A Big Phat Kitchen Update

Man oh man, do I have a slew of Before & After shots for you today! Happy Monday, by the way. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I am now truly blonde again (as opposed to that weird orange color I was sporting), and my son’s wrist is officially broken. Awesome. He’s trying to convince me he can play soccer, but not piano. Clearly he thinks this is my first rodeo, because he was shocked to find out there are plenty of left-handed pieces to choose from for recital! Score one for mom (a rare victory!)

So on to today’s post. When I showed you our new Fig Friend and Organized Drop Spot, many of you emailed to find out the color of our kitchen walls. Which reminded me that we had the kitchen painted and I’d never shown you!! Go ahead and crown me Queen Blogger. I might be a crappy blogger, but I have a bright and cheery kitchen!

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It was originally painted ‘Fen’ by Martha Stewart for Sherwin Williams. A nice green with some gray and brown undertones, but too dark and muddy with the new espresso cabinets. I also never loved how it competed with the smoky gray/blue glass tile backsplash.


It’s amazing how simply changing the wall color has transformed this room! It’s Farrow & Ball ‘Skylight,’ color-matched at Sherwin Williams (they have all the F&B formulas, and their paint isn’t $80 a gallon!). I brought a sample pot of it back from this trip, and just fell in love with the pale gray/blue. It brightens the space and lets the glass backsplash take center stage.

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The sheer curtains on the picture window were hung too low, so I kept them off until I find a better choice. I also started painting the breakfast room chairs. And by started, I mean I painted one. How about we have all kinds of fun and back waaaaay up…here’s the kitchen when we moved in. Warning: cover your watch because this room is so homely it could stop time.

original kitchen

We lived with that kitchen for five years before I had the nerve (and dollars) to bring it to this millennium. And here it is after the renovation. Mr. Sugarplum insisted I keep the fake plants on top of the cabinets. I kid. He tossed them to the trash when I wasn’t looking.

after 7

I have to agree, it looks so much cleaner without them. Here’s the same shot with no more fake plants and a brighter wall color.

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The ceilings in this room are lower than the rest of the house, so they’re painted the same as the wall color for a more open feel and seamless look. Before with the green…

after 9

And after with the gray/blue. Literally all that’s changed here is the wall color and a few accessories.

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These empty bottles have no purpose other than to add color and make me feel fancy. Doesn’t every magazine kitchen shot have Pellegrino bottles? You can also get a peek at how the under-cabinet lights are mounted.

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The most utilized cooking supplies are corralled on a white ceramic tray, and the utensils are in a stainless Ikea canister. The bird tray is also Ikea.

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This side of the kitchen received the only real demolition, by removing the sweet wall oven and microwave, and making it a more usable work space.

before 2

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I added more pop to the cabinets by backing them with fabric and ribbon trim.

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Clearly I don’t do a lot of cooking. Doesn’t my ‘brass’ elephant look cute, though?

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I still haven’t figured out how to photograph a window, but the glass tile extends up over the ledge. It’s the perfect sunny spot for plants and herbs.

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I may add some kind of window treatment.

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The coffee maker and supplies are kept tidy on another Ikea tray. The tea tin is a keepsake from this trip, picked up because it has my initials.

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Here’s a ‘Before’ view of the Breakfast Room from the Den. And you see why I’m painting the chairs? It’s chair-palooza in there! I like mixing the shapes, but I’m not digging the different wood tones.


Pretty cheery ‘After’ view now, eh? (Sorry, prepping myself for our trip this weekend!) And doesn’t the Windsor chair look so pretty white? I prefer honey on my yogurt, not my wood grain. The other three chairs will be white, too. Someday.

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This angle gives you a peek at the Drop Spot. It took us a few weeks to re-train ourselves, but now it’s a fully functioning command center.

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The drum pendant is a DIY, so I’ll post the tutorial. Someday.

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I get a lot of emails about the bar chairs. They are from World Market, are still in mint condition after two years, and are only a tad scratchy on the backs of bare thighs. I love the warmth and texture they bring to the slick and shiny room. The Maine watercolor was my parents.

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Let’s relive the evolution one more time….Before…

Picnik collage

And bright and modern After!


Does the power of paint ever get old? Is there anything a gallon of paint can’t fix? Have you changed up any rooms with just paint lately? You can read all the details of the Kitchen Renovation here and here.

Leave a Comment


  1. Love, love, love the space. It is so bright and refreshing. Would look even better with the fake plant jungle highlighted up above the cabinetry. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  2. so much better! i love the backsplash and the wall color!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  3. Love the new color and accessories! I must get some Pellegrino to sit on my counters!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  4. Looks fantastic! Of course I like the tiny details like that pink pot and the gold pig best!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  5. Love every last part of your kitchen!!! That tile backsplash is amazing!!!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  6. Amanda wrote:

    wow! now thats a transformation! LOVE the new color. And of course that fig tree is perfect in there.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  7. Your kitchen is beautiful! I'm in the midst of redoing our kitchen and it feels like it will never be done! You give me hope. You did a great job! You can see my kitchen here http://lindahwmh.blogspot.com/2012/03/counter-top-o-morning-to-me.html Maybe you can give me some tips. Have a great week! ~Linda

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  8. Love the new wall color, and the white chairs will look great!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    That's a lot of work. I'm so glad you like it.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  10. pam wrote:

    cassie, i LOVE it! love your wallcolor choice (thanks for sharing that sw has fb formulas… never knew that). love the barstools and that mma artpiece on the wall behind. i need to buy some pellegrino bottles for my kitchen (yes, EVERY kitchen mag shot has them!). we're about to paint our dining room. we're going dark, dark, dark with the walls (it's a really open room with a rustic table and white slipcovered chairs). have a great day! it's beautiful out!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  11. No pics of the new hair?! Yes – the power of paint never fails! Love that color! That watercolor is gorgeous!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  12. LOVE the grey-much cleaner and crisper against your gorgeous cabinets. I also like how you took the plants on the top off of the cabinets- again, crisper. It all looks so so good- nice job my lady!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  13. Leslie wrote:

    Wow! It's such an improvement. It is amazing how beautiful and modern it looks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  14. Lori wrote:

    Looks great! I love the new wall color and I can't wait to see the rest of the chairs painted white. What an amazing transformation!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    I love your kitchen. It's crazy how just a slight change in paint color can make such a big difference. I agree with your husband – the fake plants on top had to go. It's very clean and simple but still impactful!!! Great job.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  16. So so so so so so so much better! You have a great eye Cassie!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  17. Tiffany wrote:

    I love that wall color! I didn't know about Sherwin Williams having the F & B paint formulas…something to keep in mind.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  18. Love the new color. So much lighter and cleaner looking. Kitchen looks so great. Honey on my yogurt comment is cracking me up!!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  19. The blue looks so beautiful with your dark cabinets! When we redo our kitchen in a few year we'll be painting the cabinets white, so I want to use a green similar to the one you used to have.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  20. The light blue makes a HUGE difference! And I love the sleek appliances and seagrass chairs. Very clean and modern and yet chic. Amazing job girlfriend!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  21. Chelsea wrote:

    love, love, love the dark cabinets… awesome before and after. i recently spraypainted some animal friends of my own! so chic ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  22. Hannah wrote:

    That blows my mind how much better it looks with literally just a change of paint color! Amazing!

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  23. SO SO bright and beautiful! the new color is perfect, and yes, the white on the chair looks way more crisp and clean! Well done ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  24. leah wrote:

    Love your kitchen. We just finished renovating ours too. We were trying to decide between light and dark cabinetry… we went with white, but your dark looks so posh and amazing! I really love it. The light wall color really helps it pop.

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  25. oh yes, much better!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  26. No, seriously, painting transformations *never* get old for me! It's like magic (c: And that color is absolute perfection for that space…chalk another point up for mom (c:

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  27. Holy transformation! And no, I will never get sick of the power of paint. Have to agree, love the cabinets without the plants, and yes, the chairs all have to be white. Wouldn't it be nice if they could just paint themselves and make life a little easier?! Amazing work, as always! xo

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  28. This looks amazing! I love it, especially the pink cushions on the chairs. So fun!! I love your blog!

    Posted 4.16.12 Reply
  29. Lisa Mende wrote:

    This looks great! You have done a beautiful job! Cassie, are your cabinets from IKEA?

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  30. Paint is our friend!!! Your kitchen is worthy of being on the cover of a magazine!! You did good!!

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  31. That paint color makes such a huge difference! it looks great. I just changed every paint color in my entire house back in December/January… and I am about to make some more changes! I love paint!!! It is like magic!

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  32. Amber wrote:

    such a beautiful kitchen Cassie!

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  33. Thanks everyone!!

    Lisa — my cabinets were refaced by my contractor…but all my appliances are Ikea!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  34. Your kitchen looks Amazing! I love the new color. You have really transformed that space- it barely looks like the same kitchen! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love your fig tree in the dining room.

    Posted 4.18.12 Reply
  35. Beth wrote:

    I love the dark cabinets!!! Can't wait to change mine out. I will have a big "before & after" blog when that happens. I currently have an 80's kitchen. (sad face)

    Posted 4.18.12 Reply
  36. emily wrote:

    It looks amazing! What a difference that beautiful paint makes! You've done a beautiful job with this space!

    Posted 4.18.12 Reply
  37. I'm STILL kicking myself for not getting those gorge glass tiles you found for me. They're on my list for when we do a full-monty gut job of our kitchen next year. Also kicking myself for not getting my WE towels monogrammed. And that tea/coffee tray? Kicking myself for not getting something similar on my last trip to Ikea.

    Essentially, I'm all bruised up from repeatedly kicking myself every time I come over here to peruse your posts.

    Posted 4.18.12 Reply
  38. I love a good before and after! …and I LOVE the tile backsplash! You can never go wrong with a classic subway tile job. Thumbs up!


    Posted 4.19.12 Reply
  39. Cassie, your kitchen looks fantastic! Love the new paint color!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 5.7.12 Reply
  40. Knocked it out of the park on this one girl! Love it!!!

    Posted 5.8.12 Reply
  41. Love, love love the end result! Also, love the chair white — I'm just about to paint all my dining room chairs white and now I know it'll look cute! Ha ๐Ÿ™‚ Really though, great, great job.

    Posted 5.8.12 Reply
  42. Wow, what a huge difference! That looks fabulous! I would love for you to share this (and any other house projects) at my "May House Par-tay" at http://www.cheapcraftymama.com!

    Posted 5.8.12 Reply
  43. Kim Wilson wrote:

    Hi Cassie!
    You know, I saw this posted over at Beth's and I even thought "Dang! That is gorgeous!" I even showed my hubs and he thought it looked great, but then the phone rang and I got distracted and didn't look to see who's kitchen it was! IT WAS YOURS!!!! WOW-O-WOW girl! I love, love, love everything about it. Very smart move to paint the ceilings. I love painted ceilings! Great job!(Pinning away with this one!)
    ~KIM @ Sand & Sisal

    Posted 5.10.12 Reply
  44. Great kitchen! Love the tile backsplash!

    Posted 5.14.12 Reply
  45. AWESOME transformation!

    Posted 5.23.12 Reply
  46. Beautiful! I love the backsplash and little birdie plate!

    We are running a Before and After Link party to support Habitat for Humanity, with a chance to be featured on other big blogs and win gift cards. Would love if you entered! http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/2012-before-after-series/

    Posted 6.8.12 Reply
  47. Jocie@TheBetterHalf wrote:

    ps – have you tried popcorn with M&Ms! mmmm! i'll have to try it with milk duds!

    Posted 6.8.12 Reply
  48. aurora wrote:

    new paint color is perfection

    Posted 8.1.12 Reply
  49. Shannon wrote:

    I neeeeeed need need that rug! Please tell me you didn't find it at Home Goods like 3 years ago, therefore, I will never find it ever again.

    Posted 8.2.12 Reply
  50. Shannon — don't you hate when bloggers find stuff at random places and you can't track them down?!?!? Actually, this rug is from Urban Outfitters….but they no longer sell it. ๐Ÿ™ Which is really a good thing though, because it has faded by at least 50%…so bad in fact, that they refunded me my money! I'm sick to death about it though, because I love it!!

    Posted 8.3.12 Reply
  51. Rosanny wrote:

    Wgerus yiyr chandelier from?

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  52. did you just replace the cabinet doors? love the cabinets and back splash. everything ties together so beautifully. would love to have those cabinets. you didn't paint those right?

    Posted 1.3.13 Reply
  53. Hi Nicole! Your profile is set to private, so I'm not able to respond to your comment via email. We had the cabinet doors replaced with a shaker style espresso color (not paint). The cabinet bases were just refaced.

    Hope this helps!
    xo. Cassie

    Posted 1.8.13 Reply
  54. spm wrote:

    Loooveee the kitchen, I am soo showing it to my hub to get some traction on our remodel. Can you tell me the source for the backsplash?

    Posted 2.2.13 Reply
  55. Hi SPM — we found the tiles at a local shop, but I've seen similar ones on Amazon!! Just search glass subway tile! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope this helps…and good luck!

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  56. Askanam wrote:

    wow such a beautiful house! love it, especially the baby girl's room, too cute! Well, now I know the Home Depot Challenge will be soooo easy for you .

    Posted 2.22.13 Reply
  57. Very nice! Love the neutral color. We installed the frameless glass on our shower and I love it.
    glass backsplash tile

    Posted 4.1.13 Reply
  58. can you tell me the granite and backsplash info? we have almost the same floor tile and are about to redo our kitchen – i love your kitchen!!!

    Posted 7.28.13 Reply
    • Thanks Stephanie!!!

      The granite is Kashmir White, and the backsplash is a gray/blue glass subway tile. I found it at a local tile shop, but I've seen similar for great prices on Amazon!!

      Hope this helps, and have fun with your reno!!

      Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  59. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi sugarplum!! I love your backsplash! I am wanting something very similar if not exact!! I am wondering if you bought individual tiles or the prepack with the mesh backing?!! If individual how big is each tile?!! Thank you!!!

    Posted 1.15.15 Reply
    • Hi sweets! My tiles come individual 3×6 subway…the brand is Skylights, and I've seen them on overstock and amazon! good luck with your project!

      Posted 1.15.15 Reply
  60. this kitchen is soooo Gorgeous! and It is so modern and clean looking. Iโ€™m really impressed.

    Posted 5.25.17 Reply
  61. It looks SO GOOD! Like a picture from a magazine!

    Posted 5.25.17 Reply
  62. This is one of the most amazing transformations Iโ€™ve ever seen! Your kitchen is beautiful!

    Posted 5.25.17 Reply
  63. Shannon King wrote:

    Do you know the name of the granite/quartz countertop and the name of the tile?

    Posted 1.2.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      All the sources are linked in the original kitchen reveal post! xo

      Posted 1.2.18 Reply