Tired Kitchen

Are you sick and tired of your tired kitchen, but don’t have the moolah to renovate? Or you live in a rental and the landlord won’t allow it?

The above kitchen is NOT a tired kitchen. This is Emily Henderson’s own kitchen she refreshed without a renovation and she knows how to do a kitchen on a budget.

Here’s some pretty simple things you can do to improve the look and function of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

First, Ikea has this great Groland Island for only $199. It can be combined with stools for a breakfast bar, used for storage, or placed in the middle of the kitchen as an island for extra counter space while cooking. You can leave the wood natural or paint it any color you like. If you’re in a rental, it’s not permanent so it goes with you to your next place.

The next idea is a bit controversial, not like Rita Ora’s see-thru-dress controversial, but controversial none the less. The idea is to skirt your lower cabinets. I was a bit hesitant when I first read about this idea until I saw the results. This can be used for those broken lower cabinets that look and function terribly. You know those doors that no longer stay shut no matter how many times you kick them. All it takes is some simple fabric or curtains and rods secured to the cabinets. Voila, clutter be gone.

Can’t stand your floors? Cover ugly floors with rugs. Don’t limit yourself to a typical kitchen rug, think outside the box.

Paint cabinets if you can. White is the safe go- to-color, but if you’re going to renovate down the line go a little crazy with color. Blues, grays, blacks, and greens are very “In” now. This kitchen below is a DIY by designer/blogger Lauren Liess, the sage green is beautiful. The first picture is by Emily Henderson and is Hague Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Change out ugly hardware. This one is easy even in a rental. Home Depot, Lowes and even Overstock.com has inexpensive hardware. Just make sure  it is the same size, you don’t want to be drilling and filling holes.  Brass is the new black right now.  While you’re at it, get a new faucet. That builder grade faucet is ugly!

Does your faucet look like this?

This beauty is from Overstock.com for $45.99!

Lighting! Why not add or improve your lighting situation. Not enough lighting? Add inexpensive under-counter lights and avoid cutting off those digits. Ugly overhead lights, change them out! With so many cheap options now this is easy. If you’re handy then DIY it, if not pay someone to do it. Even in a rental you can do it and change it back later. Ikea has the best cheap lights.

Countertops are tough. They can be really ugly, dirty, worn out, and expensive to replace. The easy fix is to cover them up. Large cutting boards are both functional and beautiful, and will easily hide the worn out counters.

Ikea has these gorgeous Aptitlig butcher block cutting boards for $14.99. Leave it on your counter for looks and function.

Claustraphobic?? No money for knocking down walls? Take the doors off some of your cabinets. Showcase your pretty glasses and china. This will instantly make the room feel bigger.

Here’s an example of paint, new hardware and removing the cabinet doors from ahomefullofcolor.com.  It wasn’t awful before, but now it’s bright and airy.

So stop your whining and start wining and dining in your new and improved kitchen!

Can you use any of these ideas to improve your kitchen?


Pictures from Ikea, thekitchn.com, apartmenttherapy.com, ahomefullofcolor.com, pinterest.com, Overstock.com, EmilyHenderson.com


The Brady Bunch House

While reading the blog Remodelista I came across a post about a 1970’s midcentury modern house renovation in Beverly Hills.  I love the style of these houses so my interest was immediately piqued! It harkens back to Friday nights sitting in front of the TV watching the Brady Bunch. I just loved their cool house!

The owner of this house has lived here for 16 years and this was her second renovation. She hired interior design firm Nickey Kehoe to help her keep with the integrity of the house but, bring it up to modern standards. The elements I love about these houses are: they are one story, have beamed/vaulted ceilings, open floor plans, lots of windows and the indoor-outdoor feeling. They are West Coast style at it’s best!

Front entrance.

The living room has a custom sofa designed by Kehoe with style reminiscent of the 1970’s.

Open floor plan dining room and living room. Vintage Saarinen dining table with Heath ceramic pendant lights above.

Dining room looking into kitchen. The Teak bookshelves are new but, look as though they’ve been there since the house was built.

The cabinets are teak and the counter is Caesar Stone. Teak would’ve been used in the 70’s but, the counters would’ve probably been butcher block or Formica. The white Caesar Stone looks simple and modern though.

Kitchen nook with a vintage Formica-topped table from the owner’s childhood and vintage Breuer chairs.

Skylight brightens the hallway.

Vintage leather Togos sofas and 1950’s slatted coffee table in the family room.

Remodeled bathroom with interesting marble-topped vanity.

Do you like this midcentury house?


All pictures for this post from Remodelista.

BTW…Speaking of the 70’s, my friend just published a book called Conscious Unparenting and it’s all about taking a 70’s spin on modern day motherhood. She has a blog to go with it. Check it out here!

Beam Me Up!

Beam me up Scotty!

I can’t take it on this planet anymore! The snow is ridiculous here in the Boston area! There has to be a warmer planet, oops I mean climate somewhere else!

On to more important subjects, like my love affair with ceiling beams!

Let’s explore this affair…when I was a teenager my parents put an addition on our house with vaulted ceilings and wood beams. Before this time, I’d never seen ceiling beams, now I dream about opening up every ceiling to see if there are beams underneath. Many of my posts show kitchens and houses with beams, so you could say I have a beam addiction.

Ceiling beams have been around in interior design/architecture for a long time. Sometimes purely for structural  reasons, but also for esthetic reasons.  They can be the focal point to a room, add warmth,  a rustic feeling, drama, and height to the room. The can be painted, left raw, hewn, faux, steel, different woods and finishes. Ceiling beams can be used in any, yes any, style house. You’ll see, I promise!


The all white ceiling and beams add a feeling of openness, airiness  and expansiveness. It’s a very clean and modern look, but can also be country or rustic. My favorite is the beach-y, laid-back vibe it has.

These kitchen ceilings don’t look that much higher than normal ceilings, but have an airier and loft like feel with the beams painted white.


Another small space with lofty beamed ceilings.


Natural beams add warmth and charm to a space. They can feel rustic and industrial depending on how the space is styled.

This home is traditional, but the beams give it a more casual, beach-y vibe.

An industrial space that feels warm due to the wood beams.


Steel beams give a more graphic punch to a room.  They add an additional focal point with texture and color adding an impact from above.

I love how the black steel beam plays against the warm wood.

Concrete beams in this modern Brazilian apartment add another texture to the room.

There are also great faux wood beams now. It’s amazing how real they look.  Check them out here. 

Do you love beams too? Which kind is your favorite?


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all pics from pinterest, Apartment Therapy, Domainehome.com, Dwell, Elledecor.com