Ahhh…here’s the kitchen when we first moved in to our Virginia home.  From the first moment I saw it I eyed it objectively and started the lists!

The overall layout was fine, the appliances were great, the cabinetry was in excellent condition, they had updated the countertops to granite and the views from the large picture window are amazing. The oak cabinets with oak floors just weren’t my favorite but I knew I could easily fix that.

I will share that we had visited another house in the area that was lovely except for the kitchen. It was going to need a total gut.  Appliances were outdated, needed a new footprint/design plus all new cabinet and counters.  We didn’t have $50,000-$80,000 to toss in for a new kitchen so that house was immediately a NO.  I can see potential but I can also see a pit!!!

I bought 3 light fixtures before we moved from Florida. One was an orb style light that I felt was open, airy and would not block or distract us from the view.  My dad and I swapped it out within a month of move in.   I’m not even sure I can find an original pic- we swapped that out so fast!

Painting the kitchen cabinets was a high priority as the kitchen is the heart of the home.  I had painted our cabinets in Florida and we all preferred a lighter, brighter kitchen.  I painted the island first to make sure I liked the color.

I painted the cabinets next and all of the kitchen cabinets were completed in the first 3 months of living here.  I’ve already written a blog on painting your kitchen cabinets if you want more info on that- it’s in the archives.

I ordered new drawer pulls from Amazon and I am perfectly happy with them.  I thought I could spray paint our existing cabinet knobs using an oil rubbed bronze spray paint. Pulls that are most used frequently have paint rubbing off:(  I chalk this up as a project fail and I’m going to go ahead and buy new cabinet door pulls.


✅change light fixture over table

✅Painted cabinets PURE WHITE

✅new drawer pulls

✅spray paint knobs


✅Touch up paint

-nugget ice maker or new fridge

✅wrap support beam with plywood to look like a wood beam

We had a support beam across the eat in kitchen area that looked kind of odd.  I knew I could kind of LOVE it if I could make it look like a faux wood beam. I used the same gray stain as on the sliding barn door to tie it all together.  They sell rubber faux beam straps that appear to be really industrial metal straps keeping it in place.  I’d like to add those.  I will share that I hammered the hell out of my thumb during this project and my black thumb nail is almost grown out! I wore black nail polish for many months.

Now let’s look at the list of what I haven’t completed.  These items cost more money so we are budgeting them in plus I’m facing indecision on some.

I can’t make a decision on a backsplash to save my soul. I brought home 7 samples and immediately eliminated one. I’ve since returned 5 and 2 are still pinned to the wall!!!

My husband and I intend to DIY it when I finally make a decision . I’m all in on decorating changes that I know are reversible but backsplash is a very permanent decision and I am finding myself struggling to commit. Must be from moving over 20 years with the military and always making temporary and reversible design choices!!!

So, almost a year into living here and that’s the progress in our kitchen.  Most of the improvements are simply the power of paint!  I’m perfectly happy with the kitchen overall and someday we will add backsplash.

Hope this gave you some ideas or inspiration 🙂

About Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

I am customizing our final house into a home one room at a time. This is our 11th and final home so every detail is curated to create our FOREVER home. I've worked on many homes of our own and client's home so there is plenty of inspirational for all home sizes and styles here. There are tutorial blogs for DIY projects to recipes- this blog is all things HOME. I hope you will join me and find inspiration here.

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