Home Renovation: The Kitchen

This month it has been one year since I bought my home in the Holy Rosary neighborhood in Fletcher Place in downtown Indianapolis. It has been a somewhat slow-moving process, but I can finally say I’m (for the most part) complete with my major projects! I would love to work more on the outside of the house, but right now I’m keeping my focus on the inside mainly. I would love to share the progress I have made because I’m honestly very proud of it. I created all the design of what I wanted the space to look like, and it was executed by a mixture of contract workers, cabinet makers, friends, family, myself, and mainly my father:) Now presenting the room with the most major changes: the kitchen.



The center light was designed and crafted by LightingAlchemy of Etsy, but I wanted two triangular ones on each side, so I designed them in Illustrator and their shop executed the design. It took almost 6 months to receive, so that was not great cooking in darkness half the time, but they were worth the wait!

Velux skylights. Insane how much raising the ceiling to the roofline and adding these lights brightened the room and made the space appear bigger.

Prints: bycamimonet on Etsy

Frame hangers: Spoolandgrovecrew on Etsy

A couple of my favorite kitchen features: a built-in utensil drawer

A drawer just for my Tupperware! :)

Hiding that ugly microwave and coffee grinder.

Slats for cutting boards and cookie sheets/Pantry pull-out shelves

The door to the cellar is in the corner of the kitchen, so my cabinet maker and I had to find a creative solution to still be able to utilize the space. The peninsula leg folds up when I need to get in the basement and a middle leg folds down so there is not too much weight on just one leg.


  • Well, everything.
  • Ripped out the old cabinets
  • Re-dry walled
  • Raised the ceiling to the roofline
  • Moved the gas line to other side
  • Redid all electrical and added outlets and boxes for 4 lights
  • Added VELUX skylights
  • Replaced two windows with larger ones
  • Had cabinets custom-made [Tom Carter of Carter Cabinet Co. in New Pal– highly recommend!]
  • Had butcher block countertop custom-made [Also made by Carter Cabinet Co.]
  • Ordered all new appliances
  • Added brushed brass hardware
  • Removed old tile (3 previous tiles actually) and added new tile
  • Added new farm sink [Kohler] & faucet [Delta]
  • Exposed brick above stove and added shelf
  • Added backsplash
  • Hung vent hood above stove into old chimney exhaust
  • Painted the door to the laundry & put it on a slider


Finally got to experience my own Demo Day!



My friend Tyler made my design ideas come to life and created these drawings for me!


My kitchen for 4 months.



The cellar door finally blends in. I found the guy who did my flooring by literally seeing him working on a house down my street. I asked him if he could rip out tiles 3 deep and install this new floor, and he did an awesome job blending in this door!



Cabinet install day might have been the most exciting of my life. Goodbye to eating microwave dinners and takeout and all kitchen supplies crammed into the corner of a room.


Still didn’t get the exact mustard color I wanted for the door, but I was over looking after all these samples, so it is the color it is now!


Learning how to use a wet saw for backsplash with my dad.


Oh, I also did some work in the laundry room/mud room that is right by the kitchen. Nothing super exciting (I never took any before photos even) but I might as well share this too! I re-drywalled this room since the walls were made of peg boards. I considered keeping them for an interesting feature and figured I could make them look cool somehow, but they were drenched in smoke smell, so I figured it would be best just to have it all new! If I remember correctly too, those walls may have not even been insulated..? So I painted the walls, painted the cabinets, added new tile, and just those little projects went a long way!

Tessa Tillett Photography (1 of 8)Tessa Tillett Photography (2 of 8)Tessa Tillett Photography (3 of 8)Tessa Tillett Photography (4 of 8)

Thanks for checking out these updates! I’ve been very excited to share the hard work I have done (with the help of many people) and have just appreciated the interest people have taken in the projects I have taken on. I learned pretty much everything as I went and am happy I decided to take on a house that I could truly make my own.

Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact

Home renovation: Bathroom, Office & Guest Room

This month it has been one year since I bought my 117-year-old home in the Holy Rosary neighborhood in Fletcher Place in downtown Indianapolis, and I am sharing the progress I made in my home in the past year!

The office was previously a horribly-painted bedroom. I cut into half of it to allow space for the closet to my master on the other side of the wall. I worried that eliminating a bedroom could cut into the value of the home, but decided the office was a much greater layout overall. The only bathroom in the house can only be accessed via the two small bedrooms, so it made sense to me to make the main access through the office where the door never has to be shut. Also, it was a three-bed, one-bath house; so two-bed, one-bath, one-office just makes more sense to me. It’s really great to have a cozy little space to edit photos all day too:)

All three of these rooms are still a little in progress. The office is a bunch of old furniture I had shoved in one space, and I would like to work on the aesthetics of it a little more. I would love to do something different with the vanity in the bathroom and find a different medicine cabinet as well. The guest room is doable for now, but it’s kind of just a compilation of all my past decor put into one space too. Just more to work on!;)






Guest Room




Office (still a work in progress getting proper desk, chair, storage etc.- but the bones are done!)

Guest room (still a work in progress)


  • Drywalled about half of old bedroom
  • Painted walls, trim, built-ins & ceilings [Office: Misty Blush]
  • Hung wallpaper [Livettes Wallpaper on Etsy]
  • Moved attic access from kitchen to office
  • Added light fixture in office [Made into a light fixture from an antique weathervane I found]
  • Stained the hardwoods in the office
  • Removed and retiled the bathroom floor
  • Removed sink and added a wood top and new sink and faucet
  • Added pipe shelves, towel rack & toilet paper holder
  • Changed hardware on existing vanity
  • Patched small holes in walls found in bathroom
  • Added external closet in guest room



I found this antique globe/weathervane thing at an antique store, and my mom drilled a hole and added the light cord and bulb. I spray painted the existing ceiling plate, and Voila! New light fixture for under $60.


Super easy to put up (and hopefully as easy to take off whenever that time might come!) — There are thousands of awesome wallpaper patterns on Etsy- it took me weeks to decide between 10 different ones I loved.


Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact