Taking My Own Advice: Interior Designer Deals With Her Outdated Kitchen
Do you ever find yourself giving great advice (you KNOW what someone else should do) but not taking it yourself?
I’ve given advice to countless clients to paint outdated cabinets or unattractive brick to freshen up a space. And I have done it in past homes of my own. But for over 4 years now, I’ve been living with a kitchen that is very outdated and not so very functional because I don’t have the funds right now to do the BIG KITCHEN REMODEL. I put that in all caps because it really will be an enormous task that will require taking out a wall, moving plumbing lines and lots and lots of money.
I have done a few things. The photos above show the kitchen as it was when we bought our home and then after my first mini-makeover. It had navy blue wallpaper and a refrigerator that stuck out into the kitchen.
The first thing I did was to chop off the end of my kitchen counter & cabinets so I could fit in a wider, counter depth refrigerator. I did that with a circular saw my first week here and the raw end of the cabinet has been the same ever since because I didn’t want to put in new countertops or cabinetry until I can remodel. Not a pretty sight as you can see in the picture below. But I do have a piece of the old cabinet that I can use as a door and reconstruct the end to be functional. I also took out the wallpaper and painted colors that I like. I know – they are pretty wild. I would not force these colors on a client, so don’t be frightened!
I also tore out some upper cabinets that were between the kitchen & family room. No photos of that yet. You had to stoop to look under them and they closed off the space. But there is still the raw end of the remaining cabinets showing and a couple holes in the ceiling. But the last couple years have been … well, you know how they’ve been … so I am not buying new cabinets. Not even Ikea cabinets! Not even just the uppers! And the last improvement I made was to remove the dropped ceiling fluorescent light fixture and replace it with halogen recessed spot lights. Much better! But I’ve made no further improvements for over a year and a half now.
Then a few things happened that got me thinking I should take my own advice. Last week I sent out my newsletter and wrote about 5 Quick & Affordable Pick-Me-Ups For a Tired Kitchen. And then I read a great post - Sometimes “Good Enough” Is Good Enough by Anna at Door Sixteen. An excellent post on not requiring perfection out of yourself so that you have time to enjoy life. And on top of that, my neighbor and friend is buying a home built in the 70′s – like mine – and has asked me to help her remodel her kitchen. I have kitchens on the brain right now.
So, I’m finally taking my own advice and making some relatively small and affordable improvements in my kitchen so I can enjoy it for now and stop feeling embarrassed about it.
First: I’m painting the cabinets. Trust me – the wood looks a lot better in the photos than it does in person. I’m using deep warm gray on the base cabinets (Benjamin Moore Dragon’s Breath) and white white white on the wall cabinets.
Next: I am replacing the cabinet hardware. I only needed handles for the base cabinets so this is very inexpensive. I went with Ikea handles. They are good enough for now.
Last: I will move one upper cabinet to the other side of the kitchen to replace the one with the raw end. Then I will put up open shelves to replace the cabinet I’m moving. This will give me upper cabinets on only one side of the kitchen. I think it’s going to feel more open and a bonus will be that I can unload my dishwasher quickly onto open shelves — well the dishes anyway.
That will be it for this mini-makeover. New countertops, backsplash & flooring will have to wait.
So, for now I am painting and re-drilling holes for the handles. I’ll post photos as I go along, so stay tuned.
What “good enough” improvements are you making in your own homes?