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Kitchen Progress

I planned to only write about this on haus maus today but with so many of you interested in kitchen design on a budget I thought I’d share my little German kitchen here on decor8 instead. For a bit of history, here is what the kitchen looked like before renovations in our apartment. These photos were taken last October when we agreed to take this flat.

Slightly after… This is when we officially moved in this past August 2008.

My kitchen inspiration board created in May… I had plans!

And now!

I have a few more things to do and eventually I want to wallpaper or paint it, but for now I’m quite content and pleased with the outcome. I need to sew a roman blind for the window this week, hang a vintage clock I won on eBay, and put up some art to the left of the shelves, and then I can officially call it quits in the kitchen at least for this year.

A vintage cabinet from the 1940’s from eBay Germany. I wanted a contrast – vintage on the left, modern to the right (IKEA). I love the contrast, I think it makes the kitchen more interesting. I want to paint the inside white, wallpaper the interior doors, and stack lots of pretty dishtowels and plates on it.

Next year when I return to Germany to stay here in our apartment again, I will consider wallpaper and/or paint for the walls. Until then, this is my kitchen. I’m so happy with it, my husband and I designed it by ourselves and I think we did a nice job considering I have so little experience in kitchen design and he has, well… none. We just went with gut instinct, used the IKEA kitchen planning tool online, and purchased nearly all of our appliances on Amazon. You cannot see it, but in the kitchen we have a dryer with a butcher block top where we keep canisters and such, with a chalkboard/message center above that.

This darling glass pear terrarium was found at a local hardware store for $10. I couldn’t let such cuteness remain in the store… It needed to come home with me. They had an apple too. :)

Hope my little city kitchen inspires some of you today that between IKEA, eBay, and Amazon you can design a nice little kitchen that won’t break the bank! Most of the accessories that you see are from Danish companies, the rug, bowls, etc. or from the local flea market which I shop religiously each and every Saturday. :)

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in design, Rooms on October 13, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Jeska commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 2:45pm

    Great makeover. Such a light, clean and crisp finish with lovely styling. I wish I had a second home. Watching you build up another home makes me want to start all over again.

    Jeskas last blog post: Home coming gifts

  2. The City Sage commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 2:48pm

    Oh, what a gorgeous re-do…it turned out so beautifully! My favourite are the countertops. They’re one part farm house, one part modern organic. Nicely done!

    The City Sages last blog post: Recipe for Retro at Urban Outfitters

  3. Kristi commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 2:55pm

    This looks fantastic! I’m admiring those wonderful countertops. Can you tell us what they are? I looked on the Ikea website and didn’t see any wood countertops that dark. Thanks!

    Kristis last blog post: Kitchen Design:: Weighing my options

  4. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:07pm

    Gorgeous, clean, inspiring and did I say…gorgeous?! :)
    I just love what you have done Holly and I am so glad you are happy with it! You did a magnificent job and I can just see you puttering around in there happily in the morning …..delightful! :)

  5. emily commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:08pm

    where did you get that rug? would look so cute in my kitchen too…

  6. decor8 commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:17pm

    Kristi – I’m really not sure, I just know that here in Germany you can get them. Sorry, I can’t even find them on the German website now. We ordered everything in-store and worked closely with a sales associate there who wrote up our order so I don’t even know what half of these things are called – I just pointed to stuff and said, “This hardware”, “This faucet”, “Yes I want this sink”, etc. :)

  7. decor8 commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:20pm

    Here’s the rug Emily:

  8. Grace@PoeticHome commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:23pm

    What a lovely peek into your happy kitchen! I think you did a marvelous job personalizing the space — and I really enjoy the open shelving. My favorite decor item in your kitchen is the pear terrarium (and only at $10?!) — fantastic find!

    Grace@PoeticHomes last blog post: What to do when no one?s watching

  9. Anna @ D16 commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:35pm

    I think these are the countertops, right? (choose ‘walnut finish’ as the color)

    The kitchen is looking grrrrreat. Just the right amount of rustic, earthy pieces mixed in with the shiny modern stuff. It has really come together beautifully, Holly. Where are you (eventually) planning to put the wallpaper?

    Also, I LOVE YOUR LITTLE TRASH CAN. I’ve been looking for one for my downstairs bathroom, but I can’t find one that perfect anywhere!

    Anna @ D16s last blog post: Kitchen pantry!

  10. Kristan commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:47pm

    Wow, you did a really nice job with that space!!

    Kristans last blog post: Foto Friday: Fall photography

  11. Gracia commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:50pm

    I am 100% in love with your kitchen, you’ve done such a great job!

    Gracias last blog post: Zucchini – Potato Fritatta

  12. becky from hatch commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 3:56pm

    Holly it looks beautiful! I love the countertops and all the white and light!

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Palm Springs Modern: Mad Men Heads West

  13. Uncle Beefy commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:01pm

    LOVE the new kitchen, Holly! SUCH a great job! But the countertop and the vintage cabinet are my favorites! But the whole room turned out really well…someone should be patting themselves on the back right now, me thinks! ;)

    Uncle Beefys last blog post: Glamtastic!

  14. Holly commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:22pm

    Your kitchen is so charming…great work even though you and your husband didn’t have hardly any experience! I am totally in love with your pear terrarium! I have been noticing them a lot more lately, and am thinking I must make one for myself and maybe give some as Christmas gifts! Thanks for your ever-continuing inspiration!

    Hollys last blog post: I’m in love with RED.

  15. lauren commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:28pm

    I love those kitchen counters! The whole renovation is impeccable!

    laurens last blog post: Rest your pretty head on this….

  16. karina commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:34pm

    I really enjoy your most personal posts, and of course you and your husband have made a great work

    karinas last blog post: My Photos

  17. Tabitha (From Single to Married) commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:39pm

    So cute!! I especially love the vintage cabinet – it’s beautiful and a perfect addition! I’m impressed!

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)s last blog post: Monday Musings – Growing Older

  18. Liza commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 4:41pm

    It looks really good, Holly! Thanks for sharing.

    Lizas last blog post: Off Road

  19. JENNIFER RAMOS commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:09pm

    Great JOB Holly! I know what its like to re-do an entire kitchen….done it before and all from IKEA!

    Jen Ramos
    ‘100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More’

    JENNIFER RAMOSs last blog post: I like Snogging better than Ice Cream…

  20. trina commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:15pm

    oh i love it! oh you do make me miss my strange little apartment in Vilnius so much. Mine was not so cute but the set up is so uniquely european and familiar. :)
    I am sooooo coveting your little pear terrarium. I have been terrarium crazy the last few weeks. I have made 6 over the past 2 weekends. :)

    trinas last blog post: a farewell to (bare) arms…

  21. belinda commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:18pm

    hey holly, it’s looking great! do you know what cupboard doors you bought? i was looking at aplaad but think they’re too cream, so always after a review from someone who has them! cheers, bx

    belindas last blog post: eye candy: clair wayman

  22. alicia commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:24pm

    So lovely! You did a fabulous job.

  23. Tracy commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:26pm

    The new kitchen is lovely. I like the dark wood you used, it looks elegant.

    Tracys last blog post: Mole – Sick – Teeth

  24. Nana commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:27pm

    hi, my first time here, and I have to say I love your site! your kitchen looks very very cute! lovely cabinet and cupboard! I like contrast too, it changes everything… I study interior design, and I like drawing cabinet, though I’m horrible at drawing. lol I’ll take a look in, maybe it helps me on my homeworks… ;)


    p.s. sorry my bad english =)

  25. DecorPad commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:43pm

    fabulous! Everything is so crisp and clean!

  26. Concha commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 5:43pm

    Wonderful! I think you did a tremendous job. Congratulations!

    Conchas last blog post: Step by step quilting – part 1

  27. melanie commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 7:32pm

    Holly, it’s just beautiful! It has been sooo much fun watching you transform this space, I kind of hope you never finish!

    To add to your list of questions to answer – is that a salt & pepper mill to the left of your purple bowls? It’s really perfect, if so. Where did you find it?

  28. Cicada Studio commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 8:46pm

    Looks great Holly! I’m so impressed with all your choices and your speed of light renovations. You must be so proud!

    Cicada Studios last blog post: New Item In Shop | 2009 Tea Towel Calendar

  29. callie commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 9:40pm


    callies last blog post: DESIGN: My Dream Kitchen

  30. All Thimgs Lovely commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 10:49pm

    I absolutely love it! My favourite has to be the benchtops, I wonder if I can put them in my house! Just fabulous, you’ve done a wonderful job. :)

    All Thimgs Lovelys last blog post: Paper Makes Me Happy

  31. Carrie commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 11:57pm

    Simply lovely! And so fantastic to hear how happy you are with everything you’ve done so far.

    Carries last blog post: birthday surprise!!!

  32. susan commented
    October 13th, 2008 at 11:58pm

    I think it’s lovely, Holly. I like the large backsplash tiles…they are quite common in northern Europe, I think and I like them so much better than 4x4s. In my very tiny master bath, I used 13×13 tiles on the floor and wall. I really like what you’ve done there. What I see here is “simple.” A “less is more” sort of design. It often takes more effort to use restraint than it does to pile things on! Not that there’s anything wrong with that look, either. And, I’m such a lover of wood countertops. They are so common in Europe, it’s really something. I think it’s teriffic. If it feels right, that’s all the information you need. :)

    susans last blog post: Small Kitchen Storage Tips

  33. stacy di commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 12:26am

    Really wonderful kitchen! I love it. You must be thrilled!

  34. Sydney Morgan commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 5:11am

    Awe, your kitchen looks fab. I wish I had the job (and funds to match) to buy my own apartment.. I can’t really rip out the kitchen while renting!

    Curiosity question: Your silver boxes on the shelf are absolutely gorgeous.. and I think you had pictures of them also in your hallway. May I ask where you purchased them?

    I also wanted to note that if you’re ever in nothern England (Or Liverpool) there’s a shop called The Olive Tree on Renshaw Street that sells all good things from the middle east, Moroccan teapots and cups, perfumes, footstools, pillows, brass tables, etc. And ?55 for a pouffe footstool isn’t a half-bad price either, but sadly they do not have much on their website ( I just remembered from your searches for a round teapot.. They have very elegant, tall, and swooping Moroccan teapots there (They look almost vintage ’60’s JG Meakin in style, but Moroccan! So pretty). Just a thought.

    I also envy your Ebay finds to the max.


  35. Aubs commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 8:44am

    This kitchen makeover is Simply Fabulous! Almost makes me wat to cook something. Great Work!

  36. sarathira commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 9:58am

    its so simple but i feel such warmth in the kitchen! i bet it just gets you in the mood to cook eyh? and can i please say that i simply that ebay purchased cabinet? oh myyy

    sarathiras last blog post:

  37. euni commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 10:10am

    i love this! i’m doing a mini (budget) make over of my kitchen right now. this is so inspiring. :)

    eunis last blog post: marlena’s kitchen & the nyt

  38. LayersofMeaning commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 10:32am

    lovely kitchen! I love the transformation!

    & the glass pear terrarium = AMAZING!

    LayersofMeanings last blog post: Check it out: Layers of Meaning – Giveaway

  39. Jana Souza commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 11:22am


    You did such a great job; and it the most important measurement is how happy you and your husband are :) Now you can relax and enjoy. I love IKEA kitchens, they are so cost effective and since you didn’t do alot of uppers, their installation is a bit easier—the biggest challenge is all of their parts and the assembly—-I gotta love my husband for that.

    I would do an IKEA kitchen in a heartbeat; we just don’t have a space to do it in.

    Thanks for shairng here and again, beautiful, clean results.



  40. doreen commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 12:36pm

    NIce job! Are those wood or laminate countertops? And how do like IKEA cabinetry? I have always been a little afraid of the quality. I love how you were able to buy everything yourself online. Did you act as your own contractor as well? And what is the permitting process like in Germany? Sorry so many dull questions, but these are the reality of remodeling!

  41. kris commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 12:53pm

    i’m a silent reader of your pretty blog. I’m finally commenting because I like what you did to your lovely kitchen. We have a similar closet in the kitchen and it is taking up so much space! Did you guys remove it yourself?

  42. Nicole commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 1:35pm

    looks gorgeous, Holly… thanks so much for sharing! So fresh & welcoming… you truly have turned your German apartment into your German *home*!

  43. Summer commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 4:29pm

    Inspirational indeed! We are going to remodel our kitchen also and this will really help! I love the visual simplicity and the vintage on one side/new on the other! Bravo!

    Summers last blog post: My Home Decor Picks

  44. lindsey clare commented
    October 14th, 2008 at 11:51pm

    lovely! but what i want to know is… how did you get the plant inside the terrarium? or was it already in there? (in that case, how did *they* get the plant inside the terrarium?) ;)

    lindsey clares last blog post: Sydney skyline

  45. Elfya commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 2:48am

    It looks absolutely lovely!

    So cozy!

  46. emi elias commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 11:09am

    lovely kitchen!!

    emi eliass last blog post:

  47. Lynne commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 11:43am

    I want to know about the silver boxes too. And the terrarium – what are you growing in it?

  48. leigh commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 12:35pm

    What a beautiful kitchen – I love what you’ve done. I think your kitchen will go on my inspiration board! Enjoy the autumn.

    leighs last blog post: Autumn Glow

  49. lauren commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 1:14pm

    Wow, I love the glass pear terrarium. That is something every home could enjoy.

    laurens last blog post: Vaute vote.

  50. charly commented
    October 15th, 2008 at 5:30pm

    just like to say the kitchen looks fantastic and the retro unit is too die for. Just love it. I also like to point out that since i saw that pear terrarium i have gone terrarium mad! it is my new obsession! i am currently bidding on various glass jars on ebay as we speak!! none as cute as that pear tho! xx

  51. Veda commented
    October 16th, 2008 at 12:28am

    lovely lovely kitchen Holly!!!!!!!!!!U must be thrilled to cook in there! or just have some piping hot coffee and enjoy the view from the window!

    Vedas last blog post: From my Sketchbook!

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