4 Mar

Our first major project was the kitchen. Really, major isn’t the right word. Colossal. Ginormous. This is how it looked when we moved in.

Those cabinets just make me cringe. The were damp and moldy in some spots, they were just terrible, not to mention there were WAY too few of them. The fluorescent light…ugh. Gross.

I love me some tacky 80’s fruit border! And who in their right mind covers up french doors with mini blinds? If you do that in your house, don’t. Mini blinds are bad enough (and yes, I have them in some of my windows still so I’m not being a snob about them), but you just can’t cover up french doors like that!

Here’s what it looked like on the first renovation go-around.

MUCH better. We put in unfinished stock cabinets from Lowe’s, and I stained them with a Cabot stain, called “Sangria”, which is a really pretty reddish color. Sort of like cherry, but not that red. We painted the walls, replaced the counters (how I wish they were granite) and got all new appliances. The backsplash was super cheap (about $1 a square foot) and I did it myself. I took the doors of the laundry area, and that opened up the kitchen a lot. We were close, but something just wasn’t right. I loved the kitchen, but it didn’t really make me feel at home. The other major issue I had was that the walls were in terrible shape. They had all kinds of weird texture. I tried to fix them with spackle, but it just wasn’t right. I wanted more.

Here we are today.

THIS is what I’m talking about. When I pictured what my little cottage kitchen would look like, this is what I pictured. I kept telling my husband, if you could only see what was in my head…well, then you’d see! Finally, he just gave in and let me go nuts. I started by painting the cabinets black, then distressing them with a block sander so the red would show through.

When I told Hubs I was painting the newly stained cabinets black, I think he died a little inside. When I pulled out the sander and went to town sanding them, I think he thought I’d lost my mind. I assured him I knew exactly what I was doing. I totally didn’t. I didn’t have a clue how it would turn out, and knew that if I messed them up, our new kitchen would be a total disaster and it’d be all my fault (no pressure, right?). I just went for it, no guts, no glory. I’m so happy I did. It feels so vintage-y now, I absolutely love it.

I still had an issue with some of walls looking nasty, so I pulled out the chalkboard paint.

I think it turned out really well, it covers up the nastiness and is kinda fun. The great thing about the chalkboard paint is you can change your “decorations” so easily. We decided to go for a Dr. Seuss quote for now, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!)”.

Had to go with Dr. Seuss again for the other side, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” Who knew he was so insightful?

Chalkboard paint one more time. I made this out of a picture frame I found in the closet. I think it longer for the paint to dry than to actually paint this. SUPER easy.

The walls still were a little off, so I pulled out the beadboard wallpaper. We just couldn’t afford to put up real beadboard right now, so we had to go with the wallpaper.

You can kind of see it in this picture. This wallpaper is from Lowe’s, it was about $15 a roll. It’s not as thick as I’d like it, but the one I wanted wasn’t available in the store at Home Depot and I was too impatient to order it online. C’est la vie. It at least gives the impression of beadboard, it cost me about $45 to do the whole room floor to ceiling, and it’s temporary until I can convince Hubs that we need the real deal (I’m good at convincing, so maybe sooner than later!)

I painted the wallpaper a creamy white (it’s called “Deep Cream” by Ralph Lauren). Changing the paint from green to white opened up the kitchen like I couldn’t have even imagined. Although I did leave the laundry area green, I think it’s kinda fun.

I “refinished” the table to make it look more rustic. By refinish I mean “beat the crap out of it” (more on that later). I still need to do something with the seat cushions, but I haven’t decided what yet.

This is my “office”, which is really just the end of the counter. The box that the phone is on is a vintage tool box that I got from an antique store for $20. I fell in love with the chippy paint and rust (more pictures of that later).

There are still a couple of things left to finish, namely the trim (which I really hope will be done in the next week or so). We’re also considering a new floor when we replace the floor in the rest of the house (in the next few months). But with all the work that’s gone on in here, that’s minor. So there you have it. My vintage cottage kitchen!


8 Responses to “Kitchen”

  1. Vintage Junky March 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I love take 3. It has evolved so well. What about black and white ticking on the chairs? I love how your cabinets turned out and I bet your husband breathed a sigh of relief when he saw how great they were.SMiles!Michelle

  2. Merritt March 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks, Michelle! Yes, my husband was pleasantly surprised, which is always a good thing! I'd considered some kind of stripe for the chairs, but not ticking specifically, I love that idea!

  3. Amy Cunningham March 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    LOVE the header!!! Looks awesome! WOW I had forgotten how BAD the kitchen was. YIKES!! Makes your amazing redeux even more spectacular!

  4. Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe March 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    the chalk board paint was just the ticket!

  5. Chris March 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    I can't believe I liked this kitchen. It's totally, 100% (guaranteed!) not my style, yet… I actually think it's pretty cool! Merritt did a truly STELLAR job on the cabinets, and I actually think I might like them better than before (or at least equal). My number one goal for the kitchen cabinets was a darkish red stain, and I had it, and she went and messed it all up, and I still loved it. The kitchen, I think, is the number one reason why I now trust any suggestion, even if it's not my favorite at first.I'd say keep up the good work like some blog fanboy, but I know you will, and I'm so glad you decided to take this new direction with your writings 😀

  6. gina3 March 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I love that chalkboard paint under the cabinets. I'm going to be tackling my kitchen this summer and you've definitely put thoughts in my head!

  7. west coast nester March 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    I love it.

  8. Jodi March 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Awesome, awesome!! You have guts, Merritt, and I love the results!! (Can you give tips on painting cabinets?)And you *painted* wallpaper?!?! I've never heard of such a thing…very cool.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: