It feels like it’s been a long time coming: we started planning this reno in the fall, the action began early in the new year, and I can finally say we are officially done!

I had a vision for the space, which my fantastic designer Meredith Kirk quickly identified as “Farmhouse Glam”, and with her guidance this is how it all came together. (You can look forward to a separate post all about working with a designer in the future, but for now here’s a fun fact unrelated to her superior design skills: Meredith is the sister of freshly re-retired NHLer Mike Fisher and sister-in-law of country music star Carrie Underwood.) While Meredith has recently decided to focus more on the real estate side of her business, if you’re looking to buy or sell and want an agent with the bonus of a design background, you can find her here.



While I could also fill posts all about the renovation process (there are many ideas brewing), for now I’ll stick with the facts:

The walls are Ellie Gray by Sherwin-Williams.

The hardwood flooring is Twelve Oaks Hickory Homestead S from Whelan’s Flooring Centre in Peterborough (ask for Shelby; she picked out exactly what we wanted in under a minute).

The kitchen itself was designed, built and installed by Wood By Design, a local business owned by Derek Julian. He was fantastic to work with and we are extremely pleased with both the service and the quality of the product. The wall cabinetry is painted Oxford White by Benjamin Moore, and the island is Asphalt. The quartz counter is Rococo from Delray Granite.



The general contractor for our renovation was Matt Darling of Darling Contracting. Matt has done smaller indoor projects for us in the past and also built our pool house, and we would definitely recommend him. We really appreciated his attention to detail, for example with crown moulding and baseboard trim, and the guys he has working for him are really good at what they do.

The appliances are all Maytag Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel from Peterborough Appliances. (I knew what I wanted after researching online and seeing the appliances in a friend’s kitchen, and worked with Jane from Peterborough Appliances almost completely over email to order and arrange delivery.)



If you’re dying to ask where I got something else that you see in a photo, there’s a 90% chance that the answer is, where we purchased:

  • stools (we really liked the Celtic design detail on the backs and they are amazingly comfortable)
  • island, foyer and hallway light fixtures
  • all area rugs
  • dining chairs
  • sectional
  • coffee table
  • armchair with ottoman
  • faucet
  • sink

While unfortunately I wasn’t able to partner with Wayfair for this project, I will tell you that I loved being able to shop so much online (I detest errands), and it also made it really easy for Meredith and me to communicate by sending screenshots and links back and forth. We’ve had no complaints whatsoever about any of our Wayfair items, and the only returns we had to make were two barstools, because we ambitiously thought we were going to be able to fit 6 around the island! (We could have squeezed them, but 4 works much better.)







Other item sources:

  • Harvest table: Mennonite-made, ordered through Homestead Woodcraft, Lindsay
  • Custom-made sign over sink: The Little House In Cavan Designs
  • Herringbone backsplash tile: Home Depot
  • Dining light fixture: Lighting Interiors and More, Peterborough – the story to this one is that Meredith had shown me a fantastic light fixture she spotted online, but we couldn’t source it locally. I sent Lighting Interiors a photo, and then spoke to someone on the phone who immediately took a pic of one they had in stock which was almost identical and texted it to me herself. Another example of above-and-beyond customer service.



Previously the door to the mudroom was right where you see our new fridge. We had the door shifted over about 3 feet to allow for an extra bank of cabinetry in between the stove and the fridge, and we’re so glad we did.



The door you see in the corner of the photo above didn’t exist before the renovation – there was just a ridiculously long railing above the stairs. We decided to maximize space and install a pantry, which you can read all about below!

For more details on some other specific items, check out all of these reno update posts:


A Special End Table Makeover

Our New Pantry

Our New Gallery Wall

Grandma’s Rocking Chair Refinished

Our Refinished Buffet/Hutch


I will be sharing many more close-ups as well as lots of reno advice in the future, so make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss a thing!

Thanks so much to everyone who offered support throughout the reno, whether in real life or online. I am surrounded by wonderful friends everywhere, and I’m so happy to have you visit, even if only virtually!

Just for fun, I’m wrapping up with the kitchen photo I saw on Instagram months ago that inspired the vision for our whole renovation! And by the way, if you’re interested in design, you might want to check out my interviews page for links to my chats with designers and builders like Sarah Richardson, Jillian Harris, Kortney Wilson, Danielle Bryk, Sarah Baeumler, Scott McGillivray and more!


Instagram: @j.vangaalen


2 comments on “Our Big Reno: The Full Reveal”

  1. Truly fit for a duchess! Very tasteful and envy inspiring. 🙂

    You could cost me money…

    Congratulations on a magnificent end product.

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