We’ve lived in this house for over 13 years. From day one, I just accepted the house the way it was. We didn’t do any painting and even hung pictures on nails the previous owners left.
I’ve lived in various places over the years. We rented a 700 square foot home for 15 years. And that’s WITH a family of 8! My husband and I lived in a tent in various State Parks with our six kids for 7 long weeks when we were homeless. We lived in a single tiny motel room with six kids for 7 weeks… Seven!… and during that time a hurricane wiped out half our belongings that were in storage. So when we bought this house, our first home, I was completely in heaven. Every single inch of this glorious house was perfect just the way it was and didn’t need any change at all.
That was until my collapsing spine kept me home-bound more and more and I became acutely aware of how dark our house was inside. I craved light. I craved light even more than I wanted to escape the unceasing pain. So I decided to paint the kitchen, hoping to brighten the space just for crafts and photography. I gathered paint chips and left them taped to the wall for a whole year because I was paralyzed at the thought of making a mistake in color. We couldn’t afford to make a mistake so I had to pick the perfect paint the first time.
The first gallon we bought from the local home improvement store turned out to be very poor quality. It was the best the store had, at over $50 a gallon, but it didn’t cover well and pooled easily and made drips, even with great care. So after all that deliberation over color, I threw out all the paint chips and off we went to a real paint store. I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Bavarian Cream for the dining room and kitchen walls, with a semi-gloss Simply White, which is almost paper white, for the cabinets and trim. The paint went on thick and perfect and was absolutely worth the expense. I won’t paint with anything else from now on, even if I have to delay painting in order to save up for it.
To be honest, I absolutely adore very dark woods and would have loved staining the out-dated cabinets dark or painting the walls turquoise. But this remodel wasn’t about choosing color, it was ALL about lightening my space. So I made the big sacrifice of giving up colors I loved just to make my work area brighter.
The kitchen BEFORE.
Kitchen BEFORE the remodel. Notice how dark the space is.
Notice the sunshine in the foreground. That’s from the two new windows we put in the windowless dining room. I’ll post about the windows soon. But look at this LIGHT! It was worth the incredible physical effort it took to get this remodel done.
The difference is like moving to a new house!
The kitchen AFTER.
Kitchen AFTER the remodel. Oh how gloriously bright!
We brushed the paint in the grooves of the raised panels and outer edges of the cabinet doors to make a glossy surface but used a roller on the raised sections to create a non-glaring surface. I love the final texture!
Raised panel cabinet doors, smoothly brushed in the grooves and rolled on the raised panels.
I couldn’t decide which knobs to use. There are so many awesome ones to choose from and it was almost stressful having to decide on just one pattern. Also, I couldn’t find any handles to match the existing old holes in the doors. So I decided to use every knob I liked! I even used knobs on the lower cabinet doors in place of handles. I absolutely adore this look! It adds color and interest to an otherwise boring white kitchen.
Kitchen cabinets before, with shiny brass knobs.
Kitchen cabinets After, with all different knobs.
Mismatched knobs used in place of cabinet handles.
I used two knobs of similar color in place of each handle.
There are two of the original brass handles on the doors. I sanded the shiny surface to make the handles looked like brushed steel, which better matched the new knobs.
See that sunshine? That sunshine is all new from the new dining room windows. There was never any sunshine at any time of day in this area of the kitchen. The sunshine is THE best part of the entire remodel!
I LOVE my bright new kitchen, with it’s beautiful fresh white surfaces, sunshine and funky, colorful knobs!
I’ll post photos of the dining room as soon as I find suitable “before” photos. I usually avoided photographing the dining room because it was so cluttered and dark so those photos are scarce.