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2021 Kitchen Refresh Checklist and Inspiration

Starting the new year off right with a little kitchen refresh!

Happy New Year! I wanted to share the small ways we are updating our 5 year old kitchen this month.

It's something I've been wanting to do for the last couple of years but felt silly making some small changes because there's nothing wrong with our kitchen (other than the fact that that the kitchen fairies never show up to give it a deep clean, haha). BUT, I think our spaces can always be evolving and it's so fun to be creative in thinking of new ways to make our home feel fresh and new!


from rustic, industrial farmhouse to simple, classic and modern:

When we originally did the kitchen 5.5 years ago, I wasn't on Instagram soaking up inspirational pictures from my now friends' kitchens. I don't even know if I was using Pinterest much at the time. I was, however, watching Fixer Upper - which is still one of my favorite shows - but I really liked the farmhouse style they used that whole first season. It's casual, chippy, and mostly budget friendly elements were a great option for our new open floor plan and starting out in our 1960s fixer upper. But as my style has evolved a bit, I'm now drawn to more simple lines and a little less "fuss" - goodbye decor with words, cottage style board and batten panels on the island, old corbels dating pre antebellum, arched kitchen sink pendant light, shiny range hood... and hello more monotone, large statement pieces that feel less busy and more simple. Ahhhh, less clutter-y. ;)

So the question for the last year and a half was - can we affordably change the kitchen without starting over, as in completely gutting it? *Tearing out the open shelves and re-tiling the whole wall to put up a large oven range crossed my mind many times, but Bill was like hold your horses!

Here's what we came up with instead of demo-ing the whole kitchen. And maybe some of these changes will inspire you to give it a go!


this is the kitchen checklist we have started tackling:

  • Paint hood or “build a new one over the existing one if the spray paint doesn’t work, LOL! When you scroll down, you will see kitchens with white oven range hoods.

  • Finally scrape and replace the cracked caulk on the back wall where the subway tile meets the counter.

  • Clean and touch up the outside of cabinets with a paint pen and wax stick to fill in the scrapes and gauges.

  • Clean and organize the inside of the cabinets and put down new contact paper inside.

  • Remove corbels and build out or "beef up" the kitchen island.

  • Paint island a darker gray/black.

  • Replace sconce above the big sink - I initially hoped to paint it but wasn't able to because the glass shade wasn't removable.

  • Bring in a 3rd metal color to warm up the space - I’ll share more about this and how to mix metals later on.

  • Refinish the small Ikea wood step stool to clean up some old paint that’s dried on there.

  • Remove items with “words” on it - aka make the kitchen less country and more modern. This includes the farmer's market sign, bread box (everyone’s most asked questions about the kitchen is where I got it - thrifted and painted). Take out small bakery sign.

  • Finish off the barn wood shelves or make new ones. This step is still up in the air and I think we will wait and look at them again once everything else is done.

  • Replace pendants over the island (per Bill’s request but I have an idea I’m going to try first or I'll leave them - note the first kitchen inspo pic below).

  • And finally - and you won't believe I’m going to write this - but paint the stools I just recently scored off the marketplace to a dark wood/black color.

*I will be sharing how we tackled these steps in the next few posts.

Now let's look at some kitchens I'm using for inspiration!


Sources for these kitchens are found on the images.

Can you see it? I think we will be able to accomplish the look I'm going for and am excited to share the process! Can't wait and thanks for following along!

Prayers for a blessed New Year on this Feast of the Epiphany!

xo, Sarah

"Put yourself in God's hands; He abandons no one." - St. Andre Besette (1845-1937)


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