My Plans For My Budget Kitchen Makeover

I’ve finally figured out what is bothering me about my kitchen and I have plans of how I think I’m going to fix it without a total overhaul {which I couldn’t afford anyway}.


But first let me preface sharing those plans with you by saying that the last time I updated my kitchen was 2006. That was the last time I painted my cabinets and I think it was 2007 when I painted my kitchen walls  (Vee :) ).  My blog was on Typepad at the time so I lost that year when I moved to Blogger so I don’t have any before and after photos.

The 4 things that bug me most about my kitchen are:

1. It’s looking way too cluttery for me.  That’s easy to fix.  I’m going to take some stuff off of both these wall,

pear green walls

and here too. I think I dust those plates maybe once a year (if that)! They are going (OK maybe two plates will really go :) ) Ugh…it’s really horrible to have a plate addiction! I can get rid of plates, I can, I can, I can……….!

checkerboard plates

2. Lack of light – it’s dark in this room. It used to get really nice afternoon light. But the screen porch we built has blocked some of the light from the back of the house.  I used to get some lovely sunshine through my dining room into the kitchen. Not any more!

plate rack in kitchen

I think the pear green color on the walls is too dark now that I don’t get as much natural light in the kitchen. So I’m going to paint the walls…..wait for it……………………


I haven’t painted a wall white in over 20 years! Here are 4 Benjamin Moore samples I painted on the walls in different places. Which is really the best thing to do when choosing paint. Because paint looks different on a little piece of paper under the store lights.

white paint samples

On my walls China White and Decorator’s white had too much blue/ gray. We all liked Cloud White and Simply White. I decided on Simply White.  I am painting my walls white BUT if I don’t like it – I reserve the right to paint my walls again – maybe a lemon yellow :)  Hopefully I’ll love the white!

3. The lighting. I need more and different lighting. I have a few ideas of what I want to do. One thing I’m going to do is to change my ceiling fan to this Schoolhouse style.

school house ceiling fan

All you ceiling fan haters, we need ceiling fans in the South! Especially in the kitchen! So it is staying (although I’d rather have a lovely vintage chandelier instead but it’s not practical).  Home Depot has the light kit so I’m hoping that’s all I need to buy to change my existing ceiling fan.

Then I have a few other inexpensive ideas for adding lighting.

4. Storage. I need more storage and I need to utilize the storage that I have in a better way. 

red bookcase

source: Kitchen Design Ideas

We have a teeny bit of space where I can replace a small bookcase with something taller. I’m thinking something like this one above that I showed you before and in red, so I can get my red into the kitchen. I have no place for my breadmaker which we use all the time, or my Vitamix which we use every day and lots of other kitchen appliances and gadgets.  We saw something at Ikea that we think will work (that I’ll have to paint red).

I think I can address those four areas without spending a lot of money (well I have no choice really because I don’t have a lot to spend). 

Anyone have any experience getting BM paint color matched by Sherwin Williams?   BM has gotten crazy expensive and I have a 30% off coupon for Sherwin Williams.


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  1. says

    Love your ideas! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your storage. I like the idea of white walls. My pale yellow kitchen walls need to be repainted. After the first of the year we will tackle that. Maybe your white sample swatches will be the inspiration I need!

  2. says

    Manuela – Your plans sound great! I’m in the same boat and am hoping after the first of the year, to start redoing my kitchen, I really need to do what you’re doing and make a list of what I need to accomplish. Such a big job. Of course, I want to do it all myself. ha


  3. says

    I love all of your ideas to update your kitchen! It will look so fresh and pretty when you are finished. I have never used Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore paints … we are partial to Behr. We just did a little budget makeover in ours using paint and lighting. Both make a world of difference! Where do you find all of your black and white plates? I have scoured TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, World Market and several yard sales and for the life of me cannot find any for my dining room wall!

    Can’t wait to see your finished room!

    • Manuela says

      Jen, I got those years ago at TJMax. I used to be very into the whole harlequin/check thing!

      Send me an email with your shipping address and I’ll send you those two on the wall if you like. I can’t promise I’ll do it before Christmas since the lines at the PO are already long.


  4. Vee says

    The choice of white would have been mine as well. With all the color you add to a room, I think you’ll probably appreciate the white a lot especially if it’s a dark room. No, I am not a fan hater. I like my fans and I live way up here in the North.

    Since I’ve not painted my kitchen since 1994, I think 2007 sounds very recent. LOL!

  5. Rachel Brewer says

    Ive had several paints & paint brands matched or mixed at SW, including BM and they have always done a great job!!! Love your ideas and can’t wait to see the results!

  6. says

    Simply White was my favorite too. I have only one white room and my white is a lovely clean creamy color that I never get tired of. And it certainly brightens up that dark room!

    Fans are practical and never out of style IMHO. I couldn’t live without one in the summer either!

  7. says

    I can’t believe how expensive paint is now. We bought paint four our BATHROOM (which is not all that big) and had to wait for a coupon.

    I am looking forward to seeing how the white looks. With the items I decorate with, I need more a light cream color than white. My daughter went through a phase where everything was painted a grey-green, even her kitchen!

  8. says

    I love that red bookcase, could you send it over to me when you’ve got your new piece in place :) Love all your ideas, you’re on the right track and the budget sounds good – painting the walls a lighter color will make you happier since the porch is blocking the light now. I’m excited to follow along as you make these changes. Hugs ~ Mary

  9. says

    Lots of good and not expensive ideas to work with. Looking forward to seeing the results – maybe it will get me motivated (maybe). 😀
    Have a great week.

  10. says

    I was thinking China White — looks a little creamy. That Simply White looks mighty white in the right photo. So hard to tell … I had a heck of a time picking out paint for our office and it didn’t turn out like we expected at all. Whatever you decide to do will be great. Everything around here is dusty no matter what I do. There’s really no such thing as spring cleaning. I’ve just had to learn to live with it. Have a great week. Tammy

    • Manuela says

      It’s hard to tell on your computer but china white is actually gray in my kitchen. Simply white has tiny bit of yellow in it – it is the brightest white of all the samples. I really won’t know if I like it until I paint a whole wall (unfortunately)!

  11. says

    I like your ideas for your kitchen makeover. I haven’t had any experience in matching Benjamin Moore paint to Sherwin Williams, but I agree that BM paint is way too expensive. We’ve used SW and Behr (Home Depot) in our entire house with great success.

    We have an overhead ceiling fan/light fixture in our kitchen too, and even though I don’t like it for its aesthetics, we really need the cooling of the fan fixture in the summer.

  12. says

    well…I kinda still like your green walls, but understand as I still have white ones and you can just not beat white to make it look cool and clean…

    wouldn’t it be great to have the money we need to really redo our kitchens like we would love them…my best girl friend has a $60 kitchen with all the cool “stuff” but you know what, I still like mine the best, and bet you would feel the same…

    So, whatever you do, I think it will look just great…fun post!!

  13. says

    White is a color! :) I like the one you’ve chosen!

    I do think it will help you with the light in the kitchen, and changing your lighting too will work. I love ceiling fans and we use them in our house.

    Can’t wait to see it!

  14. says

    Your kitchen is cute, but change is always good. A fresh coat of paint and new lighting can make a world of difference. Can’t wait to see what you do :-)

  15. says

    Love your ideas, Manuela!

    I lacked some serious light in our mission house kitchen in 2004, so I went with yellow on the walls and variations of the same paint card on some of the cabinet doors too. Made ALL the difference in the world.

    Regarding paint colors, aren’t the recipes for that color on the backs of the paint chip sample cards? We can’t get the paint chip sample cards free in Manila, so while I was in the States years ago, I grabbed one card from every sample color, punched holes in it and then put them all on a ring. I took Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart paint chip cards from all the brands they sold to our local Manila ACE Hardware and got the same paint color. I don’t see why you couldn’t with what you want to do.

    I am not a ceiling light person but I am definitely a ceiling fan person. In our townhouse here in Manila, our ceilings cannot bear the weight of ceiling fans. Sad, sad, sad!

    Can’t wait to see how you upgrade your kitchen with little dough. (Get it?)

    Kelley of Kelley Highway

  16. says

    I am looking forward to seeing your redo—it always makes you feel like you are in a new place when you do this. I recently had a paint color I liked a SW but I live close to a Lowes and I love their Valspar paint. So they copied my SW card—somehow they have it all in their system. It was exactly what I wanted. Plus they have a flat scrubbable paint and odorless that I wanted. It is nice and thick and I only had to do one coat (but I was covering over a white with a color).

  17. says

    I like the white that you chose. I sort of chuckled over your ‘too cluttered’. I’ve come to the same conclusion about many of my favorite things of late. I don’t get rid of anything much though. It all goes in storage and comes out later to be used for some other room re-do. I was just looking at the roosters in the kitchen….Is it time to do something new, paint them all white, cull a few? Oh decisions!

  18. says

    Maybe when the walls are white you can add more accessories? Or keep the ones you have? I love white walls! Probably because I have color ADD…I cannot like just ONE!
    We are having a pergola built in the Spring and I never considered that it would block the light to the kitchen. I’m glad you said something!
    Your kitchen is lovely…I laughed out LOUD at your dust caption!



  19. says

    LOVE these plans Manuela…and I LOVE the Simply White…my eye was drawn to it when I saw your photo…before I read any of your post! It will be such a soothing backdrop to your wonderful color palette. I do love red and white! Ohhh…do I know how you feel about plate addictions…I have bins of them filled with the plates I took down to simplify my decor as it was stressing me out to look at everything. 😉 Also.must agree with you in that ceiling fans are a gift in warmer climates! We don’t have one in the kitchen but it’s such a great ideas. We do have a little white fan atop the fridge that keeps air circulating on a regular basis! I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up my make~shift pot rack (pot racks are such a wonderful storage bargain!)…am also sympathizing with a dark kitchen! Our faces northeast and is wonderfully cool in the summer and chilly in the winter…with lovely green views but little brightness like the other rooms downstairs! I am so looking forward to seeing your final pictures (how awful to lose all those photos when moving blogs.). I’m off to bed now my friend. Sooo enjoy your blog. :)))

  20. says

    Hi Manuela,
    I really like your existing kitchen, but, I do understand that it’s nice to do something new. There’s just something exhilirating about new paint and rearranged and slimmed down details. I, too, like to take the time to try out a variety of paint colors. It’s worth the time when you consider that you will be looking at it for years to come.
    I look forward to visiting your new kitchen in the coming days.
    Blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Carolynn xo

  21. Debbie says

    OK, two things:

    1. I can’t believe you jumped in and painted the wall testers this close to Christmas. You are such a go getter. I would procrastinate because without a doubt I would have nothing but the testers up for the whole season. (hangs my head…)

    2. I can’t wait to see what you do! You kitchen is one of the blog inspirations for my kitchen. Yes, I know that you can’t tell to look at it. That’s because I’m weak in execution. Can’t wait to be inspired yet more.

    • Manuela says

      Well that’s because I plan on painting my kitchen the day after Thanksgiving. My husband is in retail and he has to leave Thanksgiving evening to work because all these ridiculous stores have decided that 5 am on Black Friday is good enough, they have to be open Thanksgiving evening. So anyway, I’m free that day since I don’t shop that day. So I’ll be painting my kitchen while most people shop like crazy!

  22. says

    I love hanging plates too. I could fill the whole dining room with plates on the wall! I think the white paint will look great. I’m being drawn more to white again too :)

  23. Debbie says

    Hi Manuela! I feel your white paint pain… I just finished going over our living room walls with BM Standish White… It’s warm and creamy and surprisingly, I like it as well as I liked the apricot I covered up with it! As for having your paint remixed… just take the paint chip in… they should be able to match it just fine…I also love Lowe’s Valspar Signature Paint line… It’s wonderful to work with and has great coverage…Oh, it’s going to look so pretty and fresh when you are finished… that being said… everything you do looks lovely anyway!!! You’ve got an eye girl!

  24. says

    Hmmm… sounds like a fun project. My kitchen is a perpetual do-over. I’m always trying to figure out what I like most about my kitchen and work from there. Right now… I love my two -toned cabinets White on top and Black on bottom. But… I’m finding with the winter months and the earth axis …the black on bottom is too dark. I only have one window too.

    I am no help on paint color. Sorry.
    But I’m a big backer for ceiling fans! Living in Texas… it’s a must!
    Can’t wait to see your finishes!

  25. Shirlee says

    I painted my kitchen white (Crumb Cookie by Pittsburgh Paints) a couple of years ago. I usually go for colour but we had some much needed renovations done so it was a good time to change out the wall colour which was previously Straw Hat (Ben Moore). Never thought I’d say this, but I love the white walls in there and even extended it to the hall/laundry area but that’s it.

  26. says

    I like the Simply White choice, too. It has the warmest and brightest look of the ones you tested. And we also love having a ceiling fan in our kitchen. It sure gets a lot of use! I couldn’t live without it!

  27. says

    I love your ideas! I am ALWAYS looking for more storage in the kitchen without cluttering it! Such a hard balance for me! My kitchen colors are kinda red (apple things) with a little green. I’d love to paint the walls in there, but would love some suggestions! They are currently white which works fine thought right now they are pretty dingy… :( It is a school room/eating room and kitchen so there’s not a lot of uncovered wall space, but it has 8 ft. ceilings so there’s a couple feet around the top that always show… Don’t think the hubby would go for red walls and I think it would make it too dark too… Thanks for any suggestions! :)

  28. says

    I love the idea of painting the kitchen white…but with a soon-to-be-teenager in the house, it’s not gonna happen for me. You said that the china white was too gray? That may be the exact color I need when I paint my cabinets. I want to paint the walls a buttery yellow and the cabinets white with just a hint of gray. What do you think? :)

    • Manuela says

      Hi Sharri,

      Thank you for dropping by. No I am not currently on Pinterest. But I will be starting January and will post when with a link.

      No I do not have two sites but this blog was named The Pleasures of Homemaking when I was on blogger. I changed it for several reasons when I moved my blog to WordPress. Some people never changed the name on their blogrolls so if you click on TPOH it will bring you here.

  29. says

    You are a smart girl, thinking things through and having a plan. I don’t like much clutter in my house at all so I can understand the need to put some things away. I have a lot of plates too so I rotate them in and out. It’s fun and makes me feel like I’ve done something amazing. Ha!

  30. says

    I am dying to repaint the cabinets in my kitchen, but am a bit overwhelmed at the thought of it. Do you have any tips/suggestions for tackling this kind of project?

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