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Month: January 2018

KITCHEN: Cabinet Makeover Reveal

It’s been quite the process, but I am so excited to finally share the reveal of the DIY kitchen cabinet makeover.  The steps to transforming the kitchen cabinets started when we first purchased our brick ranch fixer upper in the late Fall.

Steps included removing, prepping + sanding the cabinet doors and face frames, followed by priming + painting the doors a moody navy hue.

Here’s a peek at what the space once looked like…

This was the plan of action…

And the vision board

This is the result of the kitchen cabinet makeover…

Alot went into this do it yourself kitchen makeover, but there is still more to tackle in the space – more on that later. For the moment, let’s take a look at what has been accomplished.

Despite the dark color on the cabinets, the space feels light + bright with the other lighter hues in the room.  The window draws in beautiful natural light, along with the two skylights in the ceiling.  The space is also offset by many lighter tones including a light brown laminate countertop, white subway tile, a light colored floor, and white paneling around the room – all of which is existing.

Aside from loving this deep moody hue, one of the reasons I thought the navy color would work well was to conceal the black appliances.  They aren’t overly attractive (ie: they’re old and will eventually need replacing) so I thought a dark cabinet color would make the appliances blend in versus adding contrast as light or white cabinets would.

The kitchen space is significantly large and the cabinets run the full wall length.  From one end to the other is about 20′.  I’ve organized and reorganized the cabinet interiors a few times already to create as much function as possible while cooking. It’s amazing how many times I run back and forth to each end while making dinner – refrigerator, stove, refrigerator stove.  This set up with one row of cabinets isn’t really the most ideal kitchen triangle, but it’ll work for now.


When we first started the makeover, one of the cabinet parts that had to go was the valance which was connecting the upper cabinets over the windows and concealing the fluorescent light behind.  The scalloped valance was purely decorative and when removed, the space really opened up the window area. The fluorescent light was removed and in it’s place, I hung a new simple modern pendant.

The wallpaper border that was added to the bulkhead above the upper cabinets was also removed and the wall then had to get repaired and painted.

At the windows, I installed cordless roman shades in a driftwood color.  The bamboo style shades add such beautiful texture and warmth.  Being cordless it makes it so easy to lift and lower for privacy.

The cabinets and drawers adorn new stain nickel knobs and new stain nickel pulls, while the hinges were removed, cleaned up, spray painted, and reinstalled.  It’s amazing what a freshened look new hardware can bring cabinetry.

The paint color of the cabinets is: Valspar Mystified 4011-8

The cabinet above the range hood and the refrigerator are now open.  Instead of reinstalling the doors, I chose to paint the interior of the two cabinets to display cookbooks, bowls, and kitchen items. I adored the open shelving in my last kitchen, so I took the opportunity to do something similar with this space.  The bindings on the cookbooks and the colorful bowl exteriors give the space depth and a pop of interest.

The light cocoa colored counter is filled with many favorites including cutting boards that I use daily, a large yellow holder for utensils, olive oils that I use often for cooking, and of course tulips because this time of year we need a little sunshine in our lives!

This kitchen is a large space and it also duals as our dining area.  The chandelier, dining table, chairs, and bench are all items we brought with us from our previous home. I was excited that they integrated so well in this new setting.

One new addition to the dining setting is the jute rug.  The white floor isn’t ideal – it looks somewhat fake and dated in person – and there is a lot of it, so to break up the monotony, I brought in this rug which fits perfectly under the table. It’s soft on the feet and like the roman shades, it brings texture and warmth to the space.

So let’s chat about the refrigerator.  It’s placement is very quirky.  I’d love to know the backstory behind it’s positioning because for some reason, someone chose to create an alcove in the wall because the refrigerator was too wide to fit.  I’m not sure why the cabinets couldn’t have been been shortened (there’s only 20’+ of cabinets), but this was their solution.  Anyway, this is a funky part of the existing kitchen…

When we moved to this kitchen, we had to invest in a microwave.  I loved my under-the-counter microwave in our last home.  It was out of the way and rarely used, except to reheat coffee, but I had it.  About a month into living here, I was tired of daily cold coffee, so a new micro was a must.  I decided to tuck it away and position it next to the refrigerator so it wasn’t so striking and bulky on the countertop.   It’s actually ideal because it creates a small nook to store large platters and trays.

My beloved coral colored china cabinet wasn’t left behind and is also beautifully displayed in the kitchen space.  Another reason I chose the deep navy color for the cabinets is that navy and coral are a beautiful complimentary color palette. I knew they’d work well and be happy together in the same setting.

As a recap, a few before and after looks at the kitchen…

There is quite a bit more work that needs to go into fully finishing the kitchen.  Up next is removing the wallpaper, painting the walls, replacing the base mouldings, and creating a command center like in our last home.

Overall, I am thrilled with the result of the painted cabinets.  As in our last home when we DIYed the kitchen, it lasted about 5 years before we actually tackled a full-on kitchen renovation.  I don’t foresee this being the forever kitchen in this home, but for now it’s a beautiful upgrade.  Before taking on a big renovation, I am taking this time to understand how the kitchen would work and function best – it being so large and serving multiple purposes, it’s a tricky space.

Thanks for following along on this kitchen cabinet makeover!  If you’re inspired and want to try making upgrades to your kitchen, shop the look…






DIY: Rolling Barn Door

I am putting the final touches on the kitchen cabinets, but in the meantime I’ve been working on a slew of other projects for the brick ranch fixer upper.  It’s been a busy couple months with moving, the holidays, and client projects, but thankfully with the recent freezing temps, we’ve been homebound most weekends which has allowed me to tackle my growing list of big and small projects around the new homestead.

One of my recent endeavours, which I am crazy in love with, are adding rolling barn doors to the family room which got the most TLC during the renovation.  If you remember back, this is how the space looked when we moved in…

The door opening, seen in the picture below, used to have a hinged door to access the room. Our plan when renovating the space, was to add a rolling barn door at this opening and the other opening from the kitchen so the spaces flowed better…

This is how the door opening with the new rolling barn door looks now…

Quite the transformation!

The rolling barn door, which was a complete kit – door + hardware – that we found at Lowe’s, has been a wonderful addition to the space.  Functionally + aesthetically, the door has added height, privacy, and a pop of color.  The deep navy color, Valspar Mystified 4011-8, on the door is the same as the kitchen cabinets that I painted.  I wanted to use this darker hue throughout the house to tie the spaces together + to give contrast to the lighter wall tone.

And check out the amazing wallpaper in the distance.  That’s the foyer…  More on that coming soon.


This is the rolling door kit we chose to use.  The design of the door was simple and not overly rustic + it was unfinished so any paint (or stain) color could be used.

The mister and I were a bit nervous to tackle installing the barn door hardware, but the directions were easy to navigate and the process for installation wasn’t as challenging as anticipated. Phew…

Since we had planned for the barn doors during the construction process, we had blocking added in the stud wall above the doors – yes there are two openings into the family room.  By adding blocking (extra framing) in the wall we knew there was no need to use anchors; the screws could go straight into the sheetrock with the blocking behind.

If you decide to tackle a similar project, you may need to use anchors which would add a few additional steps.

To start off, we painted the side of the door that would be facing the wall.  This was important because otherwise we wouldn’t have access to the whole side to paint once installed.

Using a combination of a brush for the corners and a roller for the flat surfaces, I painted the one side.

Once the paint was dry, we laid out all the hardware on a flat surface.

We then followed the directions to add the long track to the unfinished piece of wood which would be used to hang the door.

Then we added the 2 rolling brackets to the door.  The door had predrilled holes, which made the process effortless + easy.

There were a few additional steps to hang the door onto the track, but it was fairly straight forward.  The directions gave us multiple installation options, which took some time to review + anaylze.  The first door took about an hour from start to finish, but the second door was a breeze since we knew the steps to take.

Once the door was hung, I finished painting the exposed side.

Once the paint dried, I added the handle, and it was complete.

I was really impressed with the ease of installation + the beautiful look that the doors bring to the space.  Having the door included with the hardware also made the process so much easier.

Door open…

Door closed…

As I mentioned, there are two doors in this space.  Here’s the other…

I can’t wait to share the completed room and another fun color I brought into this space!

Shop the space…


KITCHEN: Prime + Paint

Happy 2018! It’s been a few weeks since I shared about the progress of the DIY Kitchen Remodel in the Brick Ranch Fixer Upper.  Last I left off, I finished prepping the existing wood stained cabinets and I shared the design vision for the space.  Now that the cabinets are prepped, it’s time to get them painted so we can call this kitchen FINISHED!

Before sharing the progress of the cabinets, lets walk down memory lane with a preview of how the kitchen looked before and where it started…


After the cabinets were removed from the face frame and sanded, they were ready for primer.  With most furniture projects that I’ve painted, I always start with using a high-quality stainblocking primer and sealer to give a solid base to the paint color. For this project, I used KILZ 2 Latex (so it’s waterbased for easy cleanup) Multi-Surface Stainblocker.

On a clean, flat, protected surface, I started off by using a paint brush to apply the paint in all the grooves and crevices.  After smoothing it out, I followed with using a brush on all the flat areas.  See the 2 pictures below for more visual detail…



Cabinet primer complete.  22 more doors to go…

As I was priming the doors (on late nights + early mornings), I also painted the face frames of the kitchen.

Eek, this is a disastrous picture.  Much of our furniture was stored in the kitchen during the renovation, so it was a challenging area to work! You gotta do, what you gotta do, right?!?

Using similar steps as with the doors, I used a small foam roller brush to apply the primer to the face frames of the cabinets.  At the edges and in difficult spots, I used an angled brush.

A few hours later, here was the result.

Thankfully, with the primer coat, it does not have to be applied thick and only one coat is needed.  As long as the surface it covered, it’s good to move forward with PAINT!

Continuing with the face frames, I applied the semi-gloss paint in the same way… Roller brush for flat surfaces and an angled brush at edges and corners. To get a brushless look, it’s important to have a continuous stroke instead of starting and stopping partially on the surface.  Start at one end and continue the brush or roller to the other end.

I decided that two of the cabinets – the space above the hood and above the refrigerator – would be open cabinets that I wouldn’t install the doors back on to.  I chose to make these cabinets open display with cookbooks and baskets to bring some color and depth to the space.

This is the open cabinet that I painted inside.  For the cabinets with doors, I did not paint the interiors, I left them the clear maple.

Once the face frames were complete, this was the result…

It’s starting to look like something – I think. I hope.

Check out this quick 13 seconds video I created of me painting one of the cabinet door fronts.  This will give you a thorough look into how and when I use the brush and the roller on the face of the door.

And this is the completed cabinet.  Again, 22 more to go…

Aside from the cabinet doors and face frames, the soffit above the cabinets also needed major attention.  I removed the wallpaper border above the cabinets and found that the soffit was made using wood instead of sheetrock, which is typical.  Repair to the damaged areas wouldn’t be as easy as just adding spackle. Ugh.

After sanding and trying to create a smooth surface (as much as possible), I first primed the soffit bulkhead.

Then I painted the soffit using a semi-gloss white. In hindsight, I should have used a flat sheen since the semi-gloss finish shows every imperfection, but it’s fine and I’ve learned to live with it.

I also chose to reuse the exposed door hinges instead of buying new.  Using spray paint in a brushed chrome finish, I layed out the hinges on a protective surface (outside before the snow) and gave them a few coats.  Voila, new hinges and only a few dollars spent!

Once the face frames and doors were complete, they were ready to go back into place.  In many of the images above, the paint color looked so dark, but in natural light the deep blue hue can really be appreciated.

The paint color of the cabinets is: Valspar Mystified 4011-8

After many hours of love + attention, the cabinets were finished and ready to be hung with new hardware and repurposed hinges.

This is the result…

That’s a wrap for now…  I have a few more details for the DIY Kitchen Remodel coming up.  Stay tuned for the reveal of the overall space!