Our Kitchen: Before & After

And now, for something I promised last week, but was forced to this week: The before and after of our kitchen! The kitchen is really the first room in our house that I consider "done" (even though we've got future plans for a backsplash, new counters and appliances... those will come in time). It was also the room I was most unsure about when we moved in. It's not a large kitchen, it doesn't have an open floor plan to the rest of the house. Frankly, I wasn't ecstatic about the kitchen when we moved in, and I wondered if it was big enough so that Eric and I could both work in there at the same time and not maim each other. 

Here's what it looked like the day we closed on the house:

There's not a ton of cabinet space in the kitchen, so I'm assuming the previous owners built this floor cabinet on their own to add storage. It wasn't necessarily in the most pristine condition.

The wife who lived here before us left that cup of flowers on the counter when we moved in - I thought it was such a nice thought!

A few things I didn't love about the kitchen in its original state were the look of the wood cabinets, the lack of space and that beat-up floor cabinet. I would have preferred stainless-steel appliances, but all the appliances in the kitchen are in fantastic condition and are definitely about 10 steps up from the appliances we had in our apartment. One thing I did love about the kitchen was its color - it was painted this adorable light robin's-egg blue that I definitely did not want to change. I knew it would look great with the red kitchen accents I already had.

There weren't a lot of changes to be made, but we knew we wanted to lighten up the space with white cabinets, update the hardware and add some much needed storage space. So, we spent a week painting, drilling and assembling, and here's what we ended up with:

To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous about the white cabinets when we attached the doors back on. I wondered if it was all too much white. But after painstakingly deciding on the hardware, and then installing them, I loved the look. It's clean, bright, fun and the white actually makes the space feel so much larger.

The addition of IKEA's VARDE "drawer unit" was a life saver. It added an incredible amount of storage, not to mention additional workspace it provides on top. And best of all, it doesn't swallow up the entire room - it leaves plenty of floor space so a few people can be in the kitchen at the same time.

This is a "working" kitchen - there will always be things on the counters, there will always be dish towels and oven mitts on display. We're humans who enjoying cooking, and I think our kitchen should reflect that. It should also reflect that we don't take ourselves too seriously. Eric came home with that wooden pig wall hanging one day and I thought it was perfect for our kitchen - if not only to honor all the fallen swine that we enjoy in the form of bacon, pulled-pork sandwiches and pork tenderloin. Thanks for the awesome flavortastes, fellas.

The chalkboard used to live in the bathroom of our apartment. We wanted to create a "bathroom graffiti" area, so we sprayed some thick cardboard with chalkboard paint, framed it and put it in the bathroom. In our house, I thought it'd fit perfect in our kitchen for writing down grocery needs or just displaying a simple message.

If you recognize that wooden cutout of Wisconsin displayed on the red shelf, that's because I raved about it earlier this year. I simply couldn't bring myself to use it for its original purpose - a cutting board - but love it proudly displayed on our kitchen shelf. It's hard to tell from the photo, but there's a little heart over Milwaukee.

So... There you have it. Our first Before & After. As I mentioned before, we're planning on adding a backsplash and new counters in the future, but for now, I'm happy. Our kitchen is not only functional, but it just feels so friendly. It's an adorable space that I think not only tips its hat to the era in which the house was built (the 1950s) but also holds some modern flair. All in all, I would estimate this simple transformation cost us no more than $500 and about 7-8 hours (spread over about a week) of our time.

It just goes to show you what a few quick fixes can do to change a space.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you have any burning questions I haven't addressed above? Or do you just want to make fun of me because I forgot to remove the blue dishtowel on the counter before snapping photos?


  1. Huge improvement! Looks fab. I am gearing up to either paint our oak cabinets or pay a pro to paint them because I'm nervous I'll ruin them. How tough was it to paint yours? Any tips? Maybe this should be a separate post :)

  2. its very cute! I dont think the white cabinets are too much, any other color and it might clash with the wall color. Huge improvment! P.s. I have the same pasta jars and your pig is adorable <3

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