Kitchen Refresh – A Little Elbow Grease for My Dream White Kitchen

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a white kitchen. As cliche as it is, I love anything light and bright! Our home was built in 2000 (or somewhere around there) and from what I can tell, it still has the original kitchen. There was nothing wrong with it. The flow is great, there are lots of cabinets, it is just… brown. I don’t have anything against a natural wood kitchen. Our hardwoods run into the kitchen, so we had one giant brown room. Plus, if I am just being honest, it isn’t my style. We get a lot of light in our house, but it still seemed dark in here! Being a stay at home mom, I spend 90% of my day in the kitchen. To pay someone to refinish the cabinets would have been expensive. And while we are in the process of updating our home, it wasn’t in the cards for last summer. I am not one to sit back and wait, so…. I did it. I refinished the cabinets myself. So before I show you the finished product, here are a few before pictures for context!

Before

I was able to find these pictures from the original listing of our home of the kitchen in all if its woodgrain glory (because you know me by now and I forget to take decent before pictures):

(Previous owner/renter’s furniture)

So see what I mean? Lots of brown. Wood. Boring. Great layout, lots of space. But lots of room for improvement! So I did what I’ll call phase one of the kitchen renovation. While we have no plans of doing a new kitchen in this house, there are other things I have planned for it to make it even more special! Alright then… who is ready for some after pictures?!

After

And here is a before and after because it is just that good!

Let’s Talk About It

So, let’s talk about it for a minute. Or I will wait until you pick your jaw up off the floor… dramatic transformation, right?! So if you’ve followed along on my instagram, you know I refinished the cabinets back in July. Or maybe it was August. Either way, it was a very long time ago! I knew I wanted to do it correctly from the start, so it took an incredible amount of time. And I wanted to live in it for a while to give you a good review of how we liked it and how they wore. And also because sometimes these things take forever to plan ahead… But I digress.

Finishing the cabinets was a huge undertaking. Basically it was the only thing I did for three solid weeks. Thank you, warm weather and outside play for the kids!

Here are a few tutorials that I used. I read a million, but these methods were closest to what I did:

Young House Love 

Home Talk

If I were to go back in time, I would rent a paint sprayer. And use my power sander. For some reason I forgot they existed and I hand sanded each cabinet, front and back and between layers, AND I OWN A POWER SANDER. I’ll blame it on the mom brain thing… If I had used both those machines, this whole project would have been so much faster! Take my advice and don’t do it by hand. The finish will be nicer and it will take way less time.

Am I happy I did it? You bet!  I haven’t regretted it one bit. Even Marcus is glad I did it. While he doesn’t always understand my ideas and projects, he understood this one 100% after it was done. So, thank you honey for trusting me and letting me do crazy things!

Cost & Materials

The total cost for the project was around $200. That includes a gallon of primer, two gallons of paint, and about a half gallon for the island. Such a big impact and hardly any cost compared to installing a new kitchen!

Here’s what I used for the project. Don’t skimp on materials! You’ll save your hands and time. Promise.

Brush

Mini Roller

Foam Roller

Paint tray

Handy Paint Cup (oh my goodness buy these!!)

Paint Key

Behr Alkyd Enamel Paint (Link is for semi-gloss, I got Swiss Coffee in satin)

Zinsser Oil Based Primer 

Hand Sander 

Sanding Paper

I also changed out the knobs on the drawers for pulls. I feel like it is more substantial and looks nicer on a drawer!

So how has it worn? Well. I am not a professional, and neither was the process refinishing. And I have three kids four and under. The kitchen takes a beating! Little nicks are easy to touch up with some paint and a little brush. It is quick and worth it to me! How well does a white kitchen stay clean? I would say that white cabinets are no dirtier than any other color, you can just see the mess/dirt a little more. I don’t even mind it because I would rather clean something than have dirt hide! (I’m looking at you, carpet!).

Also, as a side note, I will admit that decor-wise, it is super pared down right now. But that is also the time of year, post Christmas decoration overload, and post January get-all-the-things-out-of-the-house.

Future Plans:

If you are interested, here are my future plans for my glorious and beautiful white kitchen:

Paint walls

Install new backsplash

Remove cabinets to the left of the sink and add open shelving

Remove cabinets to the right of the refrigerator and add open shelving

Add pendant lights above island

Replace pendant above sink & over eat-in table

Replace blinds with fun pattern?

Built cabinets up to the ceiling

New appliances

(and ultimately) Refinish floors

Add chunkier baseboard & crown molding

A girl can dream, right?


Outfit details here:


Also, if you were wondering if I feelcomfortable in front of the camera and rationalize by being awkward and doing weird things, here’s your confirmation:

Do you have any questions about refinishing your cabinets? Any reservations? Please ask below! I would love to help you out and give you the confidence you need to do it.

Also a special thank you to Ashleigh of Ashleigh Laureen Photography for these amazing pictures! Check out her site and say hi (tell her I sent you!). She is beyond talented! She is also so nice and super sweet. We chatted for nearly 45 minutes before we even got to shooting!

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Instagram Roundup: 10/31-11/20

I have a different audience from Facebook to Instagram to the blog, so I thought I should round up all my outfits in one place! I have included all links to exact items, or listed similar ones that I could find. Everything is true to size unless I mention specifically. Let me know if you have any questions about any specific items!

Also, 80% of the things linked here are for sale! There are some crazy sales going on right now!

jeans (size down) / tank / similar cardigan / booties / necklace / similar earrings / popsocket

jeans (size down) / similar striped shirt / vest / sneakers / necklace

Levi’s striped shirt / jeans / boots / vest

Eloise’s vest / similar leggings / similar tunic / headband

similar dress / similar boots / similar necklace / similar jean jacket 

jeans / booties / sweater / similar scarf / necklace

jeans (size down) / plaid shirt (size up) / similar cardigan / similar booties / necklace / popsocket

dress (size up or SUPER bodycon) / heels / leather jacket (size up 2)/ similar necklace

leggings / pullover (size up) / vest / sneakers / necklace

high waisted jeans (size up 3 sizes!) / sweater / vest / similar booties / similar necklace

jeans (size down) / booties / striped tee / pullover (size up) / necklace / similar belt

joggers / slippers (size up) / henley / necklace 

bralette (pay attention to size chart) / leggings / sweater / popsocket

Thanks for following along, and I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving week!

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Great (& Inexpensive!) Blanket Scarf Roundup

Blanket scarves are something that initially overwhelmed me, until I tried it out for myself.  Once I figured out how to wear them, they quickly became one of my favorite cold weather accessories! For someone who runs cold but also has to chase around (aka keep from committing suicide) three toddlers, sometimes heavy layers aren’t ideal. Blanket scarves are a great way to add some texture and color to an outfit!

There are a lot of tutorials to show you how to wrap them if it is a new item for you (see here and here – also total sidenote, but these girls are also great ones to follow!). Most of these are under $10 and I own (and love!) one of them! Now to choose which one to add to my collection…

shop the guide

Top Left This looks so cozy! And the colors could be tied into so many outfits.

Top Center I love the colors on this! The maroon is perfect for fall/winter wardrobes.

Top Right Sometimes simple is better! I love the texture on this and this is a perfect neutral.

Middle Left This is the one I have and love and wear all the time!

Middle Center I reeeally love this one! I love the camel and black combo.

Middle Right This is really similar to another blanket scarf that I have and wear all the time! The pale ocean blue is gorgeous.

Lower Left Another good, simple scarf! This would be so great with a holiday outfit. Great texture!

Lower Center No, this one I need! The colors in this are amazing!

Lower Right OK. This one. I definitely need this one. A plaid doesn’t get much better than this!

Have you tried the blanket scarf trend? Do you love them as much as I do? Which one of these is your favorite? Share with me below!

 

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Getting Cozy for Fall


When Marcus and I first got married, we lived in Florida. It was a huge shock for this New England girl when the fall and winter came around. I don’t love the cold, but I do love a change of season, and Florida just wasn’t the same. I am not hating on the south, I am just a New England girl through and through!

Now that the temperatures are dropping to a seasonal norm, I can break out the scarves, jackets, and boots. There is nothing like getting cozy in my layers with a warm cup of coffee, the smell of the fallen leaves, and a slight chill in the air. I just love you, New England!

Where do you live? Do you get awesome Fall weather? Or are you team one-season…  Share below!

Shop the look

All exact items linked except for the jacket. Similar option shown.