Transform Your Kitchen with this ONE Update; Before & After

When you hate your inherited kitchen design, there is one thing you can do right now that won’t break the budget but completely transform your kitchen. That way you can focus your budget on high priority updates. Wanna know what it is?

This is the image that started this thread on my stories this week. I had mentioned that sometimes changing the countertop and backsplash should be considered first, BEFORE the cabinets are painted.

So this week, after I received a few before and afters from my followers,  I thought I would share a few photos of an area in your kitchen that is highly underestimated. Can you guess what it is?

It’s your backsplash.

Remember, visually your countertops are on a horizontal plane so while they can be very bossy, busy or dominating, often it’s the inherited backsplash that is bossing you around more than anything in the room.

It’s what you see FIRST and most dominant when looking around your kitchen.

And if you have a busy countertop (that you also did not choose), well then the whole combination just becomes offensive at all times.

Thats Highly Offensive 30rock GIF - Thats Highly Offensive 30Rock Thats So Mean - Discover & Share GIFs

And while we would all love to customize our kitchens and bathrooms with every move, sometimes it’s simply not possible. 

This is when you really need to carefully assess what will give you the biggest bang for the buck so that the kitchen becomes a place that you can live with. Or, maybe even tolerate longer than you might think. That way you can spend your budget on other items that are higher priority.

When your tile is this busy and it matches the countertop in busy-ness and bossiness, that’s where you feel despair because it all blends together. Suddenly you start thinking, surely the ONLY good and true option is to blow it all up, right?

Wrong.

Here’s a look at an excellent example of how the kitchen backsplash completely transformed this kitchen design. Now this follower did make some other updates, but this is exactly what you should do to bring your kitchen from yesterday into today.

Read more: Ask Maria: Help! My White Kitchen Cabinets Look Bad!

But see how you barely notice the countertops now (above).

The most significant change (the backsplash) diverts your eye from the countertops.

And, if you can make a few other changes at the same time, you can live with your kitchen longer the way it is! (see above)

However, even this backsplash change made a big difference without any other updates to the cabinets.

So before you get all worked up about removing uppers, here’s the point of this post. Fundamentally when you update a busy, trendy backsplash for some timeless subway tile, you can really transform your kitchen in a big way, just like this one:

And the lighting and flooring are a definite improvement here:

Here’s another kitchen where adding a hood fan and some upper shelving along with some timeless subway tile made a HUGE difference:

Before you start posting comments about how hard it is to clean upper shelving, take another look. Notice how much fresher and updated these dated kitchens look – and that’s what this post is about!

Where we’re going with kitchen design is NO UPPERS, if possible.

Especially if you’re considering black cabinets!

And that’s why removing uppers and adding airy shelving works so well because it kinda helps create the:

“This old thing? Darling, my kitchen is simply an extension of my living room” look.

Grassrootines for Bein' Green Pt. 6 – Time to Green Yo' Latrine – suadua

It’s the first thing I’m going to do with the kitchen in my upstairs entertainment room (below) before it gets painted.

That’s right. I’m removing ALL the upper cabinets.

The main kitchen can be found here with all the real estate listing photos. Our possession date has been moved to October 12, so that’s when the renovation kicks in and then we plan to move in December 1.

Follow along and learn how to make the most of your renovation project!

Follow me here on Instagram to be a part of the moment by moment action!

Register here, for one of my Fall Workshops. Become a True Colour Expert, learn how to make much better colour and decorating decisions for all of your updates until the end of time! 

The first one, starts this Wednesday but there’s still time to register into my only weekend course this Fall:

October 15 & 16 (weekend)

(Friday is the last day so we have time to ship your WOW box with all the colour chips, fan decks, fabric and tile samples).

November 10 & 11, 2022

Register here.

Related posts:

My Designer Secrets for Updating Old Kitchen Cabinets

Which is Better? Open or Closed Floor Plan

The Best Update for a Kitchen with Wood Stained Cabinets

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