I am so excited to reveal our kitchen makeover! When we put an offer on the house, I remember thinking "I could whip this kitchen into shape with a few changes in the next month, but realistically I will be happy if it happens in a year." It took us about 6 months, the perfect medium. We were also working on other rooms and projects, as well as just enjoying our home, so I'm okay with the fact that it took awhile.
Before I get started, I am going to answer the two questions floating around in your head right now. Yes, I feel like I am ALWAYS cleaning our kitchen. (Danny too.) And no, it is NEVER (well, rarely) quite this tidy. Let's be real, I am in the kitchen more than any other room in the house, usually cooking or baking up a storm. In fact, the moment I finished taking photos this morning, I set to work baking up some peppermint marshmallows! So, it resembled a fluffy snowstorm before I rushed off to the office.
Now, most of our kitchen was brand new, with appliances around 10 years old. Not bad at all. My main gripes were the light fixtures (cheap from Ikea, did not fit the style of our house), too many shades of wood going on, and the cabinet handles. (you can buy them here) Because we have an open concept, you always see the kitchen, and it was important for me to feel like it fit in stylistically with the rest of the house. Now whenever I walk into the dining room/ kitchen, I feel a warm glow and smile at the site! And then I put dishes away.
Anyhow. See another"before photo in this post. Our first step was to paint the dusty blue walls white. From there, I picked out some great brass pulls and brass light fixtures. Unfortunately, the silver pulls are drilled much further apart than any other handles that exist, so we HAD to fill and paint the cabinets if we were going to change out the handles. I researched for weeks, and mainly went by this great tutorial. It basically took the length of the summer, between quick trips out of town, drying times, and exhaustion from sanding and painting every spare minute of our time. But summer was best, as it helped the paint set. I chose the same paint color as the walls for the top cabinets to make the kitchen feel larger and more open, and a dark charcoal for the lower, to blend with our black appliances and dark wooden countertop. I love how the white farm sink pops against the dark shades! I bought cabinet-specific paint, so hopefully these will stand the test of time. Because we don't want to spend another summer sanding and painting! So far, they have been really easy to clean, as I have found myself to have butterfingers these last few months, especially when it comes to carrying around yogurt or anything glass. I should come with a hazard sign.
I scoured the internet for simple fixtures that reflected the time period of our house, and that we would both like. I found these beauties, and they were quite simple for Danny to install. He is becoming a pro at light fixtures, which is funny because there are only two left in our house that we've not yet changed out.
It took us awhile to agree on the shelving, but we both could not be happier with it. I ordered the brass brackets, scribbled some measurements, and Danny set to work building the shelves. We found the tiniest bit of stain in an old can in the basement, and were excited to match the dark trim perfectly. Taking out one cabinet really opened up that section of the kitchen. The messy hole in the wall and cabinet underlighting brought up a challenge, but Danny tackled it well. Now I don't have to use a step ladder to access all my baking ingredients! And how about that bread tin?! Our bread kept getting moldy, and we saw this at an old country store while celebrating a friend's birthday. We couldn't pass it up.
The kitchen is so perfect and homey to me now, and there are a few things I especially appreciate. A hidden trashcan. More outlets than I can use. The sink! The window above the sink! I feel that a window above a kitchen sink is essential, and perfect for daydreaming while washing the dishes. Soo much cabinet space (although I filled it all up the weekend we moved in). I came from some pretty tiny kitchens, so I do not take this one for granted. Oddly enough, the front of our refrigerator is not magnetic. It's great because it keeps us from cluttering the front with cards and photos, but a bit sad that it cannot be covered in colorful magnetic letters when we have little ones running around.
Brass Handles: Ikea
Pendant lighting: Etsy
Brass brackets: West Elm
Brass Utensils: Gaslamp Antiques