Category Archives: Kitchen

I’m Baaaaack!

Hi Everyone!

It’s been several months since I posted about my kitchen plans.  Since then, I enjoyed the summer, welcomed a new puppy into the family and made it through the holidays.  Although it’s been stressful at times, I am so happy with how everything has turned out!  I still have a few things to accomplish, but I’m ready to show you all the new updates!

First, let me remind you what my kitchen used to look like…

And (drumroll please!), here is how my kitchen looks now!

Can you believe how bright and open it looks now?  What a huge difference the white cabinets have made!

I am so thrilled with how it all turned out!  But, it certainly was a crazy process!  After many discussions with my husband, he convinced me that I should call a pro in to do the cabinets and backsplash.  I called the painter that I’ve used many times throughout the years and he told me that although he would be happy to do the work for me, he was worried that I just wouldn’t be happy with the results.  He encouraged me to contact a cabinet re-finisher rather than paint the cabinets.  So, that’s what I did and I am soooo happy I followed his advice.  Even with the pros doing the work it was a lengthy process that left us in total chaos for a couple of weeks.

My husband also brought in a friend to do the backsplash and, again, I’m glad I didn’t try to tackle the job myself.  Although I think I could have handled a straight forward tile (like a subway tile), the herringbone pattern was a challenge even for someone with experience.

Ok, so I have to admit that I’m not a naturally gifted cabinet painter or backsplash tile expert, but I did do the barn wood shelves myself!  Now that has to count for something, right?  After doing some research I found out that not only is real barn wood hard to come by, it’s crazy expensive.  I decided that I would try to recreate the look of barn wood on my own.  I bought 2 x 12 x 48 pieces of wood for $10 each from Lowes.  Then I took my palm sander and really roughed up the edges of the boards.

Next, I stained the boards.  I first tried using a gray stain and it was just too light and gray. You can see in the photos below the gray color between the darker colors.  So, I went back to Lowes and bought three more colors to try; Dark Walnut, Provincial and Jacobean.  I layered the colors over the gray and I loved the way the gray showed through to create an aged look.  I really liked all three of the colors, but ultimately decided to go with the lightest one,  Provincial.

I bought rustic, steel shelf brackets from Etsy and we just mounted them to the wall with heavy-duty bolts and wall anchors.  Considering how much it would have been to get authentic barn wood shelves I am super happy with the outcome of my knock offs!  Here’s a look at my inspiration photo and then my version…

Not bad, right?  I truly love being in my kitchen now!

We also added new hardware to the cabinets and I painted the walls a soft gray-green called “Horizon Gray” by Benjamin Moore.  I am obsessed with the paint color!  It changes from green to gray to blue depending on the light.  We also got new bar stools from Wayfair that really tie in with my modern farmhouse feel.

So, after everything we’ve done so far, here’s what I’ve learned…Be flexible!  Even the best thought out plans can be turned upside down!  I originally thought I would paint the cabinets and do the backsplash myself and have a contractor do the shelves.  I ended up doing the reverse!  And, since I paid to have the cabinets done, I think I will try to re-finish our kitchen table myself instead of buying a new one.  Well, that’s the plan for now anyway!

So, that’s all I have to report for now.  I still have to pick new light fixtures and there has been some talk of getting new flooring.  So EXCITING!!!  I have a lot of other fun home improvement plans and projects swirling around in my head so I promise to keep you posted with everything going on here!  Until next time…Happy New Year!



Kitchen Plans

Hello!  I have been in Maine a lot in the past few weeks and have been enjoying the long days of summer with the family, but it has given me some downtime to dream about my kitchen project!  I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you and show you what my kitchen looks like now.

Well, first things first.  Here is a picture of what I WISHED my kitchen looked like…

Cape Elizabeth Kitchen traditional-kitchen

I love the white cabinets, the black countertops, the dark hardware, the pretty light fixtures and even the unusual paint color.  It’s just the look I’m going for…modern farmhouse!

Here’s what my kitchen looks like now…




It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not “me” anymore.  When we first moved into this house (almost 8 years ago!  What?!?), I was blown away by how the previous owner had decorated.  It was everything my old house wasn’t…sophisticated, grown up, elegant; almost museum-like.  I LOVED it and went about trying to copy her style.  I even saved the pictures from the MLS listing to try and duplicate the feeling she had created.  But, as the years have gone by, I have become increasingly dissatisfied with my results.  I receive a lot of compliments, but I’ve come to realize that my house just doesn’t reflect my personal style.  I’m really just a California girl at heart…relaxed, laid back and fun!  THAT is what my home should be like.  A casual place you can feel comfortable putting your feet up on the furniture and not worry about messing anything up.  A place where pet hair on the sofa is no big deal and no one is too worried about spilling on the floor.  A peaceful place my family can retreat to at the end of a long day.   So, with that in mind, I’m ready to lighten up and refresh this space!

When we first moved in I told my husband that the backsplash was the only thing that I really needed to change right away.  That was the one thing about the house that I really didn’t like.IMG_1638 Well, it’s still the same backsplash that was here 8 years ago.  So, that is the first thing I plan to change!  Even though I LOVE the inspiration kitchen, I’m not entirely sold on the backsplash.  It’s a classic, white subway tile.  For some reason I just haven’t been able to jump on the subway tile band wagon.  I’ve seen it in plenty of kitchens and it looks lovely, but it’s just not for me.  I guess I just need a little more color or pattern (or both!).  So, after plenty of hunting in tile shops I think I’ve found a winner!!!


This tile by Cosa Marble is absolutely gorgeous in person!  It has shades of gray, soft blue, sage green and white.   And, I am in love with the herringbone pattern!  I am thinking this is going to look great in my kitchen and will tie in nicely with the rest of my décor.  I plan to install the tile myself, so I’m doing my research!!  Thank goodness for Google!

Next, I plan to paint my cabinets white, just like the picture.  It’s really, really dark in my kitchen and I’m SO excited to see how fresh, white paint is going to change the space.  I am also toying with painting the island a different color.   I am loving the color “Sea Glass” by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a soft gray green and I think it will look great with the backsplash.   This is why I’m practicing my painting skills on various pieces of furniture throughout the house.  I’m still trying to get it right, so I don’t feel quite ready to tackle this part of the project yet.  I’m hoping by August I’ll be ready.  hmmm,  we’ll see!

I plan to leave my countertops as is.  They are currently a classic, black quartz.  I love how easy they are to care for and they are practically indestructible.  I think they will be a great contrast to the white cabinets.

For my cabinet hardware I plan to go for an oil rubbed bronze cup-style pull on the drawers and simple knobs on the cabinet doors, similar to these from Lowes…




On this wall I plan to make some big changes…

IMG_1629We never use the desk, so I plan to add a cabinet to the space under the drawers.  Then, I (by “I”, I mean a contractor!  I’m ambitious, not crazy!) plan to rip out the top cabinets and install open barn wood shelves similar to these I found on Pinterest…


I am in LOVE with this look and I think it will be a really cool place to display some of my knick knacks and plants.  By the way…I love the bamboo shades on the window, too.  Hmmm, something to think about!

I would also love to change out my dining table and chairs for something more rustic.  How great would this table and chairs be from Boston Interiors?


Lastly, I plan to change out the light fixtures.

IMG_1641They aren’t bad, I’m just ready for a change.  The problem is that there are SO many pretty fixtures to choose from out there.  Here are just a sample of some that I’m loving right now…


UGGGGHHH…Decisions, decisions!  Well, there are worse things in life to have to figure out, I guess!  Which one would you choose?

The next few months promise to be exciting (and perhaps frustrating) in the Quinlan kitchen!  I’ll keep you posted!!!