Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

Working With What You Have: Kitchen Renovation

I have a problem. I have a really hard time showing you a project that I’ve done until it’s 100% perfect. My kitchen is a great example. I did most of the renovating last year between January and April and though it looks pretty damn good, I still haven’t painted the ceiling and gotten the perfect flushmount so therefore…it has stayed a secret. (Unless you count that picture of my painted cabinets up there in my header!)

But today Emily A. Clark is having a link party and she wants us to share a project that shows “Working With What You Have”. Well now,  that’s just the little push I needed to reveal my not-quite-done kitchen. Here’s the ‘before’ shot:


When we moved in, our house had so many eyesores that the kitchen actually ranked down pretty low on the renovation priority list. (Check out how an elderly man’s office became a sweet pre-schooler’s bedroom, how a beige-on-beige guest room because a princess bedroom, and how a dull wallpapered living room became a fun hangout spot and I think you’ll see what I mean.) Plus, the huge chunk of money that flies out of your wallet with a kitchen renovation was just not something we had…or have, I should say. So, I decided to do a putting-lipstick-on-a-pig remodel.

I knew I would need to work with the creamy-beige laminate countertops and the creamy faux-wood floors. To be completely honest, neither of the two is all that bad. Sure, I’d love to change both but since we might knock down a wall and reconfigure the kitchen someday, I have no desire to invest in counters and floors until we’re ready to make the big changes. But there were still three big offenders that HAD to be changed: the whitewashed cabinets, the cheap lights, and the plaid wallpaper.

PicMonkey Collage kitchen

It took a long time and I did every last bit of the work by myself (Alright. An electrician hung the pendant but the rest was all me!) but I finally got it done mostly done. Here’s the ‘after’.


Kitchen projects completed:

Removed wallpaper

Refinished and painted walls

Painted cabinets

Changed cabinet hardware

Removed bad lighting

Added pendant light (my beloved Hicks!)

Painted interior of the glass front cabinet

Accessorized the counters

Kitchen projects that still need to be done:

Refinish and paint the ceiling (I already have a few test sections up there which I mentioned back in this post.)

Install new flushmount in the center of the room (I already bought it. Just need the electrician to come and install it.)

I think this room is proof that you don’t have to re-do every little last thing to make a big difference. A little paint can go a looooooong way. (And I promise that when I get it all done– I mean, 100% done– I’ll share each and every step of the reno process with you.)

Before I sign off, how about another little before and after comparison.


I don’t know about you but that Hicks pendant makes me so happy that I almost don’t notice the sad counters! (I said almost.)

Make sure you check out all the other “Working With What You Have” posts over at Emily’s link up party today!


Sue at Home

7 thoughts on “Working With What You Have: Kitchen Renovation”

  1. Yes, I agree–I can’t stop staring at that beautiful pendant :) And, I love that you removed that overhang over the opening above the sink. Great changes. Thanks for linking up.

  2. It looks really good! Even though I love your display of turquoise ware in the first picture, it makes the kitchen so much more updated with that shelf gone. Luckily those turquoise items will look great anywhere in the house :)

    1. I agree. I love my little collection of turquoise vases and I wish I had taken them down because they made my dingy kitchen look “okay”! They make appearances ALL over the house though.
      Thanks for commenting!!

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