My Dad’s Dated Kitchen Redo

While Mike and I may have knocked out walls to get our kitchen remodeled, you don’t always have to do that much work to update a kitchen.  Sometimes there's good bones, you just need some simple updates to overhaul.  That’s the plan with our latest project.  My dad’s kitchen and dining room: 




A little history: The house was built in 1988, and my dad bought it in 1994.  It’s a little builder basic, but has nice lines.  My dad has painted all the rooms and added his own personality, but the kitchen and dining room has remained untouched as far as updates, aside from new appliances, and décor accessories.

My dad’s friend recently mentioned that the kitchen could use some updating.  My sister and I have been mentioning this for years, but sometimes you need an extra little push, or maybe he was finally so tired of hearing about it he finally relented!  Either way, it started with just some paint, but it’s now a full on update of everything not permanently installed! 

It started with this wall paper.  For years we’ve joked that the wallpaper that was inherited by the previous owners, while nice, was completely opposite of my dad’s modern style and for a man living in bachelorhood.


Above the chair rail is a textured paper with pink cherry blossoms, below is an almost seagrass paper, with pink undertones.

The kitchen cabinets are in great shape, and I understand the red undertone of the wood works well with the pink wallpaper.  But, the whole room together was very pink/peach.


When my dad, approached me and my sister about helping pick some paint colors I knew we would have to bring in some colors to downplay the pink undertones.  As Mike would tell you, a small painting project never ends there for me, and I realized that after the wallpaper would be removed, we would need to add a backsplash above the counters.  This is probably the most expensive upgrade, but I think it’ll really update the whole space.

Along with the paint and a tile backsplash, I also suggested replacing the old cabinet hardware.  Also updating the lights and removing a lot of the little tchotchkes on the countertop will update this kitchen to reflect my dad’s personality.

I love putting together mood boards to show everyone the direction I’m thinking, and thought it’d be fun to share what we plan to do to modernize this kitchen without spending thousands of dollars.  Something I feel a lot of people could benefit from.  My $89 kitchen update is one of my most popular posts, so I know people want to see kitchen overhauls without going into debt.

Here’s some of the updates we’re planning:


1. Again the cabinets are staying.  The dark wood and red undertones are similar to the Ikea Ramsjo aptly named red-brown.

2. We’ve picked this mosaic tile for the backsplash.  It’s hard to tell from this photo, but it’s got a mixture of glass, stone, and brushed metal tiles.  All the things my dad loves.  It also has a green color that we are introducing, which works well with the red-brown cabinets.

3. To tie in with brushed nickel in the backsplash, I’m suggesting replacing all the cabinet hardware with these simple pulls.  We used these in the bathroom upstairs, as well as the linen closet in the hallway and they’re great mixing traditional and modern aesthetics.

4. The dining room light definitely needs replaced, and I'm suggesting something simple like this, but I think I’ll also leave it open to my dad in case he wants something funky, something he would say!

5. I didn’t get a picture of the kitchen light but it’s a brass flush mount light that not only is outdated, but also requires 6 special order bulbs.  Switching it out for something like this would update the look, but also be cheaper in the long run because my dad can use regular cfl bulbs.  

6.  Painting was what spawned this makeover so we thought long and hard on what the colors should be.  Like I said, my goal was to bring in neutrals that updated the room without casting a pink overcast to everything.  I used the tiles to pick these neutrals, with SW Collonade Gray above the chair rail, and SW Etheral Mood below.  

Here’s the before’s again:



My aunt is helping to remove the wallpaper and she’s already gotten half of the room removed, and I’ll be buying the paint this weekend.  I’m going to try to update along the way, but we should be complete in the next couple of weeks!

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