Before & After: 2 Kitchens Overhauled with Bold Color & Painted Cabinets

The Color Cure

We've saved our two most daring makeovers for the last week of The Color Cure. Both projects include bold color, painted cabinets and new skills. That's the best type of home project, right? One where you dive in, head first, and learn as you dramatically make over your space. Go on, Color Curists, take a peek at these inspiring changes!

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The Color Cure: How long have you lived in your home?
Dan: 1 Year

The Color Cure: When did you overhaul the space?
Dan: After living here for 3 months (9 months ago)

The Color Cure: How long did it take?
Dan: 1 week working nights and one weekend

The Color Cure: Where did you find your color and design inspiration?
Dan: I had three main sources of color and design inspiration: a wooden dining tray I have that is stained black on the top and bottom with the natural wood exposed around the edges; the green you see when looking at a glass table-top from the side; a modern matte black kitchen I saw in an issue of Dwell. I also wanted something that I thought would work better with the appliances than the white, and figured it was easier to change the paint than to change the appliances.

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The Color Cure: How much planning did you put into the project?
Dan: The countertop was a simple decision that I knew I wanted to do both for aesthetics and economics. However, since I was making such a drastic change with the color, I definitely did some planning and wanted to be sure I wasn't going to hate the result (especially since black is a bit hard to undo). I started simple and when I convinced myself at one stage I moved on to the next going from: searching online for black-walled rooms, to covering the cabinets with 2 old black shower curtains I had, to very rough photo editing in Microsoft Paint, to a 3D model in Google Sketch-Up. This whole process took place over a few weeks before I put brush to cabinet.

The Color Cure: What was the most challenging part of the project?
Dan: The toughest part of the project was convincing myself to do it. Though it didn't look how I wanted it to, everything in the kitchen was fine and functional as it was before the project, and there was a reasonable chance it still wouldn't look how I wanted it to and it might not be functional after I finished. So, the two points of no return—ripping out the old counter tops and painting the first "test" cabinet black—were big tests of my nerve. Once I started, I had to finish, so although not everything went smoothly, it all got done.

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The Color Cure: Did you learn a new skill during your home improvement project?
Dan: Before this project I had never done any work with counters or cabinets, so I learned a lot along the way, including: how to remove and install a countertop, how to cut out the counter for the sink, how to remove and install a sink, how NOT to remove a garbage disposal—and eventually, how to remove a garbage disposal.

The Color Cure: Are you happy with the outcome?
Dan: I am very happy with how it turned out, I think the kitchen now has a much different feel. I wanted to get away from the country home look I thought was there at the beginning, and I think I have definitely done so. I also wanted to do this without spending tons of money, and I was able to get the whole thing done for approximately $300 ($200 for the counter and jigsaw rental and $100 for paint and supplies).

The Color Cure: What, if anything, would you do differently next time around?
Dan: Next time around I think I might try designing a tile pattern and tiling the backsplash instead of painting. I haven't done any tiling before, so it would be another good opportunity to learn something.

The Color Cure: If you had one piece of advice for Apartment Therapy readers, what would it be?
Dan: Try something new, whether it is the design or the techniques, don't always settle for safe. As they say, fortune favors the bold.

Thanks for sharing, Dan!

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The Color Cure: How long have you lived in your home?
Sophie: I've lived here for about 9 months.

The Color Cure: When did you overhaul the space?
Sophie: I've been doing a little here and a little there throughout my time here but I finished the cabinets and completed it about 2 months ago.

The Color Cure: How long did it take?
Sophie: I spent a little bit of time while living here working on it but the wallpaper and painting of the cabinets I completed in 1 day.

The Color Cure: Where did you find your color and design inspiration?
Sophie:I was looking at modern kitchens on blogs and Google and stumbled across a really nice one with deep pink lacquered cabinets.

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The Color Cure: How much planning did you put into the project?
Sophie: I knew as soon as I moved in I was changing the kitchen as it was horrendous and my landlord never painted the cabinets white as agreed before I moved in. It took me about 2 months to decide what I wanted to do and I originally painted my cabinets steel gray. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. So about 2 months later I tiled the backsplash. I was walking down Spring Street and saw my lovely wall paper hanging in the window of the Janovic store and took a photo of it. At the time I didn't know where I would use it so I just kept it on my radar. When I decided to paint my cabinets pink, I immediately thought of it because it was so feminine and I knew it would look great with a pop of color. The whole idea for pink cabinets was really spur of the moment, I saw that inspiring kitchen on Google and 2 days later thought, hey, why not?

The Color Cure: What was the most challenging part of the project?
Sophie: There wasn't anything really challenging about the project, it was fairly simple.

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The Color Cure: Did you learn a new skill during your home improvement project?
Sophie: I learned how to apply wall paper. It was my first time doing it and it turned out really well.

The Color Cure: Are you happy with the outcome?
Sophie: I'm very happy with the outcome. And when people come over they are always surprised by the hot pink kitchen.

The Color Cure: What, if anything, would you do differently next time around?
Sophie: Nothing I would do differently.

The Color Cure: If you had one piece of advice for Apartment Therapy readers, what would it be?
Sophie: Don't be afraid of color, it just might brighten up your every day :)

Thanks for sharing, Sophie!

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The Color Cure

Landis is a ceramic artist who hand-makes heirloom-quality pottery for the kitchen, table, and home. She writes about tabletop design and entertaining for The Kitchn and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and toddler.

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