Sunday, August 29, 2010

80's Kitchen Update + a question for you...

Update September 3 2010:  This post was featured on Remodelaholic!  Go here to check it out.  Thanks Remodelholic!!

This is a "before" shot of my kitchen - can you hear it screaming for an update??? (please excuse all the junk sitting around - I really should have cleaned!!)

When I built this house in 1987 I was so very proud to have solid oak kitchen cabinets.  Boy, did I learn to hate them!  Not that there is anything really wrong with oak, it is a nice wood with lots of grain and it was very popular in the 80s. 

So, not being brave enough to take on painting oak myself, I hired a professional.

 And this is what it looks like today.  Big change, huh?  Let me show you around...

Cabinets were painted BM Navajo White then slightly distressed and glazed with min-wax provincial stain mixed with a glazing medium. We updated all the hardware to oil rubbed bronze and replaced the old green laminate counter tops with granite.

Anyways, this is my new microwave hood - we love the dimension it adds to the cabinets! I think the coloring in some of these pictures is off because the cabinets are more creamy white than yellow.

Do you see the feet underneath the cabinets?  We think they add some character.  Also you will notice the old scalloped thingy over the windows has been replaced with this straight one.

We had this cabinet built and used the granite remnant from where they cut out our sink.  (By the way those two pics hanging to the right of the cabinet - I painted those myself!) I love the little feet on this cabinet - see close up below. 

Aren't they so cute!!

That's our pantry to the left of the dining room door.  We wanted it to look more like furniture so we had a furniture type molding added to the bottom.

This is a close up of the pantry molding.

The side of our pantry and some of the cabinets were very plain so our cabinet maker/painter guy added these bead board end caps. He also added a bead board back splash for us.

I took this pic from the sink area so you can see our breakfast nook. By the way we painted the kitchen BM Decatur Buff - a color I will most definitely  use again.  I also updated the rug to one with more of my most favorite color red.

By the way, this is the original island - can you believe it?  We added a new spalted maple top, corbels, new drawer pulls and the cabinet painter guy painted it black with copper glazing. I could have kissed him!!!  Take another look at the before below.  I really didn't think the "before" island was so ugly until it was updated and I looked back at this pic! I love that the top is longer now so I can pull up a bar stool (if I ever get one!).

We also had this little drop down door added beneath the stove.  When we replaced the stove several years ago it left a space at the bottom. Now I can use it to store trays!  Yippee - more storage space!

So, once again here is the before and after shots. 

I love to wake up in the morning and stroll into the kitchen for a cup of joe!

We still have some work to do - I would love to add recessed lighting and replace that ugly fluorescent fixture with a hanging one. 

Now a question for you - would you add a window treatments???  I sometimes think with all the hard surfaces a little soft fabric might make it more homey.  My husband disagrees.  What do you think?  I really appreciate your feedback!

Update:  Some of you have asked for additional pics of the cabinet feet and the cabinet insides.  So, here you go and thanks for the questions and comments!  (By the way, please forgive my messy floor and disorganized spices!!)

This is a close up of the feet, which are glued in place.  We had to cut off about an inch from the back of the feet so they would fit underneath the cabinets and molding.  (What a dirty floor - it really wasn't expecting a close-up today!)

The feet stick out about a half inch or so in front of the cabinet molding - not the top part of the feet, just the big curvy part.  I really like this look!

This is the inside of my dish cabinet and below is the inside of my spice cabinet. 

We didn't have the insides of our cabinets painted - I just didn't see any reason to paint in there and if I had of I would have had to empty all the cabinets and I am way too lazy for that!  It really doesn't bother me at all - it is a gentle reminder of just how far the kitchen has come!

I am linking this before and after to:

and to



The Allens said...

I absolutely love your kitchen! It looks great! Jared & I love to remodel and did our whole house before we moved into our new house. I vote for window treatments...I'd keep it simple...nothing to frilly but I think the fabric would soften it a little and I think you would love it. Just my vote.

Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont said...

Hey Jennifer,
Thanks for the comment on my placemat pillows! I am loving your kitchen renovation. I think you're on the right track, softening things up with window treatments. If you're not concerned with privacy or light control on those windows, you could make some fixed roman shades with some nice trim on the edges..? Just a suggestion! I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do. :)
Thanks again for the visit,

Deenie said...

I am with hubby - lots going on and no need to cover up that great light from the windows

Chris said...

What an amazing transformation. I'm always thrilled with what paint can do. As for window treatments, maybe do something simple with a white linen that just adds a little softness without being too girly.

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh!!! I just love your kitchen!!! I could ask you a million questions! what did you buy to add the feet for one! I'm just in total love!

Katie said...

That is a beautiful kitchen and that island is to die for! I think a little fabric curtain would be precious in your kitchen. Even just a fabric roman shade would look great.

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

Your kitchen is amazing. I have a hutch I want to paint and would love to paint it like your island. Is there any way you can find out the paints and the how to from your painter? Oh I hope you can. Thanks in advance.

Kelley B said...

I painted all my solid oak cabinets too! I am loving them and still looking forward to new countertops. Ahhh, patience. You added so many lovely details to the kitchen and I am inspired. If you do add window treatments, I would opt for tailored and neutral so it doesn't detract from those details and the natural business of a kitchen. Great job!

Juls said...

I've been blog hopping from's 'Where do you Blog?' post. I noticed your kitchen makeover and WOW! I love your island! I mean the whole kitchen looks incredible! I'm really impressed that you can make it look so great without getting new cabinets. I think you should definitely look into getting some stools for your island. I have a new love for They actually have a big selection of bar stools that will look great!

Heidi said...

I'm with you--a little fabric around the windows would soften up all those straight, hard edges. It's beautiful! I love the feet under the bottom cabinets and the new microwave hood. I didn't even know you could get those for over microwaves!

I know it's tacky, but I'd love to know how much it cost for you to have someone do it for you. I'm trying to decide if the cost savings would be worth it to do myself, or would it be worth the $$ to hire it out and have it done and done right!

RACKS and Mooby said...

Wow - that looks so awesome! As I said on remodelaholic's site, I am totally jealous. I would love to paint our oak cabinets white but hubby has put his foot down -- he thinks they'd be way too difficult to keep clean with 2 kids in the house. :( Personally, I wouldn't do any curtains, but I'm not really a fancy window treatment kind of gal anyway.

Lindy said...

I love your kitchen! I bought my grandparents house and they had custom oak cabinets installed in 1989 that I am dying to have painted! Would you mind giving me a ballpark figure on how much it cost to have them painted? I would be really grateful!


My email is

Judy said...

I love your kitchen.. good job! I got the 'oak to white' bug this summer too.. just finishing up now and I'm so happy. I think I would go with some fabric on the curtains.. might add a pop of colour to the room.

I couldn't quite tell what you used for a backsplash? Did you use beadboard?

Also.. I am getting granite. The guy was out yesterday to measure. I'm really excited. Do you have any seams in your counter or is it one solid piece? Just wondering.. I'm a little anxious about that.

Good job.. and I'm definitely adding you to my 'google reader'.

Jennifer said...

Judy, thanks for the nice comments! My granite does have seams - there is one about 8 inches to the right of the sink and one behind the stove. My back splash is beadboard. At the time I added the beadboard I was thinking it would be temporary until I could afford something else - once it went up I knew I would never change it!

Thanks for stopping by,

bifty489 said...

Your kitchen looks fantastic, great job!! As for fabric at the windows, my advice would be to do some nice soft panels on the window by the kitchen table and a fixed roman shade above the sink. Love what you did to the island!!

Candice said...

Wow! Looking at your new kitchen really makes me want to redo mine now! Mine is currently the exact same color of oak as your old one was. Thanks for blogging about this and being my inspiration!

Cristin said...

I absolutely love what you did to your kitchen! I'm a reader from "remodelaholic" and your kitchen really inspired me. I've been updating and remodeling my house one room and a time (and sometimes re-remodeling), and my husband and I are finally at the point where something NEEDS to be done with our kitchen. We also have oak cabinets, and just can't afford new ones. I'd really like to know the steps and prep that went into your cabinets.

I see another DIY project in my future.

Thank you so much!

Green Willow Pond said...

I love your kitchen, especially that island and those cute bun feet! Anytime I see beadboard I practically swoon. I can't wait to repaint/remodel my own kitchen. It will have white cabinets with beadboard and granite I hope!

I found you at remodelholic, where she's featured a couple of my projects fun! I am now following you.

Melissa at said...

Great kitchen! I love it! I too am torn about window treatments in my own kitchen so not sure what to tell you! One question - Have you ever thought about painting your chairs black like your island? Seems like it would pull the whole thing together even more (but I still love it!). I ask because I am thinking about doing that with my own kitchen chairs. Great work!

cindi said...

Great job on your kitchen! I love the transformation! I would really like to know the steps/prep work to refinishing the cabinets if you know how it was done.

Also, do you have an additional exhaust fan over your range or is it part of the microwave?

Thanks for your help!

Sue said...

I too am interested in your range hood. Is it vented to the exterior? Can you share where you got it? I love your kitchen and am reconsidering something similar. I like that you hired someone as I am not confident in my ability to undertake such a project. How did you find a painter who could do this work? Thanks for sharing!!!

The Marble Mix said... guys did such a great job..I am in Love!! I absolutely love everything about your kitchen..the colors of the cabinets, the glaze, the granite, all the details, the hood over the microwave, the beadboard, the hardware...EVERYTHING. I love the touch of country/southern favorite style! I was wondering if I could get the color of glaze you used? Did you get most things from Home Depot or Lowes? What brand of paint/glaze did you use? What process/order did you do your kitchen in? My husband and I just purchased a short sale and while the cabinets are not terrible, I either want them darker or white and from what I have found out it is easier to go white. I really want to do wood floors in our home and can't stomach doing wood floors the color of the current cabinets and therefore would love as much information about your transformation that you have...I just love it! Did you purchase the feet on your cabinets at Home Depot/Lowes or are they custom? Did you do your bathroom cabinets as well? Well sorry to bombard you with soo many questions, but I love the work you have done and would love to duplicate many of the features. If I can get any info I would greatly appreciate it and will email you pics of our finished product. You can email me at Thanks and great work!!

hollyemail said...

Love it!!! where did you get the "feet"? Special order, Lowes, or Home Depot? I want to do this in my bathroom. Thanks

Ellie said...

I know I'm late to the party, but after browsing kitchens at Remodelaholic, I just had to stop by your blog and tell you what a beautiful kitchen you have! I love the colors, the furniture details an that island transformations! Great job!

tbeck3579 said...

Gorgeous! Thanks so much for posting/sharing your wonderful kitchen ideas.