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Can Your Kitchen be Saved? Kitchen Facelifts with MAJOR style

Its a well-known fact that kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to renovate.  Not to mention the months of "up-rootedness" one feels when in the midst of having to live without one of these necessary spaces.  I recently lived through a kitchen remodel myself, and while I enjoy the process, washing dishes in a laundry sink, cooking dinner in a microwave (although I'll admit, we went out WAY too often) got old fast.  So is there any other way?  For me, there just wasn't, but many homeowners have kitchens that function well and have salvageable cabinetry, but are just low on style and modern convenience.  I would love to design everyone out there a kitchen full of brand-spankin' new cabinets with all the bells and whistles, but let's be honest, just because you need an update, this is not always in the budget.  That said, I've been seriously impressed with some of the kitchen facelifts I've seen recently.  There are some talented and creative people out there who have the ability to transform their spaces--even on a budget.  Here are some amazing makeovers that didn't break the bank:

This was the kitchen that got me started on my quest for great "face-lifters".  I mean seriously is this even the same space?  It looks brand new!  Click here for more details and product sources. 
Why this facelift works:
It is dripping with creativity and vision, and works because it re-uses all of the existing cabinetry and adds elements like crown moulding and a V-groove ceiling to better integrate the kitchen with this older home.  Where the shorter height of the uppers might have been an issue, the homeowner cleverly added open shelving to bridge the gap and provide even more storage.  Now the kitchen looks like it belongs in that house--that last photo is such a beauty!
Who this works for:
-Homeowners with cabinetry that is in good shape and has a style that is simple enough to transform with paint
-Cabinets that have enough life left in them to justify the expense of new stone/wood countertops
-A kitchen that is already laid out well
-Appliance openings that are "standard" in size and can easily be fitted with new stainless models

This is an outstanding facelift--I've looked at it many times, and still go back wondering how that could be the same space, and the same cabinets!
Why this facelift works:
The original kitchen had fallen prey to the natural maple trend (no more, please!), but the cabinets were in good shape, and had some great decorative door detail that is actually accentuated in a painted finish.  Plus, the style was simple enough to copy, and by adding new glass door cabinets that run to the ceiling, the new space looks so tailored and proud.  Not to mention the talented designer, Emily Hewitt, who pulled this all together
Who this works for:
-Again, cabinets that are in good shape with a great door style--I love how the "pillowed" door really pops when painted white
-Kitchens with basic stainless steel appliances that don't need replacing.  I had to look twice to make sure they were the original ones--they look much more expensive in the new kitchen
-Cabinetry that has no existing hardware--it makes it easy to choose new ones without having to work with or fill the holes that are normally there
-Homeowners who are willing to spend a little money to add new lighting.  That new kitchen sparkles thanks to improved ceiling and under-cabinet lighting.


You probably recognize this beautiful interior from designer Lauren Liess at Pure Style Home.  She really is a mastermind at creating great space by using what you have and making it work for your lifestyle.  I've been a huge fan for a while now!
Why this facelift works:
The look created here is consistent, deliberate, and carried through the entire space.  At the same time, it is unfitted, casual, and fits the lifestyle of the family who lives there.  Making this look work is not an easy feat, and its success is due to the trained and talented eye of a designer.  The palate of soothing greens and creams is anchored by hits of black, and softened by natural elements.  All of the existing appliances and fixtures were maintained (even the countertops are the same!), but somehow it all looks fresh and new, and like it was "planned" to be that way.  Brilliant, if you ask me.
Who this works for:
-Creative geniuses who aren't afraid to try unconventional elements (like a chalkboard-painted fridge), and are confident that they can carry out their vision and make the look work for them
-Homeowners who like open shelving, and have the eye and discipline to keep their dish collections looking neat and well put together at all times
-Kitchens that have decent bones, but a tight budget and need to keep fixture locations where they are to save cost

Looks like I've "commented" enough here....these spaces really do speak for themselves.  If you're reading this, and have photos/links to other classy and wonderful transformations that are out there, please send them my way.  Even though I love new things (doesn't everyone ;)), I'm so inspired by people who can work with what they have and make it beautiful. 


travelkate said...

These kitchen transformations are amazing! There is nothing like a good before and after. Here is the before and after link to my kitchen.

Emily said...

Hi Kristen!
I just noticed that you featured my kitchen make over on your blog! Thank you for all of your sweet was a fun project!

Emily Hewett
A Well Dressed Home