Hello friends! When we first looked at our new home, I was impressed by how “nice” and “new” the kitchen was compared to many of the other homes we’d seen. I felt instantly guilty because it was recently renovated, but it wasn’t my style and I couldn’t imagine our family making Christmas cookies at that counter. So, I immediately started to brainstorm ways to update the space. I wanted something quick and painless (aka, no demo!) that would personalize it and make it feel like home. The answer, as it often is, was paint!
Now TRUST ME, I would have loved to change the tile, the cabinet fronts and, most of all—the counters. But it did not make sense for us since this is a phase one renovation meant to tide us over while we wait and save up for a dream kitchen. Given those constraints, I am so pleased with what we were able to do on a very small budget and very little waste. I hope this post inspires you with the possibilities of what paint (all by itself) can do for a room. It’s pretty incredible.
Here’s a before and after!
95% of what we did is just paint … isn’t that crazy? I considered doing a few different colors. I was trying to avoid doing bright white since that’s what my last kitchen was, and I wanted to mix it up a bit. I also knew we’d be “embracing” the light brown quartz counters, so I wanted a color that made them blend in, not stand out. I ended up going with White Mocha by Behr. it’s a warm white and a color I tend to Pin a lot in kitchens, so I decided to just go for it. I really love how it came out. I was in the home when Davis Custom Finishes painted them and it was one of the BEST things I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. The “before” kitchen felt disconnected from the home to me—like it didn’t fit with the house. As soon as he put the white primer on, it immediately felt like a completely different kitchen to me. I was thrilled.
One of the questions a lot of people have asked is how we like our new closed shelf kitchen compared to our old open shelf kitchen. It’s actually a pretty good comparison because the size of the kitchens and counter space is almost exactly the same. The only major functional change is the the top shelves—open versus closed.
So here’s my opinion. I like them both. If I had to choose one over the other, I think I prefer the open shelves, just strictly because it’s prettier to me. People are SO negative about open shelves, but having lived with both I can finally say … nah. I will defend open shelves until my dying day. They are functional and beautiful. And I personally love to see all my stuff.
In the future, when I design a dream kitchen from scratch, I will 100% choose a combination of both open and closed shelves. Best of both.
That said, these cabinets are great and I am very thankful for them.
(Lol, there’s a blurry view of my lesser-known first tattoo, which I got when I was 21, I think. It’s the cherries with three stars … It makes me laugh that I planned that out for like a year.)
OK, let’s talk hardware! I went with this affordable lucite hardware from Etsy. I used a combination of five- and 10-inch pulls. I wanted hardware that felt more mid-century since the home is from the ’60s, but the cabinets were new and a more traditional style. I feel like this hardware helps to tie the two styles together.
Most of the decor in this kitchen is reused from our previous home, like the vintage rug and the wicker basket that’s been holding utensils since our first home.
Thanks so much for coming along on my mini tour. I am super grateful for this kitchen. It has already served us well during our quarantine and we’ve already made countless bowls of mac and cheese. Feels like home. 🙂
I am really excited to keep sharing rooms and projects with you. xx- Elsie
P.S. Big shout out to Davis Custom Finishes in Nashville for painting my cabinets. I highly recommend them if you’re local.