before kitchen cabinets maple

This was our kitchen on the day of the open house.  As a first-time home buyer, I focused mostly on the negative aspects of the kitchen: it was a galley layout, it was small (with a dining room and breakfast nook feet away from each other) and OH MY LORD the cabinets were just blinding me with their maple-ness!  The only thing I could “live with” were the gray granite countertops.  When we bought the house we had some pipe dreams grand plans of knocking down walls, opening up the kitchen, enlarging windows–you know Extreme Home Makeover kitchen edition type stuff.  Well, we soon thought better of a 60k redesign and opted for some good old fashioned paint instead!  Sorry this is not a DIY, tutorial on how to spray your own cabinets (although you can find many great ones here on Pinterest), we left that to the pros!

My main contribution was choosing the colors and boy did I over-think things!  At one point I had 7 shades of gray sampled on EVERY wall in the house.  “It’s because the light interacts with the color differently on every wall,” I protested to my hubby, who had thought I had seriously lost it.  God bless him for entertaining me asking him for his favorite color at 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, 6 PM and 9 PM.  He ended up laying down the law soon after that–luckily we both liked the same color–but I wasn’t allowed to reconsider.  The winner for our main house color was Moonshine by Benjamin Moore (also in the kitchen walls).  We did an accent wall in the living room in Granite, also by Benjamin Moore and the trim was in White Dove, by (you guessed it, Benjamin Moore).

DIY two tone Kitchen painting kitchen cabinets galley kitchen layout cheap kitchen remodel ideas MyMommaToldMe.comI went back and forth on weather we should do an all-white kitchen or the two tone.  It didn’t help my confidence when the painters had never done a two-tone paint job before.  In the end, I’m so glad I took the bolder choice!  We used White Dove for the upper cabinets and the same Granite that was used on the accent wall for the lower cabinets.  I found new hardware online for less than $3 a handle (Hickory Hardware 3″ Loft Contemporary Satin Nickel with Black Pulls)  and I love how the brushed steel and black picks up on the granite countertops.  It is freaking amazing what a huge difference painting wooden cabinets can make!  If the kitchen had looked like this for the open house our offer would have been at least 10k higher and thats why your can get such a great ROI by doing this very simple refresh to your home before you sell!

The new paint made such a difference that I actually began to fall in love with my little galley kitchen.  As my mom lovingly pointed out: “No one can see your mess at a dinner party!”  I have SO much more to share about our kitchen refresh (new appliances, a glass tile splash guard, and the vent hood debacle), so stay tuned for more home improvements to come!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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