DIY Eclectic Glam Budget Kitchen Refresh

Guys. This is by faaaarrrr my favourite transformation yet. I probably say that about everything, but SERIOUSLY. This kitchen. It started out SO DARK, and just... not my style, ya know? And now. $350(ish) later. It is TRANSFORMED.

A reminder of the before... dark cabinets, a funky mosaic accented backsplash, and allll the beige. We just needed to DO something about it, ya know?

Just a bit of backstory - we moved into this house in September, 2.5 weeks after having our first baby, our lil Sweet P. We did not have the budget to renovate the kitchen (just bought our first home, on maternity leave, etc.) But we (I?) wanted to do something about the situation. The windows in our living room are south facing (if you live in the north - you know thats a big deal) and get GREAT light during the day, but because the kitchen was so dark, it felt like it just soaked up all the nice light! I knew that if we added some white in, it would act as a reflector of the light from the windows, and just really bring some life into the space. Also - being on maternity leave - I would sit for houuuurs on the couch, feeding Sweet P, and staring at the cabinets, planning their transformation. But, Paul was cautious to start the process - he didn't want to spend too much money on it (understandably) and he was the reasonable one, saying we should take things slow. Apparently a new house is like a new relationship? Weird. So, we waited.

One Saturday morning, we were thinking about the colours we *hypothetically* wanted to use. I originally thought everything needed to be white, because that would bounce the most light! AND bright white is so CUTE! Paul reminded me that we did that in our last kitchen (see it here), so maybe we could try something different. Always the voice of reason, that guy. So he started thinking of colours he would pick... and, guys, I don't want to be mean, but I'm usually the one who makes the style choices in this house. I was very hesitant. Sorry, Paul. But it's true.

THEN... he found this beautiful emerald green colour. And we searched for some kitchens on Pinterest that had cabinets in this colour, and guys... I fell in love. It was fun and funky, a touch of modern, but also not too in-your-face. I haven't seen it done in tons of places yet, and I thought - what the heck! It's paint, and we can always re-paint it! Let's do it! And as soon as we picked that colour, Paul decided - it was TIME. We could start!!!

Now, if you want to watch behind the scenes of the transformation, check out my story highlight on instagram of the process. It took us a total of about 2 weeks, which, in retrospect, was pretty quick (considering we had a lil baby). But when there's a project to be done, we just get in the zone, and get it DONE, ya know?

If we were doing a total kitchen reno, we would've replaced the countertops and the backsplash. However, since we were working with a really tight budget, we opted to paint over the tile on the backsplash, and try our best to pull in the countertops without replacing them. We used a Cutting Edge Stencil to stencil a cement tile pattern on the backsplash - and guys, it worked like a dream! The hard part for the backsplash was filling in the mosaic tile so it didn't show through the paint. *ALSO - disclaimer - we did not use a top coat on our painted tile, and we definitely should still do it! It has peeled off in a few places (mostly where we didn't get the caulking totally off) so if you're opting to paint your tile, make SURE there is no caulking on it and it is squeaky clean! And use a top coat!

Ok - so remember the before? Dark. Mid-2000's look. Nothing special.

And here is what she looks like now ✨

So much more FUN, and CUTE, and BRIGHT, amiright?!

We did all the work ourselves, with basic tools and minimal (but growing) DIY knowledge. Most of the transformation was just paint! The only real structural changes were the light fixtures. And we added a simple cabinet face on the cubbies below the microwave. But seriously - ANYone could do this! If you know how to use a paintbrush, tape, a sander, and screwdrivers? You're golden.

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