If you've been following here for a while, you know I haven't posted many photos of our kitchen over the years (this November will mark 16 years in our home). While most of our rooms have undergone at least 3 new looks in this time period, this is only the second new look for the kitchen. As you know, it's not quite as easy as a coat of paint to give a kitchen a new look! There are appliances, cabinets, tile backsplashes and more to consider. And our kitchen was a REAL honest-to-goodness eyesore.
We just aren't big spenders when it comes to our home - we are big DIYers. Although yes, I would LOVE a cool new retro style fridge, the idea of spending $3,000 (!!!) on a FRIDGE is kind of a big commitment to us. We kind of figure, there are probably better things to be spending our money on... like travel, or that unexpected trip to the E.R. (which we've already had this month... and yes we have crappy insurance - so yeh, that's a couple grand down the pooper!)
But yeh, one day I WOULD like to have a cool new fridge, and I don't judge anyone else that spends $3,000 on one... but I don't see that happening anytime soon for us. Which is totally fine by me - I'll take our Sears outlet one any day!
Last year, we did "splurge" to have someone else paint our kitchen cabinets, as well as many walls in various rooms painted white. We've really been trying to brighten up our dark, cave-like 60's ranch home - and white walls is the most effective at doing that! It has been the best update to our home in ages. Not only does it brighten up all of our spaces, it totally has an effect on your mood. I'm such a fan of the very light, bright open spaces I see on design blogs from Scandinavia - the Netherlands, Sweden, etc. Although, not a fan of the more minimal, very desaturated versions of Scandinavian design - I prefer lots of white, with a heavy dose of pops of color here and there (and yes you have my permission to roll your eyes at "pops of color". ; )
While the cabinets have been painted for a while, the tile backsplash needed attention desperately, and the holiday decor shoot I was doing for a magazine (set to release this coming holiday season) was the perfect excuse to get off my butt and redo it.
We knew we didn't want to have the expense of paying someone to rip out the tile, so I did a lot of research on painting tile - which is naturally pretty controversial. Tiles are naturally slick, so the thought of paint not sticking strongly is a bit scary. I ended up using the Glidden brand primer called "Gripper" and cross your fingers, it seems to have done well so far. I did three coats because the previous tiles were Mexican style clay tiles, with a cream-ish glaze on top, as well as some images like fruits, shrooms, etc. on some.
When we first moved into our home, freshly newlywed, we were very into the Spanish look after traveling there, as well as Mexico. At the time we really loved that style and I even painted the cabinets a royal blue (the hue you see in Talavera pottery) and stenciled Spanish style designs on them. Yes, at that time I thought it was a very good idea. ; ) But tastes change in a decade and a half!
The three coats of Glidden "Gripper" did very well to cover all the tile designs. Then I added two coats of high gloss white paint. I plan on adding a coat of Polycrylic sealer soon.
The apple decals were something I've had in mind for a very long time and I was so excited to finally follow through with the idea. I designed them myself, inspired by vintage 60's motifs, and had Nickie at Vinyl Fruit cut them for me. I've worked with her before, and she's awesome to work with! They came out perfect! I was so relieved that when I adhered them to the tiles, the paint didn't come off. The paper they stick to have a lot of adhesion, so I was so thankful the paint resisted coming off. (phew.)
Overall, I'm so thrilled with the outcome of our small kitchen makeover. Yes, we still have cheesy "faux-bois" vinyl (?) countertops. Yeh, our fridge is FUG-LAY. But we also have a vintage G.E. oven original to the house that's pretty darn cool.
I've learned that you gotta be thankful for what you have, instead of always wanting more. It's a much more enjoyable life that way, don't you think?
These little guys were designed by one of my favorite designers, Ingela P. Arrhenius. I snapped this pic while photographing our holiday decor (that can FINALLY come down!! Lord, it's almost March for cripes sake!) I've always wanted one of her pieces, but they are very, very hard (impossible) to find in the States. I ordered this set from somewhere in Europe. They are super tiny and so, so cute.
P.S. I had the toaster cover made with fabric from Alice Apple's Spoonflower shop and the towel hanging from the oven is from her Etsy shop. Love her! The adorable cupcake teapot was a gift from my Mother-in-Law for Christmas. The Marimekko oven mit was a random find on Ebay I think. The little bear mug was a Daiso find while visiting Vancouver.