Those cabinets just make me cringe. The were damp and moldy in some spots, they were just terrible, not to mention there were WAY too few of them. The fluorescent light...ugh. Gross.
I love me some tacky 80's fruit border! And who in their right mind covers up french doors with mini blinds? If you do that in your house, don't. Mini blinds are bad enough (and yes, I have them in some of my windows still so I'm not being a snob about them), but you just can't cover up french doors like that!
Here's what it looked like on the first renovation go-around.
MUCH better. We put in unfinished stock cabinets from Lowe's, and I stained them with a Cabot stain, called "Sangria", which is a really pretty reddish color. Sort of like cherry, but not that red. We painted the walls, replaced the counters (how I wish they were granite) and got all new appliances. The backsplash was super cheap (about $1 a square foot) and I did it myself. I took the doors of the laundry area, and that opened up the kitchen a lot. We were close, but something just wasn't right. I loved the kitchen, but it didn't really make me feel at home. The other major issue I had was that the walls were in terrible shape. They had all kinds of weird texture. I tried to fix them with spackle, but it just wasn't right. I wanted more.
Here we are today.
THIS is what I'm talking about. When I pictured what my little cottage kitchen would look like, this is what I pictured. I kept telling my husband, if you could only see what was in my head...well, then you'd see! Finally, he just gave in and let me go nuts. I started by painting the cabinets black, then distressing them with a block sander so the red would show through.
When I told Hubs I was painting the newly stained cabinets black, I think he died a little inside. When I pulled out the sander and went to town sanding them, I think he thought I'd lost my mind. I assured him I knew exactly what I was doing. I totally didn't. I didn't have a clue how it would turn out, and knew that if I messed them up, our new kitchen would be a total disaster and it'd be all my fault (no pressure, right?). I just went for it, no guts, no glory. I'm so happy I did. It feels so vintage-y now, I absolutely love it.
I still had an issue with some of walls looking nasty, so I pulled out the chalkboard paint.
I think it turned out really well, it covers up the nastiness and is kinda fun. The great thing about the chalkboard paint is you can change your "decorations" so easily. We decided to go for a Dr. Seuss quote for now, "And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!)".
Had to go with Dr. Seuss again for the other side, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." Who knew he was so insightful?
Chalkboard paint one more time. I made this out of a picture frame I found in the closet. I think it longer for the paint to dry than to actually paint this. SUPER easy.
The walls still were a little off, so I pulled out the beadboard wallpaper. We just couldn't afford to put up real beadboard right now, so we had to go with the wallpaper.
You can kind of see it in this picture. This wallpaper is from Lowe's, it was about $15 a roll. It's not as thick as I'd like it, but the one I wanted wasn't available in the store at Home Depot and I was too impatient to order it online. C'est la vie. It at least gives the impression of beadboard, it cost me about $45 to do the whole room floor to ceiling, and it's temporary until I can convince Hubs that we need the real deal (I'm good at convincing, so maybe sooner than later!)
I painted the wallpaper a creamy white (it's called "Deep Cream" by Ralph Lauren). Changing the paint from green to white opened up the kitchen like I couldn't have even imagined. Although I did leave the laundry area green, I think it's kinda fun.
This is my "office", which is really just the end of the counter. The box that the phone is on is a vintage tool box that I got from an antique store for $20. I fell in love with the chippy paint and rust (more pictures of that later).
There are still a couple of things left to finish, namely the trim (which I really hope will be done in the next week or so). We're also considering a new floor when we replace the floor in the rest of the house (in the next few months). But with all the work that's gone on in here, that's minor. So there you have it. My vintage cottage kitchen!