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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Laura

Kitchen and Breakfast Nook- before photos and the plan

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Psst. Our phase one kitchen makeover is complete and you can check it out right here!

I have been wanting to level up our kitchen from the moment we moved in. It was absolutely the number one selling feature of the house- it's already a beautiful space!

white kitchen and tan granite countertops

But I've known that with just a few small updates it could be show-stopping. Before I get into all of the changes I want to make I want to preface this by saying that I absolutely understand that I'm privileged to even have a kitchen to makeover. Believe me, I have spent years staring at apartment kitchens and rental kitchens I couldn't touch, so it's not without a lot of gratitude that I'm here. I also want to start this by saying that we're not doing a full gut-job in here. I'm not planning to move any walls or cabinetry or swap out appliances, maybe one day down the road we would see a need for all of that, but right now I just want to take the already lovely kitchen that we have and bring it up a notch.

white kitchen and tan granite countertops

Here's what I love about the space already:

- I love the color of the cabinets- they are a creamy white color and just lovely, the entire space feels so light and bright! There is also an entire wall of the prettiest glass front cabinets that I love.

- The backsplash is a basic white subway tile, which isn't amazing, but I love that it's a clean classic choice and we won't be touching that.

- The appliances came with the home and are nice updated stainless steel, while I dream of someday having integrated appliance fronts, until then these are lovely.

white kitchen and tan granite countertops

- There is SO much natural light in this space- windows behind the sink, large bay window in the breakfast nook, unless it's a really gloomy day this room always feels bright and cheerful, usually without even needing to turn on the lights.

white kitchen and tan granite countertops

As for my grievances with this space...

- The countertops have got to be my biggest complaint. While I do appreciate that they are real granite... I absolutely hate the color and pattern of them. They're dark, brown, speckled and really take away from the light and bright cabinets.

- I think my second biggest complaint is the lighting. All of the lights (in the whole downstairs) all match and are pretty generic and boring. Lighting is one of my favorite things to change though and I know changing out every light is going to make such a BIG impact! The pendant light above the sink, the two pendants above the island, and the breakfast nook are all leaving!

- I wish the island was larger and that the electric stovetop was gas and located elsewhere (with a pretty vent hood), but that's a big can of worms that we aren't addressing right now.

- The little rectangle windows underneath the cabinets are odd and I wish I could make them disappear and fill in with more subway tile, but they aren't going anywhere either, we're going to work around them.

- The blinds we have in our breakfast nook aren't special, but they are functional so I would like to find a solution that hides them, but still keeps them there for blocking sun and privacy at night.

breakfast nook before photo

So here's what I'm thinking...

light airy white and blue french kitchen mood board

- I want to paint the walls. They are currently a pretty soft blue-ish green color and I don't dislike it, but with all of these dusty blue elements coming in I want to pick a color that complements everything a bit better (and has less green undertones). I've put a swatch of Farrow and Ball's Parma Gray into my mood board, but I'm going to be selecting a few other swatches before I pull the trigger on that decision.

- As for the countertops I found this amazing company Giani that provides DIY countertop painting kits. Their reviews all seem to be incredible (as well as previous customer before and after photos) and even though I know it seems bananas to paint over granite (I KNOW, please don't come for me), what is the point of having granite countertops that I hate? We're going to attempt painting them to look like marble using this painting kit.

- Our cabinetry is all going to stay the same color, but there are some problem areas that we need to touch up the paint and repair some wonky cabinetry (like the door of our trash can cabinet seems to be falling off). So all of that will get addressed as well. The only item changing on our cabinetry are the knobs! They are currently a dark bronze color and I would love to swap them out to be these beautiful brass knobs from Rejuvenation. We'll have to see how the budget shakes out, but my goal is to have these be our splurge item for this makeover.

- I have a few brass light fixtures picked out to replace all the lighting. The one in the mood board is the one I have in mind for the breakfast nook, I actually just ordered that one today and I can't wait to see it in person! I also picked up this light off of Facebook Marketplace yesterday.

vintage brass light fixture

I want to use it above the island- it feels like this old vintage light and I think it will bring a lot of character to the space! The only issue is that the electrical will need to be moved- we currently have two sockets over the island and will now only need one centered socket so we'll need to have that moved and then patch up the two holes.

- As for the table and chairs, the ones in the mood board aren't the exact ones I'm using, this is just to give you an idea. I'm actually going to use the chairs I purchased while antiquing a few weeks ago. I purchased a set of four chairs for $175, which I thought was a pretty decent deal.

bamboo style chair

They need a fresh coat of paint (I'm going to be using a creamy white color) and I want to reupholster the seats in a dusty blue fabric. As for the table, I'm currently on the hunt for something from Facebook Marketplace that we could use- a white round table shouldn't be hard to come I'm hopeful that I don't end up having to buy this guy new, but we'll see. Ironically- it's almost identical to a table I used to have and sold in a garage sale a few years ago for $20. It didn't work in our last house, but this breakfast nook is just begging for a round table.

breakfast nook before photo

- As for the fabric in the mood board- this is a beautiful Schumacher fabric that I love. I'm not sure it's in the budget and I found this (much) cheaper version, so we'll see where I end up... I want to create some faux roman shades to put in the breakfast nook windows. They would serve to cover the blinds there, but still allow them to be completely functional. I would obviously love to just put completely custom roman shades in here, but trying to keep the budget under control and you know I love a good DIY project (or seven)!

light airy white and blue french kitchen mood board

So that's it! The plan for the kitchen and breakfast nook in a nutshell. Let me know what you think! Do you think I'm nuts for wanting to paint over granite? Are the Rejuvenation knobs worth splurging on? Let me know all your thoughts!

Our phase one kitchen makeover is complete and you can read every post that got us to the finish line right now!


Jennifer Laura Living.jpg


Hi, I'm Jennifer Laura- you can call me Jenn. My husband and I just bought a house in our dream neighborhood and we are so excited to be here! The house, while already beautiful, NEEDS A LOT OF LOVE and STYLE. Join me, a past interior designer and wedding planner, as I work to make over each room and share the process along the way. 

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