November 29, 2010

This article hits the spot on why i believe its important to use healthy products when cleaning our home. We want to protect our children from harm, but are harming them in our homes, without even knowing it! 


You know that good, healthy feeling you get when you’ve just cleaned house? Sorry to spoil it, but you may have just made your home dirtier.
Think of it this way. You wouldn’t let your kids play with toxic
chemicals, so why would you let the baby crawl over a floor that’s just been wiped with them? That’s much more dangerous than the orange juice that was just there.
How dangerous? Just take a look at these statistics.
  • Over 90% of poison exposures
     happen at home.
  • Common bleach is the #1 household chemical
    in poisoning.
  • Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and
    even air fresheners, are 2 to 5 times higher inside your home
     than out.
  • A person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale three times
     the “acute one-hour exposure limit” for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
  • Common cleaners give off fumes that have been linked to
    increasing the risk of your kids developing asthma
    , the most common serious chronic childhood disease.
  • 1 in 13
     school-aged children has asthma. Rates in children under five have increased more than 160%
     from 1980 – 1994.
  • Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants.
    Pound for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food or air.
  • If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you
    generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste
     each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).” “”

I have been wanting to create an organizing & cleaning blog for A LONG TIME!  Im so excited to share my organizing & cleaning tips to others who love the same thing.  I chose the title “A bowl full of lemons”, because the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a clean house is the smell of lemons.  When I clean, I burn a candle by Village Candle, called Lemon Pound Cake.  It is simply divine! This is a great tip on getting in the mood to clean.  Burn a candle!

This past summer, I got a new DIY kitchen make-over.  I thought this was the perfect first post.  The lighting is a little poor, but it shows the dramatic change from my old (not really- they were only 5 years old) oak country cabinets & hideous gray counter tops, to a new clean & classy look. I originally posted these first on my photography blog and then the remodel, on my family blog.


Blehhh.  Those old oak cabinets were dark and dreary. Way too much clutter too.

I gave my sister the black granite sink.  I really did like the sink, but I dont think it went too well with antique white cabinets.

During the remodel

Isnt he the best!  He painted the whole thing. 🙂

Paint color “latte” by Restoration Hardware

I wanted the feeling to be of an old vintage hutch.

I have updated curtain panels in this space, and will share later. They are chocolate brown.

I love jadite green… anything!

Still need those bucket stools (they are on my wish list).

The total cost of the renovation was less than $1500.  Its amazing how much money you can save if you just do it yourself.  The light over the bar area was a garage sale find for $10.  The drawer hardware was from target (all for $50). I love bargain shopping. 🙂 

Featured on:

54 comments on “My new blog

  1. Totally beautiful! I am dreaming about starting on our kitchen but have to wait til we finish the other 10 projects I have started but never finished! For now I will just have to go look at all your beautiful work again! C’est la vie.

  2. That is one perfect makeover. You must be living in your kitchen!

    Take care,

  3. Gorgeous!! I adore a light, white kitchen. Love your choice of fixtures and the green is a great accent. (that candle sounds yummy, too!)

  4. Toni says:

    Thanks ladies… It was long overdue. When we finished, I began to love my home again. 🙂

  5. Ann says:

    I really love the redo! And that light is great–I have to ask–did you replace a flourescent light box with it? I need to do the same thing but I am chicken to tackle it.

  6. Toni says:

    Ann, The light we replaced was just an ordinary ceiling light. 🙂

  7. Lori says:

    I just found your blog and am a new follower! I love your kitchen! I am thinking of painting my cabinets white. How did you do granite countertops on such a small budget? I have ugly green laminate counters and want granite but it’s not in our budget. I’m looking for other options that are less expensive. Can’t wait to see what you do next! Would love for you to visit my blog at!!

    Lori : )

  8. Toni says:

    Lori, Believe it or not, those are not granite! They are laminate and we only spent $900 for them. We measured ourselves and went to lowes and ordered them. Then they delivered to our house and my husband installed them. I will try to find out the style for you. Thanks for visiting. Now Im off to your blog!

  9. Toni says:

    Lori, I forgot to tell you, link up your blog to my post from 2 or 3 days ago… Its a sharing link. 🙂

  10. Jessica says:

    Great job! I love that you didn’t use granite 🙂

  11. Toni says:

    Our counter tops are wilsonart’s “Milano Quartz”. You can google it and it will show the sample.

  12. So bright and fresh and lovely!!

  13. studio1404 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Lori says:

    Thanks so much for the countertop info. I can’t believe it’s not granite! They look amazing!

    Thanks for following my blog! Maybe we can inspire each other!

    Lori : )

  15. Maria says:

    Very beautiful! I love white cabinets and all of your pretty vintage accessories too.

  16. my jaw DROPPED (really truly it did!) when I got to your after photos. TO. DIE. FOR….lovely! What a wonderful difference! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

  17. Wow! Your kitchen looks awesome! Great job!!
    I’m your newest follower…come check out my blog when you get a chance 🙂
    Shantel @

  18. Toni says:

    (Northern Cottage) Isnt it just amazing that the old kitchen could actually look like this? I think ANYONE can do it to theirs.

    Shantel, Thanks for following! I am now on my way to check out your blog! 🙂

  19. I really like your kitchen makeover. It is clean, vintagey and yet updated. The countertop is beautiful and I love your old scale and milk shake maker. Great job. We are planning to totally gut our kitchen in the new year. I can’t wait!!

  20. Terry says:

    Of course I am partial to white kitchens and your transformation is light and bright, clean and modern and just beautiful. Great Job! Terry

  21. Ray* says:

    O, this is just heavenly. You did such a lovely job. I also did my very own kitchen makeover too! I am well aware of the hard work you encountered to do this!

  22. Cassie says:

    Love your remodel! I would have picked exactly the same things! I’ve been eyeballing the same hardware from Target!

  23. Shelia says:

    You did a great job on your kitchen. It all looks so beautiful. Just in time for the holidays! 😉
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  24. Your kitchen looks so much like the one we did for $700. White cabinets, the scale, chandelier…it’s great! Stop by and see our kitchen remodel, I think you’ll like it 😉

  25. I love the white. Looks like a comfy country kitchen

  26. It looks wonderful. I like how you chose to lower the breakfast bar to one counter height with the installation of the new counters. We have a breakfast bar and if I can ever afford an upgrade I will also lose the breakfast bar. The beadboard looks great too. Thanks for sharing.

  27. April says:

    Looks great! I love it! Your combo of “cheap” updates makes it look like a whole new & more expensive kitchen. I’ve been contemplating white cabinets for my kitchen-I’ll definitely be using your pics as an example to try to convince my boyfriend that this is the way to go! Thanks & great job! You guys should be proud you pulled of such a big job so nicely!


  28. Jane says:

    Wow, what a fabulous kitchen makeover! Love the white cabinets with the beadboard and those countertops. Fantastic job!


  29. Really beautiful redo! Did you use a roller at all on the flat parts? I have yet to start mine. And mine are older and darker then your before. So dreary. Love the added bead board.

  30. Autum says:

    Beautiful! Really an amazing transformation and the counters look great, that look just like granite.
    I have a black sink. I got it when I had dark laminate counter tops. We’ve since installed butcher block and I want the black sink gone.

  31. Toni says:

    Anita.. Yes. We brushed the cracks first then rolled what we could (or he I should say). It was very time consuming. 🙂

  32. Becky says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful! My cabinets aren’t nearly as nice as yours. They are poorly made, but we painted them – from a distance they look great! Have you seen our kitchen? We have slowly “renovated” it over the past few years and knocked a wall down. Check it out:

    It’s much cheaper to paint than gut it and start all over! But, having nice cabinets is a big benefit! You have great taste! Love your blog!

    Becky B.

  33. Wow what a great makeover! Your kitchen reno turned out fantastic. Saw you over at the DIY Club

  34. Amanda says:

    i love your kitchen!!

  35. It’s beautiful! I love the “vintage hutch” inspired look you did! The white cabinets look amazing…and love all of the details. We’re doing a kitchen makeover right now. Hoping it’s this amazing. 😉

    Have a great weekend!


  36. Gorgeous!! I have been scouring the internet and blogs to find inspiration pictures for our “forever” house so I know what I want when we start to build. I was so excited to stumble across your blog from 320 Sycamore because you and I have very similar taste! This is the exact color scheme I was picturing- thanks for giving me some great inspiration! You have a beautiful home.

  37. haley says:

    It is just perfect!!! you must be so happy in your kitchen!!…I love your countertops….are they granite or quartz??? love the neutral color of them with the white cabinets. So warm…

  38. Mariaelena says:

    sorry, the comment above was me, but my daughter was signed in….hahaha….just started a blog of my own. visit if you’d like…
    thanks, Mariaelena

  39. Mrs.B says:

    LOVE your kitchen!

  40. Leigh Ishee says:

    Did you sand your cabinets before you painted them?

  41. I love your kitchen with the white cabinets – so much fresher and brighter. I painted ours last summer and still smile every time I see it.

  42. As it looks superb to have a totally covered kitchen in the modular but difficult to maintain it clean and healthy.The corners under the covered shelves have to be cleaned too.

    Manhattan Mold removal

  43. Nicole says:

    I thought the before picture was nice too 🙂 But the after picture is something in my dreams

  44. I love your kitchen redo. I started organizing yesterday and started in the kitchen with one cabinet and the pantry. My entire house needs a redo, but we started in the kitchen. Great job on yours. I love the light, crisp feeling.

  45. Rory says:

    I love the retro shabby chic decor you pulled off! It reminds me of my favorite cousin’s house. Absolutely charming!

  46. Sarah Kate says:

    I love your use of bead board in the kitchen. We are about to renovate our old house and I have a feeling bead board is going to be everywhere! :o)It gives a home such a warm, farmhouse feel! Diggin’ the antique scale too!!

  47. stinejessica says:

    This is exactly what I’m wanting to do to my cabinets. I think you did a great job hiding the oak grain, I’d LOVE to know your painting process the type/brand of primer, paint & poly you used. Thanks!!

  48. Toni says:

    Behr Swiss coffee. No primer, just sanded and painted. Then top coat. 🙂

  49. Wow, what a first post!! I’m new to blogging, and not really sure where to go. I have tons of ideas, but am not quite sure what direction to follow them in.
    Do you have any tips for other newbies?

  50. Deb says:

    Wow! Your kitchen is beautiful! What an amazing transformation. I also have white cabinets and have been thinking about the Milano Quartz for my countertop. After seeing your countertop, I will definitely go with it. I have the Restoration Hardware Latte paint in my bathroom and just love it. How do you like the color in your kitchen with your cabinets and counters?

  51. Jess says:

    Love this kitchen! Mine just might be a copycat design! any tips for painting the cabinets and also in what order you did things such as did you paint first then counter tops then beadboard? thanks for sharing this I am just finding through pinterest!

Get the latest downloads from A Bowl Full of Lemons printables shop.
Hello. Add your message here.