Modern but old-fashioned kitchen Do it again – for later

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These classic ’90s honey cabinets are about to get a major makeover, and those little backsplash tiles won’t be long for this world. And while subway tile may be involved, this is definitely not one of those wall-to-wall white remodels.

Here’s the backstory on this renovation and what the homeowner went for:

Our 1990s kitchen had good bones, but dark, dated features and oak cabinets begging for some color. Instead of stripping out the solid wood cabinets and neutral floors, we worked with what we had to give it an eclectic, remodeled feel that matched the style of the rest of our home.

Our home has an eclectic, neutral, cozy feel to it, and the kitchen didn’t naturally fit that style. It’s the room we spend the most time in, so we wanted it to reflect our style more than any other part of our house.

First, to avoid confusion, you should know that the before and after photos were taken from opposite directions. Keep an eye on where the stove and sink are and everything will become clear.

Diana Horton van Dahlias and dimes has done something special here, making this kitchen feel more modern and old-fashioned at the same time. The green paint and floral wallpaper have a wonderfully relaxed feel, enhanced by the fact that the paneled cabinetry has been retained. But while paneled cabinets — especially those with curves and arches — can look aggressively 1990s, now that they’re painted, these feel wonderfully vintage. The gold hardware and pendant have the same effect: they’re not shiny, plasticy and dainty 90s gold. They’re sleek, muted gold with a bit of an industrial feel.

The floor is unchanged, and now surrounded by color and fresh white paint, it doesn’t seem so intense, depressing beige. It now acts as a nice pale neutral for the paint and wallpaper to pop against.

Diana tackled this kitchen as part of the One room challenge that so many design and DIY bloggers have done. Here’s what it took to complete this project in the allotted time:

The entire project, including breakfast corner, took about three months to complete. The total cost was about $2,000 including paint, wallpaper, light fixtures and backsplash. As this was our second kitchen remodel, we felt confident to complete all the work ourselves. The open shelves were our only setback as we weren’t sure about the weight of the wood on the tile. With a little reassurance from a contractor friend, we installed the shelves, the finishing touch and favorite feature of our kitchen.

The old white stove, refrigerator, and microwave look great here, as they blend aesthetically perfectly with the white backsplash, trim, and walls. And while stainless steel appliances can work with gold accents and hardware, sometimes it’s nice to stick with one metal.

The plant and two framed works of art add a touch of beauty for its own sake, but even without them, the ceramics and glassware have great aesthetic appeal, and the stacks and rows of open shelves have a pleasant and cozy feel. They are truly Diana’s favorite part of the new kitchen:

The part of our kitchen I love most is our open shelves. They are so practical and allow me to display art in our kitchen. The only thing I would do differently is choose a more neutral wallpaper. While I love the print and the colors, I can see myself getting tired of it sooner rather than later.

Now that the One room challenge has been completed, Diana has some excellent encouragement to share:

Don’t underestimate your ability to tackle a kitchen project on your own. A kitchen renovation can be affordable if you think outside the box. For example, painting cabinets and adding affordable white subway tiles can go a long way!

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