Our Modern Kitchen Refresh on a Budget – Mrs. Bishop

This post has been a long time coming! We’ve been wanting to freshen up our kitchen ever since we moved in. It was our ‘compromise’ room when we bought this house. Because it was so much smaller and had older appliances than our previous house, we didn’t love it at first. {Our back yard is what sold us on this house…} But, like I always say the best part about home ownership is making your house a home.

Kitchen Refresh

I wasn’t sure what direction we wanted to go in at first. We like the industrial style and farmhouse feel, but we also like eclectic, funky accents. We like vintage decor, and we love mid-century touches. So, instead of going all out in one style direction, we just threw together all of the things we love and it turned out even better than I could’ve imagined!

kitchen refresh

I’ve ALWAYS wanted white cabinets. I love how fresh and clean they make a room feel. And in this case, SO much taller. But, kids with grubby fingers and a clumsy chef (AKA me) made me decide to go with a darker color on the bottom. I wanted a sort of navy blue, and my Hubby picked out this color on a whim and I love the way it turned out. It’s Motor City Blue from Valspar– and we actually originally bought it for our bathroom cabinets. But, I liked it so much we decided to use in on the kitchen cabinets as well. I really like the velvet undertones and the coolness it brings to the room.

lower cabinets

We used Valspar Cabinet Enamel on both sets of cabinets and I was extremely impressed with the formula. Like I said, we used it on our bathroom cabinets and the lowers in the kitchen and had plenty left over. This darker color only needed 2 coats.

wall view

Cabinet Painting Tips

Because the cabinets were a darker walnut before, it took more like 5 coats of the white to do the uppers. Which was a loooong labor of love- but once I saw the final product I wasn’t so mad. My only word of advice is TAKE YOUR TIME. Let each coat dry and add another until it gets to the desired shade. Like I mentioned, there is plenty of paint. We still have like half a can of the white left over, which I’m saving for touch ups.

Knobs and Pulls


I really wanted some gold hardware and knew I would eventually find what I was looking for. I didn’t get in a hurry- I just kept my eye out. Then, one day I happened on these Brass Bar Pulls. They’re normally meant for drawers, but I really like the look of them on the cabinet doors. (I used a shorter version for the Lazy Susan.) They also tied in the brass on the fireplace in our living room. I love that gold is back- because I think it looks lovely in here.

drawer pulls

I found these White Marble and Brushed Brass Pulls when I found the bar pulls, and thought they might look okay together. Then, once I saw them put up I knew I made the right choice! I love the feminine shape and the pop of marble (that also mirrors my living room coffee table- which is perfect since the rooms face each other.) The brasses don’t match each other exactly, but no one will ever notice. I say, if you find something you like BE BOLD and go for it. You’re decorating for you- not anybody else. And these little guys make me smile.

I left the upper cabinets without pulls just because I like how clean it looks that way. There’s no right or wrong way to decorate your space.

drawer liners


I even went the extra mile and put some Con-Tact Paper in my drawers just to pretty them up a bit. The cabinets are older, so this made them feel fresher and cleaner. A MUCH cheaper alternative than purchasing new drawers all-together.


Isn’t it funny how a little lipstick and jewelry can give your cabinets a facelift?!


I mulled over what I wanted to do to the back of the breakfast bar for-ev-er. I could put up stone? Or reclaimed wood? I thought white-washed wood would look nice. But, first off- some of those options were going to be pricey. I wanted to keep the whole ordeal under $200, which was starting to feel like an impossibility. I sighed, and gave in to the thought that I would just paint it. That’s until I found this inexpensive shiplap at Lowe’s. These C&C Wood Products Heritage Series Gunmetal Grey Pine Wood Planks are under $20 a package, and it took us LESS THAN 2 packages to do the whole bar.

breakfast bar 2

Shiplap How To

Through a little trial and error- we came up with a great way to get the planks to stay on that didn’t require a nail gun. We bought construction adhesive, but it was taking too long to take hold. So we also bought mounting tape. We used the combination of both to hold them in place. Because the mounting tape attached right away, giving the construction adhesive time to adhere and cure. And that baby is stuck up there good, now! I am in love with how it turned out. It gives it a slightly rustic feel- but it still fits in with the modern refresh we were going for.

dining room view 2 2

At first, I felt weird sharing our room update, because our fridge doesn’t match and our countertops and tile are still old. But, then I thought- so what? That’s real life. We live here. And we’re not replacing that stuff any time soon. This is about loving WHAT WE HAVE. And fixing up our kitchen on a budget. So, if there are any haters who are like, “ew, your kitchen doesn’t match,” I am too old to care.

I am in love with our little kitchen refresh. It feels SO much more me. And since I spend a large chunk of my time in this room- that makes me happy.

Stay tuned because soon I’m gonna share some of my tips for maximizing space in a smaller kitchen. I have lots of ideas!

What do you think of my {affordable} kitchen refresh?

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