Now serving smiles.

Hello and how are you? Have you fully recovered from the Ugly Lamp Contest? Have the night terrors subsided? Sure hope so!

Today I’m going to take it easy on you and your tender eyeballs with a lovely kitchen makeover from Kris at Aurora Patina.

Before, it was really very nice. (I’m taking it easy on you, see). It was in great shape and probably cost a pretty penny when it was new. There was nothing really wrong with it other than it was somewhat outdated and totally not her style. It was a bootleg jean kitchen in a skinny jean world. (Why yes, I DID clean out my closet this weekend, how did you know? I got rid of 19 pairs of pants! Pants that I haven’t worn in years! Pants that I’ve moved with at least three times without ever even unfolding them!)

I think the same logic applies in your home. No use in hanging on to something that no longer suits you just because it’s nice, or you paid good money for it at one time. You don’t need that albatross around your neck, girlfriend.

Cream, Blue, and Tiled KitchenBefore

Cream, Blue, and Tiled KitchenSet it free! Let it go! Turn it into something that will make your heart sing!  I bet Kris walks in here with a smile every day, and you can too. (In your own home, I mean. Please don’t walk into Kris’s kitchen all crazy smiles without at least letting her know you’re coming).

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Cart to heart.

You know how sometimes you need an island in your kitchen, but your kitchen doesn’t have a ton of room, and you don’t have a ton of money? Meg knows. She gets you.

Meg found this affordable little cart from Ikea and figured it would squeeze perfectly into her kitchen. Only Meg has this thing where she likes her DIYs to not look like DIYs.  It needed to look professional. Catalog worthy. It needed some sha-jazz.


Ikea Hack Bar Cart Before


Ikea Hack Bar Cart

Sha-jazz complete! She was inspired by a similar look she saw in a Williams Sonoma catalog, only their version cost $930. Robbery I say!

With a few elegant touches, like the carrara marble slab on top (good for extra stability too) and the vintage brass towel holder, she got the look she wanted and kept about $870 in her pocket. Go Meg!

See more on her blog Oliver and Rust.

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Shiny and New

Is it just me, or did Morgan’s before kitchen seem to be, oddly, his and hers? His side was clearly on the left with the manly brown countertops and cabinets, and hers on the right with the dusty rose counters and floofy valance.  What other explanation could there be? Why the two colors?!

Morgan isn’t telling, most likely because she was just as confused about it when she bought the house, but what she lacks in mismatched-countertop-mystery-solving-skills she makes up for in legitimately helpful information: she’s got the whole rundown for DIY-ing cabinets on a budget on her site Construction 2 Style.


White Kitchen with Black Backsplash Before


White Kitchen with Black Backsplash

Such a beautiful transformation. And how about that shiny backsplash?  If you like that and other shiny things, you are sure to enjoy Brooke’s kitchen makeover below.  Scroll your little scrolling finger on down and check it out.


Aqua and Black Kitchen Before


Aqua and Black KitchenOoooh! So bright and fun, and shiiiiiny! The backsplash looks like stamped tin panels but is actually a thermoplastic product designed especially for kitchens and bathrooms. But you can tell your friends it’s reclaimed vintage tin ceiling panels from an abandoned train station in New Mexico if you want, they don’t have to know.

Much more details on Brooke’s blog Re-Fabbed.

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How to deal with shelf-doubt.

Are you wondering if open shelving is right for you? You really want to do it, but you’re scared? You can’t commit? Girrrrrl, please. Let me talk you out of your fears.

Fear #1: “I will lose so much storage space!”

False.  You will most likely gain space.  Better After reader Jenny and her husband recently ripped out the small set of cupboards in their kitchen and replaced them with open shelving. Not only does it look so much lighter and spacious, I’d bet money that they are able to fit more on their shelves now than they ever could in those wussy cabinets.

White Gray Kitchen with Open Shelving Before


White Gray Kitchen with Open Shelving

Fear #2: “It does look lighter and more spacious.  Are you sure that isn’t just because they knocked out a whole wall and painted and upgraded everything else?”

Ok, that’s not really a fear, but yes that’s true. That obviously made a huge, wonderful difference.  But my favorite part is still those shelves.


Fear #3: “You don’t understand. My cabinets are currently jam-packed with crap. I have towers of mismatched plastic cups that are older than my kids.”

Are you listening to yourself girlfriend? Toss that crap! Dejunk those cabinets! Look at the contents of Jenny’s shelves here. Simple, streamlined, and cohesive. What more do you need?


Fear #4: “Sure, but what about DUST? I don’t want my dishes getting all DUSTY. Did you ever think about that?”

Look hunbun, as long as you are using the items regularly, it shouldn’t be a problem. And if you are not using them regularly, what the heck do you have them for? (See Fear #3). And also, occasional shelf dusting is a small price to pay for the fabulous open-shelving kitchen you’ve always wanted, right?

“I guess you’re right! Wow, I never looked at it that way. Thanks friend! You’re the best!”

*tearful hugs*

*credits roll*


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