Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kitchen Refresh--Finally

So, we had our kitchen refreshed last fall, and I'm finally getting around to giving you a little peek.  I've been meaning to get pictures up, but that necessitated cleaning my kitchen first, and then installing the new hardware on the cabinets.

Let's just say that it took me awhile.

I say we refreshed the kitchen because we didn't gut it, we just had new counter tops, sink, fixtures, and flooring installed. The cabinets are still the the original cabinets. They're in good condition, and although not in fashion, they are perfectly good cabinets, so I didn't see the point in adding that cost or headache. It was bad enough moving everything out to do the floors and counter tops. I can't imagine having to empty all the cabinets too. As it was, our living room was jam packed with dining room furniture, appliances, etc., during the refresh.

So, here's some of the before and after. Brace yourself for the ugly.

This is the before. H-H-H-H-H-ATED the counter tops before. Who in their right mind actually chooses white laminate for their counter tops? I can't figure it out. Every time we set a metal bowl down on the counter top, it would leave a mark. It stained so easily, EVERY thing showed, and they were ding dang ugly.

I didn't love the floor either, and the fact that it creeped up the bottom of the cabinets was even less desirable. Ick on a stick.

I love the new flooring. It only looks like tile, it's really vinyl. How cool is that? So cool, let me tell you. We also had a matching oak kick board whatever-you-call-it installed underneath the cabinets. It looks so much better than the flooring that used to be there.

And the big plus? You can't see anything on it. I don't  even know it needs to be swept until I start feeling crunchies on the bottoms of my feet. Then when I go to sweep it, I can't see the crunchies and dust pile that I'm sweeping everything into. Okay, that part is not so great, but I love the fact that it doesn't show the ick.

This is the old hardware. It was perfectly fine when we moved into the house.

A decade ago. 

It's surprising what a big difference just changing out the hardware made. I love the rustic look of the drawer pulls now.

Old sink = super ick. It was the thing I loathed most about the kitchen. I'm even embarrassed showing these pictures to you now. The sink was permanently stained, and there was a crusted on hard water ickage trail coming out from the water purifier thing-a-ling and down into the drain. Grossed. Me. Out. I tried CLR, pumice stone, everything and anything I could think of to try and get it off. Don't tell Peanut Head, but I even took to it once with one of his screwdrivers. Didn't work.

I love the new stainless steel sink. I even Fly Lady cleaned it, just for you. She recommends cleaning your sink every night before you go to bed, and since Malibu Barbie windexes her sink, I figured I should aim high once in awhile too. When I do it, Peanut Head comes along and then has the audacity to turn the water on. Can you believe that? Then when I give him an earful, he gives me his deadpan stare, his everyday look, and says "Oh darn," with absolutely no feeling in his voice. It pains me so.

The counter top is laminate, and I love it. I didn't even consider granite, although I looooooove granite, because I knew that this is not our forever home. I just didn't want to sink that kind of money into a house we aren't planning on staying in. Plus, I think it just seems too fancy for our little house.

I big red puffy heart the counter tops. The back splash is new too, and I love having a real tile back splash, but I feel like maybe it's a little too busy for the counter tops. Not that I'm going to rip it down and start over. I can deal with it. See me dealing with it.

It's not even there.

We have too much crap on our counter tops. Please tell me I'm not alone here. We just use all this stuff, and there really is no other place to put it. And the butter belongs there. It's a focal point in our kitchen. Surely you can relate.

I thought about taking everything off the counters just for the pictures, but it made me feel so dirty, so I put it all back. This is reality, not Better Homes & Gardens.


  1. What a timely post this is for me, Jill. I am actually working with a client and we are moving onto her kitchen starting Monday! I am picking up new hardware for her cabinets as they don't want to go into a full out redo right now. So we are just doing little updates. The hardware is first - 42 brushed nickel knobs. Her hubby will be putting them on and taking the old ones off. Accessories and a new light over the table will be next and I can bet that they will love these small changes.

    I love your countertop; I don't think the backsplash is too busy, but you have to live with it. That's what I tell my clients, too.

  2. It looks awesome! Our kitchen is similar...vinyl "hardwood", newish sink, old but OK cabinets. Though it was updated for us prior to moving in. And they cheated on the's all just painted silver. I do love that our 'backsplash' extended up a good four feet. I wonder if they bathed their children in the sink?

  3. I do love your kitchen and think you are smart not using the most expensive materials. It looks just as nice. loved the Fly Lady Cleaning Link; and the link to Malibu Barbie.

  4. Can you tell me more about the laminate counter tops? Does it just cover the old or is it actual counter tops? I am in the middle of a re-do and need to figure out what to do with the countertops! mine are super bad because way long time ago I painted mine! ack and ugh and ick! lol

  5. I always get great ideas from your blog and I never post, so thanks for motivating me! I think your kitchen looks fabulous! I was wondering where you found your laminate and what edge you used. I really like it and think it would nicely replace my country BLUE laminate we have currently (not my doing). Thanks!

  6. I was wondering if you can tell us the name..brand manufacturer of the flooring. I have had a wonderful floor in my kitchen for the past 30 is now sad and needs to be replaced as well. It didn't show dirt and just like you...clean when you start to slip...I know ..kidding! I love the look of yours...what is it, please? The rest of your 'refresh' looks wonderful!


  7. Love it! Even just doing little things like changing the knobs & pulls can really help. *shudder* at those white counters...who on EARTH would think to put in white counter tops!?!?

  8. amazing what "litle" changes make in the look of a room! wonderful job :)

    I really like the pulls you used. I have the same pulls you used to have and HATE them because they are breaking and falling apart...doesn't help to have a 5 yr old climbing them like a ladder...oh dear! Where did you get the new ones at?

    Mrs T

  9. Oh Boy, I'll try to answer some of the questions. I got the drawer pulls at Lowe's, but I don't have the packaging still. According to my receipt, they are Black Iron Pulls. We got the flooring through our contractor, and he didn't leave any identifying information on our bill, so I don't even know how to find out what kind of flooring it is. I even had Peanut Head pull the leftover vinyl down from the rafters, and it didn't have any sort of identifying information on it anywhere. The laminate counter top was purchased through Johnson Brothers in Idaho Falls. The color is Milano Brown, #4725-52. I don't know the name of the manufacturer though. The edge is made by Loti corporation and it is called Gem-Loc Premier Edge. We had to have our laminate shipped to them and they custom made the edging. We purposely chose a darker color than the counter top, because we thought it would be too hard to get a good match otherwise. I hope this helps some.

  10. Doing work in the house when we are in it is a nightmare...I'm in the middle of it...also doing work in the I can totally relate to your experience even more so when we have workers who are not what they should be; I also think that top of the money items are cool and nice but to keep them up you need and army of people working for you...everyday life is not what you see in the why bother? as long as it is in good condition and it can be worked into our lifestyle and still have an updated look plus the money is right in our budget we are still in the up !! my work is being done using demolition stuff and since my house is cabin style look the rustic fits ok and to me is fine...not totally finished don't have all the before and afters done... hopefully soon!
    love how your kitchen turned looks great...and the back splash looks fine !!
    love your blog!

  11. That is such an amazing change!
    That is so gorgeous.

    I would NEVER post a picture of my kitchen. So outdated.

  12. INSPIRING!!!! We have been re-doing our front room, dining room, and kitchen since.... April. Yep, almost a full year ago. My husband had knee surgery and that sort of put things at a halt, a long halt. We didn't replace the cabinets either. I did have the brilliant idea to paint the cabinets white. NOT something I would do again. I LOVE the look, it matches our little country home so well, but HUGE pain. Congrats on your "refreshed" kitchen it looks great!!!

  13. i love it! the small changes made a huge difference.

  14. love it!! looks great jill and I have the same little hangy rack thing from ikea one by my night stand and one in my craft area ( I love them too much) but love the kitchen I bet it makes you smile every time you walk in it (and you aren't the only one with too much crap on your kitchen counters)

  15. BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL! Your kitchen looks brand new to me :)

  16. Hi Jill, This looks fantastic. I loved when we did ours over (15yrs. ago!) Can't wait to read more from you and recipes too.

  17. Holy cow, that's so gorgeous! I think the cabinets look great w/the new hardware, and I love, love LOVE the floor. Congratulations on your "new" kitchen, and we appreciate that you super-cleaned it just for us (even if Peanut-head didn't understand).

    Absolutely lovely.

  18. Congrats girl! That kitchen looks fabulous :) I really like the counters and the sink!

    We're about to redo our kitchen floor, our vinyl has got to go, it's pulling away from the walls and is scratched up and it's lighter than yours and shows every crumb which is not cool with 3 kids running around.

  19. Where did you find the little pails that are on the towel rack? What a fabulous idea!!!

  20. what a great overhaul! I love the hardware on your cabinets- we are not in our forever home either- so I love the simplicity of that and how much it changes the look!
    thanks for another great idea!!

  21. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  22. MA205, Since your profile is not linked to your comment, I can't answer your question directly, so I'll do it here in the comments.

    I bought the little pails and the rail at IKEA. I have another one over by my stove, and it is great for keeping things up off the counter, as well as draping towels over it to dry.

    I hope you have an IKEA near you, so you can find them. You can probably order them online as well. Good luck!

  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE the NEW Kitchen!! I hate to say it, but my kitchen is SO similar to your old one and I have been dying to "refresh" ours also! I love the new look of yours! Thanks for the great idea! Also, I really like the spice rack. Spices are my hubbie's addiction. He would love to look at all of his little beauties organized like that. I may have to make one.