My bio is true, I specialize in affordable updates. My client Sandee was so nice to let me share the changes we made in her Kitchen and Dining nook. Her budget was tight, but that didn’t scare me because they were willing to put in a ton of work themselves, and boy did they.
The floor was recently done and beautiful. A few things they requested to stay were the countertops, major appliances, dining table, chairs, and light/fan. So here is my recipe for updating this space, which can work for so many of you.
If you can and are willing, change or paint them. I love the options at IKEA (along with their quartz countertop choices), but if that’s not in the budget, which it usually isn’t, then paint them. Everyone needs to do it at least once in their life. And then never do it again. The transformation can be incredible and worth it. I give all my clients a tried and true instruction sheet, just be ready for sanding, sanding, and more sanding. It’s about a 1-2 week process. Sandee’s aesthetic is pretty contemporary and after showing her two different color boards, she chose black. Being the detailed (nice way to say perfectionist) person that she is, they look fabulous, especially in person.
2// Wall Color
This kitchen was a sea of brown to me. Since the cabinets were now changing to black, she needed a nice white background. Not wanting to commit to pure white, I suggested one of my favorite whites with gray undertones…SW Eider White. Her and her husband painted it and again, it looks fabulous. The high contrast is what makes it look so good. We’ve all heard this before, but it’s so true…if you are willing to do it yourself, paint is the cheapest way to transform a room.
So many Texas homes come with brown tile backsplashes in the Kitchen, which can feel dark to me. Sandee and her husband very carefully removed it and replaced it with very affordable, classic, white subway tile with white grout. Looks so clean and fresh. There are so many resources to help you with this (you tube, blogs, Home Depot), the price of tile and grout is so cheap that this is totally doable.
4// Window Treatments
Sandee really loves the color red, and still does, but I told her to pick a new accent color to breath some fresh air. We decided on blue. Goodbye red. I first suggested replacing the blinds with custom roman shades, but that wasn’t in the budget and I’ve never successfully sewed them myself to recommend a DIY project. So we went with Pottery Barn linen drapes in blue. They are gorgeous! She told me her husband helped find affordable hardware online for the unique hardware angles (instead of doing custom), and when the drapes came he ironed them. So Cool! She loved them so much, she also splurged to add them to the adjoining family room.
5// Accessories and Art Work
This is where a designer (like me!) can really make a difference and help pull it all together. I am very anti cluttering up above your fridge if you have empty space. My first suggestion was to buy a pre-made upper cabinet, or the more affordable choice was a floating shelf. I’m so glad she chose this option because it allowed for self expression with accessories. We went shopping at Home Goods together and I put everything that “speaks to you” in the cart. I like to help guide, not necessarily pick, accessories so that the space reflects you not me. Before we checked out, I re-evaluated everything with her and made sure there was balance and scale. If there was a splurge in the space other than drapes, it would be the wool rugs. I love them. The art on the wall is also a favorite of mine. The pictures were taken by her husband who is a hobby photographer, from their recent trip to Italy. They picked their four favorites, framed them in white IKEA Riba frames, and grouped them together. I remember looking at me funny when I said get the white frames…she was so used to black and she thought that white would wash away on the new light walls. I told her to trust me, and luckily she did because now the art is whats showcased and not the frames. So Lovely!
There you have it! 5 affordable updates everyone should and can make, especially if you are willing to do a lot of the work yourself. IF you want to hire it out, I always suggest getting three reputable bids.
I made all of these suggestions to a friend recently who wanted to sell her house fast and for top dollar (which they did), and her only complaint was that she didn’t do it sooner to enjoy! Now if that’s not motivation, what is?!