a kitchen corner :: before and after




I mentioned a few weeks ago that my new years resolution had to do with sprucing up our rental home after living here for over a year "on pause" grieving the loss of our own home in 2011. I haven't really let this house in to my heart or the reality that this is our new life. I realized after the holidays that it was time to dig in a bit more and create some spaces around here that reflected me and my love for decorating on a tight budget.

The built in desk was the first thing that came to mind. A true mark of a house built in the nineties this built in desk/cabinets in white washed oak had become a sort of catchall dumping ground in our well used kitchen space and truthfully it was dismally embarrassing and rarely ever organized.

We asked Jeff and Jenny (the homeowners and our brother and sister) if they would mind us ripping it out and after confessing that they had also considered ripping it out a time or two were eager to let us have a go at it. We knew that the wall behind and the floor would need to be repaired but decided to go for it anyways because of the potential to transform this kitchen corner into a much more peaceful and beautiful space.


This is what it looked like beforehand on most days. A bunch of random stuff, basket of diapers and our bills. Mismatched outlet covers and cords. It was bogging me down big time. When we tore it out the wall was in pretty good shape just some putty and sanding and a coat of paint and new outlet covers brought it back to life.


The flooring was a bit more labor intensive since the brand and size is no longer made (at least we couldn't find it). Chris went to about a dozen stores and settled on one that was a great color match but not the same width. He was able to puzzle piece it together though in an afternoon - I was so SO impressed with him fixing the floor so fast sacrificing a rare pocket of free time to bless me!




I also swapped out our oval dining table for a round 50's set a $40 Craigslist find. It needed a TON of scrubbing. My knees have not been happy with me after the three hour date I had with this baby but she cleaned up nice!


Here it is again - I just love a good before and after photo and love how this little corner turned out. This hutch was my favorite in our old dining room with the beautiful Orla Kiely wallpaper (see it here) so each time I come into the kitchen and catch a glimpse of it my heart lightens and I feel such joy and comfort. It's really starting to feel more and more like home and I love investing time and energy into what makes my heart sing.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10


And here is a kitchen before/after view...really considering getting down and dirty with the white paint on those cabinets...we shall see...

48 comments:

  1. This is amazing! You did great work! It's stunning!
    And Ecclesiastes 9:10 is one of my favorite verses!

    http://collectivelycaitlin.blogspot.com/

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    1. We love the verse too it's been one of our family verses for a few years - so good and so challenging, thanks for the sweetness!

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  2. What a beautiful hutch, I adore the color.
    The corner really did turn out wonderfully, Rebekah.

    Casey
    http://fancybitsblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Casey - I do just love the color of the hutch...can you believe we bought it as is for $100? I love Craigslist sometimes!

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  3. Beautiful work--I would expect nothing less from you and Chris!! I love how this first project has filled your heart and inspired you to do more dreaming and digging in...you go, sister! that new table and chairs set is so fun too! Thank you for sharing the journey of transformation here--it is so inspiring to see the before and afters. xo

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    1. thanks Kristen - love your constant encouragement to dig in deep! xo

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  4. Wow! That looks awesome! You have such a great eye. And kudos to your husband! I can't wait to see what else you come up with. Your kids' room was what originally brought me to your blog.

    I was so excited for you when I read about how you'd been feeling and that you were going to take action. We are in our own house but I have been feeling the same way. I really want to update the living room/kitchen but funds always seem to be limited. We just had baby #3 so money is tight. I do need to get my DIY mind working though and figure out some simple/cheap ways to update things. I can be so indecisive though.

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    1. oh I so hear you Jocelyn - we are on the tightest budget as well and since this isn't our own home I originally gave up feeling like investing anything here was a waste of time and money. But I am realizing that even rearranging furniture like in this case (although clearly we did do a bit of repair work) can transform a space - it just takes time and living in a spot to know how you use it. Hang in there, pregnancy and new babies are a major energy/inspiration zapper for me as well. Even hanging a new print on a wall can make a big impact - good luck and congrats on that baby!

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  5. love it! it's amazing what one project can do for a whole room. the kitchen looks brand new. way to go! and that table is fabulous.

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  6. Wow! This is amazing! I absolutely love it! Such a happy spot!

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  7. Love the color you chose for the new cabinet, it looks so fresh and clean. I too ripped out our dated little desk in our kitchen and replaced with a vintage vanity. Minus the mirror :)

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    1. sounds so cute I want to see do you have a link?

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    2. Not of the vanity specifically. We still have to repair the wall behind it before I will post about it. but here is a link to the kitchen and you can see it a little on the left :)

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  8. Looooooooove it! Great job!!! Do I spy some Pyrex in that cabinet?!?

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    1. lots of pyrex I am a little obsessed :)!

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  9. I will be selling my home and moving into my rental within the next few months too. I lived in the rental at one time and sure didn't plan to move back into it. But you know after adjusting my mind and doing a few pick me ups to the rental it looks like home. Next, is to move the large items from my home now and have a few things fixed before it goes up for sale. This wasn't all in the plan but it is going to be good and I'm getting excited. I'm hoping all goes well. You are sure doing a good job making your home the way you want it.

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    1. Thanks Rita, good luck with your move!

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  10. This turned out beautifully! Chris did such a great job on the floors, and I love the new table. You were right--perfect for that space. It looks just like you guys! So bright and open--lovely! I really love your eye, ever since you picked out that camel poster for our greenlake apartment. I had second thoughts, but you knew. And, you were right. Beautiful.

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  11. Second thoughts about the camel poster...not your design eye. Just wanted to clarify. ;)

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    1. oh my gosh Claire I TOTALLY forgot about that camel poster...what happened to that thing? ha! you picked that awesome paper lantern over the table, the thing I remember most! And of course the molly bolts situation...so that the closet could be your bedroom. :) love you and the times we got living together...all of them!

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  12. I was thinking the pantry might be awesome in the same blue as the hutch? Let it be said that I am no designer though :) Looks great Rebekah!!!

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  13. I think your kitchen looks awesome...love the cabinet! And the tulips are so bright and sunny...just gorgeous!

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  14. GIRL! yay! what a huge huge difference that made! your kitchen/eating area look absolutely fabulous now. Love love love it!

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  15. well this is just fab!
    love that you're making it YOUR home. :)
    xoxo

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  16. So beautiful and I love the aqua hutch!! A cozy and sweet kitchen! xo Heather

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  17. beautiful ! you should definitely go for white cabinets now !
    ^_^
    Céline

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  18. Love everything about this! The colors, the new table, the verse at the end! Thanks for the inspiration! Great job Rebekah!!

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  19. Can't wait to move back in once you've "c&r'd" it :) Love, love it...and think the kitchen cabinets would be amazing white ;)

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  20. that looks amazing!!! and how fortunate to have a landlord that lets you renovate! with your style, I would say yes too!

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  21. what a lovely change one piece of furniture can make. I love the color you chose too!

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  22. You truly have a gift. Joe gave me a kitchen remodel gift a few years ago, and I just can't envision change....

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  23. That's so beautiful! Everything turned out wonderfully. And now I'm looking around our rental for things we could do to spruce it up :)

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  24. It looks so beautiful. I think the vintage table and chairs look fantastic with it too!

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  25. Love the difference it makes! That is a gorgeous colour. =)

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  26. I'm a sucker for anything painted mint and THIS IS FANTASTIC!!!! I want to go recreate it in our rental home right this minute! But our landlords are not down with that kind of thing. :) I painted a little thrift store find with mint and it's my favorite piece of furniture in our house. The rest of the can is just sitting down in the basement calling to me. What a huge difference you made! Love the dining room table too.

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  27. I LOVE this!! Looks so pretty and homey and cozy. Thanks for sharing your eart!!

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  28. i mean sooo incredible!
    i have a hard time even believing the before picture on the left on the very last set -- it just doesn't seem possible that would be your space. so happy you are creating a beautiful space in which to love and live!

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  29. It looks great!! You should really paint the cabinets if you are wanting to. We did a couple of years ago and I was so worried, but it turned out great and they still look good:) http://www.brittanyarmstrong.blogspot.com/2010/07/are-you-ready-for-this.html
    It is so nice to love the space you are in:)

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  30. Your little update makes such a huge difference! And your hutch looks right at home there. :) We just finished painting our kitchen cabinets white...it was a LOT of work, but we love the change.

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  31. LOVELY!!!! I adore what you've done:) :) Can not wait to see more of your projects! Happy Monday!

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  32. This is REALLY cool - I've been seeing the light aquamarine color around quite a bit lately and I'm in love!! Dying to paint something at my house!!!

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  33. Wow, what a fantastic mini-transformation, it really does make such a huge difference. Good job!

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  34. it looks wonderful, that cabinet is my fav colour :)
    happy weekend

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  35. Wow! That looks so great!
    Where did you get that fabulous hutch?

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    1. Thank you so much! The hutch was a lucky Craigslist find years ago - $100 and already painted Tiffany blue :) sorry that's not more help though!

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