Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sprucin' up our kitchen

Here's what our kitchen looked like when we bought the house.  White cabinets, green floral wallpaper, knobs galore.  Pretty standard.    
We wanted to spruce up the kitchen cosmetically, but we didn't want to put too much into it because we'd like to do a complete kitchen renovation at some point.  So we are leaving, floor, countertops, and appliances, for now.  

First on the agenda for the kitchen was removing the wallpaper.  Here's a picture that shows a little more of a close up of the wallpaper.  The mess in the kitchen was pretty par for the course for the two months that we were working on the house (and not living there).  
We soon learned that there was a GOOD reason that wallpaper was there.  Underneath was a textured swirl pattern.  Literally it was like someone took concrete and swirled it all over the walls.  I am kicking myself for not taking a picture.  
(Please forgive me for my lack of "before" picture taking throughout this blog.  You must understand the two stressful draining months that we worked on our house like crazy til midnight were very...well, stressful and draining.  Our blog was the LAST thing on our minds, and I was just not thinking about cute little "before and afters".  It's a shame.)
Anyway, back to the swirl pattern.  It looked something like this, but it was purple...
We quickly realized this could NOT be sanded down.  It was like sanding concrete.  So Chris and a band of boys (Thanks Josh, Lindsey, & Andrew!) mudded over the entire room with drywall mud and then sanded it down smooth.  Trust me, it's not perfect, but it's A LOT better than it used to be!  

After sanding down the walls we painted our Wall color Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog 976 and the trim Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray HC 108.  

Like the rest of the house, the ceiling had popcorn ceilings, so we sanded them smooth and painted them Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige OC-32.

I decided to remove the cabinet doors on both sides of the sink and have some open storage for our everyday china and glassware.  I think it really adds that cottage feel.  I have loved having this open.  It makes unloading the dishwasher so easy, I love looking at our pretty dishes (what recent bride doesn't), and I think it makes guests feel right at home because they never have to ask where to find things! (Don't worry, I kept the doors, so I can put them back on if I want or need to)

The knobs in our kitchen were just overwhelming.  There are 43 cabinets in our kitchen and 7 drawers.  I am dead serious.  I can't even believe those numbers.  I'm about to recount...
I'm back...It's true 43 cabinets and 7 drawers!!!  That's a total of 50 pulls!  If you're going to have 50 pulls in a kitchen as tiny as ours, you better have some seriously gorgeous pulls.  These pulls were not seriously gorgeous, and we couldn't afford to replace them.  So I just took them all off, filled in the holes with wood filler and sanded it smooth.  All the drawers and cabinets open just fine without pulls and I've never regretted it once.  I also painted the hinges on the doors, to help them blend in, and make our cabinets looks more updated.  It's debatable whether painting the hinges was a practical choice, but I love that they disappear into the cabinets. 
So then it just came down to paint colors.  The green wallpaper really brings out the peachy-ness in the floor and countertops.  (Think...green and red are compliments.  Peach has red tones in it.  Thus, green really makes red tones pop.)  I'm just not really a fan of ANYTHING peach, and so I was anxious to come up with a cure, since I knew we wouldn't be replacing the floor or countertops right away.  I went back and forth about doing something fun with my cabinet colors or just doing the same basic grey tones from the rest of the house.  I just couldn't get turquoise cabinets out of my head.  There are SO many cabinets in that small kitchen, so I knew I couldn't do turquoise on all of them.  So I went with Benjamin Moore's Aegean Teal 2136-40 on top and my old faithful trim color Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray HC-108 on the bottom (Thanks for helping me paint my cabinets Lindsey B!).  The Sandy Hook Gray really neutralizes and blends the countertops and floor.  I was definitely glad to see those fade into the background a little.  
When I finished with painting, here's how it looked...
Well, then we had some tile left over from our shower, so Chris and Alex, bless their souls, right done tiled us a backsplash!  The tile is white Florida Tile Retro Classic Flair 3"x6" and we placed it in a subway pattern.  We used the same dove gray grout from our shower.
I love those boys...
Then a few months later, Chris got really handy and replaced this gorgeous florescent light that was above the sink...

With 2 of this light from IKEA ($29.99)...

I've done some accessorizing and here's how our kitchen's shapin' up today...
I couldn't stand the sight of the side of that white refrigerator, so Chris helped me make a bulletin board out of an old gold frame.  
I know the microwave on top of the fridge may seem a little funny, but we did it in our apartment, and it is a GREAT counter space saver!  
Laundry nook, laundry hamper used as a trash can...

So here's the recap.
After (excuse the baby gate for our puppy):


  1. It really looks so great! What a professional...you are on your way!

  2. Hello there....im surfing the web for ideas and my oh my!! your ideas are very nice! Makes me want to get a paintbrush and start painting my cabinets away... :)



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