I’m so proud of all the blood, sweat, tears (and wine!) my sister and I put into transforming her kitchen from the red-headed stepchild of her home, to the beautiful and budget-friendly space she’s no longer embarrassed to introduce to her friends. Here’s an “after” shot of our accomplishment:
But let’s start from the beginning. My younger sister, Brittny, bought her first house about a year ago. Unfortunately she lives 4 hours north of me, but when I get up to visit we make the most of it by working on home improvement projects. Our main project has been her kitchen–the whole space was very dark and outdated. Dark cabinets and trim, terrible lighting, peeling wallpaper, and a floor that we’re certain was never in style.
We started by tearing down wallpaper and painting her kitchen cabinets–without a doubt two of the toughest home improvement projects I’ve ever had the enjoyment of doing. First we scored the wallpaper and then used a mixture of water and fabric softener to loosen it. The first layer of wallpaper–a lovely pink and blue pattern depicting watering cans and coffee grinders–came up pretty easily, but the original orange & yellow flowered wallpaper was a nightmare. It’s quite possible it had been super glued on–if super glue was even in existence that long ago. It took hours and hours of scraping to get it all off.
As difficult as the wallpaper removal was, painting the cabinets and trim was much more tedious and time-consuming. We started by removing all cabinet doors and sanding down everything by hand. Then we painted all the trim and cabinets with two coats of primer:
Last weekend, I again made the 4 hour trip north to visit my little sister. This time we finished things up in her kitchen by painting the walls and installing new lighting. From the start I had a vision for my sister’s kitchen–off-white cabinetry, warm chocolate walls, and a bamboo shade on the back door for some added texture. Brittny had tossed around a few different ideas before we started painting, but in the end she trusted my vision and agreed to go for it. She made the final choices on both the cabinetry color and the chocolate brown wall color (Dutch Boy’s Firewood) which turned out so gorgeous!
Here is the picture that best captures in real life (finally!) what I was seeing in my head for so long:
Before & After:
Before & After:
Before & After–this is the view from the entryway/dining room/living room area, looking into the kitchen: