Before and After: Little Changes Make This Dark ’90s Kitchen Boho Breezy

published Apr 18, 2020
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Before: Galley kitchen with red walls and yellowy oak cabinets
Credit: Suzy Jean

A small budget can inspire tons of creativity—especially in the kitchen, where full-blown redos can be quite costly. Suzy Jean (@sweetbungalow) knows the drill: Her ’90s builder-grade home needed of plenty of updates, but a kitchen reno wasn’t in the budget upon move-in. Dark red walls and two lines of wood cabinets made the already-small kitchen feel even smaller, and the brown laminate floors didn’t help, either.

Credit: Suzy Jean

Knowing a full gut just wasn’t in the cards for a while, Suzy knew she’d have to do some improvising to give the space a brighter, more open look without making any structural changes. She also didn’t want to spend a ton on the redo—after all, she knew she’d be changing it again down the line.

Credit: Suzy Jean

Olive green on the base cabinets helped the dark counter blend in for a more polished look; taking out some of the uppers and painting the remaining ones white took away the oppressive feeling that the galley kitchen had before.

The cabinets didn’t have any hardware before, so Suzy installed knobs on all the doors and drawers for a more refined look. She also replaced the dated flush mount light over the sink with a boho-style pendant.

Another low-cost project that made a huge difference? Painting the floor to give it a lighter, brighter feel. Suzy used a hex tile floor stencil from Etsy. She painted the floor warm gray first (Valspar’s Ashen Gray) to mimic the look of grout, then topped it with white for the “tile.” The floor project cost less than $100 all-in.

Credit: Suzy Jean

Other little touches help round out the breezy boho look of the kitchen, including trailing plants and a color block Suzy painted to highlight a cute little display shelf.

Of her favorite part, Suzy says, “I love all of it!! The paint I had added to our kitchen had already transformed the space so much, but painting over the dark floor with “white tile” made the space feel so spacious and modern.” Not bad for a hundred-dollar project!

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