Throwback: Kitchen Makeover

So it's almost summertime, which to the DeRochers means Renovation Renovation Renovation. This time last year we were preparing to purchase this house, and dreaming up ways to improve it. It was an absolute mess when we started on it - popcorn ceilings, drabby carpet, outdated light fixtures, and a basement that had been all but completely torn apart.

Most of our updates we wanted done before moving in. We installed wood floors on the main and upper levels, painted every single inch, and painstakingly scraped the popcorn ceilings. Everything looked great by move in day except for the two bathrooms. We decided to leave those be until we had more time to figure out what we wanted to do with them.

Now the time has come to finally fix those up. Both need painting and tiling, and the basement needs a shower built. I'm super excited to show you guys what we are doing for the bathrooms, but since we're not there yet and I've still got the itch for renovating, I'm throwing it back to almost a year ago when I completely made-over my kitchen. If you followed my former blog, Consider the Peel, you may remember seeing this post before. I was super pumped about getting a kitchen I could actually store things in and move around in, and after nine months of use it has not disappointed. If anything, I love it even more than I would have thought. Here's a look.

Today I am going to show you one of my favorite parts of the new house – the kitchen. A big, open kitchen has always been a dream of mine. This will be the third place Grant and I have lived in since getting married; the kitchen in our first place, the tiny apartment in Gilbert, Iowa, was a tiny corner off the living room and severely lacking cupboard space. My most vivd memory of that kitchen is the light inexplicably falling on my head as I was making sweet and sour meatballs for Grant for dinner one night. The kitchen in the rental house in Dayton is a galley kitchen that was actually added on in the 1950s or so. It is lacking cupboard and counter space, though it was a bit of an upgrade from the apartment kitchen. This new kitchen – oh boy, it’s like the taj mahal of kitchens after the last two I’ve spent so much time in! It’s got lots of counter and cupboard space, is open, and even has a window over the sink.

Here are some photos of the space before I took over.

I knew immediately that the dark cabinets had to go. They clashed terribly with the countertops, and in general dark cabinets close off a room rather than open it up. Grant and I also knew we wanted to get rid of that awful linoleum floor and add a little bit of detail to the walls.

The color I chose for the cabinets actually came about by accident. I was planning on doing a subtle sage color, but on a fateful trip to Home Depot I found a gallon of Oops paint that I couldn’t resist buying (it was only $9, after all). As it was the first gallon of paint I bought for the new house, it was the first color I tested on the cabinets and I immediately fell in love. I love how vibrant they turned out, and how much interest they add to an otherwise plain kitchen.

The wall treatment is a stencil from Royal Design Studio. Stenciling is actually a lot easier than one might think. Though the height of that triangle space gave me some trouble in spots, I was able to continue the pattern through the whole area. The entire project took about six hours or so.

When it comes to decorating kitchens I have always loved the idea of including cookbooks in view. Luckily, I had plenty of space in my open cabinets for a couple stacks of cookbooks. (I elected to leave off the doors of three of the cabinets because Grant is opposed to cabinet doors. My stipulation was that the dishes inside them must be pretty and must never be a mess). I lined the space above my cabinets with fun items I’ve collected over the years, some vintage, some not, all deserving of a spot in view. Finally, a couple plants adorn the shelving unit by the sink because I believe that every proper kitchen should have at least one living plant.