Kitchen Makeover Inspiration

It’s time that my posts start to get into the bigger projects.  Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going to put the kitchen up.  Well, if I start writing about my kitchen makeover, that means I have to finish it!  The kitchen has been one of the biggest undertakings of our house so far.  It’s taken us a ridiculously long time to finish.  There are a few reasons for this.

  1. I really love naps.
  2. Saving up as we go so we don’t go into debt.  An updated kitchen should add value to your home, but what good does it do if that value just goes to paying off your debt from updating it?
  3. Waiting for appliance sales.
  4. Since we are breaking it into sections, once we finish one section, the kitchen is 100% functional, making our motivation to finish go down just a little bit.

Let me tell you what we were starting out with, then I’ll share with you some images of my inspiration.  We are starting out with a plain builder grade kitchen. It’s perfectly functional, but plain and boring.  As far as “before” kitchens go, it’s really not so bad.  The kitchen layout was actually one of the things that sold me on this house.  It is a large “U” shape with lots of storage.  We have oak cabinetry and faux granite laminate countertops.  I despise our countertops.  The faux granite look makes them always feel dirty.  Not to mention, they even went so far as to include little pock marks in them like they are actual stone.  They are just a pain to clean.  I would much rather have a smooth, one color surface.  That’s one of those things you don’t realize until you move in and are wiping down countertops on a daily basis.  Another thing I dislike about our countertops is the bar area.  It steps up from counter height to bar height.  The bar is just not functional.  It acts as a space to collect clutter.  It’s just too narrow and tall to sit at.

We started out with all black appliances except for a fridge.  The previous owners had recently purchased the fridge and wanted to take it with them to their new house.  Fair enough, fridges are expensive.  We bought a cheap refurbed one to tide us over until we started the kitchen makeover, but it didn’t last long.  Luckily, it was right around Memorial Day when all the big box stores have drastic appliance sales.  We decided to just go ahead and get a stainless steel one.  So then we lived with mismatched appliances for a while.  First world probs, I know.

Our sink is a white porcelain look sink.  Maybe it’s cast iron?  I actually liked it.  Until my darling husband dropped the glass blender in it and chipped it.  Badly.  It’s ok.  My mom has a sink like that and I know over time it will get scratches on the bottom that will stain.  I also want an undermount sink in the future.  So I wasn’t really too upset about it.

Already getting stains, and do you see those chips???

I don’t have any great “before” pictures of our kitchen because a DIY blog wasn’t always my plan.  I do have a couple, however, the kitchen isn’t really the focus. I can show you for reference.


If you ignore the dining table in the middle of the kitchen, you can kind of see what we are working with.


This Image is from when we were skim coating the downstairs. You can see the two-level bar area and the ugly pendant lights with a heart shape.

Now you know what we were starting with.  Luckily we didn’t have any major remodeling to do.  It was all cosmetic.  I love the look of white cabinets BUT my sister has recently gone through a major professional kitchen renovation and chose all white custom cabinets.  She regrets it.  They are hard to keep clean with two little ones running around.  I don’t have any kids yet, but I am a slob when I’m cooking.  I don’t know how I manage to drip food everywhere.  So I decided on a compromise.  White cabinets on top, and a dark gray on the bottom.  White on top would be harder to get dirty, right?  That’s my logic anyway.  Another change I wanted to make to my cabinets was to build them up to the ceiling.  I didn’t like the open space just collecting dust.  Plus, my bad cat Gabbi likes to jump up there and sleep and I just don’t like her being above the countertops in the kitchen.

Bad Girl Gabbi

I really wanted a white or gray quartz for the countertops, but I don’t think we would get a good return on investment.  I started researching more affordable options that didn’t include laminate and I’ve decided on a butcher block.  I’m actually really excited about it now.  I think a wood tone will look amazing next to the dark gray we chose for the lower cabinets.  We are also going to level out the bar area so that it is all counter height.  Then we are going to add a white subway tile backsplash.  We are also going to plank the ceiling and paint it white in addition to changing out the ugly builder grade pendant lights.

We chose a stainless steel Samsung kitchen appliance suite.  The only thing we haven’t bought is the over the range microwave.  President’s Day is coming up though, so we’ll have to see what kind of sales there are.  I’m about halfway through the kitchen makeover journey, so check back soon to see how to DIY a professional cabinet paint job using milk paint.  In the meantime, check out my kitchen inspiration below, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new posts!


Ikea Butcher Block Countertops from The Stillwater Story Blog


Two Tone Cabinet Color Inspiration


Planked Kitchen Ceiling from The Idea Room


Filled in Upper Cabinet Space from Thrifty Decor Chick

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