We had a contractor paint the cabinets as well as add hardware to them and replace the travertine backsplash with subway tile. It was a little nerve-wracking trying to choose paint and backsplash colors while still in Chicago. We just gave it our best guess and held our breath that it would work well together once it was all up. Thankfully it did - I'm so excited about the results!
Here are a few takeaways from our kitchen remodel - while we didn't do the work ourselves I learned a few things along the way:
1) Paint is a great first step - if you are tired of your kitchen, just painting the cabinets can transform the space. If you are a savvy DIYer you can paint them yourself. If not, expect to pay $1000-$2000 depending on the number of cabinets - still much less than the cost of replacing them. We used Sherwin Williams' Thunderous color on the cabinets.
2) Don't overlook the power of lighting - we added some pendant lights over the counter area where there were previously none (one of the three pendants broke during installation so we are waiting for another one to come in). In addition to providing some additional lighting over the food prep area, they also help set the tone of the kitchen.
The amber glass of the pendants adds a nice warmth to the room and the Edison bulb inside puts off a cool industrial glow at night!
3) Hardware helps - adding some hardware to the cabinets changed their look considerably. It also saves the cabinets from the wear and tear of handling them directly. The finish on the original cabinets had started to wear off in the areas that were frequently grabbed.
4) Invest in key areas - while the original travertine backsplash wasn't bad, we realized that replacing it would be key to truly changing the style of kitchen and decided it was worth the additional cost.
6) Add additional color and pattern through accessories - now I'm in the process of incorporating some fun rugs, dishtowels, etc. to give the space some character. I want to create a little coffee station with a tray for spoons, sugar, etc. next to my coffee pot - currently a work in progress!
7) Use inspiration images - finding a couple kitchens that I particularly loved was a big help in being able to envision how this space could look.
It was a fun process to see it all come together. I am looking forward to enjoying this kitchen for many years to come. Hope you like the results!