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-”

ONE SECOND! 

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

 

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-before-1

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-1

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!

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-before

 

black-and-white-modern-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.

wood-paneled-dining-room-before

 

wood-paneled-dining-room-after

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.

wood-paneled-kitchen-before

wood-paneled-kitchen-makeover

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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One, Two, Kitchens Here Before You

“Well … it has good bones.” Have you heard that before? Have you said that before? I have. “Good bones” is the decor equivalent of saying someone has “a sweet personality.”  It’s a little back-handed. Trust me on this. If people tell you your house has good bones, what they really mean is that it’s a total barf-fest and you’d better do something about it quick.

Anyway, Corey’s kitchen had good bones.

(Ok, it wasn’t a total barf-fest. It’s not like she had clown wallpaper or anything. It was more of a snooze-fest. Mmm, I could go for a snooze-fest actually. That sounds fantastic. Like a grown-up equivalent of a slumber party, but we actually just sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep at the end of my yoga class, when the teacher turns off the lights and tells us to close our eyes. I go straight to dreamland. Drooling, REM, everything. I always leave that class thinking I would pay good money to take a nap class. I bet that’s already a thing. Sign me up. Heck yeah, I would take that class. I would teach that class. What were we talking about again?)

Right. Bones. Corey took the bare bones of this builder-grade kitchen and transformed them into a farmhouse fresh look that’s anything but basic.

white-and-gray-kitchen-before

 

white-and-gray-kitchen

Who knew that plain little kitchen had this much potential? Corey did, and she had so much fun doing it, she did it again!

Here’s her latest kitchen transformation in her new home:

farmhouse-kitchen-makeover

 

farmhouse-kitchen-makeover-after

I think Corey could teach a class or two herself. Just beautiful. And what an enormous difference it made taking out that ridiculous wall. Obviously it wasn’t load-bearing, and the only thing on the other side was a few cabinets. Well worth losing a tiny amount of storage in favor of opening up the whole room. She also used my favorite trick for faking a custom-cabinetry look: extending her cabinets all the way to the ceiling. 

You have to see the rest of this room! Spoiler alert: there’s a faux brick wall that you’re going to love more than your own kids. Not really I hope, but it’s pretty great. See it all on her blog Sawdust 2 Stitches.

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Mom-entum

Moms are the best, aren’t they? Who else is going to gestate you for 9 months? Read your blog? (Hi mom!) Keep an eye out for a dining set because they know you need one, AND negotiate a lower price on it? 

That’s the story of this table, which Vicki discovered at a second-hand store in Florida for her daughter Jennifer. Jennifer was tired of using her dining room for everything but dining, but was having trouble finding what she wanted. Vicki thought this table might be the kick in the pants she needed to take a step forward. It was exactly what Jennifer had dreamed of, except for not.

 

diamond-dining-table-and-chairs-before

diamond-dining-table-and-chairs

But all it needed was a fresh coat of paint and a quick reupholstery job, and it looks brand new! If you’ve never reupholstered anything before, chairs like this are the easiest place to start. Get yourself a decent staple gun and I’m confident the newest of newbies could have them done in a couple hours, if not less.

diamond-chair-makeover

 

diamond-chair-makeover-after

Isn’t that pattern fantastic? Jennifer adores her new dining set now. You can see more on the blog she shares with Vicki, 2 Bees in a Pod. That’s right, watch out, they’re a mother/daughter blogging team too!


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