Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Reality Kitchen

Like the unofficial summer, our kitchen facelift project lasted roughly from Memorial Day until Labor Day this year.  Part of preparing for my dad's party last weekend included wrapping up this adventure.
If you would like some background on this project, you can find out more in previous posts.
The table was my grandparents' kitchen table for decades, and while the sentimentality and vintage look are ideal, our chairs don't fit beneath it.  On the sides pictured without chairs, the legs are too close together for our chairs to go between them, a bit of information we discovered after bringing it home from my parents' house and after Mike painted it. The table does have two leaves, but it opens in the other direction.  It will do for now, but I'll be keeping my eyes open for a larger pedestal table, an option I considered before settling on using this one anyway.


This is the clock from Home Goods that I mentioned before.  With the color of the wood, the black details, and the mid-century modern look complete with that typeface I adore, I don't regret the $40 splurge at all.

Mike darkened the cabinets with General Finishes Gel Stain in Java.  The change might not be an obvious one to some, but it's a very satisfying improvement to us.  I think it helps blend our black appliances in while the new cabinet and drawer pulls highight the stainless steel we do have.
Here are a couple of before photos for comparison's sake:

The window shade is a Target tablecloth I found on a clearance rack ($9) that I glued to a roller shade ($8) with spray adhesive.  I saw the idea on Pinterest but didn't really follow any instructions.  I just cut the cloth, sprayed it with 3M spray adhesive, and rolled it back up.  Maybe I should dig out that pin for more advice because it doesn't work great.  I think it might be too heavy for the cheapo roller as it needs to be taken down and manually rolled up sometimes.  Still, it serves its purpose.  It keeps the afternoon sun out of my eyes when cooking and adds some color.  I don't fuss with it much anyway.

You can see the cabinet color is still on the reddish side in the light.

In addition to tiling the floor, staining the cabinets, and painting the walls, Mike installed all new floor and crown molding.  The previous owners' work was not of the best quality, and it had been bugging Mike for years.
More floor details:

This kitchen isn't our dream kitchen, but for our reality kitchen, I think it's pretty darn nice.
 Now, what to do this fall....


  1. looks awesome! i'd love to give our kitchen a facelift too. one day!

  2. I think it looks amazing! Much nicer than our "renters" kitchen :P
    Nice work :)

    Kayla @

  3. I love the cabinet color! How many coats did you use?

    1. Thanks! We did two coats of stain and three coats of the gel topcoat.

  4. I LOVE the cabinets! Do you know how your husband applied the stain? I.e. did he use a sock or a foam brush? Did he wip off the excess or leave it? I'm going to redo our cabinets and I hope they turn out as nice as yours! :)

  5. He used a foam brush and wiped off excess. Good luck with the project!

  6. Love your kitchen. Looking to update mine as well. What color paint did you use on your walls?

    1. The paint color is Notre Dame by Valspar. Have fun with your update!


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