Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Updating old kitchen cabinets

Our kitchen cabinets are the original cabinets that were built with our home back in the 70's. I would love to replace them completely, but that isn't an option right now, so I decided to jazz the old ones up a bit. Luckily, they are in pretty good shape, and the design is simple. They were already painted white, but they were in major need of a massive cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.


We removed all of the doors and old hardware. Then we sanded and cleaned each cabinet door and all of the cabinets inside and out. After two coats of paint, in Behr's swiss coffee, and new hardware and hinges, in a brushed nickle finish, they were looking like this.


Definitely an improvement but still lacking the character I was going for. The more I looked at the scalloped piece above the sink, the more I disliked it. So we turned it into an arch instead in an attempt to make it look a little more updated. I also decided I wanted to go for a more open look so I removed a few cabinet doors and created a little open storage. The lower cabinets got a coat of soft blue/gray paint.


I painted the interior cabinets the same blue/gray color as the lower cabinets. I was beginning to like the space a little better, but at this point I felt like it was looking to country cottage instead of the modern cottage look I was going for. So, on to the next project. 

We eventually removed the arch piece completely and removed the section of paneling that connected the two upper cabinets above the sink. Crown molding was turned upside down and added to the tops of the cabinets. We turned it upside down since there isn't any open space above our cabinets. It fit better that way.


Ahh! Looking much better! When we added our laundry room on a few months ago, unfortunately we had to lose the window. In it's place I opted for bead board along with a piece of crown molding to visually connect the two sets of upper cabinets.  Then we installed floating shelves to give things a more modern cottage look. 


The combination of open shelving above the sink and open cabinets was just too much, so the cabinet doors were put back on. New door hardware, a fresh coat of paint on the lower cabinets in a more beige/gray color instead of gray/blue, and new flooring (it's actually vinyl!) and this kitchen is complete!  Well, for now. :) Oh and I also painted the wall you see here a darker gray color, and painted the upper cabinets bright white. Additional upgrades we made to the kitchen when we moved in were new counter tops, new sink and fixtures, new appliances, and a bead board back splash.


This is what our kitchen is looking like now. I'm finally getting the modern cottage vibe I was going for! It was definitely a lot of trial and error to figure out what I liked and disliked, but well worth it in the end!

For fun, here is the before:
and the after:

Have a blessed day!
Leah

UPDATE!!! 
Here are a few updated kitchen pictures that I have recently taken:

















And now with our new appliances in place:



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Customized chalkboard pantry door

Chalkboard paint has become so popular over the last couple of years. There are a million plus ways to use chalkboard paint. It's really endless what you can do with it!



I have used it in different ways all through out my home. One of my favorite uses of this fabulous paint is in my kitchen, on my pantry door.

My pantry door was just plain before. Our interior doors are smooth without any raised panels so they are pretty boring. I thought this would be a fun and useful way to jazz this one up a bit.


I began by taping off the areas I wanted to paint so I could create 3 blocks of chalkboard space. I didn't do any measuring (shame on me!) I just eye-balled it and used the edges of the door as my guide.


I used regular masking tape for this project because I was out of painter's tape at the time. I'm sure painter's tape would result in sharper lines, but honestly the masking tape worked pretty well.




I used Valspar's chalkboard paint and a simple paint brush to brush on the paint. It took 4 coats in all! Luckily the paint dries quickly so there was very little waiting time in between coats.

The next step was to create individual borders around each chalkboard square. I used the same taping technique, using the edge of the door as my guide.


Here is the finished product!


I completed this little project before our addition was done.  The exterior door you see above is no longer there. In it's place is a wide doorway that leads to our new dining room/mud room. I also re-painted the top and bottom chalkboard blocks in a different color to tie it in with the rest of the space which I will show you very soon!

Here is what this area looks like as of now.


I love how this technique creates multiple zones. I use the top block for welcome notes, grocery lists, or special reminders for the week. My daughter uses the lower two blocks for writing and creating! It's functional for our entire family!

Have a blessed day!
Leah