Home Improvement and a Giveaway

Even though we bought our house almost seven months ago, I haven’t put many pictures of it on the blog. The truth is, it needs a lot of work. Nothing big, no gutting of rooms or anything, but little things like new paint, new lighting, etc.

Room by room, we’re getting things done, slowly but surely. First things first, the dining room. When we first moved in, there was no overhead light at all. There were literally wires hanging from the ceiling. Jason eventually put in a ceiling light.


Better than the wires, but not attractive at all, nor did it provide much light. Isn’t this much better?


Yes, I think it is. I got this chandelier from CSN stores after I won a giveaway. (I think you see where this is heading!) The chandelier makes the room look so much more put together, doesn’t it? We also put wooden blinds in the big window which also made a huge difference.

Next order of business is the kitchen. Our kitchen is pretty big, but it has some…issues, if you will.


My biggest gripe is that we have ONE set of cabinets. ONE! Fortunately, we have a lot of storage space under the counters, but the one cabinet thing is ridiculous. We want to put in more on the right side, where there are currently shelves.


The other side of the kitchen has the stove and the fridge and a dog in the corner. According to my mother, the kitchen is set up wrong and the stove shouldn’t be over there, but let’s not talk about that. What I want to talk about is that pass through. When you first see it, it’s kind of cool, right? But after a while, we realized that it’s really not appropriate for where it is. A pass through shouldn’t be behind the oven. If any grease comes through the hole, it’ll go onto our tv which is on the other side. Plus, there is a weird glare if you are in the living room, actually watching the tv. I’m kind of at a loss for what to do. I guess that’s the next project.

Oh, you were waiting for the giveaway? Silly me, I thought you wanted to see my messy kitchen!

CSN Stores has generously offered to give an In My Tummy reader a $35 gift certificate to any of their sites. Whether you are into modern furniture, like we are, or cooking gadgets or even pet products, CSN Stores has something for you.

So, here’s what you do. Click on the link above and leave me a comment telling me what you’d most like if you won the giveaway. For a second entry, leave another comment telling me what you’d do with my kitchen and if you’d close up the pass through.

The gift certificate does not cover shipping costs but can be used on any of the CSN store pages. I will pick a winner on Thursday morning at 8 am. Good luck!


43 responses to “Home Improvement and a Giveaway

  1. I don’t really need any furniture, but I do need a foam roller! 🙂 I think if you are going to keep your kitchen the way it is, then yes, definitely close the pass-through. If you are thinking of re-arranging, I think keeping it is fine, adding more cabinets & maybe a center island with shelving underneath?

  2. I would definitely love the French Bull Tapestry storage set or set of 4 plates… love that crazy color scheme!


  3. I would totally close the pass through and definitely ditch the shelves for more cabinets!!!! 🙂

  4. Hmmm, that is sort of an odd place for a cut-out. I’d plaster over it and add a nice tile it marble back splash. If you’re really ambitious, I’d rearrange the whole kitchen, and cut down the wall to form a breakfast bar with full view of the living room.

    I’d buy a nice crusty set. They’ve got a crazy amount to choose from. I’ve been into making my own salad dressings lately and I’ve been using old babyfood jars.

  5. I love your dining room set btw.

  6. I think I would go for the table decor. Mine is kind of bare.

  7. I really want some pretty throw pillows to jazz up my beige couches.

  8. Close the pass and get some easy DIY shelves/cupboards from IKEA. Just my opinion — I have exactly 1’x1′ counterspace in my teeny tiny kitchen.

  9. Just found your blog! I Love the name! Too cute!

    Your new light fixture looks beautiful! It really makes a difference! The pass-through in your kitchen really does look cool at first, but when you really stop to think about it, why on earth would you want to “pass something through” over a hot stove?? I’m sure you could fill it in with drywall for pretty cheap or I wonder what it would look like with some of those glass tile blocks? like these: http://www.daltile.com/series.cfm?series=128

    I’ve never actually seen the csn website till just now. I am in love with all those tea towels and I would love to have one of those lap desks for eating breakfast in bed! 🙂

  10. The place looks great Lee. I love the lighting. This is a great giveaway! I would definitely get something for the kitchen. I know…shocking!

    I hope you had a great Christmas! It looks like it was pretty here. I would be sorry I missed it, but TN got a beautiful snow too, so I am glad the boys did not miss out on snow!

  11. My house has that same pass! We are just super lazy and never did anything about it!

  12. I would love a kitchen stool!

  13. I love the Chilewich Table Runner!

  14. Im a chef, but my knives need to be replaced badly! so I’d get a new set of knives. furniture kind of collects dust in my apt.

  15. I’d cover up the pass through… oh wait, literally I’ll be the one to cover up the pass through! I agree with Runblondie, pass through shouldn’t be over the oven. I see a big project in my future, involving 2x4s, drywall, spackle, paint and tile!

  16. I’d like the Ashton Sutton Starburst Mirror.

  17. I think I’d close up the pass-through.

  18. I really need a new coffee grinder. Or a milk frother. Or at home barista. Do they sell those? 🙂

  19. I would get a tea kettle to heat water in! And/or a donut pan!

  20. I would make the pass through lower and rearrange the living room if possible. You could make the pass through bigger and make it like a window bar from the living room. OR if you’re feeling really creative, I would make it look like a window and add shutters and a “flower bed” filled with herbs 🙂

  21. Oooo, drooled over all that modern furniture! What we really need though is a new tea kettle or water boiler, ours is a poor design that leaks water everywhere when you pour from it.

  22. I love your countertops. I can see how that pass-through would be annoying. I think the only option is to fill in in and backsplash the whole area. For a temporary fix you could hang something there, like a tile accent piece, to block splatter. Then the other side would still be a niche to display collectibles, just gotta make sure the back side of the accent piece is nice enough.

  23. I think i’d close the pass through too and put up a backsplash of a stainless/magnetic sheet! Then you could store stuff there above the stove (like spoons and shiz). I’m personally ALL about open shelving and wish I had a space in my kitchen for it – I think it can be such a cool place for your nicer stuff and can look VERY chic!

  24. There’s so much to pick from, I honestly don’t know what I’d get!

    I asked for Jerry’s opinion on this since he is good at this sort of stuff and he remodeled our kitchen himself, and he said a few things: One, he didn’t know what that rectangular box was above the candle to the right of sink, but if it is something that can be removed, he said you could do cabinets along that entire wall, and make good use of the corner. As far as the pass-thru, he said either plaster over it or extend it the length of the counter-tops and cut the edge off by the door to make it a “true” pass thru and create a bar or breakfast nook there. His last suggestion was to buy a mounted microwave, either for under a cabinet, or built in to a different stove hood, because microwaves on the counter just take up a lot of counter space.

  25. Your kitchen light is awesome! I love it! I would totally buy a dehydrator…I want to make my own beef jerkey and fruit/veggie chips!

  26. I would close up the hole and put up hooks & such for your cooking utensils/potholders so they are easily accessible from the stove. Then I might add some cabinets where the shelves are on the wall. I might add some with glass doors so you still have the view if you have some nice kitchen accessories or dishes to display.

    I would get some home decor, possibly some mirrors to open up the space.

  27. I would get a new blender!

  28. I would close up the hole. Apart from the grease wafting over into the living room, if you actually tried to pass something through it, you might burn yourself! Plus I’d feel like I was on display while cooking. I’m not a big fan of visible-from-other-rooms kitchens myself, admittedly, or anything resembling an open floor plan–I like lots of smallish, closed-off rooms. I’d also put cabinets on either side of the stove.

  29. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman

    I would get some Melissa and Doug puzzles if I won

  30. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman

    I would not close it up,I think it needs to be made bigger and maybe needs some shutters.I think maybe a darker color paint would give the kitchen a more serious and more busy look!

  31. i want to buy my son the plasma car in red
    tcogbill at live dot com

  32. i would not close in the gap b/c it will make the kitchen feel and look very small- you will feel traped and closed off from the house.
    tcogbill at live dot com

  33. I want a new dining set! I love the Domitalia Poker 120 set!
    I think a few freestanding shelves installed on the walls would look nice. Either for display or for actual kitchen stuff!

  34. I just discovered CSN stores from another bloggng friend who was doing a giveaway. I would probably use it on table stuff. I adore dishes and linens even though….we rarely eat at the table. We are totally living room coffee table eaters.
    As for your kitchen, closing up the pass through and installing cabinets would be a huge improvement. The pass through doesn’t have a practical function. I’m glad Jason is so willing to take on a kitchen project. 🙂

    The dining room looks amazing!

  35. I’d use it toward a guidecraft kitchen helper.

  36. I think every kitchen should have under the counter task lighting. It makes working in the kitchen much more pleasant.

  37. I’d get some sort of lighting/lamp from CSN

  38. I’d close up the pass through if it was easy, but even more I’d add cabinets to the left and right of the passthrough for more storage

  39. Elizabeth Whitehill

    Hi! Love your blog.

    I’d buy myself some knives, like the Zwilling JA Henckels 17 pc set.

  40. Elizabeth Whitehill

    I’m no sure I’d fill it…could you knock out more to open up the space more? I’m not sure that is a possibility. I do like the improvements with the lighting!

  41. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I LOVE the new look of your blog! So fresh and clean.

    The chandelier looks great! It really does make a huge difference. Hmmm….the opening in the kitchen is odd right over the stove! Is it possible to (in the future) move your oven/stove down against the wall, maybe?? I don’t know if I’d close it up – maybe depends on how much light your kitchen/other room gets??

  42. Oh, and I always say the same thing (because I’m way behind and have yet to get one!) – I would LOVE a food processor.