Our bright, white kitchen it is one of my favorite parts of our home! My husband and I moved out of our very first 1,400 square foot home and into our new house almost two years ago. We were just getting back from a vacation to the North Island of New Zealand, and immediately following our 13-hour flight and a little bit of sleep, we got the keys and started moving in! It was slightly chaotic and we were jet-lagged, but the excitement superseded the tiredness and we had a blast.
I really did love everything about our new home, but I was hesitant about the size of our kitchen. I am in the kitchen A LOT, and that was the one space that I just didn’t love. We both knew early on that this wasn’t intended to be our “dream home”and that was perfectly okay, but I still want to enjoy our space during the time that we call it home.
I love to entertain and I want people to feel comfortable – whether it be at a party or on a random afternoon where friends just walk on in. The kitchen was small and closed in — I prefer airy, bright and open (who doesn’t?), and the oak cabinets and formica countertops were a bit more dated than I wanted. We decided that after we had settled in, we would do a few upgrades!
The kitchen initially came with white appliances and we wanted to replace those as soon as we got our keys. We decided on the GE Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel appliances in Slate – primarily because I liked the darker color and my need for spotlessness seemed much easier to obtain. Two years later, I still love them and am a strong believer that they are all around much cleaner!
The setup of our house didn’t allow for me to extend the kitchen, so I made the most of the space I had. We lowered the counter area and made it into a bar which provides more eating space and allows people to hang out and chat (my favorite part!) while I cook.
The antique bronze pendant lights from Wayfair were one of my favorite purchases! I love how they add contrast and an industrial feel to the space. Our electrician patched the hole from the singular flush light and re-wired it to add the second pendant. The galvanized wood top stools are from Target – you can find them here.
RE-FACING CABINETS – FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE?
We decided to have a carpenter re-face and extend the cabinets to the ceiling rather than purchasing new ones. A shelf was built to the top of the cabinets to add more storage and he built new doors to fit.
Looking back, this is the one decision that I would change if I were to do our renovation again. I researched quite a bit and came to the conclusion that re-facing was a happy medium between solely painting the cabinets and buying new cabinets (in regards to cost effectiveness and quality).
However, I now strongly believe that the quality of brand-new cabinets would have been worth the additional $1,000-$1,500 price tag. There are issues with our current cabinets that I didn’t foresee- for example, there are nail holes from the previous cabinets that have remained visible, paint is already chipping off of the panels and doors, etc. These are relatively small things that are really only noticeable to us unless we point them out, so if that wouldn’t bother you, or if you have a really great cabinet guy, a re-face will save you some money!
I couldn’t be happier with the color of the cabinets. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White which has the perfect gray undertone with a bright white finish. After choosing the cabinet color, I quickly realized that white-on-white is harder to do than I previously expected. I struggled to find a perfect white for the walls.
The exact same paint color washed the cabinets out and many other whites looked slightly blue or pink next to the cabinets. After I went through what felt like one hundred swatches, I decided upon Brilliant White by Benjamin Moore. The two colors go so perfectly together and drastically open up and lighten the room!