Mini Kitchen Facelift


Maybe you don’t know this, but I hate our kitchen. It’s orange, for starters, but that’s not the worst part. The cabinetry is outdated and drives me crazy on a daily basis. The doors don’t stay shut, the drawers don’t slide well, the lower cabinets are always a total mess because there are no drawers, the laminate countertop is ugly, the faucet leaks, there is no dishwasher… etc etc. We don’t have the budget to replace the whole thing anytime soon, but the other night we had a brain wave and decided to do part of it now, and save the bigger part for later.

We started by removing all the orange doors from the upper cabinets, then decided to go all the way and take all the upper cabinets down completely. They were only about 18″ off the counter which made it hard to work without hitting your head, and also cast large shadows underneath that made it hard to clean properly. Plus they were covered in about 40 years of grease and dust. Yuck.





J started by patching the holes, sanding, and painting the wall with black chalkboard paint. Once that was dry we assembled some conduit piping into shelf brackets and mounted them on the wall and ceiling with metal wall anchors for strength.




Once the pipes were mounted J cut two 1×10 boards to the right length (8′ total) and we slid them into place. J added a coat of varnish and we let it dry overnight before moving our dishes back into place.


We purged a ton of old dishes we didn’t need anymore, and focused instead on just the pieces we really liked. We have a lot of colourful dishes!

We are both really happy with the final result and how inexpensive it was. The paint and shelf together were about $160 and made a huge difference!! Next comes the other side of the kitchen which we have a slightly different plan for right now. Updates soon!



    • Thank you! Yeah renting is a bummer, and it’s actually kind of funny that this is my SECOND bright orange retro kitchen… the last one was a rental too so there wasn’t much I could do about it. Honestly now that we’ve reduced the mount of orange it’s not so bad…

  1. Between you and Justin you both are really shaping that little home into a wonderful jewel!! congratulations to you both for your ingenuity and talent and all the hard work J is doing to realize your creative ideas!! whoo! hoo!

  2. Those shelves look freaking awesome!! We had Pinterested so many of those pipe fittings to do ours and then finally chickened out and got floating shelves at IKEA for our remodel… which I’m convinced are going to fall out of the wall one of these days as for some reason that section of the kitchen wall has very few studs.

    Can you put a coat of paint on the cabinets in the meantime?

    Love the colors… I don’t know about you but I always have about 3 different kitchens in my head of what I want, so we had to do the opposite and clear out anything with color and just add little pops of it… then someday when I win the lottery I’ll have a second house that’s all colorful 🙂

  3. Looks great! Did you put the anchors into wall studs or just the drywall? If you’re hating the orange couldn’t you just paint them for the short term? Really enjoy your blog: real people doing real things. Thanks for the Narcan post too. All the best!

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