Greener Grass Kitchen Tour

Oh this kitchen nearly did us in. Do you remember what it looked like? Red toile wallpaper? Cream cabinets? Red details?

Missing floor tiles and red gingham curtains?

Grungy pantry? Disgusting outdoor carpet?

 Is any of this ringing a bell?

Although the kitchen looked yucky and busy, we knew from the very first time we saw the house that it had great potential. The cabinets and counter tops were pretty new. The floor was a ceramic tile that was salvageable, thanks to the previous owners leaving all of the extra tile from the original installation under the house. The kitchen is fairly large for a house as old as this one, and the natural light from two huge windows makes it a very pleasant place to be....which is good because, as we all know, everyone always ends up in the kitchen.

It's the heart of the home...
And our home needed a transplant.

Here's what it looks like now.

Fresh and bright.

David's dad helped us repair the floor tiles after my daddy and Jon Jon repaired some parts of the foundation of the house when we first bought it.
We lived with the red until we had the time, and strength of heart, to begin the long process of stripping the wall paper off of our 13 foot tall walls and painting the cabinets.

Mama and Nana helped us take down the wall paper using a steamer that we rented from Home Depot. If you have wallpaper that you need to remove, this will be the best 25 dollars you ever spend. Trust me. David's sister, Amy, came to visit, with her sister in law, Celia, and helped us in the kitchen, as well.

Painting cabinets is a beast of a job and I really dislike it, but it can drastically change the look of your kitchen for a very minimal amount of money. I think our kitchen is a great example of that. Always paint the doors and inside the cabinets...I know you don't want to, but you'll be glad that you did.

Do it once. Do it right.

Something that I don't think I've mentioned here before is that because our house is so old, everything is painted with oil based paint. This means that we have to use an oil based paint or primer over the existing paint or it will not stick. I learned this the hard way. It's not a huge deal, but painting with oil based paint is a little more difficult and fumey than latex paint, making this cabinet painting task even more daunting.

If you are wondering if your cabinets or house are painted with oil based paint, you can put rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub it on the paint in a small, hidden area. If the paint bubbles or peels, it is latex paint. If nothing happens, that means it's oil based.

Good luck.
The paint on the cabinets is Benjamin Moore Bright White. It's the color that we used on the trim in the whole house. We painted the trim and cabinets with Kilz oil based primer first.

The paint color is...get this...Benjamin Moore DILL PICKLE! How great is that for a kitchen? The pictures do not show the color in its truest form, but it's bright and fresh while still being a little subdued.

I love this table in our kitchen. It's a great place to be.

The table was a housewarming/Easter gift from David's parents. I had been eyeing it in Ballard Designs and knew it would be the perfect size for our space. Sue Anne surprised me and bought it for us. It's one of the first pieces of furniture we had in the house. It's a great place to sit and talk with people while I cook in the kitchen, or eat breakfast, and it gives me a little extra prep space because it's counter height.

Sadly, this perfect little table is no longer available. What gives, Ballard?

Cute tea towel from Anthro. A gift from a sweet friend.

My beloved Kitchen aid...maker of marshmallows, cakes, pizza dough, and fresh pasta.
Nana gave this to me for a wedding gift.

I love the glass front cabinets for our dishes. They are Vietri Cucina Fresca, in case you're interested. It's our wedding china. I love that every plate and bowl and cup is a gift from someone special and getting to look at them all the time makes me very happy. The paint color for the kitchen was inspired by the dishes, because I knew we wanted them to be displayed.

We get a lot of awesome gifts, right?
I know. We are constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family.
The framed art leaning against the back splash (above) and on the wall in other pictures is a set called "Birds in the Kitchen" and it's from a wonderful Etsy shop called Lucky Blue Bird Art. Each of the pictures are sweet silhouettes of kitchen appliances with birds perched on them. Love it.

Would you like to have that last piece of cake? I keep the knife in there so when I walk by I can have a little nibble, or as I like to say, "even up the edges" Who can sleep when there's uneven cake in the house? Not me. That's for sure.

We'll let's check out the pantry, but I must warn you...there's some pretty horrific fluorescent lighting going on in there. Please know that it's not really neon green. It just looks like that in these pictures.

This pantry is my happy place. It's probably the very first "room" in the house that we finished. Sometimes David would be looking for me around the house and find me just sitting on the floor in the pantry admiring the perfectly painted selves and beautiful baskets full of organized food.

You do what it takes to get you through.

Many people ask me how we can be so patient to live here while we fix up the house one room at a time. That's how...sitting in the pantry...being happy with what is done and how lovely it is...choosing to dwell on what we've accomplished, rather than the other 1500 square feet that are not done yet.

I store all of my dry goods in big glass jars with labels that I made from chalkboard vinyl. Practical? Maybe. Maybe not. Pretty? Oh yes. Very pretty indeed.

I think it helps me to stay organized, though and to know what and how much of something I have at a glance. I think when your kitchen is a pleasant place, you will use it more.

On one wall of the pantry, there was an old boarded over vent-thingy. That's as descriptive as I can get for you. It looked like a window, but it wasn't. It was ugly. Not wanting to stare at something ugly everyday, I decided to cover it with sheet metal and make it into a little message station. It's perfect for grocery lists, reminders, and notes.

Lemons to lemonade, friends.

This is a little doo-hickey that I roped my brother into helping me make a very long time ago. It hung over my desk in college for notes and mementos and now it hangs in my pantry and hold my aprons and miscellaneous hang-able stuff, like my graduated biscuit cutters.

Where do you put your graduated biscuit cutters?
That's a weird thing to have?
Who knew?



So that's where we are in life, dear ones. The heart of our home is a much more pleasant place for us to be now and we love every second that we get to spend in it...from morning coffee to dinner with friends.

Y'all come on over if you decide you want that piece of cake.

Sharing this with friends at:


  1. How beautiful I love a good kitchen make-over!Its beautiful!

  2. Wow! That is amazing! I wish I lived in a house instead of an apartment so I could be as creative as you. I really like how you used the chalkboard vinyl to make the jars. Great job. Your kitchen is beautiful!

  3. Ok when you finish you may have to go on the Nate Burkes show proud...that wall paper was something else- Sarah P


  5. Totally love your new kitchen! Can't blame you for just wanting to sit and look at all the loveliness :)

  6. LOVE your kitchen Melissa. I especially like the green and yellow together. So bright and cheery! I really like that tea-towel and your kitchen prints.

    p.s. Hubby is making my tea towel art as I type this. It will be going in my kitchen. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  7. I would take your "grungy" pantry over what I have - which is nada! LOL I used to work for Ben Moore and Dill Pickle is one of my faves. It is just a super fun color. All your hard work and labors of love have really paid off. Its a darling kitchen and I know you will get years of enjoyment from it. TFS Blessings, Barb

  8. Oh, your kitchen looks beautiful! You did a wonderful job on your cabinets! Your table and chairs are so pretty! I'm sure you love walking into your pretty room.
    Be a sweetie,

  9. Gorgeous! I love the green and yellow combo and your pantry is AWESOME! I'd love it if you shared on my weekend linky party next week!

  10. Honestly, when I see colors that bright and saturated on a paint chip, I shy away from them. However, this green color totally works in your room. I think it's because there is so much crisp white to make the color look cozy and inviting. Good luck on getting the rest of your home done.

  11. So much better!! Very beautiful indeed!!

  12. I adore toile but your new kitchen is soooo much better. It looks up to date, cozy, clean and all around beautiful.

  13. I just love your kitchen makeover. So clean and crisp. I must ask where you purchased your kitchen "island/seating counter". I love it and is just what I had in mind for our kitchen!

  14. A beautiful makeover. So bright and cozy! You did a wonderful job! Blessings,

  15. WOW!!! It is just beautiful...I am loving your white kitchen with a touch of green. Yours is just so pretty. Blessings my friend,

  16. I love the color of your kitchen!! Great job! I know exactly what it is like to live in your house while remodeling takes place, day after day and year after year. We have been fixing up our house for the last 5 1/2 years.

  17. It looks fantastic and I am doing the same thing. Living in it doing on room at a time. Come visit my blog and we will commiserate. :)

  18. holy moly! that is a total transformation, and almost an unbelievable before. yikes! that dill pickle paint is so fun, and just the whole thing is great! kudos to you!

  19. WOWSERS! i love it and that color! i have been wanting to paint my livingroom that exact color green(when its finished) and was thinking of red accents, but i love the way the yellow looks with it too.

  20. Really gorgeous! I really enjoyed this tour! Angie xo

  21. I'll have a piece of cake and a big, tall glass of that lemonade you make! Gorgeous! I can't begin to imagine the work involved, but oh-so pretty now. And fresh. And welcoming!

    Please join us this weekend at Passion for Paint and link up your project! Links open Friday night @ 6 pm PST.

  22. What a transformation!! It's beautiful. Enjoy your new space.

  23. Your kitchen looks like it's straight out of a decorating magazine! Everything is just awesome!!!

  24. What a great job you did. I love the Dill Pickle color. So cheerful and timeless. The table is great too. The aprons hanging in the pantry sure is charming. I love aprons! Very nice job and great attention to detail. Thanks for sharing.
    Lynn at Cottage and Creek

  25. Your kitchen make-over is darling! Dill Pickle is one of my favorite Ben Moore colors, too! The message station is awesome, and the sweet aprons hanging in the pantry are too cute. Great reno!

  26. Your new kitchen is gorgeous! I have bookmarked your blog for my hubby to check out, I so want a green & white kitchen.. "dill pickl"e I mean! :)
    thank you SO much for sharing & the inspiration!

  27. The Kitchen looks amazing. Perfect Color!!

  28. Gorgeous! I have particularly fallen in love with your white, airy curtains. Great job. :)

  29. Beautiful makeover! I love how the sassy dill pickle green pops against the fresh white cabinets.

  30. Good Lord - I am in love! I adore that color on your walls and how cheerful it makes everything!

  31. Love it - the color is energizing! Where did you find the breezy curtain over the sink? I really need something like that but have not been able to find it.


  32. Very inspiring post. Now I want to paint. My SIL redid her kitchen with white cabinets and yes, she has dill pickle on her walls too. It's a great kitchen colour!

  33. Very nicely done! Bravo to you! That green is greatness!

  34. wowwwzers! what a cozy and clean, light, and beautiful kitchen! love it! i spotlighted your kitchen transformation on my blog "before and after lovelies"

  35. WOW!! I love that happy green color you chose! Everything looks so crisp and clean!

  36. Really nice work! I love the yellow and green color combo!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  37. I love it!! What an awesome change! I bet you are more than happy to cook and clean in your kitchen now!! :)

  38. I'm in love!! I have now found the new color for my kitchen!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT

  39. Melissa I loved this post!! We have an old house too. I didn't know about the oil based paint thing and will have to check out our paint job which I think may be oil based as the paint is peeling off (not our paint job- we haven't gotten to the paint job yet!)

    I love what you have done with the kitchen! so bright and cheery! You had me laughing as I imagined you in your little pantry- that is so me. I can sit and stare for hours at a freshly washed and shiny floor (maybe cauze it is so long between washings!)

    The pantry is just the cutest thing! We too are doing our 3500 square foot home one room at a time and that very slowly. But loving the old place and seeing lots of potential. I also think it is a wise thing to actually live in a home for awhile before doing major remodeling as you get a feel for what works and doesn't by living there.

    great post!

    bee blessed

  40. I love, love, love your kitchen!!!

  41. I'm planning on pulling this color into my laundry room, now that I've seen your post! Thanks for sharing! Looks great!

  42. There are so many things to love in this makeover. It is amazing and bright and beautiful. And I love your apron storage chalk pain containers, table, white fresh cabinets. It is very lovely.

  43. Geez, I really love the toile. Is that a sleigh in there?
    Anyway, yes it needed updating and I love the green!

  44. That's quite a transformation. I love the green color you chose.

  45. SUPER!!! So clean and FRESH!! I LOVE it!! :)

  46. Wow, what a great makeover.. looks so nice and fresh. Love the colours and the little table! take care ,Maryann

  47. Remarkable! I'm showing my daughter who's about to paint her kitchen green.


  48. Holy Canoli! This is fabu! Simply fabu sister!

  49. Oh my goodness, I love your kitchen!! I also live in an old house that we have been remodeling, building, painting, plastering, and generally working on for the past 23 years! I think we will never be done. Keep up the amazing work and I love your blog, now I'm a follower! Just found it from the linky party on the Nester.

  50. I am SO impressed with your kitchen! Golly it's beautiful... I luv the clean colors & acessories! Bravo! Jen

  51. I love your home! it is truly beautiful. I think i really like how you kept it what it was and didn't try to make it something it wasn't. New follower!
    Danielle @


Blogging tips