This is a bit of something new on these pages. Ya see, sometimes I get emails from people and they’ve taken so much time and effort to write to me. It means so much. Especially when it’s something along the lines of, “Please help me not have an ugly kitchen!”
How can I say no?
Today we have Stephanie’s kitchen, and she emailed me about a month ago asking for some advice. So, I’m going to give her some ideas in this post, but I’m also hoping YOU will help her out. Sometimes a team of people can come up with way better ideas than one person.
Let’s help Stephanie! Here’s her email to me:
I LOVE your website and blog! Your tutorials are awesome. You have excellent taste! I have such a hard time imaging what the finished product with look like when I’m staring at ugly.
I’ve read your tutorial about staining your cabinets in your bathroom so many times. I’m really tempted to do this in my kitchen. I hate my kitchen, but I can’t afford to remodel it at this time. I was wondering if I could get your expert opinion on it. I’m sure you get bugged by people like me all the time, but I thought it might be worth a shot, because if you did reply, it would be awesome!
My appliances are black and the countertop is a very strange purple/grey color. I may just do a resurface kit for the countertops I found at Lowes or something. But can’t decide if the Java color of stain would look too dark on the cabinets next to the black fridge and oven or if I should do the Cherry color instead by General Finishes. I think I would add a tile backsplash and take off the two cupboards that have the ugly glass in them and just leave open shelves. Do you have any suggestions on color of the stain, tile, or paint?
I hope you are having a great day! Thank you for all of your tutorials that you put out there for us to read!
And here are the photos she sent along:
So here’s my super cheap plan.
Now personally, I love glass cabinets, so rather than take them off I’d add in some battery operated LED lights. I have these under my cabinets in my office, and I adore them. I’ve had them over a year, and the batteries still haven’t gone out. Adding in some light immediately classes up the glass and adds some nice interest. Rather than hop on a chair to turn them on, I just poke them with a ruler or pen.
Next, I’d swap out the hardware. It looks like you might have a standard 3” hole-to-hole opening, so it should make finding new hardware super duper easy. I’d recommend something modern in a satin nickel finish:
From Amazon, $24 for 10.
Or if you’re more traditional, maybe something more along these lines:
From Amazon, $2.51 each.
In that open wall area near the window, I might add some glass shelving (or these nice stainless steel ones would work) for herbs/cute kitchen canisters/decor. Ooh, ooh…how about these floating Umbra shelves for cookbooks?
And maybe a fun menu chalkboard that would cover up the phone jack (get one of those canvas type ones that will just fit right over it). What might also look good is a simple roman shade on the window.
Unlike Stephanie, I don’t find her countertops particularly hideous, so I would probably leave them alone. I’ve seen a few people try those countertop makeover kits…and it looks like crap. Just my 2-cents, but if I were you, rather than spend $100 to paint them, I’d save up for some new solid surface countertops in 2013 if you hate them that much.
A few other things:
-I would move the coffee maker over to where the basket of stuff is. You could always get a mail/wall organizer to put on that wall to keep it off the countertops. This leaves the area to the left and right of your stove free for prep space.
-If you put shelving on the open wall to the left of the sink, you can move those plants onto it and keep that area free for pretty soap bottles. Also, a roman shade, even if left mostly open, could make the kitchen a ton more cheery and sophisticated. Oh and chic!
-Finally, if you do decide to stain your cabinets, I would recommend painting the walls just a faint, faint gray. Perhaps something like Silverpoint by Sherwin Williams. It’ll instantly cool, calm and elevate your kitchen from drab oak to tall, dark and handsome espresso.
Total cost for my plan:
-$100ish for staining supplies
-$60ish for new pulls
-$30 for paint (walls)
-$10 for lights
-$150 for misc. accessories (shelves, décor, etc.)
-$50 for supplies (paint rollers, tarps, etc.)
Total Time Commitment: 3 weekends, max
What would you tell Stephanie to do to her kitchen? I think her space is lovely and with just a few small tweaks could be a STUNNING kitchen. Help Stephanie out in the comments section with your advice or encouragement.
Have a reader revamp you’d love my help with? Email me with the subject line “Reader Revamp Series” and briefly tell me how much I rock, how much your space sucks and a rough budget target plus about 3-5 photos. 🙂