Living DIY:

Give Your Kitchen A Facelift

Photography by Sarah Elliott

Give Your Kitchen A Facelift
I have received many DM’s and email requests to offer advice for updating and renovating small spaces or an apartment. In digging through the EyeSwoon archives I thought this post was especially relevant given the circumstances in the world due to Covid-19. This kitchen revamp is something you can execute on your own to elevate your environment without breaking the bank while offering a much needed distraction.
It never ceases to amaze me how the power of paint can transform a space.  This is the kitchen in my Cobble Hill townhouse before we renovated it.  As a family we moved into an apartment on the 2nd floor within the house while we waited for the other tenants to move out and as we filed with the DOB. At this time I needed to develop the 100+ recipes for Cook Beautiful, my circumstances required me being in this small kitchen for upwards of 10 hrs a day and kitchen space that would inspire and function felt necessary. Obviously this was a temporary space so the guiding principle was to improve the aesthetics on a hyper shoe-string budget. What I did next took at most 4-5 days and cost less than $400. The below choices completely altered the kitchen!
Give Your Kitchen A Facelift
Give Your Kitchen A Facelift
I have said it before and I will share it again, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and take on a project during this time. While this was a temporary solution for myself, I share it as inspiration. Undergoing a massive kitchen upgrade — particularly during this time — is not ideal for most, but it’s incredible how a coat of dark paint and the warmth of butcher block, can elevate and transform a space on a budget!
Give Your Kitchen A Facelift
Here are the steps I took:
  • First order of business was to paint the honey-toned kitchen cabinets a dark gray. To do this, I simply went to Lowe’s and bought wood primer and premium paint — no need for any sanding as a quality wood primer perfectly preps the surface so the paint adheres to the wood. After priming, I painted the cabinets with one coat of Valspar “Mark Twain House Ombra Gray”.
  • The second essential upgrade was to rip out the 70’s brown laminate countertops. I chose to replace them with simple, Scandi-inspired birch butcher block. A piece of butcher block is $79 from Ikea and is without a doubt worth the investment!
  • The third stage to this facelift was adding dishwasher — a necessity since I cook so often. 
  • The final step was to lay inexpensive vinyl floor tiles that appear to look like granite.  Super simply to install yourself with peel and stick with adhesive, also from lowes. 

Necessary Objects

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