The 7.5 Year Kitchen Refresh

My kitchen was U-G-L-Y. It had no alibi. It was ugly.

Pinkish cabinets, pink Formica counter tops, horrible wall paper border... the list of offenses was long. The dirty white linoleum looked like the former owner was practicing to become a hibachi chef. It didn't look like they'd ever mastered the knife juggling.

I wanted a new, pretty kitchen, but our twelve-year-old house had lots of other needs when we took possession of it. We embarked on a lot of home improvement projects that kept me from doing much in the kitchen. For my own benefit, here's a list:

  • Patched walls and painted EVERY room in the house
  • Removed pink floral wallpaper from dining room
  • Patched dining room walls and painted
  • Removed wall paper, patched and painted half bath
  • New sink and toilet in half bath
  • New carpet in entire house
  • Installed asphalt driveway
  • Put a deck on the back of the house allowing the kitchen sliding door to be opened for the first time ever
  • Complete redo of the kid's full bath (except for the tub shower combo which is in decent shape)
  • New HVAC system
  • New roof
  • Replaced horrific half wall in entry way with a beautiful railing, painted the whole way up the two story entry way and put in a new chandelier
  • All new exterior lighting
  • Replaced floppy wood covering over the attic access with an actual door and an attic ladder
In the midst of doing all that (or hiring people to do it or having my dad work for free **thanks, Dad!**), I took down the kitchen wall paper border, patched and painted, put in new appliances, and painted the cabinets. I covered the plain sides of the cabinets and the center island with beadboard wallpaper. We put up a pot rack and changed out the fluorescent lights.

Paintable textured beadboard wallpaper is the most amazing thing ever!

It was still sort of ugly.

At the end of 2016, with nothing more pressing left to do house-wise, I was able to order new counter tops and finally fix the kitchen floor. The final baseboard touches on the island were put in place this summer.

Seven and a half years later, my kitchen is beautiful! It's really beautiful!

Dad removed another horrible Maronda half wall and built this amazing shelf
where I can hide so much junk!

I replaced two of the cabinet doors with these glass front ones.
The to-do list for DIY projects is getting short. So short, I think we can take some time and enjoy this kitchen. Do you think it will make my cooking better?


  1. OMG, those are some amazing before and afters (I love those, btw--so fun to see what was and what it's now transformed into!). LOVE the hanging pots from the ceiling--you guys seriously did an amazing job and should definitely sit back and admire your efforts :)

    As we prepare to purchase our very first home over the next few months, I like to read about these DIY and renovation projects--and hoping that we have it easy on our first home :)


    1. Thanks! I adore that pot rack, so much better than rummaging around in a cabinet.

      Best of luck with buying your first home. DIY projects are great, but they do require a lot of patience.

  2. What an amazing job!

    You did a LOT Of work on your house.

  3. wow, what a difference. I love all your counter and cabinet space. Beautiful changes!

    Aren't dads great?

    Bookworm Mom

    1. You can never be mad at someone who is willing to work for free!

  4. This looks incredible! Yeah, it took a long time, but at least it's finished and so nice. And I LOVE that blue!

    1. I'm addicted to that color. I used it in the kitchen at our last place too. I looked at doing something different and then decided just to make myself happy and use the color I love!

  5. I love the idea of beadboard wallpaper! What an easy way to change things up. Also, the shelf between the dining area and living area is great. I like how it defines the spaces without closing them off.

    1. It's so easy! I love that I was able to do it on my own without any power tools and very little mess.


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