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The little kitchen that could

Did you ever read that book- 'The Little Engine That Could'?

It was one of my favorite books when I was growing up. 

It was about a little train engine that dreamed of doing big things that those big fabulous trains did. But it was just a little engine- and it had a chug chug chug instead of a fast smooth zoom.
But that didn't stop that little engine from dreaming.  And one day, he did something that none of the other big fancy trains were able to do.

 Our house is kind of like that I think. 
It was a little house that was overlooked by many and that we were actually told to bulldoze and start new when we bought- because the property was where the worth was- not the house. 

But you see, I saw that little engine. 
I saw the shiny things it could do one day. 
And I remember when my husband and I  talked about if we could really tackle those broken windows, water damaged walls and 60 years of weathering away... 
while raising 3 babies while he worked out of town half the week.
 We wondered, we paused, we thought again... 
and asked would we really be able to fix up that forlorn forgotten house 
and turn it into a home?

And I would think of that little engine that could and I would say

'I think we can.'

Partly youthful energy, a dash of daydreaming and yes, a sprinkle of not really knowing how much work a project like this house would be....
we jumped in. 

And years later...the kitchen is one of those rooms where I now say
 'I thought we could'

If our kitchen could talk- it might talk about how it started out with an idea and a dream.  
A dream that included marble counters, wood plank floors and vintage chandeliers lighting up the room. 
So that was where we started. 

Truth be told- this kitchen evolved and changed and changed again over many years.
And it has taken us many years to get to where we are with it. It wasn't a big budget, snap your fingers and it was done project. It was a blood, sweat, tears and a lot of saving and DIY work to get it done. And some projects were more about making do- than the first choice.

And one of those projects that wasn't really what I envisioned was the range hood. 
You see, I had a big fancy freight train type range hood in mind. And it came along with a big fancy lead time of about 4 months. So- in trying to get this kitchen photograph ready for that little side project called a 'Book' - we had to go to plan B and find something we could use to give the kitchen that custom look we wanted- on something more like a 2 week time line. 

Enter this wood range hood. 

Tall and stately. Curvy and beautiful. With little details to add that extra charm. 
Fully customizable - and on a dime at that.

This range hood ships to you ready to be cut to size and ready to finish and put up. 
We took about 12" off the top of it to get it to fit our ceiling height and I chose to paint it with a coat of pretty white enamel type paint. 
And voila.

Even though it isn't the original design - I do love how it turned out and honestly when tackling renovations in a kitchen- something as simple as changing one element like a range hood or taking the doors off the cupboards can make a huge difference for little budget. 

We will likely be moving this hood out to the cottage kitchen when we tackle that kitchen update-
 and will order the  custom one we originally envisioned for the space.
 But for now- enjoying it and the simple charm it brings. 

Piece by piece this kitchen has become the kitchen that could. 
The one that started looking a little less than lovely and that over the years started to look much like that dreamy vision.

For those who asked:

*not sponsored*

Happy kitchen renovating!


  1. You've done a wonderful job, Courtney. Your kitchen is stunning.

  2. Always so inspired by your kitchen! So glad you and your hubby took the time and effort to reclaim your home!

  3. Your kitchen is beautiful and I'd love to cook or just hang out in there all day<3

  4. Your kitchen is beautiful. We just bought a home that was built in the early 90s. I'm dreaming of a new kitchen, but it is going to take lots of saving, planning, and elbow grease to get it done. I know I've got to be patient. Your gorgeous kitchen has inspired me to do so!

  5. I truly wish I could have the opportunity to do this but unfortunately my husband is done constructionist
    I have a pretty home because of his hard work and love for me
    although I would love to do my dream rooms
    But you have a beautiful kitchen

  6. Love how your kitchen has turned out. love your new island.

  7. Oh man, I love love love your cottage kitchen!! I even blogged about it today, it has inspired me so. Love the info on the hood, as I am in need of one, and took note of yours.

  8. You may roam the world. but, that house with THAT KITCHEN will always be home.

  9. you thought you could, I think you did!
    - beautiful

  10. Absolutely beautiful!

  11. Courtney, your kitchen is just so pretty - well, more like gorgeous. I love it all - but I am so in love with your beautiful stove. You created beauty and gave all of us great inspiration!

  12. Love, love, love your kitchen, Courtney. I actually mentioned the Little Engine that Could today in my blog post. My parents used to read it to me every day. LOVE that book and the message. xx

  13. "But you see, I saw that little engine.
    I saw the shiny things it could do one day.
    And I remember when my husband and I talked about if we could really tackle those broken windows, water damaged walls and 60 years of weathering away...
    while raising 3 babies while he worked out of town half the week.
    We wondered, we paused, we thought again...
    and asked would we really be able to fix up that forlorn forgotten house
    and turn it into a home?"

    I just read this, reread it and reread it again. I am 9 month into this exact situation! We bought a 60 yr old house, that was in original condition. I am convincied the smell alone drove other buyers away. We have 3 kids under 5, and my husband travels Mon-Thurs. I saw the potiential and our (mostly my husbands) blood, sweat and tears have started that slow diy process. Your kitchen is amazing and it's encouraging to see someone on the upside of the process.

    P.S. I just found you today and I am so glad I did!

  14. What a lovely transformation. Everything you touch reflects my taste. Awesome!

  15. What a lovely transformation! All you do reflects my taste. Awesome!

  16. Absolutely beautiful and what a refresh

  17. Thanks for the link on the hood! I have one pictured in my head but have not been able to find one. I have very tall sloped ceiling in the kitchen and would really like a hood that is simple, but still has some...oomph? Cant wait to see what you are getting! I really want a little bit of a narrow shelf so I can throw an oil painting up and some flowers and basically put little still life paintings in my kitchen. I am actually trying to make sure there are lots of spots for that...and I managed to convince my designer that I NEED a table, not an island. Yay!!! Gorgeous kitchen. You've done a splendid job. I still have to go countertop shopping, and apparently I should not get marble because I cook alot. Ugh.

  18. What is the brand of your stove? We are looking to put in a unique range in our kitchen remodel.

  19. May I ask what finishes you chose for your other appliances..I don't think I noticed any pictures of the refrigerator, dishwasher etc.. Ty