Our Kitchen Makeover – The Details

Now that the kitchen makeover is completely finished and I’ve shared all of the pictures, I wanted to take a step back and go through all of the changes that we made from beginning to end. This kitchen project was something that I’ve wanted to do since we moved into our house and it feel SO good to finally have it done! I don’t hate our kitchen anymore. I finally have a kitchen that feels like me and makes me happy. If only it made me want to cook more too! Ha!

So let’s start at the beginning, when I signed up for the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. Taking on a kitchen makeover was probably a little too ambitious, especially considering that Mara was 2.5 and Bellamy was 4 months old when we started. However, we decided to go for it for some odd reason.

Here was the plan for our One Room Challenge Kitchen Makeover:

  • Paint the cabinets
  • Replace the outdated hardware
  • Replace the current backsplash
  • Take out a few cabinets
  • Add floating shelves
  • Repair and repaint ceiling
  • Paint walls

We started with painting the cabinets. I packed up the girls and we stayed at Grandma’s house for a 3 day weekend while Jesse painted all of the cabinets. The cabinets were a medium-toned knotty pine and we had wanted to paint them since we bought the house 7 years ago. After a lot of research, we decided to use Sherwin Williams’ Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel paint over their Extreme Bond Primer. I brought home paint chips for almost every shade of white that they had to pick the perfect color for our kitchen. We weren’t replacing the counters or painting the wood trim around the windows and doors, so we needed a white that wouldn’t look yellow next to the brown in the counters or the wood. We finally landed on Pure White and it was definitely the right decision. The cabinets have been painted for 1.5 years and the white is perfect! It is consistently white in all kinds of lighting and never looks yellow or gray. Kitchen Makeover

Once all of the cabinets were painted, and cured, we installed all of the new knobs. Jesse and I really wanted more modern hardware, but it didn’t jive well with the traditional cabinets, so we settled for classic knobs from Lowe’s. The knobs we chose are a gun metal finish, so it’s dark with slight nickel undertones, but also kind of brassy/bronze. These knobs are an excellent finish for our space with the stainless steel appliances and sink, and the black stove. Plus, the brassy undertones compliment the original door hinges. We decided to keep the hinges because we really like the patina on them, we kept the same hinges in the girls’ bathroom and our master bath when we painted those cabinets as well. Kitchen Makeover

While he was painting, Jesse decided that he really wanted to ditch the cabinets that hung over the stove peninsula. We had waffled back and forth on whether or not to keep them, but we ultimately decided to take them out. It was the BEST decision of the whole kitchen makeover! We love having the kitchen even more opened to our dining space, plus the kitchen gets a ton more natural light from the windows in that space too. I can easily keep an eye on the kids while loading or unloading the dishwasher or have conversations with someone sitting at the table while I cook. Taking out those cabinets meant that we needed to replace the range hood because the old one was mounted to the cabinets. Finding an affordable island range hood that we actually liked was tricky, but we eventually found one. In a perfect world, we probably would have bought a new matching stove, but that’s not in the budget, so the black one stays. Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover

This is the part where we stopped working on the kitchen and left it with torn up walls and the old backsplash for over a year….


We selected and ordered the tile for the new backsplash while we were painting the cabinets, so when I was ready to tile, it was all there. We ordered this gray 3×6 subway tile from Floor and Decor for the new backsplash. I actually removed the old tile and installed the new subway tile myself. I’d never tiled before, but this was a pretty straightforward process and I am SO happy with the result! It took me several weeks because I was only working at night after the girls went to bed, but in retrospect, I could have and should have done it a long time ago. I’m not going to share how I did it, because honestly, I’d suck at that. Just watch a bunch of tutorials, get the right tools and go for it! It’s not that difficult. I promise! Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover

Once the tile backsplash was finished it was time to paint the wall and ceiling. They were in rough shape from where we removed the block of cabinets over the stove. We patched that wall and ceiling after taking out the cabinets, but never painted them. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to color match the ceiling and that I’d have to paint the entire downstairs, but the color match was actually very very close. I can only tell that it’s not a perfect match in certain lighting if I’m looking right at the spot. The wall is the same pale gray as our living room, which was Olympic’s Faint Flicker. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to buy paint for a project and it turns out Lowe’s doesn’t have Olympic paint anymore, but I was able to have it color matched to Valspar. I plan on painting the rest of the dining room that color as well, but I have some other plans for that room that need to happen first. Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover

The final piece to this kitchen makeover was installing the open shelves. I was given a pair of shelves from Ornamental Moulding and Millwork in a light, rustic finish. They are made of Ambrosia Maple, so they are thick and solid, which made me feel safe about loading them with dishes. The shelves are 3 feet long and fit perfectly in the space. I love how the darker grains in the wood coordinate with the trim work around the windows and doors. Installing the shelves was pretty straight forward. There was a wooden mounting bar that I secured to the studs in the wall. Once the mounting bar was installed I attached the shelves to it. The shelves themselves are hollow boxes and the top of the box is what attaches to the mounting bar. I did have to drill pilot holes into the tops of the shelves because the wood is so hard it was difficult to hammer the nails into place. Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover

I’m so happy with the shelves. They are the perfect final touch for this project! I use them to infuse a little bit of color into the space. They are currently styled with my colorful glassware and dishes, some fun accents and a plant. I plan on switching out the some of the dishes and accents seasonally. I love styling our fireplace mantel, so I imagine this will be just as fun! Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover

There you have it! A full rundown of the world’s longest kitchen makeover! I’m so happy with how everything turned out. It’s such a great feeling to have a space that I spend so much time in be something I love to look at. Kitchen Makeover

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