Kitchen complete: Before & After

We finished the simple overhaul of our kitchen! It didn’t take much since the previous owner had put in custom cabinetry and such.

navy kitchen wood cabinetsIn summary: We replaced the floor-tile backsplash with white subway tile and gray grout (I chose to use the partial bag we had leftover rather than pick a different color and am thankful it looks fine), painted the walls a deep blue (Indigo Streamer by Valspar), made new curtains (more on that in a minute), and hung a bit of artwork (keep reading for more on that also).

I think it looks pretty sharp. With white kitchens being all the rage right now natural wood cabinetry is out of fashion, but the navy paint and subway tile really modernizes what we have. I’m really happy with it. Even the countertops fit right in. This is nothing like what I would have chosen had we designed the kitchen from scratch so it is a very happy accident that I like it so much.

Here is another before & after. Notice that it wasn’t grouted yet and I didn’t have the curtains up.

wood kitchen blue paint

Clearing off the counters helps alot, but most of the “visual clearing” happened with the removal of that partial piece of formica on the backsplash. See how you can see the shiny sink hardware now? It looks so much cleaner.

I’m thankful for that extra electrical outlet because we were able to move the coffee pot and toaster to that side so they are a little more tucked away.


The kitchen also looks bigger now because the blue paint extends onto the walls to the right and left of the kitchen. We stopped it there in the corner by the front door (and similar place on the opposite corner where the basement door sits). It was hard to know where to stop the paint and I am happy with the decision.

navy kitchen subway tile

For artwork, I rehung a canvas of the kids by the front door. Also, the fruit bowl is a huge handmade bowl by a guy name Jay that I went to college with. I took a lot of pottery classes as part of my degree and met so many creative people. The blue tone goes perfect with the new wall color. I keep fake lemons in the bottom of the bowl…since it is so big it needs the lemons to boost up our real produce. Ha! We could never keep it full otherwise.

white subway tile gray grout

Back in the corner of the kitchen was a perfect spot for a couple wood pieces that Cora, my dad, and I made during a visit to my parent’s house a couple years ago. They are really neat and have an ombre/mosaic/chevron look.  Totally trendy without meaning to be. The next photo shows them hung on the far left wall, though it is hard to see there in the shadow. It shows up better in person.


Now that I look at it, it mimics the subway tile also.

Maybe you can figure it out by the pictures and quick description way down below if you want to try it for yourself. I decided to give the wall hangings their own post here as it seems a worthy project you might be interested in trying!


Wow that blue looks bright in the photo above. It is very deep blue in real life. The kitchen is hard to photograph with the bright light on one side and dark shadowy area in the back. Both the cabinets and the paint look so different on one side compared to the other in photos.

Finally, although I wanted a graphic navy and white fabric for the curtains, I raided my fabric stash and came up with a second-best option. The navy and white fabric I loved most was $25 a yard and currently out of stock. Maybe I will save up my pennies but free works well right now. I whipped these curtains up out of a yellow floral. Yellow and blue is always classic. And the floral isn’t too in-your-face floral. I had to OK it with Jeff because he is not into flowery fabrics.

kitchen cafe curtains

The little ceramic owl mobile in the center of the window always hung in Jeff’s Grandma’s kitchen. It reminds us of her…special lady. And it just happens to be glazed in navy blue.

All in all, I’m pretty happy! For about $100, it feels like we have a new kitchen. Now to keep it clean…