Kitchen Style: Before and After

My parents visited me recently and while my mom and I were busy having fun and shopping, my awesome dad gave my house a makeover. My place is 50 years old–and was starting to show its age. I love mid-century design, but “worn out” and “old” was not part of the plan. The kitchen was renovated in the early 80s, but wasn’t looking fresh. Here’s what it looked like when I first moved in:

kitchen originally

Sink area before

stove area before

The first thing I did was replace the appliances. That was easy–except there was no dishwasher so I gave up 7 precious drawers so I could add one.

I lived with the oak cabinets for a few months, but soon realized that the color was too dark for a room with a low-ceiling. Besides, they didn’t have handles and the finish was wearing off.

I knew replacing the cabinets was a major undertaking–and not cheap! Lucky for me, my dad is a painter. Instead of paying for a major renovation, he painted the cabinets white, added brushed nickel knobs, painted the hinges to match the knobs, and together with my husband, replaced the white counter with a slab of wood block. One new sink and faucet later and look what I have:

new kitchen

The sink area

New deli block countertop

a new, round sink

view of the corner

stove and counter detail

white cupboards

nickel knobs

To make up for the lost drawer space, I bought a magnetic knife holder and a rod to hang utensils. Both were from Ikea and were really inexpensive. I moved the paper towers off the counter to open up space and tied in more black and nickel accents with the microwave, toaster, and electric kettle.

microwave and space to hang things

My dad even wallpapered the backsplash with textured paper made to look like stucco. It’s paintable too, so if I ever want to change the color theme, it’s a quick switch. And that little ceramic plate the bananas are resting on? My mom found that at a garage sale. It’s got a photo of coffee beans printed on it. It’s great for things like keeping fruit, cooking utensils or coffee mugs off the counter.

counter detail

Speaking of the counter, I love it! I treated it with a mineral oil mixture especially designed for wood countertops and cutting boards. Water beads off of it and messes wipe up nicely. That said, if I had a few kids and my kitchen took a beating, I might opt for a lower maintenance surface. While I can sand out stains and water marks, it does need occasional oiling and liquids should be wiped up in a timely manner. But with just two adults in the house it’s not exactly a water park in the kitchen so it’s perfect for us.

Cost rundown:

  • Primer and white paint: $40 (Home Depot)
  • Silver paint for hinges: $7 (Home Depot)
  • Wallpaper: $15 (Lowe’s)
  • Knobs: $45 (Home Depot)
  • Counter tops: $260 (Ikea)
  • Sink: $40 (Ikea)
  • Faucet: $70 (Lowe’s)

The appliances were all on sale at Sears and I used the Sears points I earned from that purchase to get the microwave. What could have been a messy, lengthy and expensive renovation turned into a weekend project that came in at under $500. Of course I had my dad’s free labor. Always a plus!


Filed under Architecture, Decor, DIY, Thrifty

16 responses to “Kitchen Style: Before and After

  1. Closet Strategy

    Well done! It’s a amazing what a difference a color change can make.

    • It is amazing! I thought painting the cupboard would be “good enough” until I could do a real reno but I’m keeping this. The cabinets are high quality oak and would cost a fortune to replace. Just needed a facelift 🙂

  2. Wow. Wow! What a fabulous kitchen makeover. Your dad does great work! You must be thrilled about your “new” kitchen. Can’t wait to see it in person (party? hint! hint! 🙂

  3. Wow, that is an amazing transformation. I looks wonderful.

  4. What an amazing transformation for $500! Really? Wow!

    • Yeah – it’s amazing how a few changes make such a big difference. Now that didn’t include the cost of the appliances ($1500) or the labor to have the electrician, plumber AND cabinet guy get the dishwasher installed ($600). It was all money well spent though!

  5. My dream kitchen!! Hope he does ours soon! I really like your counter choice–wood adds warmth to the room and since the cupboards are white, the wood block is perfect. Did Alice inspire your colour choices? Black, white and auburn?

    • Alice does match the kitchen! Perhaps it was subliminal 🙂 I’d like to see what dad does with your kitchen. I went from white counter and wood cabinets to wood counter and white cabinets. I like a mix of warm and bright.

  6. Jean! It turned out soooo beautifully!!! I love the high impact of the contrasting black appliances with the fresh white cabinets. And the countertops look so rich against that backdrop. It’s just stunning and I’m so excited for you! ~Sarah

    • Thank you! I’m really happy with it and glad my dad helped so this could be affordable and unique. Hubby pointed out that I’d done a “reverse-y.” White appliances swapped out for black, white counter swapped for wood, and wood cabinets painted white.

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