[an error occurred while processing this directive] Deb on a Dime: Kitchen Makeover - Steven and Chris

Deb on a Dime: Kitchen Makeover


Deb Nelson is back with her first makeover of the season and she brought an outdated 1970s kitchen back to the future!

Watch episode 131 now.

The source: Ask Steven and Chris viewer emails.

The email: Hi Steven & Chris - I have a kitchen I hate!  It is a 1970's, outdated kitchen and it's so ugly I don't even want to go in there to cook anymore! There is really nothing I like about it.  We are saving up now to eventually renovate the whole thing, but in the meantime are there any inexpensive fix ups we can do?  Please help, this place needs a major lift!  - Julia

Julia's Kitchen Before

For Deb, this kitchen makeover was a testament to the power of paint! She tells us what she did:

In any kitchen, you want to think about the big picture - the overall function of the space is key.  The colour palette I chose made the room look more contemporary, but the durable materials and darker surfaces kept it functional.

I started with a colour scheme.  I decided I would paint absolutely everything.  I knew I could paint all of the surfaces, so I decided to go with that idea and started thinking about the colours I would chose.

I had to work with Julia's existing floor, so this also had to be taken into consideration. 
In this kitchen I painted 8 different surfaces (upper cabinets, backsplash, lower cabinets, countertop, knobs, fridge, dishwasher front, range hood/fan).
I used a durable melamine paint on the cabinets, backsplash and counter.  Using a darker colour on the lower cabinets and counter was more functional and forgiving in a busy family kitchen.

The lower cabinet colour was a match to Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray. 
The upper cabinets were white melamine and the counter top was black melamine

Also a cabinet door like Julia's uppers and lowers, in wood with a raised panel is fairly traditional in style (as opposed to flat front) is a great style to paint. 

Before you paint your own kitchen: test the paint, use the inside of a cabinet door, or an inconspicuous spot to sample the wood or counter.

I painted all the hardware, there were 20 knobs in the kitchen and I didn't want to have to buy new ones.  I felt like the old shape was fine, but I wanted to update it with a 'brushed stainless steel" finish look.  I primed them with white spray paint and then used silver paint to give them this look. This saved me from having to buy new hardware and then I didn't have to re-drill all the cabinet doors to attach new hardware either.


The $20 appliance makeover:

If you are thinking your appliances are feeling dated and worn, then you can paint them.  For this room, I...

  • painted the front of the white dishwasher to blend in with the lower cabinets

  • painted the fridge in black chalkboard paint which gives it that nice matte finish. I love how pthis looked - it was really transformed. The fridge did require priming and then I applied the chalkboard paint.  It's still a magnetized surface but also one you can write on. Lots of fun for kids!
  • painted the stove fan/hood to look cleaner and match the white stove (it was actually almond colour before)

Open shelving

A trend we are seeing more often in kitchen design is to have less upper cabinetry.  A kitchen without all standard upper cabinets makes a kitchen feel a lot more like a room in your house and just gives a more modern feeling.  Creating a look with open shelving allows you to display nice pieces while reducing the visual weight of the cabinetry.

Open shelving works in your kitchen to display your 'nice' objects (dishes, etc), and can be handy to reach items that you use everyday (like mugs or glasses).  When you put things on open shelves, make it look nice by grouping things you have multiples of together.  ie. use the same wine glasses and put 4 or 6 of them in a group.  Also using things in repetition will look better (ie a row of bowls or planters).

Obviously your kitchen needs to function for you and your family.  So, I didn't want to leave Julia without any upper cabinets.  I just removed a few from one wall (which she moved to her pantry area) and installed the shelf.  This shelving unit was in a natural wood finish and was just $49.99.  It opened up the room and really gave it a whole new feeling - the kitchen definitely felt larger and more open without all the wooden upper cabinets.



This kitchen also had a lot of stuff in it.  I removed a lot of the clutter from the counters and the fridge. The kitchen is a good room to go through and de-clutter as much as you can, move things out that you don't use all the time.

Dollar Store finds:

These are some of the great Dollar Store finds I used in this kitchen makeover...

Silver bowl, red and white tea towels from the dollar store. 

As I mentioned before when you do a neutral kitchen it's great to pick an accent colour and infuse that throughout the space.  I chose red for this particular kitchen, because Julia had some great red things. 

I made this simple little wipe off message board.  It's just decorative paper (could be wall paper, a drawing your kids do) and then just add clear mac tac paper (at the dollar store) over the top of it.  And you have an erasable white board.

Another fun project: bottles and cans made into little vases and planters.  I took empty bottles and cans from my recycling and painted them with white primer.  I prefer to use white spray primer (not white spray paint), I love white primer since it stays on better and it gives more of a milky white finish.  It's more matte and chalky than a glossy white spray.  Then I decorated the painted surface with white fabric paint that has some dimension to it, it comes in lots of different colours too.  This is a fun project for kids too!

Resource List:

Paint - Home Depot, various locations across Canada
Lower cabinets/dishwasher front - melamine colour match to Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray
Upper cabinets/backsplash/hood - melamine white
Counter top - melamine black
Fridge - black chalkboard paint & primer
Knobs/hardware - primer and silver paint
Shelving -  Ikea (varde shelf $49.99), various locations across Canada
Silver bowl, tea towels, clear mac tac and dry erase pen -  Dollarama, various locations across Canada
Fabric paint - Michaels, various locations across Canada
Decorative paper - Japanese paper store, Toronto
Planted herbs - Whole foods, Toronto
Bottles and cans from recycling, sprayed with white primer and decorated with white fabric paint
Homeowners own - Photography/artwork, dishes on shelves, bowls on counter

Deb Nelson's hair is done by Sugar n' Spice.
Visit Deb Nelson's website for more of her design projects and advice.


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