Monday, October 28, 2013

Before & After: Kitchen Makeover

The first area we worked on when we moved into our house was the kitchen. We finished it before I started this blog but it's taken me a while to snap some updated pictures.

This is the kitchen photo from the real estate listing. 

And here is a panoramic photo from when we did the inspection.

They removed all of the counter-top clutter but a few things were not working here. Do you see where the dishwasher is in relation to the sink?? It is a little distorted from the wide angle but that's like 10 ft away! Why is there a speaker mounted in the kitchen (upper right of the sink)?

The art deco black sconces have a teal strip that lights up when they are on. I think there were 5 of these in total, I couldn't rip those suckers down fast enough.

The previous owners were using the huge back room as a dining room and had a large dining table here. I knew there could be a better layout and wanted to add some extra cabinet space.

Here are the 'After' photos:

In the empty space, we added a peninsula/breakfast bar. It's so nice to have a place to gather around when friends & family are over.

The maple cabinets were in good condition so we tried to keep as many as we could. We added glass doors to the ones above the sink and added the new tall pantry next to the fridge. We changed out the electric stove to a gas one and got super lucky that there was gas originally installed so Dave only had to uncap and hook it up to our new one.

We added height extenders to the cabinets and crown molding then I painted everything to match using Benjamin Moore's Advanced Paint in Senora Gray. It's a little hard to tell from the photos but its a nice warm gray green taupe color, I love it! I used a lot of steps/tips from this tutorial on painting cabinets from Young House Love. It's fairly easy but time consuming and important to let each coat dry thoroughly before moving on so patience is needed! The finish on ours is pretty durable so far and it's been about 7 months since we finished and no scratches or chipping paint.

For the backsplash,  we installed white subway tiles with a silver grout - so fresh and classic. Love this new faucet, so easy to clean the farmhouse sink. The only thing we had to hire out was the new counter and we're happy to leave that one to the pros. We chose a Corian solid-surface material in Linen. It is SO durable and looks amazing, very pleased with it.

Instead of the full depth counter (24") the previous owners had sitting in the middle of the room, we went with 12" deep uppers and added a base to use it as a buffet. We topped these cabinets with butcher block which adds nice warmth to the room.

The upper cabinet was 12" deep but I wanted it to have a slimmer profile so we cut it down to 6" and holds wine glasses perfectly! We added crown molding to this cabinet and painted to match the others. We use this as a beverage center and have wine & liquor bottles stored underneath.

We also added 6 pot lights to bring in some extra light to this room which it desperately needed.

I forget how much this space has changed and how far we've come. Even though it wasn't a total gut job, we were still able to make it exactly what we wanted while saving $$. I love it and wouldn't change a thing! It took us about 3 months of working on the weekends and during the week after coming home from our day jobs.. but totally worth it!

Here is the list of sources, let me know if there's anything I missed or if you have any questions! 


Breakfast Bar Stools: Overstock Tabouret Stools
Pull Down Faucet: American Classic Satin Nickel

Sink: Ikea Domsjo Farmhouse Single Bowl Sink

Hardware- Cup Pull: Stone Mill Hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze Cup
Hardware- Knobs:Stone Mille Hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze 3 Ring Knob

Lighting: Lanterns, glass panels removed- Sea Gull 3-Light Bretton

Paint - Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint - Senora Gray, Satin finish
Paint - Walls: Benjamin Moore - White Dove

Countertop: Corian - Linen

Butcher Block Counter on Buffet: IKEA Numerar

Glass Front Cabinet Doors: IKEA Lidingo

Blue & White Striped Rug: Dash & Albert Lighthouse

Jute Rug in front of sink: World Market Basket Weave Jute Rug


**I'm linking this post over at Thrifty Decor Chick!


  1. Amanda;
    Your kitchen is beautiful!

  2. Wow, what a difference. Looks absolutely beautiful.

  3. Your kitchen is beautiful! did you use white IKEA Lidingo glass doors? If so, would you please share how was the process? I would love to infuse some color into my all white Lidingo kitchen. Thank you so much:)

    1. Hi busymom - yes, we used the white Lidingo doors! Here's a quick version of what I did to paint them: I carefully pried off the back pieces that hold the glass on, removed the tiny nails, then was able to sand both sides, prime & paint 2 coats using a brush/small foam roller and let cure for a few days. I put the glass back in and used some Gorilla Glue apoxy to reattach the small pieces on the back that hold the glass on. They are very secure. I highly recommend the BM Advance line of paint, all of our cabinets including these doors have held up really well so far! Sorry - this is the quick version so let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for stopping by!! :-)

  4. Hi there,
    Love the kitchen and the palette! May I ask what grout brand/color you used?

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I can't remember the brand of grout but we got it at Home Depot. It was a two part mix (grout & sealer in one) and I'm pretty sure the color is 'Silver'.

  5. Hi Amanda! I adore your kitchen - I might steal all of it for my kitchen i'm doing re-do on. Question - after painting did you 'seal' the paint with anything? Polycrilic? I have a habit of throwing it on everything but don't think i'd love the gloss on cabinets. Thanks :)

    1. Hi there! Thanks for the sweet comments! Nope, we did not use any finish sealer but we made sure to wait the full week after the last coat to let the doors cure. Definitely recommend the Ben Moore Advance paint- besides self leveling (no brush strokes), it has the addition of Alkyd for a stronger, more durable finish. Ours are still holding up great!

  6. Hi Amanda! I am on the search for a "skinny" storage solution/buffet counter for our very tiny eat in kitchen and your page came up! I love the look of your little bar area you made, I am wondering if you have any pictures of the base you used to build the upper cabinets on? Or any detailed instructions on how you built it? It's amazing and I think I will be recreating it for my kitchen! Thank you!

    1. Hi Charity- Thanks for stopping by! I don't have any pictures of that process but here is what we did- super easy! Use 2x4s to built a base/toe kick for cabinets to sit on. Then used MDF to make the end panels (which are also the ends for the toe kick), 3/8 or 1/2 thickness. Then add another piece of mdf for the actual toekick. Then paint it all and looks like it was always that way! You could also add additional mdf strips as trim to make the end panels look like shaker style which we did in our most recent kitchen. Hope this helps, let me know if any other questions! Xoxo, Amanda

  7. Hi, I just have to say I am so excited to have come across this blog. We are installing gray IKEA bottom drawers/cabinets (keeping our white painted uppers)... we bought the same Domsjo sink that you have, and have been trying to decide on counter tops. I have been planning on white subway tile, and just yesterday picked out "Linen" Corian -- not knowing if I would like it or not -- but now I know! So happy to see a photo of your kitchen and to know that I will love what I picked!!! Thank you!!! :)

    1. Hi!! Thanks for stopping by and sounds like you have great taste! :) good luck with your kitchen!! Would love to see a pic when you're finished! Xoxo

  8. This is a beautiful transformation! Great style. My daughter has a small kitchen and needs a shallow cabinet on one wall. What did you use to build the shallow storage cabinet? Do you think drawers could be added? Thank you.

    1. Hi Anna,
      Thank you!! So for the wine glass cabinet upper, it is a standard upper wall cabinet that we cut down the sides and shelves to become shallower. Then for the base cabinet, we used upper wall cabinets built up on a 2x4 base for the height that we wanted. I would recommend adding side panels made of MDF to cover the base and for easier painting. Not sure I have seen upper cabinets with a drawer on the top but you might be able to get creative and stack some premade options. Hope this helps!

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