Shannon Berrey

My kitchen - before and during

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many of you know how hard it is to move from a home that you love, no matter what the reason. Your  walls display beloved family photos, but those walls also hold special stories, memories and moments. But, change brings new opportunity. That's what I love about design. Changing or tweaking our surroundings to reflect our interests and passions really does allow us to embrace our best life. Our home needs to function *beautifully* for our families needs. 

Back in 2005, I was embracing a lot of change. I found myself a single mom with 2 kiddos not being able to afford the home that *we* designed and built and had lived in for the past 5 years. My home sold a year later and then jump ahead another year, I was engaged {yay!} and became the owner of a new home. This is the picture of the kitchen in the MLS listing: 

A fine perfectly functioning {well, minus the fridge, the stove, and the dishwasher...} kitchen.

But, this is what I saw that I wanted to change: 

I wasn't blogging then, so I don't have the during pictures of all the changes we have done over the years. But, I will share some of the 'now' photos. There are still a few things I would ideally like to improve upon, but, I am happy with the way it is evolving. Everything that has been done, I am proud to say, WE have done--all DIY.    

First up, I wanted to add character to the island, so I used {free} cultured stone. At the time, I was working on a big commercial project and a rep really wanted to woo me with his product {great perk!}. He gave me enough to cover the island. This was my starting point.

Next up, came the backsplash. I love the slate and the variations in color. Living in the mountains, this is a popular selection. 


Next up, the cabinet color. I had maple cabinets in my previous home and I was ready for a change. Painting is the cheapest way to change furniture or cabinetry. It's not necessarily easy to paint your cabinets, but, it offers a huge transformation. You need to remove all the doors, drawers and hardware. The surface needs to be sanded to allow the paint to stick. Everythings gets primed and painted, sanded and painted again.

I decided to paint the lower cabinets with a dark gray paint. I wanted slightly distressed edges. I used Dark Brown Briwax to give a velvety sheen and to antique the distressed parts. I love the luster and hand rubbed finish the wax gives. This frame was my inspiration.




   I felt like having all the cabinets dark gray would be a little too dark, so I painted the upper cabinets white.

And, as I was painting them, I found I really liked having the doors off of some of them. 

The fluorescent light was removed along with the lighted hanging potrack. Our pans were NOT something I wanted hanging in spotlight above my head everyday. In its place, I hung a seeded glass pendant {I can't find any pics of this-sorry}. This worked for a few years, but I really wanted a more substantial pendant. I used birthday money last year to order the hanging pendant lamp {they put a lot of creativity into naming that one, huh?} from Wisteria. It was on back order for a long time and finally arrived last month.

I love this pendant. The oxidized finish really plays so well with all the varying colors in the rock below and the slate backsplash. If you are in the market for a new pendant, I highly recommend! 

 We also added recessed lighting {what a difference} and I have a lamp on the island. You've heard me say it before--Lighting is so important. I am a big believer that you need lighting at different levels.  

'So show us the wide shot, Shannon!' Yes, I hear you! But I am going to wait and show you that tomorrow. Along with showing you our new mature upper cabinets. These babies have grown up--literlally--they actually grew 8" last week!!     What??      You mean your cabinets have stopped growing?   No worries, I'll show you how to encourage your 'slow-growers' ! 


Don't forget to enter the Vintage Jane Giveaway--click here for details. You have until tomorrow at 5pm to enter!


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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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