Guess what!

I'm done with my kitchen makeover!

Oh sure, I still need to find a new lighting fixture, paint the ceiling fan, figure out what I'm doing with the sink and fridge...


for all intents and purposes, I'm finished!

I know you're all just foaming at the mouths to see this. Hang on just a sec.

First, I want to thank all the amazing companies that helped me out with this. Giani Granite, Ecos Paint, Plow & Hearth, Mythic Paint and Decal Delight have truly made this experience go smoother and the outcome be fantastic. I want to thank the friends who inspired me, motivated me and cheered me on. Lacy, Candace, Leah, Joanna, Sara, you gals rock! Last but, certainly not least, I want to thank my amazing husband for putting up with me during the last month and a half while I fanatically let this project consume me, helping me when I needed it and stepping back when I needed to do it myself.


Now, I want to show everyone what my house looked like before.

And, after all the work, here it is now.

I know, right?!

Looks like a different house. And, I am loving it!

So, on to the specifics of what I did. Bear with me because these companies definitely deserve to be applauded and when it's all said and done, they are going to hook you up!

Sidenote before starting, I want to say that I was incredibly inspired by the blog Thrifty Decor Chick. (and I'm totally going to be linking up with her Before and After party finally!) I read there a lot and am always amazed at everything she does. When I saw her put beadboard on her kitchen backsplash, I knew I wanted to do it. My beadboard, however, is not wood. I found Martha Stewart paintable wallpaper at Home Depot and I loooove it! For the area that one roll covered (the backsplash and the bar), it was insanely affordable and probably more so than real wood. It comes slightly off-white so, I just did one coat of my white paint and it easily matched the walls. Love!

The shelves came out of the island-type wall unit. The cabinet doors came off the kitchen side of it. The whole thing turned into a bar!

I painted the cabinets red with paint from Mythic Paints. Come back here at the beginning of November when I'll be featuring them!

The amazing, gorgeous marble counter tops are a result of Giani Granite. I had heard about how you can paint formica counter tops to look like marble but, was definitely wary of how it would look. Giani sent me the kit for black counters. One of the great things about the Giani kits is that you can control the shade of color. I wanted mine dark but, could easily have made them much lighter or even darker. All their color kits give you this kind of flexibility. I'm so happy with the counters that I'm probably going to be getting more of the kits to do the bathroom counters. I was really shocked at how easy it was to paint them. Everything you need is in the kit (which is nice considering how many times I had to go to the store for other things I needed during this project). You roll on the primer and let it dry for 8 hours. Then, you use the easily labeled paints to sponge on your colors. This is the point where you can control the shade. After that dries for four hours, you roll on your top coat. You can do up to three applications of the top coat. I did two on my kitchen counters and three on the bar because I knew it would get more hardcore stuff thrown on it. Some stuff I learned from their website: The blend that Giani uses in their paint locks out moisture, goes on so many different types of counter tops, is actually water-based which makes it low-odor and the topcoat is automotive grade. I can absolutely attest to the low odor. I was shocked that there was virtually no scent when painting the counters. I am absolutely in love with Giani Granite. Their customer service is amazing and their product is phenomenal. Want to know the best part? It's 1/4 of the price of this type of product that I've seen at major hardware stores! Everyone that has seen my counters wants to know where I got it and when I tell them that a $49.95 kit covers 16 running feet of counters, they are flabbergasted. I'm never in favor of spending a ton of money for anything. To me, there is no reason to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on counter tops when the paint from Giani Granite is so affordable and the results are absolutely to die for!

My white walls are courtesy of another amazing company called Ecos Paints. The first thing to note about Ecos Paints is that they are all absolutely 100% non-toxic paints. Completely. Everything in the paint is safe for people and for the environment. There is so much amazing information on the Ecos site HERE but, one key point I want to make sure you know is that this paint is not like the "no-solvent" paint you'll find at the local hardware store. This paint is NO solvent. That means, no scent, no harmful chemicals, no harmful anything. I can absolutely tell you that there is zero scent with this paint. When you're painting as large of an area as I did, that is a huge plus. I remember painting my daughter's room with regular paint from the big chain home improvement store. We had to have the door shut and windows open for days in order to get the smell out. Using Ecos Paints was nothing like that. Aside from the lack of odor, the other thing I love about Ecos Paints is the texture. Seriously, painting with this paint was like painting with silk. I completely love it! I wanted stark white for my walls so that everything else would pop. The phenomenal customer service at Ecos Paints helped me figure out what type of paint I wanted and it was absolutely the best choice. I chose the Soft Sheen and I love that there truly is a soft sheen. Not shiny but, not totally flat. It's perfect!

But, after the walls were done, the bar was finished and the countertops were gorgeous, the entire place needed a window treatment pick-me-up. So, I turned to one of my favorite sites. Plow and Hearth. I adore browsing their site. It makes me feel all warm and cozy and definitely wish I lived somewhere colder. Oh how I want to curl up in front of a fireplace adorned with stuff from Plow and Hearth! I found the Black Matchstick Roll-Up Shades and thought that was just what I needed for something different for my windows. We live in the country (kinda) so, I didn't really want a ton of coverage for my windows. The bamboo shades allow the sun to come in even when they are down but, keep out the glare and I think they look fab. I thickened the sheer curtains on the front windows by putting heavier drapes behind them but, left them sheer over the Plow and Hearth shades on the back windows. I'm all for natural sunlight in the house and love that these shades can be a major decor item without hindering the sunlight. Really, whether you want shades, other window treatments, mantle decor or so many other decor items, Plow and Hearth is just awesome and their prices are definitely affordable. I have to add that these shades were so very much easier to install than any mini-blinds or other shades I've ever seen. I installed them all by myself! Also, these shades are on sale over at Plow and Hearth right now so, hurry up and snag some!

For the finishing touch in any room, decor is the word. I already had tons of decor. Because I'm cheap (um, frugal?), I really didn't buy much as far as new decor. I redid what I already had. The barstools were a major find and I got them from my husband's aunt for so much cheaper than I would have paid in the store. I painted them black and they were good to go. Lots of other things, lamps and light fixture, bowls and vases, picture frames and mirrors, all got painted and they are good as new and now match. But, even with all the decor makeovers, there was one thing I really wanted to get for the kitchen that I knew would just top it off with the perfect touch. I turned to Decal Delight and they sent me the Chandelier Decal. I cannot think of another thing that could have completed the look I was going for in the kitchen. I absolutely love it. I really like that the black has a slight shine to it so it matches my black painted trim. I also love that such a large decal sells for such a great price. I've seen the chandelier decals before and I've always wanted one. So thrilled with this one! Decal Delight has both an online shopping site and an Etsy shop. The look of a decal can be achieved with a stencil but, I am absolutely certain that I would get frustrated with a stencil. I always end up with smeared paint and it's just such a hassle. Decals are so much fun and I love how they've transformed the look in the rooms I've used them. Their site says that Decal Delight uses top quality vinyl that is certified to last for 5-7 years outdoors and usually much longer indoors. Something else I learned from their site is that a vinyl decal is eco-friendly both because it can be recycled and because 57% of vinyl is made from common salt. A really good tip I can give you is that if you aren't absolutely certain where you want the decal, apply it to the glass of a cool frame and then you can move it around all you want!

Now you want to know about the giveaway, don't you?!

One winner is going to receive:

- A kit from Giani Granite
- up to $250 worth of paint from Ecos Paint for your room makeover**
- a $50 gift certificate to Plow and Hearth
- any decal up to $50 from the Decal Delight Etsy shop

How cool is that?! You can enter the giveaway HERE.

In addition, Ecos Paints would like you to know that the first 25 people to email them and tell them what I think painting with their paint is like (what did I compare it to?) will get 1 or 2 of their Matchpots for FREE along with their brochure and color chart info! Test their paint for yourself for free before you join me on the side of fanatically convinced they are awesome! When you email them, put Lolidots Giveaway in the subject line. Send your email to:

Ecos Paints would also like you to know that after you use their paint, email them pics of your finished product! They love to use customer pictures on their site and love to see happy customers!

This contest is open to the continental US only. The contest will end at midnight on October 27th. That's three weeks to get entered, rack up the extra entries and cross all your fingers!

**ECOS Paints will ship the giveaway free to most east coast locations – others to be determined (Prize may carry a shipping fee depending on the size of shipment and location)

I want to hear what you think right here on this post! Love me some comments! But, please keep giveaway entries on the duplicate of this post located on the Giveaway Page HERE. The entry possibilities are all listed there at the bottom of the post. This will avoid confusion when tallying comments. Thanks!