An Eclectic, Retro, Kitchen Makeover in Progress

One of my big goals in life is to make my house in to a place that really expresses my style. I want it to be funky and eclectic with a bit of that shabby, comfy feeling that comes with a home that is really lived in. A patchwork if you will ;) of all the colors and finishes I love (think burlap, tweed, leather and old wood, mixed with damask, sparkles, and lace.) On the way to getting there I will be sharing the progress with you and eventually get a house tour up (if there is ever a day when every room in this house is clean and I can whip out the Nikon to capture it...) You can see what a process this could be, not to mention I'm a bit moody when it comes to colors. I'm already pretty sick of the bright yellow walls in my living room, so hopefully by the time that day comes I won't decide I need to redecorate first.
A glimpse of the damask accent wall (which I still love) and the yellow
that I have a love-hate relationship with. Love it behind the gallery wall,
hate it everywhere else...

-this post is about my kitchen. SO, I have been planning and pouring over Pinterest for ideas to inspire what will finally be the kitchen of my dreams. As I mentioned, I am super fickle when it comes to color and style. I am constantly going through, what I always call "color moods," obsessing over various color combinations and how they could work in different spaces.

The collection below is what I'm digging right now. I love the white subway tile with the dark grout, and I already have some fantastic, though maddeningly impossible to keep clean black and white checked floors. Prior to this I had been looking for a catch all for mail, pens, pencils, scissors, take out menus and all the things that float and land into our small kitchen space. I was considering a utility cart or buffet of sorts to occupy some generous empty space in my kitchen. As luck would have it, my Aunt was looking for a family member to take a hoosier that has been in our family for decades. It's gorgeous and absolutely perfect for the vibe I want our kitchen to have.

All sample from my Pinterest board.dedicated to my Kitchen re-design ideas, including an image in the bottom middle of the "before" shot of my kitchen.refinished cabinets, black and white floors, retro kitchen

<-----------Check out the family heirloom! The counter top slides out and there's a pretty, cherry red stripe around the edge to boot. Add some rustic wire basketry and a few accessories and it started to get quite comfortable in a space that seemed meant for it. Eventually I'm even hoping to get 2  folding stools that I can hang on the side a place for the girls to sit and eat a bowl of cereal or do homework.

Pulling it all Together

A friend of mine recently moved into a new place where they left behind some curtains (left) that I fell in love with instantly when I saw them. She was planning on replacing them anyway, and they have since become a great part of the design as well. To the right are the knobs from Anthropologie that I was deciding between for the first big project kitchen project- refinishing a small section of lower cabinets. In the end I decided on the colorful knobs, since it captured all the colors I was hoping to incorporate in to my new design scheme. 

Refinishing the Cabinets
I love a good piece of refinished furniture. Stenciled, painted, sleek and shiny, there are so many ways to give an old piece new life with a little time and care, but my favorite look will always be the distressed look. Layers of different paint color worn away over time (or artfully created to appear so) just has that comfy look that has always appealed to me. The eclectic feel I'm hoping to get in the kitchen can quickly go south without some careful planning, and though I have done my homework I was apprehensive to take a paintbrush to my untouched cabinets. Still, I have begun to realize that when making things happen, my style is do it now, ask questions later. Plus, it can always be repainted, right?
After sanding and removing hardware
Like most finished wood cabinets, mine had a clear coat (mostly worn away over time) and some normal kitchen buildup. A bit of sanding by hand to remove the sheen and prepare the surface to accept the new coat of paint, and I was ready to roll. I chose a mint green color and rolled it on with a 4in. roller. I removed the drawers to paint the fixture itself, and also drilled new holes for the new pulls and hardware, filling the old holes with paintable wood filler. Finally, I was ready to replace the drawers, paint them. I left it to dry over night and then the apprehension set in. As with most things when they are new, I agonized over whether or not I had chosen the right color. It was VERY different and it scared me a little, but I kept going as planned, and I'm so glad I did!

Distressed is Best...

Have I mentioned how much I adore sandpaper?

With a bit of medium grade sandpaper, I took to the edges of the cabinets to distress it a bit and let some of the original wood shine through, then attached the knobs and it was done. Like with any change, it took some getting used to, but as time has passed I have really started to love my kitchen again. I also found some time to make a big marquee letter "H" out of mat board and a set of big-bulb white lights! My extremely talented friend over at Rustic Wood Home on Etsy made me the floating pallet shelf  for it. I'm in love. I still have to get some paint on the walls and eventually tackle the back splash and counters, but that requires some time and a budget that I don't currently have. Here are some pics so far...

The DIY post for this is coming soon. -Stay tuned!

rustoleum chalkboard paint, DIY, how to paint with chalkboard paint
It's not the biggest kitchen in the world, so it's hard to get a good shot of the whole room, but hopefully you have an idea of how it's all coming together so far. Of course, one of my fave past DIYs to the right --->
my chalkboard fridge. A popular one in the Pinterest world. If you missed my post detailing my adventures with this baby, you can check it out here:
Painting my old, white fridge w/black chalkboard paint.

Hopefully I will be following up soon with some more of my adventures in decorating, including some of those bigger kitchen upgrades. Until then- I'd love to hear what you think!


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