May 2, 2016

Updating a Kitchen without Painting the Cabinets

Since we moved into our house almost two years ago, I have been complaining about the fluorescent lighting in our kitchen. It never seemed bright enough and I was worried I needed reading glasses because I couldn't see well when cooking...I even mentioned it to my eye doctor!

Well I am not sure what took us so long because while it wasn't free, it wasn't that expensive at $700 for the recessed LED lights and installation and about $150 for a painter to patch and paint the ceiling. It has made a HUGE difference and I still feel young without reading glasses. ;)

Here is a before shot of our kitchen right after move-in....

The first thing we did was paint and that was a definite improvement...the yellow was a bit much. You can see the test spot on our new color, Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, in the left side of the above picture.

And here is the kitchen today....

I really want to paint all the cabinets a light color but we have some other projects for this spring (like resurfacing our decks - stay tuned for that blog post) and so it isn't in the budget. I did order new knobs and a pendant for over the sink from

And that leads us to the terrible scallop from the 80s at the sink window. I wanted to remove it all together but because of the crown molding position, I didn't think this would work. Thankfully Michael is handy because he removed it and then he cut the board into a arch which gives a move updated look. I found stain to match the cabinets which he used to cover the naked wood from the cutting the arch.

I would like to find a rug for in front of the sink and a valance for the sink window but all in good time. The pictures don't show a very dramatic before and after but it is definitely an improvement from move-in day. Baby steps!


  1. Wow - these simple updates make a HUGE different!!

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  3. thank you for taking these pictures!! I'm doing this with my kitchen sink area and I'm using your example