Our Imperfect White Kitchen

We took a very dated orange and brown 70’s kitchen and created a modern farmhouse look with a little paint, new laminate flooring and new stainless steel counters. Here’s our imperfect white kitchen.

Okay, I’ve been promising our kitchen “reveal” for ages. We have lived here for over a year, so fair enough. This was a really strange reno for us though because we found that after we added storage and got the kitchen to a functional place, the urge to do all the little finishing work sort of disappeared. But we got there eventually…here’s our imperfect white kitchen. 

kitchen from side door

We are pretty much finished now though. I’d like to put crown moulding on the bulkhead. And I really should paint the new baseboard. And…well, a few other tiny little odds and ends could get done. But it’s okay as it is, you know?

Our Kitchen Before

Who here remembers what our kitchen used to look like? You  know, when we first moved in.

Kitchen before

It was a little ways from the white farmhouse chic kitchen I pictured it to be. This is the realtor photo that almost made me almost not even consider this house. The kitchen just looked so small. But Dean convinced me to look and when we got here we realized that all that floor space (in the bottom of the photo above) was actually meant to be an eat in kitchen! Which meant there was lots of room to add additional storage and workspace.

What We Changed

More Storage & New Fixtures

So we did. Add storage and workspace, I mean. We painted the existing cupboards, added a few new lower cabinets and a bank of drawers.

We kept the sink, but added a new goose neck faucet and a warehouse style pendant light. And we removed all the brown tiles and replaced them with my favorite white subway tile – all the way to the ceiling!

sink window

The Breakfast Bar

The breakfast bar is a beast. It is perfect for putting out food when company comes. It’s great for breakfast and snacks. And it has two huge cupboards that house all the pots, pans, slow cookers, etc. and large pantry items like potatoes, bags of rice and flour. And we trimmed it with glazed beadboard.

breakfast bar

Open Shelving & Coffee Bar

One of my favorite parts of the kitchen has to be the open shelves and the coffee bar. We LOVE having people over and those coffee machines get used a LOT. The mini fridge was added to hold pop, bottled water and milk for tea and coffee. It’s really nice to not to worry about the state of the main fridge when a friend comes for coffee! And of course the drawers beside the mini fridge are home to a plethora of teas and such.

coffee station

The fridge was here when we moved in. The previous owner said she bought it at Home Depot, although I cannot find a similar model anywhere. It is actually quite large and holds a ton of food. We get a lot of comments on its vintage design.


Range Hood Cover

We swapped out the previous range hood for a microwave and Dean finally had time to finish up the pretty range hood cover just before the holidays. It does come off should we ever need to access the venting or microwave electrical outlet. I didn’t do it this year, but I look forward to hanging a wreath up there during the holidays.

over the range

Added a Full Size Dishwasher

Also, the first thing we did in the whole renovation was swap out the apartment sized dishwasher (that we were running a couple of times a day) and install a full sized version. Dean had to reconfigure the lower cabinet and we could barely squeeze the stove back in its spot, but we made it work. And now we only have to run the dishwasher once a day!

oven range dishwasher

More Open Shelving

Part of our storage solution was to utilize our Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelves in the space. They add a little industrial chic and keep everything airy, open and easily accessible.

industrial shelves pantry

Stainless Steel Counters

And of course we covered the old counters with stainless steel counter tops that Dean had made. The breakfast bar/coffee station area got matching stainless too. And last fall we extended the laminate flooring all the way through the kitchen too. I’m thrilled with how it looks and it’s held up incredibly well with all the use our kitchen gets daily.

side door pantry shelves clock

Now I am in love with our kitchen.

It’s  not perfect – the painted cupboards are a little scuffed from almost a year of hard use and I imagine they will only get more aged. Truth be told we haven’t painted the quarter round yet – it’s still just primed straight from the store. Dean only just wiped all the grout haze off of the backsplash last weekend. Life just happened. But we have more counter space, more storage and more light than a year ago.

And that makes me happy. 


  • Floors – Sandy Hills Hickory Laminate from Lumber Liquidators
  • Faucet – Hanover by Pfister
  • Chandelier – Homesav
  • Warehouse Pendant – Galaxy Lighting Warehouse Pendant at Lowe’s
  • Stools – Dalfred by Ikea
  • Industrial Shelves – our own, tutorial here
  • Giant Glitter Eat Letters – tutorial here
  • Numbers Canvas Art –
  • Giant Clock – Bravur by Ikea
  • Knobs Wall Hooks – tutorial here
  • Side Door Paint – Muddaritaville’s Sea Breeze
  • Cabinet Paint – White Heron by Benjamin Moore
  • Wall Paint – Crushed Ice by Sherwin Williams

What do you think of you imperfect white kitchen? Do you love your kitchen? Would you change anything about it if you could?


Our Imperfect White Kitchen

P.S. You may like the tutorial for how we installed the laminate flooring

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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  1. With more time having gone by are you still a fan of your stainless steel cabinets. Did your husband use a machine or special tool to bend the metal?

  2. Good morning! Just took a look at your “kitchen redo”… it’s awesome!! I have a question on your floors. I’ve had laminate before (previous house) and it had a tendency to “bubble” if any water fell between the cracks. Have you had that issue now that you’ve had it down for awhile? I’m now in a new home trying to decide if I should do laminate again (hesitant from the issues from my prior home) but not so sure I want hardwood as I have dogs and I’m not hearing great reviews on the vinyl planking. Any feedback would be wonderful!!

    1. We have had ZERO issues with these particular floors. NONE! We have a small dog and three kids and visitors all the time. I’ve spilled hot and cold water and other things, the puppy had numerous accidents and the floor is still amazing!

  3. I am trying to figure out what to do with my backsplash and countertops first. I live in a town where you cant find much more than granite and laminate. I don’t want either. So my mind is working double time. I will think of something unique and wonderful.

  4. You made that kitchen a lil beauty! I love everything you did, especially those floors. I’m heading straight to LL to check it out! I wish my kitchen was smaller as it makes the cost and time invested so much easier to handle. Great job you did!!

  5. hi, I absolutely love the job you did with this kitchen. It is a great inspiration to me for my style of kitchen. I know that you did not buy the refrigerator, but could you provide the name brand and series? The model number, etc. is usually posted on the inside of the frig on a sticker! Thank you so much.

    1. Hello Jeannette, thank you for your kind words. The brand is GE. But that is as much info as we can give you. There are no stickers on or inside the fridge and we have searched high and low for the model number and series. We even called GE directly and they could not provide us with an answer! So I’m afraid we cannot help!

  6. Hi there! I somehow made my way to your blog from Hometalk. I was greeted with “Hello Beautiful!” 😀 You made my day, thank you!

    I was looking at your beautiful kitchen and then I saw the before picture. It made my eyes hurt, lol. You had amazing vision and you did a lovely job. Your kitchen is so welcoming and lovely, just like your blog.

  7. I’m writing because I’m curious how you redid your counters with stainless steel? 🙂 is it cheaper than buying a new piece of counter, I’m also in the phase of trying to reinvent my 1959 kitchen. Thanks!

    1. For is it was definitely cheaper – but Dean has worked in sheet metal for 24+ years. He made the counters at his work. So you’d really have to look into it in your area to see how much they would be to fabricate.

  8. I loved your article on how not to paint your kitchen cabinets. It was funny but so right on. I also found your summary of what all the web sites say to do when painting kitchen cabinets. I read them all and I could have saved time if I found this site earlier. Your kitchen transformation is gorgeous. I love white kitchens and subway tile. I just finished stripping my kitchen doors and drawers. I was not sure if I was going to paint or restrain. Have since decided to paint white and will be using subway tiles also. I considered stainless steel but not sure if I can talk hubby into it since they will eventually scratch (which I will not mind) but think he might. Anyway, you guys did a fantastic job. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Well, if I can’t laugh I think I’d cry. Although I may have cried a little too. I adore a white kitchen! Thank you so much for your kind words.

    2. Oh and Julia, the first couple of scratches SUCK. But after that, I find stainless to be the absolute best counter tops because they’re indestructible!

  9. I found your post while googling tsp! (Of all the odd things) im not sure how old this post is but i have a question. How do you fill your dishwasher with that layout? Is it really that difficult or akward? Our kitchen designer keeps telling us no, we dont want it there.
    Your kitchen looks great!
    Thank you!

    1. Lol. Yeah, that TSP! Well it’s not a perfect layout – but honestly I don’t think there is such a thing. We simply stand at the sink (closer to the fridge) with dishwasher door open and load it. It’s not that bad at all.