The Kitchen Redone

My throngs of fans have been clamoring for me to finally get to my kitchen project.  
Or two people have asked.  
Either way.

I love seeing the potential in a house.  I'm not always good at smaller scale decor and I'm not interested in massive additions and remodels.  However, I think I'm pretty good at looking at rooms and homes, especially those on the market, and seeing whether or not a huge transformation can be made with minimal effort (minimal being a relative term depending on how many littles you have, right?).  I love looking at a house, especially older ones, and thinking of the one or two things that would completely transform the look.  I love that ripping out floors, a coat of well-chosen paint, replacing light fixtures and those smaller improvements can make a huge impact.  And behind it all I think it comes down to  recognizing hidden beauty waiting to be revealed.  So even though we may not stay in this house forever, I can't NOT do these projects.  I have to bring it (as much as I can) to what I see as a better version of itself.  I may be just a wee bit compulsive.

Anyhow back to the kitchen.
First, we rewind.
Here's how our kitchen looked when we walked through it before putting in our offer.  This was way back when in 2009.

Definitely not avert-your-eyes horrible and I loved the size.  That and the plentiful real wood cabinets were a huge plus and one of the factors in choosing the house.  But obviously the kitchen was a bit dated and sooo dark.   

We have lots of wonderful old trees on our property so even in rooms with windows, it stays pretty dark.  Which is probably why there was a huge atrocious fluorescent light in the ceiling.  Ha, can you tell how flattering the lighting was?  And yes, we do have a full bathroom right off the kitchen which is weird but has been a huge bonus when it comes to bath time.  I can do dishes and work in the kitchen and safely keep an eye on them in there.

Dark cabinets, vinyl floor, bisque laminate and appliances, old wallpaper, leaky faucet...
Like I said not horrible but definitely not us.  And SO filled with potential!

We spent the last couple of years doing a few little things to make it feel more like ours.  I bought and installed new hardware.  I stripped the wallpaper and Brian painted the (real!) wainscot and walls and ceiling.  We installed a new faucet and new appliances because three out of the four broke and we replaced the garish lighting.
But this winter I decided it would be my project to get the rest of it done.  


here it is!  

This took so many many hours to do but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  It is so much brighter.  The white just clicks with us and the first thing we noticed after painting the cabinets is how much bigger the kitchen looks than before!  The past few months included refinishing the floors, painting cabinets, rehabbing the counters, and finishing the lighting.   

This week I'm hoping to do a few posts on the details.  

We still have a few smaller projects to tackle.  Now that the counters are redone, the bisque sink is screaming for attention (you can hear that can't you?  WE DON'T MAAAATCH!!  HELLLP US!!  FYI:  Our sink speaks like Gollum.).  I'd love an apron front sink like this but can't justify that cost.  Perhaps Craigslist will come through for us.  We'd also like to put in a built in bench in the eat-in area and we've outgrown our little kitchen table so I think that's up on the list as well.  Oh, but before that, I think I may switch out the paint color because it's just not working with the all white thing going on.  At the moment, I'm thinking a shade of very very pale gray.  Still unsure how I feel about the curtains.

A little Side by Side action (with labels lest you be confused):

So there's my winter project.  And now I'm ready for spring :)


  1. GASP. I expected it to be good but that is beyond gorgeous - are the countertop and backsplash marble? And I think light grey paint would be lovely. I'm drooling (it's also making me see some of the possibilities in a house we are considering purchasing, but for the atrocious kitchen). Details, please!

  2. Wow! It's beautiful. Job well done!!

    I just started painting our bathroom cabinets and trim last night. It makes me nervous to paint over oak, but it needs a new look. So when I look at your kitchen cupboards, I know how much work went into that transformation!

    I think gray would be pretty - especially with the stainless steel appliances.

  3. Oh my gosh, I need to paint my kitchen cabinets now! This looks amazing. Can I get more details on what paint you used and what you had to do to the cabinets to prep them? I'm so excited for you and possibly for me!

  4. It looks great, Mary! I love the floors!

  5. Gorgeous!! It's amazing what paint will do. I don't have any great recommendations on paint colors, but I am a very vocal proponent of Sherwin Williams Duration paint for quality. It is worth every penny. It covers amazingly well, and it is very durable. Beautiful job!

  6. Beautiful! The side by side pictures are the best! It's so obvious how much effort went into your kitchen lookig fabulous! And it's really a gift (one that I totally don't have) to see potential in a space. I look at a room and think, "well, here it is. this is it." Sooooo, I may have to borrow your skills if we do any work around here :)
    Love it!

  7. Oh it looks beautiful. You guys did a great job!

  8. congrats on your successful winter project. very impressive!

  9. WOW!!! You did a fabulous job. I had to scroll back to look at the sink color. For me it is only a whisper not a scream. Wonderful work.

    A bench would be perfect. I still love mine after all these years and even with only adults in the house. The bench is always ready for some visiting boys.

    Grandma & Grumpy

  10. Looks awesome!! So beautiful..

  11. Wow, wow and wow! It looks awesome, you guys did a great job. I was wondering about the backsplash too, it looks like all one piece with the countertop. I have NO skill in this area, but for what it's worth I think really light grey would look good (but I like the white too). I love the wood floors too.

  12. Looks INCREDIBLE! Yay you, seriously. And for the record, while I recognize the darkness, etc of your before kitchen, I would pretty much sell a kidney for it given my current kitchen.

  13. This looks so pretty. We have just had our cabinets painted with ASCP in Old White- We have not had them clear coated yet. If I did it again, I am like you, I would not use this paint-too expensive and coverage not the best for kitchen cabinets-maybe a piece of furniture and then too, the Annie Sloan Wax would work. You did a great job. Is your counter marble or laminate-very pretty. I think I would not us the curtain-maybe nothing or just a pretty woven shade to blend better with counter's , appliances etc.

    1. I really need to get some updated photos up here! I did change out that curtain for a simple white tie up shade and the walls are now a pale blue but may possibly get switched again. (Compulsive, remember?) We did find a vintage iron drainboard sink off Craigslist so once we get that installed I'll have to take some new pics! The counter I painted to look like here if you're interested:
      Sorry you were disappointed with the ASCP, too. I just found out that you can MAKE your own version of chalk paint and it sounds WAY cheaper. Something with adding grout to normal paint? I haven't looked it up yet but man, that would've saved us some cash...

  14. WOW, it came out just helped make my decision.

  15. Would you tell me what your counter top is made out of. I'm having a terrible time deciding what to use. of course, I want the best looking for as cheap as I can get! :-) Your kitchen is really pretty, I am going to paint my cabinets white using the same paint as you, I hope mine come out as good. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! The counters are originally laminate but I've painted over them twice now :)

      This is the paint job now:
      And this is what they were before (which I liked better but it didn't hold up):

      If money weren't an object, I'd replace them with real quartz or marble or soapstone but they do the job for now! Good luck!