So remember almost a year ago when I kept posting incessantly about the renovation we were doing on our main floor?  I posted tons of process pictures on Instagramthen this post, then…nothing.  No final results. Maybe because it was sort of a harrowing process–the pictures from those posts still stress me out.  Or, it might be because I needed a year to emotionally recover from painting the cabinets. If you’re considering painting your cabinets, I’m not even going to sugar coat it for you–it’s totally worth it, but it’s one of the suckiest things I’ve ever done! Like, if someone said to me, “I can break your arm or you can paint cabinets,” I’d probably have to think for a minute about whether it’s worth it to just let someone break my arm. It was that awful.  Like I said though, TOTALLY worth the results, and I have a full tutorial soon so you can experience all of my pain joy too!
It might also be because, in my world, I feel like nothing is ever quite finished. Wanting new counters, sink and faucet is pretty much a given, but it’s not quite in the budget yet.  I still need to get rid of the boob lights on the kitchen ceiling–which is going to require some rewiring and moving things.  Seriously, who thought that two stupid boob lights were sufficient lighting for an entire kitchen?!!  I’m still trying to decide what to put above the cabinets because I don’t want them too cluttered, but I feel like something needs to go up there. In an ideal world, it would be more cabinets.  You can see my storage space is limited and I don’t have a pantry.
Anyway, always a project…. Let’s talk about the positives and what we did do in here.  We’ll start with the before.  This is the picture from our last walk through on the house before we decided to make an offer.  It was a sea of tan (walls and ceilings), old carpet, and cabinets that were definitely NOT my favorite color. I’m a huge fan of blond wood, especially with black and white, but these had turned an orangey color, from the sun that constantly comes through the windows, and for their style, the blond just really didn’t work.
After we moved in, I decided that I needed to incorporate some color (and then proceeded to attempt to incorporate like five different colors in the same space–that’s a post for another day). Why I chose this blue is still a mystery even to me. I. HATE. BLUE. (Except navy.)  Always have. But I wanted to incorporate that Mexican pottery you see on the cabinets and I think I had also just watched some HGTV show where they did a Spanish theme and I thought “I can pull that off.”  Um, FAIL!!  This picture actually makes me laugh and demonstrates why I like making or collecting a lot of my decor.  Fake fruit: check. Knife block: check. Ugly generic spice rack: check. Personality: well, bless my kitchen’s heart, we’ll just leave it at that. It’s like a kitchen straight off of the bridal registry at Bed Bath & Beyond.

So, we added a planked wood back splash, which was actually a necessity (and what started it all) because the little one that matched the counters had started to pull away behind the sink and the wall was getting mold.  Then, we ripped out tile–OH MY GOSH, that job is tied with cabinets for suckiness factor. We also put planked wood on the back of the bar (same as the back splash).   Painted the cabinets (obviously) and added hardware.  I wanted something a little more funky and fun with the hardware, but the Mr. won that battle and we went with simple. When you put in several weekends of backbreaking labor, I’m bound to let you have a win here and there–remember that part about how sucky tearing up tile is?  He did the majority of it, so he gets at least a little say.

We ripped out the carpet and laid new laminate floors in almost our entire upstairs (including new tile in the bathroom and laundry room) and I painted the end of the cabinets with chalkboard paint.

Then, more recently, we added a new light fixture in the dining room and painted the stools–another win for the husband.  He had been begging me for some color somewhere in this house, so one day while I was out, he and the little one picked the colors and painted the stools. I love him and I love that he surprised me, so we’ll just leave the color choices alone ;)

I’ll be sharing all of the details on paint colors, how-to’s and sources soon!


  1. says

    We are currently looking at buying a home, and my husband has conceded that we can paint the cabinets in the new home. Haha… I just read him your paragraph about painting the cabinets. But I think he’s already committed, so it’s okay. I will be looking for that cabinet-painting post for sure. (P.S. I think the pop of color from the stools makes the room more fun and playful.)

  2. says

    Love it! The dramatic black paint and white cabinets are perfect! And I love the bar stools, especially with the sweet story that accompanies them! Here from Liz Marie

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