Home Decor

6 Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

I’ve talked about our home a little here and there and about how we have been remodeling it for several years, one project at a time. Today I am sharing our kitchen facelift!

Here is a little background on our home to help you understand why we decided to just do a kitchen facelift rather than an entire remodel.

6 years ago we purchased a 1940’s home in the historic neighborhood of Laurelhurst in Portland, OR. We purchased the home by owner from the original family, it was a one owner home! Although it was very well taken care of and loved, it had not been updated much since it was built in 1940.

Over the years we completely remodeled the upstairs and added a master suite with a walk in closet and master bath , an upstairs laundry and a large nursery for the kids. We then completely remodeled the basement which wasn’t really livable when we bought it. We added a family room, another laundry and a bedroom.

Once that project was complete, we remodeled the exterior and added new siding and some changes to the front of the house. We then remodeled our main level bathroom and had the hardwood floors completely refinished. We have an office and another bedroom on the main floor. The home has a total of 5 bedrooms now with the additions we did.

All that is left to remodel in our home is the kitchen. We were actually going to gut the entire kitchen and start from scratch but when our daughter was born I started to realize that I was tired of remodeling. I was tired of the constant mess, dust and contractors in and out of our home. We talked about our alternatives and decided to just do a facelift until the kids are a little older and we feel like tackling this big project.

With that in mind, I didn’t’ want to spend a lot of money giving the kitchen a facelift knowing that we were eventually going to remodel it all. This made me get creative on a budget that I had set for myself and I love how the kitchen turned out!

In this post I will walk you through 6 things that I did to give my kitchen a facelift that could apply to almost any kitchen! Let’s get started…

Wall Paint

When we moved into our home, the kitchen was painted a very dark cherry red color. It wasn’t horrible but it made the space seem really small and dark. We opted for a lighter color of “Antique White” for the walls and pure white for the moldings and built ins. The moldings used to be brown and I thought white would really open up the space.

We also wanted to change the cabinets because they were dark so we had them refinished white rather than ripping them out and putting new ones in.

Paint is fairly inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself and it’s amazing how paint can really change the look and feel of a room.

Here is a little tip on how you can get a more expensive paint color for cheap: go purchase a sample of your favorite “designer” paint color and take it to your local hardware store. They can take that sample and actually match it closely enough that you won’t even tell the difference!

I really wanted a dark grey color from Restoration Hardware for our dining room but didn’t want to pay that much for the paint so, I purchased a sample for a few dollars and had Home Depot match it for me. I paid half the price per gallon this way!

Remove cabinet doors for open shelving

My dream has always been to  have some sort of open shelving in the kitchen.

In order to achieve this, we simply just removed the doors on the top cabinets, filled in the holes and had them refinished white to look fresh and new.

The original cabinets are oak wood and we had them refinished in white to lighten up the space. I get so many compliments on the open shelving when people come over and they are surprised to hear that all I did was remove the cabinet doors!

Add an island

It’s hard to tell in pictures because my lense wasn’t wide enough to capture the entire room, but our kitchen is actually really big. When we bought the home there was no island, it was just a big open space in the middle of the kitchen. We left it this way for a while but when we diceded to holdoff on remodeling, I decided to fill in the space with an island.

Crate and Barrel has an island that I really wanted but I didn’t want to spend $1,200 on it so I found a very similar one on Offer Up for $150! Believe it or not, this island was brand new with tags when I brought it home!

The island really brought the space together and made it look newer and updated.

New Hardware

Our kitchen cabinets had some really old and outdated hardware. Sometimes outdated can be really cute but these were not. I purchased some simple and more modern looking handles to make the cabinets look newer and updated.


A messy kitchen can make even a brand new kitchen look awful. The first thing I did was de-clutter the space. I got rid of anything I wasn’t using that was taking up room and making the kitchen look crowded.

For example, on these little built in shelves I had a collection of vintage tea pots, tea cups, books, candles, etc. I completely cleared the space and instead added a few simple prints, some clear vintage wine glasses and a couple of plants. I tried to make it more cohesive by using a set of matching prints and light colors to open up the space.

Add some plants

I love adding plants in each room. They seem to really tie everything together and add some life to the room. The only problem is that I tend to kill all of my live plants! Since I love them too much to go without, I started finding some really decent fake looking plants.

I was really excited when Commercial Silk reached out to me for a sponsored post. They sent me this beautiful fiddle leaf tree. It’s fake but it’s a pretty real looking fake tree. Checkout their selection of faux house plants and trees here. They have really great prices!

Those are basically the main things I did to update my kitchen. Unfortunately I didn’t take any before and after pictures to show you what a big difference these changes made.

To decorate, you can also find lots of gorgeous kitchenware and home decor items at thrift stores. 70% of my dishes, glassware, pots, pans, artwork, etc is thrifted. Why pay full price when you can find so many beautiful items for much less! I also updated the lighting with some budget friendly, yet trendy options from Ikea.

For more info on how I decorate my home with thrifted items, checkout my posts here.



PS: Look how long my hair was! I liked it long but I am definitely loving my easier and shorter hair!

Photos taken by Spotted Still Photography

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