Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My happy kitchen :)

A few months ago I posted here about some makeovers I had been doing around the house in an effort to get it spiffied up to sell.  I showed you how I transformed our kitchen from this:

Snoozeville, right?  To this:


SO much better!  I love how bright and happy it turned out.  I promised then that I would do another post about the decorations above my cabinets, so I when I saw the kitchen linky party over at Love Stitched I thought now would be a good time to actually do it!

I tried a bunch of different things before I did all this.  I had live plants up there for a long time -- what a mess!  I tried some pretty grapevine stuff... well, it was pretty in my head.  Then nothing (as in the first pic) for a long time because I just couldn't figure out what to do.  Then at last, I was inspired!

First, some closer-up pics...

Starting from the left, here is what you'll see.  The plates are definitely the big-impact pieces in my kitchen.  I wanted to add plates as bright pops of color, but I did NOT want to pay the $8 and up for the plates in great colors with fun details that I had been finding.  I found these plates at DI (our local thrift store) for 50 cents - $1 each and spray painted them!  I added paper from the Cosmo Cricket "Early Bird" line -- the colors (red, yellow, and turquoise) were perfect for the vision I had in mind.  (Keep scrolling down for a tutorial.)  I've also been working on my old glass jar collection every time I go to DI, and I filled a few with fake fruit and another with styrofoam balls that I covered in strips of the same patterned paper as the plates.  And see that funky pitcher way over on the right?  My brother brought me that guy as a present from Hungary!  Even though he really doesn't match the style of everything else, he's a permanent fixture in my kitchen!



Oh, and I really love this sign above my pantry.  It's from Adorn-It.



This lineup is a mixture of thrifting (canisters), deal shopping ("Blessed" sign for $2.50 at the Scrapbook Expo), As-Is (white enamel pitcher from IKEA for $2), hand-me-downs (that little red baking powder container came from my grandma's house), and one "splurge" -- the awesome turquoise strainer came from a little consignment shop and was a whopping $20.  Don't laugh -- that's the limit of my budget for one piece and I felt totally luxuriant buying it.  :)


Oh, see those glass tiles above?  Those are cheap little frames from IKEA.  They used to be on our living room walls, but I just cut paper to fit and hung them above the stove for a very cheap backspash-ish idea.  I cut the birds out of red vinyl and adhered them to the glass.  I left room for a vinyl phrase in between the rows, but I still haven't hit on quite the right words.

Mostly more plates here, but I also wanted to show you the cool cauldron.  That was a wedding gift from Dan's aunt.  It is really heavy iron.  At Halloween, of course, it takes center stage in the decor, but right now it's the home of the red rooster I bought at TJ Maxx because I have a weakness for polka dots...


**Just a note -- after I took these pictures, I was freaking out a little bit about how white the cabinets were.  But I didn't want to go all crazy with glazing or anything because I wanted to keep it clean.  I took some 60 grit sandpaper and did just a little distressing on all the edges, which helped a little, then I went over everything with a coat of rub-on poly.  Magic!  Just adding that extra layer really toned down the brightness and it looks just like I envisioned now.  Here's a picture -- I couldn't replicate the lighting conditions, so hopefully you can at least get an idea:


Thanks for hanging in there!  Now, a brief tutorial about spray-painting plates so you can create your own custom awesomeness!

1.  Go to the thrift store and dig through stacks of plates.  Don't worry what color they currently are, or what hideous patterns they might be sporting.  You are looking for shape and texture.  I found some with really cute scalloped detailing or pretty flowers or fruit shapes around the borders.
2.  Clean the plates really, really well.
3.  When they're dry, give them a coat of spray primer.  Repeat as necessary to cover aforementioned hideous patterns:

In this picture, all but those awesome sunflower plates are already primered up.  Those babies took several coats to cover. 

4.  When the primer is completely dry, spray paint away!  As always, quick, light coats are the way to go.  But you might be impatient like me and prefer to blast them in heavy coats, in which case you will get some dripping and such, but you won't care because they're going up on top of your cabinets and no one is going to look that close... oops...

5.  Add paper to centers if desired. At this point you could mod-podge over the whole thing to give it a more finished/cohesive look, but I wanted to be able to easily re-paint and change out the paper if I decide to do something different in the kitchen.

So there you have it!  All these little touches make my kitchen happy, and that makes me happy every time I see it. :oD  Thanks for looking!


And no, it's not really that clean 99.9999% of the time...




16 comments:

Brittany@Love Stitched said...

wow what a difference...all your accessorizes really make it pop! I love the turquoise and red and bits of yellow! all your signs...uuggghh I am jealous i love it all! you did such an amazing job!!! thanks for linking up to my kitchen party! :) xoxo

Sandra said...

oh my word, it looks amazing

Annie said...

That looks awesome!! I love the red rooster...well, and polka dots too... :) kudos!!

Jodi said...

Your kitchen is so pretty! It's amazing what paint to can do! I am in the process of painting my cabinets and kitchen. I was hoping to get it done and link up to Brittany's party.

Jodi

Stephanie said...

So much more brighter and inviting! Just a little paint went a long way. Great job.

4kids4 said...

What a difference! I love the bright colors you chose to add a bit of a splash. I'm pulling down wallpaper in my kitchen this month and painting...I may have to find some plates to dress up to match...TFS!! :-)

~Sharon C.

Karri said...

wow - that's a huge difference!!!! i love the pops of color above the cabinets, too.

Maria said...

Wow! What a difference! Your kitchen looks fabulous!!! TFS

Pat P said...

This is absolutely beautiful. What great ideas, and I love Cosmo Cricket! Thanks for sharing.

AShu93 said...

This is really pretty! Early Bird is one of my favorite color collections. And I would be happy to be in a nice kitchen like this too.

terrid614 said...

ooohhhh my gosh! it looks sooooo beautiful! i love what you did with all the plates and your thrift store finds! just gorgeous!

the cape on the corner said...

what a great color combo up in here, i like it. very vintage. the plates are great-and how fun that you added paper. i am storing that idea away! great job in here!

mschiddy said...

You did a great job on your kitchen! So did your house sell already?

We're So Rad said...

Gorgeous Tomi. I may have to see what I can find for my kitchen, although we don't have a ton of space above our cabinets. Maybe 9-12 inches. Maybe you can come help me this summer! Hint hint!!!

angie said...

it looks great - love all your decorations - especially the polka dot rooster!

Lindsay said...

Super fun!!