Lauren’s Before & After Photos: The Kitchen Reveal

published Nov 24, 2014
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(Image credit: as linked above)

I wasn’t sure if I was biting off more than I could chew when I decided to work on my kitchen again this year for the Style Cure. I mean, both my husband and I work full-time, we have preschooler and a toddler, and it’s that time of year when a lot of other things are happening: birthdays in the family, holiday preparation, and raking leaves, to name a few. But after talking about it ’til we were blue in the face, we decided to jump in head-first and see what happened. I’ll admit there are a few details that still need to be attended to, but you can find out how we did after the jump…

And here’s the after…

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(Image credit: Lauren Hufnagl)

I’m so happy to have finally lifted this kitchen out of the 80s and on a budget! While there are still things I’d love to change (hello giant above-the-stove microwave!), I’m so much happier every time I have to make a meal or wash a pile of dishes! I absolutely love our new oil-rubbed bronze faucet, knobs, pulls, and schoolhouse pendants from National Builder Supply. I seriously considered brass, because I love the look (with modern, updated fixtures — not the 80s type of course!), but we’re actually hoping to find a larger home soon, so we wanted to keep things fairly transitional. We live in a very conservative area, so we were hoping to create something that was appealing both to families who like a fresh, updated look, as well as those who prefer a more classic or even country feel.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

To save time and money, we decided to go with a wood plank (recently heard it called “shiplap” backsplash on TV) rather than the subway tile that we had originally considered. We simply cut strips of thin plywood to size, applied them to the wall with liquid nails, caulked, and painted. It’s hard to see the detail in the photos but in person it just adds a beautiful textured element to the space.

(Image credit: Lauren Hufnagl)

We went with butcher block counters, because I love the warmth, and probably more importantly the price tag. In my dream kitchen I would have marble countertops, but that was definitely not in the budget, so I couldn’t resist this marble pastry slab that I found on sale to add a little bit of my dream countertop into the space!

(Image credit: Lauren Hufnagl)

We seriously considered a dark gray or taupe for the lower cabinets, but at the end of the day, I just like color. I’m thrilled with the color that we chose – it reminds me of the color that copper turns after it gets a patina. Although some people mentioned that it’s “trendy,” I ran it by my parents and my husband’s parents, and both loved it, so I figured it must be conservative enough, while still being fresh and fun! It also keeps the kitchen feeling very open and airy, as it’s a fairly small space.

(Image credit: Lauren Hufnagl)

A few other commenters suggested placing shelves next to the cabinets where we currently have the large black and white floral print. I absolutely love that idea, and may still add those, but we simply ran out of time to even consider it for the Style Cure (I mean, the counters still aren’t even oiled!). If we were staying here, I’d probably also remove the above-the-stove behemoth of a microwave and replace it with a vent hood, and if money was no object I’d totally have a Smeg refrigerator (they’re so cute!). But with our limited budget and the amount of time that we had to complete the project I’m really proud of what we were able to do with the space.

(Image credit: Lauren Hufnagl)

A big thank you to the Style Cure — it totally got us into gear to finally get this kitchen together! It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish with a deadline. Now I’m off to go and gaze at my shiny farmhouse sink and compulsively clean it with my new fancy faucet. (Being careful not to drip on my un-oiled counters or pretty pink rug) And I’m definitely looking forward to a relaxing weekend of tea with Anna and Elsa with my four-year-old and online Christmas shopping from the comfort of my couch.

If you’d like sources for any of the items in the kitchen, you can visit my personal blog, A Lovely Lark. Happy Friday!