09 10

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kitchen Refresh for Less

Hello.  My name is Lori and I am a very bad blogger!  It has been over a year since I have posted on this site so let me give you some life updates and excuses for my absence.

Mr H and I moved from Cincinnati to my hometown of Lexington (KY) last fall for me to start Physician Assistant school.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I have been passionate about (more like obsessed with) medicine for as long as I can remember.  I have always felt called to the medical field and for me, I always assumed that meant attending medical school.  After college, however, my path took a turn towards research.  I worked in medical and clinical outcomes research at both the University of Kentucky and Cincinnati Children's Hospital for a few years until my hunger for a more clinical role could no longer be stifled.  Last fall my path was redirected and while I never imagined that my role in medicine would be as a physician assistant, I could not be happier with my path.  It is an incredible feeling to feel like you are exactly in the place where you are intended to be.  Enough with the personal statement, let's move on to DIYs and decor.

When Mr H and I found out that we were moving, we quickly snatched up a townhome in the Bluegrass and began painting and doing some updates before officially moving down.  We chose to rent for the duration of my program but we are truly chomping at the bit to hurry up and buy our dream home to do more permanent updates and projects. While we have literally repainted every room in our townhome, all of the sweat, spilled paint and ruined clothes have been well worth it.   Enough talk, let's get to the pictures . . .

One of the major barriers to renting, is making modern updates that provide impact without being permanent.  In this post, and posts to come, I hope to show renters and those with a small budget, how to refresh a room for less.  So, let's take a look at our kitchen refresh.

The kitchen was decent and functional when we moved in so while there were several things that I wanted to change such as the paint color, it was not very high on the priority list.  Within the last month we have finally transformed it into a kitchen where I am much happier to cook and do the dishes . . . ok, maybe not much happier to do dishes ;)

The first thing we tackled was the paint.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo above, but the original paint color in this room was a muted beigy-orange.  It was a golden color that all in all wasn't as horrendous as the Carolina blue that was throughout the place (nightmares of Carolina blue) but just wasn't my style or the look I wanted for the kitchen.

For the the first step in this kitchen refresh, we painted the walls Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

The lighting is clearly better in this "After" photo versus the "Before" but man what a clean coat of paint does to a room!  We painted several rooms in our townhome Revere Pewter and I couldn't be happier with this paint color.  It is the perfect "greige".  It's not too cool like a lot of grays on the market and it's not too warm and buttery like a lot of other beiges.  The perfect marriage of the two makes the perfect neutral.

The next step was to make a window covering.  I followed the lead of many DIYers on the blogosphere and made a no-sew, faux roman shade.  Yes, you heard that right-no sew.  On my long list of to-do's in life, is learning how to use a sewing machine.  My mom is fantastic and has made many pillow covers and drapes for me over the years but I unfortunately lack that skill.  To make this faux roman shade, I bought fabric from Hobby Lobby and pulled out my handy dandy hot glue gun.

I measured the length and width that I desired for our window size, allowing enough fabric for a one inch seam on the left, right and bottom edges.  I ironed these edges to make a good crease and hot glued the seams.  On the top, I folded over about 2 inches to allow my curtain rod to pass through.  I ironed to get a crease and hot glued the top down, as well.  The last step was to pinch the fabric on the sides to make some decorative pleats.

It may not be perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the result and the fact that it literally took about 15 minutes to make.

One of the easiest, impactful changes to make in a kitchen or bathroom, is the cabinet hardware.  We have changed the hardware in every bathroom in our townhome and it has completely updated and upgraded the look of the room.  The best thing is, if you keep the original hardware stored away, you can just remove and take your new pulls and knobs with you when you move.

Due to the number of new pulls that would be needed for this space, I opted to update the pulls with paint.

While the shape of these pulls is not exactly my style, after spray painting them gold, they breathe new life into the room.  I love mixing metals and finishes in a room.  Don't feel boxed into using the same finish (chrome, polished nickel, etc) throughout a room. Mixed finishes actually give a room a very collected and complete feel.

Trays are great decorative items for collecting and organizing small items into a larger grouping (as seen above).  For more visual interest, vary the height of the items on the tray.

Now for the elephant in the room.  The biggest non-permanent update with the biggest impact in this kitchen (and in most kitchens I would argue) is that lovely piece of jewelry sitting just south of the window sill.

No, not that one above.  The one, here, below.

I think it goes without saying just how foul and uninspiring the original, and by original I mean original to this older townhome, that first faucet is.  The new faucet is a serious game-changer in this kitchen.  In his first dabble in plumbing and faucet exchange, Mr H seriously impressed with his installation of this beauty.  Not to downplay his abilities whatsoever, but exchanging faucets is a fairly easy task for even the newest of DIYers. 

Isn't she just like the perfect statement necklace.  The lines, curves and vintage feel of this faucet truly makes my heart smile.

We exchanged several of the bathroom faucets before moving in and the new faucets really transformed those rooms just like here in the kitchen.  I'm only sad that I hadn't replaced the faucet in the kitchen sooner. 

In summary, in kitchens, much like bathrooms, updating these three things will make a major impact in the look of the space while proving to be not so permanent that it's impractical:
1.  Paint
2.  Cabinetry hardware-pulls, knobs
3.  Faucet

Now for the cost breakdown on this kitchen refresh:

Wall paint: Revere Pewter (BM)- $0 - leftovers from previous paint jobs
Spray paint (cabinet pulls): Rustoleum Metallic Gold- $0 - from my stash
Faucet:  Overstock- $80 (on sale 60% off!)
Fabric for Roman Shade:  Hobby Lobby - $10

This refresh was completed for a grand total of $90.

My hope is that this post inspires renters and those looking for non-permanent, inexpensive, ideas on ways to update and refresh a tired space.  While I would love to rip out the countertops and replace them with Super White Quartzite, and replace the sink with a white farmhouse style, that is neither practical nor realistic for our current season of life.

Site Design By Designer Blogs