Kitchen Makeover Plan

Well, I’m finally ready to start my kitchen makeover! I don’t have the money to completely gut it out, so I’m just planning on some minor (yet major) changes.

First here’s some before pics…

We’ve had that red accent wall since the day we moved into our new home over 6 years ago. I’ve loved it for the past 6 years, but now I’m ready for a change. We have no windows in our kitchen and only a sliding glass door so I really want to make this kitchen lighter and brighter!

Here’s the view of our kitchen from the sliding glass door. It’s not a very big space, but it’s perfect for our family of 3. Last year we added the stone backsplash and cabinet crown molding.

So what’s my plan?

  • Paint the kitchen cabinets white
  • Use Rustoleum Countertop Transformations or Giani Grani to lighten the countertops
  • Trim out and paint the center island
  • Paint the red accent wall (thinking Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams)

I don’t have the money to get new appliances so they will be staying black. I need the black appliances and white cabinets to work together… which I have to admit I’m kinda nervous about! So, since Photoshop is my best friend in the entire world, I mocked up this kitchen makeover to see how it might look!

So, what do you think?

Here’s a view from the other side of the kitchen…

The little knick knacks and stuff will be gone, but at least here’s an idea of what I’m going for. I’ll have to keep the backsplash for now (my hubby would kill me if I asked him to rip it down) but I might paint it down the road. For now, I think it really doesn’t look too bad…
I also plan to switch out the lighting in the near future, too. So, what do you think of my plan? Any suggestions??
I’d like to start this project when I get back from the Haven Conference at the end of June. Let’s hope everything goes as planned. Now that I’m seeing these pics, I really want to get started!


  1. susan bourgeois says

    Just painted a den with 1950’s cypress (read dark) tung and groove paneling and wood floors sea salt. I was really unsure about it, but as I decorate and add pieces, I am in serious love with it. It is very versatile and so light and airy. I feel like we have left a cave and entered the sunshine! Go for it!

  2. Becky says

    Are you kidding?? I would kill for your BEFORE kitchen!! Why not save the money to invest or give to charity (or heck, give it to me to make over my teensy kitchen!).

    • says

      Haha! The kitchen is the most used room in our home and where the family gathers so I want it to be light and bright. Instead of a big family vacation this year we’re fixing up the home instead. I’m guessing with paint and supplies I won’t spend any more than $250. To me it’s worth every penny!

  3. Joe says

    Do you have to paint the counter? The darker color may help reduce the contrast between the whit cabinets and black appliances because it looks like it’s kind of a mid tone.

    Is the light above the island centered over the island? If so, you could maybe switch it out to some sort of pendant. To add another level of light. Maybe paint the light trim pieces black to ad another black accent?

    Looks great. Nice Photoshop work!

    • says

      Thank you! Yeah, painting the countertops is going to be the last step of this transformation. I’m definitely going to see how the cabinets and appliances work with them before I take that huge step!! The countertops are matte right now too and that kinda bugs me. I’m looking for a high gloss like granite (without the expense of course!).

      And yep, a light is centered over the island. It’s just a “boob” light right now. I’m thinking a lantern-style glass pendant with wrought iron trim!

      • Paula says

        I like the idea of painting the cabinet trim black, or maybe the wall the cabinets are on black. We redid our kitchen and painted the boxes of the cabinets a denim blue and ordered new white doors and added blue and white checked hardware.

  4. Shandra says

    I love it! Now when will you plan mine? ;) I love the new accent wall color with the white cabinets! Personally, I would leave the countertops alone, but painting them scares me. ;) I also like darker counters, but it looks good either way. And I think the white cabinets and black appliances complement each other nicely. I want to paint my cabinets white, but my appliances are white and I think it would be too much. :( I’m looking forward to updates on your progress!

  5. Caitlin says

    I really like the white cabinets and the new color on the accent wall! There is a huge contrast between the appliances and the new colors, but it’s nothing to stress about. I agree with what Joe (above) said about painting the countertops. It may look better if they stay dark, but I’m sure you will know what to do! What about the kitchen table? Do you plan to replace it with something lighter, too?

  6. says

    I love the idea of brightening the space. I love the stone back splash though and I bet it will look beautiful and dramatic next to the lighter cabinets. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

  7. says

    Wow, it really lightens the kitchen! I want to paint mine too, but it just isn’t going to happen. What are you going to use on the cabinets, just primer and paint? Love Sea Salt, I was going to use that color in my foyer. Can’t wait to see the after pics, but know it’s going to take some time.

  8. says

    I used the Giani countertop paint in our kitchen and main bathroom (I covered both with one kit). A year later and the counters still look amazing; I would definitely recommend it as the best DIY upgrade we’ve done so far. The rustoleum had had some mixed reviews but I can’t speak to those since I’ve never used it.

  9. says

    I love it! I think the black appliances look great with the white countertops, and the new accent wall colour is beautiful! The stone backsplash looks fantastic with the new look too. I think you’ve got a great plan in mind :)

  10. Erin K. says

    OMGish we have the same exact cabinets in our house! I would love to paint mine, but my husband thinks that painting “real wood” is the 8th deadly sin! Can’t wait to show him how GREAT yours looks! Maybe you should price counter tops? You don’t seem to have THAT much…maybe you can swing a good deal? A friend painted hers a year and a half ago and it hasn’t held up the best…but she also has 6 kids…mostly teenagers so that might have something to do with it too!

    • says

      LOL Erin! My hubby was nervous at first too about the painting, but I showed him pics and now he doesn’t think I can start the makeover soon enough!! And good tip on the countertops. I’m actually going to paint the cabinets first and see how the countertops look as is. Thanks again!!

  11. Diana O. says

    My kitchen makeover plan was similar, in that we painted the cabinets white and have black appliances. It’s never easy to do it all at once, so we did later add black granite counters. This was done about 5 years ago, and we still love the end result! If you actually want stainless steel appliances, they sell sheets of “look alike” stainless steel with adhesive backs, specifically made for covering appliances – much more cost effective than the real thing! Hint, though. Hubby owns a cleaning business and says stainless are the worst for trying to keep clean! Have fun, and good luck!

  12. says

    I think you will be like me once you get your cabinets painted and think “why on earth did I not do this 6 years ago???” I have a couple of black appliances in a much smaller kitchen than yours and I actually like the way they look with the white. I used simple black knobs and hinges and that made a big difference. I think you may like your counters more after you get your cabinets painted. I know mine became more tolerable after I painted the cabinets. My cabinets were a similar color to yours before painting – if you want a real life idea of how it will look check out my kitchen post – it’s not finished but you can get a good idea of what is in store…. If you do end up doing the counters I really am interested in what you think of the product.

  13. Wendy says

    Love how that new wall color looks with the stone backsplash! You have come up with a lovely plan. Go for it!

  14. LM says

    We did our cabinets & countertops over Christmas… If you decide to do the Rustoleum, check the prices on amazon & definitely read the reviews. We didn’t do either & regretted it! It was cheaper on amazon & the reviews would have been helpful before we got knee deep in the project. We used the bigger kit, with the chips, etc & ended up needing two kits for the space that was supposed to only need one. It was kind of a pain & super messy project, but kind of expected that. As far as looking like granite, it isn’t going to fool anyone up close, but it is SOOOO much better than the old cracked pick formica we had before!
    I love lightening up the wood by the way, we did an antique white & I’m so happy with it!

    • says

      THanks so much for the advice!! I was thinking of using Rustoleum, but I’m a little nervous of the coverage. I think if I need to purchase two ticket, might be cheaper to just do paint!

  15. says

    Wow. Your photoshop mock-up looks great! What an amazing difference the wall color and cabinet paint will make towards brightening the space. The black appliances and table seem like a nice contrast to the walls and cabinetry. Based on the mock-up you shared, the backsplash seems to pick up on the color of the wall a bit too. Very exciting!

    Can’t wait to see how it unfolds. I know most days my kids and I seem to live in our kitchen for a good chunk of the day. I’m sure it will feel great to get the results you’re after. Best of luck!

  16. Tabitha says

    I love your before kitchen. How would it look if you brightened up the island and left the the wall cabinets natural? On the design shows, the island is often fancier or different than the wall cabinets.

    Just throwing it out there since you can Photoshop. (great skill to have. I can’t seem to visualize like other women) I think the cabinets against the sea salt would also be a tranquil possibility. It may be too much variation… But no harm, no foul in Photoshop.

  17. darla says

    Are you able to keep everything white including your accent wall and give the blue or any color to the ceiling instead? I love your backsplash by the way it is gorgeous1

  18. Sarah E. says

    It’ll be great! I’m excited for you! We painted our cabinets white 1 1/2 years ago and I LOVE them! We also have black appliances (just what was already in our house) and it doesn’t bother me with the white at all. I wouldn’t choose it, but it’s perfectly fine!

  19. Teri C says

    Wow! I just can’t get over how much the white cabinets and sea salt walls bring out the backsplash! I liked it before, but it’s just stands out so much nicer now! It literally looks like a whole different kitchen, and you didn’t have to move a thing to get it! How neat is that?

    I just love the overall scheme, and can’t wait to see how you’ll accessorize. You just have to be having a blast with this new home overhaul. AND I just gotta tell ya….you’ve definetely proved the “Power of Paint” theory to me too…lol! So glad I stumbled onto your blog. I always look forward to reading the “latest”, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet!

    Thanks for the fun reads!

    Teri C

  20. Atiya says

    Hi, I saw your pictures of the back-splash as I was searching for ideas online. I loved how the orange and gray colors in your kitchen worked so well with the back-splash. Today I saw your plans to paint the kitchen. So here is my input: I actually prefer the kitchen as it was before. Maybe it’s because of the quality of the photoshop pictures -the cabinets look too white and shiny, which takes away from the nice warm feeling of your kitchen before. What if you tried just painting the red wall first and see how that feels, perhaps you could pic a color from your back-splash to complement the overall look. I hope it helps, I am definitely not trying to discourage you. I love your site, and think that it’s wonderful that you have such great ideas and so much talent and strength :)

    • says

      Thanks so much for the input Atlya! I actually wish you would have written this about a month ago. I already started painting them, yikes! And now I hate how the countertops and backsplash look with the white cabinets. I did paint the red wall and am loving the new color. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find my way with this kitchen makeover eventually. And of course now we’re thinking of moving in the near future so this could all be for nothing :( Thanks again for the input! Keep it coming!!

  21. Atiya says

    Don’t be discouraged, I saw how wonderfully you have painted other projects. Maybe if you tried to give your cabinets a textured paint (antiquing maybe?) instead of just a simple white, that might help to make it feel more cozy, but still keep the fresh, neutral look you were thinking of. We are renovating our kitchen (many sleepless nights…) and I know how stressful it can be, even though we hired someone. I am so worried about making the right decisions because the kitchen is the heart of the home…

    I told my friend about your site too, we love all your ideas :)

  22. Christa says

    I think both versions are just beautiful! You have awesome taste, but I must admit that I did pin your before picture as a model for my kitchen redo. It’s funny, we have the same cabinets and countertops! Enjoy your new kitchen :)

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