Remember That 20-Year Dream I Had?

Last March or so, we had fun talking about our home remodeling projects.  I’d shared with you all how I’d dreamed of having a new kitchen for 20 lo-ong years, and how, after all that time, my dream was finally coming true.  I’d even shared pictures of our work-in-progress, and I’d promised to show you what it looked like when we were done.

Well, the contractor is all paid off, and the dream is complete.  With the release of my new book, KIDNAPPED BY THE COWBOY, I’d almost forgotten to follow up on that promise. 


To refresh your memories, we completely gutted the old kitchen, then added a room onto it, so that the area doubled the size of the new kitchen nicely.  We have since added a new deck, too.  And repainted the outside of the house.

But I digress.

Now, before we get started, here’s a glimpse of what the kitchen used to look like.  (That’s Amy about 8 years or so ago.)  White cupboards, stuff on the counter tops.  Almond sink and appliances.  Trendy peach and green decor.

 Here’s a similar view, shortly after demolition began.  Note that I’d changed decor again, this time to Mary Engelbreit with cherries, and painted red, white and black.   Same white cupboards, white appliances and white sink.


And here’s the new kitchen.  See the faucet?  I’m standing in the addition looking into the kitchen.  The new sink is right where the old one was. 

We now have rich cherry wood cabinets, all black appliances and quartz counter tops.  (We chose quartz over granite because it has a much longer warranty and is less susceptible to fissures, which can break over time.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two.)



Here’s a shot of the adjoining wall.  It’s kind of hard to tell in the pic, but those are dishes on display–a Tuscany design.   We have under-cabinet and over cabinet lighting.  Tile back splash, too.  I was able to find some pendants to go with the tiles that had a metallic design which picked up the mahogany color of the cabinets beautifully.

 Here’s a shot of our formal dining room.  We widened the doorway from the kitchen and took out the old cabinets and replaced them with matching cherry wood like the kitchen.  We found a granite counter top that was absolutely gorgeous.  A remnant that we got for a STEAL!  As an afterthought, our builder added a narrower version of the tile back splash from the kitchen.  And in the dining room, our antique dining room set.  I was about five when my parents bought it used so that set is ancient!  LOL.  I’d like to know how many meals that table top has held over the years.  Too many to count, for sure!

Here’s the sunroom–the addition.  I’ve got wooden blinds on the windows, and this room is painted the same taupe colors with white trim that we did through the house.  I don’t have any window treatments up.  The consensus from family and friends is that I don’t need them, but there’s a part of me that thinks a window needs SOMETHING.  A valance, decorative rod, some light drapes?  Hmm.  What do you think?


In the corner is an antique china cabinet that my husband inherited from his mom when she died.  He completely refinished it, and I just love it.  Instead of glass, he used plexiglass–we both had this terrible fear that the grandbabies would fall into it and the glass would shatter.  The plexiglass makes us feel much better!

This is the room where I do most of my writing these days.  You can’t see them, but on the wall adjoinging the loveseat’s, there are a pair of leather recliners that are so comfortable, and oh, the room is bright and inviting.  I just put my Alpha Smart on my lap, and I start writing away.  Love it, love it!

And last, but certainly not least, remember those old white cupboards I showed you at the top of these photos? 


Here they are!

Believe it or not, these beautiful cupboards are hanging in Cheryl’s kitchen!  And they used to be mine!  LOL.

Cheryl lives right across the road from us, and her husband, Jay, built them for her.  Didn’t he do a fab job?  Since they both love to recycle, they did us a big favor by taking the old cupboards off our hands and re-fashioning them for their own kitchen.  I’m thrilled they turned out so beautiful and that Cheryl and Jay breathed new life into them for their own family!

So how about you?  Do you love to re-vamp old things and make them new again?  If you have any pictures to share, send them to me as an attachment, and I’ll post them on the blog!

My email address: 

Website | + posts

Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

41 thoughts on “Remember That 20-Year Dream I Had?”

  1. Well, your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! I love the colors and finishes you’ve chosen. I have to admit, my very favorite part is how your old cabinets have been “recycled”. That is just like something my own parents would do. They are farmers, and are rebuilding an old home on their property right now with items passed along by others who were through with them.

    Congratulations on such a beautiful space to enjoy!

  2. Good morning, Gillian! You’re an early bird this morning. 🙂

    It’s really neat what your parents are doing. What a conversation piece. I’d love to go through their house when it’s finished just to hear the stories behind all the items they’ve found to love.

    Farmers can be some of the most practical people around, and re-cycling just comes naturally!

    Thanks for starting your day with us, Gillian!

  3. Oooohhhh!!! Your new kitchen is to die for, Pam. Mine needs an update, too, it’s just kind of drab–old brown wood cabinets, white appliances and countertops, slate blue tile floor which will be there forever. Maybe with the next book contract…
    Love what Cheryl did with your old cabinets!
    Enjoy, both of you!

  4. Wow, that kitchen is amazing! The room definitely would inspire me to cook….or just stare at the gorgeous room b/c I wouldn’t want to get it dirty! LOL

    I do enjoy revamping old things into new and watch TV shows that do just that!

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    We’ve finally finished the redecorating at our house…no more carpets! Brand new flooring! Fresh paint!

    Now to get that porch built…..

    So glad your kitchen turned out the way you wanted.


  6. Absolutely lovely.

    You must be so pleased that it is finished.
    The builders are arrivning in about four weeks (give or take) as we are redoing the sun room and putting a nicer roof on.
    And we just opened up the fireplace in my study. It had been closed in the 1950s.

  7. Beautiful kitchen! How wonderful to have all the mess over and end up with such a great place to cook and share time with family and friends. And with a comfortable writing nook, too! I know we’ll all be looking forward to your alphasmart output. 😉

    Gee, my house is only going on three years old and we’re talking some major work–taking out a wall, new flooring. It’s gonna be one of those situations where one thing gets done and suddenly there’s another on the list. 🙂

  8. Thanks for linking to my kitchen project blog, Pam! I’ve had mail this morning.

    Your kitchen is gorgeous, and looks like just the place to tuck yourself in for a day of writing. What a great gathering place for the family. That was our main goal too, when we knocked out a wall to make our kitchen and dining room one big room.

    At Christmas I posted Christmas trees on my blog, and Michelle sent me a picture of hers in her sun room. I just kept staring at that photo, because I love the room, with the wood floors, French doors and lots of windows. The tree looked old fashioned and extremely beautiful.

    I am crazy about seeing other people’s ideas and projects and even their Christmas trees!

    I enjoyed your kitchen pictures so much.

  9. Hi Pam,

    Congratulations on your new kitchen and sunroom! Your home looks gorgeous! It’s wonderful how Cheryl was able to get new cabinets too. (I like those as well.)

    I think a kitchen is the most important room in the home because it is the most used and where the family typically congregates (at least in my home-my teen boys are ALWAYS in there eating, doing homework, etc.) so it’s great how well yours turned out.

  10. Wow that kitchen is so neat, I can’t wait to have mine done some day if that day ever comes I will be very happy. I love the color I am hooked on Cherry we have it through out the house. I am kinda on my way I have the new stove and ref and dishwasher they are in the black and I love them but I have the old cabinets and terrible counter tops. Some day it will happen. I love yours it will be so much fun to cook in there.
    And Cheryl wow you guys did a great job on Pams cabinets you guys are giving me hope..

  11. Pam – I love it! Your kitchen doesn’t even look the same at all, a total transformation. Congrats on having it all done and looking so beautiful.

    When we did our kitchen, the hardest part of all, was making decorating choices. Did we want maple with the glaze? Did we want granite, what color, what about backsplash, faucets etc. We went over and over what we thought we wanted, not to mention figuring out which new appliances we wanted. Did you find that part the hardest of all?

    Other than having no kitchen. We cooked food in the living room with our microwave on top of a table. But mostly, we ate out! 🙂
    But even that got old. I couldn’t wait to start cooking again. Did you find it a joy to cook in your kitchen?

    And how nice that your other cabinets got recycled to Cheryl’s. She and Jay did a fab job. They look like the were meant for her house!

  12. Thanks for sharing the update. Your kitchen turned out fabulous. I’m so glad you didn’t buy a new house and move! I saw the cupboards in Cheryl’s kitchen and part of the remodel. You two will have a great memory to share down the road. ENJOY!
    Julie A. Carda

  13. Good morning, Elizabeth!

    Well, drab doesn’t have to stay drab, my dear sister Filly. It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do. It’d be fairly easy to do on your brown cabinets, and maybe even tie in the slate blue on the floor in the cabinet hardware.

    But it takes time, and that’s not something we writers have an awful lot of, is it?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Oh, I stared ALOT when we first had the kitchen finished, Kathleen. I’d sit in the dark with only the above cabinet lighting on and just . . . stare. I could hardly believe my dream had come true.

    I still thank God we managed it.

    Thanks you!

  15. Hey, Pam–I’m just like you. Detest is probably too strong of a word, but I dislike alot . . . carpet. My flooring is so much cleaner, and the furniture needs less dusting because fluff isn’t rising up from the carpet. And rugs hold in so much dirt.

    We have laminate, which is even easier than wood. How about you?

  16. Hi, Michelle! When you start your sunroom re-do, be sure to keep a photo journal. You’ll be glad you did ten years from now. Keep us posted! I’d love to see it when it’s done.

    And *liz, you are so right. Remodeling of any kind has a dominoe effect, not only in the work but in the checkbook, too. Ugh!

    Case in point the deck we never intended to build. Or that new coat of paint on the house. I’m glad it’s all done now, though. Icing on the cake!

  17. Hey, Cheryl! Think we surprised everyone with the cabinet make-over?

    Hi, Za! Before we took on this project, we debated whether the cost would price us out of our neighborhood, but a real estate agent told us absolutely not. That when we got ready to move (which we’re not going to do, maybe never now) that kitchen would sell our house. And that’s because the kitchen is THE most important room in the house, especially for a family.

    You are so right!

  18. Hi, Brenda! Sounds like we have the same taste!

    Just keep plugging away, little by little, and that kitchen will be looking spiffy for you. I got so many ideas from NE Furn Mart. Where would Omaha be without that place, eh?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Thank you, Sherry!

    Hi, Charlene! You bet making the decorating decisions was hard, but luckily I had a couple of designers to work with. I was pretty clueless about what was ‘in’ when we started, and I spent a lot of time hitting the pavement and scoping out the stores, the Internet, and magazines.

    I tried to stay away from the trendy stuff and keep the scheme far more practical. I kept looking ahead to ten years from now–would I still like it then?

    And yes, cooking is fun all over again. I felt like a new bride in my first kitchen. LOL.

  20. Julie–what a nice surprise to see you here!

    So you already saw the infamous Crooks/St.John cabinet make-over, eh? Pretty cool, eh?

    Anytime you’re in my neighborhood, stop on in. I’ll give you a live tour!

  21. Oh my gosh, Pam! Your new kitchen is gorgeous! The colors are simply stunning and inviting. Bet you want to spend all your time in the new kitchen and sunroom. You and Cheryl are regular Martha Stewarts of Nebraska! Love it, love it!

    Wish I had the resources to do some remodeling myself. I really need some new counter tops. I’d love quartz or granite. Thanks for the tip re the granite. Quartz would suit me fine. Now to scrape up enough money to do it.

    Thanks for sharing the new photos!

  22. Pam, your new kitchen is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Plus, with all that counter space and those cupboards, you’ve got enough room that you don’t have to clutter things up with toasters, wafflemakers, cookbooks, recycling bins, kid’s crayons….Looks like there’s a place for everything.


  23. It’s so beautiful, Pam. I love that dark wood. I think it looks so elegant.
    Of course I like it, now that I’ve got light oak everywhere. 🙂

    Why is it that people (you…me…fifty others I can think of) finally get enough space when the kids are grown and you don’t need it?

    Of course the simple answer is, we finally have a little money. Kids are expensive.
    Plus they’d wreck stuff so just as well to wait. 🙂

    We did a much more minor face lift on our kitchen when our youngest graduated last spring (a year ago) new kitchen flooring was the main change there, although we did more in the bathroom and living room, but it really changed the whole look of the kitchen.

  24. Hi, Linda! Just yesterday on the Today Show, a kitchen expert was touting the advantages of quartz over granite. He claimed the quartz countertops have come a long way over the years, and he heartily recommended them.

    I hope you get your makeover soon. They’re a sound investment for the kitchen–and good for resale. You won’t regret it!

  25. Kate, I do have a lot of cupboards, but you’re right. I’ve swept most of the small appliances that used to be on my counters and stuck them into cabinets, freeing up lots more space.

    I’m glad you like the re-do!

  26. Hi Pam C; Pam T here 🙂

    We’ve put sheet vynal in all the rooms except the living room and kitchen – there we put vynal tile.

    And yes, makes a HUGE difference from carpet – LOTS less dust.


  27. Mary, Mary, quite contrary . . . I know you’re busy today, but you found a few minutes to stop by. Thank you!

    I know tons of parents our age who are just turning empty-nesters and wanting the same thing we did–a bigger kitchen when all the kids are gone. But the family is growing, growing. With husbands and grandbabies.

    But you’re right–ironic how we get that extra room when the kids are gone! It was a huge battle with my hubby, let me tell you.

  28. Pam, a couple things struck me about your post but I think the most memorable one was the fact that Cheryl lives across the road from you. Really? I think that would be so great – to have another author as a friend. Not only for the fellowship of like minds getting together if you need to ‘air your story out’, but also because some neighbords just don’t understand the need to ‘buckle down and write’. With Cheryl, if you say, ‘Don’t call, I’m writing,’ then you can be sure she won’t take it personally. (Speaking from experience here)

  29. Pam, you asked what we thought about your lack of window dressing…

    I think they look natural and lovely the way they are.

    I always had curtains or some time of window coverings until we moved to one house that used wide vertical blinds in the living room and dining room (patio doors). They didn’t need anything else.

    When we moved into our current farmhouse, I left the previous owner’s window dressings up until it was time for them to be laundered. And I haven’t put them back. Our summer is so short up here in Sask and the winters have short days as well. We thrive on the sun. We have small horizontal blinds on the windows facing east and south from which we see the lawn, apple trees, buildings and hilly land under cultivation. The window dressing covered 25% of the view.

    In our bedroom, the last owner took the curtains. And the rod. At least she left the small horizontal blinds. When I look out our waist-high, 3’x6′ window, all I see is trees. A wall of green just 10′ from the glass panes. After living in the city and on military bases for 20 yrs, I’d rather see the trees than a piece of fabric. After 10 yrs here, there still aren’t any coverings on the windows.

    My sister is the only person to comment on the lack of window decor and after I explained why, she shrugged as if to say, ‘to each his own’.

    Exactly my sentiment.

  30. Anita Mae,

    Cheryl and I have known each other for YEARS. Before she was published, and she was published long before I was. When I say across the road, I mean she lives on one side of a main road, and I live on the other. Not really neighbors, but within walking distance of one another.

    And you know–we talk more on email than anything else. I actually haven’t seen her sweet face in a rather long while. LOL.

  31. Thank you so much for your perspective on the window treatments, too, Anita. You have the same outlook as my daughters. No window treatments definitely give a more open, clean feel. The wooden blinds give us privacy at night, but I usually pull them up during the day. And we’re surrounded by lots of green in our own yard and our neighbors’.

    Window treatments can get outdated, too. But the fact that I don’t yet have anything up is a sign that deep down, I LIKE not having anything on the windows. 🙂 Maybe I just didn’t realize it until now, eh?

  32. Nice job done on your kitchen and sunroom! I keep
    saying some day, but it’s already been 39 years and
    we are the original owners!!

    Pat Cochran

  33. Pam, how BEAUTIFUL! What’s the first meal you had in your new kitchen? It looks fabulous! Worth the wait, right? 😉

Comments are closed.