I thought it might be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, especially since so many of you all are new around here! (Welcome!) I’m planning to take fresh photos of each room in order to update our house tour, which is sorely outdated. So I thought as I’m uploading fresh photos I’d share the stories of how these rooms have evolved over the 5 years that we’ve called this house our home. I’m planning to share one room story a week until I’ve made my way around the house. Today, I’m sharing the story of our kitchen, the heart of our home. Or the room where I spend 3/4 of my time.
I love our kitchen!
Though it wasn’t terrible to begin with, it didn’t come looking the way it looks now. Our kitchen wasn’t in need of a total gut job. We made a few small but very impactful changes to create a kitchen that has a more custom look.
Here’s where we started. These photos were taken not long after we moved in but pre-blog so not the best quality.
Our kitchen mini-renovation was kickstarted by a dishwasher disaster. Long story short we had some water issues that really messed up the hardwood floors, so we had to have the floors ripped out and replaced. We figured if the floors were coming out we might as well take care of a few other things while that work was being done. So we hired a contractor to put in new bamboo floors, a backsplash and cabinet moulding. (You can always make lemonade out of lemons!)
The previous owners had already painted the builder grade cabinets, which was definitely an upgrade, but having the moulding added to the cabinets elevated these basic cabinets to custom status. Once the moulding was added, my hub and I gave them a fresh coat of paint, distressed them (you can read about that process here) and changed the cabinet hardware to black iron to tie in with the countertops and new dark flooring.
We were lucky to inherit black granite countertops, though the darker wall color and lack of a backsplash didn’t really help them shine. Adding the marble backsplash and changing the color on the walls to a lighter, brighter soft yellow (Macadamia by Martha Stewart) helped to show off the shiny sleek black countertops.
Without a doubt the best decision and most impactful change we made was to have the microwave and cabinet above removed to make room for a stainless hood. That one change made the kitchen look and feel so. much. larger! And it really lets the gorgeous marble tile backsplash steal the spotlight it so very much deserves. We craig’s listed our old stove and microwave to keep the cost of the new range and hood more affordable.
The other small but impactful change was to convert the recessed light over the sink to a pendant. Lighting is one of the easiest and simplest ways to update a room, and I just love a little lantern over a kitchen sink. To bring in some fun pattern and color to tie in with the grey in the marble backsplash I made a faux roman shade with fabric from Hobby Lobby and a hot glue gun.
Because I didn’t want a microwave on the countertop we converted one of the pantry cabinets to create the look of a built-in microwave and wine cooler cabinet by having shelves and moulding added around each opening.
This little desk space was perfect to create a mail center. I used chalkboard place cards and command strips to organize all the paperwork.
The working part of our kitchen is open to the breakfast room where we switched out the white ceiling fan for a wrought iron and glass crystal chandy. We also had plantation shutters added to the windows which give us privacy and help to filter the light. I customized store bought white curtains with black grosgrain ribbon and patterned fabric that matches the roman shade over the kitchen sink (again with a glue gun).
For the first few years that we lived in this house we used a hand me down table and chairs while we saved up for the table, bench and chairs of our okay my (my hub doesn’t dream about furniture) dreams. For our breakfast room, I went with this table and bench from Pottery Barn and have not regretted that purchase one day since. This table is SO perfect for a family! I don’t like worrying about finishes being ruined by kids being kids. This is why I decided to go with a distressed look on our cabinets and why I love this table so very much. We do everything at this table from eating, playing games, crafting and homework! The chairs are from Crate and Barrel and are another no regret purchase. They are perfect around this table and can be pulled outside for outdoor entraining as well. I love the mixed look of the wood and metal, and I like the way the galvanized metal plays off of the stainless appliances.
So that is, in a nutshell, the story of how our kitchen came to look the way it does toady. It didn’t happen over night or even over a few months. It happened gradually as time and money would allow and as new ideas have popped into my brain…..like when I decided last summer to paint the backs of the upper glass fronted cabinets black which made a huge impact with zero cost (already had the paint) and a little time. That’s how things work around here most of the time. There’s a big long process that happens between the before and after; and while the afters are appreciated, the fun is in the process! For me anyway.