Our "dining room". That door to the left leads to the playroom (or what should be the dining room). Changes we've made on this side include removing the old wallpaper and chandelier and updating both of them! Here is the before picture:
I'm happy with the updates we have made!
Now onto the other side of the kitchen. It was bad when we bought it! So much outdated brown. I tried to ignore it. Or just be content with it. But I couldn't. I just had to change it. Small budget friendly changes done over a one year time period. But before I get ahead of myself in my rambling here is a picture of our kitchen on the day Joe toured and put an offer on the house:
I'm having a hard time not cringing looking at this picture! I can hardly believe he called me from this house and told me it was "THE ONE!" when it looked like this! Ok. That's not true. I can totally believe it. My husband is a dreamer. Where most people see ugly & outdated he sees potential. And he was right. With a lot of effort and a little money we have changed this kitchen into something I (we?) love...
The first change we made upon our arrival was spray painting all of the knobs. They are heavy duty cabinet knobs but they were an ugly worn out bronze. A little rustoleum hammered metal finish spray paint and they were like new once again! Next I started staining the lower cabinets. It was a painstakingly slow process that I worked on only after my kids were in bed at night for WEEKS last summer. And once it was said and done I didn't like the result! The cabinets looked like I had painted them brown. Not stained. It was incredibly discouraging. So I took a little break from the kitchen. Joe took down the old hood above the stove top, modified the upper cabinets (to accommodate a microwave) and installed our new microwave. And I was so incredibly thankful because I learned last summer that I use a microwave A LOT. A discovery I made while living without one. This past fall I started the process of painting the upper cabinets white. I immediately loved the results and could not wait to add even more white to this kitchen! In the spring we hired a guy to tear out and replace our counters. It's another laminate counter but oh so much better than the old one! We considered quite a few backsplashes once the counter was installed. All of which were in the gray or white category but ultimately chose the white subway tiles with gray grout for a couple reasons. 1) I wanted as much white and light as possible. 2) The price! These tiles were 1/3 the cost of all the others we were considering. Hard to pass up that savings!
Our eat-in kitchen is the first thing you see when you walk in our front door. And after lots of hard work it's finally a view I enjoy! (Except the light above the sink. That thing needs to be replaced!)
And now looking from the sink towards the front door...
Which leads me to my little "command center" on the wall. It's my attempt to keep clutter off the counters. And it is mostly working.
The bottom left frame is supposed to be our weekly menu. Clearly I'm not utilizing it. Oops. But it's doing a fantastic job of covering the old telephone jack! Which reminds me. The latest update we have done to our home is replace all our light switches and outlets. And by "we" I mean Joe:) Gone are the almond. And hello WHITE! Ninety percent of the walls in our house are white so it just makes sense. And it looks so much cleaner.
Now in the name of full disclosure. My kitchen rarely looks this nice! Usually there are dirty dishes in the sink and clean dishes drying on the counter along with a random assortment of kid papers and snacks cluttering the table. However after lunch yesterday I sent the girls to their room for rest time so I could tidy up and snap these pictures. When my six year old came out of her room and saw the kitchen her eyes got as big as saucers and she exclaimed "Wow! You REALLY cleaned up after lunch!!!"
I bet she thought we were expecting company!
P.S. I don't care for our dining room table. It just isn't my style. Though admittedly I'm not sure what my style is. It was given to us during med school so the price was right! However I'm wanting to change/update it a bit but I'm really unsure of how to do that without replacing it entirely (which is not in the budget). I am open to any and all suggestions!