Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brightening Up our Kitchen

Get ready for a long post.... Can you tell I like to write?

We have recently made some subtle updates to our kitchen which I am very excited about!


Our kitchen install started about 4.5 years ago. Crazy right? (You can see one of my firsts posts here) I didn't have much of a design plan other than the space planning, but we went pretty neutral and generic for resale value. Nathan and I weren't even engaged when the boys started tearing everything out and building the cabinets. I naively had this thought in my head that once we did get engaged and married, we would probably only be in this house for a year before we moved onto something bigger and better (cue God laughing) However, a wedding, 3 years of marriage, and a 1 year old later- we are still here and loving it! With no "For Sale" sign in our front yard who knows how long we will be here!

Recently, I have been wanting to freshen some things up, so I started analyzing our space and realized that the kitchen needed some updates to not only brighten the space but reflect more of my style. I'm really into the farmhouse style (Not surprising since we have an awesome farmhouse table that my husband built 3 years ago). I love the look because it's causual, yet classic. Honestly though, I think I love it most of all because I can embrace the craftsman style and warmth in my home. For so long I have seen nothing but all white everything (which I do LOVE- have you seen my bathroom?), but lately I have seen a lot of designers incorporate natural finishes. It's been eye-opening and refreshing to me since I am drawn to warmer tones- and my kitchen has a lot of it.  
Not to say that I wouldn't love to one day paint the upper cabinets white to make things a little brighter, but Nathan spent months building, sanding and staining those bad boys so the option to cover them up really isn't on the table. I've decided to keep them in their natural wood state and embrace the farmhouse style; it's proven to be a fun challenge. The changes are subtle and not perfect, but they really have made a difference and have made me appreciate what I have without throwing paint over it (Which I am so not above doing). The kitchens below have been my inspiration- they make wood cabinets look so so GOOD and I feel like all of these looks are very achievable.
Love the black hardware on those cabinets. Also did you notice the wood trim around the window looks so fresh since everything else is so light and bright?
Original Source here.
Joanna Gaines DUH... She never fails.
Original Source here. 
Wood and white- this is so beautiful. Love those cup pulls on the chestnut cabinets.
Original Source here.
The first simple update we made was painting the walls a nice fresh coat of white- the original color was more of a beige (So much beige)! The small punch of white really refreshed the space and helped balance out a lot of the wood finish.

I also moved the chalkboard to the outside encasement of the refrigerator, and added some white framed prints where the chalkboard used to be. After looking at these pictures, I think the prints need to be a bit bigger. Hmmm.
Love this view!


One of the best updates we made was lighting. After a LOT of convincing- we replaced our ceiling fan with this awesome Ballard Design pendant over our mobile island. Nathan loves ceiling fans so it was tough to convince him of this NECESSITY. We made a deal that as long as the living room would keep its fan, we could lose the fan in the kitchen. I had my eye on the Hadley pendant for a long time (we even thought about welding our own!) but then our friends were at the Ballard Design outlet and spotted this on clearance so they snatched it up for us. It is a bit smaller than I intended, but I still think it works and makes a world of difference!!!! I go back and forth about what light bulbs to put in, but I'm digging these right now.
I originally had some simple white shades on our pendants from Lowes. I liked them, but they were ALWAYS crooked  (which drove me crazy).  I also wanted something a little more industrial. We found these new fixtures from Lowes. Since these fixtures were compatible with the original pendants, it was not a big deal to switch them out. They are now one of my favorite features in the kitchen. They definitely reflect more of the farmhouse vibe I'm going for.  
Another update was adding cabinet HARDWARE. How in the world we waited this long, I have no idea. I seriously couldn't even get into some drawers without breaking a nail. It was SO ANNOYING. But in our lazy state, we just let it be. It was one of those things where we were living that way for so long, we didn't realize what we were missing. But guys- cabinet hardware is really helpful. It was created for a reason- to get into your cabinets. Wow. Who knew?  

The only good thing about waiting  so long for cabinet harware was that I took my time contemplating what kind of to get. I finally opted for a black finish. My husband (and mom) were very apprehensive when I told them what I was doing- but once they were on it really completed the farmhouse look I have been going for. The inspiration images above helped with my decision!

Last but not least was actually one of the first updates we made. We originally had an open cabinet that was intended for a wine rack. It was put on the back burner for a while- possibly out of laziness or the fact that we really don't drink a lot of wine. When we realized we didn't even have enough wine to fill our imaginary rack, I started thinking of other ideas.  And then Max was born and we quickly realized we needed a LOT more storage for all of his goods (bottles, pumping parts, baby food, etc) I decided to remove our white dinner dishes from their cabinet and turn it into the baby zone. We then converted the intended wine rack cabinet into some open shelving.

I was pleasantly surprised with this update. Not only are we utilizing all of our storage space, but the white dishes brighten up the otherwise dark, wooden corner. I wasn't sure how I would like the open shelving concept, but we use our dishes so much that nothing really gets dusty. It's also much easier to grab dishes (especially when holding a 20+ pound "baby"). Talk about first world problems- the thought of opening a cabinet door has become too much for me. Sigh. But seriously folks, it really is a nice feature!

There are still some items I would like to check off such as a light above the kitchen sink, a bright runner, and a window treatment. I would also like to get some new barstools, but that's not really in our budget right now. Hopefully I'll run into a good deal down the line or find some thrift items to makeover.

Hope you enjoyed these updates as much as I do. What are your thoughts on embracing wood in your kitchen or other parts of your home?



  1. Love your blog! I'm catching up on your older posts :-) can you use your magical convincing powers on my husband?? Been trying to ditch the ceiling fan in our kitchen since we moved in! Your kitchen looks beautiful.

  2. I love the variation with counter tops and table tops. That rustic wood look is gorgeous and it ties in so beautifully with the granite counter tops. I love the look of granite. I know it can be pricey but the investment is so worth it. It really becomes the focal point of the kitchen and increases the value of the kitchen as well.

    Debra Newman @ Unique Stone Concepts

  3. Brightening Up our Kitchen service for client at best price.So this are so beautiful There are almost endless benefits and no side effects. Thanks
    Kitchen cabinets Wellington