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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

You Asked About My Kitchen - Here Are The Answers

If you've been a long time follower, then you know that we have a really basic builder bland home that we have been changing little by little ever since we moved in.  

The room most commented on and asked about is my kitchen. 

When I shared my Tips For Getting Your Tile Really Clean post, I had dozens of emails about my kitchen.  I thought it would be best to try and answer most of them here. 

 Most questions were about the island and my natural wood cabinets.

 I loved that the builder used maple cabinets and he staggered the design, 

but everything else was really bland and basic.

The cabinets had an almost blonde stain, no hardware and the counters were a beige leather texture formica.  Add to that the white walls when we moved in and this kitchen was really sad and boring.

One week after moving in I painted the walls a chocolate brown. (Ralph Lauren Soul Chocolate)

This helped some, but still not an inviting kitchen.

That white sink and faucet just glared at you, and the island was the focal point.  

This was really bad.

We did a mini makeover on the entire kitchen, but the one thing that changed the look of the entire space was the island makeover.  

This is a picture right after the granite was installed.  Getting rid of that bad formica counter top and the white sink and faucet totally changed everything.
A stainless steel sink and updated faucet - - -

 and some fabulous corbels under the overhang, gave this space some character                     and upgraded the whole island to a more custom appearance.

                                        No More Builder Bland.

We immediately went from this - -

to this.
  It's hard to believe it's the same kitchen.  This totally proves small changes can make a HUGE difference.

We also waxed the cabinets to darken them and added some hardware.  You can see the complete tutorial on how we did that here.

It's nice to see that so many of you are interested in lighter stained cabinets.  I love mine and they are a nice change from all the dark stains and white cabinets that you see so often.

We focused on the island as the center of attention to give our kitchen a little more custom look.   Just focus on what is the center of attention in your room and give that space the love it needs.  

You don't have to redo the whole room for a whole new look.

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No Minimalist Here

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  1. Amazing how changing the island added warmth and coziness to the entire kitchen. It's beautuful, Marty!

  2. Wow, what a change! The island makes such a positive difference and is so pretty. My daughter changed the paint on her island and also added the corbels. A bit later they added bead board.

    Love your chocolate brown paint too!

  3. Changing the island really made such a big difference. Your kitchen is so pretty!

  4. Marty, changing the island was a great decision that totally changed the look of your kitchen! Pam (

  5. It looks very inviting. I liked it before too!

  6. Marty,
    Truly an amazing transformation just by changing your island's top and sink! Looks fantastic now.


  7. I've always loved your kitchen, looks very custom. The island is my favorite.

    I think white cabinets are great when people want a fresh, inexpensive look for dated cabinets. And I really love the creamier shades we see in new cabinets. I've had a hard time deciding in what we want for the lakehouse reno and I finally decided to go with a dark stain. I think it's going to be personal and original...hopefully timeless. A leap, for sure!! But how long can white hold out?

    Thanks for giving us your tips.

    Jane x

  8. You are so right. Small changes can help so very much. Our downsize has cabinets that I am just lukewarm about. We added granite tops and backsplash and I like my kitchen so much better. The previous owners Kelly green walls....we changed to a gold/yellow. And that helped a lot too. Sheila

  9. Great post Mary and I a loved your granite island and these corbels add so much don't they. Love mine.


  10. Love your kitchen and loved seeing it change over the years!...Loved your island makeover...yes, it truly is the wow factor!

  11. I love your chocolate walls! We painted the accent wall in our dining room Chocolate Sparkle by Behr, very similar in look to your color. We get compliments on it often. Such a warm and inviting shade of brown! Looks lovely in your kitchen!

  12. That island went from boring to beautiful! Great job.

  13. What an amazing difference the granite on your island made! It's wonderful when you can change one thing and the whole room is transformed.

  14. Marty,
    I adore your kitchen, dear friend!!!
    The island made an amazing transformation to the space for your lovely vignettes!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!