Before & After: A Kitchen Goes Light and Bright, One Project at a Time

Before & After: A Kitchen Goes Light and Bright, One Project at a Time

Tara Bellucci
Aug 6, 2015
(Image credit: Erin)

Erin and her husband were taking steps to lighten up their Colorado home. Their kitchen had good bones, so smaller projects done over time helped transform it from lovely and not their style, to the light and bright space they now love.

(Image credit: Rachel Olsen Photography)

From Erin:

We bought our house 3 years ago and immediately loved the craftsman details in the moldings, doors, and lighting throughout the house. The previous owners stayed true to the Colorado surroundings and used natural stone and warm earthy colors throughout the house. One of the first things we did when we moved in was to change over the walls to a light gray color and start to find ways to brighten up the house, without major renovations.

The kitchen was a place that we did small projects over a few years to bring a lighter feel to the space. The first thing we did in the kitchen was swap out the tumbled travertine subway backsplash for a reclaimed barnwood herringbone backsplash in a white washed finish. Bringing in this new backsplash with all of its dimension and texture made the kitchen stand out, though I couldn't help but keep thinking how nice the backsplash would look with lighter cabinets. The cabinets were in great shape and made of maple, so there wasn't a glaring reason for covering them in paint- except I was never going to achieve a bright open kitchen feel with the wood cabinets.

After many rationalization talks with myself, I decided if painted cabinets was the look I was after, then I should paint the cabinets and not worry about what the wood purists would say. We painted the surround cabinets a light gray color (Northern Cliffs by Benjamin Moore) and the kitchen island went from black to white (Simply Gray by Benjamin Moore). Additionally the empty space above the top cabinets was filled with custom built upper cabinets. Taking the cabinets to the ceiling opened up the space and made the whole kitchen feel twice as large. We used a trim carpenter to build the cabinets and saved money going that route as opposed to using a cabinetry shop.

Additionally, the dark granite on the kitchen island was swapped out for white macabus quartzite- a decision that I did so much research on. I loved the look of marble but knew that our family would be really hard on it and etching/staining would break my heart. The quartzite is low maintenance but has a beautiful movement running across it and is now one of my favorite parts of the whole kitchen. We love the new feel our kitchen brings to the house. Its the light and bright space that I imagined and proves that a little paint really can go a long way.

See more before & after photos over on Suburban Bitches.

Thank you Erin!

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