When we bought our house, the kitchen was move in ready but ugly. The cabinets are miss matched, but similar. The height of the cabinets on the sink side are 1″ lower than the cabinets to the left of the stove, the wiring was ugly, UGLY boxy conduit, the walls are 1970′s wood paneling, badly nailed up, and the countertops are green laminate.. but these are all things I could live with and fix. What I could not live with was the fact that they sprayed the cabinet doors with brown STONE TEXTURE spray paint. HUH? I dont know what gave them the idea that looked good, or why.. but I spent hours, many very frustrating hours, sanding off all that texture and painting my cabinets not long after we moved in, almost 4 years ago.
Heres what it looked like when I was done, a vast improvement from its prior state which I never even bothered to take a picture of.. but just imagine cabinets that looked like someone had spray painted brown and dipped in sand.
See what i mean about the bad paneling, the lazy job trimming out the awesome french windows (they swing in and open completely, its wonderful), the ugly conduit…?
We installed a dishwasher (thanks mom, a christmas present!) and a new cabinet to its right, see how they are proper counter height, and those cabinets are 1″ lower? Yeah, cool. Another view of the ugly conduit, as well. I took the doors off that cabinet and turned it into a show box for my depression glass.
So, we lived quite happily with the kitchen in its current state for about 3 years, but I was CONSTANTLY scrubbing the white cabinets, I could never keep up with the spots and stains that come with two kids, cats, and dogs. I decided I wanted a new color this time since they needed repainting anyways, and I went for a color called Smoked Oyster (Valspar from Lowes). Its grey, like I wanted.. but more of a beige tone than a blue tone, I thought that would compliment the green countertops more- since they arent going anywhere any time soon. The green wall color also needed to go, so I decided to just stick with the cream color already on the walls in the rest of the kitchen and hallway. I want the cabinets to shine. We also bought an above stove microwave because ours was kaput (8 years old, it was a trooper) and I wanted more counter space.
Step one was to remove the cabinet above the stove and bump it up 6 inches. Standard installation suggested the cabinet be 30″ from the stove top, and it was.. but when we tested that height out it felt SO claustrophobic. I wanted much more space between the stove top and the microwave. After bumping it up, we went to work sanding and prepping the cabinets for paint. Two generous coats were enough, and all the hardware went back on. The microwave install was pretty smooth, and because we decided to replace all the conduit the wiring was pretty smooth too.
I painted all of the walls a pretty cream color that made the smoked oyster cabinets pop out and brighten up the room. We built a new sill for the window, re-trimmed it out, and I havent painted that yet- but it will be a nice bright white.
Some special touches I added were chalkboard vinyl to the inside of the spice and plate cabinets, and to an old cabinet door above the trash bin, for writing little notes to my kids, keeping weekly menus, and writing out shopping lists.
Last but not least we installed a new light fixture, to brighten the room up even further. In the afternoon the kitchen is full of light, but morning and noon, and evenings, are quite dim due to it only having the one window- so the new track fixture helps alot. I’ve directed the lights to my regular work areas and I’m loving the “task lighting” feel it has.
So, here are some pictures of it almost finished, tools included… I still need to scrub and paint the baseboards the color of the cabinets, touch up some paint here and there, and paint the new window sill and sand/repaint the window frames which takes alot of patience, they are over 100 years old! But all that can wait for a warmer day when it wont bring a blast of 30* air in.
I promise to take more pictures of my house on a day I can herd my children and animals outside, and show some more before/afters, but there is the kitchen for now! (click pictures above to enlarge)