eva higgins photography

Dear House on the Mill

use what you have

Dear House on the Mill...

Before we were able to get to the cosmetics, we had to deal with some "behind the scenes" moments.  From new HVAC, ductwork, re-wiring, decking, patching holes, plumbing, and oh yeah...the time we woke up to ankle deep water in our kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and laundry room... These types of fixes are harder for me because I can't physically see the changes they make.  Re-wiring an outlet or fixing a leak may not add beauty to my home, but it is a necessity and I'm very happy we were able to make those changes.  Now that most of that is (hopefully) behind us, I'm ready to make-over every room! 

Starting with the kitchen! 

Our kitchen is a very important place in our home.  Meals are cooked here, preparations are made, prayers are said, and it's the largest room in our house.  We started with dark, stained cabinets, black and white checkered flooring, and deep red walls.  It was too dark.  I had to lighten the space up! 

When I started designing what this space would look like, I imagined light, airy, charming, and pops of color.  But when I started to shop, I found expensive, expensive, expensive!  There was no way I could make-over every room in my house if I spent my entire budget on just the kitchen.  And so the fun began...

I started with the cabinets.  They are beautiful, custom wood cabinets that just needed to be lightened up a bit.   So with a little elbow grease and the help from a few family members, we were able to sand, prime, and paint these dark cabinets a bright white all in one weekend.  (Side note: having a paint party with family or friends is a great way to knock out painting a large room or tackling something like re-finishing cabinets.  Make sure you provide the food and drinks since they are working for free!)  The last step for the cabinets was to take a trip to the local hardware store to find pulls or knobs.  I went straight to the discount section and picked a simple, stainless look that was only $0.49 each!  What a bargain!

Next - the counter tops!  I was very indecisive when it came to this.  Did I want white and bright or to add a little contrast and go darker...  I couldn't decide.  Then I read an article about painting your own counter tops - using what you HAVE to get what you WANT!  This was a perfect solution for me.  I could try what I thought I wanted and if it didn't look okay, no harm - I could paint again.  The steps are simple... 1. prep your existing counter tops (clean and lightly sand) 2. prime 3. paint your base coat4. using a sponge, dab your second color 5. using another sponge, dab your third color 6. lightly sand and apply your clear, protective coat 7. lightly sand the clear coat after drying and repeat step 6 (I applied a total of 6 clear coats). I used all Valspar paints - Birchwood White for the base color, Very Black for the second color, and Ivory Lace for the third color.  (Side note: they do make kits that include all of the products you need but I saved over half of the cost by buying them individually).

Now the walls - one of the least expensive but most dramatic changes you can do is paint.  It can instantly transform any room.  Take our red kitchen, I needed to brighten the room up and make it feel larger.  So, I needed a color that was light and refreshing.  My dear friend, Dipali, found the perfect color for me - Frappé by Valspar.  The best thing about this paint is that it has paint and primer all-in-one!  That's a huge time saver and worth the extra money.

So for less than $150 in paint and kitchen hardware, my kitchen was already starting to transform - I now have bright, white kitchen cabinets and walls that reflected natural light to make the space feel larger and more inviting.  Remember it's not always about what you need for your space - sometimes it's about what you already have.  Use the pieces you already HAVE in your room but change them up a little - add some paint, new knobs, or new fabric - and make them work for the space you WANT.

Join me next week as we add that pop of color!



The BEFORE....(the first photo I found of the kitchen)


The AFTER...