Well hello there strangers!
I’ve emerged from the abyss of zero blogging.
While it’s been crickets around this space, I’ve been just as active (maybe more so) on Instagram…and even on the FB page. I just don’t know what’s up with me and blogging…but Instagram still has my heart, so follow me over there if you’re at all interested in keeping up with my crazy little crew.
In any case, I thought I’d share my before/after on my latest kitchen endeavor.
My kitchen before:
There was nothing horrifically awful about it really. Just that it was boring and builder grade and not very US.
If you’ve been following along, you know we’re a big personality kind of people (or as Jen Hatmaker would call it: a Spicy Family), and honey blonde cabinets weren’t really our jam.
And yes, OUR. Because it wasn’t too many weeks after moving in that Andy said “You’re gonna have to paint those cabinets soon. They don’t belong here.”
You know what that sounds like? PERMISSION.
Done and done.
And really, when you looked close, a lot of the top clear coat was wearing off and depending on the location, some doors were getting more sun bleached than others. Especially where they were opened/closed because they didn’t have hardware. Again, not the worst thing ever, but not our favorite.
Someday, if ever I win the lotto, I’d love to gut the kitchen, move every single thing around, and have something more like this. But that requires a lot of zeroes, and perhaps playing the lotto to begin with.
For now, I was looking for an inexpensive way to make the center-of-the-house-in-an-open-floor-plan-kitchen feel a little more updated and in line with our tastes. No major construction.
After much research, deliberation, and what might possibly be the longest lasting, most problematic, cluster of a project I have ever undertaken, it is finally finished.
I still don’t love the white tile…or more importantly the white grout…and I’m not a fan of the scroll-y backsplash situation going on, but I was trying to do this for a minimum of zeroes. And dust.
You might remember that I also painted the cabinets in my last kitchen, and while my heart will always beat for all white cabinets, I didn’t have the money (or energy) to pull up these white tile counters. So I had to stick with something that would work with the 13 year old white tile/grout (which is actually more cream than bright white now that we’ve painted). And I was afraid that while white on white carrara marble may look AMAZING, white on white tile might look APARTMENT.
So I decided (after weeks of hemming and hawing) on a high gloss navy blue (Nocturnal Blue by Behr…but I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint…long story. See Instagram.) for the bottoms. I was afraid that doing the tops navy would darken up the space too much so I went with a high gloss bright white for the tops. (Polar Bear by Behr…also mixed in Benjamin Moore Advance paint).
Because this house has such high ceilings compared to our last house, we ordered longer stem mounts for our prized Barn Lights. The poor Barn Lights were so high up with the old stems that you didn’t even notice them in the room. MUCH BETTER.
I also painted the walls in the kitchen the same pale gray that runs through the rest of the main living rooms in our home (Burnished Clay by Behr). It really makes the white pop and lightens the room so much more than the creamy color that used to be in there.
I painted the island cabinets navy as well, and how great is this big yellow and white striped rug?! I stinking love it. (From Marshalls.)
We also swapped out the ceiling fan above the kitchen table to this new light fixture. The fan was cute and actually matched the color scheme, but it was bitty and didn’t really move air in this big room so it was kinda worthless as far as a fan goes.
I adore our Barn Lights, but I didn’t want to do a third one over the table for fear that it would be too matchy-matchy. But I also wanted to be sure and protect the breezy view out the sliding glass door. I saw this light at Pottery Barn and swooned…and then about had a heart attack at the price…and was shocked by the even larger price tag for a similar fixture at Restoration Hardware…and was pleased as punch when I found this one at Ballard Designs, plus a 20% off coupon code. BOOM. (Although it probably helped that I saw them in that order…normally I would have thought that was a really expensive fixture. Ha!)
And with the edison bulbs in it?! I die.
We decided to do a couple of open glass cabinet doors in this corner. Although we haven’t ordered the glass yet, so it’s just open for now.
Here you can see my messy side fridge. I stick kid art and other reminders here…right next to the precious, precious coffee station…in easy view, but keeps my kitchen from looking cluttered all day.
It’s obviously a different time of day when these photos were snapped, so the lighting is different, but overall the entire space just looks fresher and brighter.
The hole where the ceiling fan hung was always off center, but it wasn’t super noticeable because it was a fan. But now that we have this very geometric light here, the fact that is lines up IN NO WAY with the center of our table drives me batty. Problem is, it will require cutting new holes in the ceiling, but more importantly, patching holes…and trying to match 13 year old ceiling paint. Gah.
We’ll end up moving it and center it on the table eventually. I’ll have to bat my eyes a while longer.
I also made that roman shade over the window. The blinds were heavy and cumbersome, and I’ve removed the blinds from just about every room in our home, but during certain times of year, the sun comes blaring in that window so directly and hot that we needed to have something there for those times. Most of the time it’s nice, happy indirect light…but in Winter it’s harsh and heats up this room quickly.
And before you are impressed by me saying I MADE THAT ROMAN SHADE, for reals people.
I followed this tutorial and it was the most ridiculously easy thing I think I’ve ever done. It took me maybe an hour to do. It took me longer to decide on a fabric. (This navy/lime/aqua ikat was an outdoor fabric from Joanns.)
We also added cabinet hardware because a) I prefer pulling on hardware when opening doors/drawers, and b) I have a thing for hardware.
I opted for a polished nickel finish so that it would contrast with the dark cabinets (although I realllly considered matte gold). Randomly, I actually had the small knobs already because I had bought them to install in the kids’ bathroom at the last house (where I also painted cabinets), but never got around to putting them in, and then we moved. However, you can still find them at Target for super cheap.
I went round and round and round, looking EVERYWHERE for pretty high polish pulls and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, came close to the pretty that was the pulls I wanted from Restoration Hardware. Because this project was really inexpensive overall (minus the light fixture), especially considering it’s a kitchen, I splurged on expensive pulls (these are the 6″ ones. And I used an 8″ pull on the big drawer under the oven). I actually really believe that there are lots of places you can cut corners and go cheap on…but cabinet hardware that will be tugged and pulled and shoved by many hands all the live long day are not the best place to scrimp on. I’m really wondering how well the $2 Target knobs will hold up with time…
I painted the backside of the island and the little corbels the same Burnished Clay of the walls. I keep trying to decide if maybe a darker charcoal gray would be more fun…but I had a bad experience with getting adventurous with my island. Too soon.
And this tea towel.
A gift from a friend and it’s like it was personally made just for me.
Remind to never ever EVERRRRR paint cabinets again. Thanks.