My Tiny Kitchen Makeover~ (before & after)

Before: My little galley kitchen the day we first laid eyes on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Still Before: We hired a guy to come paint the walls (he was pretty good), and a different guy to do the cupboards. It helped. Some.

Seriously, when we bought this house I had not a clue under the sun what I was doing. We went to Lowe’s and since I thought, all paint is created equal (It’s not!)… I picked out low grade Olympic (from Lowes) paint. It never looked good. I painted the kitchen white, and it always looked like drywall basically. So, ugly.

I have since become a paint-junky- now I would say… paint matters MOST. Buying quality paint makes more of a difference in a room than anything else you could ever do! A few brands I like Sherwin-Williams, Ben Moore, and if I’m feeling tight Valspar from Lowes in pretty good. Not as good though. SW has a lot of 40% off sales and since it’s a mile from my house- I buy most of my paint there.

Before: Had painted the door green. Oh my husband mocked me when I repainted it this last week, but the green was not doing anything for me.

And I really like things to do things for me.

Another before: We will call this wall color “drywall dreams”.

Feel nauseated and depressed yet?

Before: You know how you just want ORDER in your life? A system, something that looks good and is FUNCTIONAL. Yup, that’s what I had ordered.

I collect old ‘silver’ware, clear glass, and white plates- problem was, some were stored away, some were stuffed back into shelves… I want them OUT and used.

Working on it…. painting IS NEVER GLAMOROUS! I worked on this project for over a week off and on. (I am still not done.)

Galen came home one day and said, “You are just crazy the way you paint stuff.”

It has been days, and I am still trying to figure out if that was a compliment to my speed at ‘gitterdone’…. or if he was just calling me OCD. I actually think it was both.

Before: Yes, G helped me deep clean as we went. I made him climb up and vacuum on the top of my cupboards. I have a darlin’ for a husband- that’s fo’ sho’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not sure what slang I was going with there- just roll wit’ it, yo.

Did you think that was a baby carrot and a mouse?

Well, it’s not. It’s my chubby, reddish finger and a dust bunny. Ask my husband about the greasy dust bunnies everywhere. Let me just say moving out your fridge and cleaning under it, can give you sweet dreams for a good 3 weeks after.

Little red stool- before.

Little stool- after.

Oh my. Please do not just re-read that. Please move on and forget.


… And finally!

A few afters. (For those of you that were all bunched up after my last post WITH NO AFTERS. )

I kid, and I love you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just had a lot of coffee and I always love pretty freely when I’m high on caffeine.

Yes, after. I did not say this- but I also had to repaint all the cupboards. How do I say this gracefully? Well, the paint “job” we hired was. awful. It needed another coat at least, the nail holes were open, and gaping and the whole underside was never painted at all. I will just stop there…. yeah.

Colors used:

Walls: Glimmer by SW (Sherwin-Williams)

Cupboards: Snowbound by SW

(1,000 % happy with both colors!!)

Happy sigh. All my collections are out and working for me. I loaded the rest up for Goodwill and sold a few pieces too. I do not like to own things I do not use. And yes, we use my collections to eat cereal in the mornings…

Life is a beautiful gift, I want to treat it that way.

Shelf on the left side.

Seriously, I think I am turning into my grandma W.

I look for beautiful things to use everywhere I go. I had taken someone to the Dr. and was waiting outside the office– and snipped this little greenery off a bush on the porch. It just goes so perfectly with what I was working for. In fact, I would say this green bush-piece– it helped to shape the vibe of the whole kitchen.


A few details: I love to buy little bottles and glue random labels on them. This was one I bought at Save N Serve for $3.50.

In case, you didn’t already think I’m crazy- I can usually tell you the price I paid for anything. ever.

One of my favorite decor tricks: frame little postcards with old, old frames. This was frame was $7 from the Berlin Antique Mall.

Can I tell you I buy 80% of my decor from Save n Serve? I actually find them a bit pricey at times-ย  but I DID score these hip chicken wire baskets for TWENTY FAD CENTS EACH. That is a little bit ofย  quarters for so much cuteness.

More details.

More labels glued onto jars.

Love me some little silver pieces.

Joy and I found these awesome little, vintage, wall calenders at the thrift store- $2 each. She took a pink one, and I took all the blue ones. I love them for dish towels.

Repainted the green door. My fake calligraphy is a JOKE.

Top of the pantry. It still needs another coat of paint- the pantry. ๐Ÿ™

Girl’s art box arranged better.

Above the sink. It’s funny how when something is right- it looks good.

Let me explain. My sister cast off this blue wood board above the sink to me. I never loved it in my bathroom. It just looked sad. Now here in the kitchen, it’s like the perfect marriage or something because it just shines here.

Frames that look hideous in the thrift store can look SO cute when cleaned up with modern paper framed inside of them. this was was so ugly when I bought it- I felt like a fool for giving denero for it.

This frame was $3 at an antique store. Sturdy, but gold and gaudy. I painted it, cleaned it, and sewed some paper together to make like a paper quilt and framed it. BTW, sewing paper is fun. I wanna do a mini quilt some day. Also, this frame didn’t have a hanger on the back, so I stapled on some twine in a tear-drop shape- works great.

Details: cream and sugar jars from my friend Shelly. I love them!

More of the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember this corner?

This is how it looks now. I put up a huge, was-ugly bulletin board (covered in khaki fabric) with all my little what-nots on it. It really helped clean my fridge off.

It’s fun to make pretty push pins by gluing on vintage baubles.

Another close up of the baubles.

Alrighty well that’s all for now.

I really am sick of loading pictures right now. Laila is sick of it too. She is sitting here putting little dolls, doll clothes, and bracelets down the front of my shirt. then she digs them back out again. Can we say wanting mommy?

It’s Friday morning- not sure what all I’ll do today. This last week was so busy, gogogo.

Last night G helped me carry up a weeks worth of laundry. A TON. I got it all put away and I cleaned a lot yesterday so I might just pull a lazier day today. I only have 10 weeks left in my goingverywell pregnancy- so I always have things to do, but need to take rest breaks too.

If you just read that paragraph- well thanks, because it was pretty boring.

Gonna go mother my girls now!






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  1. Anonymous says:

    Jenny I loved your post and it inspires me to clean my kitchen too. Maybe we are both nesting who knows. I have thought for a long time I really need to clean the top of my cabinets before this baby comes and I kept pushing it off but now I think it will go on my list of things to do next week. Thanks for the inspiration! By the way your kitchen looks so nice. Tracy

  2. Lynnelle says:

    Been thinking about you the last coupla days and wondering how the pregnancy is going. So glad to hear its goingverywell!

    BTW your new kitchen looks peaceful, clean, and warm. Love the redo.

  3. Thelma says:

    seriously jenny. how do you do it?? I just love it. wanna sit here and just soak it in. Plus, need I say how happy i am that there are actual real life ‘afters’ included w/ this post??? no bunching here today:-)
    first. i feel cozy that i have the same woodwork as you. same color too.
    second. the paint color. i think you make it look so good. I have it in our bedroom and am still not sure how to accesorize it properly.
    third. how do you manage to have so much cool stuff on hand that just ‘goes’ together so well? I just love how your cabinets are so preatty, yet so functional.
    fourth. I really loved that last boring paragraph. a glimpse into your normal life? sure I’ll take it. I cannot believe you are only 10 weeks out from having a baby!? why do other’s pregnancy’s fly so quickly??
    and laila’s activities while you blog? too funny:-) thanx for sharing that bit of your day:-)

  4. shelly n says:

    *love* this little jenny k fix for my day. and *where* do the cute labels come from that you glue everywhere? your style is beautiful! oh, and we’re getting our cabinets built for the house now… is it scary to just let the guy paint the white that he uses on all white cabinets he makes, or should I request a particular shade of white?

  5. Beth says:

    It’s so pretty! I love it.

  6. Audrey R. says:

    I am with Di, I could never make things in my house look so cute, but I LOVE what you did. Sometime, I really want a tour of your house! I love your attention to detail!

  7. Mariann says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have read this post-but when I saw kitchen-before&after,I was hooked! Just this week I gave up(till another year) the idea of painting my cupboards and walls.(because of a busy 9mo old crawling around here:) but now I just want to do it so bad!!!!:) yours looks wonderful! Another reason I wasn’t found it,is because I can’t decide on colors…..I will def be visiting sw! Keep inspiring us:) have a happy Friday!

  8. April says:

    Jenny it looks A-mazing!! Love this crisp whites with the touches of green and the vintage silver… you my friend are brilliant! I need you close by so I can bask in you “get er done” glory, maybe some of it will rub off on me ๐Ÿ™‚

    I remember well the pudgy pregnancy fingers. With every one of my children the first thing that stopped fitting was my wedding band.

    Okay, I’m going to go back up and look at all the pictures one more time…

  9. Maria says:

    Okay, so great job on the painting, the kitchen does look tons better and I like your collections out on the shelves. Looks great. I also like your using what you’ve got. I keep my Waterford crystal goblets (wedding presents) out where I can use them often. Makes little events special.

    But what I really want to know is, WHAT is the DAHLING font you used for “After”??????



    • Jenny says:

      picmonkey, baby- they have new fonts. and they are really good. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Maria says:

        Bless you! I checked picmonkey, found the font, and then found it on, too. It’s called Levitee and it is just gorgeous. I’ve been looking for just the right font for my nursery walls.

  10. jennie z says:

    it is beautiful, your kitchen! how do you do it? i kinda am in a decorating funk, right now….wish i would get out of it. i need to get out of it and finish decorating my poor neglected house. i totally LOVE how you make old dishes etc look so pretty!! the pictures are great – thanks for sharing!

  11. Rhonda Y. says:

    When I read your blog I could just hear you saying it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your inspirations & how you make something beautiful out of something “hideous”! I would be so at a loss to know where to start with some of those collections! Some people are gifted in this way & you are definitely one of them! Keep it up!

  12. kristy says:

    So beautiful….. i love to just look at your pictures. All those little touches that just pull me in and make me wish i had that talent. Guess i will just enjoy yours!(

  13. clarita says:

    WOW-EE. Posts like this make me a bit giddy, even without caffeine. For real, you are amazing, and have done wonders!! That precious kitchen should be featured in a magazine before and after! [and oh goodness, THANK YOU for the afters. I was one of the bunched up ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ ] The perfection of the white cabinets with good paint [yes] and with your beautiful vignettes… It’s just dreamy. I mean, I bet you want to cook all day long in that place, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Kidding. But it at least makes it a fun place to be when you are cooking. Absolutely loved the tour! Thank you!!

  14. Bevy says:

    Jenny – has anyone ever told you that you have an “old soul”? If not… I just did. I love it. I think that is why I feel such a kindred spirit to you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was told once that I have an old soul- at first I wasn’t so sure on how to take that. But, NOW? I’m proud of it.
    It’s all your style and (yes! you do put it together very well) the way you “see it” that it comes together with such an ease and an elegance. It’s okay if you want to disagree with me… cuz I’m sure you are right now. Disagreeing with me.

    I just could sit and take it all in – all day. Lovely isn’t even the right word…adequately enough.

    Oh and I can just imagine sitting there on your fabulous front porch or somewhere around a fine table in your home sipping “something” out of one of your K cups.

    chatting it up… and laughing at your dry sense of humor (again, so me!)

    Thanks for sharing your lovlieness with me/us…

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