Monday, July 2, 2012

How to Update Your Kitchen...without breaking the bank!

I have a lot of friends who have put off updating their kitchen because the thought of ripping apart their central home hub is too much of a hassle. Not to mention the price tag of redoing a kitchen. But you don't have to go all the way to bring your kitchen into the year 2012. You can paint your cabinets, switch out hardware, change your backsplash, update counters or reface your doors. Or, take that horrible florescent ceiling light and put a pretty chandelier or gorgeous flush drum shade in. My kitchen was recently installed when I bought my bungalow, but it just wasn't my taste. I would have felt horrible ripping everything out and didn't believe the investment was warranted when I considered my options.

I'm pretty prolific about my love for white kitchens with marble counters. They are timeless in my opinion-clean, bright and simple. So, I opted to paint the oak cabinets white, replace my countertops, swap out my backsplash and add a new overhead light.

First, let's start with another style maven, Kimberly at Restoration House, who had my same vision so you get an idea of what we are talking about. This is an after photo.

updating a kitchen with paint white subway tile backsplash
Her kitchen cabinets before!

cottage style kitchen white
Cabinets after painting.

kitchen before after replacing formica countertops
Ugh. I felt like this was a kitchen in an Extended Stay hotel suite. Yep, that's my kitchen.

budget kitchen remodel before after white kitchen
Oy vey, that formica (brown/green/beige) and a long wall! Lots of oak going on here. I needed to break it up especially with those great floors.

corian raincloud rain cloud in kitchen picture white painted kitchen cabinets
After! I put up an open shelf to visually break the large wall expanse. Paint on cabinets is "Snowbound" by Sherwin Williams. Counters are "Raincloud" by Corian. I love marble, but it would have been stressed with the settled slope of my old home, and if I ever rented my place they would get destroyed. I now like this better than marble! The color is incredibly rich. Granite seems to be on the out, and the 'in' quartz is so expensive. Martha Stewart also now has a line with Corian that is gorgeous...mimics light stone perfectly. "Sea Salt" is another favorite.

snowbound sherwin williams quartz or corian marble look alike counters
Everything is just brighter and prettier! White subway tile is so clean and fresh looking. Just remember, wood cabinets need a lot of priming, sanding and oil-based paint. I opted to outsource this job and don't regret it at all! You have to pick the battles that you tackle yourself when you have so many home updates. I also love cabinets that go to the ceiling, so I may paint the space between the two in the same white as the cabinets to make them appear taller. Still need to style this up!


  1. Hi
    What is the lovely color on the walls?

  2. It was a custom tint, but it is very similar to a buttery pale yellow.

  3. Wow - what a difference! I am having my oak cabinets painted this week (FINALLY!!!!) and am trying to decide between SW's Snowbound and Extra White. I painted huge pieces of poster board with each and can hardly tell a difference. Are you happy with snowbound?

  4. Hi Katie,
    I love Snowbound. It is very white without a glare. I think anything whiter would have been too harsh. Good luck!

  5. When you say you outsourced the job, did you hire a contractor, or did you hire individual people to do each of the jobs (someone to tile, someone to paint, etc)? We are doing a partial redo of our kitchen - paint, new counter tops, etc - and I am not sure where to start with the trades. Any ideas would be awesome! thanks.

    1. I hired a contractor to demo counters and find the painter. Contractor had a guy who could tile, do basic plumbing, etc. He recommended the surfacing company, who I worked with directly for my countertops. I did my light fixture myself. Hope this helps!