Before & After: "Nothing Wrong" Kitchen Brightens Up

Before & After: "Nothing Wrong" Kitchen Brightens Up

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Tara Bellucci
Mar 8, 2015
(Image credit: Becky Voboril )

For those amongst us who have a strong urge to stick with "perfectly good" spaces that have "nothing wrong" with them, either look away or be inspired. Becky's kitchen was fine, but she didn't love it. So she and her husband ditched what they didn't like and made it a room they truly love:

(Image credit: Becky Voboril )

From Becky:

There was nothing wrong with the kitchen in our new house. It had newer appliances, decent cabinetry, big windows, nice granite counter tops, and was a suitable size. But…well it was ugly. Plus, the upper cabinets made us feel as if the room was closing in.

Right from the start we kept the upper cabinets empty, just to see if we could live without them. Sure enough, our insane amount of kitchen gear fit into just the base cabinets with a few things left over, perfect for stacking on some open shelving.

We really got going with paint. Just priming the walls made such a HUGE difference that we were full steam ahead from there. My husband had the upper cabinets down in what seemed like seconds. We sold them and the cabinet-mount microwave on Craigslist in a day, which made some nice cash in our pocket for the rest of the project. After holes were patched and back splash was torn out and repaired, a coat of Moonshine from Benjamin Moore covered those walls.

From there the list included:
  • new white subway tile back splashes with gray grout
  • new outlets and switches
  • new outlet covers
  • new faucet
  • new range hood
  • new countertop microwave to replace the over-the-stove one we took down
  • custom open shelving
  • new lighting
  • under shelf lighting
  • replacing recessed windows with wood
  • new flooring

so he could get started, then I began tiling the walls....it took a while but was very easy and made such a huge impact. The shelves turned out great too, they could double as beds if needed, they are incredibly strong. No plates will come crashing down this century!

and we've been over the moon about it. It looks beautiful and functions perfectly for a price that made me sing.

  • Range Hood: Z Line via Amazon
  • Floor Tile: Style Selections Mitte Gray Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile from Lowes
  • Wall Tile: Color Collection Bright White Subway Tile from Home Depot
  • Paint Color: Moonshine from Benjamin Moore HERE


While most was manageable on our own, we did farm out the floors and the shelf construction. I worked with our contractor to draw up some super-chunky-and-sturdy open shelves The toughest purchase was the range hood...there are limited options for extra-tall ceilings and most are horrendously expensive. I finally landed on a Z Line hood from Amazon The final stage was the floor. What a mess. But getting the super ugly and cracked peachy ceramic tile out was so worth it. We found a very affordable and lovely large-format porcelain tile at Lowes that looks amazing in the space.

Overall, we're so happy with the results. The kitchen is more fun to be in and the reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable.

Thank you Becky!

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