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One of the things I love most about our new (old) house is that it's in pretty much original condition. When people live in and renovate a house several times over the years, you end up having to undo lots of things you don't like. With an original shell, you can make those changes yourself ― for the first time ― and get what you want.

Our kitchen was from the 1950s, complete with solid wooden cabinet doors and less-than-solid plastic tiles in red and yellow. We began chipping the plastic tiles off one night after a "house warming" barbecue with the family. My Mom brought over a favourite (and expensive) paring knife which I used to pry at the plastic tiles. Hey, I didn't know it was expensive at the time! The knife worked well but didn't survive the beating.

Here's Sara giving the demolition a try...

Worked like a charm!

Oops! Sorry Mom.

With the tile gone, we were pretty sure we wanted to freshen the space up with lots of white. I was inspired by kitchens like these:

I love the subway tile in this Steven Gambrel project. I also love the dark grout, but would it be too trendy for our little old house?

This Ina Garten kitchen from House Beautiful has a really nice feeling, too. So classic and fresh, don't you think?

Of course I've always loved this Turkey Hill kitchen by my decorating idol Martha Stewart. The copper pots became an obsession of mine last summer. I also love the look of brass pulls instead of nickel. And a big stainless steel stove has always been a dream...

American food icon Julia Child (and the recent movie about her life) was another influence. The movie-set kitchen was so friendly and utilitarian. Plus she, like me, loved blue willow plates, so I knew we were on the same wavelength. Plus, more copper!

I was also inspired by some U.K. designed kitchens, like this one from House to Home, and the idea of cabinets painted in a fresh colour instead of plain white. I'm always the editor complaining that no one in Canada uses colour on their cabinets, but am I brave enough to try it myself? Can I put my money where my mouth is?

Watch the video tours to find out!

Missed my before shots? Check out our main floor and second floor.

Photo credits:
1-3. Michael Penney
4. Country, Hamptons, Steven Gambrel
5. House Beautiful
6. Turkey Hill, Marthastewart.com
7. 2009 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Beverly Blvd LLC, from Country Living
8. House to Home

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