Our Rustic African Kitchen Makeover

My hubs and I have remodeled homes in the US and in Africa. If we ever have to go back home/ get to go back home/ move back (sense the complicated underlying feelings there?), we could probably make a decent living remodeling and flipping homes. We enjoy this work and it’s one area where we are a really good team. I start projects, he finishes them. It’s a good system.

One thing we have learned- it’s a whole different cup of tea coffee, this remodeling in the US as compared to other places. Africa is what we know. House projects in America are like getting a cup of coffee from a Keurig. So many choices, finding the right pod from the right department store. I know it’s actually harder than that- I just get jealous of people who have access to Home Depot and things are actually available and work like they are supposed to.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e5/c2/9c/e5c29cf3722ec785cc04d3451d1be28f.jpgHouse projects in Africa are like making coffee while camping- lighting a fire, heating water, funneling it through a thermos and feeling enormously satisfied when that first sip finally touches your lips. It’s a little more rustic but I love it nonetheless. The harder the work, the sweeter the outcome. I still dislike hard work.

Ground zero- ignore the guy in the background
Ground zero- ignore the guy in the background

Our kitchen remodel started 5 months ago, in the midst of having our best friends staying with us for a couple of weeks. If there is no good time to tear up your kitchen, you might as well do it when you have houseguests.

The whole reason it started is because we put in a new pipe to our faucet with CLEAN DRINKING WATER. Straight from the tap. This is a BIG. DEAL.

Previously we had to deal with…

  • -hauling in “semi-clean city water”
  • -filtering city water through big bulky filter
  • -putting up with the weird taste
  • telling guests “DON’T DRINK THE TAP WATER!”

After tearing out tiles to put in the new pipe, we decided why not just make one big mess and tear out all the old broken tile and counter and fix it? And make it cute.

Cute is priority.

These are all of my mismatched, yet functional cabinets. You can see the new tile over the sink. So cute.


New paint. Not very exciting, but I had a vision. Wait for it.

I ordered some red Roman shade curtains, which only took 4 months to complete. They still aren’t quite done, but close enough. Apparently it was a tall order. I mentioned that curtains aren’t easy in my last post, Back to Scratch.

Then I made THREE trips to the store for paint. I never get the paint color right on the first try, but in the end, I loved it!

Please note that my amazing husband decided our kitchen needed an island (cause we are island people, in so many ways.)


Come on over for tacos. Enjoy the cuteness. I sure am.


7 thoughts on “Our Rustic African Kitchen Makeover

    1. We were blessed to get a desalination machine donated to our eye clinic, and there was more than enough clean water to go to all the residences on the compound! It’s made life so much easier!

  1. enjoyed this immensely! Our first kitchen in Nyeri was pretty bad but we made do with a few changes. Congrats on a great re-do!

  2. Glad Julie linked up with you because I had lost your blog address when I deleted all social media stuff. Glad to be following now.

    1. I just found your blog too!! Julie is great at connecting people. 🙂 hope all is going well! The short amount of time I spent with you has been a tremendous encouragement to me as I try to mesh my free-spirited style with quality education. 🙂 we’re working on it.

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