My Kitchen Makeover: Bones

My Kitchen Makeover: Bones

We made HUGE progress in the kitchen over labor day weekend, and I’ve been dying to share here, but I’ve been attached to my computer and printer doing a wedding invitation suite and my birthday invites, amongst other things, and so I’ve barely even had time to mop the floor, let alone do a little styling! To give you an idea, I’ve been composing this post for over two weeks! I finally managed to take some photos AND edit them for comparison, so here they are!

In my previous kitchen post, I mentioned that a lightbulb turned on above my head and I thought an icey blue would be the best color to put on this wall to work with the tile and a lot of the things I already had and didn’t want to replace. Tyler and I have officially decided to stop trying to have any other color on our walls besides blue or gray! We waste a lot of time saying “but do we really want another blue wall?!” when the answer is always “YES. Yes we do want another blue wall”. Right now I feel this concept works great in our small apartment (I’m currently set on painting our bedroom navy, and Laelia’s room needs an OVERHAUL!!! So her room might be painted with in the year, too!).

Anyway, I was having trouble finding the right icey blue. I did not see a color I felt was right from Valspar or Olympic, or the little paint shop down the street, and I have had disastrous results with color matching. So, I finally bit the bullet and decided to find out what Benjamin Moore was all about. I feel like nine out of ten times a wall paint reference on AT, pinterest, Lonny Mag, Rue, D*S, etc. ends up being a Benjamin Moore (BM) color. To my delight, I discovered a few things which will mean that I will probably be using BM paints exclusively for the foreseeable future:

  1.  OSH, the closest hardware store to my apt, recently started selling the full line of BM paint (i.e. no more driving over 10 miles to Lowes for paint). I walked into the store, didn’t see the color I liked so I asked to see their color fan (which has their full line of colors), and immediately saw a color I thought was right called blue bonnet, and bought a sample of it.
  2. BM’s most affordable line concepts, is $26.99. This is actually a little less expensive than Valspar!
  3. Holy moly, this stuff rolls on smooth, and has great coverage, and doesn’t splatter much. We have done a lot of painting in the last year, AND we were painting with Valspar’s ultra white at the same time we were painting with the BM paint. BM’s eggshell finish feels smoother than Valspar’s satin finish!  And we had to put 4-5 coats of the Valspar paint on to get full coverage (ouch), compared to 1-2 for the BM paint.

An IG I snapped while I was painting the ceiling… I was stunned by what a big difference it made! Bye bye smoker’s wall!

We also ended up painting the ceiling which I was really not intending to do! But just look at the difference! Despite all the cosmetic work we did in this room, I feel like my favorite part of this makeover is the area above the stove, primarily for the significantly increased functionality of the space. Considering our fridge is right next to our stove, moving our spices to magnetic spice jars was definitely the right move here (a post and free printable will be available here at some point)! Not only does it give them a uniform look, but it cleared up the space behind the stove for a shelving rack and rail! Now virtually all of our cooking utensils are an arm’s length away, and I was able to  free up some space and reorganize the cupboard in the stove to have better access to baking sheets and pot lids! I also finally found a good use for my ceramic coasters (I almost put these up on eBay)!  I’ll be making a separate post about these, too. This space is pretty much done, but for a few things; My parents have a vintage O’keefe and Merrit stove sitting in their garage, and I’m thinking about using their knobs on this stove until we move, because these ones are pretty rotted away… I also want to get a new tea kettle, we need to install an oven light, and we’ll be installing a little shelf to sit right on top of the stove, as the stove has to sit about 6 inches away from the wall because of some piping that comes out of the wall.

We removed the cabinet doors from the cabinet above the fridge, and this worked out even better than I expected; I finally have a place to store things that wouldn’t otherwise fit inside my shallow cabinets! The picnic basket and larger cake stands now have a super “official” place to go. The only things I was storing in there before we removed the doors were a large traveling cake holder and some dishes that I’m selling on eBay, so this is a much better use of this space. I don’t think the wire candle holders will stay up there, but they just haven’t found a home yet, and they physically fit there, so that’s where they are living for now… The few people who have come over since we have made this change have ALL said “Wow, I had no idea you even had a cupboard up there!”. Usually, I think comments about noticing areas for the first time after a makeover mean I’m heading in the right direction! We also moved the microwave down, and it’s waiting to be put in a small kitchen cart in front of the drop down ironing board.

Although I think the stove area is probably the largest improvement in functionality, this area is a close second. However, it takes the cake in the “biggest aesthetic improvement”! World Market finally had a dining sale and we went to buy this jackson table as soon as we found out! It is such a beautiful table, and it really uses the space well! We also installed shelves and blinds. The main reason I’ve been slowly installing blinds in every room of this apartment is that a) most of the windows didn’t have them (9/13), or b) if they did have them, they didn’t work, the plastic was rotted and they covered up the beautiful casing around the windows (DON’T DO THAT!). I love the way the blinds show off the pretty moulding around the windows! As you can see, I did try the rug under the table, and I like it, but this rug is just too big to really live here. This area still needs the most work, but it’s all styling; artwork, decor, and cushions!

The cupboard on this wall conceals our drop down ironing board. This is definitely a very nostalgic and awesome feature of this apartment, but it’s also kind of frustrating; I’ll be putting a kitchen cart here and this cupboard will be blocked. The cart will be on wheels, so I can move it out of the way when I need to iron, and yet I know this will affect how often I iron (I only seem to do it once a month, as it is!). Since I don’t iron very often, it’s easy to understand how I get annoyed with how much space is wasted here, just for the chance of ironing… Anyway, in addition to cleaning the grate below the sink, I also cleaned off the grate on this door, we think it is to vent heat from where you placed your hot iron. It’s so pretty and shiny now! I’ve definitely embraced the icey blue, silver and white in this kitchen; I hope the wood warms it up a little, although I have to admit a lighter wood would probably have worked better, but you can’t have everything.

I’ve made an executive decision about the pantry; I’m replacing the black-brown billy and short doors for a white billy and long doors. I moved out the baking supplies and some small appliances from the other cupboards in order to have some open shelving near the countertops, and I think it makes more sense to keep all of our dry food stuffs in one place. I think white will look much better with our new space, and the long doors will provide coverage over the top half, which I would rather not see all the time; Laelia constantly asks for food on the open shelves, and I just don’t think it’s all that pretty to look at. I’ve arranged it so there is plenty of other exposed shelving in the kitchen, so I think I’m okay with this transitioning into closed storage. I never really had it looking the way I wanted it to, anyway! I am working on completely organizing our food organization system though… it’s coming along great!

I’m also loving the way this little area is coming along. I love that clock! It might be the best $7 I’ve ever spent! The white on white is pretty much the exact detail I was looking for in this room! And you can see how I’ve left this cupboard to be open shelving! I think it will be a few months until I have it perfect, but I really love having the open space here…

Kitchen to-do list


  • Strip paint
  • Prime
  • Wax all drawers and drawer runners
  • Restore cutting board (*almost done! Just need to oil it)
  • Re-grout tile (Thanks Brother!)
  • Finalize a decor style
  • Paint
  • Lay in new shelf liner
  • Hang wine glass racks
  • Install shelving
  • Install blinds
  • Install rack in front of window for herb garden – the grundtal rail will not fit here, so this is not possible. :(
  • Install new light fixtures
  • New, extendable, rectangular kitchen table It’s not extendable, but we love it!
  • New, smaller, microwave to sit on the shelf above the stove in the kitchen island.
  • Find a rug
  • Portable kitchen island – I want the stenstorp from IKEA–it will fit perfectly!
  • Change out black-brown billy bookcase with short doors for a white billy bookcase with long doors.
  • Finish painting the trim and beneath the cabinets
  • Touch up the ceiling
  • Paint and install the brackets-turned-cabinet-legs
  • Hang ceramic coasters to make a faux back-splash
  • Install an Ekby shelf right above the stove, so it acts as a catch all


  • Strip paint
  • Prime
  • Paint
  • Install chair rail in breakfast nook
  • Re-Hang Mirror
  • Purchase and hang artwork
  • Shelf styling
  • Hang planters on either side of the window
  • Switch out boob light for pendant light
  • Upholster storage benches
  • Pillows for benches
  • Paint storage benches – not sure I’ll need to do this if I end up making a skirt for the benches, which I’m leaning toward
  • Add baseboard to storage benches – not sure I’ll need to do this if I end up making a skirt for the benches, which I’m leaning toward
  • Potentially place a rug under the table

(we haven’t started painting at ALL in this room, but we’ve done a little organizing) 

  • Strip paint
  • Prime
  • Paint
  • Install new shelf
  • Hang Brooms & Dustpan
  • Lay in new shelf liner
  • Make labels for all the things
  • Hang stick vac charger
  • Re-hang iron holder

I’ll be dedicating some items that have been crossed out (and some that I’ve yet to do) to an entire blog post of its own, so expect to see those sometime soon. I think, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to start blogging regularly again very soon! Or, at the very least, bust out some of this kitchen stuff. I’m sure I’ll be blogging less when I finally get to hammer out my new blog design… slightly ironic, I know!

3 Responses to My Kitchen Makeover: Bones

  1. carla says:

    this is awesome! i love everything and can’t wait to see everything finished!! you have such a funky classy style – love it!! i really like that blue chevron rug too – hope you can find a smaller one bc it works great!

  2. becky dodson says:

    i feel the same way about blue and grey walls…the exact same. in fact, all the colors i’ve used besides are because im like…i cant do ALL THE WALLS BLUE…:)

  3. This looks fantastic! The ice blue colour works so well with the tiles and really freshens up the cabinets. Love it. That breakfast nook is gorgeous too! xx

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Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

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