Kitchen living is a way of life for us. We literally live in our kitchen and spend a great deal of time during the day in the kitchen or near the kitchen. Our row home has a VERY open concept floor plan so the kitchen, the bar, and the kitchen table are all high traffic areas. When we remodeled our home six years ago, I was committed to our previous home’s color scheme of dark wood, reds, and golds. Sadly my commitment waned approximately one year later and I ended up hating my cherry-colored cabinets, tiffany light fixtures, and screaming red walls. I felt panicky and sick over it. How could I justify the expense of changing everything in my kitchen when it was all brand new? Perhaps you too long to change everything in your kitchen but just don’t think it’s possible due to the expense. The transformation of my kitchen from what it was–to what it is now–was a very slow and gradual process. Today I will show you stage-by-stage all the ways I “diy’ed” my way to a kitchen I now adore!
1: Change the paint color on the walls
My reddish cabinets, red walls, and reddish-toned floor just were not working. I really wanted to paint the cabinets white, but I wasn’t ready for that commitment. Changing the wall color seemed like an easy fix. The picture below is a photoshopped picture of what my kitchen might look like with blue walls. Many paint companies offer free online software that will help you test a paint color before actually applying paint to your walls.
After seeing how much brighter my kitchen looked with different paint, I chose to paint my walls Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. This small change made a big improvement in the overall appearance of my kitchen.
2: Take off cabinet doors & add character
I really wanted a cottage kitchen with an “open shelf” look, but couldn’t justify the expense of taking down cabinets to add kitchen shelves. An easy solution was to remove a few of the cabinet doors. I backed the cabinets with white beadboard wallpaper (taped in place for quick removal) to help set off the dishes. Taking off the cabinet doors cost me nothing and helped me obtain a more cottage kitchen look that I desired.
I longed for more character in my kitchen, so I replaced the pantry door with a screen door painted in a fun turquoise blue. My kitchen was finally starting to feel more like me with just a few simple updates.
3: Install a new backsplash
I found some outdoor garden stone tiles at a discount store for around $2.50 a square foot. They weren’t intended to be used as a backsplash, but I knew they would work. I think it cost around $75 total in stones for the entire kitchen on all three walls. Not too shabby . Thinking outside the box always helps when it comes decorating on a budget!
4: Update appliances and hardware
New appliances, faucets, knobs and pulls make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. I changed our faucet from an oil-rubbed bronze to a satin nickel that matched the stainless steel on my dishwasher. This small changed helped spruce up my sink area.
5: Paint the cabinetry
This was the absolute scariest step for me, so I eased into it by taking baby steps. I first painted just the peninsula and lived with it for awhile.
After seeing how great the cabinetry looked in white, there was no turning back!
We finally took the plunge and updated the light fixtures and had the cabinets fully painted. We also added faux beams this last year. I finally had a kitchen that I adored. Of course, I would have loved to have been able to have my kitchen look like this a few years ago but finances prohibited it.
If you are on a tight budget and yet still want to make changes in your kitchen, I hope my kitchen story inspires you to make small changes as you can afford them. Each small change will get you one step closer to a kitchen that feels like YOU!