Tweaking the Builder’s Basic Kitchen

Remember months ago when I couldn’t stop talking about kitchens and kept promising to show you pictures of my renovation? Well the time has come! Everything is finished and I finally had the time to do a little photo shoot. Hurray for hubby being on vacation!

I started working on my kitchen almost exactly a year ago when Anna was a mere three months old. I don’t know what induced me to take on re-finishing my cabinets at this stage, perhaps a fatigue induced mania, but the end result was well worth any stress it caused. Though, FYI, don’t paint your cabinets during a humid summer if you don’t have air conditioning, the paint won’t set properly and you’ll have to do it again!

Before:

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The white and grey cabinets and sleek new knobs were a vast improvement over the previous blonde wood cabinets and builder’s basic pulls. So much so that the beige counters and cheap ceramic back splash looked ten times worse. Here it is after just painting the cabinets (this shows the original lower cabinet colour. It was too purple so I painted them a second time with a more charcoal grey):

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Notice at the forefront of the picture the bar height portion of the island. It caused a visual disconnect between the kitchen and the play room and served as nothing more than a drop spot for junk (as seen!).

Thank goodness for tax returns! We were able to replace the back splash and counters this Spring and Voila! Here is how it looks now:

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The kids love that these Ikea stools can spin around! Hazardous for a baby who is still crawling and likes to be close to her siblings!

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Vase and Cutting board from Walmart. Hexagon Penny Tile tile from Ames Tile.

Forever ago I mentioned how I had planned a slightly innovative use of the empty space above the upper cabinets. For a mother’s day present I had my hubby build planter boxes so that we could grow herbs in our kitchen and make use of this otherwise annoying and useless gap between the cabinets and ceiling. Maintenance is not my strong suit so Steve also ordered grow lights and a watering system for the herb garden. Now if you walk by our home at night you will see a purple glow emitting from our kitchen windows. No, we do not have a grow op.  I love this idea and the aesthetics but even with the lights and watering system I have been killing a lot of herbs. I’m still hoping to figure out how to keep them from keeling over but I may end up replacing the herbs with something hardier

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Votive holder from Premium Olive Wood on Etsy.

 

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“Lord give me coffee to change the things I can change & wine to accept the things I can’t” Print from Twinkle Me Designs on Etsy; Picture frame from Michaels; Tray from Lowes; Crystal vase from Safeway.

 

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I added some cute herb prints from Beach House Gallery on Etsy to beautify the bulk head containing the vent above the stove. Picture frames from Ikea.

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The kitchen feels twice as big without the bar height counter and now I can actually watch the kids while they play (and see who hits who first!). We also use this space twice as much now that we have a place to sit at the counter. The kids eat their breakfast and lunch in the kitchen and love to colour or paint when I am cooking or cleaning. It sounds cliche but this renovation has truly enhanced the way we live our life as a family in this home.

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Anna thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate cake I made for staging purposes.

I adore the final look and those in my complex with the exact same kitchen can attest to what a difference a few well place tweaks have made to this builders basic kitchen. I have to admit though, this reno probably isn’t done.  I like the colour of the lower cabinets but it got banged up when the guys were installing the counters so they need to be touched up. So why not try a whole new colour? I’m considering navy blue. I’ll test it out on one door and see how I like it but not until after Christmas. I used monomal paint from Sherwin Williams to paint the cabinets and though it has been hardy enough for my bathroom cabinets, it is not standing up to the constant wear and tear the kitchen receives.  I’ve officially requested that my hubby buy me a proper furniture spray painting machine thingy for Christmas so that I can give the cabinets a proper finish.

The counters and back splash however…perfection! Thanks again to Daniela at Counters and Decor for sourcing materials and coordinating all the trades for this renovation. I couldn’t have got it done without your dedication and hard work!

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