Farmhouse Charm

Lauren’s kitchen was nice. Sensible. Practical. A fine kitchen indeed.

But Lauren didn’t want a kitchen that fit the same description as a sturdy pair of shoes. She wanted more. A little style, a little sparkle. She wanted the kitchen version of those light-up shoes that everyone is getting for Christmas this year. OK, I have taken this shoe analogy too far, but you get it.

Let’s see how she transformed her simple space into the modern farmhouse kitchen of her dreams.



modern farmhouse kitchen makeover with reclaimed wood

She painted the cabinets white, a no-brainer she says since there are no windows in the kitchen and the dark cabinets were sucking the life-force right out of it. The power of paint never fails to inspire me. Even more inspiring: the total budget was $2,500! For such a drastic change, that’s absolutely remarkable. How did she do it? Magic? Witchcraft? Sorcery?

No silly, just the sorcery of DIY. Or REsourcery, I should say. Ahaha. 

Rather than ripping out her counters and backsplash and starting from scratch, she stuck to her budget by layering concrete over her existing formica, and applying faux brick paneling on top of the old tile backsplash.


modern farmhouse kitchen makeover

Did you notice that the flooring stayed the same? There wasn’t room in the budget to replace it just yet, but it fades into the background now that the eye is drawn to all the other good things happening in here.

What’s your favorite part? I love how she replaced her teensy sink with a huge new farmhouse sink, which required some nerve-wracking work of cutting into the countertops. But it all worked out, and was definitely worth the extra effort. It really takes it that much further away from basic-y-buildertown.

See all the fun details and get the whole budget breakdown from Lauren at Bless’er House.

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3 Steps to Creating a Cohesive Home, only one is illegal.

If you’ve ever spent any time on Christy’s blog, Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer, you’ve probably come away with feelings of inadequacy and disgust at your own home because every inch of hers is perfect! Girlfriend, what is your secret?

Is it millions of dollars and a personal decorator? No, judging by the name of her blog, she does it all herself, and on a budget. Like this laminate dining set she found at a thrift-store. Nothing worth taking a second-glance at …




Until now! Take a second and third glance all over this thing. Isn’t it it so charming and sweet? It fits perfectly into her coastal cottage style. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret in the sauce. She knows exactly what her style is and stays true to it. She also keeps the color scheme constant throughout her entire house which makes everything feel cohesive and complete.

For instance, this she scooped up this assortment of aqua dishes when she found them at a thrift-store, even though she wasn’t exactly sure where to use them. But she knew that lovely color would work anywhere in her home. And sure enough, she found a perfect place: in the bedroom!





She cut the candlestick in two and painted it white, then glued the dishes in between for this cute and custom jewelry organizer. Not only is the color scheme spot-on, but it also matches the curves of the kitchen table too! Cohesiveness, that’s the key.

Let’s review.  To create a beautiful home you should:

  • Discover your style and stay true to it.
  • Create a color scheme and stick with it.
  • Kidnap Christy and make her decorate your house for you.



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Beat the Buzzer

Let’s pretend you’re on a game show. It’s the final round. You have a chance to win big money right now. All you have to do is name the first two things Karisa should change in her kitchen in order to get the modern makeover she’s always dreamed of. The time is on the clock. You have two seconds.

“Two seconds? That doesn’t seem fai-”


“Uhh, replace the cabinets and tear out that half wall!” you scream.




Oooh, no! Sorry! Actually, Karisa did NOT rip out that half wall, and she kept the original cabinets too. She simply updated them with paint and hardware. Tough one! Who would have seen that coming? (sad trombone)

But hey, thanks for playing, and better luck next time! I don’t want you walking away empty-handed, so here are some more pictures of Karisa’s fabulous new kitchen!




It really is a stunning transformation. She managed to do so much just by working with what she had. The black paint and sleek hardware made the builder-basic cabinets look anything but. The half wall is now home to raw-wood open shelves, which also add to the modern, slightly industrial vibe.

She did replace the floors with an oak laminate (from Costco!) a nice and neutral look vs. the yellowy laminate they were before. Everything else appears to be cosmetic, and she kept the original appliances too. You don’t always need to start from scratch to get the look you’re after, unless you’re me before makeup in the morning.

Head on over to her blog Petite Modern Life to see more.



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Thankful and Carpetless

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your kitchen is full of family, friends, and food today, and empty of the one thing no one can stomach. No, not frog-eye salad, that’s actually my favorite. Don’t be crazy. I’m talking about carpet. 

Really now, who puts carpet in the kitchen? Probably the same people who put it in the bathroom. Whoever they are, they’re lunatics and not to be trusted. Although, my grandparents had carpet in their kitchen and bathrooms, and they were some of the nicest people on the planet, so I could be wrong. But better not trust them, just to be safe.

Or, why not just rip that carpet out and install some up-to-date flooring? The turkey’s still thawing, you’ve got time.




Cara made a night-and-day change in her kitchen by ditching the the decades-old carpet and dark and dated wall-paneling. I admit, it would have been really hard for me to see the potential in the before. Those drapes … those walls … that CARPET.

But she soldiered on and transformed this space into the gorgeous light-filled kitchen you see here.



So many smart updates. Reversing the layout and bringing the peninsula further into the dining room area looks like it doubled the entire kitchen space. The new door also brings in so much light, I bet the old owners wish they could go back in time and at least change that. It didn’t have to be a carpeted cave all this time!

See more on Cara’s blog Live the Home Life.

And have a happy Thanksgiving friend.

And save me some frog-eye salad.




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