Kitchen remodel & Watermelon quinoa salad recipe

Some of you have asked for pictures of our kitchen remodel, so I finally took some decent photos of the finished areas.  I’m still not done adding the charm of decorating and there isn’t a single picture on the wall or a quilt for that matter.  If you’re not interested in the kitchen photos, skip to the end of this post for a delicious watermelon quinoa salad recipe that is perfect for the warmer weather.

Our kitchen, dining room and family room were divided by walls and very outdated.  We took out two walls and rebuilt another so that the flow is better and it’s a more open area.  Here is a picture taken the day before demolition:

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

And here it is after:

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

I love the white cabinets and the granite counter tops.  The flooring is wide planked engineered wood.  It warms up the whole house.  We added a wet bar area and double ovens (combo steam oven on top and convection oven below) to one section of the kitchen that was previously a brick wall.  I also love having an extra sink in this area.

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

The kitchen island is a wonderful thing.  I have more counter space than I know what to do with (not really).  It has deep drawers to hold my dishes and cookware.  We opted for a microwave drawer in the island that can be used as a warming drawer, too.

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

In the dining room, we converted an old sliding door into a french door with side panes.  Now we’ve got beautiful, natural light that fills the entire space.  It also motivates me to keep the yard clean and the flowers blooming.

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

The family/living room has also been overhauled with new furniture, gas fireplace and media cabinets.  That big TV is all about Mr. Crafty Quilter.  I sacrificed my mantle so he could have the big screen.  I did get a nice kitchen out of the deal, though!  That leather recliner will be finding a new home as soon as the new chair arrives.

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

Our entrance hall is new and shiney as well.  We raised the ceiling and added all new crown molding throughout.  Boy does that dress a place up!

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

Every day I walk into this new space, it’s a gift.  It was long overdue, but I know how lucky I am to have the means to do it (and live through it).  We couldn’t have done it without our amazing general contractor (Frank Cali), our wonderful cabinet maker (Woodenbridge) and our talented designer (Hellen at Design Loft).  Thank you, all!  We finished a week early and we are completely happy customers!

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

It might take me another six months to get all of the final furniture pieces, artwork and window treatments in place.  I’m still hesitant to hammer a nail into the walls, but I did manage to add the “Home Sweet Home” sign above the kitchen sink.  I love it so much!  I ordered it from LittleBoxSigns on Etsy.  They were reasonable and prompt.  I asked them to add “Est. 1984” which is the year we got married; I love the personalized touch.

Kitchen remodel project @ The Crafty Quilter

Since we’re in the kitchen, let’s talk recipes!  I ordered a delicious watermelon salad from Eureka! a few weeks ago, and I did my best to recreate it.  It has a wonderful mix of sweet and savory taste that’s not too overwhelming.  This is a great way to use a watermelon that isn’t as sweet as that thump on the shell promised.

Watermelon Quinoa Salad @ The Crafty Quilter - The perfect sweet and savory salad for your summer picnic!

There are a lot of substitutions that you can make if you don’t have the exact ingredients.  I started with a base of arugula and spinach.  You can make it from just one type of green if you don’t have them both.  I used 1/4 of a watermelon (cubed) and added quinoa, cucumber, walnuts and feta cheese.  You could try it with mango, almonds and no cheese.  The quinoa adds a little substance to the salad and I love the flavor and texture.

Watermelon Quinoa Salad

The Crafty Quilter
This is the perfect recipe for your summer menu!  Cubed watermelon is mixed with arugula and/or spinach and combined with quinoa, walnuts and feta cheese.  You'll love the dressing, too, in this sweet and savory salad.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Servings 4


Watermelon Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 small watermelon cubed
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked
  • 1 cucumber cubed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or almonds toasted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled

Soy sauce vinaigrette dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or honey


  • Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. 
  • Combine the Soy sauce vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar. Shake or stir well.
  • Toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new kitchen and living area.  If you want any more details about types of appliances, faucets, paint colors, etc., just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.  Try out the recipe and let me know what you think!  I’ve made it twice and both times there were no leftovers – that’s always a good sign!

Watermelon Quinoa Salad @ The Crafty Quilter - The perfect sweet and savory salad for your summer picnic!



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About Julie Cefalu

Hello! I'm Julie and I love to quilt, craft, read, garden, hike and spend time with my family.

58 thoughts on “Kitchen remodel & Watermelon quinoa salad recipe

  1. Gorgeous! What color did paint your walls? We are in the middle of a remodel and haven’t decided on paint. Yours is perfect!


  2. Julie, we recently had our cabinets painted white and it makes the whole room more opened up and soft! Our kitchen looked dated and choppy but we didn’t want to do a complete overhaul. It really didn’t need one. I love my cabinets white and everything looks so much nicer.
    I love what you did. Those plank floors are wonderful!

  3. Oh Julie, the house looks so nice. I can’t wait to see how you decorate it. Please post pics when you get it all done up. You were a sweetheart to give up your wall above the mantle but that’s what you do when your in love. And you managed to keep your sanity and didn’t end up in divorce court during the demo process. Kudos! Enjoy your beautiful new house.

  4. Love the updated kitchen and rooms. Beautiful and open and serene. I always enjoy decorating ideas and seeing before-in progress-and after pics. I did not skip these photos……but i am guilty to say the watermelon salad i scrolled right over that. 🙂 Cooking in the new kitchen will be so nice! Enjoy 😉

  5. Julie, your remodel is absolutely beautiful. It is right out of House Beautiful. How did you manage a remodel and your “day job”!!! Enjoy

  6. It’s Amazing Julie ! I know you will be enjoying it for years to come !
    I Love everything , including the cabinets , counter tops, etc., all the details !
    Great job !!!

  7. What a beautiful home – so bright & cheery – you are going to live it! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Your remodel is just beautiful Julie and love everything you did… is good when you can do a 360 circle and see such a beautiful scenery around you….enjoy your make-over for many years!

  9. WOW … what a dream home you have created … so happy for you … this is why we all work so hard and save for such dreams to come true – and I do understand about the ‘living through it’
    I can imagine how it lifts your heart and makes you smile every time you walk in.
    Again, so happy for you.

  10. Julie, what a beautiful home. You did a wonderful job and it all blend together so well. I am happy that have been able to do it for yourself and your lovely family. I love your blogs you put on and look forward to reading them. Thanks and love Nancy

  11. All I can say is WOW!! What a transformation, looks like HGTV makeovers. Absolutely love everything about it and I will have to try that delicious salad, No wonder you are so thin! you eat healthy as I try to do also. I’m always looking for tasty, healthy recipes. I am also buying some new furniture for my own makeover of my living room. After 21 yrs it is time for all new. In fact today I just bought a new sofa and 2 chairs for my living room. Enjoy your new home.I think you have said in the past how important your home is to you. I am a real homebody and my home is my sanctuary especially with some quilts inside it.

  12. What a wonderful change – and I love my big island for cutting fabric – can spin the cutting mat around, height is great on my back, and lots of light. Just in case you had not thought of that yet….

  13. Your new kitchen/dining room is absolutely beautiful! I know you are going to love it.

  14. Hey Julie:

    Your kitchen is amazing!!! We remodeled our kitchen last year, and I noticed some similarity between our kitchen cabinets. Turns out we used Woodenbridge as well! We are so thrilled with the results.

  15. Holy Moly; WOW! What a make over! So much to love and yes, you are a lucky person and you’re even using it. 🙂 I might want to just look at it rather than make a mess by using it. lol Amazing that you were done early – usually what you expect is that it’ll be a month or more late. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Thank you Julie for sharing your home with us. It’s gorgeous and makes me feel warm and cozy.

    Your salad looks delicious.

  17. Love the remodel! Thanks for sharing the team info, too. I can’t help but see a quilt project on that island- nice work space! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Your home looks fabulous! It must feel wonderful to walk in there every day. The recipe looks great.

  19. OMG, what an absofreakinlutely gorgeous makeover. My favorite is the island. I am a baker and I would have so much fun having that much room to move. Enjoy your makeover.

  20. New kitchen is really great. I will try the salad when I get home. I am in PA. Visiting my sister who isalso a quilter, but doesn’t do computers. Once again your whole area turned out just beautiful.

  21. Lovely! The ceiling detail in your foyer adds soooo much personality! I am anxious to see the family room chair-my mister refuses to give up his recliner and I am on the hunt to update his man-chair! Congrats-enjoy your pretty home.

  22. Julie, what an amazing transformation. I have white cabinets and love them. Don’t think I could ever go back to wood. They just brighten things up. A good contractor can make things so much easier and to come in a week early is fabulous. I know that you will enjoy this for many years to come. Beautiful.

  23. Congratulations Julie…what a lovely transformation. I know you will enjoy many hours of family time and meals in your new kitchen and dinette. Thank you for sharing.

  24. What a beautiful and peaceful space. You must just love it when you get up to it every morning. Thanks for the recipe…I’ll be trying it out immediately!

  25. Tu casa ha quedado preciosa y muy acogedora. Me encanta ese estilo de cocina abierta y la isla enmedio. Gracias por compartir con nosotras unas fotos tan bonitas.
    Recibe un abrazo muy afectuoso.

  26. Wow!! That is absolutely stunning!! Thanks for sharing the photos. I’ll bet you feel like you moved into a new home! And I’m so glad to hear that they were done working on it a week early: that is just amazing!! And I’ll have to try that watermelon salad recipe: it looks good! Hugs, H

  27. WOOHEEE !! It is just outstanding. What is the brand name of the flooring and the “color” I love it.

  28. Absolutely Beautiful Julie, I’m so happy for you and your family. Kudos to your contractors, a job well done. I love all the changes you’ve made. Looks like a brand new house. It’s always a pain during construction but the rewards make it so worth it. Enjoy!!!

  29. LOVE your redo…just gorgeous! (Been in my “new” house four years and I’m still working and tweaking accessories, pictures, etc. Don’t rush it…take your time and enjoy it!

  30. Great job! We remodeled out kitchen and I don’t know how I ever functioned in the old one.

  31. It looks like it was an expensive remodel, but likely worth every penny–it’s absolutely beautiful!!! I am glad you remembered to take a “before” picture. 🙂 Enjoy!! And thanks for the recipe to try.

  32. Julie, I love your remodel! I didn’t realize that your entire first floor was receiving a facelift….it’s beautiful! I love all the light that comes into the entire area. Enjoy your new home!

    ps I have a large island like you now have; I view mine as a perfect fabric cutting area. I don’t have a large area to cut fabric in my sewing room so there always seems to be some fabric (and/or fabric threads) hanging around our kitchen island. It’s the perfect height and lots of room!

  33. Your home is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pictures. The salad looks yummy.

  34. Wow! Just WOW! It is fantastic, and congrats on finding a remodeling team that finished it a week early. Usually you hear about them dragging on and on!

    That salad looks and sounds delicious. I’ve been on an avocado kick lately, and I was wondering how it would taste to add some to the mix?

    So happy for your “new” home! Thanks for sharing. <3

  35. Julie, I love your remodel, especially your kitchen and all the white and light… is always so dark here in Ohio and I can’t get my home to have enough light to suit me during any season. Maybe we need to move out to sunny Cali! Enjoy!

  36. What a gorgeous home you have – enjoy it in good health, my friend! I’m imagining myself sitting down at that island to enjoy a cup of tea with you…chatting away about quilting. That’s the great thing about blogs, being able to join us all together in our hearts.

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