In this post: Looking for affordable kitchen remodel ideas? This dramatic kitchen renovation shows how we created a new kitchen without removing the cabinets.⇒
Today I’m excited to share with you our kitchen renovation. I think you will agree this is a pretty mind-blowing transformation and we did it without removing a single kitchen cabinet. Obviously, this saved us an enormous amount of money and yet it didn’t diminish the impact of this dramatic kitchen renovation.
I’m including a few ‘before and after’ photos because I think the difference is so compelling. The photo below shows you the original kitchen as it looked before the renovation. We had already replaced the lighting over the island when we moved in a year ago, as well as painted the walls greige in anticipation of the project I envisioned.
Below is the same view in the completed kitchen and you can see nothing was moved from it’s place and yet the striking change and overall feel is like the difference between night and day. From dark and depressing with no real design sense, the kitchen is now light and airy, with a French influenced sensibility and antique touches to play off the classic details.
I’ve detailed the construction in a series of individualized posts (which you can access at the bottom of this post), and this post focuses on styling and ensuring the space reflected my taste and lifestyle. I try to keep my counters relatively clear and spent a good bit of time shopping for just the right accessories to accommodate the things I deemed necessary to keep readily available.
The previous kitchen was dominated by dark cherry cabinets, a muddy toned ceramic floor and black granite counters. The choppy backsplash was part granite and part steel grey tile and the net effect was dour and characterless. It felt oppressive to me every time I walked into the room.
Without a doubt the most significant change was brought about by painting the cabinets, but of equal importance to defining the new look was adding glass fronts to the doors. This opened up the whole space while providing both storage and display options. I chose to go all white when styling the inside of the cabinets for a tranquil and organized look.
The beauty of a white kitchen is that it can be accessorized with pretty much any color. The pink and green floral adds a delightful pop of color, as the chinoiserie vase lends a classical note that works perfectly with the design of the kitchen.
A last “before” photo, below, shows one of the darkest angles in the room. I worried that this view would never be filled with light, but alas, the transformation is remarkable.
Bolstered by the new marble backsplash and white quartz on the center island, this vantage point now reveals an extraordinarily evolved perspective. You can also spot the scrolled corbels that were added for polish beneath the countertop. The lovely new floor is also visible here, which gives the room its essential character.
When styling the countertops I was certain I wanted vintage and preferably French in origin. That worked out well for this aged French bread box and I picked up the condiment set at a local antique market. (Yes, odd that it says bread in English, but it did originate in France.)
The view from the den is among my favorites because the light openness is common to both rooms. You can get a peek at our cabinet and bin pulls which complement the brass in the chandeliers.
Next to the stove I’m using an antique silver ice bucket to corral all of my utensils. A vintage silver serving tray rests casually against the backsplash.
This great little sign was added not long ago and is perfect above the pantry doors. I’d still like to add new door levers to dress up the pantry a bit. The wall color is Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige which provides the perfect backdrop.
The pieces are placed in groupings on the counters to ensure breathing room between them
Lately I’ve had a thing for vintage marmalade jars and the one below holds antique silver dessert forks and mother-of-pearl knives.
I’ve always love mixing metals in my decor and both gold and silver are utilized here. The shallow footed bowl holds a stack of plates for charm, as well as easy access.
I love my trio of mini crystal chandies and they finally make sense in the renovated space.
The final glimpse shows a peek at the breakfast area, but that’s still got some changes coming, so we’ll leave that for another day. I couldn’t be happier with this room transformation and how quickly it all came together. The money we saved by painting the cabinets and using existing appliances made the project very manageable. I’m already thinking about my next challenge and I can tell you it’s another biggie!
New Kitchen Resource List
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
The paint we used for the cabinets is Muralo Semi-gloss in Benjamin Moore White Dove.
TO SEE OUR REMODEL IN MORE DETAIL, PLEASE VISIT THESE POSTS:
- Updating the Island Counter
- Changing the Kitchen Floor
- Installing a New Backsplash
- Painting the Existing Cabinets