Sunday, January 10, 2010

Custom white kitchen makeover before and after!

Oh how I love your emails and comments! Thanks to everyone who reads, comments, and sends emails. Melissa is a great friend of mine from Connecticut. We both live in Utah now but only see each other on rare occasions, life! Melissa and I had a fun time decorating our townhouses together in Connecticut and harvesting our hydrangeas each fall for arrangements. I was happy to see from a photo on her blog that she has planted a pee gee limelight hydrangea in her new yard. I have one too!

Melissa has been been out house hunting and sent me an email explaining that while she loved the kitchen in this house….


She made on offer on the house with the kitchen below. She wanted to know how to accomplish the look of the home above with what she already had….It is interesting to think that these two kitchens started out exactly the same!LLDesign

While she wasn’t really asking me about the kitchen, I wanted to point out the brilliant changes that the owner/designer of the white kitchen made to totally change the look of the kitchen from “standard builder issue” to a Christopher Peacock inspired look.

No. 1 – Obviously, the owner/designer painted the cabinets white. I have used every method under the sun to paint cabinets. If you can afford it, hire a cabinet company to do the job. The paint they use is the most durable and will hold up better then what you or your painter will use. If that is too expensive, spray paint them yourself. BUT follow these instructions carefully – not all white spray paint is created equal. You must use the right color white. Plain old bright white will look cheep or like the cabinets have only been primed. I just spray painted all of my laundry room cabinets white and the result is awesome! I was shocked at how professional they look.


I used Krylon Dover White in a gloss finish. Dover white is a little bit creamy without being too creamy. It is also the exact color of all the trim on my house (Sherwin Williams Dover White) so I didn’t have to have the spray paint custom mixed. If Dover White is not the right white for you, Sherwin Williams will make spray paint in custom colors. So pick a yummy white and go for it! I also love Shoji White by Sherwin Williams. (I only lightly sanded the cabinets and then sprayed away! No primer needed.)

No. 2 – Two schoolhouse light pendants replaced the existing light fixture. I found this one for $126.00 on


No 3. I love the creativity where the counter tops are concerned. The island has been redone in carrera white marble 12X12 tiles. Obviously marble slab tops were not in the budget – but this owner/designer did not let that stop her. Tile counter tops can be done fairly easily by yourself thus cutting the costs tremendously. In the process they enlarged the island so that there is seating on two sides rather then just one- smart!


No. 4 The rest of the counter tops are plain white ceramic tiles with a fabulous trim piece for the bullnose. And the backsplash is done in good old white subway tiles. I really like the way they used the trim piece here.


No. 5 Four of the cabinets doors have been turned into glass fronts. It looks like they just took the cabinet panel out and had a piece of glass made to fit. It really adds to the open airy feeling of the white kitchen and also gives a nice focal point to the room. Looks like this owner/designer also has a thing for peegee lime light hydrangeas. We must all be kindred spirits.

No. 6 The microwave has been removed and a new stainless steel hood has taken it’s place. So much better!!! Again the focal point is no longer a microwave but four accessorized glass front cabinets and a stainless steal hood. Not bad.


No. 7 The panel above the cabinets has been removed giving the room a more spacious open feeling.

No. 8 The walls were painted a wonderful pale green color that compliments all of the green dishes. And the pantry door was given wider trim as well as new glass inside.

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No. 9 Hardware has been added to the cabinets! I almost forgot to point that out. They are little crystal knobs and pulls.


What a great makeover. Thanks Melissa for sharing these photos with me!!! I hope to post about the furniture next (since that was what you were really asking me about, LOL). See it again one more time. Did I miss anything???





That was fun. Who is ready for a kitchen makeover. Contact me if you are interested!!!


T. said...

I love to read your point of view in home decorating and find that everything you say is so brilliant! I am looking for a color for my kitchen and family room and can't decide between the Restoration Hardware colors "Light Silver Sage" or "Sea Green". My kitchen is white and my family room attached is very neutral (to neutral) with black furniture. Any suggestions? XOXO- T.

Cedar Roots said...

Hi B, fun post. . .
One question about spray painting on your own. Do you have to sand down the existing wood if it has been painted or stained? It feels like in the past I haven't done that but I can't remember. Let me know what you did with your Laundry Room stuff.

Bethany Christensen said...

Dear Cedar Roots - I sanded really lightly. My painter said that I didn’t really have to sand much because the type of paint I was using (spray paint) should adhere to the finish on the cabinets. He was right. So far so good. Also cabinets don’t get the same kind of wear and tear as a kitchen chair or table.

lindsay said...

love that post!!!!! I like the white kitchen a million times more...but it's so nice to have you point out the details of how it's done! now when I look at kitchens I can see more potential. Love the crystal pulls!!!

btw--my painter brother says stained cabinets are oil based--since spray cans are oil based paints they will adhere. So if you don't want to prime them stick with oil based paints. Therefore, if you switch to latex you've got to prime. :)

Maria Killam said...

I love this post, I'm going to twitter it next! I'm a sucker for a white kitchen!

Things That Inspire said...

I'm a sucker for a white kitchen too! Beautiful job.

You should enter this post in Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday - where everyone links posts on transformations!

Kammy said...

Very pretty and so fresh and clean looking !

Pam said...

What a beautiful kitchen! I absolutely love the schoolhouse pendants. I'm new to your blog and love your style.

Jennifer Rubeck said...

I was wondering what color your client used in the new green kitchen. We have a lake house and I think it would be perfect. Thank you!


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