    Otherwise, your kitchen looks fabulous and I hope you’ll have many happy years of cooking for your family there!

    Now, on to the condo!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    As many of already said, your kitchen is amazing! Like you, I tend to have belated 20/20 no matter the amount of planning…I’ve come to accept it as my normal 🙂 You’ve received already really great tips for the lighting, stainless steel (I’m sticking with old fashioned white thank you!), etc. and I have none to add except breathe deep, fix what you can, let the rest go and breathe!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    October 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    First of all, may I say how beautiful your sliding door looks through the kitchen door? Secondly, I find this post fascinating. Most people I’m sure would never find the faults that you do (trust me, we’d be looking at the beauty and warmth of the room, not the ceiling seams). But everyone who undertakes a major remodel will later find things they wish they’d have done differently. My brother-in-law is a CKD, and one of the books he owns always interested me (I think it’s this one, but I’d have to see it in-person to be sure: Famous chefs like Alice Waters share their home kitchens, and my favorite feature was that they each talked about things that they would have done differently. I remember that one chef’s stove hood always hit him in the head (he was tall). These were professional chefs who had their home kitchens done professionally, and they all had changes they wished they’d made. So you are in very good company.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    October 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Kristi, we have a stainless three door Samsung counter depth fridge that I love. But no amount of cleaning will leave it streak free. What does leave it streak free is a light coat of WD40 after I clean it. I smooth a little on with a diaper or microfiber cloth in the horizontal direction of the grain of the stainless. It looks great and I am happy with this solution. I would try it on your vent hood.

    If I lived in your house for 2 months I would have never noticed these 9 things. My perfectionist husband would have noticed 5 and 6. After more than 20 years of owning 5 different homes, I can tell you that the pros make “mistakes” like this and call it “workmanlike quality” which means perfection is not the goal!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Use a little bit of baby oil on you stainless steel. Smudges will disappear.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mark Tisdale
    October 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Ha, some of these are perfectionist level nit-picky things that I doubt anyone visiting would ever even notice. They’d think your kitchen is lovely as a whole package and never start itemizing all these little quirks, some of which are life in an older home type stuff like uneven walls and ceilings and such.

    The only thing that you pointed out that would bug me is that seam in the drywall in the ceiling. Ceilings are hard, that’s why so many of them are textured! Not because people like bumpy ceilings just it’s dead obvious when they’re not flat. LOL

    I know you were looking at quotes to get the breakfast room drywall done professionally, did you consider asking them to look at re-doing that seam while they’re at it. If it’s just down to some drywall mud and tape, it might mean one less thing to make your eyes twitch in your kitchen! LOL

    Agree with the others who mentioned a light for your Mom’s painting, that would help lighten up the space by the fridge a bit at the same time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Kristi, Amazing transformation!! I am a before and after photo addict. It’s the only way I can get my husband’s mind to visually open up. Thank you so much for sharing. I am picky like you. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. My husband always tells me, no one will ever notice….the thing is I will and I will do it over and over until it’s perfect. Your list of “9 things” truly aren’t noticeable to the average Joe but I’m sure will help someone along the way. I love your website and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Happy Day!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laure Gill
    October 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    As I read this I’m thinking…Geez, girl this looks amazing and you did almost all of it yourself, you’re a ROCK STAR!
    But yesterday when the quartz guys came to measure my counter tops, the guy said “Ma’am your going to have to remove that tile for us to install the stone” Everyone in the room said, Oh no!…she wanted to keep the tile…except my husband (my personal electrician) looked at me and laughed…He said “No actually the placement of the outlet is killing her…she’ll be happy to remove that tile” I’ve been married 24 years…My husband knows me well…I didn’t have the heart to change it 3 years ago shortly after we tiled and I realized the outlet was off…but now I’ll happily re-tile. So I get you! Live and learn. until then, enjoy that awesome kitchen.
    PS-When you find the right guys to drywall the breakfast room…ask for an estimate to fix the ceiling 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I always have those hindsight things after finishing a room but truthfully “we” ourselves are the only ones who really knows where the boo boos are. No one else ever notices! As far as your stainless steel vent hood, I heard that after cleaning any grease and such off it, to polish it with a little olive oil to erase away fingerprints and the like. You may have already tried that. I have never owned stainless so I do not know for sure but it’s worth a try. As far as your coffee maker cord, spray paint it white then it will blend with the wall and be “invisible”. I know that sounds corny but it might help you to not be so bothered by it. Anyway, LOVE that kitchen and you did an AWESOME job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Turn your coffee maker around. You probably don’t want the steam under your cabinets anyway.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    October 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    If you use a small lamp above the refrigerator, make sure it has a remote control. Five foot you cannot turn it on and off otherwise. But there are some wonderful remotes for lamps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Good points but I think it all looks great anyway! My first thought when i saw the coffee maker on the counter was that the kitchen actually looks like you’re using it now. I loved it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Your honesty is refreshing and encouraging, as usual. I still think your kitchen is gorgeous and amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    What is an appliance specific plug in relation to small appliances like your coffee maker? How would that keep the cord from showing?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      October 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      The outlet would be at the back of the appliance, rather than to the side, so that the cord wouldn’t be strung around the side of the coffee maker.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Your kitchen is really beautiful! My favorite picture is the last one where you can see your sliding doors to the sun room outside the door of the kitchen. They look fabulous together. Very chic. Quite amazing. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Have you tried cleaning your stainless steel with a small amount of cooking oil? I use a small (a teaspoon) of cooking oil on a clean cloth or clean paper towel and scrub my stainless….and then dry it with a clean lint free towel. Comes clean every time (no matter how dirty) and doesn’t leave a film (I have all stainless appliances in my huge kitchen thanks to my husband’s love of stainless…..)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    As you say most of these things only you notice but I think if it were me I would be annoyed by those little imperfections too.

    On the subject of your stainless steel range, we moved into a house a few years ago that had a stainless steel cooktop. I HATED that cooktop. Then one day while fruitlessly cleaning it I missed a spot of oil. So I grabbed a piece of paper towel and just swiped it up. Hmmmmm no nasty marks in that spot. So I grabbed out some more oil and gave the whole thing a light oiling and while it still wasn’t perfect (in my eyes) it was a vast improvement. I used rice bran oil because that’s what I had but I think any light oil would do the job.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jim Fleckenstein
    October 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    What a great looking kitchen and thanks for sharing all the details that went into designing it. You should due very proud of what you accomplished!! I thought it was a great touch to go back now that it’s finished and give your honest take on the little details that you feel could have been done differently. That gives a fantastic insight into how things sometimes simply do not turn out as expected – and as you pointed out 99% of the people that come into your kitchen will likely never realize the things you pointed out are even there. Still, I think we all strive for perfection, so you taking the extra time to go back and point those things out is very helpful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darnell Baker
    October 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Even with the things you would change, it’s an awesome kitchen!. I’m wondering if the difference in the outlet placement on either side of the stove has anything to do with the fact that the cabinet on the left is wider than the one on the right? Just a thought, since you mentioned it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lee Ann Perez
    October 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Kristi, two quick thoughts. Have you tried cleaning your stainless steel range hood, then applying a very thin coat of baby oil? Buff it down the next day. This is a tip I learned when our church installed a commercial stainless steel sink. Works great to keep down streaks (and water spots on the sink). As for the coffee maker, maybe angle it across the corner where it sits now and place a canister or something just to the left of it, covering up the power outlet. Camouflage, baby.
    Your kitchen is just beautiful. Only you would notice any one of your nine regrets!
    Lee Ann

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    October 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Kristy, your kitchen is to die for!!! I love it and am so impressed how it turned out! Awesome job!!

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this in the comments, but do I have a product for you! I have stainless steel appliances, and yes, they do get fingerprints and streaks…. UNTIL I found Steel Meister. Kristy, this stuff is amazing. I learned of it from another blogger I follow (I’m sorry, at the moment I can’t remember which one) and she raved about it. I had tried at least a dozen (or more!) SS cleaners and nothing worked. So reluctantly, I bought Steel Meister, not really expecting much at all. I put it on with one microfiber cloth, then buff off the excess with a clean one. Not only does it remove all fingerprints, it does not leave streaks! It leaves a beautiful sheen. Also, you can touch the appliances after you have applied it and…. NO FINGERPRINTS! I used to have to clean my appliances at least once a week to keep them looking nice. Now, maybe once a month. And we touch the appliances! I can’t get my family to keep their grubby little hands off of them! 🙂 As far as I know, it is only carried by Home Depot. It isn’t with the other cleaning or stainless products. In my Home Depot, it was at the very back of the store, behind the appliances. Just thought you should at least know about this fabulous product. It may save you some headaches with your range hood.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    October 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Kristy, here’s the link for the Steel Meister in case you are interested. I forgot to include it in my comment. Mine has a red lid, but I think they are the same.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Sprayway brand makes a stainless polish that is awesome. I have a 48″ wide fridge and that stuff keeps it nice and shiny. You can find it at most hardware stores or Target.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    As others have suggested,. using a brass, battery operated light above your Mom’s painting would provide a small amount of light to help in your dark spot. You should be very proud of your kitchen…it’s awesome!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 7:56 am

    The old saying is so true——————we are our worst critic. Your kitchen is beautiful. I am redoing things in mine also. Not a complete redo. Just the counters and sink and taking the paneling (3/4 inch thick ——-but on wrong) that was put on by the previous owner.
    I too keep changing the way I will finish. Did I mention the put the paneling is also on the ceiling. Not touching it. So much work just to take off the glue and putty the holes shut on walls.
    My hope is my kitchen turns out as great as yours. Thanks for some of the ideas I have seen on yours will use on mine.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

    hindsight is so 20/20 but i think your kitchen turned out fabulous great job

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I have stainless in my kitchen, and I use Goo Gone to remove the streaks after I clean it. Your kitchen is stunning!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 9:37 am

    When I worked in a coffee shop, we had this commercial stainless steel cleaner. I don’t know what it was or what the active ingredient was, but it NEVER left streaks. I wonder if they make a non-commercial version of it. You’d think with the popularity of stainless appliances that *someone* would release the product for the masses.

    Speaking of streaks, this is also a problem with ceramic cooktops. The only thing that does the trick there is a special cleaner/polisher too like cerama-brite.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela J
    October 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

    You could always paint the coffee maker’s cord white until you find another solution. It would only be a minor fix, but it would be less distracting.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Just gorgeous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing! So many things to think about-
    For the stainless- this is one time you want to use a product specific cleaner. I used to clean houses and I can tell you that windex and oil are both bad ideas.
    I could really see you using a cover made to look like your cabinets. You could definitely knock that out with your skills!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Your kitchen looks beautiful. The answer to your stainless steel issue is pledge. I do not know why, but aerosol pledge works at removing fingerprints and does not streak on stainless steel, if you use a soft, non-lint cloth.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Hey there,

    I’m a Naturopath (in the USA I’m classed as a ND).
    Some of the cleaners/polishers people are recommending are full of some really nasty chemicals. Chemicals that when you think about it, do you really want them to be in your kitchen getting hot and vaporised and then you breathe them in while you are there and they permeate your food?

    It’s maybe not such a great idea if such things are of a concern to you.

    But other people have come up with wonderful ideas. Cleaning with vinegar or bicarb soda is marvellous.

    But I’ll let you in on a little secret. My family owns a chain of hotels and to clean the stainless steel of anything, just use a water damp fine grade micro fibre cloth to wipe of the grime and follow immediately with the same fine grade DRY micro fibre cloth to immediately dry and polish. You could also do the drying part with a chamois if you so wished.

    Clean and steak free anything in your kitchen with this method – including glass.

    And as a little tip, shining the stainless steel only with a mix of vegetable oil and a couple of drops of lemon essential oil makes it shine, streak free and makes your kitchen smell marvellous.

    Nobody knows this but oils break down oils so simply dabbing a little of your oil blend on a paper towel will remove the previous day’s grime and dust and leave the stainless steel shiny and smelling delightful for your new day. (Don’t do this before bed as lemon oil is quite stimulating and makes you happy – you shan’t be able to sleep but you’d be quite chipper about it!)

    Of course, trial and error are your best friends here. Find which sits you best. I personally use Grapeseed oil with Pink Grapefruit essential oil for my own many stainless steel appliances.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Thanks fir this… You have made me consider the placement of the plugs in my Beach House…such great information and inspiration that I can do this. I need details on how you connected the peninsula to the floor…did you document that?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 20, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Hats off to you. That’s a bold color but looks great. I’m all for a range hood cover. I wondered at first glance why you didn’t go the route. I know that hacks your jaws about the outlets by the stove. But…it’s a beautiful kitchen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    I have been following your remodel and have enjoyed your posts. Just wanted to mention an idea I had regarding your fireplace. How about the stone marbling and color of your cement counters in the kitchen? My hats off to you for your kitchen project and wish you the best with all the rest!