I can finally show some of the progress in our small house in Houston. We have done some updates in the kitchen to make it feel a little more welcoming. Keeping in mind that we don't plan on staying in the house for long, I went with what I consider "classic" updates so that when we go to sell it, it will hopefully appeal to the masses.
The before kitchen isn't awful. I have had much worse to start with in our past fixer uppers, but this particular kitchen was a little boring. First of all, the island was much to big for the kitchen and took up almost the entire space. It doesn't look so bad in the picture, but when you were in the space trying to move two or three people around it was just too much. The cabinets were in excellent condition, but I hated them against the white appliances. They are not top of the line appliances either, and we were not going to upgrade for this project. They are clean and fairly new and we just wanted to make them work. The light fixtures throughout the house are your basic builder grade that you see everywhere, so I definitely wanted to change those out, and the counter and backsplash were a drab formica. We also took out the cream colored tile floor.
Here is the after: fresh painted white cabinets with a sanded edge to blend in with the appliances. I think it makes the kitchen feel more open and airy. I also like hardware on the cabinets. It makes all the difference. It always gives it a little more expensive look. The lights are from Lowes. I just love the old school house replicas they have come out with. We went with a dark grey/black granite counter top and tumbled marble for the backsplash. Kurt cut down the island and removed the bookcase on the end. He then added feet and a wood top to give it more of a furniture piece feel. We installed grey slate tile that we found at an outlet store. One of the bonuses of a small kitchen is that you don't need as much!
Another angle of the before kitchen:
The island top was a blast to make. We took a chance on trying something different, and I think the results are pretty fantastic! Initially, we wanted to find some reclaimed wood, but had no luck finding any in the area. Kurt went and put three pieces of 2 x 12 pine together, and then we took it out back and hammered, scratched, and beat it up as best we could. I painted it black, sanded off the black a little and then stained over that. After several coats of polyurethane and sanding, we were thrilled with the finished piece! He also added a towel rack to the end. The little things make all the difference!
I had this giant frame that could fill up the blank wall and decided to go with sheet metal so it could be used as a magnet board. The letters are magnetic and moveable and we can hang recipes, photos or whatever to it easily.
One of the best things I tried for this project was the backsplash. Normally I have to deal with installing the tile and then grouting it. Instead, I saw someone online had done this stacking method without any grout. OH MY, it was so much easier!!! And then there I go again with all my glass jars!!! I may have a glass jar addiction.
And I don't know if I can ever handle not having a faucet like this again! It is so handy, and I love the look. There isn't much storage for extra things needed in the kitchen, so I used a decorative ceramic planter for my towels and another apothecary jar for my dishwasher tablets
I hope this project will inspire some of you to take a few chances on your own cabinets. It's amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can do to a space!