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An Inexpensive Kitchen Refresh: Before & After

An Inexpensive Kitchen Refresh: Before & After


I always love a little Before & After, don’t you?


A while back I did a little kitchen “refresh” for Carolyn and Jed, some lovely clients of mine, who wanted to freshen up the space but didn’t want to go crazy spending money.

This is what we started with (no comment!  Sorry, Carolyn!):


The before:  Old fashioned light fixture, yellow walls and a blah breakfast table.

After just a few changes and not a lot of money… BAM!  This is the end result:

dorfman 1


1)  We painted the walls Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore (a barely-there, warm gray that I LOVE – you can read more about it here).

2)  The table!  The table is the most important part!  I love the modern line that IKEA’s Docksta brings to any kitchen, and I swear it’s the only kitchen table you will ever want or need.  (I actually created an entire Pinboard devoted to this table called “Docksta, Docksta, gimme the news“.  I know, I am a huge dork!).

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3) Playing on the “simplicity theme” we did a black & white photo gallery wall using frames from IKEA.  (And you can get really cheap and LARGE black & white photos printed at Costco, in case you didn’t know that already).  Carolyn really ran with it, completing the gallery wall in a few days and injecting color with the “family rules” wall hanging which I think is perfect!

photo 1


4)  Finally, almost any light fixture from West Elm these days is going to be a perfect answer to a casual, modern breakfast area.

close up light

So there you have it, a kitchen refresh in four easy steps.  If you’re looking to revamp your own kitchen dining space and you don’t want to spend a lot of $$$, here are some tips:

1)  When in doubt, paint the walls.  They always say – it’s one of the cheapest ways to completely transform a room.  I would venture further to say “When in doubt, paint your walls a light, warm gray!”

2) Swap out your breakfast table for something fresh and modern.  (NOT clunky and traditional and dark wood.)

3) Keep the rest of the decor clean and easy.  A few family black & white photos are often a perfect design solution.

4) Think about swapping out your light fixture for something a little edgier.  CB2, West Elm and Target are all awesome places to find modern, funky lighting for less money.  In decorating, the kitchen (and the bathroom!) is the place to let loose a little!

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