kitchen renovation inspiration

We're painting our kitchen cabinets this weekend! I'm scared / excited / hopeful we don't ruin anything. But as Myquillin says in her book, "the key to creating a beautiful home isn't knowing what you're doing; it's taking a risk even if you don't know what you are doing. There is no wrong way to create beauty." I've read a bunch of blog posts and feel totally unprepared, but we're just going for it. I'm not sure that I'll hate the result more than I hate the current cabinets, so there's really no losing in this situation. Just for fun, here's what our kitchen looked like when we moved in. Don't mind all the beer bottles; we celebrated with pizza + drinks with my parents the night we got the keys :)



It just felt so dark and grimy with that wall color, dark flooring and cabinets. The previous owners had a toddler and a huge dog, so it actually was pretty grimy and even though we scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, it never really felt clean. I really hated cooking + baking in here, which is why I randomly decided to go ahead and paint one Friday. Funny how just the white paint makes it feel so much cleaner and fresher! So here are some after photos, now that it's painted. We painted the awkward bumped out wall with chalkboard paint, but in the longterm kitchen renovation plan, that wall gets knocked out. At one point there must have been a wood stove or fireplace in this spot, because there's a brick chimney coming up from here into the attic, and a chimney at this spot in the roof. I'm secretly hoping we can knock this wall out and discover exposed brick underneath, but my dad says those hopes are slim. Le sigh. We took all the kitchen cabinet doors off right after we moved in, partly because they were horribly grimy and greasy and I didn't want to clean them, thinking we were just going to paint all the cabinet boxes and do open shelving that way (like Natalie did--you can see peaks of it a lot on her instagram) But after living with it for almost 4 months, I realized that I want to really think through where I want the open shelves and where we need cabinet doors (like on the shelves where we keep our canned goods--those don't need to be on display!) And we don't have the dishes I want for open shelving yet. Also, not pretty + styled photos for this post. Our kitchen is SUCH a mess. Real life!





The kitchen is good sized and has a window with a wide window sill (my favorite!) But I knew as soon as we moved in that the awful puke green walls (I am truly sorry if you are partial to the puke green and/or your kitchen or home is painted this color), cheap muddled vinyl flooring and cream colored appliances had to go. And although the tile countertops + backsplash is probably an upgrade from a cheaper alternative, they are IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. The grout is stained and hard to maintain, and I'm over it. So this space is getting a complete overhaul. We started small and doable, with painting the walls. We already have all the stuff we need to paint the cabinets, so we figured that was a logical next step. We're painting the lower cabinets a sea foam-y, aqua blue and the upper cabinets white. We'll be putting all the doors back on for the time being until we figure out exactly how we want our cabinets configured, where we want to tear out cabinets and put in open shelves, and have more display-worthy dishes. Phase 3 after the cabinets is switching out the countertops for butcher block, getting a farmhouse sink and putting up white beadboard for the backsplash. Phase 4 is putting in wide plank plywood flooring, and we have several phases on from there, including new lighting, new appliances, reconfiguring all the cabinets and shelving, and tearing out that awkward chalkboard wall and filling that space with something. It's going to be a long project but I'm so excited at the progress we've already made! Fresh white paint changes everything, and I know having the cabinets painted will make a HUGE difference.

I thought I'd share some inspiration photos I've collected that encompass the feel I'm hoping to achieve in this space. Bright, white, airy, light, clean, comforting, homey. Like you can just sit in here and sip coffee in the sunshine all day long. This was actually the photo that convinced me to do colored lower cabinets. I thought it would look SO weird until I saw this. Now, I'm 100% sold. The cabinets in these photos are practically identical to the color we have picked out for ours (which was the color of the kitchen walls in our apartment!) With white walls, white upper cabinets, butcher block counters and a farmhouse sink, I think our finished product will look super similar to this, which makes me giddy.


I loved the built in shelves around the door below, and the overall collected, eclectic and inviting feel of the space with the open shelving + plants. And that sea foam is the color of the cabinets, and grey is an accent color I'll be pulling in.


And here a few more than all have a similar look and feel. I eventually want a pot rack to hang above the island we already own (and hopefully all copper cookware to display on it!), farmhouse style lights, a cozy + colorful rug, and lots of glass jars and white dishes for the open shelving. I'm pretty in love with the plants already filling the window sill, so I'd like to get more of them. We're probably going to go with stainless appliances. We also have SUPER tall ceilings throughout our house, so there's an awkwardly large amount of space between the top of our current cabinets and the ceiling. I loved the photos of kitchens that had a second level of cabinets, or a shelf running above the cabinets. We'll probably do something similar.


I'm still undecided on hardware for the cabinets since we'll be switching out the old white knobs, but I really like these in satin nickel. So, what do you think?! Love or hate the ideas? I can't wait to post an update next week after the cabinets are done...wish us luck!!

**photo sources can all be found on my Pinterest board.