Lucy Lemonade

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Welcome to Lucy Lemonade: A lifestyle blog—mostly about home DIY & decorating.

How to Makeover Your Kitchen Cabinets

How to Makeover Your Kitchen Cabinets

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: TIME-CONSUMING, BUT DOABLE. GET YOUR CREW TO HELP YOU. 

Hey, Modern Farmhouse Girl! 

This is such a great one-year anniversary topic for me: how to makeover your kitchen cabinets! And I'm psyched to tell you how. Because I truly think this geniusly-simple update made a WORLD of difference in my condo. (And no, I'm not the genius who came up with the idea. I found a bunch of people on Pinterest who did it before me and copied them!)

Some quick background on today's post before we jump in: Today is my one-year anniversary of closing on my fixer-upper turned modern-farmhouse-fresh condo! (Can we talk about some serious lemonade making? Am I right?) The cool thing is, I closed one year ago today ON July 7. And July 7 is my grandmother's birthday! Maria L. Casale, who I grew up calling "Abuela," passed away last June. I know she's in heaven and with my amazing Pop, who I have thought about often since he passed away over 17 years ago. And while she did not live to see me close on my condo (because it was in foreclosure, the process took MONTHS) I sincerely believe the timing was a miracle. I believe it happened on purpose that I closed on what would be her birthday.

Look how cute she is! I took this picture of Abuela on a gondola ride in Venice, Italy! She took me on an incredible Italy trip when I was about 12 years old. My memory is actually terrible (a life-long problem for me) but I like to joke that I was so nervous about being away from home on that trip, I blacked it out in my mind. I basically just remember eating gelato! (And Abuela letting me drink wine! Ha!) But I do have some great pictures, like this one. One day I'll definitely go back to Italy for a vacation to remember!

Look how cute she is! I took this picture of Abuela on a gondola ride in Venice, Italy! She took me on an incredible Italy trip when I was about 12 years old. My memory is actually terrible (a life-long problem for me) but I like to joke that I was so nervous about being away from home on that trip, I blacked it out in my mind. I basically just remember eating gelato! (And Abuela letting me drink wine! Ha!) But I do have some great pictures, like this one. One day I'll definitely go back to Italy for a vacation to remember!

Abuela was Catholic and always prayed to "the Virgin Mother" to "send her signs with roses." And the funny thing is, she got roses mysteriously delivered to her all the time! Anyway, I've been picking up those $3.99 Trader Joe's bouquets on my weekly grocery runs to have some flowers in my bathroom. (I think it's nice to look at fresh flowers while getting ready in the morning.) This week for my condo anniversary and to remember Abuela, I picked up this bouquet with roses:

Can you believe this gorgeous arrangement was $4?! Plus, I will add: this is overall a lovely practice to follow in your house, which my cousin Emily ( whose blog about her darling daughters  I devoutly follow) has blogged about on numerous occasions: Keep flowers around the house to brighten your day!

Can you believe this gorgeous arrangement was $4?! Plus, I will add: this is overall a lovely practice to follow in your house, which my cousin Emily (whose blog about her darling daughters I devoutly follow) has blogged about on numerous occasions: Keep flowers around the house to brighten your day!

Now OKAY, I think we're ready for the how-to, plus some crazy before and after photos! I say crazy because the before is REALLY CRAY CRAY. (Or as an awesome lady I just interviewed for a project I'm doing at work would put it: 'cray-cray-cray-cray-crazy!' Direct quote.)

Check out these before pics of my kitchen (taken by the realtor who listed the condo). Can anyone say FIXER UPPER STATUS? And I'm pairing them next to some cute "after" pics:

BEFORE:

This is the view you see to your left when you walk into my condo (that door to the right of the picture is my pantry. ( Check out the refresh post here! ) Oh, and when I moved in that refrigerator was broken BTW, so the "after" photo next does include a new-and bigger-fridge! 

This is the view you see to your left when you walk into my condo (that door to the right of the picture is my pantry. (Check out the refresh post here!) Oh, and when I moved in that refrigerator was broken BTW, so the "after" photo next does include a new-and bigger-fridge! 

AFTER:

White paint and new hardware make a huge difference! Also, nothing cluttering the tops of the cabinets keeps the kitchen more open and airy!

White paint and new hardware make a huge difference! Also, nothing cluttering the tops of the cabinets keeps the kitchen more open and airy!

BEFORE:

The faucet on this sink was leaky and the sink was so small I couldn't really wash anything in it without it overflowing. So, I replaced the sink and faucet when I moved in! Also, you can kind of see on the far right a built-in microwave/vent hood combo over the stove. That was broken too! So, I took that out and replaced it with a plain white vent-hood.

The faucet on this sink was leaky and the sink was so small I couldn't really wash anything in it without it overflowing. So, I replaced the sink and faucet when I moved in! Also, you can kind of see on the far right a built-in microwave/vent hood combo over the stove. That was broken too! So, I took that out and replaced it with a plain white vent-hood.

AFTER:

The new faucet and sink look great, but so do the now open shelves on either side of the window! And removing the doors under the sink to add a skirt gives the kitchen some modern-farmhouse flair!

The new faucet and sink look great, but so do the now open shelves on either side of the window! And removing the doors under the sink to add a skirt gives the kitchen some modern-farmhouse flair!

BEFORE: 

The wall to the right is the corner of my pantry. It's crazy to me that the former homeowners actually had a land-line! (I just have my cell-phone). Anyway, I covered up the plate for the phone there and have painted that wall in black chalk paint. And then the wall directly facing us is  my wallpaper feature wall  looking out into the dining room. 

The wall to the right is the corner of my pantry. It's crazy to me that the former homeowners actually had a land-line! (I just have my cell-phone). Anyway, I covered up the plate for the phone there and have painted that wall in black chalk paint. And then the wall directly facing us is my wallpaper feature wall looking out into the dining room. 

AFTER:

I use my chalk wall all the time! (I really will do a post about this soon, since it was such a fun and easy DIY project.) I write grocery lists on it, weekly to-dos and goals for myself.   Also: on a funny note...I'm clearly not a photographer and I'm not a prop stylist. (I am extremely neat and organized though, so that helps in these photos). Well, before taking the previous photo, I realized I should probably empty out the dish rack. I just dumped everything drying on there onto the kitchen floor and took my other shots! But I obviously took this photo before the others because there's stuff in there! Did I make you laugh?)

I use my chalk wall all the time! (I really will do a post about this soon, since it was such a fun and easy DIY project.) I write grocery lists on it, weekly to-dos and goals for myself.  Also: on a funny note...I'm clearly not a photographer and I'm not a prop stylist. (I am extremely neat and organized though, so that helps in these photos). Well, before taking the previous photo, I realized I should probably empty out the dish rack. I just dumped everything drying on there onto the kitchen floor and took my other shots! But I obviously took this photo before the others because there's stuff in there! Did I make you laugh?)

So here's what you'll do to makeover your kitchen cabinets:

A. Paint them! You can choose any color—I chose white. And I also went with a high-gloss paint, which is easier to wipe down when they get, inevitably, spilled on. You'll need to unscrew all the doors with a screwdriver and take them (preferably outside) to paint them all. I used rollers (or I should say my family who helped me paint them used rollers!), but you could use spray paint. Don't go for a paintbrush--it will take forever (I'm guessing) and be streaky. Also: I only painted the doors, front and back, but not the inside shelves of the cabinets, which you could do if you're feeling up for the challenge. And then I painted the top and bottom of the cabinets white, too. 

Like my knife rack?  Here's a how-to post on it. 

B. Replace the hardware. This is not hard - if you can use an electric drill, you can do it! Watch a YouTube video. If you're nervous, watch it twice. And picking out new drawer pulls is so fun! You can get really creative with them, or stay simple/classic like I did. The best tip I have for this step is to buy a TEMPLATE. My cousin Nick recommended it (they sell them at stores like Home Depot) and if you use a template, you're sure to have a nice, even install. Here's what they look like:

Right now, this is  just $3.97 at the Home Depo t! As great of a deal as TJ's $4 flowers! 

Right now, this is just $3.97 at the Home Depot! As great of a deal as TJ's $4 flowers! 

C. Open up some shelving. Leave doors off some of your shelves to give your kitchen an open feel. I left off the doors on either side of my sink and my mom (a frequent character in my blog posts because she's the OG diy-er) covered the shelves in peel-and-stick grey and white BUFFALO CHECK (my fav) paper. 

P.S. don't you love my pink ice cream cone dishes for serving ice cream? They're from  my favorite NYC kitchen store, Fishs Eddy . 

P.S. don't you love my pink ice cream cone dishes for serving ice cream? They're from my favorite NYC kitchen store, Fishs Eddy

D. Add a skirt under your sink for a modern-farmhouse feel. That's right, take off and leave off the cabinet doors under your sink and hang up a curtain. Mine is pink gingham. 

I store the cat food for my cat, Phoebe, in the bottom door to the left of the sink (and sink skirt). So, she is usually sitting in front of it hoping I will feed her unexpectedly (she gets fed regularly every a.m. and p.m. but always holds out hope for more whenever I am home). Here she is, looking #notimpressed that I'm not feeding her a third meal at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 

I store the cat food for my cat, Phoebe, in the bottom door to the left of the sink (and sink skirt). So, she is usually sitting in front of it hoping I will feed her unexpectedly (she gets fed regularly every a.m. and p.m. but always holds out hope for more whenever I am home). Here she is, looking #notimpressed that I'm not feeding her a third meal at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 

LAST STEP. Accessorize! My dear Uncle Fred bought me that GORGEOUS Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in Pistachio, which I blogged about the other week. That is clearly now the star of my kitchen. And I found that cute "U-Pick" sign at one of my favorite antique stores called Barge Canal Market on Pine Street in Burlington. I also have framed photos of: my sister and I from a trip to Montreal, a chicken painting from a local artist I like, and a painting of Camel's Hump, also by a local artist. And I bought a pink toaster from Bed Bath & Beyond to add to the pink accessories. 

I posted a bunch of photos — side angle! angle! box shot! —  on my Instagram.  

I posted a bunch of photos — side angle! angle! box shot! — on my Instagram. 

Apparently that U-PICK sign was from an apple orchard in New York (the dealer told me). Also, that little flower vase by the window - which I did a sticker treatment too--another blog post topic for future! - is from Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand with Magnolia collection at Target. 

Apparently that U-PICK sign was from an apple orchard in New York (the dealer told me). Also, that little flower vase by the window - which I did a sticker treatment too--another blog post topic for future! - is from Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand with Magnolia collection at Target. 

Here's a shot of my stove with a painting of Camel's Hump and dairy cows grazing under it. I like to look at it while I'm cooking--since I don't have a window with a view! Someday :) 

Here's a shot of my stove with a painting of Camel's Hump and dairy cows grazing under it. I like to look at it while I'm cooking--since I don't have a window with a view! Someday :) 

All in all, making over your kitchen cabinets takes two basic steps: (1) painting your cabinets (maybe for the first time, or painting over an existing color) and (2) installing or swapping out hardware. If you feel like getting more creative, you can open up shelving, add a sink skirt, paint a chalkboard wall, or whatever else strikes your fancy! But the paint and hardware alone will be a big change, I am sure. 

Has anyone else re-done their kitchen? I'd love to hear about it! Shoot me a note or leave a comment below!

xx

Lucy

 

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