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Small Kitchen Makeover You Won’t Believe

Do you love your kitchen?  Is it time for a kitchen refresh?  I had the opportunity to help someone refresh her kitchen.  The cabinets were natural wood with the center recess panel on the door painted white.  Everything was tired and worn.  A kitchen refresh was greatly needed.  This is where I came into the picture.

kitchen refresh

My client recently bought a house, and the kitchen had quality wood cabinets, but the finish was worn and tired. The appliances were ancient, and overall, the small kitchen was dark. They were on a budget, so a kitchen refresh was exactly what this small kitchen needed.

We began discussing her needs, and I shared some additional thoughts.  She was pretty open to my ideas as long as I stayed on budget.  We played with some numbers and made some selections, and this is her to-do and shopping list for a kitchen refresh.

Kitchen Refresh

Planning is worth every minute when you give your kitchen a refresh or makeover. In this small kitchen makeover, I started by determining what needed to be done, like painting kitchen cabinets, new countertops, lights, etc.

Next, I made a shopping or selection list and a schedule in sequence order. Here is my shopping list.


Now the shopping list is made, so we purchased everything to give time for all products to arrive.

Where did we begin next?  We developed a sequence/schedule of which sub-contractor came first. 

One thing to remember is that the plan must have some flexibility.  Unforeseen “issues” will always pop up.  This is just a part of any construction or renovation project.   With this fact in consideration, here is our schedule.


Handyman: remove current microwave, faucet and stove/oven

Trim carpenter: move cabinet up over range, install hidden hinges, drill holes for hardware and install crown mold on cabinet (this kitchen did not have any cabinet pulls)

Counter-top company: Remove current countertops and install new ones along with under-mount sink

Tile mason: install backsplash

Painter: paint cabinets, walls, trim and ceiling (fluorescent light was removed to paint ceiling)

Handyman: remove fluorescent light, install recess lights, install new faucet, microwave and stove/range

What do you do next?  Congratulate yourself with a pat on your back and enjoy a nice cup of tea or wine, whichever, you feel you need.


Select and contact the first person on your schedule.  Ask them how long it will take to do their work and when they can begin.  Continue to make calls in this manner.  Remember to give yourself plenty of time to finish each task.

Once you have an idea of each subcontractor and how they all fit into your schedule call them back and schedule them on your calendar.

On day one, have the first person come and then contact the second person to confirm they will be coming next. Keep doing this until the last person finishes, and just like that you will have your small kitchen makeover finished.


I was fortunate that my client was preparing to leave for a 5-week trip overseas, leaving me in charge with no one at home to be inconvenienced by the construction.  She came home to a brand-spanking-new kitchen. 

She loves everything so much that she finds herself cleaning constantly.  Her favorite part of the kitchen is the lighting.  She said I didn't realize I was working in the dark all this time.”

kitchen refresh

Final Thoughts

I love simple transformations like this one. It is amazing what paint can do to a kitchen. The small kitchen looks fresh and new by painting the walls, cabinets, ceiling, and trim. Once we added the lighting, everything became brighter and even more beautiful.

Share with us your favorite part of this kitchen refresh and what would be the first thing you would do to refresh your kitchen?

Happy Decorating!


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