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Monday, July 22, 2013

A Summer Kitchen DIY

One of my dearest friends Holly Cochrane and her husband Jamie recently bought an awesome house. She has spent her hard-earned summer off renovating her kitchen. I have anxiously awaited updates throughout her process, in awe of her ability to do this single-handedly, and was so excited to see her finished result! Read below for her beautiful airy transformation. I can't wait to visit! -Laurie

I awoke one February morning with an idea in my head. “This summer, I am going to update the kitchen”, I declared to my husband. He said okay, knowing full well that we were going to have a mess on our hands until the beloved day my new idea came into fruition.

We love our home. If you know me at all, you know that for various reasons the concept of home is crucially important to who I am. With that being said, we purchased our home knowing that I did not care deeply for the kitchen or bathrooms. Before you get too excited, the bathrooms still look as they did the day we signed our life away. I don’t do plumbing.

I enjoy working with my hands, though. I have this DIY nature that screams, “I’m not paying someone to do that!” The truth is, I didn’t do it all myself. I picked out a shiny counter and had it professionally installed. WE LOVE IT! You see, on one counter we had an icky old laminate. On the other, grimy mosaic tiles in an icky shade of green, much the same as the shutters and front door. Hunter green is an atrocity in my book and will not be tolerated.

I made mistakes along the way, had to do and re-do, and spent most of my hard-earned summer on our dear old kitchen. We kept the same appliances, because well, this is NOT HGTV (but everything else has been changed). Here is a before and after of my little slice of Heaven:

In Between:


So quickly, I am going to tell you what I did and what I used.

We kept our old cabinets and added lattice molding to the fronts. We also replaced the doorknobs and pulls. I always use Valspar from Lowes, which is nice because they have a great kitchen and bath line. The upper cabinets were painted Valspar’s “Woodlawn Bedroom White”. The lower cabinets were painted Valspar’s “Woodlawn Colonial Gray”, and the walls were painted Valspar’s “Aspen Gray”.

Trim and Molding:
I had to add quarter-round to the baseboards in the kitchen because they were missing. (Seriously? Come on, previous owners!) I also had to paint all trim and baseboards (including two sets of French doors) because unlike the rest of the house, which is white, they painted the kitchen trim cream (ick). I was also going to add crown molding to the tops of the cabinets, but ultimately gave that dream up. The corners and I cite creative differences for the cause of this minor failure. I painted all of it with a high gloss bright white.Backsplash:
Remember what the backsplash looked like mid-removal in the “In Between” photos? What a nightmare!

The good news is that it no longer looks like that! Whew. It was a doozy, but I used Fasade’s paintable “tin-like” paneling. Loved the stuff. It was easy to cut and I think it looks great. I painted it with Valspar’s  “Statuesque”.


Most of the small pieces of the puzzle are a mixture of ideas from Pinterest. I’ll just give you the pictorial representation.

I can’t believe it is finished. Honestly, I am not even certain what to do with myself! While finishing this project is entirely satisfying, I do have some people to thank: Jamie, my Mom and Jamie’s Mom. This would not have been a possibility without these three. This minor highlight of this roller coaster skips most of the downs and almost all of the creative problem solving. My kitchen no longer embarrasses me and we are pleased with its look. It makes the work completely worth it. What a journey.
 -Holly Cochrane
* Before photos are from

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