Friday, June 7, 2013

Our kitchen, then and now

Hey all! I’ve mentioned a few times lately that this time of year makes me nostalgic about our house. We moved in (after having it built) almost exactly nine years ago and my blogging anniversary was in May, so it’s been fun to see our house transform in real life and on the blog throughout the years. :)

One of my favorite transformations in our house is in our kitchen. Years ago I did a few projects that really made a big difference in there, and none of them were hard or expensive. Of course more has changed since then -- it looks SO different to me now!

I thought it would be fun to go back in time and then take a look at how it looks now too. I LOVE before and afters, oh yes!!

I hand picked everything in this room (well, every room) when we built – I stressed about every aspect of the room, and years later I still like the basics. The problem was it was just SO dark and heavy feeling:

black backsplash, wood cabinets

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it was bad – my tastes just changed. I needed to brighten things up in there! The biggest culprit when it came to the dark feeling was the black tiled backsplash.

I tried taking it off, but that was a MESS. So I went to plan B and just covered it all with beadboard. ;)

I think it was maybe $60 or something like that? I just glued it on top and it made SUCH a huge difference in there!:

beadboard backsplash

The walls are the same color, obviously the cabinets are too – but that white backsplash really makes a big impact!

Here’s another shot of the old backsplash on the other side of the room:

black backsplash, wood cabinets

By the way, yes the afters are taken with a better camera and the operator (me)knows a little more about photography now, but still – check it out!:

bright kitchen, wood cabinets

Years ago when I did the backsplash we also changed out the faucet and sink. Little things when you think about a whole kitchen for sure, but they made a big impact.

I love my sink area. It’s nothing fancy, but I have a window and lots of natural light and it makes me happy:

granite looking countertops

You can read about installing the sink (it was a REALLY FUN TIME) and the name of the sink and faucet in this post.

Here’s another before shot from about three years ago – and seriously, it feels like it’s been ten since the room looked like this. For real, crazy:

black backsplash, wood cabinets

Excuse my notes, I was explaining my changes. ;)

Now that same view looks like this:

DIY farmhouse table

Have I mentioned I luuuurve my new table? Maybe.

Another little project that made a big impact was the kitchen island. OK, well it wasn’t little – I think it got four redos? Five? Here it is in its builder basic glory:

builder basic island

Awww yeah. Everything matched.

By the way, so many of you ask me about my granite countertops. They’re actually laminate. ;) I may write a whole blog post just about them because I love them that much.

Yes. You heard me.

I love laminate.

Ours is a granite look – you can find similar counters at the Wilsonart site here. Now they make them in a high definition version too and those look even more like granite than ours do. We got an edge on ours that makes them look more like a solid surface too.

But back to the island – as I said, it got a few redos, but after the last one, this is how it ended up and has stayed:

beadboard kitchen island

Butcher block on top, beadboard and board and batten on the sides and a lighter color made a huge difference! I love our island and I’ve promised to leave it alone for a while. :)

A few months ago I decided to change up a weird little wall we have in the kitchen and I think it adds a bit of fun and whimsy to the room: chalkboard in kitchen

I always say most rooms should have something in black – I think it just grounds a space. A chalkboard wall is the perfect way to accomplish that!

My most recent change in here is in the nook area – here’s how it looked a few years ago:

bay window kitchen

Again, I’m not going to dog my “old” look and act like I didn’t love it – I did. But it changed with time like the rest of the room (and we took the big blow up pool off the deck too, gah).

Just noticed the high chair too. Sniff. ;)

Here it is now with the new light fixture and the DIY farmhouse table:

bay window kitchen

Oh yeah, and the chairs I had been drooling over for months (just a less expensive version):

x-back dining chairs 

So there it is in a nutshell – years of changes in one compact little blog post. ;)

I have been planning BIG changes in here for about two years now, but have wanted to get other projects done first. (Ahem, cough, bathrooms.) I could easily see this kitchen becoming my dream kitchen -- I just need to get a final word on some of the ideas I have (if they are possible), and then I’ll be diving in. I’m still not sure if it will be this year though.

Have you been along for the changes in here all these years? Have your tastes changed a lot over the past five years or so? Blogging kind of encourages mine to happen more than the average person I’m sure, but I do love watching the transformation!

If you have any questions on anything I didn’t mention, ask in the comments! Have a lovely weekend!

62 comments:

  1. Bigger changes?! Whaaaaa? I like how it is now. :-)

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  2. Funny how we both changed the chandalier. I couldn't wait to take off those little shades....now I see you PAINTED yours! I'm not in love with ours and was thinking of changing it out. Did you take it down to paint it? Please say "no"! Love your new bright and airy kitchen!

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    1. Gail it's actually a new light! I have changed that light SO many times but I think this one will stick. ;) You can see more in this post: http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-kitchen-nook-complete.html

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  3. I like the lighter and brighter version of your kitchen. So pretty!

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  4. I love to see the changes! We built our house also and I am now working on the 3rd version :) I now crave light and simplicity versus the darker heavier decor.

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  5. Love the kitchen island builders upgrade! We were thinking of doing the same to ours, but my husband said it will look crazy in the front. What did you do with the front of the island where the cabinets are? I am trying to convince him!
    Thanks! Everything look gorgeous :)

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    1. Thanks Catherine! I just painted those the same color -- we have a black trash compactor and even with that I think it's OK! http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/04/board-and-batten-kitchen-island.html

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  6. What a transformation! It's amazing how small things make such a difference!

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  7. The changes are all wonderful. I love them. I am thinking about a new color for my kitchen, just can't figure out what yet. Love your color. Hugs, Marty

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  8. Where did you get your chairs (the ones around your kitchen table)?

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    1. From World Market, love them! More here: http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-kitchen-nook-complete.html

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  9. Your kitchen looks fabulous! My parents have the laminate counters that look like granite too. They love them. :)

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  10. beautiful!!! quick ques., for your chalkboard wall did you use chalkboard paint out of a can or a spray can? What is your preference?

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    1. Thanks Lauren! I used paint out of a can -- more here!: http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/12/chalkboard-gallery-wall.html

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  11. What about your pantry change?? I remember THAT post! And to answer others questions, put links in your post. It'll save your response time. :) But I just noticed you did that some, but apparently not enough. :)

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    1. I always put links but to address everything I've done it would have been 20 links! :)

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  12. WOW.. what a difference a few changes can make! It's like two completely different kitchens. I like both styles, but I love the changes! With so much light, it makes it look more spacious and inviting. Looking forward to seeing it in a few more years! ;)

    http://mommiesmakeitwork.blogspot.com/
    ~Heather Rebekkah =)

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  13. I love all the changes you made. It does look so much more brighter and open with the changes. It's gorgeous!

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  14. Great transformations. Can't wait to hear what you are thinking. I would honestly love to take the wall down between our kitchen and dining room (we never use our formal dining room, and have one big kitchen/eating area. However, hubby says no (for now ;) When you start talking load bearing walls...the convo changes pretty quickly! LOL

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  15. I love that someone else likes to change the décor in the house as much as I do....even though I do it on a much smaller and less expensive scale. I have enjoyed following your blog over the past 5 years, even though I don't comment often anymore, but love your ideas. You do make such a difference in a room with just a few small changes. We are going to repaint our walls WHITE soon. We've had beige, grey, purple (yes, purple), and peach on walls while our kids were teens, and now the last one is going to leave our nest in July, so we are going to transform our home back to the way we bought it....WHITE. The colors on the walls make the rooms so dark. I can't wait to lighten them back up.

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  16. I really love the changes...you have a great eye for detail and the small things that can change and make a big impact. And I SO love your farmhouse table!!

    XO,
    Jane

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  17. Laminate! Wow. I didn't know laminate like that existed. That's really cool. I love all the little changes you've made to this space. That farmhouse table is beautiful!

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  18. Nice! It's so wonderfully lightened up. My friend recently moved into a home with a similar kitchen and needs ways to lighten it up - definitely passing this along!

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  19. I love your kitchen. Where are the cute fork and spoon hanging decorations from? They're hanging above a doorway.

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    1. Thank you Amy! The were from a thrift shop -- here's more about them: http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2011/05/spray-paint-party.html

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  20. I love how bright and open your kitchen feels!! Love the table too :-)

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  21. looks great! i love how airy and bright your kitchen is now. i never realized it wasn't until i saw the "before and afters."

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  22. Looks great! Just wondering where you found those chairs. I've been eyeing the ones at World Market!

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  23. It looks so great! Such a transformation. I love the lighter feel!

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  24. I don't know which way I like best. It was gorgeous every way!!

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  25. Great way to make simple updates with huge impact. Looks awesome!

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  26. Where are your barstools from. They are exactly what I am looking for!!

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    1. Garden Ridge! Here's a post on how I upholstered the seats (from years ago): http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2009/05/upholstering-unupholstered-chair-and.html

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  27. I have read your blog for many years and have seen a lot of these changes -- and I have loved coming along for the ride! Each idea has been great, has looked awesome, and has been fun to read about. I LOVE where your kitchen is at now. It's crisp, fresh, and really gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with us all of these years!

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  28. Really great update! I can't wait to do something, anything to my place!!!

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  29. We have the same countertops in our house. You've done a great job with everything!

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  30. This is such a wonderful change! The room is lighter, brighter, and feels clean, but inviting. I like how you lightened up the island and added the butcher board.

    The chalkboard is a great idea for the family too.

    Wow!

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  31. Love the changes. My kitchen is similar, and I've been looking to lighten it up. What color did you paint the walls?

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  32. I rember you had a chandelier with a drum shade...where is a good place to find a good selection?

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    1. That one was from Lowe's -- I would try there or Home Depot first! http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2011/09/september-before-and-after-new-light.html

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  33. I love your kitchen so much and it looks like a farmhouse kitchen now.
    Amazing what a little paint and beadboard can do!

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  34. Love seeing your changes! I have a dark backsplash as well and have been wanting to lighten it up! What a fabulous idea!!! Thanks!~Ang

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  35. So many beautiful before & afters in one space!! Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous Sarah! Love all of the changes!

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  36. What a difference paint and bead boards makes. It's funny how we go through different stages in our decorating. A couple of years ago, I was into the browns/beiges. Now, I've completely changed every room and add lots of color. Your updates are beautiful!! Love the new brighter look!!

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  37. Hooray for laminate!!!! I love it too. In fact, when we redid the tiny kitchen in our old house to reconfigure it for a standard-size range (b/c the 1650sqft house came with a 20 inch *apartment size* range!) , we lamented the loss of the thick butcher block counters that just couldn't be salvaged. I imagined he chill of granite counters (we're in WI) and i dreaded the thought of the "tink" sound of every ceramic dish I'd set down on the stone disturbing my sleeping twin infants above me. I KNEW I needed warmer, quieter butcher block or laminate. To avoid "over-investing" in our reno, the laminate made the most sense. And so I chose a hi-def laminate (by Pionite) post-formed with a d-edge and **LOVED** it for 2 years until we moved. Our new kitchen is much bigger, and has fairly fancy solid surface counters, with curves and whatnot, but I DREAM of replacing them (and the cream-colored, stain-loving integrated solid surface sink too). Why hello, Formica 180fx. ;)

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  38. I too love laminates for countertops, and I have not even seen the hi-def ones. I think sometimes people get so caught up in the latest decorating styles/materials, they forget to think! A question about your light fixture over the kitchen table...with clear bulbs is there a problem with glare and/or shadows at night? Thanks for taking the time to show us your before and afters.

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    1. You know I wanted the frosted bulbs but couldn't find them in a lower watt. These are fine, mostly because I have them on a dimmer and turn them down. They are only 40 watt so that helps too. :)

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  39. Is the paint RL Sisal?? Wanting to paint that color ~ thanks!

    Allison

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  40. I agree it was all pretty before, but I definitely like the lighter look to give a lift when you walk into each room.

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  41. I totally agree with you. I loved my wool table mats and the dark red in my home but life changes us and then it is reflected in our home. I have transitioned into lighter grays and whites and I am enjoying it so much.Love what you have done! Dianntha

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  42. love those lil spice containers on the stove, IKEA?? overall, love the lighter and airy feeling of the kitchen area. Great job!!! :)

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    1. I think I got those from Meijer actually! Thank you!

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  43. Love love love my laminate too. And at 20% of the cost of granite, I can replace it 5 times if I want. Mine is the hi def and very similar to yours. My only problem is it doesn't show dirt at all and when the kiddo cleans the kitchen, she misses A LOT. :) Not a bad problem to have I guess!

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  44. I've been reading your blog for a few years, but I'm not sure if I've ever commented. That said, I couldn't let your "I love laminate" statement go unnoticed! I too am a big fan of laminate countertops. We built our home about 4 years ago and my counters are almost identical to yours.. and I LOVE them! It drives me crazy when I watch HGTV and all of the homebuyers insist on granite counters! I think most of them must not realize the variations of laminate that exist and how low maintenance and beautiful they can be. Okay, I'll get down from my soapbox now.. just had to support your love of granite! :)

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    1. I agree! I have always dreamed of soapstone, but I think eventually if we change them out it would be to butcher block. The laminate has held up so well though, who knows when we'll change them! :)

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  45. Wow I just love all the changes ! I love how it looks now!! The island is amazing. I want to change mine but the hubs says it looks fine:( He LOVES oak everything is oak:(
    I see so many people put treasures on top of the cabinets but don't they get all nasty and sticky??

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  46. I love the new look but what happened to that awesome round kitchen table, I loved it!! It inspired me to be on the hunt for one. Could you tell me what size your old table was and did you also get that at Garden Ridge?
    By the way I am super inlove with your butcher block island and have "pinned" it for future inspiration. :)

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  47. Looks amazing. Love the granite countertops and kitchen cabinets. Looks great love the remodel.

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