Kitchen Makeover: Katie Wants to Liven Up Her Kitchen!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Katie
Location: Illinois
Rent or own? Own

Katie and her young family recently moved into this house and she’s looking for ways to personalize her kitchen and to brighten it up. She’s on a limited budget, but perhaps more importantly, with two toddlers and a busy schedule she has limited time! What would you suggest for Katie’s kitchen?

What does your kitchen need?
I’m thinking of doing some re-decorating in my kitchen, but I’m stuck. At this point I feel like it’s plain boring. That’s what I need the most help with — figuring out what to do to make the room more alive and ME. I don’t think you can tell from the pictures, but there is a pocket door in the doorway to the left of the stove. That limits what we can hang on the wall over the sink/lower cupboards because the door has to be able to go all the way into the wall.

Kitchen Makeover Recipe

Katie, we love the basic outline of your kitchen! It has real light, and a reasonable amount of space. We also really like your wall color; it’s serene yet modern, and we think that it’s a great place to start.

Here are a couple of really inspiring kitchens for you.

Ashley Ann’s $500 Light and Lovely Remodel – This is definitely a kitchen to take inspiration from. Ashley Ann lists out a lot of budget resources and good ideas for redoing a kitchen on a budget, and we also really like her paint job on the cabinets.

Christen Carter’s Bright and Serene Chicago Kitchen – The wall color in Christen’s tour looks very similar to yours, Katie! We suggest taking some tips and inspiration from her wall prints and colors — it looks like you already have some primary colors in those bright bowls on the countertop.

What about building on that with some bright, funky prints from Etsy, and perhaps some sheer curtains that add some color without blocking out the light?

A few more ideas:

• We definitely like the idea of painting your cabinets white. You could also swap out just a few of the upper doors for glass doors to open up the kitchen and add some interest. Small, easy-to-install halogen lights inside the cupboards would lighten up and open the space too. (See this tour for an example)

• Since you can’t hang anything on the wall to the right of the sink, what about some bright, pop-art decals like the ones we recommended for Ivy?

• Do you have enough space in the kitchen for an island? A small rolling butcher block island from IKEA might give you some extra chopping space. The warmth of well-oiled butcher block also just looks nice in a kitchen.

• A final note: We would definitely replace the fan/lamp with something more modern and sleek. A new light fixture can make a huge difference. (And while you’re at it, if your ceiling hasn’t been painted lately, give it a fresh coat of matte white ceiling paint. It makes all the difference in the world to the feel of a space, since it helps diffuse light in a great way.) Here are a couple lights we like: Globe Pendant, from West Elm, and the Sol Pendant Lamp from CB2.

OK readers, your turn! What would you add to Katie’s kitchen to help brighten it up, and make it more personalized?

(Images: Katie; Ashley Ann; Janel Laban)