the kitchen redo: part 1

The kitchen redo #2 is underway! We have struggled for quite some time with our kitchen. We weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do in there, and I wanted to take my time and figure out a good plan, since it’s literally the heart of our home. We entertain on a regular basis, so we always have a packed house and the kitchen is usually always full of people prepping meals or cooking, or just sitting at the counter watching and hanging out. Before M was born, I decided I had had enough of the fleshy toned cabinets, red walls, and wood paneling on the dining side of the room, so I set out to change it up a little bit. Here is what we started out with:

IMG_1593 IMG_1594IMG_1596 There actually used to be a window where the french doors are now, but when we built our huge, awesome deck, we added the doors there so we could easily get from the kitchen to the lower end of the deck where the grill is. I love those doors, we use them all the time, and I love how much more light they let into the kitchen. We I thought if we painted the cabinets a dark brown, it would give the same feel of some gorgeous dark stained wood cabinets. Boy was I wrong (don’t judge me, this was before I actually knew what I was doing when it comes to decorating). We picked out a color based on a paint sample – I know, shame on me – and it ended up going on not just dark brown, but it was almost black. I hated the color as soon as I started rolling it on, but we had already bought a gallon of paint and I wasn’t about to stop. I thought that maybe if we lived with the dark cabinets for a while that the color would grow on me. It didn’t. I hated it from day one, and I hated it for two years until I finally figured out what the heck to do in this room.

IMG_1653IMG_1651The darkness of the cabinets, combined with the dark red walls, really made the kitchen feel so dark and tiny. I started racking my brain trying to figure out how to undo my huge painting mistake. But I didn’t want to just rush into it and make do with something I didn’t really love, simply to get rid of all the darkness. I wanted to really think it out, and sort of plan our “dream kitchen”, without having to drop over ten grand into a whole entire kitchen renovation. Our kitchen was super functional, the cabinets and layout worked great for us, so we didn’t really need to buy anything new, except for a new range (and hopefully a gas range, this time). I just needed to figure out a color scheme that would not only lighten up the space, but would flow well with the other rooms, especially since our kitchen is right smack dab in the middle of the house and we spend so much time in here. I felt a little better after I painted the paneling, just like I did in the hallway. The bright white definitely helped lighten things up a little bit, and that gave me a good starting point for the rest of the room.

IMG_1654So here we are, a few years later, and after living with our little “cave” of a kitchen, I think I’ve finally got it figured out! I had seen an amazing kitchen in one of the Lowes Creative Ideas issues, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

The layout was exactly the same as our kitchen, and the colors were absolutely perfect! I tore the pages out, hung them up on the side of one of the cabinets, and planned our new kitchen from there. I got the go ahead from G, and headed out to Lowes to get some paint samples. I didn’t really pay attention to the colors listed in the article, I just went a grabbed 6 test pots of colors that were similar. You’re probably going to think I’m crazy, but I totally think this kitchen was meant to be. I decided on a color for the lower cabinets based on the samples I had painted on them, and the wall color was one that we had leftover from the guest bedroom/office. And you know what? They were the exact colors listed in the article, and I didn’t even know it until after I had painted them! The upper cabs got three coats of Valspar Ultra White and the lower cabs got three coats of Valspar Secluded Garden. I am so totally in love with my cabinets now! And I think that having the two different colors adds more character to the space, and the bright white upper cabinets help the area feel more open and draw your eye up, so you don’t feel like you’re in a cave! After priming the walls, they got one coat of Valspar Churchill Hotel Wheat, and I think the wall color alone made the biggest impact in the room. Our kitchen feels about three times bigger now!

Here is the direction I’m going with for the kitchen:

OB-KitchenThe cabinets are already painted, the walls are done, and we are moving right along with the plan! We’ve already purchased the new gas range, but the poor thing is still sitting all wrapped up in the garage. Our old range was a slide-in, and the new one is a freestanding range, so we’re going to have to cut out a few sections of the cabinets on that side to make room for the new one. That and the floor definitely needs to be replaced, so we’ve got to tackle that project first. The last major thing that needs to happen is some sort of pantry storage. I was initially thinking of buying two tall pantry cabinets to frame in the refrigerator with, since we don’t have any pantry space at all. But the more I look at that corner of the kitchen by the fridge, the more I think we’re going to just frame out and build a whole corner pantry closet, instead of doing just cabinets. Because the pantry cabinets are so deep, it’s easy to lose things in the back and not be able to see what all you have. I think we’ll be able to better maximize our storage space with shelves running along the walls inside of the pantry, since we can make them shorter than the cabinet shelves. I still need to find the right pendant light for above the sink, but I’m thinking something like this bronze one. Once we figure out what we’re doing with the pantry space, I’m going to get rid of the pot rack and hang a pretty island light, like this one from Painted Fox Treasures. We’re still not sure what we’re going to do with the counter tops, but they are either going to get replaced or resurfaced. And that’s about it! I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures of our kitchen progress so far, so stay tuned!

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