Are you hoping to bring your dream kitchen to life, but aren’t quite ready to dive into a major renovation? The cost and time-investment for a kitchen update can be daunting. Never fear—you can get a refreshed look without a total revamp. Trust me, I’ve been there!
When we moved from Wisconsin to Indiana, we left behind a “dream kitchen” in our “forever” house. It was open concept with white cabinets, chunky dentil crown molding and beautiful granite counters in a soft gray shade. Sadly, we were only able to enjoy it for a year before we were packing up and moving on.
As you can imagine, we weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to have a repeat project (we had just survived 3+ months without a working kitchen). Thankfully, we found a beautiful home in Indiana that—although built in 1912—had a renovated kitchen. It was very nice, but wasn’t exactly the bright, airy space we favor.
So, we made a few small changes and are now enjoying dream kitchen number two. Hopefully our journey can help you score your perfect space too!
Our kitchen had a lot going on when we moved in. The walls were a golden shade, the backsplash was green, and the counters an amalgamation of browns, yellows and gray. Coming from the all-white palette of our previous kitchen, we longed for something softer. The first step was repainting.
If you’re not crazy about the colors in your counter top, study it carefully to see if it has any neutral shades you can “play up” with careful design choices. Our granite had flecks of both ivory and soft gray. I enhanced the ivory by selecting an almost-white, creamy shade of paint, then highlighted the gray with these classic bar stools from Grandin Road. I purchased the Julien in Dove Grey at counter height. It is so comfortable. We end up eating here more often than in our dining room!
If you’re looking for ivory stools, Joss & Main has a duplicate for even less money. This one also has an interesting “mystique gray” option for the wood finish. If I had seen this earlier, I might have gone with these instead. Paint and new bar stools were simple changes, but seemed to instantly brighten the counters and the room overall. Our space now feels much larger and more welcoming.
If you have patience, time and the right supplies (hint: a wet saw is a lifesaver), you CAN install a backsplash yourself. Talk about a major impact for minimal expense! New hardware and tile can completely transform your space. Best of all, you can pull it off in a weekend. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a detailed how-to post.
When selecting your tile, keep in mind neutral doesn’t mean boring. There are a wealth of kitchen options out there that are subtle in color, but bold in style. Look for something with a unique texture, shape or luster.
We wanted something in the ivory color family with a touch of pizzazz. It had to be interesting, yet traditional enough to mesh with the farmhouse style of our kitchen. These “Arabesque” Moroccan-inspired tiles from Home Depot were the perfect fit. The shape catches your eye, but the color is soothing. It doesn’t fight with the counters or compete with the cabinets.
Ready to get started? Save yourself a headache and craft a careful supply list. There is nothing worse than having to run back to the hardware store multiple times in the middle of a project (been there!).
I firmly believe that light fixtures make or break a room. Since most of the design choices were made by the previous owner, this was an opportunity to put my personal “stamp” on the room and make it our own. If you have high ceilings, lighting is an especially smart way to make your kitchen stand out. Fixtures are so artistic now. Your pendant options are endless!
The finish offers a touch of rustic flair to complement our farmhouse sink, and the artistic shape provides interest and excitement. In addition, the bulbs are surrounded by bubble glass to cut down on the glare you sometimes get when pendants have visible bulbs.
This is one update that will not only make you happy, it will also pay dividends in resale. If your appliances don’t match, it’s time for a refresh. There are some new options trending (like black stainless, slate or retro white), however stainless is always a safe bet.
Our kitchen had all stainless appliances, except the refrigerator, when we moved in. We went with this french door model from LG and couldn’t be more pleased.
We’re all about neutral, but a kitchen also needs a few “happy” touches. For us, there is nothing more refreshing and joyful than teal or turquoise blue. It makes us think about the color of the ocean on a glorious summer day.
What is your mood-boosting color? Page through magazines to see what you gravitate toward. Inject that shade into your neutral space for a dose of fun, or change it out seasonally.
We scooped up these fantastic rugs from Target. They are thick and feel great underfoot while washing dishes. The hammered metal bowl and tray add a touch of interest in the corner. If you’re looking for something to add sparkle under your cabinets, you’ll love them. I use mine to store onions or fruit.